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Runner Molly Seidel Takes Control of her ADHD


SPEAKER: Molly Seidel is one

of only three American women

to medal in the Olympics in one

of the most brutal of events–

the marathon.

Perhaps what’s even more

remarkable about Molly is

her success in overcoming

a series of mental health



MOLLY SEIDEL: Having lived

with various forms

of neurodiversity and mental


since basically childhood,

I feel right now that I’m

in a place where, obviously,

with this kind of stuff,

you’re never like, quote

unquote, “cured,”

but I feel in a much

better and more stable place

than I’ve been in a really

long time due to taking

a step back over this last year

and really putting

in the work and the time

to focus on it.

And I think that’s probably

the most important part

of dealing with these kinds

of things.

The funny and gnarly thing

about any

of these mental disorders

and what I’ve experienced

is that it almost seems

like a game of whack-a-mole,

that when you whack down one


or when you feel that you’ve got

a handle on one thing,

it jumps to another thing.

So when it’s not–

when it’s not

like obsessive restriction,

it turns into bulimia.

When you get rid of the bulimia,

it turns into restriction again.

Then that turned back

into– it’s– that’s the

frustrating part that if–

and what it took me years

to figure out that if you’re

just trying to treat

the symptoms

and not addressing

the underlying causes of some

of these things, it will just

tend to jump from diagnosis,

to diagnosis, to diagnosis.

And I got the–

my two main diagnoses just are

the ADHD and the OCD.

Obviously, it was years apart

for the two of those

and it took longer to identify

the ADHD.

But it came with such a sense

of relief and knowing of just

like, oh, my God there’s

a reason why I feel the way

that I feel and maybe I’m not

just thoroughly messed up

and thoroughly a terrible person

because your brain just works

a little bit differently.

And I think a lot of that came

with a deep sense of shame

for me.

And that was the hardest part

of just being I don’t know why

my brain just can’t work the way

that other people’s brains work.

And especially– I think

especially with the ADHD–

the OCD was one because that was

more of a pathology, kind

of just being like, OK, this is

something that I really need

to work on and improve,

this is a disorder.

Whereas with the ADHD

it came with this sense of just

like, oh, my God,

this makes so much sense.

I think that was the most

freeing thing and the thing that

has gotten me to the place

that I am now of being like,

OK, there are specific lifestyle

changes that I can make to make

sure that my brain works

optimally and then they worked.

I wish that I had been more

vocal about exactly how I was

feeling earlier and it might

have gotten to the solution

a lot earlier.

Because I think– especially

as women, a lot of us

are willing to almost like

gaslight ourselves of just being

like, oh, it’s not really that


And then you look objectively

at it and you’re like,

no, this is actually objectively

pretty bad and there has to be

a better way to live than this.

I’m a pretty big nerd when it

comes to this stuff,

so I enjoy learning about it

and I really enjoy trying–

reading medical papers,

trying to figure out stuff,

doing my own research,


as it comes to some

of these alternative techniques

for treating ADHD.

So having a basic level

of competence with that I think

has really helped.

But then I think just

at this point,

having been through pretty much

the better part of–

being through 10 years

of working

with different therapists

pretty consistently,

learning the dialogue,

learning the–

basically just getting a better

understanding of how my brain


And I think that ultimately is

the point of therapy is learning

to have a better relationship

with your own brain

and understanding the mechanisms

by which your brain works.

I think that’s been the most

helpful thing to be able to be

a little bit more confident

and trust in myself to know

the things that I need to be


And maybe some aspect of it is

being able to take ownership

of not just expecting that I’m

going to go to a doctor

and they’re going to give me

a pill and that’s going to fix



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