Rhys, diagnosed with ADHD at 30 in United Kingdom

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

I've never been able to get my life together. I saw people talking about ADHD last October and realized I might have it, and that I could potentially get help with all of the things I struggle with. I needed help so I had to push for an assessment!.

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2. What do you do for a living?

Graphic Designer

3. What is your ADHD presentation?


4. How were your school years?

I coasted through school. I was labelled as a "gifted child" but I never lived up to that potential because I never studied and was very... Mischievous. I found it really difficult to pay attention and make myself do work.

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

Hyperactivity! I got sent out of lessons a lot for being hyperactive. I also never completed anything on time, if at all. I never finished an exam in my life.

6. Was it difficult to get a diagnosis?

It was difficult to get my GP to refer me to my chosen care provider. The waiting list to be seen for ADHD is really long where I live so I wanted to use the NHS Right to Choose, but they didn't understand what that was. I had to do a lot of research and send a lot of emails in order to convince them, which is very difficult for someone with ADHD!

But, once I got my assessment with Psychiatry UK, I was diagnosed in that first appointment.

8. How did you prepare yourself for your diagnosis?

I did a lot of reading. At first I read about ADHD, and then I started interacting with people who had it. I was actually very excited about the possibility of being diagnosed so that I could get help.

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

I felt so relieved! I literally got diagnosed yesterday and I feel really validated. It's sort of nice to know I have a disability, and I'm not just a "terrible person". The wait for medication is quite long but I'm hopeful that it'll help me, and the psychiatrist explained the titration process thoroughly.

9. How do you feel about it now?

It was only yesterday, so not much has changed!

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

Absolutely. It's a wonder no one caught it in school, but I think they're was a perception that only the boys who were bullies had ADHD.

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

Life in general, honestly. It's so hard to hold down a job and I've either been fired or quit because of stress so many times.

I struggle with initiating tasks to an unbearable extent, my focus is absolutely terrible, and I almost never finish things.

It also affects my relationships because people get frustrated with me, and I have a hard time regulating my emotions leading me to get disproportionately distressed over minor things.

12. What are your ADHD strengths ?

Honestly, I'll have to get back to you on that one. I suppose I learn things very quickly and am told I'm funny, but I'm not sure they're ADHD things.

13. Did your ADHD diagnosis help you?

I believe it will be!

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

YES. Maybe I could have thrived in my dream career, or have already learned to drive, and had better relationships.

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

They weren't sure whether to congratulate me but they've been very supportive!

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

I was diagnosed with depression and OCD as a teenager.

17. Do you deal with anxiety?

Yep! I'm learning to deal with it slowly. I'm getting better at talking about my worries, which helps to see them from another perspective and realize they're usually not as bad as I thought.

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

No! The people I've told have been supportive and fully agreed that I have ADHD once I explained the symptoms

19. Do you ever doubt your diagnosis now?

Nope! There is no way I don't have ADHD.

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

It's been kinda recent, so for know being diagnosed has helped to look for tools to keep myself organized and have more spare time.

21. How do you feel about medication?

Again, it was only yesterday, so it hasn't yet! But I've suspected ADHD for around a year now so I've been able to ask for accommodations and work with people to help me do better.

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

I'm not sure yet!

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

Talk to people with ADHD! Do some reading from trusted sources. Don't jump to conclusions right away but if you think you're struggling because of ADHD, don't be afraid to seek help. We're not here to carry all of our burdens by ourselves.

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