By definition, adult ADHD is a mental health disorder that includes a combination of persistent problems, such as difficulty paying attention, hyperactivity and impulsive behavior. I have no idea how I ‘got’ it. I don’t know when it started. I rarely know when it will manifest. But, I deal with it, daily.
My wife, adult kids, and my Mom, have been urging me to be evaluated for ADHD — almost humorously — for more than 20 years, but I simply shrugged it off as a silly idea. So, recently I began to experience unforeseen sudden panic attacks, along with the familiar bouts of depression, which I have experienced often for more than 20 years or so. The panic disorder is a bit different for me, because I’ve never considered myself as being prone to panic, since I was raised in a very puritanical work-ethic git-r-done country boy culture. We just don’t panic. We rise up. We fight. We press on. We push through.
So, I have evidently, according to my medical advisors and counselors, ‘pushed through’, one too many times. And now with the global shutdown of COVID-19 and all the residual fallout we have all dealt with — my ADHD and depression condition has simply magnified itself and accelerated it’s malicious effects on my brain, and on my body. And, on my soul.
But wait, I am a Christian. I’ve even given my entire adult life to ministry! I’m one of the good guys. You know, a disciple of Christ. The One. The Savior. Messiah. Healer. Christus Victor. So, why on earth would someone like ME suffer from a ‘mental health disorder’. Of all things?
Well, as I’m discovering, Christians suffer depression too. And, we ‘get’ mental health disorders too. In fact, according to Rick and Kay Warren’s Hope For Mental Health, people who claim to follow Christ, especially in America today, are suffering mental health disorders at an alarming rate. I am forever grateful for wonderful leaders like Rick and Kay, who have been unashamed and quite courageous in their mission to help people like me who suffer from such conditions.
To avoid getting too deep in the weeds here, I will simply say, if you need help … ASK FOR HELP! We all get ‘the blues’ from time to time. Everyone has a ‘bad day’, sometimes. But, when the bad days, the dark days, the heavy days, become more and more consistent and persistent … STOP and take notice. Don’t be a hero. Don’t fall prey to the myth that you can ‘push through’. You cannot. And you should not!
THANK YOU to everyone who knows the struggle and who has remained near. I love you, every one. Thank you to my dear friends who I can be completely vulnerable and honest with, warts and all. Thank you to my precious wife and our children, who have accepted and loved me, and affirmed me, without exception.
“I sought the Lord, and he answered me; he delivered me from all my fears. Those who look to him are radiant; their faces are never covered with shame. This poor man called, and the Lord heard him; he saved him out of all his troubles.” – Psalm 34:4-6 CSB