“ADHD fashion” versus “adults with their lives in shambles”. Doctor: The oldest patient was 70 years old

"ADHD fashion" versus "adults with their lives in shambles".  Doctor: The oldest patient was 70 years old

– If skeptics met a patient after a reliable diagnosis, they would know how amazing it is to hear him say: “my life has started all over again,” says Dr. Paweł Chmielewski, who diagnoses ADHD in adults. Adults with this disorder – at different ages and points in life – tell Wprost how the twisted paths that led them to the diagnosis. But there is also another, darker side to this story. Dr. Jarosław Jóźwiak says that some clinics have made the diagnosis of this disorder into packages for a lot of money. They often include tests that there is no reason to perform to make this diagnosis. Patients say that at the end of this path they often end up seeing a psychiatrist who… knows little about ADHD and prescribes them an antidepressant just in case.

Five dropped out of college. A package of cod liver oil to improve memory, which my partner bought in good faith “because he had no strength left”, but it was lost at home and has not been found yet. A spontaneous trip to China, without even knowing English well. These are the stories of my interlocutors that can vividly illustrate the functioning of adults with ADHD. Most of their experiences, however, are less colorful: years of wrong diagnoses and incorrectly selected medications that do not work, and even a stay in a psychiatric hospital in Drewnica.

At least at certain stages of their lives, they were accompanied by a nagging feeling of being “spoiled” and of being inferior to others – that is, of being unfit for mature life, which requires being well-organized and punctual.

For some time now, the issue of “ADHD in adults” has begun to break into the psychological and media mainstream. Films showing typical behaviors of people with this disorder have become popular, including: on TikTok. Thanks to this, people who “clicked” and want to confirm their intuition seek help. They are diagnosed even in the second half of their lives. They often go to the doctor when their child has difficulty concentrating.

Extremes of ADHD. Either a lot or a little energy

In contrast to hasty statements about the “ADHD fad”, the knowledge that it is a neurodevelopmental disorder that makes life miserable – not only for children and adolescents – is growing.

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