I am a 20-year-old female college student studying Biology. Biology can be boring sometimes or amazing in other cases, but this article isn't about Biology. It's about adult ADHD.
I was recently diagnosed with ADHD. I visited a psychiatrist to treat what I thought was depression. I had been feeling low on and off since I started college, and in hindsight, even before that, so it was about time. I procrastinated visiting behavioral health for a couple years after I noticed a problem. I do that a lot, procrastinate, and then I forget. Spur of the moment after a final, I called into to the doctor's office and as luck would have it, they had an appointment open at noon, just a mere hour and half from the current time and definitely not enough time to get distracted and procrastinate. So I went.
I had noticed how easily distracted I was previously and had expressed my concerns with my general physician, but he couldn't really do anything about it. To be honest, I was hoping to score some Adderall to help me study for school. I never did score any Adderall so I also never really studied. Unfortunately, that meant bad grades in college, who knew? LOL.
Luckily, I had always been rather clever so a bad grade was still average. I wasn't failing my classes. I just wasn't doing really well like I had in high school. High school was easy and it wasn't like college was hard. I was just too bored/distracted to care enough and I happened to be a good procrastinator.
But anyways, back to the point (obviously, I can't even focus enough to write this), after a series of questions, she goes, "Well, it looks like you have ADHD. The combined type." Basically, all that means is that I gave the "correct" answers to some questions and I have both hyperactivity and attention-deficient. If I am going to be completely honest, I was skeptical. How could I have ADHD? I graduated second in my senior class. Passed all and demolished some of my AP tests without really trying. How could I have ADHD?
Apparently, I didn't/still don't know anything about ADHD. I'm on Adderall now and I don't even really know what it does, biochemically speaking. It does help me focus, but why does it help me focus? I'm not going to give you a bunch of facts on adult ADHD or Adderall. You can use the interwebs AKA Google for that. My psychiatrist recommended I read a book called "Driven to Distraction."
People with ADHD are described as intelligent and creative but don't apply themselves and a bunch of other things along those lines so readers don't feel shamed about having ADHD. Yet, as I kept reading, I felt increasingly sad and hopeless, not better. I've lived with ADHD my whole life. The signs were always there and no one noticed and no one helped me. I think about all the things I could have done and who I would have become if I hadn't procrastinated, if I had followed through. Even writing this, I think about how better a writer I would be if I had the patience for transitions, which I don't OBVIOUSLY. I think about all the great ideas I've ever had and never worked on.
Everyone describes me as charismatic and an extrovert. I don't ever feel like any of those. I don't think I'm smart even though others do. I know I'm not a hard worker even if I want to be, even if I try.
When I think about ADHD, I think of the really annoying kid in your third grade class who would never shut up about his ADD and would fail all the spelling tests and never listened and would write run-on sentences like this one and was an all-around nuisance. Except, I guess I was that kid. Except, I know I wasn't. I was a really disciplined kid. My parents were strict. I would never get up and leave or interrupt the teacher or students even if I wanted to because it was wrong. The environment you grow up in really affects your ADHD, which could be why it went unseen. I hid it well. I ignored it. I didn't know the signs.
To be frank and I mean real frank, FUCK the haters who say that ADHD is overdiagnosed because I know I wasn't diagnosed.
I think I'll call this the end of this essay. I'm not sure what I want to expand on or where else to go with it. I had all these ideas about sharing with you some of the questions I was asked and recounting memories of all the signs that pointed to ADHD, but that would take forever.
Maybe I'll do a series of entries like this one where I share my story. Maybe I'll procrastinate. Maybe I'll forget. Maybe I won't do it at all.
Finding out I have ADHD sucks. I critically analyze all the things I'm doing and all the things I've ever done. What would be different if I didn't have this "Disorder"? Why doesn't my brain work right? Apparently, ADHD are physically different from normal brains. There are like four areas that are reduced in size.
I still have so much to learn about ADHD. I hope knowing that I have it will improve my life and grades (let's be honest, I'm in college). I hope writing about ADHD from a personal perspective and not a medical one helps me and someone else out there. I hope the Adderall helps. I hope someone reads this.
I wouldn't have written it if I didn't think it was important. There has to be someone else out there like me that deserves to know so that they can change and improve their life.