Mick diagnosed with ADHD at 18 in Indonesia

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1. What made you decide to have your diagnosis?

I have been someone that can't pay attention for too long, I forget things more often than other people, I have abyssmal handwriting, and oftenly I can't sit still, my 3rd grade homeroom teacher told my parents to try consultate with a psychologist. Tried to ask my parents what the diagnosis was and well my parents forgot what the diagnosis was as it was a reaaally long time ago. Come the present day when I'm in uni now, I still have the same problems so I decided to go to a psychiatrist this time, and yeah I got an exact answer, that being ADHD

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2. What do you do for a living?

I'm a uni student, taking Visual Communication Design as a major

3. What is your ADHD presentation?


4. How were your school years?

My studying style is never about counting or memorizing; it's about understanding what I am learning. So I practically sucked so bad at math and is better at theoretical classes that I do understand, like history for example. I also struggles to meet deadlines as I tend to postpone doing assignments that requires alot of mental drainage, that is still a presisting problem until now. All my friends have amazing grades but I always struggle alot with it, I'm a regular customer of the 10 lowest rank in my class.

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

For instances, I cannot pay attention to boring classes unless I wanted to, I can't stop shaking my legs while sitting at the dinner table (this resulting in alot of nagging from my parents), I am a very much sensitive kid growing up, the obvious horrible handwriting, and I hated a certain texture of clothing that my mum insisted me on wearing.

6. Was it difficult to get a diagnosis?

For me, the diagnosis itself wasn't that hard, the process was only: psychiatrist have a set of questions, I answers. It was telling my parents that I need an exact answer that is hard as mental health awareness isn't that high in the country I'm living in. So the stigma of mental illness = crazy is still strong.

7. How did you prepare yourself for your diagnosis?

I prepared notes of all my symptoms so I can answer the questions fast and I accepted the fate that I will most likely be diagnosed with ADHD

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

Yes, I had my answers of what is bothering me my whole entire life. My psychiatrist explained everything that is needed to know about ADHD in general, like what I should avoid and reduce eating now

9. How do you feel about it now?

I'm fine with it, I can coexist just fine with ADHD like I have always been, I just have to manage it more. I'm just hoping that people can understand why I act in a way. Mental health is something very important in today's society and I think people should be very much aware of it

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

Not quite, I have always been the quiet kid at school and I don't have much friends. There is more to what ADHD is to be frank but I think the general thinking about ADHD here is that people with ADHD are loud, cannot stay still, and have no self control

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

I guess time management, remembering things, and staying focused. Currently I have 2 missing assignments for the class where the lecturer didn't set a specific deadline on Google Clasroom and those assignments requires alot of mental drainage and focus

12. What are your ADHD strengths ?

I knew alot of obscure facts about random stuff that interests me. Here is a little fact for you, Do you know that a shrimp's heart is located on it's head?I also do art to express myself, or to dump ideas I cannot explain in words, so enrolling in Visual Communication Design is a way to help me communicate it betterAnd I really love learning obscure languages, I want to learn the regional languages there is here

13. Did your ADHD diagnosis help you?

Yeah absolutely, I felt like I can rest well as I knew what is bothering me the whole time; I felt relieved as I finally knew what the root cause is.

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

Yes and no, yes because I can seek for help much earlier and no because people are much more clueless about the topic of mental health back then, they just generalized it all with a person being crazy

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

My siblings doesn't know about it yet. My parents said that they will support me always and will try to help as best as I can. All of my friends are acceptant of the fact too and they will try their best to understand it more with me

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

As far as I know; no, I don't have anything related to my ADHD

17. Do you deal with anxiety?

A little sometimes, there are those instances where I got completely silent in a situation I cannot handle that requires me to talk, think it is called selective mutism. I will try to break my silence once the person talking to me stop tormenting me

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

Sort off, people just brush it off as it was nothing to worry about and saying everyone does that but hey I do that more to the point it is a problem so yeah there is that

19. Do you ever doubt your diagnosis now?

At the beginning because it was really fast that I got dismissed by the Psychiatrist, I doubt that alot but that turned out to be true

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

I consume less sugar, drink less caffeine, and all uni days started with taking meds

21. How do you feel about medication?

I really don't want it at the beginning as I don't want long term medical problem, but I guess that is the only way to help me now that I'm an adult

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

Reminders, constant reminders from my phone and people around me, if I don't have friends that reminds me of my assigments I woulda missed more than 2

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

There is a proverb in Indonesian that said "To be reluctant to make in queries will make one go astray." That means if you are afraid to ask, you sure will end up being lost and not know what to doSo, if in doubt, try asking. That is how I always deal with the things I have no idea of doing, try asking for help always. In this case try asking for professional help, there is no mistake on asking the ones who has experiences

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