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Yay finally ADHD + Diagnoses

Updated: May 29

Welcome neuro-spicy friends!

Well we haven't been very active on the blog because we have been distracted by other things- go figure!

Although we are in our 40's, ( we = Lena and Adriana). We are only now realizing we are probably neurodivergent- which makes getting diagnosed quite a problem. Why? Welcome to the diatribe....

  1. We are women and thus ADHD research and diagnosis has typically (especially in our youth), focused on males with hyperactivity. While female research participants were underrepresented in studies- the focus during our childhood was on hyperactivity not inattentiveness, (Psychological Diagnostics changed multiple times in subtle ways but had impacts... Neither of us are hyperactive, but we are 'inattentive'.

  2. Flighty, dipsy, day dreamers etc. are descriptions of young girls with inattentive ADHD - however many studies have found that females (probably because of societal norms) internalize a lot of the effects and learn to play along rather than act out- this is masking- and it is exhausting.

  3. GEN-X . We are both Gen X, the tail end but that means that being diagnosed is that much harder. We were "latch-key kids". Which means our parents were of a 'new' generation of both parents working as the norm. So we were mostly on our own - and when the tests ask our parents what we were like, their answers are usually..." oh they were fine." (Okay - for younger generations I will provide the following examples.... 1. Babysitters were generally 13/14-18 - teenagers if they were in the neighborhood, I had older babystitters and they were the weirdest people - at least in the 80s --- Oh you don't believe me? - Okay here we go... It's 1986, your parents are the only ones in the neighborhood going to a thing called "therapy". Your usual 14 year-old babysitter (when you are 7) is not available, (I found out later it was because she was in rehab - where she got pregnant). A woman with a golden girl's style short curled haircut arrives and smiles. Parents leave and the door closes, she turns on the large wooden TV in the living room, takes off her pants to lounge in a large pair of white granny panties on our leather couch which sits in front of a wall 0f mirrored tiles with faux gold veins. I usually sit on the tawny brown textured carpet. She ordered me to get her a soda (TAB)-- and then change the channels on our manual TV (13 Channel dial- no remote). Luckily my baby sister (aged 2) was already asleep. (IF you wonder if my parents knew? - No, this was not the worst of the babysitters I had had, so it seemed fine. I was just upset that we needed anyone - I was 7, I could handle it. I liked canned Chef Boyardee ravioli and frozen Green Giant lima beans in butter - I could make both, and check on my little sister. ---- What I am saying is that since 7, I've imagined myself to be ultra independent. And so have most of my generation. We either made it big in the tech and sellout industries, or we are still forgotten and struggling. It was a weird time.

4. Masking at 40. By this time we are exhausted and when you add in hormone changes it is really hard to get a full medical diagnosis without ruling out other 'possible' contributing factors. While these tests are necessary and a due diligence of your health care provider to rule out other underlying medical concerns - they can seem unnecessary and debilitating. As, by the time you think you might be neurodivergent - it is because the coping mechanisms and work-arounds you used to use are no longer effective and you feel like you are grasping at straws just to be functional. (Functional = do a job to get paid enough to pay your rent, utilities etc. If you are lucky enough in this late capitalist landscape, also operate a car; be social and interested in engaging with others; regulate your emotions properly; eat a healthy diet;  don’t rely on illegal/ non-prescribed drugs or alcohol). 

For those not struggling, imagine constantly walking uphill with a 50 pound backpack, it is doable but you will be exhausted afterward. That said, if you are struggling for a diagnosis-- don't hate your practitioner if they order/ ask for the following:

1. a full blood panel

2. Hormone panel - which is taken at different points in the month

3. Thyroid panel

4. Finally, a psychiatric evaluation - this is to rule out depression, anxiety and other overlapping/ confounding diagnosis that can similarly impact executive dysfunction. (In my case it may be dyslexia, being on the spectrum or just very highly sensitive, or the newest possibility complex post-traumatic stress disorder (CPTSD)- ughhh).

So because of all of this, we are starting a neurodivergent corner of blogs and eventually a chat space for neurospicy writers. Although I suspect many authors and writers to be neurodivergent in some respect, I have found it harder than anticipated to find a dedicated space for them. If you know of one please direct me, otherwise please comment or  email us what topics you might like to explore and we will work on including that on our website.

Thank you readers!


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