Adult ADHD is a very “taboo” subject. It can be hard to talk about with other adults in your life that might not fully understand ADHD. I have been diagnosed with ADHD since I was a child but never started seeking help for it until I was an adult.
When I found out I was pregnant with the twins, I had to obviously stop the medication. As many moms then agree, you get so busy taking care of your family, you often put yourself on the back burner. I am notoriously guilty for putting myself last.
With all the kids well-established in school, I’ve been able to notice some of my issues with focus and my attention to the point I’ve been annoyed with myself. I know that I am a very smart person but when your brain is in “Shiny Penny mode”, it’s easy to forget when you are giving yourself a way huge “TO DO” List.
Yes in the past, I have dealt with Anxiety and Depression from PTSD. As a mom, I could see myself struggling to find focus, keep organized, or feel forgetful. When it comes down to it, my anxiety is a result of fighting to juggle the many tasks I have as a very busy mom. Adult ADHD symptoms truly impact more of your life than you likely realize.
Seeking mental health care can be a daunting and intimidating task. In the state of Iowa, it becomes an even harder task finding services with long waiting lists or none at all in your area. In recent years, Iowa was even ranked second worst state in a mental health report. Organizations have closed, insurance has not stayed current in payment to providers, you name it.
Making an Appointment
After some digging, I forced myself to get in contact with a local agency. I knew the only way to see a physician would be via telehealth. One thing that always intimidates me is medical appointments. I’m often afraid to speak up.
At my first telehealth appointment, I quickly became discouraged. My appointment was with an older male mental health provider that I was intimidated by when told a specific medication and nothing more about it.
A tricyclic antidepressant. An antidepressant even though I am NOT depressed. As I say, I have LOTS of stress and things going on in my life but I’m extremely happy. Tricyclic antidepressants are known to cause crazy side effects, especially those that a woman my age doesn’t want. Weight gain (perfect for those with confidence issues!), sexual dysfunction (again….really!?), fatigue (um, I have a Chronic Pain syndrome that already causes fatigue and lethargy…when am I supposed to be awake) and I’m sure you are getting the hint.
Let’s put a undepressed person on an antidepressant that will….. CAUSE DEPRESSION.
I left feeling defeated and frustrated. After venting a bit to Brian, I called back and was given the option of seeing another provider. I took that appointment time while I attempted to look at other options elsewhere. Luckily I went in ready to try again.
My next appointment was a COMPLETE 180 from the previous provider. I felt instantly at ease, able to ask questions, talk about my worries about medicine, etc.
We have now been trying to find the right dose and medication since March. As insurance creates huge hurdles for people to jump through, most of the medications have been denied with red tape issues. Brian reassured me that it is worth it and we have had to pay most out-of-pocket. It is frustrating someone at a desk that’s never met me nor my doctor makes decisions about my medical treatment.
Those around me have noticed a difference, even if I don’t feel like it’s a 100% better improvement. I find myself managing daily tasks easier and my focus ready for juggling our busy life. As I deal with things easier, I find my anxiety lessening already. I’m less self-critical and finding myself willing to step out of my comfort zone and push myself further. Yes, there is still a lot going on for me to take care of but, it is easier to support without stressing myself out.
It’s not an easy task and I know there is more for me to try but now, I’ve faced my number one “tormentor”. I now hope to help others find the resources they need. Don’t be afraid to ask questions. If you can’t ask questions, it might be a sign to look elsewhere.
Please remember, you are never alone.
The National Alliance on Mental Illness has a list of ways to find support.