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I was diagnosed at 41 and only after I was seeking help due to severe anxiety influenced by overextending myself to take care of my family while my wife recovered from a surgery. I did fairly well in school up until grade 11 and my grades slid. My alternate (radical) views on things and my inability to to help others see different view points caused me to not care. My attitude was if people were so constrained in their thinking that continually led led to undesirable outcomes, why should I care anymore about anything? I lived in a small town so that limited people’s exposure to different ideas.
Thankfully, I managed to graduate high school and ended up working at a job with men who were twice my age and earned a few dollars an hour more than I did. This lit a fire under me to not be like them. With with my mom’s help, I got into college.
In highschool, I sat as far in the back as I could do as not to interact. This also caused me to be easily distracted and daydream while drawing in my notebook. In college, I sat right up front in the middle middle to avoid distraction and be forced to pay attention. I also discovered I couldn’t see well and being up front I didn’t have to struggle to see the board. While I didn’t know I had ADHD at 18, I knew enough about myself to find ways to overcome those obstacles. It also helped that going to college in the city exposed me to other ideas and a and the willingness of others want to learn and share. That led me to make friends who could keep me accountable to keeping up with my homework. I hope the college you go to will also have services to help you Excel. If I could tell my younger self one thing, it would be to be brave and go seek help from those services. I was conditioned to believe that bad mental health was a character flaw and that seeking help was an admission I was a bad person. Sadly, that is still the general societal attitude today, however, with the internet and many celebrities talking about their conditions (Michael Phelps, Justin Timberlake), it’s a little easier to get help than it was 25 years ago.