Diagnosed In College

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    • #101776

      Hi everyone. I was recently diagnosed with adhd and I’m having a hard time with the grief. I’ve been going to counseling for anxiety off and on all my life and 8 or so weeks in my counselor looks at me and tells me she believes I have adhd. Some test and a few days later I’m on Adderall. I’m still shocked. It makes perfect sense and I have a reason for why I have always been the way I am however I’m extremely aggravated I’m just finding out. And I do not know how to feel about the medication. While I’m on it, it’s like basically I’ve put on glasses and I see everything so much different and I’m having a hard time adjusting. Any advice? I actually had a stranger at school ask me if I was okay and this freaked me out. I feel like myself on the inside but I feel as if anyone finds out I’m “different” they won’t understand especially since I’m in college and so many college kids abuse it. I had a friend go to the doctor and lied about her symptoms to get the medication and I’m so scared I’m going to be labeled in that category. I honestly did not think I had adhd and I was not seeking the medication. I don’t want to be on it I want to be normal. I don’t even think my family believes me. They told me to ask my psychiatrist to put me on a non stimulant. I feel so alone like no one understands me and that I’m having to figure out everything on my own. The medication also causes me to to have social anxiety now because I don’t talk off my head and I just know people know I’m different. I can act perfectly normal around friends but I raised my hand to ask a question in class the other day and I could barely get out words. I’m pretty sure I was going to fail most my classes this semester as we are at the half way mark but now I feel as if there’s a good chance so I have to stick with the medication but it just worries me and I can’t stand this feeling of now relying on something els. Any one els feel this way?

    • #101889
      Penny Williams

      You have to do what’s best for you. Medication is one tool to help you have the opportunity for success in your endeavors. You are different, and that’s ok. To succeed, you have to accept the diagnosis and the fact that you need to treat it. You wouldn’t shame yourself if you became diabetic and needed insulin, so don’t shame yourself for this.

      Your After-Diagnosis Survival Guide

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

    • #102102

      WOW. At least you have doctors that will diagnose you. Here is Australia, if a person is not diagnosed before the age of seven then it is impossible to be diagnosed at all and therefore no chance of any help whatsoever. So this is why I started on this site as it is the only help I can access. I think with medication it would be a case of whether or not it helps to achieve your goals in life. If it does then perhaps give it a chance. And keep talking to this forum. For me this is my only link with other ADHD people. I have tried here in Australia but there seems to be nothing available. Thanks to whoever put up this site. Thank you!!!

    • #102111

      Hi Connerrr!

      First of all, know that you are not alone. I was diagnosed in college, too, and while it was a relief, it was also scary. It was frustrating to think that my entire childhood was so much harder than it needed to be. It changes the whole way you view yourself, and the people who have known you your whole life don’t understand. It opens up a pandora’s box of emotions. It’s okay. That’s normal.

      It is great that you have found a counsellor who sees your symptoms and understands you. She can be a great resource while getting through this adjustment period. Share your anxieties with her, and I’m sure she will have some resources to help you.

      See if you can find a few ADDers at your school to connect with. Having ADD friends can help you feel less alone and more understood. It can also help you accept your diagnosis and who you are.

      Medication can seem scary, but when used properly, it’s usually harmless. Be honest with your counselor about how the medication makes you feel. If you feel it’s helping you in school, give it a fair chance. I had anxiety when I was diagnosed with ADHD, too, and they prescribed an antidepressant to balance out the effects of the stimulant.

      There are several other things you can do to help the ADHD, too. Whenever I’m feeling anxious about my ADHD, it helps to do things I CAN control to help myself. Exercising, getting enough sleep, and mindfulness exercises all help.

      Delivered from Distraction by Edward M. Hallowell is an amazing resource.

      Now that you know what’s been going on in your brain, it can start to get better. Don’t be afraid to ask for help, and even if it feels like you’re alone, know that there are millions of people struggling with ADHD, too. Lots of them successful. It can get better. <3

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