I have felt the way you feel. I’m 24 and just got my diagnosis this past January. In high school and college I literally had the same reason for not pursuing a formal diagnosis and treatment- I didn’t want to look like I was just asking for drugs. And the reality is, I wasn’t just looking for drugs. I was looking for help and I had (good) reason to believe drugs would be part of that.
Unfortunately the process has been a bit excruciating so far. I pride myself on my work a lot, but I’m failing to thrive at a new job. I know I’m capable of handling the job really well, but I just can’t seem to make myself “do the things!” That’s what drove me to pursue a diagnosis and treatment.
But like I said, I was diagnosed at the beginning of the year and Im not on stimulants. My psychologist wanted to deal with my depression first. But even with years of CBT under my belt and the help of an SSRI, I’m still having the same struggle. I’m just as depressed, but I’ve spent $3,000 out of pocket for psychiatrist appointments and 2 hospitalizations (for suicidal thoughts). And a lot of time off work.
Get help, but brace yourself for the fact that help may come very slowly, and you almost definitely wont walk out of your first appointment feeling like you’ve found a solution.
And if you fear judgement, really try and find an ADHDspecialist because they will not judge you.