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ADD / ADHD Community
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Avatar universal

How Does A Harvard Student Have ADHD?

I was just diagnosed with ADHD. How the hell did I make it this far? I'm extremely disorganized, easily distracted, very forgetful, fidgety, and I've never, ever read a book from cover to cover. I never realized the extremely high stress life I lived was a result of all of this. I spent endless nights crying because of procrastination, frustration from once again losing something, and anger from forgetting this. How did I manage to keep my grades up? I feel like I went undiagnosed for so long because of this. Is there anyone else with a similar story? I feel as though people don't take me seriously.
15 Responses
189897 tn?1441130118
COMMUNITY LEADER
  My guess is you made it this far because you are very intelligent and have a great short term memory.  Oh, got a feeling that you also have the ability to push yourself to the limit and beyond.
  I am glad that someone (Harvard?) figured it out.  I have seen posts from adults who at age 30+ were just figuring it out after going through years of hell, divorce, lost jobs, etc.
   I am hopeful that you realize that knowing what you've got isn't the same as understanding what you have got.  There is a lot that you can do (and I don't mean just meds), that will help you.  But knowledge is now the key.
    You asked is there anyone else with a similar story.  You might enjoy reading a book by a  UC Berkley honors student with severe  ADHD about growing up with ADHD.  The book is  called - "ADHD and Me,  What I learned from lighting fires at the dinner table," by  Blake Taylor.  
  For a different perspective check out -
         http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rybVzoKOwWA
  And for a pretty mature, but kind of chaotic view (well the creator has ADD) check out http://jeffsaddmind.com/for-first-time-visitors
    For just plain facts and pretty all encompassing -
http://www.supreme.state.az.us/casa/prepare/adhd.html
,,,By the way, Harvard does have to give students with ADHD/ADD some educational aids - like extra time on tests, etc.  But I believe you might need a 504 or an IEP to do so.  You might want to check this out with your counselor.  Best Wishes
189897 tn?1441130118
COMMUNITY LEADER
  Ok, I just saw your post to Confused.  You can probably ignore most of my post.  I thought from yours that you were a freshman, newly diagnosed.  Of course, if you haven't read or seen any of the stuff I recommended - Its still worth your time.
189897 tn?1441130118
COMMUNITY LEADER
  Opps, I meant your response to the post by vyvansequestion,
Avatar universal
I am 32 years old and I am also a graduate student at Harvard. Last year I was diagnosed with ADHD and just two days ago I learned that I am also...Bipolar. I have two failed marriages and numerous failed relationships. I have lived all over the world because I have never been able to stay put longer than a year. I have the attention span of a fly and the past two months I have experienced more anxiety attacks than I have in my entire life.
I tried Vyvanse and it made me too depressed to function...go figure! I tried Adderall and I almost ended up hospitalized after barely surviving a horrible night of suicidal thoughts.

I have an IQ of 138 and have been in Gifted courses all my life. I graduated from college days before graduating from high school. My hyperactivity has always made me work hard.

I have also had drug problems (though they never interrupted my educational pursuits) with marijuana, ecstacy and cocaine. All which I used in an attempt to...find some peace of mind, believe it or not.

They say I am a creative genius. They say I am unique. Statistics say I am definitely one in a million since a 138 IQ along with the ADHD and Bipolar diagnosis have me at the 1% of "afflicted" Americans.

What do I say to all this new information?

I am just me.

Some days are harder than others. Some days are really great! I haven't started taking any new medication. I do Energy Medicine exercises (from Donna Eden) every day. I meditate as much as I can every day. I changed my diet to a mostly vegetarian. I do not do drugs or drink.

My point is...I may now have a label for all this...but, I always knew I was different. I embrace it and I still plan to forge ahead and earn my Ph.D. from Harvard one day!

2021410 tn?1330943783
hey man your gonna be fine. i know the effects of these drugs(add/adhd stimulants) from a lifetime of experience(age 6-16). i would say don't do them and touch base with God.  figure out your bodies inner workings and the effects of good ol' nutrition.  if you have anything in your diet that is mass produced with all types of chemicals, then try a wholesome diet with no sugars. stay away from mind debilitating foods. that is something NO doctor is willing to explain for the fear of loosing a patient.  i have never been to a nutritionist but you must become your own expert when it comes to your food, and not throw drugs in the mix.
2021410 tn?1330943783
oh i just read the last paragraph lol!  sounds good. thumbs up pal.  but please remember, your not the only one to go through this. and the 1% is chump change when compared to the human condition everyone shares while on stimulants.  i am against add/adhd drugs for eternity
Avatar universal
Yep, you're a genius, you have learned to compensate. That is your gift and your curse. My daughter is not a genius, so her issues became evident earlier. I would love to hear someone with your IQ, give me the words to explain to my child's teachers, what ADHD does to people internally. And what would give them a better understanding of it. Some people cant' understand anything, unless they experience it themselves.
Avatar universal
Are you against other drugs for other ailments? Or are you just prejudiced against people with mental health disorders?
973741 tn?1342346373
We might also add that this is a 'self professed' genius.  That doesn't exactly make it so.  I'm just saying . . .
2021410 tn?1330943783
i could never prove that i am a genius. i am only a suppressed( self suppressed? you tell ms special) one. and your the first of a generation of troubled "common people"  to hear one of "us" say this.  i have been let down, and yes it is technically a curse.  i can go on the spiritual explanation for this but i feel it would only upset the people who stopped this reality when it entered their lives.  and also that it may be used against me to have spent so much of my life pondering something that made me who i am.  i am only against the companies and the manifestaions in our memory banks caused by these drug lords. i try to love everyone. but when evreyone is blind to something they created and ultimately deny, i am a minority lost in the haze. this is my first step in showing my appreciation for misinformed families.
973741 tn?1342346373
It would be better if you just shared your story without inferring that you know better than everyone else.  That is much more convincing and powerful than your current method.  But that is yoru choice.
2021410 tn?1330943783
please excuse my spiritualistic tendencies. I do not know more than everyone else, nor am i superior in abnormal ways.  i only know through experiment that we can save millions from a reprehensible influence. its my families choice, and ultimately it is (should be) my communities choice and we are trying, as a family, to do the next best thing with this experimental process.  i am trying to see how most view hospitality in an agnostic, christian, or deceived culture. thank you for your time.
Avatar universal
You are definitely not alone.... I am in similar shoes. I haven't figured things out, but my guess is that we've done a good job compensating for ADHD with intelligence and cleverness. The silver lining is that I am exceptionally good operating during real disasters because my day-to-day is basically putting out all the fires that I seem to cause through incredibly poor time management and focus. Another bit of silver lining is that, when you're high enough in the ranks, you have little monotony to deal with and can delegate that kind of stuff to others. Plenty of people are happy to have the predictability of and direction under mundane work that ADHD people cannot execute.

Anyway, I'm going to try to  use my "intelligence" to focus on solutions to this problem.... Taking a vacation to read up on this, meditate, build better habits, observe triggers, come up with mechanisms to put myself in environments with fewer distractions, etc.... We'll see how that goes

One piece of advice--- Don't become the diagnosis. Don't let it be your crutch. Plenty of people are their own worst enemies, too, just in either ways. So remember how capable you are and find peace with the limits of your modes of operation-- but don't settle with any perceived limits of what you can actually achieve.
Avatar universal
My question to you is how well did you do in math? There's a theory going around in the psychology of true ADHDers that there is a dysfunction with short term memory and math, apperantly were very bad with math, and solving equations solely relaying on the thought processes
189897 tn?1441130118
COMMUNITY LEADER
   Ya, I taught math and I don't buy it.  The problem ADHD's have with math is they usually don't/can't listen in class to how to go through the problem solving steps.  Many times the ADHDer is smart enough to figure out the probems - but not really sure how they did it.  Typically about the time algebra hits (or fractions if they are not as smart), the problems with math crop up because all of a sudden they either have to listen in class or do the homework - both of which are difficult.  If the person with ADHD loves (or likes) math, they do well because they enjoy the process of it.
    Essentially, you can't solve an equation on thought process if you don't understand the process.
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