Pre diagnosis doubts and worries

Home Welcome to the ADDitude Forums For Teens and Young Adults with ADHD Pre diagnosis doubts and worries

Viewing 1 reply thread
  • Author
    • #112880

      Hi, I’m a 20 yr old female university student, and I’ve recently seen a walk in family physician about potentially having ADHD. Based off of the screening results, he said that I might have it and sent my results to the campus wellness center. Now I’m waiting a month until I can see another physician before I can get referred to a psychiatrist. Even though I tested positive and I believe my answers were the truth, I can’t help but feel as if I’m wasting my time, if it’s just me being lazy and inconsiderate like my family always told me while I was growing up. I was fairly well-mannered and did very well in elementary and high school, which is something that really sets me apart from all the information about ADHD online, because it almost always says that children struggle in school and tend to get in trouble. On the other hand I’ve always struggled with putting things away and losing things, no matter how many times I was yelled at for it. I’ve had a fidgeting problem for as long as I could remember, and I got away with procrastination a lot because I found that the stuff I learned in school wasn’t that hard and I worked great under pressure. I’m doubting whether these were symptoms or not.

      It was only until university where I started noticing things getting worse. I couldn’t just sit down and start studying and doing homework like other students could, it was nearly impossible. I couldn’t manage my time to finish assignments and study, everyone told me that that would be something I would learn how to do eventually but I’m at the end of my third year and I still can’t do it. I’m losing things left and right and I leave things places and forget about them, which drives my housemate crazy. I find myself drifting off during lectures or when my best friend is telling me a story (I do well at hiding it but I feel terrible for doing it). I’ll spend HOURS doing useless hobbies or activities when I know I have a deadline coming up (I’m doing it right now). And I’m starting to miss deadlines and meetings (I either have to come up with an excuse, hand in things late, or just hand in whatever I could scrape up last minute). All the while, I’m thinking to myself “why are you doing this to yourself?”, “just open it up and get it done!”, “just start _____ already!”. But I can’t? Starting tasks and projects feels like I’m lugging a ball and chain, and when I actually sit down and open up my computer to start working, it’s like none of the words I read actually get through, or it feels like a massive writer’s block when I try to write. It’s so frustrating because I know I can do better, but I just don’t.

      Now that ADHD is a possibility I feel like that explains things but it also feels like I’m trying to make up excuses. What if I’m just not working hard enough like everyone else? I can’t get a diagnosis until after exams are over, so now I feel like I’m this limbo, unsure of whether or not something is wrong with me or if I’m just being lazy. Has anyone else ever felt this way? I feel like I’m being very silly…

    • #113005

      Hi! I’m currently in the process of getting diagnosed as well. This looks like the story of my life and after posting on social media about it, the story of lots of young women I know who are very successful.

      I’m actually a dentist. Straight A student. 4 years of college, followed immediately by 4 years of Dental school and I excelled “on paper”. My transcripts look great, but my brain says otherwise. Oh I’m also 32 and just now figuring out that I have no clue how I made it this far.

      In elementary school, I struggled with homework at the very first moment but my parents thought I was just lazy/unfocused. Honestly, I’m not even sure she really cared a whole lot. I found out quickly that straight A’s brought attention and notariety. Worked my butt off for As.

      In high school, A’s kept my parents happy and proud and also brought on the possibility of scholarships and dental school. Done.

      In college, I had my first misstep and failed my first exam in math which is my favorite subject. My best friend suggested I go to her class. I learned to cling to friends who knew what they were doing and mimicked their behavior to the best of my ability. Copying friends, I learned how to use a planner and I had study buddies which forced me to attempt to focus on a daily basis. While they were planning out their semester and getting studying accomplished ahead of time, I was constantly asking then what they were working on so that I could just remember to keep up. These same habits took me through dental school, where my grades were not as stellar because my goal was no longer to apply to the next program, but rather to survive with as much knowledge as I could keep in my brain.

      A lifetime of booking and purging information the night before an exam is not really the best way to learn. I wouldn’t have survived college and dental school without those friends, but it didn’t make me much better of a studier.

      So now I’m parenting a child and living with a spouse and WE ARE STRUGGLING day to day. My physician warned me that there was a good chance the psychiatrist wouldn’t believe me because I’m so successful. I can’t even remember to start the laundry let alone finish a load. I’ve forgotten to feed my dogs receipt they’re vocal about it. I forget to make dinner for my family until it’s too late. When I do cook, I burn things, plan poorly, and never get the results I want.

      I’m getting a referral for neuropsych evaluation and I’m nervous but so relieved. My friends all experienced the same thing I did and all have graduate degrees, one is a very successful lawyer. You aren’t alone. It’s quite common for ADHD folks to have been very successful in school at least for a time. Then at some point we can’t keep it up any more and we can’t figure out what the heck is wrong with us.

Viewing 1 reply thread

You must be logged in to reply to this topic.