At the beginning of sophomore year, I started developing symptoms of ADHD. It was pretty much the normal signs: attention problems, disorganization, forgetting things, etc. My mother recognized it first (because she had gone through the same with with my brother years earlier, had it herself, and knew there was a history of ADHD in the family) and decided that I should get diagnosed so I could get the medications I needed to function.
A few problems arose, however. First, my therapist wanted to treat me for depression and screwed me over (which you can read about in “When Therapy Goes Bad“). Second and most importantly, I refused to believe that I had ADHD.
That combination meant that my ADHD would go undiagnosed for two more years.
And during that time, the combination of my symptoms and normal high school insecurities led to low self-esteem, depression, and anxiety that I still haven’t been able to shake.
Furthermore, I sincerely believe that if I had been medicated earlier in high school, I probably would have done better both socially and academically. Instead, I’m a socially anxious girl who got rejected from close to ten colleges.
So please, if you think you might have ADHD, or are experiencing some of those symptoms, talk to your doctor. You might be able to get some kind of help, or at least some tips on how to deal with your symptoms.
And if you’re a parent and aren’t sure whether to have your kid tested, or don’t want to believe that your kid has ADHD, please reconsider. There’s nothing shameful about having ADHD, and the negative consequences of undiagnosed ADHD are too much to ignore.