Undiagnosed and untreated ADHD can make life feel quite chaotic. The laundry may always seem to be pilling up and littering the floor, there is no motivation to start with assignments or work projects until the last second, and despite all the effort put in, time seems to simply run away before anything constructive can be done.
The impact of repetitive frustrations, criticisms, and failures (real or perceived), self-blaming, and guilt may possibly compound and culminate in unique challenges in everyday life. These challenges could include behaviour that is self-defaming because of a history of being teased and bullied, insecurity in social situations and censoring participation in conversations due to a lack of social confidence. This lack of confidence can become self-perpetuating due to suspicion about genuine complements, concern about being annoying and expecting that others won’t respond positively to texts or conversations, which in turn may cause a failure to engage due to fear of being isolated from friendship groups. This lack of confidence could extend to being too nervous to take on new and challenging tasks and could even result in a lack of motivation for basic self-care like bathing and eating.
Many people feel that a Diagnosis of ADHD gives them a sense of relief and has helped them understand the context of their current situation and why they made the decisions they did in the past. They feel that they can stop the self-blame, thereby leaving space for healthier relationships to form with both themselves and their environment. They feel that an understanding of the root cause of their behaviour allows them to stop trying the same old strategies that often didn’t work and start using more targeted strategies that could really make a difference.
The deeper understanding and accurate diagnosis also allowed the significant people in their lives to support them and help with the scaffolding required for them to be successful; family, school and workplace could then come on board.
Most feel that having a diagnosis improved their understanding of their behaviour and made it easier to get the correct support and that using a combination of strategies (lifestyle changes, medication, coaching and/or other therapies) was most beneficial.