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Once again, let’s be human and check in with each other.

How are you doing? How do you feel about the week behind you and the one ahead of you? Any rants or raves? Share whatever feels right!

Discussion can be about ADHD or off-topic.

As I am not a mod of this community, I do not have the capacity to pin this post. I plan on making a post on Sundays where we can check in throughout the week as needed.

Please let me know if there is a better way of doing this - any ideas are welcome :). Grateful to be a part of this community.

submitted 1 day ago by [email protected] to c/[email protected]

I'm directing this question to all women, not just cisgender ones or ones that menstruate. My understanding is that we all can experience hormonal fluctuations during the month, for some it's just more predictable or obvious than others. Hormone therapy can have this effect too for our trans sisters. Curious what you notice, if anything.

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In October, when the FDA first announced a shortage of Adderall in America, the agency expected it to resolve quickly. But five months in, the effects of the shortage are still making life tough for people with attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder who rely on the drug. Stories abound of frustrated people going to dozens of pharmacies in search of medication each month, only to come up short every time. Without treatment, students have had a hard time in school, and adults have struggled to keep up at work and maintain relationships. The Adderall shortage has ended, but the widely used generic versions of the drug, known as amphetamine mixed salts, are still scarce.

A “perfect storm” of factors—manufacturing delays, labor shortages, tight regulations—is to blame for the shortage, David Goodman, an ADHD expert and a psychiatry professor at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, told me. And they have all been compounded by the fact that the pandemic produced a surge in Americans who want Adderall. The most dramatic changes occurred among adults, according to a recent CDC report on stimulant prescriptions, with increases in some age groups of more than 10 percent in just a single year, from 2020 to 2021. It’s the nature of the spike in demand for Adderall—among adults—that has some ADHD experts worried about “whether the demand is legitimate,” Goodman said. It’s possible that at least some of these new Adderall patients, he said, are getting prescriptions they do not need.

The problem is that America has no standard clinical guidelines for how doctors should diagnose and treat adults with ADHD—a gap the CDC has called a “public health concern.” When people come in wanting help for ADHD, providers have “a lot of choices about what to use and when to use it, and those parameters have implications for good care or bad care,” Craig Surman, a psychiatry professor and an ADHD expert at Harvard and the scientific coordinator of adult-ADHD research at Massachusetts General Hospital, told me. The stimulant shortage will end, but even then, adults with ADHD may not get the care they need.

For more than 200 years, symptoms related to ADHD—such as difficulty focusing, inability to sit still, and fidgeting—have largely been associated with children and teenagers. Doctors widely assumed that kids would grow out of it eventually. Although symptoms become “evident at a very early period of life,” one Scottish physician wrote in 1798, “what is very fortunate [is that] it is generally diminished with age.” For some people, ADHD symptoms really do get better as they enter adulthood, but for most, symptoms continue.

The focus on children persists today in part because of parental pressure. Pediatricians have had to build a child-focused ADHD model, Surman said, because parents come in and say, “What are we going to do with our kid?” As a result, treating children ages 4 to 18 for ADHD is relatively straightforward: Clear-cut clinical guidelines from the American Academy of Pediatrics specify the need for rigorous psychiatric testing that rules out other causes and includes reports about the patient from parents and teachers. Treatment usually involves behavior management and, if necessary, medication.

But there is no equivalent playbook for adults with ADHD in the U.S.—unlike in other developed nations, including the U.K. and Canada. In fact, the disorder was only recently acknowledged within the field of adult psychiatry. One reason it went overlooked for so long is because ADHD can sometimes look different in kids compared with adults: Physical hyperactivity tends to decrease with age as opposed to, say, emotional or organizational problems.

“The recognition that ADHD is a life-span disorder that persists into adulthood in most people has really only happened in the last 20 years,” Margaret Sibley, a psychiatry professor at the University of Washington School of Medicine, told me. And the field of adult psychiatry has been slow to catch up. Adult ADHD was directly addressed for the first time in DSM-5—the American Psychiatric Association’s diagnostic bible—in 2013, but the criteria described there still haven’t been translated into practical instructions for clinicians.

Addressing adult ADHD isn’t as simple as adapting children’s standards for grown-ups. A key distinction is that the disorder impairs different aspects of an adult’s life: Whereas a pediatrician would investigate ADHD’s impact at school or at home, a provider evaluating an adult might delve into its effects at work or in romantic relationships. Sources of information differ too: Parents and teachers can shed light on a child’s situation, but “you wouldn’t call the parent of a 40-year-old to get their take on whether the person has ADHD,” Sibley said.

Providers usually rely instead on self-reporting—which isn’t always accurate. Complicating matters, the symptoms of ADHD tend to be masked by other cognitive issues that arise in adulthood, such as those caused by depression, drug use, thyroid problems, or hormonal shifts, Sibley said: “It’s a tough disorder to diagnose, because there’s no objective test.” The best option is to perform a lengthy psychiatric evaluation, which usually involves reviewing symptoms, performing a medical exam, taking the patient’s history, and assessing the patient using rating scales or checklists, according to the APA.

Without clinical guidelines or an organizational body to enforce them, there is no pressure to uphold that standard. Virtual forms of ADHD care that proliferated during the pandemic, for example, were rarely conducive to lengthy evaluations. A major telehealth platform that dispensed ADHD prescriptions, Cerebral, has been investigated for sacrificing medical rigor for speedy treatment and customer satisfaction, potentially letting people without ADHD get Adderall for recreational use.

In one survey, 97 percent of Cerebral users said they’d received a prescription of some kind. Initial consultations with providers lasted just half an hour, reported The Wall Street Journal; former employees feared that the company’s rampant stimulant-prescribing was fueling an addiction crisis. “It’s impossible to do a comprehensive psychiatric evaluation in 30 minutes,” Goodman said. (Cerebral previously denied wrongdoing and no longer prescribes Adderall or other stimulants.)

The bigger problem is that too few providers are equipped to do those evaluations in the first place. Because adult ADHD was only recently recognized, most psychiatrists working today received no formal training in treating the disorder. “There’s a shortage of expertise,” Surman said. “It’s a confusing space where, at this point, consumers often are educating providers.” The dearth of trained professionals means that many adults seeking help for ADHD are seen by providers, including primary-care doctors, social workers, and nurse practitioners, who lack the experience to offer it. “It’s a systemic issue,” Sibley said, “not that they’re being negligent.”

The lack of trained providers opens up the potential for inadequate or even dangerous care. Adderall is just one of many stimulants used to treat ADHD, and choosing the right one for a patient can be challenging—and not all people with ADHD need or want to take them. But even the most well-intentioned health-care professionals may be unprepared to evaluate patients properly. The federal government considers Adderall a highly addictive Schedule II drug, like oxycodone and fentanyl, and the risks of prescribing it unnecessarily are high: Apart from dependency, it can also cause issues such as heart problems, mood changes, anxiety, and depression.

Some people with ADHD might be better off with behavioral therapy or drugs that aren’t stimulants. Unfortunately, it can be all too easy for inexperienced providers to start a patient on these drugs and continue treatment. “If I give stimulants to the average person, they’ll say their mood, their thinking, and their energy are better,” Goodman said. “It’s very important not to make a diagnosis based on the response to stimulant medication.” But the uptick in adults receiving prescriptions for those drugs since at least 2016 is a sign that this might be happening.

The fact that adult ADHD is surging may soon lead to change. Last year, the American Professional Society of ADHD and Related Disorders began drafting the long-needed guidelines. The organization’s goal is to standardize care and treatment for adult ADHD across the country, said Goodman, who is APSARD’s treasurer. Establishing standards could have “broad, sweeping implications” beyond patient care, he added: Their existence could compel more medical schools to teach about adult ADHD, persuade insurance companies to cover treatment, and pressure lawmakers to include it in workplace policies.

A way out of this mess, however long overdue, is only going to become even more necessary. Nearly 5 percent of adults are thought to have the disorder, but less than 20 percent of them have been diagnosed or have received treatment (compared with about 77 percent of children). “You have a much larger market of recognized and untreated adults, and that will continue to increase,” Goodman said. Women—who, like girls, are historically underdiagnosed—will likely make up a substantial share. Adults with ADHD may have suffered in silence in the past, but a growing awareness of the disorder, made possible by ongoing destigmatization, will continue to boost the ranks of people who want help. On social media, ADHD influencers abound, as do dedicated podcasts on Spotify.

Until guidelines are published—and embedded into medical practice—the adult-ADHD landscape will remain chaotic. Some people will continue to get Adderall prescriptions they don’t need, and others may be unable to get an Adderall prescription they do need. Rules alone couldn’t have prevented the shortage, and they won’t stop it now. But in more ways than one, their absence means that many people who need help for ADHD are unable to receive it.

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Includes a TOC, an intro with supporting quotes from other people, and 250 blank pages.

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Be the tiger (lemmy.world)
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Every year... (lemmy.world)
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I will legitimately dance around instead of doing stuff. It happened yesterday, and it will happen again today. Day 5 of laundry not being folded, and it's almost Thanksgiving. AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAH!

submitted 1 week ago by [email protected] to c/[email protected]

I don't think I'm the only one judging by this article:

ADHD can make it hard for us to remember - and want - to take care of basic needs because of our usual challenges with prioritization and distractibility.

People with ADHD have reported forgetting to do things like eating, showering, and going to the bathroom.

Forgetting to tend to your basic human needs can be caused by a poor working memory, hyperfocus, and time blindness.

Anyone can experience these symptoms, as they're not exclusive to people with ADHD and/or autism.


submitted 1 week ago by [email protected] to c/[email protected]
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Every single Sunday (lemmy.world)
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submitted 1 week ago* (last edited 1 week ago) by [email protected] to c/[email protected]

As requested, let's be human and check in with each other.

How in the hell are you? What did the last week bring? What are you looking (or not looking ) forward to this week? Any rants or raves?

Discussion can be about ADHD or off-topic: This is your canvas, ladies!

As I am not a mod of this community, I do not have the capacity to pin this post. I plan on making a post on Sundays where we can check in throughout the week as needed.

Please let me know if there is a better way of doing this - any ideas are welcome :). Grateful to be a part of this community.

submitted 1 week ago by [email protected] to c/[email protected]

Are your goals too high? When you explained your job to me…” the psychologist trailed off. I knew where this was going. I was here after six visits to the GP in two years, all for unexplained exhaustion. Burnout, I guessed. Whatever that means.

It felt like my brain had been tossed into a washing machine, and all of the delicate bits that made it sparkle had dissolved. Everything took three times longer than it should have. Somehow, over the past few years, my already-frayed cognitive controls had just … evaporated. “I can’t keep it up any more,” I said wearily. “It” being life. I wasn’t suicidal; I was chronically overwhelmed.

The psychologist tightened her lips. “You know many women in your industry put pressure on themselves to be perfect.”

My eyes began to sting. I had a lot on, but it wasn’t anything someone with my experience shouldn’t be able to handle – I just needed someone to show me how. “There are women out there my age running the world! All I’m trying to do is send a few emails, keep my house clean, be creative and still have free time! I’m not curing cancer or raising a family. I am just trying to live.” I’d always been chaotic, but this was a new level.

The session, I can say with full confidence, was a failure. I left the psychologist’s office with zero helpful tools and as much hope. I had known depression. This wasn’t it. Stress? Anxiety? Sure. But these were byproducts, not the cause. What is wrong with me? As soon as I got home, I collapsed on to the floor and tucked my limbs under myself into a ball – which I did often. How does everyone else cope with life?

It would be another burnout, two more doctors, a blood test, a hormone test, a three-month wait to see a psychiatrist and another year-and-a-half before I had an answer. It turned out, like many women in their 30s, I had been masking severe ADHD my entire life. And like so many more, I had no clue what that meant.

Attention deficit hyperactive disorder is a condition that presents at first in childhood but often goes undiagnosed. In Australia, it affects approximately 814,500 people and around five to 7.1% of the population globally. Despite the name, ADHD doesn’t exactly result in a “deficit” of attention, but more an issue regulating it, making it harder to plan, prioritise, avoid impulses, remember things and focus.

On a good day, it’s like watching a train whizz past you while you’re trying to read the text on the side and make out faces in the windows. On a bad, a bird might land in front of you. Curious, you pull out your phone, Google the bird and get stuck in a “pigeons of the world” vortex.

You discover cassowary eggs are bright green and in 2005, UK police found a leg of swan in the Queen’s Master of Music’s freezer. Two terrine recipes later, the train has long passed and night has fallen. Dazed, you sink under a dark cloud of self-loathing, lamenting another lost day. You don’t remember what kind of bird it was.

The default assumption about ADHD is that it’s what makes little boys disruptive. But it can also make little girls feel like they’ll never be good enough. Statistics have traditionally shown ADHD is more prevalent in males, but recent research suggests this could, in part, be due to misdiagnosis. Unsurprisingly, ADHD in women is hugely under-researched – females weren’t even adequately included in findings until the late 90s. And it wasn’t until 2002 that we got our own long-term study.

ADHD presents differently in girls and boys too. Women are more likely to have inattentive ADHD, rather than the more observable impulsive type. Because of society’s gender norms, girls with ADHD are often dismissed as “daydreamers” and “overly sensitive”, as if we are a romantic, quirky caricature from a John Green novel or the Disney Princess canon.

The frequency of zone-outs, disassociations and meltdowns caused by our hidden internal restlessness and our brain’s inability to regulate information and emotion goes unnoticed. The cherry on top is that girls who do suffer from impulsivity are often palmed off as “tomboys”. As a child who was prone to inattentiveness and impulsivity, I was repeatedly told to “stop daydreaming”, “slow down”, “hurry up” and “act like a lady.” Overwhelmed by the world, it wouldn’t take much for my cup to runneth over or for me to completely disassociate – I got very good at both.

There are many women like me: “lost girls”, so we’ve been called. Chaotic and curious, sometimes we feel like superheroes; other times, super-failures. It’s not always a lack of interest that makes it hard for us to process information, but our brain’s desire to absorb so much of it. We are jacks of many trades, purveyors of information, collectors of hobbies, beginners of tasks and finishers of few. And we all have similar stories of missed red flags that haunt us.

When I was nine, my teacher told my parents I was all over the place. I already had the energy for five dance classes a week, netball, French lessons, piano lessons, a book club and school band. However, she thought I still didn’t have enough channels for my “creativity” and suggested they enroll me in drama school as well, so they did. Did it help me focus? Of course not.

Neurodivergent women often slip through the cracks of diagnosis because they can appear smart or gifted. This is because we’re more likely to be perfectionists or suffer from low self-esteem, so we work extra hard to prove ourselves (see also: my burnout). Combined with hyperfocus – the flipside of the attention coin where one zones in on a single interest for hours – this results in flashes of brilliance.

We’re also experts at masking symptoms. We form habits by mirroring the social behaviours of those around us. You think imposter syndrome sucks? Try keeping it together when your brain is a wind-up puppy doing backflips while singing the chorus of Ricky Martin’s The Cup of Life – for no apparent reason. And don’t ask what the obstacles involved in dating or starting new relationships might be!

As I discovered, burnout is what happens when the mask slips. Your entire world comes crashing down, and you don’t have the executive function to figure out which way is up. ADHD adults take an extra 16 days of absence a year, according to a report by the Australian ADHD Professionals Association, so while it certainly makes life interesting, it is a rollercoaster for your REM sleep patterns.

According to the Under the Radar Report, released 25 October by ADHD Australia, there is a lack of education and understanding around the condition. The pandemic has caused ADHD children to feel swamped by the struggles of at-home learning, and adults like me are burning out. Anxiety in those with ADHD is skyrocketing, with 52.4% of children and 64.7% of adults reporting an increase. Keep in mind, neurodivergent conditions often co-present with other mental health disorders, so the scales are already tipped. “It’s been a living hell with no escape or support, I’m mentally exhausted,” a parent of an ADHD child is quoted as saying in the report.

Alas, if there ever was a time where neurotypical people could relate to the anguish of fuzzy focus, it’s now. That absence of motivation and productivity you’re feeling from stress? It’s not far off. The chaos of the pandemic has activated everyone’s fight or flight response and time-blindness.

The new normal sees us assaulted by a relentlessness stream of backlit information stained with emotion and outrage. Anxiety is high. Stunned by stimulation, suddenly it’s harder than ever to silence the background noise. Blend all this with the pressures of attempting to work at a regular pace in an irregular environment, without allowing room for adjustment, and you’ve almost got an ADHD tasting plate.

Seven months on, my diagnosis has become something of a bereavement – I’ve cycled through many stages of grief. I am comfortable with my chaos and relieved I now have answers and an arsenal of tools to prevent me from falling into a hole again. But I keep thinking about all the other lost girls out there. I find myself angry and sad, mourning on behalf of my younger self.

I mourn the unnecessary pressure and all the times the world was too loud, bright or grotesque. I mourn the things she forgot, the skills she could have learned and the relationships her impulsivity, perceived detachment and unhealthy coping mechanisms sabotaged. But most of all, I mourn time lost. Because even though my neurodiversity has sometimes made me the loudest person in a room, because I was a woman, nobody noticed.

submitted 1 week ago by [email protected] to c/[email protected]

I hadn't taken my meds yet, and it was generally a foggy brain morning. I was already trying to decide what to do with the day when my husband asked.

Ladies, I seriously damn near cried cause I didn't know what to say and my brain went "MEEP!"

Thankfully, my husband recognizes these moments and reassured me I had all the time in the world to decide and gave me options, which was helpful.

It's a party (lemmy.world)
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submitted 1 week ago by [email protected] to c/[email protected]

For me, it's definitely trying to keep from moving too much/fidgeting. In my job, I have to sit still in front of another person for hours at a time, and I have to do my best to be grounded and present.

If I don't take my meds, I am exhausted by the end f the day from this particular masking strategy. Some of the others I use, like slowing down my speech, take little effort after years of doing it.

I feel like all of my energy has to go somewhere, so I try to dance and move around during my breaks and before/after work.

What masking strategies take the most out of you?

submitted 2 weeks ago by [email protected] to c/[email protected]

My game after diagnosis, is how many I can not cross off to win my bingos.

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I was browsing my list of communities and realized I haven't heard anything from this one for a while. I really treasure hearing from other women with ADHD and knowing I am not alone.

What can we do to bring more life to this community? What would you like to see more of? Memes? Articles? Check-ins? Something else?

I know we are limited by Lemmy's small userbase, but we can still have a small thriving community.

Let's brainstorm together :) Appreciate all of your ideas!

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I have terrible skin and have always wanted to follow a basic skincare routine, but thanks to ADHD I am lucky if I remember to even splash water on my face in the morning. Usually I will buy a product, use it a few times, then get bored of it and forget it exists. So I'm curious, what are your skincare routines like? How did you get them started? Are there specific products or types of products that make it easier?

submitted 2 months ago* (last edited 2 months ago) by [email protected] to c/[email protected]

Hi, I’m in a classic college crunch, even though I’m fucking 32 and getting my master’s. I have a paper due yesterday and no extension, but I’m hoping they don’t check the mailbox until Monday.

Onto the problem: I’m exhausted and fried from too much stress and weed, and too little food and sleep (zero hunger though, plus I’m puking from stress, so… I’m eating soup when I can and starting with good breakfasts). I have to write, but I can’t think because I’m so tired. I can’t sleep because I’m so stressed. I can’t calm down, because I haven’t written the paper. Weed ostensibly helps with the first two but very much not with the third one.

I wrote two sentences (the first two in the introduction) in 35 minutes, so trying to push through is… inefficient. What do I do?

Edit: I have already discussed and agreed with my fiancé, we’re not buying any more weed at least until I’m done with my studies, so no worries there.

submitted 2 months ago by [email protected] to c/[email protected]

I could use some advice or support.

My husband and I both have ADHD. We really struggle to keep up with cleaning our home. My parents weren't great cleaners when I was a kid either, so I get stressed sometimes because I don't know how to handle various things around our home.

My husband told me a couple weeks ago that his mom was over at our house, and she told him we "don't deserve to be homeowners." This comment really cut me to the core. I have a pretty good relationship with my MIL overall which is what makes it hurt that much worse. But she is an insanely clean person, and she really can't stand any kind of mess. I try to remind myself of this, that her standards are really high. I keep hearing that comment in my head and I feel like a piece of shit.

I really want to clean up my house but I have so much shame around it that it's so hard to motivate myself to do it. It's not like I live in a hoarder house or anything... But my house is messy enough that I am embarrassed to have people over most or the time.

Just needed to vent a little. Thanks for reading.

Im official (lemmy.world)
submitted 3 months ago by [email protected] to c/[email protected]

I was so worried about the test showing that I wasn't ADHD but instead a lazy pos. Turns out I do have ADHD and my mom was right. Owe her an apology and working on the best way to do that (I'm thinking a coffee date)

Anyway I am relieved I feel better knowing that I have a reason I struggle and it is because of me but things that are partially out of control. Now to work on the things I can control and actually make progress.

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ADHD Women

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A community for women to find support and discuss living with ADHD.

founded 5 months ago