3 weeks ago
3 weeks ago
Hi @DayByDay ,
Welcome to the parents online community- we're really glad you found our space. I have to say that I could relate to so much of what you wrote about here- both as a a parent to an almost-teenager who has some similar challenges , and as someone who was recently diagnosed with ADHD as an adult myself.
Reading your post, I can hear how much you love your daughter, and also that you're experiencing feelings of guilt- and it also sounds like things have been pretty complicated for you and your family, between lockdown, a new ADHD diagnosis for your daughter, the challenges that come with learning from home, and issues with her adjusting to a new school/ meeting a new boyfriend, and pushing boundaries at home. It sounds like it must be a really exhausting and challenging time for you all- any one of those things would be a lot to cope with, let alone all of them at once!
I'm wondering if your daughter's treating doctor/ therapist gave you all much information about ADHD, and how it can present in females in particular? I know that for me, learning more about ADHD and how it affects our brains, was something that I found really empowering, and it also gave me some very practical strategies that I've found helpful both in my own life, and also helping to support and scaffold my daughter. You may already be aware of this- but your daughter definitely isn't alone in receiving an ADHD diagnosis in the last year or so. There's a of girls and women (including myself!) who had never even considered that they may have ADHD, but the uniquely challenging time of the pandemic was a 'perfect storm' for a lot of people, and what you described about your daughter's struggles with homeschooling really resonated with me.
Simply put, a lot of girls with ADHD slip under the radar in terms of diagnosis, especially if they seem to cope fairly well with school / the demands of life.
For many of us, struggles with executive function (things like starting new tasks, staying organised, and planning tasks), impulsivity, and being easily distracted (especially by things like phones/games/ social media) were things that had always existed- one you add in stress, uncertainty, and the loss of our usual structures and routines that came from COVID, a lot of women hit a point where they couldn't cope any more- and realised that they had been living with undiagnosed ADHD for years.
I found this article to be really insightful and thought you may find it helpful: https://www.theguardian.com/society/2020/nov/02/the-lost-girls-chaotic-and-curious-women-with-adhd-a...
You mentioned that she did trial medication at one point, but then you moved states- do you think that it's something she may be open to trying again? We can't give medical advice here, but I know that a lot of people do find that the right combination of medication and support from a mental health professional with other strategies like journalling /using planners/ different time management strategies can be helpful.
We also have a resource here with some really practical ways to help manage distractions if you think that may be useful - it's definitely an issue we hear about a lot!
I know that exercise and meditation have also been really helpful for me personally.
It sounds like you're doing a great job in keeping the lines of communication open with your daughter while still setting boundaries with her- we have some resources that might be helpful for you to have a look at here around managing conflict and setting boundaries with teens
In terms of your questions - it sounds like there's been so many changes for your daughter to navigate recently, and I'm wondering if she is still seeing a psychologist or counsellor at all? It may be helpful to have the support of a mental health professional to help you to work through some of these questions, especially around her medication - and it may well be the case that once she's settled into the new environment, she may have the headspace to consider whether or not this school is the right environment for her, and also start to implement some more strategies to help her in her dat to day life
I hope that some of this is helpful- it sounds like it's been such a challenging time for you. Do you have anyone you can lean on for support at the moment- friends, a counsellor, family members? We are always here to chat as well - sometimes it can help a lot to vent, and this is a safe space to do that
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