When I first initially started writing and sketching out ideas I never new what the true purpose or intent was, just that it was helping me. How time has changed that, my compass constantly shifting seeking out its destination, has now turned into my own website/blog/group/page, a communication platform I was once told, wasn’t possible at the time.
I have always gave the impression I rebel against the label, or so myself and others have been led to believe, which is not entirely true. I just want more of an accurate or closer fitting one, given as wide a scope of the situation as possible for all parties involved or relevant to this exchange of information.
This has led me down a very long complicated path, which more recently, seems to have been more focused and orientated around Autism, which has to change to widen my scope that may have become, too narrowed. I know I am diagnosed ADHD so I need more understandings there, also my mental health is damaged through years of neglect and abuse, intentional or not.
Today (30th July 2018) I had an insightfully enlightening appointment for the second time with a very uniquely observant woman (a speech and language therapist I believe), who gave me hope and understanding in a time where I was struggling to find some. Many a time I wonder why I pursue this crazy journey with so many closed and out of reach doors. I felt, and still do at times, like giving up time and time again on many a thing, during this journey with mental health and simply put, myself. I was kindly reminded the reason why I don’t give up, and glad to see someone else hasn’t given up on me either.
The Bermuda Triangle that I refer to at times, has now pinpointed and shaped a new angle….. the starting point me, pinballing between my neurological disorder and fixing, my mental health.
I have been in a constant battle trying to figure out autism, because it was the one that made the least sense to me at the time but at the same time like reading an autobiography. I used to have a stigma view into the most complexity dynamic label of ASD. Professionals and others kept repeatedly mentioning it in different contexts. Whether or not I have ASD/Asperger’s still hasn’t been answered and can’t be presently due to the state of my mental health, or so it would appear but yet I can be diagnosed ADHD. If what I am reading is correct you have to fit 5 of the criteria for ADHD, been present in childhood and impacting day to day living in adulthood (in a nutshell)
Something a few professionals seem to have concluded and agree upon, is whether I have ADHD which is what I am currently labelled at 30-years-old. My attention and focus has been less sharp of late as I’ve been stuck in self-destructive tendencies, increasingly getting worse due to catastrophic ways of thinking, which I’ve done for as long as I can remember. When I take meds for ADHD I seem to get stuck so to speak and can actually have more difficulty focusing, becoming more spacey. It enables in some ways, whilst disabling in others.
I need to at least research and look into ADHD further in more depth and scope to see where I do, and do not fit statistically, immeasurably relevantly and individually, in today’s, yesterday’s and tomorrows understandings and findings.
Until I repair some of the damage done, with the aid of others through time and therapy, the question in relation to Autism will be far to difficult to answer, due to far to many overlaps and similarities. For many a reason I question if it is even possible to separate between ASD and ADHD, when it comes to myself and many others as I have been discovering? I do believe however over time, whilst the experiences and traumas impacting my mental health are dealt with, I will have a clearer answer to that question. Another thought is am I wasting my time, when the NHS system is so fractured and demandingly frustrating for myself and many others.
I find this an ironic frustrating cycle, until my disabilities are managed, I can’t work amongst others so am forever hiding behind my studies, therefore I cant afford private health care, so have to hope my mental health doesn’t deteriorate quicker than, the professionals time frames assigned, to myself. All over my medical records it is plain and clear to see how may months back dated the Community mental health team dealing with myself are.
What is even more obvious is how much the departments do not communicate and when they do, how tangled and confusingly misleading the information could be, and often is. What hope do I have when the staff are so overworked doing to many jobs they never signed up to do, (affecting their mental health and well-being) who by their own words admit the system doesn’t work. Things have to change because I don’t want history repeating itself for my children, and if they do need help, they at least can have access to it in a less damaging and defragmenting way..
My daughter had a more challenging year, really obvious nearing the end of P5. I met with her teacher to come up with a plan of action to get her resettled because, at this point she was requesting to have her table and chair moved out of the classroom, attitude and outlook on life was daunting to say the least. Her reasons for doing this as she said ‘I will be able to concentrate on my work’. My daughter is bright above her years in some subjects, extremely emotional but has difficulty with expressing and controlling the feelings. She explained that her head and tummy became upsetting and sore whenever she put pen to paper, making her ill from the anxiety it is causing her. Her solution as I said was to remove herself from the classroom.
After a couple of exchanges with her teacher, she looked into my daughter through two years of experiences, insights and understandings after teaching her for two years. She was compared to the current criteria for both ASD and ADHD and she met them for both. Her intellectually insightful teacher even went for a second opinion as was shocked herself as not so obvious unless looked at more acutely. Backing the argument girls tend to suffer in silence, their behaviours not necessarily replicating the common ‘norms’ criteria for certain disabilities.
When discussed with the doctor, or any other professional nothing has ever been done or looked into, the care very poor unfortunately, for whatever reason. I have told this story because I believe it is relevant here in regards to myself, the opinions, insights, understandings of others and my current research. Something flagging up consistently is the fact girls are severely skewed for the diagnosis of both Autism, and attention deficiency hyperactive disorder. I plan to look up the criteria for ADHD and ASD, writing and documenting where I’m aware I fit and where I don’t, because I do not believe ADHD covers enough of my symptoms compared with ASD, given current knowledge and understanding
I once had the distorted view I had to prove I wasn’t abnormal and could fit societies version of the ‘norm’ just like everybody else, still do at times but I think the poker face has slipped there. I’m beginning to see where life events, uneducated, the energy and resources used to play the chameleon had. My clinical psychiatrist once said to me with such honesty and sincerity in her eyes and voice once, ‘I believe you struggle a lot more than we think’……..
I remember thinking if only you knew, or I even knew how to begin expressing or voicing. At least in my head I can delude myself slightly but not once the words have been spoken aloud, that seems to change my perceptions
The cost for playing the chameleon intentionally or not, has been substantial to my mindset, personal development, confidence and self esteem. More often than not it takes more of a personal resource trying to communicate at times, that suffering in silence is the best option, or leaving people to there assumptions and implications on matters. I once was asked what the best option is, being a statue hiding my emotions lurking beneath the surface almost unreadable , or being an open book for the world to see, and I’m yet to decide which is the best option, time will tell. It is said women with ADHD tend to suffer in silence, developing strategies to try and hide there deficiencies and more often than not, the strategies make you feel ashamed and have low self esteem.
I never questioned or understood the diagnosis of ADHD fully, most research is on males and irrelevant at the time to my circumstances, or so I thought, given my understandings and abilities. Over time I have learnt and seen many a different perceptions, events and personalities that have broadened how I once used to perceive certain labels or words. Now that I have more of an understanding, I think it is time to delve into, ADHD which is another controversial and debatable subject.
I want to see what others have discovered, and figure out where I fit amongst the words written, and where I do not. I’m hoping that with the trio combination of what I have learnt through life, neurology and psychology so far, then writing my findings and what I learn in the future, presently on women diagnosed or suspected to have ADHD, it will allow me to understand what others are relating to, when referring to myself
From what I have been reading so far its a minority diagnosis amongst females, because most of the diagnosis’s of ASD and ADHD are given to males in the past, but I believe that is beginning to change. There are many a theory and opinion on why these changes are coming to light, in today’s societies, but words repeated and recited a lot seem to focus on the fact,
The majority of studies were done on males in the past, but now more research, that has been done into women under the same and different light, both in psychology and neurology, are changing our once black, white and grey outlooks on life in every way to some extent or another.
ADHD and ADD are believed not to be gender biased as more research comes to the surface, now more female research has been undertaken, a spanner thrown into the works so to speak. The stereotype once was that an ADHD diagnosis was given to hyper little boys, extended further to stigmas that the parents couldn’t control or discipline, the fault being theirs. Nowadays it is almost as often seen in females, as it is for males but the way individuals present these symptoms, react, behave or think can be different, depending on past experiences and understandings
What I can relate to with my findings so far in ADHD is having difficulty shutting out noises and distraction, that don’t appear to bother others. I pick up noises and smells that can be infuriatingly irritable which can be a trigger, depending how intuitive my mindset is or my way of thinking. Some days I’m able to tune out or be distracted, other times it appears the harder I try the more it seems to affect, eventually causing me to revert into myself or spontaneously combust spurting out word vomit, as I lose control over what my outward emotions portray.
An example would be the noise made when someone eats with their mouth open, similar to when you mix a saucy bowl of pasta….. There are certain pitches and noises that make my skin crawl, triggering and making me appear aggressive and giving off ample amounts of negative energy as I fail to hide my displeasure or how uncomfortable I am. Usually if I can’t find away, I walk far away as possible or remove myself from the situation as best and as much as possible
As many can probably relate, time, money and everything in-between really seems to dominate my life, interfering and influencing my abilities to achieve my goals. Something I’m looking into is the difference between a melt down and a shut down. A question in a test for ADHD referred to the feeling of shutting down and that requests for just one more thing, can send you over the edge. I seem to cope by always looking for things, researching, avoiding, looking back and catching up, or covering up the fact I’ve shut down in the first place. This can have me avoiding people, life, internal and external influences becoming either a couch potato or a tornado.
I don’t feel like my ideas are always better maybe once upon a time in my younger years possibly, I prefer the best most effective solution regardless of who has came up with it.
I’m actually good at organising and structuring tasks, but I can really struggle juggling it with my personal relationships and incorporating it into my daily life, self esteem and confidence play a big part there. I do go to bed with the intentions of being organised and motivated, but more often than not the next day arrives, ending in the ground hog feeling of deflation. I sometimes wonder if it’s possible to fulfil my potential or meet my goals, more often than not because I have no control over the outcomes, I am reliant on people and their timescales, systems or procedures. If this is referred to as despair…… I most definitely can relate.
I often feel as if I’m an imposter in my own body (internal prison), a shadow of my former self just trying to pass as normal. As time passes though I become more and more fed-up, I’ve became sick and tired of the constant looping cycle that’s so self-destructive. I’m forever just trying to cope to get through the day, trying and failing to stay organised, in control of my emotions as I struggle to communicate my feelings. There never seems to be time for relaxation, even when I try my efforts seem pointless. I know there is help available out there that could substantially speed up my process, I still can not gain access to them though, in an efficiently and effective worth while way, because they are out of my control or not seen as needed under my current label.