Mia, diagnosed with ADHD at 13 in United States

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United States
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1. What made you decide to have your diagnosis?

I have always loved to make others laugh… but back then I would do impulsive things to get people to smile or giggle. I would instantly feel regretful and guilty afterwards.

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2. What do you do for a living?

I am college student at the moment

3. What is your ADHD presentation?


4. How were your school years?

I was failing a lot classes up until I had a 504 and got extra help. I would either be able to tell you majority of the lesson or not even be able to tell you what lesson we were on.

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

When I was passionate I would not shut up, I would interrupt without realizing… I was also (still am) very sensitive and cry with almost every heavy emotion. That includes frustration, sadness, being overwhelmed, anger and not being able to communicate. I would also cry when I felt extreme joy. And even now when I feel a deep connection or super content I cry.

6. Was it difficult to get a diagnosis?

At first it was overlooked. They thought it was just depression or anxiety. After that my symptoms made it clear I have combined ADHD

7. How did you prepare yourself for your diagnosis?

I did not prepare myself necessarily but as I was being evaluated it became more clear

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

I was embarrassed then. I did not understand a lot of what it meant to have ADHD. I thought it meant I was dumb

9. How do you feel about it now?

Although ADHD has negatives it also has positives. I feel it allows me to express myself through art more rather the traditional conversation. Words can be challenging and sometimes I feel so much I cannot describe it in words. Although I need to balance my emotions better, it has made me more willing to empathize and sympathize with others.

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

A tad sometimes. But a lot of people need to understand ADHD is on a spectrum, there are more than what is stereotyped to be. Some struggle in more areas than others and it is very complex and can imitate many mental disorders

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

Interrupting people when I’m passionate in a convo and setting boundaries for my priorities.

12. What are your ADHD strengths ?

Sometimes when I feel overwhelmed I cannot find the right words to express how I feel. I do it through drawing, music, and if I can poetry… I use poetry a lot actually because I am able to sit with my words and try to understand how I feel and make art out of them.

13. Did your ADHD diagnosis help you?

Yes! It helped me understand a lot of what people found annoying was not necessarily my fault. It made me more aware of behaviors and although it’s hard I’m trying to manage them better.

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

I was diagnosed at a younger age than most but it would’ve help my dad understand more about ADHD and how it affected me sooner

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

My dad was supportive yet he did not seem to learn more about ADHD till recently. My mom and her family do not see it although it’s funny because I see alot of my traits in them…

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

I have Panic disorder and Generalized anxiety disorder

17. Do you deal with anxiety?

I have trouble still managing but I have to tell myself I’m in more control than I think. I am constantly anxious so I’m starting to recognize the patterns and learning to talk myself out of it and start focusing more on goals and things that can occupy my time

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

My mom I think thought I was dumb. She was misinformed

19. Do you ever doubt your diagnosis now?

Sometimes i think I’m just being narcissistic but then I remember I care too much about others. I also remember that narcissists don’t question if their narcissists a lot of the time… I mean sometimes they do and that takes a lot of courage

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

I feel more aware of my actions and how to manage them. I also feel more confident in my ability to learn

21. How do you feel about medication?

I tried it don’t like it

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

Notes tab, alarms, taking a breath, stress balls, and art

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

If you have any symptoms try and go to a psychologist/psychiatrist to be evaluated. You can benefit from 504s or IEPs if you are in school… and people of all ages can benefit from coping techniques, informative strategies and getting the help they need.

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