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  • Writer's pictureallison zinnick

My ADHD Story – the good, the bad, and the what was I saying again?

Allison Zinnick

4 minutes

A question on Tik Tok I get a lot is:

How did you get diagnosed? I don’t know where to start.

I am not a medical professional. Please take this blog as a personal perspective, and not medical advice.

Actually, I’m not even a professional at all. Ha. But I will tell you my story and use it to tell you how I think you could go about getting an official ADHD diagnosis.

Take a test online

I was 20 when I started the diagnosis process. I got fired from Toys R Us. What a depressing place to get fired from, a place literally designed to spark joy. But I digress. I won’t go into the whole story – the long and short of it is that my manager gave me heck for something, and I offered a snarky response. It flew out of my mouth before I could even think. And in 10 minutes, I was done. So my mum had me do a test online. Some of the answers to questions on that test I’m sure surprised my mum.

This one sticks out:

Does it feel like channels of a TV are constantly changing in your head?

…yes. yes it does.

To me, this is a good starting point because it will give you an idea of whether or not these ‘quirks’ are truly impacting your life. Every time I post a video about ADHD, people say “did I just get diagnosed with ADHD?”. The thing about lots of ADHD symptoms is that they are things that most people experience every day to some degree. Lots of people interrupt. There are people that lose their keys every day. Heck, there are plenty of people that just aren’t productive at their job or forget what they were doing. It doesn’t *necessarily* mean that they have ADHD.

Talk to your doctor

Next step would be to take those results and talk to your doctor. I was fortunate to find a doctor that didn’t not immediately dismiss my concerns. I know now through ladies in my comments that they’re often told that everyone wants to have ADHD these days. Also for the record..that’s exactly why we didn’t get diagnosed in the first place.

Like…you think this is fun? You think I want to choose this?

..ok bro.

General Practitioners often want to refer you to a psychiatrist for a formal diagnosis. This wasn’t my experience, but some prefer it that way. The wait time for this in Canada is huge. I recently asked my doc for a referral to an ADHD specialist here in Edmonton, Alberta. 6 month wait time.

Because of this, other options are popping up, including an online option. Talk with Frida (not sponsored) offers a free self assessment, perfect for my advice above. Depending on that, they offer diagnosis and treatment virtually. Of course, this is not free. It does come at a cost, which not everyone would be able to access.

Self diagnosis

Many people will take the results of the ADHD test online and use that for their diagnosis. This does mean though that they would be unable to access medication to treat it. Using medication to treat ADHD is a whole other blog post I will do. For me, it’s a tool in a tool box. It’s not the be all and end all. It’s just one thing to help you navigate your life post diagnosis. When I was diagnosed I said, “I don’t want to take medication, I don’t want to be a zombie.”

Because that’s what we hear about #ADHD medication isn’t it? That it makes you a robot with no feelings. As my mother noted, if you had a kidney problem or a heart defect, you’d take medication to treat that, so why is this different? I will say that it does take time to find medications that work for you, because not all bodies are the same.

Stay tuned for my next post where I’ll talk about steps to take after you get diagnosed. In the meantime, here’s a list of some of my favourite ADHD tools via my Amazon Storefront.

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