Molly Seidel: “Mental Health Takes Work” after Receiving “Life-Changing” ADHD Diagnosis
Many of us haven’t seen Molly Seidel since she crossed the finish line of the Olympic marathon in Tokyo 2021, waving her fist in victory and winning bronze.
Molly Seidel Boston Marathon Dropped Out
Seidel’s historic Olympic marathon medal performance made her the first American woman to do so since Deena Kastor in 2004.
The 27-year-old has since broken the American record at the New York City Marathon, signed a sponsorship agreement with Puma, and competed in her first Boston Marathon, where she ultimately had to withdraw due to hip problems.
In Addition to her Professional Achievements,
Seidel has been open about her difficulties with eating disorders, obsessive compulsive disorder, anxiety, and depression on social media, where she has become known for her trademark style of smart, genuine humour.
Seidel posted on Instagram on Thursday that she will not be participating in this weekend’s New York Mini 10K, citing issues with her mental health and the medications she takes to treat them as the primary reasons for her decision.
After having negative reactions to various SSRIs (selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors), a common type of antidepressants, Seidel writes in the essay that she had previously been “very anti-medication.”
She also said that trying out different medications would “take me to a really sad place.” Therefore, she went without medication for quite some time, opting instead to rely on counselling, “which helps, but honestly can be incredibly challenging.”
Seidel claims that after experiencing significant difficulties in the year following the 2021 Olympics, she switched therapists and was eventually diagnosed with mixed-type ADHD. This diagnosis describes a condition in which a person may exhibit symptoms of both inattention and hyperactivity/impulsivity.
Individuals who exhibit symptoms of both types of ADHD are said to have mixed or combined ADHD. After being diagnosed, Seidel started taking Adderall after this spring’s Boston Marathon.
She Concludes that “life-Changing” is a fair way to put it.
Once only attainable through strenuous exercise, “[f]or the first time I felt like I was able to get the peaceful, functioning brain in my day-to-day life.” She also reported that the medicine assisted her in controlling the eating disorder behaviours she had struggled with for years.
Seidel continued by saying that because Adderall is not WADA-approved for usage during competition, she had to apply for a Therapeutic Utilize Exemption (TUE) to use the drug.
According to WADA’s website, a TUE is granted “where it is demonstrated that the use of the medicine or procedure will not provide an unfair competitive advantage but will, on the contrary, let the athlete to compete while in a fit physical condition.”
Seidel claims that she has completed the application process and received signatures from her physician and therapist.
Because “I can’t quit my medicine without some major mental health repercussions,” Seidel adds, “I will not compete with Adderall in my system until I get full approval from both USADA [US Anti-Doping Agency] and WADA.” Seidel submitted his application to USADA and WADA around six weeks ago.
Seidel described her reaction to the ruling as “gutted,” but she is “dedicated to a clean sport and honouring my own mental health requirements,” therefore she will adhere strictly to the TUE protocol going forward.
“I want to be upfront about the reality that medicine is sometimes a very vital element of the effort that goes into maintaining mental health,” Seidel writes.
She still hopes to return in time for the July global championships, therefore she is waiting for her application to be processed.
The Olympic bronze medallist said she will “continue training and focused on becoming the best and healthiest version of myself” in the interim.