“I Realized I Had ADHD (and Got Help) When…”
Do you remember your big “aha” moment – when you finally realized there was a name for what you were dealing with? These readers share their stories of realizing they had ADHD.
I was in my 30s and I could not sit still and concentrate in class. I found it hard to keep my home and personal life organized as well. That’s when I went for an evaluation.
Professional circumstances prompted me to get a full neuropsychological evaluation at age 36. Once the diagnosis was made, I did some research and it confirmed that I had all the common signs of adult ADHD. We need to continue to educate the public about adult ADHD, so more people can get help earlier — for themselves and for the sake of their spouse and children.
–An ADDitude Reader
My world fell apart at 34 years old. I had always felt that there was something I wasn’t getting. I felt like I was floating through life with no real direction or purpose. I was living from one crisis to the next. It wasn’t until last summer, when I saw how much these things affected my children’s lives (I am a single mom), that I decided I needed help. My counselor pointed out the possibility of ADHD and recommended that I get tested. I am still new to the diagnosis, but I don’t feel so alone anymore.
When my child was diagnosed, I decided to have my symptoms checked out. Bingo.
–Ann, New York
I could not remember things, used wrong words in sentences, and froze in conversations because I forgot what I was talking about. When I saw my internist, he recommended that I get neurological testing. I was diagnosed with ADHD.
–Eve Govea, Plainfield, Illinois
I was 19 and started failing in college. It turns out I have ADHD and dyslexia. I am amazed that I made it as far as I did.
–Stefanie, Lowell, Massachusetts
I never considered that I might have ADHD, because I didn’t think that girls developed it or that boys grow out of it. I was wrong on both counts. A few years ago, I saw an advertisement for Strattera with an ADHD quiz printed on it. There were six questions, and I answered yes to five of them. I took the card to a counselor who was a friend of mine and talked with her. That’s when I sought help. With the diagnosis, many questions about my life have been answered. My first response was, “It has a name!”
Another person shared his diagnosis with me, and I had the same behaviors and symptoms. It explained my whole life.
Both of my children have ADHD. My mother lived with us for a while, and, as she watched my son get up from the dinner table repeatedly, she said, “You know that was you at his age.”
–An ADDitude Reader
I realized I might have ADHD after my daughter’s teacher pointed out that my daughter was having trouble focusing and was daydreaming in class. I had similar challenges in my own childhood. I concluded that the “apple doesn’t fall far from the tree.”
–Carolyn, Winston-Salem, North Carolina
Updated on May 26, 2021