Introduction to Tonie Ansah, Author of 'Living with Adult ADHD'
I’m Antoinette (Tonie) Ansah and I’ll be writing for Living with Adult ADHD. Accepting that I had attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) didn’t come easily because I loathed the mental illness stigma attached to it. My family didn’t understand mental disorders, and, also, I don’t look like the stereotypical rambunctious boy--so I struggled silently for years.
Tonie Ansah Is Diagnosed with ADHD After Depression
At 23, I got diagnosed with ADHD, just 10 years after being diagnosed with depression. I wanted to be normal so badly and not someone with ADHD and depression. And I hated being the only one in my family “like this.” To prove nothing was wrong with me, I’d stop taking medication once I felt fine on it again.
“See, it’s all in your head,” I’d hear time and time again.
Except, it wasn’t "all in my head."
A lot of the common symptoms ignored during my childhood carried over into adulthood. I’m messy, disorganized, forgetful, and late to everything. I have every intention of getting tasks done, but often lack the stimulation needed to follow through. To further complicate things, when I get depressed, I withdraw from everyone and everything--unintentionally hurting people I care deeply for.
Where Tonie Ansah Is Today Living with Adult ADHD
I wish I could tell you that I’m on the other side of this disorder, and I’d love to say that I’ve found that thing that works for me, but I’m not the hero of this story, yet. It’s still being written. I’m still learning how to cope and accept that my brain is different. I’m still learning to be kind to myself, and I’m still trying to find the most appropriate treatment for me. As hard as it’s been living with mental disorders, it’s gifted me the ability to be empathetic and connect with others beyond a surface level, which I hope to do here.
Learn more about me in this video:
At HealthyPlace, I’ll be writing about living with ADHD from different angles, like when parenting, its effects on time management, my triumphs, and my pitfalls. Through my own transparency, my hope is that you laugh, smile, learn something new, or develop compassion for yourself or even someone close to you who lives with ADHD.
Ansah, T. (2020, January 31). Introduction to Tonie Ansah, Author of 'Living with Adult ADHD', HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2023, December 3 from https://www.healthyplace.com/blogs/livingwithadultadhd/2020/1/introduction-tonie-ansah-author-living-adult-adhd
Author: Tonie Ansah
I just want to say that what you are talking about in your videos resonates with me, and that gives me comfort. I was diagnosed with ad(h)d about a month ago, and it threw me into an identity crisis and deep anxiety. The reason I wanted to get the diagnosis was to gain a deeper understanding of myself. But getting the diagnosis felt like a label on my forehead saying broken /disordered. I stigmatized myself heavily. Now I'm not thinking about the diagnosis every minute and try not to Google every day. I will make this an opportunity to cut myself some slack and give myself some self compassion, but it will take time and practice, I think. I have friends with the diagnosis, but it seems like they didn't take it so "heavily" - but that's me.
So reading about your experience was sort of comforting, to know that there is someone out there who has experienced a similiar reaction. I also recognise the feeling of polishing up and wanting to be "normal", not have depression and anxiety etc. But now that I know that it might be because of how my brain works and not that I'm just being "weak", maybe I will be able to accept myself better from here on. Maybe I'm much stronger that I think? So thank you from the bottom of my heart for sharing <3