College Student looking for Answers

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    • #49361
      Britney07
      Participant

      Hello,
      I am female, 19 years old and was diagnosed with ADHD when I was 17. I guess being older I am able to notice differences in myself compared to others and I am having a hard time understanding what I can do to help myself. I have co-morbid anxiety and OCD. I am in the process of being tested for Sensory Processing Disorders. I am having issues with others telling me that my issues aren’t real and I am making all this up. What should I do? I struggle with friendships, family relationships, and dating. I am also trying to figure out where I am supposed to be and if I am going to be able to work. I am just lost and confused at what all is going on in my life and I just want help without having to talk to my parents.

    • #49452
      kelleyc416
      Participant

      Hi Britney,

      I was diagnosed with ADHD when I was 19, and I’ve been in treatment for the past 8 years. It was tough at the time because I had dropped out of college. To be perfectly honest, life with ADHD is not always easy.

      The best advice I can give you is, if you have a healthy relationship with your parents, you should consider sitting down to talk through what ADHD is about. Parents can be a useful support system. It’s extremely difficult to live with mental illness if you don’t have a safety net. If your relationship with your parents is strained, I would suggest seeking out a safety net either through your therapist or through group therapy.

      If the people who are tell you that your illnesses are made up are your friends, you should 1) try to explain what’s going to them, and if that doesn’t work 2) look for more understanding friends. This might not be easy. People can look at ADHD as a weakness rather than the gift that it can be… Sometimes having anxiety and ADHD (and I imagine with OCD as well) can be extremely lonely. But there are other people like you out there.

      As for dating, the best way to start is to learn how to build up your own confidence. Work on flirting. Learn how to read the signs that someone is into you and how to reciprocate. Learn to set healthy boundaries for yourself and for potential partners. You should also be honest and upfront with your partner about your ADHD (but save that for maybe a few weeks in).

      Though I still struggle with anxiety and ADHD–frequent shifts in focus are extremely frustrating–I’ve managed to finish college with degrees in two subjects and am now on my second master’s degree. Those aren’t paths for everyone with ADHD… I feel like giving up on my writing (poetry) nearly every day. Yet, part of having ADHD is learning to embrace creativity and the strangeness of your own brain.

      Know it is possible to achieve your own measure of success. You have to keep fighting for yourself.

      I hope this helps… I guess I’m telling you what I would’ve wanted to hear years ago.

      I struggled with all the issues you’re describing. Because I talked to my parents, we have developed a stronger, richer relationship. It took time for me to find love, but I have a stable and happy relationship.

      Although I struggle with my own negativity (which is caused by my perceived shortcomings), I have managed to achieve a great deal in only 8 years. But you can have a better life… I’m living proof of that.

      Much love,

      C.

      • #49522
        Britney07
        Participant

        Thank you both (@kelleyc416 and @ADHDmomma) I appreciate both of you trying to help me out. I have tried therapy to try talking about everything but I feel crazy when I try to talk about it. Is there any advice you can give me about trying to talk about my struggles without sounding like I am crazy?

      • #49692
        Penny Williams
        Keymaster

        I think the key is to find the right therapist. If you work with someone who understands ADHD and any other diagnoses you may have, you won’t sound “crazy” to them. They will know how to talk with you to formulate a list of goals based on your needs. CBT could be a very helpful form of therapy.

        Challenge Your Thoughts, Change Your Life

        Penny
        ADDitude Community Moderator, Author & Mentor on Parenting ADHD, Mom to teen w/ ADHD, LDs, and autism

    • #49491
      Penny Williams
      Keymaster

      I love what @kelleyc416 shared. The first step is to know it can get better, and seek help and support (and treatment if you’re not already getting it).

      Take a look at your strengths and what interests you/what you enjoy. This information will start you on the path to improvement.

      Your Strengths Inventory: Repairing Self-Esteem After an ADHD Diagnosis

      As for relationships, they’re often tough to navigate for many people, but especially those with ADHD. It’s not just you! Here are some strategies for better relationships:

      “Why Don’t I Have Any Friends?”

      Finding New Friends

      Penny
      ADDitude Community Moderator, Author & Mentor on Parenting ADHD, Mom to teen w/ ADHD, LDs, and autism

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