Reply To: ADD is Ruining My Life

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#55777
E.L.S
Participant

Wow I have so much respect for everyone in this thread and I think you are all truely amazing people who I encourage to keep going, my situation is a little different from most others here, I live in the UK, do have a family that believes in ADD and ADHD and i had just turned 18 when I got tested but I can share a lot of your feelings and experiences in a sense, my little brother exhibited early signs of having ADD, I’m talking around 3/4 and wasn’t able to get properly diagnosed and medicated until several years later. It was a long process for my mum and dad who really struggled to get him the help, at this time they were asked if they wanted any of their other children tested to see if they had ADD as well, I was around 11/12 by this stage and they said no there was no way I had it, I mean I had always not just done well in school but excelled and seemed to have no trouble with my memory as I could remember things from years ago. However over time I felt things get harder and harder I forgot what people had asked me to do which led to many fights with my parents. I would find myself zoning out in class then panicking when I realised I hadn’t been listening. Trying to keep myself organised was so hard and revising and trying to keep my attention on the page was more difficult with every year and set of exams, having to reread over and over because I hadn’t been taking the information in. Things reached breaking point in my lower 6th year during my AS I was doing maths economics and physics I had got good grades in them in my gcse but from the offset I really struggled. My parents got me tutors and seemed to thing I just wasn’t trying but I was I was trying so hard and nothing was getting better. Thinking back I can honestly say during this time I was severally depressed, my brother who was being medicated was thriving in school top of his year group whereas I had slipped to the very bottom. Everything was so easy for my friends who I used to be on par with but now I worked harder than any of them stayed up late to put in the extra work to still do worse than them. I spent a lot of time frustrated and in tears cause I couldn’t understand what was happening to me, I even self harmed once because I felt so overwhelmed. I didn’t know what was going to happen to me I was positive I would fail the year and what would happen to my future then, I tried to tell my friends how bad it was but they thought I was over reacting, they only believed me when it came to results day and I got two E’s and U, it was honestly the worst day of my life I had never felt so ashamed or at a loss for where my life was going I had never even got a D before. I can’t speak for the US but schooling is tough in the U.K. It’s incredibly competive and you can’t even think about getting into university that’s half decent unless you’ve a minimum of 3 b’s and without uni there really wasn’t much chance of a good job. My mum and dad however unknown to me had organised for me to see that doctor who had asked them years ago if they wanted any other children tested. I went without much hope and told them I know I’m going to past the test it’s just me there’s no reason for my brain being so stupid but they made me go anyway and we had to fill out a questionnaire before hand and I was surprise at some of the questions and why they were relevant but also how they applied to me. “Do you tend to blurt out something without thinking about how it will affect others” yes, “do you have organisational problems” yes “do you find yourself zoning out” yes and so on, of course there were some that didn’t apply as it was a questionnaire for both ADD and ADHD and I was not hyperactive. But when my result from the tests came we went to the doctor again and he spoke to me by myself asking my about my school experience I told him how hard things had got and he called my mum and dad back in. He told them she 100% has ADD as well, I couldn’t believe it but as he explained it all it all made sense and I couldn’t help but cry. ADD and ADHD can have different symptoms in girls and sometimes be much harder to spot he also said that because I had been trying so hard for so long I had manage to mask my difficulties until final it became to much this year and I just broke. He’d seen my school reports and looking at them all from P1 to lower sixth there was a slow decrease in my scores that he said would have been much more apparent if I hadn’t been working so hard to try to maintain them. My questionnaire and tests backed this up and I just couldn’t believe after all this time I had ADD too. I am now medicated, made the tough decision to resist the year without my friends and changed subjects to more coursework based subjects that didn’t relie on one exam on one day that my memory had to remember everything I’d learnt, now I’m in upper sixth finally, I got 2 A’s last year and a C and I’m awaiting my final A level results next week with 5 university offers as well as an apprenticeship job offer with one of the leading accounting firms in the world. I know this was long but I really wanted to share my experience and hope it helps someone else, I know it’s not the same but staying behind with a year group of people younger than me that I didn’t know and all just assumed I was stupid was hard and I wanted to give it many times in those two years but I know if I had I would not have anywhere near as many good opportunities for my future as I do now. So please keep going, it’s a struggle for people like us and it’s not fair we have to work twice as hard to keep up but ADD and ADHD is not a sign of bad parenting and it didn’t mean I was stupid like I thought, my brain is just special, unique, it works differently and needs a little extra help at times to allow me to reach my full potential and so does yours. I wish you all the best!