student in london who has just been diagnosed

#1

Hi amazing brains,

My nickname is Kaji and I’m a 23 year old student of social anthropology and history. I was diagnosed with ADHD and 4 types of synaesthesia around 5 months ago. It has been a crazy journey since finding this out. Also, just before my diagnosis I got out of a toxic relationship and delved straight into finishing my final year of university. I have always been academic and creative minded but struggled with deadlines and lots of reading. I hit the wall when coming to uni and luckily my university have been very understanding and have given me mitigation for my work (even before my diagnosis) as they’re pretty hot with mental health issues.

I have not taken any medication but have taken natural supplements(only a couple of times as they’re very intense) and matcha lattes (which help big time!). When I took some blue-green algae along with coffees and matcha lattes I found that I felt way better (a stronger sense of who I was, memory was super on point, no need to hyperfocus on anything, processing speed was awesome) but at the same time I lost my philosophical and creative thoughts that were very unique to me. It felt very boring. I could happily live a conventional life with the closest thing I felt to being neurotypical (except I experienced some emotional numbing) but there was no need to express myself or live life to the fullest. However, I’m having a dilemma as I would like to try medication for the last couple of months of my degree. As my anthropology dissertation will require me to be super creative and my history side of my degree to be dependant on a good memory, I’m not sure if it’s a good idea to go for it now?

Also, it’s a very isolating time for me and I’m feeling very lonely as people are all studying and I find it hard to keep up with people. Also, it’s a lot harder to meet up with people while trying to manage my studies. I feel like I require a lot of care, emotional support and affection from friendships and my friends who can give that to me have left the city to do a masters or for work, or have left to go home, so I really don’t know what to do!!! Starting new friendships take time and sometimes they can’t give you the same emotional support in the end.

It would be great to make friendship on here too!

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#2

Hi Kaji! Welcome to the tribe!:wave::grin:

We have several threads on studying with ADHD and various tips, etc., so please check those out.

As for medication, I think WAY too many people worry WAY too much about what that will do. See it quite a bit on the forums, I recommend checking out @Ateskusu’s two posts, in the comments it’s discussed quite a lot.

But for my personal experience, I was diagnosed a few months after finishing my Master’s Degree, got started on Ritalin LA, and was stepping up from 10mg. On the morning when I first took 30mg, I was sitting at the dining table, and while reading something on my phone, I noticed my wife moving (probably having a bite of toast or a drink of tea), and one of the cats scurry to the kitchen. And I just kept on reading, didn’t pay attention to it. I noticed, but didn’t HAVE to pay attention if I didn’t want to. I turned to my wife and asked her if she just moved, and one of the cats just ran into the kitchen? She said ‘Yes?’, and I teared up, telling her that I had noticed, but wasn’t distracted by it. Her response: ‘Oh, so you’re coming back to normal, then?:blush:’ That’s when I almost cried, telling her it wasn’t ‘back to normal’, this was the first time in my LIFE I hadn’t been distracted by everything around me…:sweat_smile:

Medication isn’t some huge change in your brain. It boosts your dopamine level functions to mimic those in a normal brain, so you’re not as easily distracted, have a slightly easier time with executive functions. That’s it, pretty much, when you find the right dose and medication with your doctor. But that also means it’s not a panacea, it doesn’t fix everything and we often still have bad coping mechanisms as habits, which can take time and therapy to fix…:wink:

But yeah, don’t fear the meds. And you always have friends on here!:grin: I’ll be your friend, haha!

Oh, and the isolation thing? I’ve been there several times throughout my studies, it really sucks…:cold_sweat: Hope you’ll be able to get through it!:+1:

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#3

Oh, and life in the ‘normal’ lane is too boring after having experienced hyper-focus and everything that comes with it. I doubt most ADHD’ers would like to go to that, even if we could.:stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:

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#4

Hi! Welcome!

I did a degree in archaeology and anthropology (uni of Manchester) before I was diagnosed let alone treated so I ABSOLUTELY know how you feel about the reading :sweat_smile:

What are you planning to do your dissertation on?

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#5

Welcome to the Tribe, Kaji!

I visited London once upon a time back in 2010. It was very intense, but I loved it. If I ever went back, I’d want to explore the underground music scene. I especially like the genre of Grime.

What is this alge supplement and what does it do? I am intrigued. Also, I LOVE MATCHA! :slight_smile:

I have to get back to work…

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#6

Hi Marodir!

Thank you so much for such an in-depth response. Yes, your experience of Ritalin sounds very similar to some of the experiences I have had. It is such a shock and an emotional rollercoaster to accept that your mind isn’t typical and that it has been an invisible “disability” all this time. It’s like wearing glasses for the first time. I think I may try medication if I can get hold of it through my GP.

Thank you for your support and hope you are well!

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#7

Hi Katy,

Thanks for your response. I could have easily have been your classmate if we were at uni in the same years (I chose to go to SOAS instead). How did you find it? Well done for getting in and completing it by the way, it couldn’t have been easy without knowing about your ADHD.

My dissertation will be on the South Asian diaspora and their practices of yoga in London! I can explain in more detail if you’re interested but it will be based on my fieldwork and a written ethnography.
xxxx

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#8

Hi Stefan,

Thank you for the welcome! You are right, it is very intense but an amazing city. I’m glad you had the opportunity to visit. Where are you from?

The music here is on point. I’m loving being here at such an awesome time for art, music, culture and fashion! It is a very diverse and multicultural place. I work as a student ambassador and get to teach younger students around London and one of my lectures was named “the anthropology of grime”. Haha.

The supplement is E3 BrainOn. https://www.planetorganic.com/vision-e3-brainon-75caps-21865/21865/?gclid=EAIaIQobChMIyseulcaq4QIV7Z3tCh3e6ARKEAQYASABEgINz_D_BwE

I think Matcha is so effective (even more so than coffee). However, I realised this by accident.

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#9

Well, I’d argue it’s not really a disability as such, it’s just non-typical. Because ADHD people can be hugely useful, and sometimes even better than non-ADHD people. It just depends on how you use them, and what systems you put in place.:wink: So to me it wasn’t as much of a shock and as difficult to get used to as it may have been for you. But I think culture also plays into it heavily. Some cultures are shockingly horrid when it comes to mental health… I’m currently living in Japan (though not for much longer), and the stigma surrounding anything mental is severe here, yet all stimulants are extremely restricted, amphetamines being permanently banned as having NO medical use (tell that to everyone using Adderall) because so many parents pushed it onto kids. One study found that teachers identified ADHD symptoms in about 5% of their middle school students, while 30% of the students’ parents identified their child as having ADHD, because they weren’t the ‘good kids’ who could sit down and study all day, after a full school day, at the age of 12… Yeah… Culture can influence a lot how easy or hard it is to deal with diagnosis.

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