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Old 01-14-14, 03:01 AM
superbity superbity is offline
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Recently diagnosed & classes resume next week - should i take a semester off?

I was diagnosed last month, and I want to start medication. I'm 21 and a junior in college and my school starts next week. I go to school out-of-state. I've been trying to decide whether I should take the semester off, or go back to school this semester and juggle starting medication with my coursework. Naturally I would be taking the minimum amount of hours to start off, and I've already gotten in touch with Student Disability Services and my advisor.

Personally I feel really confident about going back to school next week. I feel like now that I've been diagnosed a huge weight has been lifted off my shoulders. I know that starting medication is hard for a lot of people, especially balancing that with school or work, but I've honestly never felt so determined in my life to go back and succeed in my classes.

On the other hand I've discussed it with my parents and they are really pushing me to take a semester off and just relax, adopt a healthy lifestyle (sleep, diet, exercise) and start meds without having to worry about my classes.

I do see their point of view, but I feel I've wasted so much time by not getting diagnosed earlier, and I don't want to waste more time by staying home and "getting healthy" for a whole 8 months. My school does not count transfer credits towards your GPA, so taking classes elsewhere is basically pointless because I really need to take credits to bring my GPA up. I was definitely struggling a lot this past semester, but a lot of my issues were organizational. Since getting diagnosed a month ago and finding this forum and the ADHD subreddit, I feel really determined and excited to go back to school and succeed and attack my schoolwork. I feel like if I took a whole 8 months off I would just become stir-crazy and depressed.

I'd really love your guys's honest advice on whether you think it's a good idea to go back to school next Monday!
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Old 01-14-14, 05:14 AM
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Re: Recently diagnosed & classes resume next week - should i take a semester off?

is there anyway you can get an rx before then? Maybe apply some study skills? Think about the pros and cons of taking a semester off. Just picture the worst including your feelings, you goals, your picture of yourself. Just make sure you don't do something you're not going to be ok with later.
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Old 01-14-14, 02:20 PM
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Re: Recently diagnosed & classes resume next week - should i take a semester off?

I would say go to college. Your parents belief that you would be able to sort out your sleep and live a healthier life if you stay at home is problematic and mistaken. It might take you years to find the correct medication and it's easier to figure out the affectiveness of a medication in situations that require higher levels of concentration. Also most of the ADHD medications work immediately and you really don't need to take off time to get used to their effect.

Most importantly, motivation, confidence and a burning desire to succeed can be just as important for success as medication. Embrace these feelings and when things don't go as planned continue believing in yourself and try again.

However, whatever happens never look back and lament about what could have been if you chose the other path. It's fairly pointless and there is a decent chance that your life would have been worse no matter where you are in your life right now. Furthermore, you never know what the future will bring. I dropped out of 6 degrees until I finally found the right medication and figured out the right study techniques. Last year I graduated with distinction and am in the process of doing an MA in a top 20 university in the world and a top 5 in my field.

Good luck and welcome to the forums.
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Old 01-15-14, 04:19 PM
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Re: Recently diagnosed & classes resume next week - should i take a semester off?

Thanks for the advice and welcome - I'm pretty much set on going back to school next week. General consensus from people with ADHD seems to be that going back would be the better option.

I also think taking time off would be very demotivating and just generally not the best use of time.
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Old 01-18-14, 08:04 PM
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Re: Recently diagnosed & classes resume next week - should i take a semester off?

I'm a little late to this thread (still discovering areas of this forum I haven't yet explored), but I'd love to chime in. I advise you to go, superbity, unless you are truly feeling overwhelmed with anxiety, to the point that you will sabotage yourself. That's great that your parents are supportive like that, but I think we need to keep ourselves moving forward, if at all feasible.

My undiagnosed (and therefore untreated) ADHD kept me from going to school until I reached middle age. By that time, it was extremely difficult to do with work, family, etc. I've been doing it in spurts. Last year when my company closed, I finally resolved to finish my BA, and, if possible, start on my MA. After last year's spring semester, I knew I had to (finally) address my ADHD, even though I made it through with a great GPA. I did another 13 credits over the summer while trying to find the right medication/dosage. By this fall semester, I'd decided on Vyvanse. I did 15 credits, plus a massive amount of work for my grad. school application.

I'm just telling you all this to make the point that I think you can do it. Work with your doctor on meds, and you'll be fine. If you have any weird side effects, be assured that they will most likely pass. You can keep checking in here with us too. Hang in there you've embarked upon a life-changing journey, and it can only go up from here. :-)
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