“Huh you have ADHD? But you are always so calm. Jose is 41 years old, married with two daughters. She has been working for the same employer for twenty-one years. It wasn’t until later that she was diagnosed with ADHD. of her life.No, she’s not noticeably busy, she’s depressed.But the chaos in her head is where a hundred thoughts revolve.
Jose: “I’m very messy, but on the other hand I also need a lot of organization. This is an ongoing struggle. I look for stability all the time, but at the same time there is chaos. This is exhausting.
If I want to clean my house on Friday, I can’t. Even though I have an entire Friday afternoon off, I just can’t handle it. But I can’t have a glass of wine with friends on the sofa on Friday night and then see the dust on the cupboard. Then I stop the wine and start cleaning, because I can’t stand the dust there. I can’t ignore it at a time like this.”
I used to think that people with ADHD were always busy
“All kinds of things happen in my head all day. I used to think people with ADHD were busy, crossing boundaries and jumping out of planes. That stereotype. That’s why I never doubted myself I would get it. If I don’t take my medication, I’m withdrawn.” Exactly. All my busy thoughts make me more inclined to go into my shell.”
Jose explains that ADHD has become a collective noun. There are three types of ADHD: the inattentive variant, the hyperactive variant, and the merged image. With Jose is a collage. The hyperactive part of me is not so busy, loud and present, but in massive inner turmoil, impatience, impulsiveness and many small movements, think: fidgeting, twisting my hair, picking up the fuzz from my clothes. A form of hyperactivity that is very invisible to the outside world.”
My brother also has ADHD, but was diagnosed sooner. I got to know some of his traits in myself. I couldn’t keep up with school, my focus was a bit, and I didn’t get any degrees. Only at that time was I told that I had a power problem. I had to deal with that.”
Incomprehension in ADHD
“I was an extreme teenager in high school. Skip boundaries, skip school, stay. It’s common knowledge that teens can act violent, but I took it one step further. Because I hadn’t yet been diagnosed with ADHD at that age, I was told Consistently: “You have so much potential, why not get away with it?” Every time I got that negative attention.
For a long time I felt bad about what I did back then. It also made me insecure. I guess that’s why I became a control freak. I always correct myself.”
Jose felt all those years that there was something in her. But it is only when she has to work at home because of Corona and guides her two daughters to school work, that the diagnosis of ADHD approaches. “My husband has his own business and was absent because of that, I had to work at home and in the meantime help the kids at school. My oldest daughter struggled a lot with her homework. It just didn’t work out. My fuse was shorter and shorter. It was really terrible.”
Jose’s daughter was eventually diagnosed with ADHD. ”I never thought about that with her either, because I had that stereotype in my head. We were advised to become experts in ADHD. Let’s find out exactly what ADHD is, how it manifests itself and what our daughter encounters. When I immersed myself in it, it was as if it was a mirror held up to me. Lots of recognition.”
Diagnosis of ADHD at a later age
“Since our daughter has been so well taken care of, I thought it was time to find out if I also had ADHD. To know for sure as well as to get help. The diagnosis was not exciting to me. On the contrary, I was I’m afraid of being rejected, because then I was asking myself what was wrong with me. I was relieved to be told I had ADHD. That’s when the puzzle pieces came together. I’ve known all these years that something is wrong with me. I can’t work on the same the level of a lot of other people.”
It took a while to try, but Jose has now found medicines that work well for her and at the right dose. “Medications make my mind calmer. I have a blockage and because of that I can make bad decisions. On Saturdays, for example, I want to do all kinds of things, but I can’t do anything. I sit on the couch all day and feel worse and worse about myself with All sorts of things go through my head. I can filter that with medication. It’s not the cure, I’m not going to be the kind of robot that gets it all done at once. I’m taking a low dose and just being myself, but it helps me get more focus.”
“The worst thing about ADHD is that I don’t remember anything. I have to write everything down all the time, or else I’ll lose it right away. I also find it hard to separate stimuli. If I’m busy with something, and meanwhile the kids ask me mixed things up.” It might piss me off. I don’t want to be that kind of mom. Medication helps me respond more calmly to such stimuli.
It could clash between me and my daughter with ADHD. At the bottom of the stairs I can scream that it’s time to brush my teeth and go to bed, at the top of the stairs I already forgot. I like ordering at home to keep it clear. It’s a big mess. There are trays and trinkets everywhere. When she showers, she mixes all the shampoos together. making points. I was doing exactly that. It didn’t bother me at the time, but now I’m a control freak.”
Girls with ADHD sometimes react more violently
On the one hand, Jose recognizes a lot of herself in her daughter, and on the other hand, she has changed over the years and she just needs order. However, everyone with ADHD is different. “There’s really no mold. You’re not ADHD. You’re just who you are. I know other women with ADHD who express themselves very differently. Not everything is the same for men. I think women may be more inclined to adapt. Girls react Women with ADHD are sometimes more violently. If a girl throws another child’s shoe into a tree, she can get angry. While such behavior with boys is sometimes accepted more quickly, under the guise of “This is how boys are.”
According to Jose, there are also nice sides to ADHD. I don’t feel 41 and have always been playful and rebellious. I feel a lot, that can be positive. This way I can experience the music more intensely. After Corona, I went to a festival with my husband. In that moment when we walked in that field and heard the music, I felt it so intensely. The bass vibrations hit my stomach. The feeling of being together was tremendous. That was crazy. After that, I don’t want to give up that feeling.
Sometimes people don’t understand that I can go to a festival, but not to a group outing all day, for example. But you can’t make that comparison. I’m making less dopamine. I get that feeling of happiness from the things that make me so happy. During a festival I get super excited, but at the same time I get a lot of dopamine.”
Jose thinks more understanding would be nice. “I’d rather adapt than ask people to think of me. But I like it when people understand if I don’t like something. If the team outing is too much, it’s good that others don’t try to impress me. When there is respect for each other’s limits.”
Rain Man and Jochem Meijer
Furthermore, not everyone with ADHD is busy and chaotic. I’m not good at studying, but I like to keep my house in order. I also know someone with ADHD who studied in college, but her house is a mess. Not everyone has autism sman’s eye And not everyone with ADHD is Jochem Meijer.”