Please welcome the lovely and wonderful Beth to the blog today! She’s here to talk about how she found TikTok a great resource for her when seeking info on when she was feeling a bit… other. (Sidenote: Because I am An Old™, this is my first time using TikTok ever. Embedding these was an adventure. Let me know if something doesn’t work right, because that is on me, not Beth!)
In the carnival ride of 2020, my Fun House mirror experience has been stumbling across an increasing number of TikTok videos made by (presumably diagnosed) people with ADHD, talking about some of the common traits/issues ADHD folks have. And relating to *all of them*.
When I was in middle school, it was a boom period of diagnosing and medicating ADD and ADHD. I was in the minority of my classmates, not being on medication to “help focus”.
There was a lot of chatter in the years following, that psychiatrists may have been too quickly to apply a diagnosis to what is normal childhood behavior (we are not, after all, built to sit still and concentrate on one thing only for 8 hours a day, 5 days a week).
As far as I’m aware, no one even considered that I’d have ADHD, because I excelled at school and rarely got in trouble. I was in the gifted program (and the stigma of mental illness was such that no one in that program was “allowed” to be neurodivergent in any way) and was encouraged to value intellectual excellence above everything else.
These could be massive oversimplifications or more in line with individual quirks than a hallmark of ADHD.
But it’s possible I just learned to mask well, and found avenues around neurodivergence in order to operate to a level of success.
As of this writing, I haven’t sought a formal diagnosis, mostly because I’m afraid it will alter my core understanding of myself if it turns out I do have ADHD. In the meantime, I just continue to get freaked out about stuff like this: