For ten days, from December 21, 2015 through January 1, 2016, I was part of a trip to Israel, specifically for young adults with autism. Though all of us on the trip were adults on the spectrum, we did not define ourselves or our trip in terms of autism.
By Roland Jung
Just Keep Swimming: Life Before and After my ADHD Diagnosis
Part 2- Getting Assessed
After going down this road of self-diagnosis, I decided it was time to take action. I went online and looked for a psychiatrist specializing in adult ADHD, and made an appointment. What you need to bring to the assessment will depend on the psychiatrist, but I was able to find some school reports and I brought them in.
I drove to his office and while I was in the waiting room, I was given a survey that asked me questions that pertained to ADHD. The survey was very similar to the self-diagnosis surveys I saw online, and I answered as truthfully as I could. After I finished the survey I was called into the office.
If you have never been in a psychiatrist’s office, they are just like the ones you see in the movies. The room is lined with bookshelves, filled end-to-end with literature on mental health. You sit on a large, cushy leather couch, and the psychiatrist sits across from you, legs crossed, clipboard in hand.
We talked. It was the first time I got to tackle this issue head on, to talk about things I’ve felt my whole life, things I’ve struggled with my whole life. I don’t want to be sensationalist and say that the experience was liberating, but there was definitely a sense of liberation. Based on my survey results and what I had told the psychiatrist, he diagnosed me as ADHD (Inattentive Type).
I had a lot of mixed feelings about the diagnosis. On one hand, I felt a sense of relief, that everything I had struggled with was not completely my fault. I was relieved that with this new self-awareness I could start learning how to work around my condition, and to build the life that I wanted.
But on the other hand… I was diagnosed with a condition, a condition best managed by medication. I did not even take vitamins regularly, and now I have to drive to a pharmacy every month to fill a prescription.
Part 3 will talk about my first year with ADHD
Roland E. Jung is a graduate student who was diagnosed with ADHD in 2015. He hopes to share his story and experience with the condition to help other millennials, their friends, and their families navigate today’s Attention-Deficit-enabling world.