My 18 year old was just diagnosed please help!

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    • #166793

      Hi all,
      I am new here as my 18 year old high school Senior was just diagnosed a few days ago with ADHD and severe anxiety. I’m overwhelmed and feeling alone especially since the timing can’t be worse with all that is going on in the world. My son doesn’t seem to want to even talk about it and he’s not even sure he wants to take medication even though it’s been strongly recommended. He leaves for college in a few months and I know the window is small to get a handle on this. Please have anyone been in this boat that can help ?

    • #166929

      I am in my mid 20s, I was diagnosed when I was in University (college) with ADHD and anxiety and was put on medication. I think this happened in my third year of a four year degree.

      I was relived but also confused so to what this meant for me and did it mean i was different to everyone else?
      My mum was very supportive and came to my appointments with me, she was also overwhelmed and she is a pretty anxious person.

      I think your son is most likely processing what has happened and thinking about what it means for his future. It has only been a few days and this is big news it is a permanent change that impacts your life going forward. The thing is so focus on the positives, now it is diagnosed he can choose to take medication if he wants or he can continue as he is and if he gets overwhelmed at College he can decide to go on the medication to help.

      It can be confronting to start taking something that has an impact on your brain but it helped to talk to a friend that had ADHD and to be reminded that you are normal and you are who you are the medication just helps you to concentrate more and makes life easier when you need it.

      My mum often tells me this is a good thing and that in some ways i am like two people. I am creative and excitable and float around a bit and come up with great solutions and enjoy working with people, then on my medication I can also get down to business and get my work done. In alot of ways my creativity had helped me at work and I have learned to manage the concentration better.

      I know your som is going to college soon and you feel you only have a few months to help him. Try to remember this is ongoing and he will learn how to better manage over the coming years. a few months to get him ready for college is good he is lucky that he has been diagnosed before he started and now can access the resources he needs to do well.

      I am hoping that the accepts the help and dosent stress you out too much. Try to remember your son will most likely pick up on your worries and enhance his own anxieties. So try to stay calm and remind him he is fine. He is lucky to have you there for him and together you will work this out.

      Whilst medication helps alot i have also learned there are other ways that help manage this and they go hand in hand. Like for example a physchiatrist told me to use a calendar that had each hour of the day on it and the night before i sit and write what i will do and when for the next day. Its a guideline and it helps me to stay on track.

      Let me know if you have any questions I will try my best to help.

    • #167137
      Penny Williams

      I agree that he’s probably grappling with the diagnosis and what it means. I’d let him know you’re there to talk about it when he’s ready, and remind him that he’s the same person today that he was a week ago before diagnosis, now he just has a name for the struggles.

      I’d also give serious consideration to the question of wether he’ll truly be ready for college/able to succeed this fall. Most neurotypicals struggle to hold it together as freshman in college. With lagging executive functioning skills of ADHD, it’s 10 times harder. I’m not saying he can’t do it and succeed this fall, I’m saying spend a lot of time thinking about it, talking about it, and being honest with yourselves about it. If he goes forward as planned this fall, make sure he has a plan in place and lots of support, and work on establishing tools and strategies to help him succeed before college starts.

      Good to Go (to College)

      Conquering College

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

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