What if I don't have ADHD?

Hi! I’m 18 years old and new to this forum. I have been watching Jessica’s videos for quite a long time – originally because my sister was diagnosed with ADHD, but I have realised more and more that I recognise myself too in her videos.

I haven’t told my parents about my suspicions yet, even though I know my parents will be very supportive – my dad and both my siblings all have ADHD/ADD, so it’s nothing new.

I think I’m a bit scared of going through with an investigation. I’m scared of finding out I don’t have ADHD – then I’d just be lazy, careless and flaky for no reason at all. It also takes time, and I am extremely busy all the time and barely have any time to relax – adding another thing would make my schedule even more overwhelming than it already is.

I have a few questions for you ADHDers out there: Have any of you ever felt the same? And how did you talk to your parents about suspecting you might have ADHD? How did the investigation work? And how has the diagnosis helped you?

I feel like I need some support and motivation to deal with this!


Oop hello! Same age buddies!

It’s not necessary for a diagnosis, but ADHD often runs in families so it wouldn’t surprise me if you had it too if so many of your family has it.

This is a fear that a lot of people have. It’s a fear that I have and a fear that I’m sure won’t ever really go away. The thing is, there will always be that horrible person that will refuse to understand and will only think that and you’ll be forced into that line of thinking again but it is not and never will be true.

One of the main criteria for deciding whether something should be seen as a disorder and not a character trait is distress, whether the person affected is upset by the symptoms or not. If you are, then it’s something.

I receive this advice a lot on my posts and it never ceases to irk me but here it is for you lol:

If you get it looked at, it may not come out as ADHD but that doesn’t mean youre lazy, careless or flaky. If it distresses you, it is something, whatever that something may be. And it might be ADHD (given the family history, it likely is) but even if it isn’t, that doesn’t exclude you from help and support.

I wish you all the best. I hope you can find answers!


Hi there! I totally recognize this feeling - I was very much the same when I was your age (28 now)… And honestly, I still regularly get it – the whole “but what if I tricked them and I’m really just …”.

I felt that way for YEARS, but there’s no history of ADHD in my family, so I didn’t suspect it at all. Didn’t get tested (and diagnosed) until 2 years ago. So I’m going to echo Dxitydoo here: try to get tested if you can find the time, especially if you know your parents will be supportive.

Because ok, maybe you don’t have ADHD. But in my experience, people are not “flaky and lazy” for no reason. Maybe you are a bit burned out, or just overwhelmed, or suffering from anxiety. I remember 18 being a time of Big Life Questions and Big Expectations and it stressed me the f. out, ADHD or not :wink:

You sound like you need some support. Getting the most likely cause tested first seems like the best way forward :slight_smile:

Best of luck!


I hadn’t thought of it that way – that the way I’m affected by my symptoms is just as important as the symptoms themselves.

And it seems stupid to me now, that I hadn’t considered that even if it isn’t ADHD, I can still get help.

Thank you so much @Dxitydoo ! :heart:


Thank you for your advice @SugarintheSkye ! It’s nice to know someone else has felt/feels the same way, and thank you for the much needed support :smile:

I’m going to try to take your advice and find time to get tested. Maybe getting help can help me to be less overwhelmed, even if it takes up some time.


I didn’t ever think of having ADHD until it was suggested a couple of years ago. So, I never got to talk to my parents about it.

That being said, I think it’s an okay idea to talk with your parents about it. It would be important to ask, though, what would you be asking them for? Do you need their support? Do you need them to help you get evaluated? Are you looking for their input or observations? As an adult you have the ability to seek care without them, even under their insurance. It’s just up to you to decide when to do that.

As to the concerns that you have about being lazy, careless, and flaky… that kind of negative self talk can come from a variety of places and is also usually a distorted view of us and our behavior. I think it would be worth working with a therapist to challenge some of those thoughts, and also to explore the diagnosis. And, at the end of the day, if you don’t have an ADHD diagnosis then there are other things to work on including some self compassion to be gentle with yourself, learn about the challenges you face, and find ways to address those in a healthy and supportive way.

Whatever the case, welcome and good luck!


Twas no problemo! I’m glad I could help!

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