Coexisting Balancing Act

ADHD often coexists with many other mental health “disorders.” And when I say coexist, I don’t mean that these conditions get along and compliment each other. They coexist, meaning you get them all as a package deal. (according to CHAAD, “More than two-thirds of individuals with ADHD have at least one other coexisting condition”) This is great news for ADHDers! Not only do our brains not work right in general, but we get to feel sad for no reason too! Yay! (sarcasm, in case you can’t tell.)

For me, ADHD comes with sometimes crippling depression.

For me, ADHD comes with immobilizing general anxiety disorder.

For me, ADHD comes with a bi-polar rapid cycling diagnosis. (though I am not sure how accurate this diagnosis is. I still need a second opinion.)

For me, ADHD comes with frustration dyslexia.

For me, ADHD comes with substance abuse problems.


For me, ADHD comes with never fitting in, anywhere.

For me, ADHD comes with not being able to relate to others.

For me, ADHD comes with anger, and hatred, and pain.

For me, ADHD comes with a deep frustration for things normal people can do/achieve with little effort.

For me, ADHD comes with self-doubt that I need to fight with EVERY SINGLE DAY in order to get ANYTHING done at all.

For me, ADHD used to be a life-sentence of pain and suffering. It used to be a prescription for inner conflict, shame, defeat, and malice.

But now, ADHD makes me, me. I continue to struggle on a daily basis, but it isn’t for not. I get up every morning and face the day. I talk down the mean voice in my head and I get to work. I let myself be sad in order to feel my feelings, and then I move on. Very slowly mind you, but I still move on. I talk myself off of the dangerous ledge of self-hatred/doubt every morning, and I tell myself positive things, even though it feels gross to do so.

These coexisting conditions do not cooperate. They don’t get along, holding hands, skipping through the woods. They bump heads. They trip each other up. They exasperate each other. With ADHD, depression becomes super-depression. With ADHD anxiety become obsessive. With ADHD, dyslexia is not only annoying, but also shameful. (What kind of adult reads that slow anyways?) With ADHD, the mixture of anxiety and depression, interchanging on the drop of a dime, becomes bipolar, and you become EVEN CRAZIER than you thought you were originally. With ADHD anger becomes explosive, even childlike, and people don’t understand that shit. With ADHD life can seem fucking pointless all of a sudden, out of nowhere, taking the people around you by complete surprise because “you were literally fine a moment ago.” With ADHD life gets harder, but so do we. (okay, done ranting now, feel better.)

I needed to write this down in an effort to work through some depressive thoughts I’ve been swimming in the last few days. Thank you for listening.



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