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Late Diagnosis of ADHD

HannahShortisHannahShortis Member Posts: 4 Listener
edited November 2020 in Education and learning
Hi my name is Hannah,

I am currently in my final year of my psychology degree and I am really struggling. It feels like with all the added pressure my ADHD symptoms are at an all time high and the problem is I don’t understand them or know how to reduce them. I have a student advisor offered by my university who gives me support and keeps me on track however I sometimes feel like she’s noticing things in me that make me struggle that I can’t notice in myself or that don’t get communicated to me. As I psychologist I am very interested in my own brain functioning but the more I read about ADHD or read my diagnostic paperwork I feel like I have just been handed a load of problems with little solutions. Currently my main issues lie with increased anxiety, disorganisation, lack of motivation (despite anxiety about upcoming grades) and poor productivity. 

I wasn’t diagnosed with ADHD until I was 17 and didn’t receive any support until I got to University. I feel like I am coping but my quality of life is definitely not the same as it is when I have lots of work pressure. I enjoy my degree and what I am learning and have high aspirations so to be struggling like this in my third year increases my anxiety and makes me feel a little hopeless and useless when considering my future prospects and work outcomes. I am yet to do poorly in work I hand in but I will be handing in work very soon. 

Wondered if anyone had any suggestions on how they deal with work pressures. 

Thanks

Hannah

Replies

  • Tori_ScopeTori_Scope Posts: 4,513

    Scope community team

    edited November 2020
    Hello and welcome to the community @HannahShortis :) It's great to have you here.

    It's totally understandable that you'd feel a bit overwhelmed by the pressure. The final year of university is a stressful time for most students, so I understand that it'd be a lot harder with the added difficulty of a pretty recent ADHD diagnosis, plus the changes coronavirus has brought about.
    I have a student advisor offered by my university who gives me support and keeps me on track however I sometimes feel like she’s noticing things in me that make me struggle that I can’t notice in myself or that don’t get communicated to me.
    It's good that you have a student advisor, but it doesn't sound like you're getting what you need from her. Have you explained your concerns over your workload and how to manage your symptoms to her? Have you told her that you don't feel as though she's communicating with you well enough? 
     I feel like I have just been handed a load of problems with little solutions
    I think a lot of people can relate to this! When you were diagnosed, were you offered any treatments such as medication or talking therapy?

    You've also mentioned that you have increased anxiety at the moment. Have you spoken to your GP about this, or does your university have a counselling service you could access? It's very common to experience anxiety with ADHD, so it might help if you get some specialist support for your anxiety too. 

    Is your student advisor able to help you with your organisational skills? You've said that she helps to keep you on track, but is she able to teach you new skills to keep yourself organised? What specific problems do you experience regarding organisation and motivation? 

    You're definitely not hopeless or useless :) You're absolutely right to have high aspirations, it sounds like you just need some more support to help you manage your ADHD.

    Sorry for asking a thousand questions :D It'll just help us to help you if we understand a little more about what support you're accessing at the moment. Let me know if you need me to break it down any more.

    I don't know if it'll be useful to you, but here's an article on tips for college students with ADHD that might be worth a read.
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  • HannahShortisHannahShortis Member Posts: 4 Listener
    edited November 2020
    Hi @Tori_Scope,

    Honestly did not expect any kind of response. I have spoken to my supervisor and she mostly just suggests that I need to keep working and try to reduce my anxiety because it doesn’t help my workload. 

    I was offered Ritalin but if I am honest I was scared to try any kind of medication and I have heard mixed information about whether or not people actually find Ritalin helpful with their ADHD and as I had gone so long without it I didn’t want to change anything before I took my exams. I was never offered any therapy, my school at the time were unsupportive about me getting a diagnosis and it was a psychiatrist who I saw for a mental health experience I had who recommended my mother get me tested. 

    I haven’t really considered counselling if I am honest due to how strapped down with work I am at the moment but maybe that would be beneficial for me come the end of my degree. 

    I keep myself very organised thanks to my student advisor. I have constant schedules and reminders but it seems lately I’m beginning to forget things as I step out of my normal routine to complete things like coursework. I also lose productivity and motivation to complete my coursework because it often feels like too much pressure and I end up avoiding it until I feel like I’m rushing. I’m practically doing ok however lately my self-confidence in my work is lacking. Which makes me less motivated. 


    Thanks you so much for all this support however, I have tried to join groups specifically for ADHD individuals however most of the time I get ignored. I was happily suprised by the engagement on the site. I don’t feel really I have been able to come to terms with my diagnosis because nobody’s really informed me much about it. 

    Thanks 

    Hannah 
  • Ross_ScopeRoss_Scope Posts: 3,542

    Scope community team

    It's a shame that you feel as though you've been ignored on those other groups @HannahShortis, that can't have been very nice to experience. This community will always try and support you.

    Not been a uni student myself in the past, but I'm glad your advisor seems to be helping you in some areas. Just wanted to say to keep doing your best and I'm sure you'll get the outcome you want :) 

    Counselling would be a good option for you going forward, however I understand it can be hard to fit it in alongside study, you're probably busy enough as it is. Somebody close to me wanted to have counselling while they were at university but could not find the time.
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  • HannahShortisHannahShortis Member Posts: 4 Listener
    @Ross_Scope Thank you yeah it might be something I consider after University but right now I am definitely focused on my education. Hopefully it won't heavily impact my study. Thank you for welcoming me though

    Hannah
  • Ross_ScopeRoss_Scope Posts: 3,542

    Scope community team

    I hope not as well, good luck with the rest of your education @HannahShortis :) 
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