Reply To: Academically-Inclined Folks w/ADHD?


I was diagnosed around age 40 with ADHD. That really didn’t come as a surprise to me since I often related to many symptoms but I don’t fit the public’s phenotype. I am very successful in life, have a Ph.D. in biochemistry and I am never late for anything. It took me 6 years to finish college after several major changes. Graduate school took a while too since I couldn’t stay focused to hit the finish line until external pressure hit me. In my career, I shifted my specialty a few times too. The diagnosis was very helpful and I realized my struggles were real and I learned there were people and things that could help me in life. Stimulants & a good therapist changed my life for the better in adulthood. A few years after the ADHD diagnosis, I was also diagnosed with OCD (once again not the typical phenotype). This also helped explain a lot but unfortunately my body has been unable to tolerate any pharmacotherpy for OCD but ERP therapy works wonders.
The bottom line is that you may not fit the phenotype for the diagnosis. That’s ok. Get a good team to work with you; a good psychiatrist and ADHD coach/therapist, surround yourself with people at work who fill gaps in your strengths, stay close to friends who understand you (even if they dont know the diagnosis), don’t hang around with people who do not bring value to your life. Find what motivates you and build your career around that.
ADHD is a super power and use your powers for good. 😉