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.