Caroline, diagnosed with ADHD at 24 in the US.

Caroline
Age:
24
United States
Diagnosed at:
24

1. What made you decide to have your diagnosis?

In my first year of grad school, we learned about ADHD in our pediatrics course. I realized that many of the attributes those with ADHD possess, I also have. I did not realize before then that the struggles I face with inattention, memory, and concentration were possibly ADHD.

2. What do you do for a living?

Doctorate in Occupational Therapy Student

3. What is your ADHD presentation?

Inattentive

4. How were your school years?

As I mentioned, I have always struggled with school but I thought everyone had the same symptoms I do.

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

Clumsy, difficulties with math and reading comprehension, excessive talking, acting without thinking, interrupting conversations, impatient, bored easily

6. Was it difficult to get a diagnosis?

I was tested for ADHD for free through my school’s counseling center. I was on the waitlist for several months, and with testing and getting the results it took around 6 months.

7. How did you prepare yourself for your diagnosis?

I already accepted that I have ADHD after doing several hours of nonstop research on it and realizing I meet the criteria for a dx.

✨ If you are wondering too if you have ADHD, check out my ADHD Self Assessment Workbook

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

I am satisfied with the result of my dx, and a mental health professional walked me through the testing results. I wouldn’t say that I’m in denial, but afterwards I just couldn’t believe it because I’ve struggled for so long unknowingly.

9. How do you feel about it now?

I’ve accepted it and began taking medication to manage symptoms

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

No- I am a perfectionist and always make sure my appearance is pristine.

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

Completing assignments for grad school.

12. What are your ADHD strengths ?

High-achiever, insightful, spontaneous.

13. Did your ADHD diagnosis help you?

Yes, it was the right decision for me. I’m on meds now and I’m able to get academic accommodations through school and receive extra time when it’s time to take the board exam.

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

Absolutely. It would’ve made college and the first year of grad school completely different.

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

No one was surprised.

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

No.

17. Do you deal with anxiety?

Sometimes. Journaling, working out, talking with friends, attending therapy.

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

No.

19. Do you ever doubt your diagnosis now?

Yes, but like I mentioned earlier in a way of that it took this long for me to get a dx and realize something was wrong.

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

I understand myself better.

21. How do you feel about medication?

It is an amazing resource.

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

Writing things down.

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

Advocate for yourself and speak to a professional about getting a dx.

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