ADHD Struggles in Women
Hi, welcome to the Adulting with ADHD Podcast. I’m serving up self-empowerment and tricks and tips for women with ADHD. Today we’re going to talk about the general bullshit and malaise that can come along with living with ADHD. At least for me, I don’t know about you, it’s easy to fall into a negative thought spiral after encountering one of the top triggers we’re going to talk about. But I think it’s important that we find a better way to deal. These are the top frustrations I’ve encountered and for each one I come up with something I tell myself to get through it.
Related: Why I Talk About Women With ADHD | About ADHD In Women
Okay, so there are a lot of frustrations with living with ADHD and clearly I’m only going to be scratching the surface. These fall into three main themes, at least in my own personal experience. We’re all different here but I’m just saying what works for me and what I’ve encountered and we’ll take it from there.
Skeptics and Stigma
I think this first one we can all relate to, I call it skeptics and stigma. You’ve heard it, it’s people who say ADHD is not real or people who take medication for ADHD are drug abusers. There was a recent documentary that really added fuel to this fire about the medication thing and I think all those things make us feel invalidated. This can be especially frustrating for people who have finally received a diagnosis that makes sense to them and they’re finally making progress in their lives. When either the media or Twitter or a well-meaning relative or friend makes one of these kind of generalizations it’s just really invalidating. The thing I try to remind myself when I encounter these kind of things is my diagnosis and my treatment are between me and my doctor, everything else is the peanut gallery, and I mean that with the utmost love.
It’s just something I tell myself, I’m not going around calling people peanut gallery people but it is something that you do have to tell yourself because you’re the nucleus, you’re the inner circle, it’s what you think that matters, it’s not all this other white noise. You have to be true to yourself, which sounds silly and cliché but it’s a cliché for a reason, it’s true.
The second bullshitty, malaisey thing with ADHD is just the lack of clarity that can go along with the diagnosis. For example, there’s lots of overlapping symptoms, depression, anxiety, that kind of stuff. There’s just a lot of murkiness that you have to navigate. Unfortunately, that’s just the way it goes and people with other chronic conditions deal with this as well in various forms of severity. It’s just one of those frustrating things and it just sucks but it’s one of those things, what are you going to do about it, right? I mean you have no choice but to deal. So in this situation I tell myself, alright, alright Sarah, let’s work with the best information we have now and take it one day at a time. That means if someone says, “Hey, you know maybe you don’t have ADHD, maybe you have X, Y or Z.”
It doesn’t matter, back to the first point, it’s between me and my doctor. Second point, I’m working off the best information I have now and I’m taking it one day at a time. That could mean the doctor I’m with isn’t going to be the best doctor for me forever. But in that moment, on that day, this is what I’m working with and I’m making it work. It’s not a math equation, there’s lots of shades of gray and that’s okay. It’s okay to not have clarity. You do the best you can. Simple as that.
Insurance, Doctors & Big Pharma
So number three is kind of three different things but I’m calling it the insurance bucket. But it’s not just insurance, it’s doctors, pharmacies and insurance. So it’s bureaucracy, it’s red tape, it’s quite honestly it’s, not to get political, I think there’s a lot of greed going on and I don’t even think that’s a political statement. I just think there’s a lot of greed and corruption going on and we’re the victims of that regardless of who you feel politically. I think we’re all losing. Before I go into this last bullet point, I want to say I am super fortunate to have insurance and I thank my lucky stars everyday. So before I go into all the bullshit and malaisey things with doctors and insurance, I have access to very, very good doctors and healthcare. However, this is how bad it is, for me somebody who is privileged enough that has insurance and access to good doctors, I’m still having a hard time. So if it’s hard for me, I can’t imagine how hard it is for people who don’t have the same access I do.
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So with all that said, a lot of the common things in this category or are mix-ups with your medicine. If you go pick up your medicine, there was some T that wasn’t crossed or some I that wasn’t dotted, your insurance isn’t covering your medicine or they’ll only cover this certain brand of medicine or you’ll get an generic and you have to hop on one leg three times and say the brand name, you know it’s all ridiculous. Like I can’t tell you how many years I’ve dealt with this and how many different scenarios I’ve come across. But it’s just horrible any way you cut it and it is a mine field. Even finding a healthcare provider, I’m in a city with a pretty robust medical field, like we have a medical school and we have the medical community is really robust here where I live but even then I mean you go to my insurance database and try to find a provider and I mean the database is outdated, I’m calling places that aren’t even practitioners. It’s like they’re hospitals or they’re inpatient clinics. Like there’s so much confusion and I mean it took me days to find a provider and then when you find one, you hold on to them.
I mean it might not even be the best provider for you, it’s just so damn hard to find one. That’s living in a city with two medical centers. So that’s not even counting like rural residents or people who live in towns without a really good medical system. So I’m just saying, I’m saying the obvious here that it sucks. But it sucks so hard and so what do I tell myself when I’m dealing with all these things? I’m going to tell you two things and it’s two things I make a point not to really dwell on on my vlog. But the first thing, not to get political but it’s like when you feel so powerless what can you do? For me the only thing I can do is show up at the polls, vote for people I think are going to do what they can, you know and just that doesn’t help me today though. Right? So how do I deal with it today!
I’m not very religious, I’m spiritual so you know it’s the serenity prayer honestly and grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can and the wisdom to know the difference. I really wish I had something more useful for you. I really do. GoodRx, if you haven’t heard of it, it’s a discount card program. That’s something you could look into if you’re running into pharmacy issues. They actually have some really good articles on just how to navigate the pharmacy process and I’m hoping to put out blog or a future podcast episode on those kind of tactical tips but honestly like today the best thing that could help you is just breathing and knowing that yes, this sucks. You can’t do anything about it, no matter how loud you yell at that poor pharmacy tech, it’s not going to help. Trust me I know how frustrating it is. It’s so frustrating. Doctors are frustrating, pharmacies are frustrating, insurances are frustrating. So, yeah, not very uplifting, you just kinda gotta breathe and go with it and once you find a good doctor stick with that doctor as long as you can.
I saw a doctor for years, I paid out of pocket cause she dropped my insurance carrier and I still saw her out of pocket because I knew what it meant to find a good doctor. Then of course, eventually I couldn’t afford to do that so, thank you health insurance for almost you know doubling in premiums this year. Yeah. That’s a whole other episode in itself and this wasn’t going to be a rant. All this to say, if you’re going through this kind of stuff, whether it’s skeptics, whether it’s people who are telling you or implying to you that what you have isn’t real or that you probably have something else or maybe you just need to breathe or maybe you just need to take X natural supplement and everything will be okay. I just want to say that I’ve been there, I am there, I live there, that’s my address and I completely understand. You just have to stay true to yourself and know that you’re doing what’s best for you.
Conclusion: ADHD Struggles in Women
It’s just like parenting, I don’t know how many of my listeners are parents but it’s the same thing with parenting. You know, you’re running around with a kid and everyone and their dog’s got an opinion about what you’re supposed to be doing with that kid but you know in your bones, this is my kid, I know what’s best for my kid. It’s the same thing with your health. You’re going to have so many people and you’re going to have the media and everyone’s going to be telling you what you need to be doing but you know in your bones what you need to do. We have Google and trust me, I know it can be a double edged sword, I’m not saying Google your symptoms but I am saying we have access to studies, to university sites, to government sites. We have access to reputable information sources where we can go find the information we need to find out. We don’t have to sit here and let people tell us what they think is right. We can find out for ourselves.
So that’s really it. I would love to know what kind of bullshitty, malaisey kind of stuff you’re dealing with and you know maybe I’ll do a future podcast episode on it. I know for me I just I don’t like watching people get marginalized and that’s all types of people. But in my own personal experience I don’t like seeing ADHD people get marginalized. It really rubs me the wrong way. I don’t like it. I don’t like it at all and kind of grinds my gears actually. So that’s kind of what this episode was about, it’s just been kind of building up. I’ve been just kind of seeing and hearing a bunch of things and I don’t like it so I thought I’d make an episode. So, you know write in, tell me your thing that grinds your gears at contact at adultingwithadhd dot com. I’m also on all the socials, Twitter it’s @ADHDadulting. I’m on Instagram, same handle, ADHDadulting. Then Facebook/adultingwithadhd. Get on there, let me know what your latest bullshitty, malaisey thing is with ADHD and let’s fight this together.
Until next week, happy adulting.