Lorena, diagnosed with ADHD at 27 in Brazil

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1. What made you decide to have your diagnosis?

I didn't! I was part of a research project on OCD (which I knew I had, but wasn't getting any care) and my doctor there diagnosed me with adhd too

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2. What do you do for a living?


3. What is your ADHD presentation?


4. How were your school years?

I was a good student, but very much easily bored. I spaced out a lot and refused to do homework

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

Daydreaming all the time

6. Was it difficult to get a diagnosis?

I was diagnosed by the team at my psych hospital, where I was getting treatment for OCD and helping research

7. How did you prepare yourself for your diagnosis?

I didn't lol

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

My jaw literally dropped. I was at the doctor's office and he told me, I was in shock for a bit (but he guided me through it)

9. How do you feel about it now?

Very much reassured. I thought I was lazy/dumb/impulsive for no reason, now I know why some stuff just doesn't fly with me

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

No! I'm a cis woman in my late 20s, so not at all. And I'm an introvert.

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

Keeping up a healthy work schedule and not getting overwhelmed with projects and deadlines

12. What are your ADHD strengths ?

I am creative! (Now following through with my creative ideas is a whole other issue)

13. Did your ADHD diagnosis help you?

Yes! I am able to name some challenges and find ways to deal with them without damaging my mental health

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

Yes! I spent all my student years thinking I was dumb and unmotivated. Now I know school and college weren't good fits for me

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

Very few people know. Friends who do are very supportive, thankfully.

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

OCD and general anxiety

17. Do you deal with anxiety?

Yes and I don't, really. But I'm in therapy, so I have a safe space to process

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

Since I didn't have an ADHD journey, no. But society's view on mental health and neurodiversity kept me from realizing it was a possibility

19. Do you ever doubt your diagnosis now?

No, actually, ever since I was diagnosed everything clicked for me (much like it did with my OCD years ago)

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

I am much more respectful of myself, finding ways to incorporate novelty and excitement without damaging my routine or mental health instead of forcing a NT schedule

21. How do you feel about medication?

Lifesaving, but omg the mouth dryness

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

Allowing myself to just get up and walk around. A lifetime of a "nice kid" having to force focus while working kinda broke me, but I'm trying to build back

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

Don't compare yourself to others, not even other neurodivergent folks. You are valid as an ADHD person even if you're not neuroatypical in other ways

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