A New Member Looks Forward

By Nicole 

I am a 23 year old first year graduate student at NYU. I was diagnosed with ADD (now ADHD-inattentive type) when I was 7 years old. I have never fully accepted the fact that I have this difference. I believed and have had medical professionals tell me that it’s something that goes away as you mature. 

My primary physician led me to believe I could become addicted to the medicine I took for ADD.  (This was right before entering my first year of college). Up until last fall, I’ve relied mostly on holistic and dietary approaches for treatment.  My physician did start me on a low dosage of Adderall in order to not become “addicted.” I learned the hard way that these approaches alone did not work for me. 

By trial and error I have found that a combination of medication, diet, yoga and meditation has helped me reach the balance I need to perform at my best.

I was very anxious as I faced my first midterm exams. Reluctantly, for the first time in my life I had to share my diagnosis with my professors and school so I could get the proper help.  I did not want my professors to think I wasn’t intelligent or I was making excuses for my poor behavior. I have benefitted from the accommodations the school made and it has helped.

I still sometimes feel the stigma of my diagnoses and am uncomfortable in revealing my ADHD. I hope someday soon it will be much easier to be open about ADHD. I am slowly (but surely) learning how to advocate for myself by reading about adult ADHD, sharing my experiences, and joining organizations such as ADDA. Receiving the free student membership will allow me to finally be a part of a community, after years of self-isolation.

    • May 5, 2017

    I could totally relate as I’m a first year grad student battling ADHD as well. In contrast to undergrad I’m finding it more difficult to devote more energy towards the graduate program since I am working a demanding 9 to 5 job doing technical support by phone. My classes are mostly online and self taught which may not be ideal for someone with ADHD. My doctor has prescribed wellbutrin and Adderall XR making the symtoms worse. I’m looking for an alternative dietary supplement that will help with counter act the symptoms to enhance my production after work.

  1. Reply

    I cant believe i m writting now, but i am concerned about some aspect of my life , job opportunities it seems that i cant keep a job as hard as i tried and this is in some part because of Adhd or for some other problems what do you think? The other day i lost my montly bus pass and i am very worried i dont want things like that happen at work and i ended up losing it what would you recomend i should do ? I accept suggestions. Thanks miluska

      • Crystal L Walters
      • May 16, 2017

      Hello Miluska,
      It sounds as if you need some external, real-life help that is outside of the abilities of these posts. May I encourage you to discuss these topics with your counselor or a local agency that assists people with job searches? These type of programs will help you find work! In our state, it is the unemployment office. Also, our neighborhood has an entire 3-week program that will teach you how to write your resume, market yourself and network to find work. They won’t be able to help with losing the bus pass, but your doctor or therapist might! We ADHD-ers all know the frustration with losing things and keeping a job, so please know that I feel your frustration and fear. Take care and God Bless.

    • Dee Dee
    • April 29, 2017

    Nicole, I feel like I just want to hug you and tell you to embrace that vulnerable part of yourself, care for it tenderly, as it seems like you are doing, and open yourself up to all the help and support you can. In saying this, I realize I am seeing a younger part of myself in you, though I had no idea that I was even struggling with anything at your age – only that parts of my life seemed harder to me than perhaps they did to others.

    I was not diagnosed with ADD (I have your type and I like the old term better) until I was twice your age. I, too, am new here and am struggling with all that it means, feeling defective, but also realizing how much support is out there and how good it feels when other people understand your day to day struggles and can help you feel less “crazy” about them. I feel like I’ve lost the ability to laugh at myself and am looking forward to being able to do that again.

    I want you to know – I’m learning myself – that there are more of us out there than either of us know. I’m looking forward to meeting more of us and to taking this journey with you. 🙂

    • karen ferrara
    • April 26, 2017

    Nicole i would like to know the diet you follow that has helped you.

      • Nicole Dennis
      • April 28, 2017

      For me it is really the timing of when I eat. I was never a breakfast person & we all know the meds curb our appetite. I try to eat anything with high protein & vitamin D (i take a liquid form) & snack or drink smoothies throughout the day. They help with the absorption of the medication ! Hope this helps 🙂

  2. Reply

    Welcome to our tribe Nicole! Here you’ll find an accepting community of people who understand just what you’re you g through and will be here to cheer you on. Consider joining one of virtual support groups to help you feel even more connected.

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