Millions Of Adults Have Undiagnosed ADHD - Don't Be Another Statistic

By Spare_Garage_3434

The shouting and the shaming began during my childhood.

Singapore is a country where academic excellence (in actual fact amounting to little more than how well one could regurgitate content) is highly prized and the ultimate goal is university entry.

I was frequently late for school, and the label "lazy" stuck, above all others. Information simply floated past with nary much retained. Whilst in a uniformed group, I couldn't even march properly - heels digging in first, yet 'bouncing' on the balls of my feet ie toe walking which is symptomatic of attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder aka ADHD. I was despised by teachers for being willfully different, my constant spacing out as well as struggles to sit still perceived as acts of defiance and disobedience. For half a year I was thrown outside the classroom. To them I wasn't a struggling student who needed their support, rather a problem kid who just needed to be punished.

The relentless criticism burned so deeply into my psyche, needless to say I became a self-loathing individual possessing very little self-esteem.

As an adult now I have since developed my own coping strategies. I mentally repeat words spoken to me. I take notes. Marked calendars help indicate approaching deadlines.

I am not quite done working through the grief accrued over the lost decades, however giving a name to this invisible collection of struggles is both life-changing and validating. At long last there is a viable medical explanation for the delayed-sleep phases, the insomnia, the dissociation, rejection sensitivity issues...the whole shebang.

Careless mistakes arise not due to a lack of caring, but inattention, impulsivity, hyperactivity... ADHD impairs executive functioning skills, consequently causing working memory deficits.

ADHD often goes unrecognized and is instead misdiagnosed as one of its more common co-morbid conditions like depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder or personality disorders. The chronic stress, over stimulation, social rejection and inevitable burnout suffered by those with untreated ADHD can indeed trigger clinical depression alongside anxiety. Difficulties surrounding emotional regulation and impulsivity in ADHD may mirror borderline personality disorder. Not to mention intense romantic obsessions or racing thoughts could eerily resemble bipolar episodes.

Then again they are coping mechanisms and reactions to having ADHD, not separate illnesses.

Hopefully spilling my guts here would go some way however insignificant to remind those around me that neurodivergents exist even when educators and medical professionals have forgotten/do not acknowledge them. I shall always advocate for ADHD diagnosis, treatment, coaching and accommodation. THERE IS HELP AVAILABLE.


It’s time to introduce mental health education in schools

I migrated with special needs son to Australia; he graduated from university at 17

Mind drawing a blank after trying to kill myself