View Full Version : Introduction - getting ready for diagnosis

09-02-14, 04:19 PM
Hi everyone,

I've been lurking here for a couple weeks, and am finally coming out into the open. I'm going in for diagnosis next week. Any advice? I started a personal blog to document my journey and started with this post:

Thanks for the encouragement and the welcome!

- EntreFocus

If you don't want to click the link, here's my introduction:

Starting My Journey Toward EntreFocus

When I was 28 years old I did something crazy, terrifying, and probably pretty dumb. I jumped out of the family business and started my own company in a completely new field.

Now over two years later, after taking my family through all sorts of rocky seas, we are profitable and fairly stable. We have a great apartment in downtown Dallas that is close to the activity and stimulation of the business district, but has all the neighborhood amenities that my wife and kids love. I have two incredible employees. I have almost two dozen satisfied clients, who appreciate our work and have been incredibly patient as we have grown. I have gotten to know people in the startup community in Dallas learned from a host of young technology entrepreneurs.

For the first time ever, I’m inclined to share my story and feel that I truly can. Months ago, I never thought it could inspire – I didn’t feel I had reached enough stature or success, or achieved the goals I had set for myself in a strident enough fashion. But I’ve put it all in perspective recently.

You see, I’ve always had a secret, known to those closest to me, and probably to anyone who spent enough time around me. That secret is that despite my best efforts I am terribly unfocused and disorganized. This little secret caused me immense internal grief and constant struggle. I am all over the interesting project or intense conversation, but the daily minutiae of running a business and a family cause require Herculean effort.

But one phone call changed that. The phone call was with a family member, who said she had been feeling unfocused, and was going to be tested for ADHD.

ADHD – Attention Deficit and Hyperactivity Disorder – suddenly a flood of memories came back. Hadn’t I been diagnosed with ADHD, when I was 10 years old? Could that be the source of these feelings of being unfocused, which have such caused enormous loss in my life?

I dove into research and online forums to learn as much as I could. I talked to my wife and my business partner, and tepidly mentioned I was thinking of getting tested. I don’t know what I was expecting – some stern rebuke I suppose! But no, they both agreed – you should go. My business partner in particular said, “Anyone who read Brave New World when they were a kid is definitely oriented against medication – but I’ve seen what a struggle it is for you to stay organized. If there’s something that can help you should go for it.” My wife had the same sentiment.

What I found online shocked me. There is an entire community of people who describe an experience very close to my own! I never really had taken ADHD seriously as a possibility in my life, because I was never hyperactive. In fact, people often will comment how cool-headed I am, a calming, almost zen like influence.

So I was very surprised to learn that, like diabetes, there are two primary types of ADHD. Type two, Primarily Hyperactive Type, is the better-known big brother. Hyperactivity, restlessness, inappropriate talkativeness, reckless behavior – these are the hallmarks of type two. The kid bouncing off the walls – that’s the stereotype.

But that’s not me. It never has been. Inside, I feel these things – my mind is always going like a motor, jumping from one subject to the next, following whatever is most interesting at the time. But outside – cool as a cucumber. I was amazed then, to discover that there is another type of ADHD – type I, Primarily Inattentive.

Primarily Inattentive type is characterized by inability to focus over a period of time, lack of diligence and follow through, quietness and social awkwardness, a pattern of changing interests – that kid who is so smart, if only he would apply himself. That’s Primarily Inattentive Type. And it fits me to a T.

Type I and Type II are apparently two sides of the same chemistry – ADHD in both forms is caused by unbalanced brain chemistry, particularly a breakdown in the dopamine-reward pathways. Type II responds to this breakdown by being externally hyperactive, while Type I internalizes, becoming dreamy and detached.

So for the first time in my adult life I made an appointment with a psychiatrist. It is coming up in a week. We will see if he agrees with my amateur self-diagnosis. If he doesn’t, I may get a second opinion even, because it feels so very right.

I am starting this blog to document my journey toward EntreFocus – to connect to others on the same path and in hope that someone will be helped or inspired. I will also be posting about helpful resources I find along the way.

Maybe. If I don’t lose interest! A little joke.

With these new lenses I can see my own victory and accomplishment. I’m fighting against forces I can’t see, in my own mind. They are a deep well of creativity and intensity, but there is a dark side that I am just now learning how to face. And face it I will – as I progress toward EntreFocus.

09-04-14, 05:48 AM
Only thing you need to do is be honest with the doctor. Thats it. Unless the doctor seems dodgy or untrustworthy, thats all the advise you need. If you feel the need get another opinion. Thats always fine.

If you are diagnosed, then education helps the acceptance process.

09-04-14, 11:20 AM
Thanks DarkNeko - of course I am going to be completely transparent.

09-09-14, 07:46 AM
Just wanted to say that I can relate to a lot in your story. It will be interesting to follow your journey. I have an appointment with a psychiatrist set up in about a months time myself. I'm thinking a lot about how to present myself there. I want to be completely transparent also, but it's a lot of info to convey in a limited time. My fear is that he will not think anything is wrong with me and I'll be back at square 0 (almost). I have a tendency to pretend that "everything is OK" when at the doctors office that I need to suppress.

I think I'll make a list of the areas of my life that are affected, just to start with something.