Although quarantine has been difficult for all of us, it seemed to influence me quite a bit more than my friends. I had no escape from my usual restlessness— I didn’t have any of my usual activities to distract me, like sports or classes. I could usually dismiss this as a symptom of stress, but it didn’t make sense how having less to do would make me even more stressed.
My older brother was diagnosed with ADHD when he was in middle school, but I never thought that I had it because we don’t exhibit the same behavior at all. He’s much more hyperactive, isn’t able to sit still for long periods of time, and is pretty talkative. I’m more calm, I guess, so I didn’t realize that ADHD could potentially affect me as well.
It was only really in quarantine that it began to “add up”. He doesn’t live with our parents anymore, since he’s already graduated from college, but while we were talking one day, I sort of realized that we were experiencing something similar. It was a very strange idea to come to terms with, just because it didn’t match my original (somewhat flawed) perception of ADHD.
Since then, I went to see a specialist, and I’ve been diagnosed with ADHD-C, which is one of 3 classifications: hyperactive-impulsive, combined, and inattentive (formerly ADD). My brother has been very helpful, because I think he knows what it’s like to go through this, even if it’s not exactly the same. I’ve also done some research of my own into ADHD-C, and it was eye-opening to see how many of my previous struggles were actually symptoms. Issues that I assumed were just a normal part of everyday life, like completely forgetting something I was just focused on, over/under-stimulation, poor listening skills, hyper-fixations, and not being able to finish projects that I start.
As I’ve learned more about myself, my ADHD has gotten a little easier to manage. But I do wonder— if we didn’t have this quarantine, would I have ever realized I have ADHD, despite having my own initial biases against it? I guess it really makes you think…
Written by: Michelle Zimmermann