Has your child been diagnosed with ADHD? Many adults aren’t finding out they have ADHD until their child is diagnosed. Child psychologists have reported a trend in identifying both child and parent in the same process. If you’re like me, you may still be ignoring the signs even after your child’s diagnosis.
Here’s a list of reasons you should really take a second look at yourself:
Yup, that’s right. ADHD runs in families. I’ve read in multiple places that a child with ADHD is around 50% more likely to have at least one parent with ADHD. That number increases if you have multiple children with ADHD. If you have two kids and both have ADHD, it’s likely you and/or their father does as well. It may be a good idea for you both to get tested and find out.
Changes in Symptoms from child to adult
It was years before I was willing to consider I might have ADHD. Mostly because my symptoms weren’t anything like my daughter’s. She has stereotypical level ADHD. She’s a fully combined type with all the outward markers. My child doesn’t have an off switch and never seems to run out of energy. I was never like that, so I didn’t think ADHD applied to me. Well, I didn’t know what I didn’t know back then… Mainly, the changes that can be found as you grow into adulthood.
Here are some common ones to watch out for:
- Hyperactivity lessens as we age and learn to stifle our urges or channel them into age-appropriate activities
- Other labels are applied to our symptoms in adulthood
- We learn coping mechanisms to hide symptoms
- We begin to internalize our symptoms and view them as character flaws.
Think You Have ADHD?
Hyperactivity isn’t always just physical.
Many people are under the impression that hyperactivity can only manifest physically. This is entirely false. While hyperactivity CAN manifest physically in the form of constant movement or fidgeting. It can also be recognized as impulsive behavior or talkativeness.
In fact, more women and girls manifest their hyperactivity in these forms. The girl with ADHD is the one who butts into conversations and then won’t stop talking. I was that girl, and it was cringy beyond belief! When I grew up, I learned to control those impulses better, but they didn’t go away. I’m still extremely talkative when something interests me.
Masked by anxiety and depression
Women are likely to get diagnosed with anxiety and depression in their late teens or early 20s. This is around the time they enter college and/or start a family. They typically seek help around this time because the coping mechanisms they used throughout their younger years suddenly begin to fail. Losing the structure, they grew up with has a catastrophic effect on their lives.
Psychologists are usually quick to jump to the simplest and most logical explanation for the symptoms. Thereby diagnosing most of us with anxiety and depression without taking the time to analyze the factors that may be causing them. Not being able to focus and prioritize leads to anxiety when your to-do list keeps growing. That anxiety can lead to the inability to complete tasks and multiple consecutive perceived failures. Which leads to depression and a feeling of helplessness and hopelessness. All of which could be prevented with a diagnosis of ADHD.
Mommy brain or inattentiveness?
The critical difference between mommy brain and inattentiveness is that many symptoms were likely present before getting pregnant. In pregnancy, we can sometimes feel like we’re in a fog and have difficulties concentrating. This persists into new mom life as we deal with sleep deprivation, body changes, and a new set of responsibilities. Usually, mommy brain begins to go away as your children age. If it hasn’t or it’s so severe that you’re not functioning at all… It’s probably time to get tested.
Mommy overwhelm or ADHD overwhelm?
Does it seem like nothing you do helps you manage the day to day tasks of motherhood? That could be a big red flag that you’re dealing with ADHD overwhelm. Some common signs are:
- You can’t complete chores no matter how hard you try.
- Your to-do list is too long.
- Sensory overload causes a shutdown or angry outburst
- You can’t find motivation, no matter how hard you try.
- Interruptions to plans cause mini panic attacks.
Read more about Mommy Overwhelm vs. ADHD.
Get Tested for Peace of Mind
I’ll leave you with this… Even if you’re utterly unconvinced that you have ADHD, but you have the slightest seed of doubt… Go get tested! If you don’t have it, then at least you’ll know and if you do… You can work on controlling it. Maybe even you’d be willing to put in the work to master it. An ADHD diagnosis is not a death sentence for you or your child. It’s an opportunity to embrace your uniqueness and thrive. It can be a real gift if you choose to see it as such.
Still Unsure? Take the Quiz
Please Note: This list or any other is not a substitute for evaluation by a mental health professional. If you believe you or someone you love may have ADHD, then contact your healthcare provider today. There is no substitute for an accurate diagnosis. Check these resources to find a provider near you: Clinics List.
That’s it for now. If you’re still curious about signs of ADHD, check out these posts:
Until Next Time….