Ruba, diagnosed with ADHD at 24 in Canada

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1. What made you decide to have your diagnosis?

The pandemic made me lose my structured work environment and I found it impossible to continue to do my work from home.

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2. What do you do for a living?

Data analyst

3. What is your ADHD presentation?


4. How were your school years?

I never studied or did homework but always got very high marks up to high school when all the material was taught in class where people were watching to make sure I was focused. In university because a lot of the learning is to be done on your own time, my grades all of a sudden dropped

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

Never sitting still, always having to take breaks to run around the house so that I could "use up all my energy"

6. Was it difficult to get a diagnosis?

No! My doctor referred me to a specialist and within a few hours of speaking to him I got my diagnosis

7. How did you prepare yourself for your diagnosis?

I read up on everything I could find on the internet about ADHD

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

I was really glad that I had an explanation for issues that I had faced my whole life - everybody always told me growing up that I had so much potential if only I just put in some effort to study. I put in lots of effort but found it impossible to actually sit and do it - I thought I was just lazy and had no self control

9. How do you feel about it now?

Great! I am able to find ways to get my day to day tasks done and keep on top of things using resources for people with ADHD, and I never beat myself up about it on days where it gets a little harder

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

No! I am a South Asian woman - ADHD isn't really talked about in our communities

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

Rejection sensitive dysphoria

12. What are your ADHD strengths ?

I can hyperfocus for hours and am fast enough to get way more work done than my peers once I finally am able to start focusing on the task at hand

13. Did your ADHD diagnosis help you?

Yes! It gave me an explanation for my behaviors and offered me resources to overcome challenges I faced.

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

Yes!! If I had an ADHD diagnosis in university, I think I could have really excelled academically. Unfortunately, I struggled a lot and my poor GPA from back then has now closed a lot of doors for me.

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

Most of them had the same reaction as me, I.e. "that makes so much sense - of course you have ADHD!"

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


17. Do you deal with anxiety?

Yes - I get a lot of anxiety in social interactions due to my rejection sensitive dysphoria. I find it helps to communicate or ask friends around you for validation ("was I being a little loud?" "Was that rude?" Etc.)

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

I largely kept my diagnosis journey to myself because I made me doubt myself lol

19. Do you ever doubt your diagnosis now?

Sometimes I think I did make it up to excuse my laziness/poor self control and tricked my doctor into believing me. These thoughts usually don't last too long thankfully

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

I no longer live in disorganized chaos, I can keep up with my tasks in a way that works for me by using resources specifically for ADHD folks

21. How do you feel about medication?

I thought it would be a magical pill that fixed my problems but it didn't work for me tbh!

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

Instead of trying to do everything all at once and making myself feel bad about it I do smaller tasks at a pace that works for me

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

Look it up and consider getting diagnosed! Even if it's not ADHD a professional might be able to give you some insight into why your mind works that way

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