Alexis, diagnosed with ADHD at 20 in the United States.

Alexis
Age:
21
United States
Diagnosed at:
20

1. What made you decide to have your diagnosis?

I was failing college pretty badly and was “moody” like crazy.

2. What do you do for a living?

Administrative Assistant and a part-time student

3. What is your ADHD presentation?

Combined

4. How were your school years?

I never liked studying! It was always a boring task for me but I did very well in high school. Once college hit, I just couldn’t handle all the studying I REALLY had to do now.

5. Looking back, what was an obvious ADHD trait in your childhood?

My talkativeness and day dreaming. I used to get sent to time out quite a few times for being disruptive. I also was extremely forgetful.

6. Was it difficult to get a diagnosis?

My doctor really tried to convince me it was just anxiety and depression. I’d say it was difficult at first to convince them but, other than that it was easy for me once they realized I did indeed have ADHD.

7. How did you prepare yourself for your diagnosis?

I research a TON. I didn’t want my doctor to think I was just trying to get medication so I made sure I seriously knew what ADHD was and the symptoms. It helped me to describe also my daily life and everything that has happened.

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8. How did you feel right after getting your diagnosis?

I feel relieved! I finally feel like I have the answer I needed after years of struggling. My new doctor is much more understanding and willing to get me the help I need which has also made me more confident that I can get through each day!

9. How do you feel about it now?

I feel better! For awhile, I really felt ADHD was a burden. But, I realized it’s also a superpower! Yes, it has its ups and downs, but I feel more confident in myself knowing now what it was that I was struggling with.

10. Do you think you "look like" the ADHD stereotype?

I don’t think so. I’m very quiet and not disruptive when I’m in public but at home, I’m quite loud and talkative.

11. What are you struggling with because of your ADHD brain?

My emotions 100%. I have always struggled with keeping my feelings down especially when I’m angry or sad. I always just dismissed it for anxiety and depression for years.

12. What are your ADHD strengths ?

I think I’m super good at multitasking because of my ADHD. When I’m in a hyper focus too, I can speed through things like crazy and no mistakes.

13. Did your ADHD diagnosis help you?

I think it was the best decision for me. I now can explain to people my issues and not feel like I’m crazy.

14. Do you feel your life could have gone the other way if you'd been diagnosed earlier?

I think it definitely could’ve helped me fight my problems earlier if I had known the signs. I think if my mom knew the signs too, she would’ve helped me seek diagnosis.

15. What was your family/friends' reaction to your diagnosis?

My mom didn’t believe it at first, she thought I was too quiet to have it! My dad (who I got it from) was happy I was able to seek diagnosis. My friends and boyfriend were very proud of my decision to seek help.

16. Do you have any comorbid disorders or neurological conditions?

I have anxiety and depression.

17. Do you deal with anxiety?

I love exercising and meditating for my anxiety. Meditation I like to do before bed to help calm me down also.

18. Did people around you make you doubt yourself during your diagnosis journey?

I doubted it a lot since people thought I wasn’t loud enough or hyperactive to have it. My mom thought I did too well in school to have it (didn’t exactly tell her how college was going until after my diagnosis, oops!).

19. Do you ever doubt your diagnosis now?

Sometimes I do sadly. There are moments I feel like I don’t fit in with the stereotypes but, everyone has very different with symptoms! No one is completely alike.

20. How has the diagnosis changed the way you live?

I now set alarms more and set little reminders to help me remember things. I also give myself more breaks. Before, I didn’t really care much about helping myself since I figured it was just my anxiety. But now I have realized how important it is to help yourself and to get help!

21. How do you feel about medication?

I think medication is important for some but not for all. Some people do not find medication works for them, I’ve had a few of these cases! But I do think it can help with many things as long as it works for you. It definitely helped with my emotions and depression.

22. What was the thing that helped you most in your daily life? 

Sticky notes and a planner! Can’t live without these or I won’t remember important things. I also feel less overwhelmed when I’m able to plan my day out.

23. What advice would you give someone who is wondering if they have ADHD?

I really recommend researching first! Self diagnosis isn’t the best thing to do but, as long as you can identify with the symptoms and can explain to your doctor how they affect you life, go for a diagnosis! You should be able to have examples of how your life is affected due to the symptoms you are seeing.

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