My diagnosis

As for many, many moms in my generation of moms (I just turned 35) I was diagnosed as an adult following the diagnosis of my child.  I sought diagnosis so I would know which of my daughter's symptoms I was relating to, versus the ones I might be projecting onto her that I had experienced.

I was successful enough as a student (advanced classes/scholarships/graduate school) that I might never have sought diagnosis otherwise.  But it certain things were hard enough for me as a student and in the rest of my life that I had really known for a very long time.  Or, at the very least, suspected that my academic challenges were of a different nature than the challenges of those around me.  I had strengths that helped me compensate, but the ability to hear what was said and to read what was assigned was not the same for me as the people around me.  We all have our challenges, and of course classmates dealt with larger challenges than me in many cases, too.  But my diagnosis was strong enough that doctor couldn't help but chuckle as we went through diagnosis criteria.  It also fit right in with my sleep apnea diagnosis and my later food intlerance diagnoses (although those may have developed post-CFS).

I am very proud to have completed my degrees without medication or help, but I certainly wouldn't advize anyone who suspects they have it to forego diagnosis and help (for themselves or their children).  It is easy to underestimate the costs of undiagnosed ADHD to a marraige, especially if exacerbated by the symptoms of undiagnosed offspring. 

Fighting stigmas with pride

My primary goals for myself were to complete my wildlife degrees and to become a professional wildlife biologist.  I accomplished those goals.  I can be flighty at times and my ADD symptoms will always be a challenge, but I have a lot to offer and it is nothing to be ashamed of.

My husband and I were not wrong to worry about the stigma of my daughter's diagnosis.  There will always be ignorant people, and I used to be one of them in terms of ADHD (my daughter's diagnosis was in second grade).  But I don't feel I can hide my diagnosis while telling my daughter not to be ashamed.  And being up front about my diagnosis is something I can do to help combat the stigmas and support others with ADD/ADHD. 

An ADHD colleague with two grown children with ADHD was recently recognized with multiple prestigious awards in her field, and even before my diagnosis I would often think of her story and her abilities with a smile.  The world needs people like us.

Relationship to other illnesses

"Cognitive dysfunction" is a common symptom of CFIDS, which I also have.  So I would now be fairly ADD even if I hadn't been ADD before.  This presents challenges.  I was also diagnosed with sleep apnea a couple of years ago, which causes brain fog on its own, but also provides some possibility for improvement with treatment.


I found some terrific resources for moms of kids with ADD/ADHD and for moms with ADD/ADHD.  But I broke my laptop and have generally lost track of those sites and resources as I have gained so many new conditions to research.  I hope to track some of them down again.

The Unique Brain

The link between ADHD and creativity is turning a problem into a gift.