Hi Ive been struggling with school I think I have ADHD but I dont want that too be a exuse for my laziness

Hi, I’m a high school/college student and I think I have ADHD. I’ve looked at the symptoms and watched videos and I resonate with what I’ve learned about the condition. I’ve always been the least organized person I know with messy desks, binders rooms, etc., and especially during elementary school, I struggled to focus and not fall behind with the curriculum. as time went on I got better at school. but I still dealt with the problems of not managing time, turning stuff in late, being disorganized, being punctual, and just focus on my life and responsibilities. Even though I struggled with these things high school was accommodating enough where I was able too to succeed. but now I’m doing online college and during quarantine, I’ve been failing at life, and I’ve been struggling with online school. within-person school, you are forced to go to your classroom and always do your work. there’s a built-in structure. but with online school, you have to tell yourself when you’re going to do work. and every day the option to ignore your work feel so much less consequential. so that’s what I’ve been doing I’ve been avoiding work and responsibilities because I don’t feel like it and I distract myself with anything else and If I continue down this path I will really struggle as an adult. and I do think that I have ADHD and I do think that it makes it harder for me to focus on what I need to get done and not hyperfocus on distractions but at the end of the day I know that I’m choosing to be lazy and unself-disciplined and while I want too pursue a diagnosis and get help. I feel worried that I’m deflecting blame from myself and putting all the blame on the ADHD for my struggles. I dont want to avoid accountability and blame ADHD for my own laziness and lack of self-discipline. I know that ADHD doesn’t cause laziness and people with ADHD aren’t lazy so I shouldn’t blame ADHD for my laziness. but at the end of the day if I dont get my stuff together myself and the people that care for me will suffer the consequences. thanks to anyone for reading this. I know I should probably actively pursue a diagnosis. I just needed to vent and maybe get insight from people that can relate. I would love advice on how I can take accountability for my mistakes while acknowledging that I might have a condition that makes some aspects of life harder. and I would love to know how you guys stay on top of things during quarantine. again I really appreciate anyone reading this and anyone who would take their time to respond.


Ok. So first of all welcome to the tribe

I have a good memory (for a selection of rarely useful stuff) and so although I’m into my 5th decade on the planet I remember all too well being the kid ‘‘who would forget his head if it wasn’t screwed on’’, if I can offer any advice it’s this (in parts) 1. Don’t sweat it 2. Use this time to identify what does drive you (even if it’s just the thing u want to focus on for now) and do a lot of that. 3. Get organised, enough. Recently I bought a new set of 20 or so pairs of identicalish socks so I don’t have to think about ’ what socks am I going to wear? ’ on any day I grab a pair and get my shoes on. 4. Youre not lazy, you just typed about 4x what I’m usually prepared to read so output is not the problem IF you’re like a lot of us the proplem is usualy being motivated enough to get started.

I’ll stop there as I might have missed something but hopefully there is enough for u to feel your ok here and ok in the world at large.

Wishing you the best



Thank you for your response. I appreciate the kind words and I really like the advice you’ve given. I really resonate with the the simple advice of focus on what drives you.


Welcome welcome welcome!

As with many ADHD people or “Brains” . . . sometimes we are our worst critics! You are already taking responsibility / “accountability” by coming here and asking for help and support . . . which we are more than happy to give you!

More than my words, I suggest you take a look at the numerous short videos here that Jessica has produced.

I have found them very helpful (and entertaining).

Just to give you some information about myself and my adult son (I am 73 and he is 43) . . . he was diagnosed when he was four years old, myself in my 50’s. Both of us struggled throughout our school years. It took my son seven years in three different colleges to finally obtain his degree in computer engineering. He now works as an electrical engineer. He used to think of himself as “stupid”, not college material . . . Turned out he was wrong. The “stupid” son of mine obtained an overall GPA of 3.7 out of 4. But “easy” it was not.

As for myself, I obtained a masters degree in social work, but up until the day I was handed my diploma I did not expect to graduate. While I knew I was not “stupid”, I thought of myself as a “fraud” and that sooner or later that would be revealed to my professors.

We all have different strengths. I have a very hard time reading anything longer than a couple of pages. But I am great at quickly scanning many pages to find the pertinent facts to develop a research paper. That’s fun, like a scavenger hunt, maintaining my interest.

I’ll stop blabbing on here, something that is very easy for me to do, and just say that I have a good sense of how you are struggling but I also have a good feeling that you will succeed. I encourage you to be evaluated. Knowing is helpful and then you can get the help to make things easier, both with school . . . And with life!

Best of luck and please keep in touch with the Brains here!



Lemme tell you something. Whenever you’re blaming your ADHD your not pushing the blame off of you. You’re the one with that ADHD. It’s a part of who you are. So you’re still putting the blame on yourself. It just has a logical explanation: you have ADHD. Therefore you struggle more with things like this.


Welcome @theTman!

I was recently diagnosed (at age 45), but your struggles in school sound similar to my own. I have often berated myself as being “lazy”, but in fact I usually put a lot of effort into whatever I’m doing that is keeping me from doing what I need to do.

One thing to keep in mind is that people with ADHD don’t truly have an attention “deficit”. Instead, we have an interest-based attention. Our focus naturally gravitates TOWARDS something which seems interesting to us right now.
(Another trait to be aware of, as ADHD expert Dr. Edward ‘Ned’ Hallowell puts it, is that with ADHD there is only “NOW, and NOW”.)

I work at a public university in the USA, and at this school there are at least 3 programs which can help people with ADHD. One is the Counseling and Testing Center, which can do ADHD diagnosis (part of the “Testing” services). They do charge for the evaluation, but use an income-based sliding-scale.

You should see if your school offers a diagnostic service like this. However, diagnosed or not, you are who you are.

Instead of calling yourself “lazy”, you should recognize that you have an innate ability to focus on whatever seems important to your mind at any given time. (This ability was like a superpower for me when I worked in Retail Sales and when I worked in Tech Support, where the work was constantly shifting from one customer to the next.)
When you get off track, try directing you attention by asking yourself: “What’s the next step?” Then, do that step without hesitation.


First Welcome @theTman

Do you think you Developed some Coping strategies?

I struggle with all of these things

I keep telling myself this but all of my friends and teachers have to keep me convinced that its not my fault it is the way this mental disorder works. It is even worse for people who have low self image due to whatever it could be being bullied being called lazy

Im the last person to ask it has been so tough on me this year.

Welcome to the Tribe and keep pushing on you got this!




I forgot one thing, which for me is extremely important. Aerobic Exercise (AE). The only reason I remembered was because I just got off my exercise bike after 40 minutes. Many people, especially (imho) Brains . . . find that AE lifts a depressed mood, calms anxiety and tames some of our wilder impulses . . . and more!

I had to force myself to get on the bike this morning. But I remembered how it has never failed to help me. And before I made that decision this morning, I was a couch potato having no idea what to do around the house today. Now I have accomplished something . . . at least in the eyes of the potato :joy::exclamation:

Did I forget to mention that creativity is one of our strong suits? Some of my family members would prefer me to find another creative outlet other than PUNS! creativity and poor impulse control can be a dangerous combination! :joy:!!

Best of luck my young friend . . .


Thanks Barry,

Just made me feel better about the fact that I usually just look at all the figures first (picture = 1000 words and all that)



Awesome observation!


I’ll be using this … and quite literally I struggle with a post it note that says much more than ``now, next, later on it’’. Lately I’ve just been stacking post-its with just one item on them one over the other so that there is only one job on the list at any one time.


I appreciate you taking the time out of your day to respond. It’s really cool to read about you and your son being successful. and I totally feel you on struggling to read. I will trace over the words with my eyes and not retain a single thing :sweat_smile:. for me, audiobooks make it way easier. I read your other message and for me when I’m on a good exercise routine I always feel better and I am pretty creative, my mom always talks about how she thinks I’m really creative and I love a good pun or dad joke :joy: .Your message really means a lot. best wishes to you and your son


thanks for your response. as for how I got better at school, I think it was a combination of maturing and getting used to staying still and being quiet with extra help from the school and a god-sent tutor. I’ll work on positive self-talk to improve my self-image. I appreciate the kind words


No Problem Any time!!!


that’s actually really helpful, Thank you


Thank you for your response. I resonate with putting in the effort on doing the thing that’s keeping me from doing the thing I need to do and it is true I can focus on things that interest me very well. I’ve done theatre a lot and when I’m doing a show I’m dialed in. I really like the pointer on how to redirect your attention when you get off track. Your comment was really helpful, thank you


thank you to everyone that read and replied too my post . I really appreciate the kind words. seeing so many people respond so quickly really warms up my heart and instead of feeling sorry for myself I have hope now that I know I have people who struggle with the same stuff in my corner from all over. again thank you I really appreciate it.


BTW- I know this because this is one of my greatest struggles all the time! The problem is, I don’t remember it when I’m in the struggle.

  • The first ADHD-related book I picked up is called “The Smart but Scattered Guide to Success”. It is more specifically about understanding and working to improve Executive Functioning Skills. According to the quiz in the book, my most-impaired EF skill is “Task Initiation”.

Yup…that says it all! I most struggle to start anything that I don’t already have a ready-to-use procedure for (like “Step 1…Step 2…etc”, or like “If THIS, then THAT”). Often enough, I know what I need to do in general, but don’t know where to start. If there are many possible points to start at, I am even more hesitant.
I can even be very productively unproductive (I complete many other non-essential tasks that still needed doing, then run out of time before doing the thing I should have been doing all along).

{Self test scores, from Executive Skills Questionnaire in “The Smart but Scattered Guide to Success” by Dawson and Guare, taken by me around 8/1/2020, before being diagnosed with ADHD}

format: [Executive Functioning Skill (score)]
Response inhibition (15, Highest)
Flexibility (11, high)
Metacognition (11, high)
Goal-directed persistence (9)
Stress tolerance (8)
Emotional control (7)
Working memory (7)
Planning/prioritization (7)
Sustained attention (6)
Organization (5, low)
Time management (5, low)
Task initiation (4, lowest)

[Note, possible score range is 3-18 points]

The book’s authors, who are clear about what their own EF strengths and weaknesses are, advise using one’s strongest EF skills to compensate for the lowest ones, and also to accommodate those weaknesses in other ways…from simple things like using tools and environment modifications, all the way up to choosing NOT to go into a career which will rely heavily on your weakest EF skills.

  • As a positive example from my own work experience, I think I was great at tech support because I am strong in Response Inhibition (I don’t get angry with the customer, no matter now perturbing they can be), and Flexibility (drop everything and deal with the person with the “emergency” that just came in the door).
  • As a negative example, I am terrible at Project Management, because I’m so weak at Organization, Time Management, and Task Initiation (both to tackle MY part of the project, and to assign tasks to others).

Every one of us has a uniquely different presentation of ADHD. There aren’t 3 presentations of ADHD (as the DSM states). No, right now there may be as many as 700,000,000 presentations of ADHD on this planet (based on a higher estimate of 10% of human population having ADHD). Each of us have our own unique set of strengths/talents/gifts and weaknesses/limitations, which can even vary within our lifetime and with other factors (health, physical activity level, emotional state, support, environment, level of restedness, etc.)

Take care of yourself. Don’t be too critical of yourself. And know that your uniqueness is your value, there’s only one of you!

<Whew! I think I’m done going down that “rabbit trail”…> :rabbit:


That’s neither hare nor there :joy:.

PS: On a more serious note: I really value the information that you put out here. And you have the patience to be so thorough (even it means writing a whole lot in your messages).



I really liked 'Smart but scattered … ’ up until the third chapter and then my techo brain went ‘‘where is the flow chart?’’ all that anecdote and gumf. I swear publishers publish by the kilo. Isn’t it great that although I can’t be succinct without a lot of effort but hate it when others are not.

I did the test twice, because I felt Dunning-Kruger had struck the first time and I was being too smart* to realise I’m not stupid; as opposed to being to stupid to realise I’m not smart.

I liked the fact that planning is different from organising, I can plan and prioritise just fine, I’m just really bad at sticking to (or even referring back to) ‘the plan’.

‘*’ interpret this ‘‘smart’’ as ‘‘critical’’
btw it’s not exactly what the study shows but hey why let that get in the way of a lovely alliteration: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dunning–Kruger_effect

Ok it’s 10 am here and I promised I have to do something. It’s taking 2 hours to realise ‘I’m at work!’ most days … something is not right, but I’ll let you know what it is and how I fixed it in the near future.