ADHD,  a secret psychiatric disorder hiding in plain sight

Art photo of woman at computer LARIAT| @ Pixabay

Undiagnosed ADHD in adults. You’re not bad in school, your different.

Students choose to give up on higher education because they convince themselves their bad at school. Staying focused while studying can seem like a difficult task for those born with ADHD. 

Being diagnosed with ADHD at 43-years-old was an eye-opening experience for me.  After failing class after class for the entirety of my academic career, I discovered a logical explanation that seemed to make sense.

I’m willing to bet the vast majority of students who feel they are not “good at school” learn differently than others and have no intellect deficiencies. I truly believe everyone is good at school once one discovers the unique learning style.

Saddleback College’s Disabled Students Program and Services| DSPS helped me to understand that with the right support, I too can be a good student. I have ADHD, it doesn’t have me.

Dr. Edward Hallowell, psychiatrist, and world- authority on ADHD, describes having ADHD  metaphorically as having a  “Ferrari brain” with bicycle brakes. Once you learn how to drive such a unique brain model, all else in your academic career falls into place. The key is to recognize the symptoms.

Some symptoms can include attention difficulties, inability to focus, restlessness, unstable mood, disorganization, reduced stress tolerance and impulsivity. It’s important to remember that since no two people are exactly alike, no two people will have the exact same experience.

I feel ADHD is the feeling of being metaphorically online and having different pop-up ads overwhelm your thought process.  Once this happens, it’s imperative for one to metaphorically clear their browser. I find transcendental meditation gave me the clarity I needed to focus.  I try to study uninterrupted for 20 minutes then break for 10 minutes. I find that it helps keep my brain focused.

I think It’s important to avoid negative self-talk. Instead, find out why your grades are suffering and how to fix the problem.  You are good enough. Different is not worst … it’s different.

Implementing the right treatment—which varies from person to person– can help individuals take back control of their life.

Begin by contacting Saddleback’s DSPS or the Health Services dept and asking to get tested. Next, consult with your medical professional to develop a treatment plan that works for you.  Finally, regain control of your destiny and remember to love yourself.

In the words of Pulitzer Prize-winning hip-hop artist Kendrick Lamar, “I’ve been dealing with depression, ever since an adolescence,” Lamar sings in his popular song “i.” “Duckin’ every other blessing, I can never see the message—I love myself.”

Don’t duck this blessing. I hope you get the message. Love yourself.


Updated June 22 at 10:29 a.m. to fix featured image