“Just pray about it”.
If you had a religious upbringing of any kind, you’ve heard those words from family members, friends, or religious leaders.
Religion has been used by people as a tool for good and for bad. Religion has also shaped how people view themselves.
I was diagnosed with ADHD Combined Type last year. Since then, I have thought about why my ADHD went unnoticed for so long.
I realised that my ADHD was missed due to:
Being a woman - ADHD is typically associated with hyperactive white boys. Growing up, I thought only boys could have ADHD.
ADHD Masking - I was really good at masking my ADHD traits. I developed ways to manage my ADHD traits until the cracks started to show and things became unmanageable.
Religious upbringing - Religion has influenced how I coped with my ADHD traits.
What impact does a religious upbringing have on ADHD?
I was raised a Catholic (I no longer am), but I’m still a Christian. In Christianity, and I believe in other Abrahamic religions (Judaism, Islam), we are taught to pray to God when we’re in need of something.
I never felt the need to question whether something wasn’t quite right with my brain. Now I know how much of a problem this was.
Below is an example of three ADHD traits against scriptures in the Christian Bible.
I never thought my brain operated differently to others. The ADHD traits I struggled with is addressed in the Bible so I thought everyone struggled like I did.
Have you thought about why your ADHD was missed?
I have done a lot of learning and unlearning since receiving my ADHD diagnosis last year. Even though my diagnosis brought relief and answers, it also brought guilt, shame, and regret.
“If only I knew I had ADHD back then”, is something I say to myself quite often. I’m sure many of you can relate!
Would we have done things differently if we knew we had ADHD back then? Probably.
But the truth is, we’re too hard on ourselves.
ADHD might be the reason why things didn’t go so well in the past, but it can be the reason why we begin to take steps to improve our lives in the present.
Taking the time out to think through why my ADHD was missed has helped me to accept my past and to let go of regrets and guilt.
Have you thought about why your ADHD might have been missed? If you haven’t already done so, take some time out to think about it.
We don’t need to carry the burden of regret, shame, and guilt due to our late ADHD diagnosis.
Give yourself from grace.
Comment below or tweet me at @AdultingADHD with your thoughts.
Rach, with ADHD.