My possible ADHD diagnosis and impact on my stress

In today’s blog I am going to focus on the following:

  • My possible ADHD diagnosis
  • Impact on mental health from my lack of focus

Disclaimer:

None of this should be treated as professional mental health advice. As with my podcast, social media and any other materials I produce on topics around mental health, self esteem, confidence and personal growth this is me sharing my own experience as an individual, working with a coach, being formerly a coach and other unnamed individual stories (unless permission gained to share their name). I am not a qualified mental health professional. Please seek professional help where appropriate to do so.

Ironically I’m writing this blog at 12:30am, as I lost track of time and got distracted again. Often daydreaming and getting distracted by my mobile phone proves to be a constant struggle.Yes I know I’m not alone in that. I’m also in the process of getting an ADHD diagnosis and today I wanted to speak about that.

   Whether or not I have ADHD (attention deficit hyperactivity disorder) remains to be seen…. And I know! ADHD diagnosis is very, very common these days and like I mentioned things like a mobile phone doesn’t help. We live in a world that reduces our attention.

   Talking to my Therapist the idea first was introduced to me that I may have ADHD. I never thought at school I had it (or knew it existed then to be honest), I got reasonable grades although at times reading and certain subjects did not come easy. Maths did though I always liked logic and numbers, I was also creative in things like creative writing yet I had a poor reading score until later in life. I looked ADHD up and found the following symptoms totally relatable:

  • Lack of focus – can be a huge issue for me unless something is really fun, like writing or podcasting 🙂 
  • Hyperfocus – this seemed to be counter the above, but also this was a symptom, there are times when I get so absorbed in tidying a spreadsheet I am familiar and comfortable with I lose track of time
  • Maintaining a schedule – I actually love to plan but I struggle to follow the plan, for me all I want to be is spontaneous on the day even if I have planned the day out well
  • Starting projects and not completing – I get into huge excitable spells with ideas and then don’t complete them
  • Restlessness – this is an odd one, I found I could sit still as a student in a classroom or supervised at a workplace. Any opportunity when I’m not being watched…. I’m going for walks, runs and talking to anyone I can find
  • Impulsive behavior – the amount of times I’ve drank too much or overspend and bought courses I didn’t need is ridiculous
  • Mood swings – as per my last blog, I can feel on top of the world at times and then suddenly overstressed and other times so low I don’t want to get out of bed or move. This week generally feeling pretty good with 75 hard.
  • Trouble coping with stress – I now take medication (beta blockers)
  • Increased anger – usually not to others, but often I’ve caught myself breaking things when frustrated with something e.g my I phone not charging properly because of the poorly designed port can result in me throwing an object at another object

I’m on the waiting list for the diagnosis but thought I’d share my story. Again for an official diagnosis always consult a professional including treatment, this is just my own personal experience. 

What’s the impact on my mental health? More stress than anything else, and impacting on sleep. As I put things off that I should be doing it leads to a lot of pressure. It’s not just a ‘sit down and get on with it Jonny’ when I face slightly dull or complex tasks, it’s like fighting a rhino in my mind. 

Fortunately in some situations such as work places I’ve had a supportive or helpful manager often to break things down when I said I found it hard. In recent times though I’ve been given more free reign and left to get on with highly complicated information of which my over thinking and analytical mind goes into overdrive and burns out, then ends up not completing the task and causes more stress. So I’ve been taking action to speak and share with people step by step.

  It can also show up in business, over thinking. Not doing what I intend to, which can be a bit frustrating so I’ve learned to set smaller targets for consistency and hit them which is working. Likewise in the workplace I’ve made smaller steps to do.

  So this has been my share today. I am not officially diagnosed with ADHD (I am on the waiting list) and nor will I self diagnose. As I grow in life I’ll need more support with higher demands whilst I play to my strengths: writing, speaking, podcasting, teaching. I just wanted to share some of my challenges but when managed correctly I can have some great days too and am proud of all I’ve achieved in my life.

Jonny Pardoe, 3rd May 2023

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