Reply To: Diagnosed In College

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Hi Connerrr!

First of all, know that you are not alone. I was diagnosed in college, too, and while it was a relief, it was also scary. It was frustrating to think that my entire childhood was so much harder than it needed to be. It changes the whole way you view yourself, and the people who have known you your whole life don’t understand. It opens up a pandora’s box of emotions. It’s okay. That’s normal.

It is great that you have found a counsellor who sees your symptoms and understands you. She can be a great resource while getting through this adjustment period. Share your anxieties with her, and I’m sure she will have some resources to help you.

See if you can find a few ADDers at your school to connect with. Having ADD friends can help you feel less alone and more understood. It can also help you accept your diagnosis and who you are.

Medication can seem scary, but when used properly, it’s usually harmless. Be honest with your counselor about how the medication makes you feel. If you feel it’s helping you in school, give it a fair chance. I had anxiety when I was diagnosed with ADHD, too, and they prescribed an antidepressant to balance out the effects of the stimulant.

There are several other things you can do to help the ADHD, too. Whenever I’m feeling anxious about my ADHD, it helps to do things I CAN control to help myself. Exercising, getting enough sleep, and mindfulness exercises all help.

Delivered from Distraction by Edward M. Hallowell is an amazing resource.

Now that you know what’s been going on in your brain, it can start to get better. Don’t be afraid to ask for help, and even if it feels like you’re alone, know that there are millions of people struggling with ADHD, too. Lots of them successful. It can get better. <3