Newly diagnosed and failing dental school


Hey guys,

This is all so new to me because I was just diagnosed this week, but it turns out I’ve been living with ADHD my whole life and didn’t realize it. I was under the impression that everyone lived their life with their brain functioning like mine, but wow now I’m envious of how much easier it must be for them.

Anyway, the reason I came to this conclusion and got tested is that I’m in my first year of dental school and I’m currently failing. The frustrating thing is that I couldn’t figure out why. I study all the time and just as hard as everyone else but have been failing numerous tests. I’ve met with professors and student services, and they give me all of this advice but im unable to succeed even when I try what they suggest.

I’m starting medication tomorrow but im concerned that I’ve dug myself into too deep of a hole and may not be cut out for the one thing I have always wanted to do with my life. I’m wondering if anyone has experienced anything similar or has any advice?


Hey there you are not alone. I was diagnosed in 2016 my first year of University (we don’t have college here) when I had a mental breakdown and wanted to quit everything I also have bipolar disorder so naturally I went to a new psychiatrist having moved and not had one (more like take against my will) so I ended up spending 3 weeks in a psychiatric hospital and he diagnosed me with ADHD. I didn’t really pay it much attention because I believed that it only had an influence on studying ( I also didn’t pay attention when my docter tried to explain it to me thinking I knew everything) and that if I drank the medicine that would solve it. So I went on with my life. I stopped taking my meds because it was to much trouble to get the prescription every month and I couldn’t get myself to sit down and study so why would I need them. I only realized the impact it really had on my life a week ago when I stumbled on to Jessica’s YouTube page while looking for a way to start a bullet journal (it looked fun) so now here I am in the middle of an exam on academic probation meaning if I fail anything I will not be able to complete my degree in Zoology and Genetics not having really worked in any of my classes. I also have to do another year so all the people I started studying with are finishing this year. So my advice (not that I feel like I can give it to anyone as my life is a total mess not just my academics) is remember you are not alone ask for help and don’t give up on your dreams even if they take longer to get to and don’t take a break or give up on learning how to work with your ADHD because that is when things get out of hand and then it is harder to get back on track also check out Jessica’s videos they helped a lot. The best of luck on your journey and I hope we can become friends.


All the feels, to both of you.

I’m so happy to have finally found a support group that is as accessible, active, and diverse as it is here.

I can remember what the first week of me “knowing” that I had ADHD felt like.
In a single word? Overwhelming.
This was only nine months ago so that feeling is still very fresh.

ADHD, and a failure-bourne depressive breakdown cost me the longest job I’ve had, and my bachelor’s degree.

I completely relate to your story @agtoma3a, and @Jean.

A few things that I didn’t pay enough attention to, in the moment, back then:
1.Self-care - covering the basics like eating, sleeping, showering, and making my body move. All of these things went by the wayside for me, and were critical when it came to maintaining my resilience- to keep trying.

2.Visits to a competent Dr that is willing to listen to what you have to say. I needed medication to help me get through that breakdown. Your situation may be different from mine, but even though I was scared to, a part of me knew that I needed to ask for help from a pro. :slight_smile:

3.My Academic Advisor! Crazy, right? Not like they are employed by the college to help students succeed or anything. :slight_smile: It seems pretty obvious now, but in the moment, it just never occurred to me.

Have either of you tried to connect with your program chair to talk about the challenges you are facing?

I know this can be unnerving, or embarrassing maybe to share, but there are many more tools available nowadays geared toward student success.

Maybe there is some way that your institution can help you?


I have seen my academic advisor because they made me but I never thought I needed any help from them. I am planning on going back as soon as I can. :unicorn:


Thank you both for sharing your stories and experiences. It is nice to know I’m not the only one.

I’m figuring out my dosing this week and then I plan on focusing on self-care per the request of my Dr.

I do regularly check in with someone in our student services department and she’s wonderful and knows everything that has been going on. I have a lot of support from them and they are a great resource.


That’s so positive! :slight_smile:


Hey! Welcome to the tribe!!

Glad you got the diagnosis. Here’s the thing : You may struggle with studies, but give yourself some time. When something will grab your attention, you’ll be hyperfocused towards it, which is good. Anyway, Jessica has made some awesome videos on how to manage your studies while having ADHD.
and there are more too.

Wish you best of luck.


Just wanted to post an update… I ended the semester with good grades on my finals, but I was too far behind to catch up. Instead of dismissing me, my school is giving me the option to repeat my first year starting in the fall. I’m hoping that now that I’m on medication, I can focus on self-care and academic improvement for the next time around. Should I look into test accommodations as well? Any advice is appreciated. I will have about seven months before I start again.