View Full Version : Just Started University, Moderate-Severe Symptoms but Never Diagnosed, Need Advice.


DFTRJG
11-04-14, 08:36 AM
Hey! First time posting/just joined but i could really use some help. :) Sorry if this is on the wrong forum/there's a thread for this.

I'm 19 years old and for my entire life i've been inattentive, hyperactive, forgetful and a chronic procrastinator that can never get tasks done on time. This has always frustrated me to the point of intense self directed anger, because regardless of how hard i try to fix such problems, they are constantly reoccurring and have never gone away.

Despite this, without trying to sound self-indulgent in any way, i've always found school (relatively) easy and because my grades in high school were always relatively good because the things that i was interested in/managed to listen too, i absorbed and understood, i never truly believed that ADHD was a thing.

Because of this, despite my obvious inability to listen in class or conversation, i never truly associated myself with ADHD because i was told that if i was getting good grades i must be studying hard and applying myself, i almost fooled myself into thinking that the effort i was putting in was standard, even though the effort it took to study effectively for just an hour was unbelievable. I was also usually able to talk my way out of late submissions etc, lying a lot to everybody (not just my teachers but parents,friends) about reasons for my late submissions, forgetfulness, being late to events etc. which is something that i'm quite ashamed of.

However, i started school at a pretty good university this year, doing a course that i really enjoy and am really interested in, but the workload has become unfathomable for me. Luckily the school i'm attending only has a 2% per day late submission penalty, because i am CONSTANTLY submitting things 4 - 6 days late. I'm not failing, but i'm performing far worse than i should/could be because i'm losing 6 - 12% off of every assignment that i hand in.

I took about all the ADD symptoms tests that i could recently and ranked on the severe symptoms scale for every single one, because the fact that everyone around me could study for literally hours on end when i couldn't even sit down for 30 minutes really bothered me.

So my questions are...

1) What the hell do i do... This is making me overthink more than i already do and destroying my mental health.

2) For any college students that are in the same situation as me, how do you manage your coursework with your ADHD? It's really messing with my mental health... I know that i have the potential to do well in all my classes but the late submissions and the inability to study is really bringing me down.

3) Would you say that medication is helpful? What are some things i can do alongside taking medication that will make me more productive not just in regards to studying but in regards to appointments, managing bills and other little things etc...

Tl;dr: High school was easy but now i hate myself at university for submitting everything late because i can't ******** my way out of it/get away feasibly without studying and it's killing me. I'm not yet diagnosed but have had severe symptoms of ADHD my whole life and could really use some advice in managing college/everyday life with ADHD. Thanks!! :cool: :cool: :cool:

Touchthesky
11-04-14, 11:39 AM
Hey, I'm having very similar issues.

I've performed very well academically in the past but that was in one of two contexts:

1) Year 12 - A tight nit social group and teachers who told me they would give me zero for any late work (for the first time in my life I never handed in anything late).

2) Bachelors, 1st Hons, fairly close group, got very strong grades, but gradually my diligence faded, and survived because academics would grant extensions overlook lateness etc. Honours thesis was too much personal responsibility and near disaster.

3) Grad Dip. Crazy bursts of study near exams. Lecturers who would overlook bad performance. Feeling of accountability to my work who were paying for studying gave strong incentive.

Now left work for a tough masters course. And am really, really, struggling. I don't seem to have the intense desire to get top grades and extreme anxiety about bad grades that I used to have to push me past my natural procrastination. I just feel too emotionally worn out for that sort of intensity any more. And I moved, left my old job, and have no social structure any more to keep me accountable. Bad, bad bad.

I think part of the solution has to be finding study buddies. Finding other smart people who you like and give them updates. You need to feel pride for good work and shame for lateness - not just internal, but through other people.

I am also really struggling with online distractions. I am thinking of getting rid of my smart phone (or at least the data) and going old school. Find a way to block out distracting sites.

Anyway, that's just my late thoughts, distracting me from my overdue assignment.

Touchthesky
11-04-14, 11:54 AM
Oh, also just started on Ritalin. Can't say I've noticed a major difference yet. Still sorting out dosage etc. Maybe it will start to work. Seems to work for some other people.

Good luck :)

DFTRJG
11-04-14, 08:53 PM
Hey, I'm having very similar issues.

I've performed very well academically in the past but that was in one of two contexts:

1) Year 12 - A tight nit social group and teachers who told me they would give me zero for any late work (for the first time in my life I never handed in anything late).

2) Bachelors, 1st Hons, fairly close group, got very strong grades, but gradually my diligence faded, and survived because academics would grant extensions overlook lateness etc. Honours thesis was too much personal responsibility and near disaster.

3) Grad Dip. Crazy bursts of study near exams. Lecturers who would overlook bad performance. Feeling of accountability to my work who were paying for studying gave strong incentive.

Now left work for a tough masters course. And am really, really, struggling. I don't seem to have the intense desire to get top grades and extreme anxiety about bad grades that I used to have to push me past my natural procrastination. I just feel too emotionally worn out for that sort of intensity any more. And I moved, left my old job, and have no social structure any more to keep me accountable. Bad, bad bad.

I think part of the solution has to be finding study buddies. Finding other smart people who you like and give them updates. You need to feel pride for good work and shame for lateness - not just internal, but through other people.

I am also really struggling with online distractions. I am thinking of getting rid of my smart phone (or at least the data) and going old school. Find a way to block out distracting sites.

Anyway, that's just my late thoughts, distracting me from my overdue assignment.



Yeah i think the social group that i was in in high school has played a large part in perpetuating my inability to focus. I didn't hang around with the really academic kids, more the people that didn't give a **** and knew how to have a good time, needless to say hasn't been that beneficial for uni.

The fact that you've still got so much done without meds is a testament though so congrats man and thanks for that :) makes me feel like i can change, gunna go to the doctors sometime this week though.

Good luck!

0000000100
11-05-14, 01:38 AM
Yep, in school you have different topics, so you always switch from one to another, and the classes are shorter.

In university I had to focus in only a few things, most of them I wasn't interested even for, each month I wanted to drop it, and to apply for something else, each month being something different. I dropped at the 3th year from a total of 4. Went to another university, wanted to drop that to, was able to finish only because there was a good girl, and we were getting along very well, I was going each day only to see her.

So now I have to work in an area I am not interested anymore... Trying to get medication, cause in our country all ADD medication is illegal.

Khyliene
11-08-14, 10:20 AM
Oh, also just started on Ritalin. Can't say I've noticed a major difference yet. Still sorting out dosage etc. Maybe it will start to work. Seems to work for some other people.

Good luck :)

I just started on methalphenidate (a year ago it feels like) and I am still waiting for it to "start to really work". *sigh* My grades at the university are suffering.:(

Khyliene
11-08-14, 10:25 AM
I just want to say that I am in the exact same shoes as you and I am a Junior right now in College. I can't keep talking my way out of late assignments forever. I am stuck and have no idea what to do to break myself out of this procrastinating/panic attacks when it comes to completing my assignments. I am three weeks behind right now, and i have three more weeks left in my semester. All late assignments are worth only 25% of the total worth.

/panic attack

*sigh*

PreppyGorgon
11-09-14, 01:20 PM
I'm a juinor in college and I can totally relate.

I was diagnosed with ADD in 4th grade and have been dealing with it since. In high school it was easy. I never had to study and my teachers often overlooked missed assignments due to my high test scores.

In college however, my missing homework assignment piled up and started to hurt me, and once I got to classes where I actually had to study, ikes!

From my experience, medication definately helps. Finding one that works for you can be stressful, imagine going through puberity taking a medication that you don't feel like yourself on, but once you find one that works it does wonders. For me I'm on a low everyday dose with extra instant reliese pills that I can take when I'm having a particularly hard time focusing or have a big exam or other important project.

Talking to your professors about where you're having issues and why also helps. My physics professor cut my homework load in half because I couldn't manage the amount. My chem prof one quarter let me turn in all of my labs at the final (one was 7 weeks late) because the stresses on my time that quarter were overwhelming. If you're worried about being judged by them, try not to be, every teacher I've ever told has been incredibly supportive and willing to work with me to figure out what I need.

Good luck :-)

PreppyGorgon
11-09-14, 02:51 PM
Ok, sorry about this second post. I got so excited about sharing what I've done so maybe I can save you some of the frustration I've felt that I didn't fully consider what I was going to say. Opps :)

1) What the hell do i do... This is making me overthink more than i already do and destroying my mental health.

Ok, try not to freak out. It's not as bad as it feels. When I get overwhelmed running up and down the stairs or walking around my dorm helps me calm down. Get your blood moving and endorphins pumping then look at whatever you were doing with fresh eyes.

2) For any college students that are in the same situation as me, how do you manage your coursework with your ADHD? It's really messing with my mental health... I know that i have the potential to do well in all my classes but the late submissions and the inability to study is really bringing me down.

There's a few things I do to help me manage my courses. I take the minimum about of courses my college lets me, and then I do other things. Things like take chior or a tumbling class. This helps with keeping a course load at a manageable level and giving me enough varity that I don't get bored with my classes and give up.

Also, I talk with my professors the minute I start having issues. Don't get me wrong, some of my professors never know, but if I begin having issues with my homework or getting to class or paying attention, I talk to my prof's and suggest something that would help, even if there isn't much that can be done, it helps to know that they know what's going on and don't think I don't care. As I said in the other post, every time we've been able to come up with a solution that works.

3) Would you say that medication is helpful? What are some things i can do alongside taking medication that will make me more productive not just in regards to studying but in regards to appointments, managing bills and other little things etc...

Medication is definately helpful. Every so often I start thinking that it doesn't do anything and it's just a plasibo effect, then I'll be having a really hard time focusing and no be able to figure out why and a friend will ask if I've taken my meds recently. My point is this, sometimes it's hard to notice the difference and it helps to have someone else be able to say if the see a difference or not.

As far as aside from medication, remember to eat! Low blood sugar can make some of the ADD symtoms worse. Lots of ADD medications are appitite supressents so it's easy to get absorbed in something and forget to eat. I will set an alarm or make plans to eat with someone. When I was in the dorms some of my hall mates would knock on my door when they were headed to the commons.

Being organized helps with remembering to do things. I have a white board over my desk that I use to write down my to do list. It's colorcoded for no other reason than it's mildly amusing to assign a color to a task and helps me keep the list updated.

Another thing I do is I never squash an impulse to do something productive. If I'm slugging through some homework due the next day and I feel the urge to work on a different project or make that doctors' appt I'll do the other thing and then go back to whatever I was doing when I'm done. That way I don't have to fight for the motivation to do the other thing later.

I hope this helped, gaving ADD can really stink sometimes, but it's totally manageable. You can do it! :-)

Pilgrim
11-21-14, 07:53 AM
There are no decent ADD psyciatrists in Canberra. I use to live there. I've asked myself numerous times about medication and studying. Once you get use to it and the right medication a big yes. It will definitely help the organization. You just have to be super disciplined. PM me if you waft a good psyciatris in Sydney.