Jen Verhagen was diagnosed with ADHD five years ago when she was 28, after struggling with insomnia for years. The diagnosis brought so much clarity for the talent acquisition specialist. Like many women diagnosed later in life, Jen excelled in K-12 but found the transition to college difficult, her inability to focus and create her own structure becoming too much for her to overcome. Unaware of what was holding her back – her undiagnosed ADHD – Jen thought she was simply dumb.
Life post-diagnosis has been a season of growth for the 33 year-old Michigan native. After working up the courage to ask for accommodations at a new job, Jen was faced with the fact that there are still people out there unwilling to acknowledge the realities of living with ADHD. Her manager’s dismissal of her needs pushed Jen into a dark place and ultimately led to her leaving the company. The good news is, Jen landed on her feet in a place where she feels supported and encouraged to be herself and to shine as a woman with ADHD.
Listen in to hear more from Jen about her journey with ADHD, why it’s important for people to recognize that ADHDers face an uphill climb every single day and what she hopes can be done to help the world understand a lifelong condition that is anything but one-size-fits-all.
Refocused, Together is a collection of 31 stories told throughout the 31 days of October, a part of our commitment to ADHD Awareness Month. Make sure to subscribe wherever you listen to podcasts so you don’t miss a single story this month!
LISTEN: Episode 75 | ADHD, the Science of Sleep and Why We Need It
LISTEN: Episode 76 | ADHD, Sleep Hygiene and the Recipe for a Good Night’s Sleep