From zero to hero

It’s not easy growing up with an undiagnosed ADHD. The daily struggle to act and feel “normal” alongside the social and academic challenges can be a big portion of frustration for a young child. The constant sensation of awkwardness is a true challenge, but the solution was just around the corner.

ADHD is not the flu, and it usually doesn’t pass when you grow up. It is a neurodevelopmental condition that needs to be diagnosed and treated professionally. When I grew up, awareness of ADHD was a rare thing, if any.

I remember myself trying to study for tests, but the words kept “popping out” from the pages, and my thoughts drifted to different places. The lack of concentration and the ability to focus for long periods of time were a burden and a constant source of anxiety and frustration.

High School was a sheer nightmare. The constant need to handle large quantities of material took their toll – I was constantly edgy, highly strung and anxious. I often felt I can’t handle it and wished it to “go away.”

I knew I had what it takes to succeed but managed to fail miserably over and over again. That drove me insane, the unbearable gap between what I thought about myself and the poor reality I was experiencing.

Time went by and I barely managed to complete my degree. Looking back today, I don’t know how I managed to do that, how I coped. While everyone on campus enjoyed this wild period of adulthood, I struggled with anxiety and emotional eating.  Depression was right around the corner, lurking in the dark.

ADHD diagnosis- the point of no return

At that point in time, I had my degree and was looking for a job. Luckily, I had minimal problems getting the job as I had great verbal skills and noticeable personal charm. The problem started when it came to keeping the job. I couldn’t complete tasks that bored me and had the tendency to speak my mind out loud. This last behavior was rarely appreciated by my colleagues that felt I was too much to handle.  Things weren’t bright for me. I knew I could have done much better but didn’t know how to turn things around.

Things changed when one day I read an article about ADHD. Instantly, I felt it was written about me, that the writer knew me personally. It was an eye opener; my problem now had a name and a face- ADHD.

I immediately scheduled an appointment with a neurologist, an ADHD specialist. The diagnosis was cut clear: I had ADHD. I felt like a huge weight was lifted off my shoulders.

I started treatment the next day. A whole new world revealed itself to me. I was calmer; the anxiety declined to bearable levels and most of all – I was able to concentrate. As time passed, I managed to complete tasks that once I considered to be boring and tedious and, as a rule, used to avoid them. Even my main concern turned to be redundant: I didn’t lose my “edge” and remained creative and sharp as before.

As time passed, the change was more evident. I finally took control on my emotional eating and even managed to lose considerable weight. The wonders one diagnosis and proper treatment can do.

Today, I am considering myself a new-born man. Obviously, not in the religious meaning but as a new productive person. No more awful mood swings and anxiety but productivity and meaningful life.