Odalis, diagnosed with ADHD at 22 after years of math struggles

Odalis
Age:
23
United States
Diagnosed at:
22

1. What made you decide to have your diagnosis?

I've always struggled with math. I wanted to know why.

2. What do you do for a living?

I am an assistant case manager for a local clinic.

3. What is your ADHD presentation?

Combined

4. How were your school years?

I never really paid attention unless it was history and English. Physical classes like dance were great though! Music has always been a huge part of me too. Math was a pain. It still is.

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

I would interrupt others and I would hyperfocus a lot when I had homework. I've also been very irritable.

6. Was it difficult to get a diagnosis?

Not necessarily difficult but it surprised me that no one bothered to suggest a diagnosis knowing how much I struggled with math.

7. How did you prepare yourself for your diagnosis?

I wasn't expecting to be diagnosed with ADHD. I was just thinking that the psychologist would tell me I have a math learning disability, which she confirmed but then she said, "You have ADHD" and I was like, "What??".

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

I cried. I got home and told my sisters. I told my mom. It made sense to them, I was shocked but also relieved.

9. How do you feel about it now?

I feel great. I started taking medication about a month ago and I can definitely see a change. I feel like being an adult who just got diagnosed is very difficult though. I didn't understand why my brain did things the way it did and now I do.

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

Definitely not. I've always been the "quiet" or "shy" girl. I think it's one of the reasons why no one bothered to get me diagnosed.

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

MATH. I hate it! I don't care for it. I graduated college last year and I don't have to worry about it anymore but it still affects me in other areas. When I'm at work, I get really bored and I don't care for the repetitive stuff.

12. What are your ADHD strengths ?

When I like something, I immediately dive into it. I started to teach myself how to DJ earlier this year and I love it so much! Maybe someday that can be my career.

13. Did your ADHD diagnosis help you?

Yes it definitely helped me. The person who diagnosed me also has ADHD and she was great! I thank her for it. She told me about accommodations for school and even for work.

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

I think I would've been more gentle with myself.

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

They were also shocked but not necessarily surprised! They connected the dots.

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

I have some anxiety and PTSD.

17. Do you deal with anxiety?

I try to breathe but even when I do that, it makes it hard.

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

Not at all!

19. Do you ever doubt your diagnosis now?

Nope! It makes sense to me now.

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

It helped me realize that I do things differently compared to people who are neurotypical.

21. How do you feel about medication?

I like it. At first I didn't think I would. I was afraid because of the stigma.

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

I've always been super strict with myself when it comes to organizing. Now I know why lol but it's helped.

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

Go get that diagnosis. It's never too late to learn if you have it or not.

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