To those who thought/think they might have ADHD before diagnosis...

I’m curious how people who did some degree of self-diagnosis of ADHD, how did you first learn of ADHD to come to this conclusion?

For me, it was one of my brother’s friends suggesting that my brother might have it (20 years ago). I looked at the symptoms and BAM - that’s me!


I’m still not really sure how, but I ended up at an online ADHD test. I’m not sure if that was shortly before or shortly after I started reading about it. I guess I was just surfing the web.

It was a complete surprise to me that there was something that could put ticks in all the boxes for my symptoms. It took me a few days for it to sink in, and then I was all over the web looking for info. I found How To ADHD pretty early on.


I actually looked into Asperger’s first after reading a book about it and recognizing a lot of the traits that had given me trouble forever, at a point in my life where I couldn’t really claim anymore that it’s just quirks and everybody should just shut up 'cause they’re not so perfect either. I did an online test that showed a higher-than-average but uncertain tendency towards it but as I read up on it more, I noticed that while I share quite a few of the traits, the ones that can really only be Asperger’s weren’t among them.

That’s when a friend who hadd innattantive ADHD told me the symptoms were somehow similar and I should look into that. So I did a test for that, too, and already at the second question I felt right at home because I left for the kitchen to make some tea at that point and didn’t come back to finish the test for a while. Whatever doubt I had left was quickly discarded by Jessica’s series.

There were still a few differences but I chalked them up to not being hyperactive, just inattentive, most likely. I was quite surprised when I got diagnosed for the whole set later. I guess it makes sense if you count mental hyperactivity.


I honestly don’t remember exactly where I first heard of it. I know I read Joey Pigza swallowed the key when I was younger, but I didn’t completely relate to his problems much at all (he was the hyperactive type). I also remember watching nigahiga’s how to know if you have adhd, and reading the percy Jackson series. I don’t know where my search started though.

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Surprise surprise: i read a post about a girl, who makes videos about mental health care. It sounded interesting, so i decided to click. Than boom, i watched all of howtoadhd videos on youtube. I was listening, and shocked. Not much later diagnosed.

So yeah. Thanks again! :hugs:


I had no idea I ADHD. I didn’t know what ADHD was at the time. I thought I just had really bad anxiety. Managing my emotional dysregulation is very important.


I did not do any self diagnosis for ADHD and ASD before I was diagnosed. I was diagnosed, because of failed therapy. I started out with a new therapist and she though that I had ADHD& ASD, so she refereed me to a psychologist for testing. The psychologist told me within about 5 minutes he thought I had ADHD & ASD. Then I fanatically searched the internet to try to understand what ADHD was. This is where I found Jessica’s TedX talk and it all financially clicked.

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I went in for an autism assessment and also got diagnosed with ADHD, comorbid. It turned out the ADHD was actually more severe than the actual autism!

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I haven’t been diagnosed yet, but I’m trying to change that. The symptoms and genetics strongly indicate I have it, hehe. Four of my siblings have it, two of whom have been diagnosed. I read about it at a mental health event and that was when it clicked I could have it, but I kept to myself for a while because I was worried people would tell me I was an attention seeker or just trying to get out of work. My sister (with ADHD) was the one to help me out of this. She had my back then and she still does. I’ll always be incredibly grateful for that. I found Jessica’s channel a short time after, and that’s how I stumbled upon this lovely community. :slight_smile:


Yeah, it is pretty much finding out that I am checking pretty much all the boxes. It sounds like a description of myself. I am very certain about this, but I guess I should get a diagnose just to find some closure here.


Marco, you can aim higher than that for sure. Personally, I’m looking for improvement, and aiming towards being the best person that I can be. I want to be the person I’ve always thought of myself as, but could only rarely actually be.


I think I always kind of knew that there was something off about me. I had read the Percy Jackson series as a kid, but it wasn’t until I was struggling to get homework done that I started to have my suspicions. I did some research and tried to talk to others about it. I didn’t get a whole lot of support though, so it wasn’t until a year or two later that I was venting to a roommate and friend about it that she suggested I get a diagnosis.


My brother was diagnosed when I was 15, so that’s when my awareness of what ADHD was kinda started. Most of 2nd-12th grade I was homeschooled and doing interest-based learning, so symptoms aside from being terrible at household chores and a little scatterbrained weren’t really noticed? And the things I did notice I assumed were just me being lazy/terrible/whatever.

When I really started to question if I had ADHD was when I started college. I was dedicated and passionate but still struggling, despite working hard. And it wasn’t because the material itself was challenging or because I wasn’t understanding, I just struggled to get anything done. I always ended up getting it done and got great grades, but it was way more of a painful process than anyone else I had talked to about it, and it drained pretty much all of my energy. After two years of that, I finally got diagnosed this summer and doubted it every second of the way, even though I had at least four people with a pretty good understanding of ADHD tell me I had nothing to worry about, and that they’d be shocked if I weren’t an ADHDer.

I’m so relieved to have done the neuropsychological testing and gotten diagnosed if nothing else but to have something to shut up the voice in my head going “You probably don’t even have ADHD, you’re just a failure and bad at coping with life. Your life isn’t harder than anyone else’s, you just can’t handle it bc you suck.” Which of course isn’t true at all, and ‘not coping as well as other people’ is pretty much synonymous with ‘having problems with something’ but I’m sure a lot of you understand the self doubt. It’s a powerful and often illogical thing.


IDK, still haven’t made an appointment and often I feel why even bother. I am so sure about this, all that I read about your stories sounds so familiar, from childhood to present, all the struggles and thoughts.And I check all the boxes. My only big doubt is if medicine would help me at all.

Hey Marco. I would suggest making that appointment. Get some meds, and then answer your own question about why bother.

My own experience with being diagnosed a couple of months ago, and going on the meds, has been positive.

I haven’t solved all of my life’s little problems, and I still have days where I am just over it all, sick of fighting.

But between the antidepressants and the dexamphetamine, I am much better off than I was. The rest is up to me now.

If anything, I’ve removed ADHD as an excuse (kind of) and now if I’m being lazy or stubborn, I can blame myself and not the unseen hand of ADHD. Definitely progress.

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Well I have done a first step.

Once again, there is something important that I have misplaced and I am going to have consequences. Hopefully it will be only loss of some money and time and nothing more serious.

Today after school I looked for our counselor, who has a masters in psychology. I just wanted to see if she had some contacts where I could get a diagnose. Because I need to know if there is more that I can do about it than just lousy survival skills. I thought she would ask me some questions, doubting me, or at best giving me some references where to go.

But right away when I mentioned the idea, she said right away: “Oh you can save the money. Of course you have ADHD.” She said she knows me for long enough and that I am pretty much textbook. She told me that I should go straight to a neurologist, although she has doubts that medicine would help much in my case. She gave some suggestions about nutrition though.

So I asked her if she could give me the number of a neurologist and she will look into it. I just hope I can afford it since our health insurance does not cover this kind of stuff.

Anyway, that was a huge step today. And it confirms what I have been thinking to know for about two months now. What do you guys think?


Nice one. Save up some money and go. Get it done, and then at least you’ll have a better idea about your situation. Knowing more about yourself can only be a good thing, even if it opens up a whole can of worms.

I’m not sure on what basis your counselor said that medication wouldn’t help you… I’d give them a try anyway, with the understanding that the first meds that you try may not be the right ones for you. See what the neurologist says.

I don’t really know what the difference is between a neurologist and a psychiatrist… I’m guessing that a neurologist would be all over brain/chemical interactions, and would run some tests to find out which direction to send you in.

My psychiatrist uses dexamphetamine as a base to prescribe to the majority of his patients initially. Then may change them to another if required. I was lucky that the dexys seemed to hit the spot first time.

As far as being able to afford it… I had a toothache last week. I went to the dentist straight away, even though I needed the money for something else (still bought a new laptop, now I’m broke…).

My point is, I had pain, so I went to see a professional and did something about it.

ADHD pain is less immediate, and there is the always the option of putting off treatment because, well… You will probably survive without it and can keep going the way you’re going.

But it’s a health problem that does need to be treated. For your own quality of life, as well as for those around you.

Bite the bullet, seek the treatment, and improve your life. You owe it to yourself and your family. It won’t be just you that you are helping.


I’m glad she was supportive and confirmed your suspicions. Definitely make an appointment with either a neurologist or a psychologist. Are you sure your insurance doesn’t cover mental health treatment? I didn’t think that could be excluded…

Like @Smoj said, I wouldn’t dismiss medication on her word. Def talk to the doc about their recommendation. Just an FYI, since amphetamines are highly sought after for abuse, you will likely still need to do some sort of testing at the doctor’s direction to confirm the diagnosis before he’ll prescribe.

And she’s right about diet changes, they can make huge a difference. Unfortunately, they’re often harder to implement than medication. Example, cutting sugar out of my diet improves my focus tremendously. Except sugar is super addictive and I fight my body’s/brain’s craving for it everyday. And often lose. Like right now I’m eating the last of the fudge I bought when I went apple picking two weeks ago. Ah well.

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Lol Gaelic. But I had a therapist say I was cutting out carbohydrates/ starches too much and it made it harder for me to swallow all the meds.


LOL. I can see that. My mother reacts really badly to a low carb/no carb diet. It made her pass out. For me, sugar spikes my mood and then crashes, and the result is my focus is all over the place. So I know I SHOULDN’T eat sugar (and I’m talking added refined sugars, not fresh fruit or grains) but it’s soooooooo hard.