Jeremy Heckt's Blog

Gaining Focus: The Start Of My ADHD Jounrney


In November of last year I was diagnosed with ADHD at the age of 28 years old. I had been suspecting that something similar was up with me for a few months.

I had never thought that I had ADD/ADHD growing up. I was always able to be quiet in class when I needed to be. In college I had partaken in adderol at a party and found it gave me energy - so I assumed I did not have ADD. But after actually sitting down and reading the symptoms of ADD/ADHD I found that I checked off quite a few.

Discovery and Reaching Out For Help

After reading the ADHD symptoms I found a few that stuck out to me the most: - Excessive activity or restlessness - Problems following through and completing tasks - Trouble coping with stress - Impulsiveness

I had never thought that these things were ADHD related. I was (am, working on it) the kind of person that starts about 500 projects and then finishes maybe seven of them. I had always thought that this was normal - other people were also the same. I would start down the path of some new habit, crunch on it for a few days, and then suddenly forget that I had this goal. It was/is incredibly frustrating.

I am a pacer and a leg bouncer. I would pace my house for what felt like hours on end when I would get caught up in some thought cycles. I would get up and take a lap around the living room after sending an email at work (COVID era...) Any time I got even a little bit stressed out I would end up pacing around the house. I could almost predictably be bouncing my leg when I did sit still.

Stress and anxiety would consume me (until I got older and got into mindfulness). This in turn developed into a form of OCD that eventually became manageable via mindfulness.

I would also be very impulsive. Grabbing for a drink because I felt slightly anxious, or impulsively buying something on ebay because the thought would not leave my head.

I decided to reach out for help from a psychiatrist. I eventually got booked for an appointment and month out and then very impatiently waited.

Starting To Recieve Help

Before my first appointment they had me fill out a few forms of paperwork, which was essentially a very in-depth question sheet. My doctor is very nice and bubbly, she also has ADHD. She looked at my documents, interviewed me, and then stated that we were going to give me an examination to validate her theory that I did infact have ADHD. So the next day I came back for this odd exam. The exam consisted of me attaching a motion-tracking ball to my forehead and taking a clicker from the technician. I was told my task was this: if the shape on the screen was the exact same color and shape of the previous shape that was displayed then I would click the button, otherwise do nothing. For twenty minutes. They then left me in the room and I did the task.

At my next appointment the doctor went over the results with me. The test confirmed that yes, I was a likely a person who had some form of ADHD. Thinking about the results makes me chuckle, because I scored in the 99th percentile for what is essentially fidgiting. Based on the fact that normally I pace all the time (I had to remain seated in the chair during the test) that yes this makes sense. It should be made clear that they purposefully had non-ADHD people take the tests so that it was normalized, so that 99th percentile can be extended to people as a whole.

We started me on a dose trial of Ritalin, which actually helps. It does not give me energy in the way I had experienced in college at a party. I could actually focus.

Initial Stage Of Getting Better

I want to emphasize that you are not "bad" or "not good" if you do not get treatment for ADHD. We are all different.

That being said - I haven't felt this good about myself as a human being since possibly childhood. I can focus better, I can get back on the ball faster. Maybe most importantly: I do not call myself a loser every single day. I feel like a human being, someone capable of the great things I dreamed of doing when I was a child. I feel like I can actually get things done.

Watch this space.