ADHD acceptance; nobody's problem but my own?
October 13, 2012 7:57 AM Subscribe
I've just been diagnosed with ADHD, and have started an initial stimulant-based management plan. I'm in my mid-forties, and work in a very traditional industry and come from a not-very-accepting Old World culture. How open do I need to be with colleagues and friends that I'm doing this?
posted by anonymous to health & fitness (11 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
I'm a mid-career engineering manager in a power company in Canada. I've always been very distractable; every report card from age 6 onwards used the words lazy, careless, and untidy, often in the same sentence as clever, fluent and friendly. I've kind of retracted into an eccentric introvert persona, which worked, up to a point. My job is to come up with creative solutions to unusual power generation problems. I'm good at it (as far as someone from my culture would ever admit), until projects dive into details. It was becoming a problem that I could start projects, but not carry them through to construction.
I came to realize about a year ago that not everyone lived in a constant churn of unfinished thoughts. A friend with ADHD was visiting, and they described how found finishing tasks was hard because, halfway through, the most important idea in the world would appear and they'd wind up hours later with the original task unfinished. Everyone else in the room was saying how odd that must feel, except me, who was agreeing strongly.
After being referred to a psychiatrist and having tests and tests and tests, I was diagnosed as having an attention-deficit problem, and started on a low dose of Vyvanse a few days ago. I can now focus and complete tasks without 30 minute forays into obscure corners of the web. I can listen to more than the first two tracks of an album. I can take an active part in phone calls. The change is amazing and so welcome.
Thing is, my colleagues have started noticing that something has changed. I don't really work in a place that I could openly admit to seeking psychiatric assistance. I see that the way I think is an asset, and being able to apply it better now is in everyone's best interests. What, if anything, can I say?
My parents and siblings back in the Old Country might be a problem, too. Where I'm from, the only acceptable medication is alcohol. I hinted to my father that I was thinking of getting tests for ADHD, and he responded with an uncharacteristically steely, “There's nothing wrong with any of us.” and changed the subject. Do I even need to let my family know? My partner is exceptionally supportive, which is good.
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