Trent L | College, ADHD and getting diagnosed

Trent L | College, ADHD and getting diagnosed

Grade school was fine — easy enough to graduate top of my class and get into a really good college. SATs weren’t great, but I had the GPA and extracurriculars to make it happen. College was a different grind, though and the struggle became real. I couldn’t retain the info at lectures, couldn’t sit still flipping through endless textbook pages, and I could never organize my workflow.

To survive and keep the grades up, I found a working formula of magical drug Adderall (purchased from friends) plus all-nighters before my exams. It wasn’t the best, but it worked. It seemed so easy for other people. “What is wrong with me?” I’d ask myself. The constant grind, paired with this inexplicable struggle, resulted in depression during my sophomore year.

When I started reading up on ADHD, the puzzle pieces began to fall in place. When I first attempted to talk about my issues with my parents, and my desire to get tested, I received a bit of pushback. You see, my brother was diagnosed in elementary school and prescribed Ritalin. I was supposed to be “nothing like him.” But eventually, I got the appointment, took the test and received the diagnosis. ADHD. Boom.

I wish I can say it was all uphill from there, but it wasn’t. I had this bit of clarity and could answer “why”, but my brain was still my brain. What I came to realize was that the more I understood how my brain worked, the better I could live with ADHD.
It still affects me every day — with daily tasks, at work, in friendships, and with the ones I love. It does hurt when you hear those close to you say that ADHD isn’t real, that everyone is a little ADHD, that you’re just being lazy. Some take the time to understand. I actually had a manager of mine do some reading on it which helped structure the way we worked together. But that’s not always the case.

I can’t really blame them though. Everyone has their own struggles.

As I’ve gotten older, I now think of my ADHD as just another layer of who I am, mixed in with all the other layers that make up me. Some layers help, some hinder, some do both. And this goes for everyone — my layers are different than yours and we are all trying to get by in this complex thing we call life.


About the Author

Trent is an outdoor enthusiast working as a producer and advertising professional in NYC. He's wearing the ADHBees Mascot Hat.

The views expressed in this article are the views of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of the Mental Health League. This content is for informational purposes only, even if and to the extent that this article features the advice of physicians and medical practitioners. This article is not, nor is it intended to be, a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment, and should never be relied upon for specific medical advice. If you need help, text HOME to 741 741 for 24/7, 365 support from the Crisis Text Line. Please follow our Community Guidelines when commenting below.

1 comment

Maria Janice Gomez

I am a 30 year old mom with ADHD and thanks to my kids I finally realized that Ive been having ADHD my whole life since I could remeber going back through my whole life how ADHD impacted my life. I was able to put all the puzzles pieces together.

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