Then comes diagnosis.

This image was never more true for me on the day that I was diagnosed with ADHD:


Figure 1. The internet knowing me better than I know myself.

Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder. Me. Christine McLauchlan. Twenty seven year old Executive Director with a mortgage and aspirations to have monthly RRSP deductions. 

We talked for the remaining ten minutes of our session, where she explained that it might not be, but she wanted to do some tests to check. I left her office feeling surprised, perplexed, and a little smug. I might have a label. I might be a little messed up. I always considered myself to be a pretty vanilla person, but the deeper I dove into this cavernous mystery that was my brain, the more interesting I felt. When I got home, I ran to my computer to open up my emails, excitedly hoping the tests would be in my inbox. They were! I printed them and got to work.

There were eight questionnaires. This felt like science, and I was the subject. My answers to these questions would quantify what felt completely subjective and chaotic. I was so excited, that I barely skimmed the instructions and got to work writing 3 for always, 2 for sometimes, and 1 for rarely, and 0 for never applies on questions like: “I feel capable of managing my time”, or “I eat meals at regular intervals”. There were some that made me pause, like “Someone is reading my thoughts”, and it was humbling to realize that there are people in this world who experience those feelings.

I was about half-way done and had to check something in the instructions. I re-read a section where it said to number responses from 0 to 5. I did half the test from 0 to 3. The next set of questions asked me “Are you able to follow instructions?”. WOOPS. My perfectionistic tendencies told me to re-print the tests and start over, but my scientific education told me to keep the original responses because it was more truthful. So I wrote this at the front of the test:


Figure 2. Real life disclaimer to my lack-luster ability to do things the “right” way.

Inability to read and follow directions is a symptom of ADHD.

After she reviewed my tests and calculated the values of my responses, she told me that on a very simplified ADHD scale of 1 to 100, that I was a 92.


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