Life in the Land of Capital Letters

I haven't been getting much done for a while, and have been running around in more of a haze of anxiety and general stress than usual.

It must be depression, I thought. The anniversaries of my father and grandmother's deaths were on my mind, along with the mounds of assorted unresolved conflicts with both relationships.

I went off to the friendly local mental health services and announced I was depressed, needed help, etc. A very nice, friendly intake specialist sat down with me and started running me through her checklists, then booted me out.

Apparently I am not depressed -- I have Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD), and need to go see a regular doctor for full diagnosis and medication.

Infuriated, I went home and did some internet research and bought a stack of books, determined to prove that by God, I am depressed and couldn't possibly be a grown-up without ever having been diagnosed with ADD particularly since my grandmother (she of the unresolved conflicts) was a Behavioral Therapist!

I read the books.

I took the tests.

And I have ADD.

And so does my mother.

Unfortunately I can't discuss it with her because we are unable to have a civil conversation.

She would either be outraged and insist it came from my father, who had his own problems which continue to not appear to be ADD-related, or she would imply it was contagious and she had caught it from me.

The last time I spoke to her she spent forty minutes being outraged that I did not believe she had never visited West Virginia, a state where she lived for ten years.

Yes, I understand she has problems that go way beyond ADD, and the nice, friendly intake specialist would not have let her get back out the door, but I can still take a moment to be bitter and frustrated and profoundly grateful that ADD is the only thing I have inherited from her.

My "real" doctor's appointment is December 26, so I'll know more then.


bod said...

i hope you get positive feedback and the correct help anne. i've seen it make enormous differences for people.

Barton 6 said...

If you ever had a free moment I would love to "talk" to you. I can't focus. I sit here thinking of the millions of things I need to do. But it feels so overwhelming and I can NOT focus on just one. I am not lazy, quite the contrary. I take the online quizzes and it says I have every symptom of ADD. But my Dr insist I am depressed. I do not feel depressed. I won't bore you. I just saw your post on Jon's (Mr. Dooce)site and it intrigued me.

Anne said...

E-mail me via ursa.draconis (at) gmail (dot) com and we'll definitely talk.

One of the reasons I am posting about this is because it's rough -- and most people either don't believe in ADD/ADHD or think it is something you have as a child that you grow out of as an adult.

The other reason is that I just happened to get lucky and found the right person who knew what they were looking at and could make a qualified initial diagnosis and provide a referral to a doctor specializing in it. How many other people have it but have not been diagnosed?