By VONITA TAYLOR
Around one in 20 adults have Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) and I am one of them. I was diagnosed with ADHD six years ago following the birth of my son.
Before my diagnosis, I was told I had post-natal depression. For one whole year I was prescribed anti-depressants and went to counselling but things still didn’t feel right. One day during a soccer match I had the most intense feeling of anger when a girl tripped me. I felt like I wanted to kill her and it really scared me. I had never felt like that before and I knew then that it was the medication. I immediately told my psychologist and after many tests she confirmed ADHD was my diagnosis.
People with ADHD can experience a number of different symptoms such as difficulties with motivation, concentration, finishing and prioritising tasks, remembering everyday things and dealing with restlessness.
For me, ADHD means more downs than ups. But, I have learnt along the way to embrace all aspects of the condition and laugh whenever I can.
I find it hard to be organised. I leave things to the last minute and become overwhelmed and flustered with the tasks I take on. I have two children aged six and three. Like most mums I run around after my children, but unlike most mums I sometimes forget what it is they need when I’m with them and what needs to be done half way through getting them ready.
I often lose my train of thought. I’ll ask the kids to do something and before I’m finished I forget what I was talking about. Or I tell them off and stop-mid way because I’m distracted by something on TV. My mind is like a radio and the channels are constantly changing.
They say to look after your kids, you have to look after yourself first, yet I often forget about myself. I can’t find the time to do my hair or put on my makeup and sometimes I simply forget to put on deodorant. People are shocked when they find out that I have ADHD. They think I am a normal, happy go lucky person. Yet they have no idea I’m exhausted and overwhelmed when I wake up each morning as I agonise about the list of everyday tasks I have to complete that day: my breakfast, my son’s breakfast, my son’s lunch, packing his school bag, filling out school forms, going to the gym, going to work. It doesn’t sound like rocket science but to me it feels like it.
It’s also hard for me to retain information. I’ve lost count of the times my partner has tried to show me how to do simple things like switch on the wifi on my phone or format a document on my computer. I’m always interrupting because if I think of something then I have to say it. I know it’s rude to butt in but if I don’t say what’s on my mind that thought will be gone forever.