ADHD, Autism and Working as a Support Worker – an interview

Bryan shared his experiences with getting an ADHD diagnosis and, also, finding a suitable job. He lives in the north-west of England and we communicated by text.

Seeking diagnosis

The diagnosis for adhd was such a pain in the arse. I was diagnosed when I was 4 but that isn’t good enough for being medicated when you’re an adult so I went through a 5 year process of waiting lists and being told I ‘should have grown out of if by now’ by one GP. Nightmare.

I’m comfortable with the way I am and it has indeed helped me gain insights – I am not very good at reading social situations when I’m in them if people aren’t being straight forward but I’m surprisingly good at reading them for other people.

The challenges I face for the most part are battling with my wish to avoid people and the outside world because when I do that I get massively depressed which could be fixed if I went outside but makes me incapable so it is a bizarre magic roundabout of contradiction haha!

That and when I’m at work and too many people talk at once. I cannot focus on them. Luckily I’ve been there a while now and they know and accept my quirks.

Have you considered getting a diagnosis? Even if you didn’t want meds, it’s nice to feel validated. One of the biggest parts of it for me is the imposter syndrome, feeling like I don’t have adhd and I’m just a rubbish person

I feel comfortable being me but I don’t always like it – I just know that I would hate having to try to be anybody else, haha!

The five years was mostly due to me not understanding the system, we could get that down to less than a year for you now I know the process!

It is very hard indeed to speak up, and sometimes, it feels like you’re talking to an argumentative brick wall. I’ve given up a lot of times.

So the going out thing, I feel best when I’m outdoors in nature but when I have, a burnout, I find it impossible to go outside unless I absolutely have to (work or something) so that exacerbates the situation cos I need outside to feel better but my brain won’t let me! It’s stupid and I hate that part.

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