Bee, diagnosed with ADHD at 19 in London.

Bee Robinson
Age:
22
United Kingdom
Diagnosed at:
19

1. What made you decide to have your diagnosis?

My manager at a desk job actually wanted me to get tested. He knew someone with ADHD and thought we acted similar. My job then paid for half and I paid the other half to be privately tested by a psychologist in London. I never ever suspected to have ADHD before this as I barley knew about it. I thought I was just had a massive extrovert personality

2. What do you do for a living?

Carer

3. What is your ADHD presentation?

Hyperactive

4. How were your school years?

My teachers called me “the special one”. Teachers found me funny and cheeky and I got away with a lot of stuff because I would charm them. But I hated most subjects, except the ones where you didn’t sit at a desk like drama and dance. I was was very creative - I would make up songs to remember things in science. I had no issues public speaking, in fact I would speak over people a lot. I worked really really hard for school grades but only got Cs

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

Difficulty focusing on things but over focusing on other things. Impulsiveness. Low frustration tolerance - i sometimes cried when my mum asked me to empty the dishwasher as I didn’t want to do it haha. Trouble copying with feelings - very easily over whelmed and would have a tantrum.

6. Was it difficult to get a diagnosis?

It was expensive haha. Like I said before, my work at the time wanted me to get diagnosed but if I didn’t have that job I would most likely not know now. I left that job after getting diagnosed as I hated the office job but forever grateful for them and that particular manager

7. How did you prepare yourself for your diagnosis?

I didn’t. I thought it was a fun day out! The assessment was for all learning difficulties (I have a few such as dyslexia and Dyscalculia) so I found a lot about myself that day and everything made sense. I didn’t realize that other people didn’t experience those difficulties I experienced and just thought I had a “strong personality”. The professor said to me at the end “I’m amazed you have come this far on your own” which was super rude but I found it funny. But there was not help, the professor sent me on my way with nothing. I then contacted my doctors and they have put me on a waiting list for a “recovery college” but that was before the pandemic and I still haven’t heard anything. I don’t think I need professional help on anything but my impulsiveness as that has really affected me as a an adult like financially but I have a partner who helps me with that. The ADHD coach on Instagram helps me learn about it and I always share its posts with my close friends and family so they can understand me better.

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

Everything made sense! I wanted to go and tell everyone I ever met so they would understand me too haha. A lot of people said “Omg that makes sense” when I told them.

9. How do you feel about it now?

I’m finally in a job which compliments some of my ADHD symptoms, my partner and family and friends understand me. I can recognise when my traits a lot better when I’m doing them or shortly afterwards. I'm not ashamed of having ADHD, I never ever keep it a secret. I am fascinated by it. I have come along way with it from the last 3 years of being diagnosed and I am proud of myself

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

Sometimes haha. People think a of a young 5 year old boy jumping around the walls when they hear “ADHD”. I have only ever met one female other than me who has ADHD which is bafflingly to me (meant many boys and men though).

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

Impulsiveness with buying things is my main main issue because as an adult I’ve gotten myself in debt a few times. Impulsiveness with decisions too such as changing my hair or what I’m doing quickly which makes no sense to others. Losing things - my partner hates it when I lose things as I make him help me find them again haha. Focus isn’t as bad as when I was younger but it still affects me as I don’t want to be rude but I can’t listen to certain people when they are saying certain things (even though I look like I’m listening).

12. What are your ADHD strengths ?

I’m super creative. I have the confidence to talk to anyone (not shy in the slightest). My poor time management has led me to be 10 or 5 minutes early to EVERYTHING so I’m never late. A lot of people tell me I being “energy” to the room which I thinks cool. I think outside the box and helps myself and others with problem solving

13. Did your ADHD diagnosis help you?

It helped me understand me and tell people to help them understand me. But I have had 0 help from professionals or doctors, I’ve had to help myself the best I can.

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

I maybe could of gotten better grades. I think not being diagnosed has helped me look after myself better, maybe if I was diagnosed earlier I would of had a “given up” or “what’s the point” attitude. I’m also so proud of myself for coming so far with no help or understanding of my brain - like that’s pretty cool. And it’s a great story to tell people. I speak to people a lot about woman with ADHD as it’s a very interesting topic to me - loads of woman are not diagnosed or diagnosed later where as men have the opposite.

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

“This all makes sense” haha. I’m still teaching them all about ADHD as there’s so much to learn (even after 3 years of my diagnosis).

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

Dyslexia, dyscalculia, dyspraxia. I was diagnosed with depression in my teens but I would say I defiantly don’t have that anymore. When I was diagnosed with depression in my teens the woman even said to me “have you ever been tested for autism or something like that as I think there’s more going on in your brain” which I find quite funny these days as I never acted on that.

17. Do you deal with anxiety?

No, I did as a teenager. But now I have 0 anxiety like even if I did public speaking or anything others find “nerve raking” I just don’t

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

No; my manager at a desk job made me go and get diagnosed and I didn’t really tell anyone about it as I didn’t see it as a big deal.

19. Do you ever doubt your diagnosis now?

No, everything finally makes sense.

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

I can recognize my traits and my partner helps me with them a lot. I can explain to people why I do things e.g. my friends know if I go “let’s go to the hair dressers and cut all my hair off” they can say “noooo, let’s do it next week” and I won’t want to do it next week. There was one night where I saw a video of someone’s stamp collection and then I spent 3 hours researching stamps. And I nearly brought £100 worth of stamps but my partner stopped me and said “if you want to do this tomorrow you can but not tonight” and in the morning I didn’t want to and I’m so glad he stopped me and saved me £100 haha.

21. How do you feel about medication?

Mixed feelings, I want to take it to try it but I don’t want to rely on it. I am proud of myself and don’t want to change or “lose my sparkle” but maybe medication would make me perform better at work or be better with impulsiveness? I don’t even know how to get medication if I wanted it so it may be something I explore in the future.

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

My partner; he stops my impulsiveness. And my job; it’s something I’m interested in and therefore I focus easily - my old desk job was so boring I never focused and was crap at my job haha, but my new job I’m really good at and it has lead to my management recognise this and offering me a promotion currently.

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

It depends, I have a pet peeve for people who go “omg I think I have ADHD because I was late to work this morning” but have no other ADHD symptoms. If they were serious and have traits and wanted to her diagnosed I actually don’t know how to help them as my work did it all for me and I have heard the doctors are a bit long winded. I have actually sent this Instagram page to someone who thought they had ADHD so they can learn about it :)

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