Ally, relived after her ADHD diagnosis at 19

Ally
Age:
20
United States
Diagnosed at:
19

1. What made you decide to have your diagnosis?

I’ve always knew that my mind worked differently but never got a diagnosis till last year. I always had to work with another teacher up until 8th grade in order to catch up to other students. In college, I realized that I always started on my homework last minute and couldn’t retain anything so I knew it was time to talk to someone about it.

2. What do you do for a living?

I’m a full time college student!

3. What is your ADHD presentation?

Combined

4. How were your school years?

I always had difficulty in school. I would try to study but nothing would really retain unless it was a subject that I liked. In elementary school and middle school I really struggled but in high school I enjoyed my classes so I got better grades. College has been difficult for me because I now work on my own schedule and online classes makes me zone out like crazy!

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

difficulty concentrating

6. Was it difficult to get a diagnosis?

It was pretty simple actually. I contacted a psychiatrist and was able to receive a diagnosis quickly. I took a quiz at my school back in 3rd grade but was never diagnosed because I was not hyperactive.

7. How did you prepare yourself for your diagnosis?

I didn’t prepare myself really at all!

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

I honestly felt relieved because I knew that I can now receive the help that I always needed. Also, I now know what all these traits I had now are!

9. How do you feel about it now?

I feel the same because I receive the diagnosis recently!

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

I don’t think that I do but when I’m sitting in a class, I feel like I “look like” the ADHD stereotype.

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

I struggle with finding motivation, having a clear mind due to brain fog, completing assignments on time, retaining information, and much more!

12. What are your ADHD strengths ?

I am creative, an outgoing and fun person to be around, and a good leader!

13. Did your ADHD diagnosis help you?

I am so glad that I got diagnosed because I was able to receive help for it!

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

I think that I would have understood the way that my mind thought. Also, if I would have been able to receive testing accommodations, that would have really helped me too.

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

They were glad that I got the help that I needed. I have many other friends with ADHD so it is nice to talk to them and share our similarities!

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

Other than ADHD, I also have anxiety.

17. Do you deal with anxiety?

I deal with anxiety by listening to music because it helps to take my mind off of my wandering thoughts. I also love talking to my parents because they provide me with great ways on how to help.

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

No

19. Do you ever doubt your diagnosis now?

Yes, all the time. From watching videos on tik tok, I look like I don’t fit the “ADHD stereotype” but my ADHD is more visible to me than it is to others.

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

It taught me how embrace the strengths that it has given me such as being a photographer! Also, it taught me that my brain just thinks differently and that’s totally okay.

21. How do you feel about medication?

It has helped my ADHD symptoms but I have had many bad reactions to it. I have gone through many different medications and I am still trying to find one that works best for me! I feel like medication helps but at the same time, it’s not for everyone!

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

To make sure that I stay active because it helps clear my mind and keep myself motivated during the day!

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

I would say to go to a psychiatrist or doctor if you can! It doesn’t hurt to go to someone to see if you have ADHD or not!

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