Adult ADHD

What They Don’t Tell You About Getting an Adult ADHD Diagnosis

The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Queen’s U chapter.

I spent most of my grade school years tormented by my educational responsibilities. Some of the worst days of my academic career occurred on report card days. Usually, the teachers who wrote my report cards would take it as an opportunity to let my parents know I was a string of adjectives: “unorganized,” “unfocused,” “irresponsible,” and so on. Unfortunately, my ADHD-mangled memory did not fail to remember those lovely descriptors of my character.

Despite the obvious signs of ADHD/ADD I displayed in my childhood, I only recently received an official diagnosis confirming what I long suspected.

Getting diagnosed with a disorder that affects quite a few spheres of life in the midst of completing my higher education was a blessing, but it also came with some challenges. The most personally gratifying consequence of my diagnosis was my discovery that I wasn’t just lazy, unorganized and irresponsible. Maybe I am some of those things sometimes—like many others— but to know that there is something else explaining some of the traits I exhibited, verified that I was more than just some of my worst habits.

Adjusting your adult life around a new ADHD diagnosis can be difficult. Here are a few things I’ve learned on my journey to embracing and living in tandem with my ADHD.

Your TikTok ‘For You’ page, among other… questionable sources, will attempt to sell you an idea of what ADHD is/looks like

Living in an era of digital information at our fingertips is both a blessing and a curse. It’s a paradox that holds true for the dissemination of medical advice on the internet and social media, too.

My ‘fyp’ page hasn’t been the same since the findings of TikTok’s data collection gave them reason to believe I’m interested in ADHD content. I get sent ADHD TikToks by my friends or come across them on my own, daily. Some of that content may hold merit, while other sources are less relevant to me or contain misinformation.

I’ve spent enough time on TikTok to clock the pattern in mental health trends. Different topics and lifestyle/health advice enter the trend cycle, and then a couple of months later, the general consensus online is that the trend may not have been the best advice after all. Media literacy is an important skill to keep up to date with and apply to any medical information you come across.

There is no one-size-fits-all all ADHD experience/solution 

Like with any medical condition, individual experiences with ADHD differ depending on a variety of factors. For me, copying someone else’s exact framework to solve my issues associated with ADHD has been ineffective. I find it helpful to implement tools into my life that are inspired by multiple sources. Sometimes, using other people’s experiences or tips as a benchmark, or even a guideline for how to live your life with ADHD, is helpful. Sometimes, it’s not. Account for personal differences when seeking ADHD treatment options.

What you find works for you will likely result from your individual process of trial and error. Don’t be discouraged by that process. The process of discovery in terms of becoming cognizant of your disability and how to integrate solutions can be challenging in many ways. Sometimes ADHD makes you feel like you’re playing a constant game of catchup. Cut yourself some slack!

For all the memory loss, executive function, and concentration issues my ADHD has given me, I can appreciate all the positive qualities it adds to my life now.

Did any part of this article ring true for you? Whether you suspect you have ADHD or just received your diagnosis, make sure you’re speaking with a medical professional to ensure you receive accurate information on the disorder.

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