ADHD can be a challenge, but with support and tools, you can navigate it. Learn from these teens’ experiences.
Ryan:I was diagnosed with ADHD at eight years old.
Lexi:I was diagnosed with ADHD six years ago.
Jake:I was diagnosed with ADHD when I was 14.
Raphaella:I was just diagnosed this year with ADHD. My symptoms are always, it's hard for me to focus. I was so distracted.
Ryan:Really, throughout my childhood, I just felt overwhelmed constantly. I would always be second guessing really every decision that I made.
Lexi:I get really hyper focused on things. I remember when I was in fourth grade and I was in the Book Nook, and I was reading and I looked up and everyone was gone. And it turns out they had left for an assembly, and I had just not even heard a thing.
Jake:I started struggling in school. My grades just started slipping and I couldn't seem to focus. It was frustrating, diminishing. Just soul crushing. It just made me feel bad about myself and anxious.
Raphaella:I had an appointment for a psychiatrist. And I don't know, it was kind of a relief that she diagnosed me.
Jake:I was actually relieved because at least I knew that I wasn't just suddenly starting to fall apart. There was a reason behind it. And that made me feel good because I knew that I could get help and that it was something that could be fixed. My pediatrician walked me through different treatment options.
Raphaella:Honestly, I was a little bit scared when I heard medication. I think why I was so scared was because I heard there's side effects to it. And I just didn't want anything to take away from me being me. But I did it, and we started off slower. And I saw that it helped me.
Lexi:When I take my medication, it gets a lot easier with managing all the different aspects of my life. Strategies that have helped me deal with my ADHD, I need to take breaks. But the key is, is that I need to set a specific time for how long that break is.
Ryan:When your brain is mentally fatigued and you're frustrated, when you take deep breaths, it essentially resets your brain. So that's one skill that I've definitely picked up on. Meditation, I've picked up on. I really feel like that helps to redirect my focus.
Raphaella:Organization. Don't put it down, put it away.
Jake:Support is very important. And if you're not comfortable with your parents, you can always go to a friend or a guidance counselor or a school advisor.
Ryan:I honestly wish that I learned from a younger age how I could better advocate for myself.
Lexi:Know that you're not alone and that people are there to help you. You've just got to accept the help. And I know that it's something that's hard to do. But if you don't accept the help, life won't get better.
Jake:I always thought people would judge me. But I wish I'd known it's a normal thing, you can't control it. And if you need help, you need help.
Raphaella:We just have a different mind, and you've just got to work around it and be your best self.
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