I overachieved to mask my ADHD. It’s common for women.

By https://www.sandiegopsychiatricsociety.org/author
October 12, 2022

The Washington Post

By Anika Orrock

September 25, 2022

Growing up, my undiagnosed ADHD symptoms made me feel like something inside was broken or disconnected. A diagnosis in my early 20s, along with the right medication to manage symptoms, improved my life significantly — so much so that I carried on believing I had finally been “fixed.” But living under such a heavy misapprehension only perpetuated the overwhelming cycle of frustration, shame, silence and anxiety I felt before. No matter how I tried, I could never seem to truly fix myself.

Girls and women with ADHD like me have long been left in the dark, fending for ourselves in a never ending battle to mask our symptoms to meet societal expectations. Twenty years later, I’m finally learning the ways inattentive ADHD affects every aspect of my life. I’m also gaining the validation and understanding needed to break the cycle and appreciate everything I am: A person who doesn’t need fixing after all.


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