Support & Stories

“I Realized I Had ADHD (and Got Help) When…”

Do you remember your big “aha” moment – when you finally realized there was a name for what you were dealing with? These readers share their stories of realizing they had ADHD.

Examining your life, dumping out the contents, and realizing you have ADHD
Examining your life, dumping out the contents, and realizing you have ADHD

I was in my 30s and I could not sit still and concentrate in class. I found it hard to keep my home and personal life organized as well. That’s when I went for an evaluation.
Belinda, California

Professional circumstances prompted me to get a full neuropsychological evaluation at age 36. Once the diagnosis was made, I did some research and it confirmed that I had all the common signs of adult ADHD. We need to continue to educate the public about adult ADHD, so more people can get help earlier — for themselves and for the sake of their spouse and children.
An ADDitude Reader

My world fell apart at 34 years old. I had always felt that there was something I wasn’t getting. I felt like I was floating through life with no real direction or purpose. I was living from one crisis to the next. It wasn’t until last summer, when I saw how much these things affected my children’s lives (I am a single mom), that I decided I needed help. My counselor pointed out the possibility of ADHD and recommended that I get tested. I am still new to the diagnosis, but I don’t feel so alone anymore.
Nicole, Michigan

When my child was diagnosed, I decided to have my symptoms checked out. Bingo.
Ann, New York

I could not remember things, used wrong words in sentences, and froze in conversations because I forgot what I was talking about. When I saw my internist, he recommended that I get neurological testing. I was diagnosed with ADHD.
Eve Govea, Plainfield, Illinois

I was 19 and started failing in college. It turns out I have ADHD and dyslexia. I am amazed that I made it as far as I did.
Stefanie, Lowell, Massachusetts

I never considered that I might have ADHD, because I didn’t think that girls developed it or that boys grow out of it. I was wrong on both counts. A few years ago, I saw an advertisement for Strattera with an ADHD quiz printed on it. There were six questions, and I answered yes to five of them. I took the card to a counselor who was a friend of mine and talked with her. That’s when I sought help. With the diagnosis, many questions about my life have been answered. My first response was, “It has a name!”
Susan, Alabama

Another person shared his diagnosis with me, and I had the same behaviors and symptoms. It explained my whole life.
Sydney, California

Both of my children have ADHD. My mother lived with us for a while, and, as she watched my son get up from the dinner table repeatedly, she said, “You know that was you at his age.”
An ADDitude Reader

I realized I might have ADHD after my daughter’s teacher pointed out that my daughter was having trouble focusing and was daydreaming in class. I had similar challenges in my own childhood. I concluded that the “apple doesn’t fall far from the tree.”
Carolyn, Winston-Salem, North Carolina

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