Last week, I briefly mentioned getting diagnosed with ADHD at the old, old age of 33. Naturally, this led to some introspection and wondering how someone could get through a doctoral program in clinical psychology (including and internship AND post-doc that included specializing in identifying and diagnosing neurodivergence) with no one realizing they were also part of that population. (I literally wrote a piece on ADHD treatment for adults a few months ago, with no idea that it applied to me!) How are we so bad at identifying these things?
Cynthia Hammer, MSW, sent me an article she wrote recently about ADHD including information about how people who go undiagnosed have a 12 year shorter life expectancy than the general population. People are dying younger because we assume everyone is neurotypical unless proved otherwise, and our existing diagnostic criteria focus on white boys. Yes, this has improved in recent years, but we are nowhere near where we need to be.
Because of who I am as a person, my solution is to write a book. My first thought was to create something memoir-style that documented my journey to getting diagnosed as an adult, but I’m a sample size of 1, and my story only goes so far.
I want to interview others about their experience being diagnosed as neurodivergent. This can be ADHD, autism, or both. Your personal information will be kept anonymous. Complete the form below if one of the following applies to you:
- You were diagnosed with ADHD or autism as an adult
- You were diagnosed as a child but no one told you until you were an adult
I hope that this can help us re-think how we identify neurodivergence. I am very excited for this project.