A personal realization
Since getting TikTok at the end of last year I've been learning a lot about ADHD because the algorithm has figured out that I'm interested in mental health content. It's almost become a cliché (on TikTok) how many people are just now realizing they are neurodivergent in some way because of self-reflection in isolation (this has also been happening with queer folk who are exploring gender/sexuality, but that's a topic for another day).
In the past, my therapist has suggested that many of my symptoms that align with ADHD (hyper fixation, rejection sensitive dysphoria, difficulty sticking to one task for long periods of time, etc.) are caused by my depression and anxiety. I understand that overlapping exists, yet the meds I've been on for my depression haven't really affected any of these issues in the three years I've been taking them (can't think of a better word than "issues" for them because I don't really think of them as problems to be fixed). The more I think about it, the more it makes sense to me-- a feeling that I recognize from when I was first coming to the realization that I'm genderqueer.
There's a lot of self-doubt: Am I just seeing/hearing what I want to see/hear? Am I over-thinking? Shouldn't this have been obvious before? Has no one else noticed? I am in a constant state of asking myself these questions about so many aspects of my personality/identity but it's because I'm endlessly fascinated by what I can learn from shifting my attention from the outside world into my inner world. If this helps me in the long run, awesome. If it becomes a problem, I try to get help.
I'm not currently seeing a therapist and honestly don't know how I would go about getting a professional's opinion on whether or not I have ADHD. There's the fear of being ignored because of self-diagnosis but that's what so many of us have to do when living with a broken medical system. If anyone has thoughts on this, I'd love to hear them.
p.s. I could go into whether it is even necessary to have an official diagnosis, whether having a term for it makes it easier to handle but I think I'll talk about that some other day.
My ADHD doesn't present traditionally at all, so I wasn't diagnosed until I was in my mid-30s. But suddenly a *lot* of frustrations from my whole life made sense. That said, I also have to be careful assuming that addressing that condition will suddenly make everything better. Sometimes internal change is needed, sometimes external, and it's often very hard to tell the difference.
Yeah, I try really hard to remember that things don't immediately get better. It wasn't the case with therapy or meds so I doubt this will be different. The main reason I want to get a new therapist is because I felt that my last one was no longer helpful in getting me to a place where I could evaluate those changes I needed/wanted.
Sure, that seems like the right approach. Sometimes I wish we understand our own brains better, but then I remember how dangerous that would be :)