Catie, diagnosed with ADHD at 25 in the United States

Catie
Age:
26
United States
Diagnosed at:
25

1. What made you decide to have your diagnosis?

My friends were making comments on how much I talk, and don’t focus on things for long periods of time

2. What do you do for a living?

Social worker

3. What is your ADHD presentation?

Combined

4. How were your school years?

I struggled throughout all my schooling, never could sit down and study/complete homework. I struggled comprehending simple things. I would have to take my tests in college in my professors office to help me focus. All this time I thought I just had “test anxiety”

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

Hyperactivity, starting multiple things and not finishing them. I was always in a sport to keep my mind occupied

6. Was it difficult to get a diagnosis?

At first yes, my doctor thought it was my brain fog after having COVID-19 for two months. After a few weeks I went back with a list of traits I was seeing and that is when I was finally diagnosed

7. How did you prepare yourself for your diagnosis?

Googled common symptoms in women and wrote down everything that I saw in myself or that friends/family noticed

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

I felt relieved, like I could finally understand myself. Part of me though was sad for me as a child, I grew up thinking something was wrong with me and I beat myself up for not being like everyone else. I just had my first therapy session back after my diagnosis so I still have a lot to learn.

9. How do you feel about it now?

Still learning new things everyday. Little things I do go with my diagnosis

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

Not really, I tend to be very quite and prefer to be alone now. Sometimes I’ll get the burst of energy and hyper fixation but not daily

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

Definitely focusing on self care and taking time for myself. I HATE not having anything to do and when I have nothing to do I really do not know how to cope

12. What are your ADHD strengths ?

Time management, organization and productivity

13. Did your ADHD diagnosis help you?

It helped me in the aspect of now having medication that allows me to get my work done in a timely fashion

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

I feel like my school career would have gone so much better than it did. Knowing I had ADHD would have allowed for more resources in school and college

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

Pretty much validated it and stated it’s about time, not in a bad way just more in the fact that I am now medicated and more relaxed

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

Anxiety and seasonal depression play a role in my ADHD

17. Do you deal with anxiety?

Yes, I try to tell myself that not everything needs to be done or constantly reminding myself that it is okay to not be like others

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

Not one bit

19. Do you ever doubt your diagnosis now?

Nope

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

I am now able to be more productive at work and home and not day dream or hyper focus of something

21. How do you feel about medication?

Personally I’m glad I am on it

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

My medication and getting in a routine

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

Talk to your doctor, be prepared with reasons to support your conversation

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