It can be comforting to label ourselves.
At best, a medical diagnosis of ADHD creates a sense of separation between what you perceive as your faults and who you really are. For example there is a relief when you realize that you’re “not just lazy”. An ADHD diagnosis can allow you to let go of the shame associated with not knowing any other way to operate.
Some people need a diagnosis before feeling worthy of paying for help. If that’s you, please understand that it’s not necessary (unless you need your job to pick up the tab because HR requires the qualifying diagnosis of “disability” in order to do so.)
If someone is unhappy with their level of achievement and quality of life, it isn’t necessary to get permission in order to receive help. I believe we all do the best we can given our current knowledge and beliefs and we are all worthy of support in order to learn and improve ourselves. As a coach, it is not my place to diagnose nor do I need each client to have a diagnosis. I simply help them manage or eradicate the traits that hinder the path towards their goals.
Certain people might be better off without labels like ‘ADHD’ because, beyond the relief of understanding the “why” of their self-limiting behavior, they begin using the diagnosis as an excuse for not doing the work to figure out how to best function in the “neurotypical” world. As a coach, I’ve seen people falter in their development because of this victim mindset.
If you already have a diagnosis, be very wary of over-identifying with it. It isn’t who you are. If you mistakenly believe that it is, you may find it very difficult to believe you can improve your life. You can.
If you been through a lot of self-improvement and private coaching yet are feeling discouraged, that is an instance in which you very well may want to find out what’s going on medically.
You may need a diagnosis in order to access meds that will allow you to do the work to change your behavior. For many people it takes both “pills and skills” in order to create positive change. Please don’t let anyone tell you there’s anything wrong with that.