Georgia, diagnosed with ADHD at 20 in the UK after struggling with anxiety and depression

Georgia
Age:
25
United Kingdom
Diagnosed at:
20

1. What made you decide to have your diagnosis?

I’ve always struggled with anxiety and depression since I was a teenager. After attending CBT sessions from 19, my therapist suggested that I undergo a psychiatrist assessment. Also my dad pushed me to seek further help.

2. What do you do for a living?

I’m a part-time Master’s student and head mixologist

3. What is your ADHD presentation?

Combined

4. How were your school years?

My school years were horrific. I found it hard to form friendships and I was often labelled as loud, talkative, annoying. I would get into a lot of trouble for talking.  Also struggled with work.

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

Looking back, definitely. When I received my diagnosis I kind of just thought “OHHH THAT MAKES SENSE”.

6. Was it difficult to get a diagnosis?

I did have to push past a couple of different professionals to get my diagnosis but thanks to the NHS I was able to with ease.

7. How did you prepare yourself for your diagnosis?

I didn’t really. I had no idea they were going to say it was ADHD. It was the last thing I expected.

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

I felt a sense of relief, because I could now have this on my record and inform my employer of my extra needs, instead of just being seen as difficult.

9. How do you feel about it now?

It’s part of who I am now, I often tell people I have ADHD very early into the friendship to explain why I act certain ways.

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

I’m not sure lol, what does an ADHD person look like? We are all just human.

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

Definitely my studies. I think it takes me twice if not three times longer to complete university assignments due to my lack of concentration and distractibility.

12. What are your ADHD strengths ?

I can speak to anyone. Literally about anything. I also have lots of energy which helps when working in hospitality.

13. Did your ADHD diagnosis help you?

Definitely. I wouldn’t have the support in place with my university if I wasn’t formally diagnosed.

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

Of course. But everything happens for a reason. I am who I am today because of the experiences I went though as a child/teen.

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

“oh”, lol. Not really. I don’t really remember to be honest. But they have always been supportive nonetheless.

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

I have always struggled with anxiety disorder and panic attacks. They definitely relate to my ADHD and exacerbate my symptoms.

17. Do you deal with anxiety?

I take meds, practice mindfulness and yoga and seek therapy/counselling when I need it.

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

Yeah, I had a lot of people say I’m overreacting or there is nothing wrong with me. Glad I didn’t listen :)

19. Do you ever doubt your diagnosis now?

Never. Only doubt I have is that I might also have something else which hasn’t yet been diagnosed (my father is autistic).

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

I start everything in advance. I always anticipate that I will take longer to complete something that is recommended. And my employment helps because I work evenings (I’m not a morning person!).

21. How do you feel about medication?

I’m not actually medicated but I’m currently on a waiting list to have that reassessed.

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

Supportive friends.

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

Definitely trust your gut instinct and seek professional advice.

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