International Student with Undiagnosed ADHD


Hi everyone,

I’m Yousef and I’m an international student in the US, idk why I said that but whatever.
So I had a weird way of finding out about ADHD, I always struggled with forgetting everything whether it was school, casual convos or anything. So I made a joke with my friends that I have a mild Alzheimer, idk why no one found that to be funny. Anyways school kept getting harder and harder and I thought that was natural but as I advanced the stresses stacked up and exploded into depression and anxiety and for the first time in my whole life I gave up on attending a class till I failed it. But I was looking for something to cover up this mark out of my family, which made me visit a doctor for the first time in >3 years. And he confirmed that I had depression and social anxiety, so you know, I started looking up solutions to get over them and be normal again. So to fix the social anxiety part I looked up clubs in my school and one of them was called something ADHD so I go look that up and guess what, I suffer from pretty much every symptom, yay!

I’m waiting for my next meeting to take a legit diagnosis but I wanted to see if there is anybody here who experienced a similar situation as me. Because I feel like the language barrier had contributed a lot to the severity of my current mental state.

Also, random question, can you guys memorize songs?



Hello Yousef!

My situation was definitely different from yours - but I’m glad you’re looking into getting a legit diagnosis! I hope your diagnosis process goes smoothly! As for memorizing songs, ooooh yeah. It takes a couple repeats to get the melody line down, then a few more to get the words down by looking at them, and then a couple more for me to have the song down entirely. I still remember some songs I haven’t sung in year! What about you? :slight_smile:



Thanks for the support! I can never memorize a song, tried to memorize god’s plan for some time but i dont think memorizing songs is what god planned for me. I thought that was a symptom of ADHD but i think it was stretch from my part lol.



Welcome to the Tribe! Hope you get your diagnosis soon, it’s an immense help!
Songs… yes, I memorise songs pretty much unwillingly by now, but I am a singer, so it’s a matter of practice with me. If I only memorised everything else as well as I memorise songs :joy:


Welcome to the tribe Yousef!
Good luck in the diagnosis!
Yes I do memorise songs (wether I want to or not), usually after hearing them like 4 - 5 times...


Hi Yousef & welcome.

I do not memorize songs - I can sing along when they play, but without music and the actual singer singing- no dice. I have a hard time MEMORIZING anything. I can tell you all about it, but not necessarily the actual words. Funny how that is. Especially since I excelled at computer programming (many years ago now). I hope all goes better for you as you understand more about how your brain works. I’m forever learning as we change over time…

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I remember when programming required some degree of memorization and books on your desk. Now Intellisense (or whatever auto-complete is in your IDE), Google, and Stack Overflow take away the need for all that memorization :).



I’ve wondered for years why I couldn’t remember things. While I suspected that I had ADHD, it never occurred to me (until diagnosis) that ADHD could be the cause.

Like another brain, I can sing along with songs fairly well but I can’t recall the lyrics well without music.



Hi Youssef I went through a bit of the same, I was a foreign student in France and it took me 4.5 years to get a 3 year degree because of struggling with planning my work and anxiety. I looked for help for my masters because I am freaking out about doing the multiple research papers for it. Are you able to talk to your family about this? I was scared at first because mental health is a massive taboo back home but I was surprised by their support and openness. I think it could help you to have a supportive family behind you and don’t hesitate to reach out to your local community, the people in my church have been just amazing.



@stillADHD Programming just came to me- I took the class & just did it. I didn’t need to write out the code on paper & thus got called out for cheating in college. I had my accusers meet me in the lab during a free period and told them to give me a test. They wrote out on a pad what the result should be & I sat at the terminal while they watched, typed it out, reviewed, hit submit, it printed perfectly & I tossed it in front of them and walked out. This was 1984-86 time frame. They couldn’t believe that a woman was naturally logically minded and could do such a thing.

I don’t do well with the gooey interfaces & thus never picked back up the programming. My path might have been different if the company set ups that exist today had been around back then. Everything was new then.



Thanks for having me!

Haha that’s awsome! I can never recite any songs at all im so jealous




Ok i was trying to find an excuse for why i can’t lol, you must be a fast learner then!

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Thank you!

Wow! Thats exactly me, i don’t do good on reciting the exact words at any situation lol.

Thanks i hope that too.



Wait so it could be because of ADHD! Oh man that might explains it all then! Did you find a way around it?



Hi Marcelle

That sucks! At least you got it, congratulations!

Did you know of ur anxiety beforehand? And how did you manage to work around it, if i may ask?
My parents freak out at the slightest things, so i haven’t told them anything yet. Plus as you said mental health is hella stigmatized back home as well.

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I’ve found ways around some memory issues. At work, when I need to leave in the middle of something, I’ll write notes to myself on where I was, and what I need to do. Sometimes it’s in the form of a note in some code that I’m working on. I do it in such a way that things blow up (doesn’t compile, tests fail, etc.) when I go to run it - then I see the note(s) on what I need to do.

When someone comes up and asks me about the thing I worked on last week, I usually need a little prompting to remember. I’m sure that people have noticed this unfortunately.

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Thats really creative! Same here, its a little weird when people ask about things you’ve done in the recent past. I normally just do things then forget about it unless something went south lol.



Sorry for my late reply I keep forgetting to come back to this site as it is not a habit yet. I knew I had anxiety issues even before I knew about ADHD. Sincerely, what helped me the most was exercise, prayer and breathing techniques. Medication for anxiety made me worse and I needed massive doses due to a bizarre genetic resistance to anything that would slow my central nervous system. As a nurse I learnt to calm patients in the ER with breathing techniques and eventually realized it worked so well for me. There are many ressources to learn about breathing techniques, the book I used was “the healing power of breath”. I have recently come to understand that breathing is so efficient as it makes use of sensory processing (60% of ADHD sufferers will also have sensory issues) to make a positive feedback to your brain. Meditative prayer helps as I give it all up to God. Meditation apps are difficult for me as I fidget crazily to be able to concentrate on the voice. I hope this helps, we all have to find what works best for us, and understanding our brains helps us get there xx

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Ma salaam @Yousef767

Yeah, I think what you’ve experienced is pretty common.

The language barrier won’t be helping so much, but it’s not the main thing, so many here have had problems getting diagnosed.

Here’s an article I read the other day that touches on some of the reasons for that. I just found it an interesting article in general.

Also, re: Memorising lyrics. Fail. No chance. I don’t even really hear lyrics, I only hear the sound of the voice (as a musical instrument). I’ll get snippets, or a catchy chorus, but I’ve only ever fully remembered a couple of songs.

@Pizzatom52 Brought something up in another post, which I’d like to pass on to you, in the spirit of sharing.

“I’m a Barbie girl, In a Barbie world…”

Now try and get THAT out of your head! :wink:

Also… I’m guessing you’re an ATPL student?

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Thanks… now it’s back in my head… :tired_face: