Support & Stories

“The First Thing I Did After My ADHD Diagnosis”

Cry? Laugh? Throw yourself into research? There are millions of ways to respond to an ADHD diagnosis. Here’s how our readers reacted when they got that life-changing news.

A man climbing a ladder to open a woman's head, metaphor for being diagnosed with ADHD
Door head woman man ladder pink blue illustration

I stayed on my computer for days learning about the condition. I had no idea I had it. My life finally made sense to me. I also now understood my children better (two of them have ADHD).
Nancy, Melbourne, Australia

I got on social media and joined a couple of groups. It was stunning to find others like me.
An ADDitude Reader

I read everything I could find on inattentive ADHD. I researched meds and non-med alternatives. Then I wrote a Wellness Recovery Action Plan for myself.
Lara Snide, Grand Rapids, Michigan

I forgave myself, saw a counselor, and told my family. I read articles about adults and moms with ADHD on
Shannon Penfield, New York

I called my mom. She said, “I know.” I said, “Why didn’t you tell me?” She said, “I didn’t want you to be labeled.”
Rene Hitz, Minneapolis, Minnesota

[Self-Test: ADHD Symptoms in Adults]

I let out a sigh of relief, and I moved quickly to get a prescription for medicine. Immediately after taking it, I had an Aha moment. I called my doctor and said, “This is how a brain is supposed to work.”
Audrey, California

I told my family and friends, and I gave them materials to learn about ADHD, so they knew how to support me. Then I made an appointment with a psychiatrist to discuss treatment.
P.L., Kelowna, British Columbia, Canada

I cried! There is no “welcome to your new life — here is the support we can offer you” guide! I had to find out everything myself.
An ADDitude Reader

I questioned the diagnosis. I had no clue that my thinking, perceptions, and struggles were different from most people’s. Boy, was I wrong. I’m discovering that it’s a good “different,” though.
Debbie, La Habra, California

[Free Resource: The Professionals Who Diagnose & Treat ADHD]

I celebrated! I had an explanation for my crazy life. But my celebration turned to anger and sorrow. I realized that I was going to have to live with it for the rest of my life.
Molly Worthington, St. George, Utah

I left my psychiatrist’s office and wandered around the city in a daze for hours before finally catching the train home.
An ADDitude Reader

I smacked myself in the head. I’m a therapist, and I somehow missed the obvious for 30 years.
Melissa Jensen, Edwardsville, Illinois