New Issue!

Spring 2017 Issue ADDitude magazine Read the 'ADHD Therapies That Work' issue now!

The New ADDitude Forums Are Live!

Reach our full community by posting to ADDitude's discussion forums here

ADHD Adults

Any academics here?

Are there any other acedemic professionals here?  I’m looking to see how other academic scientists with ADHD handle job organization (esp. mental organization), impulsivity, and attention to detail. 

I’m a post-doc in a coutnry that doesn’t really believe in ADHD, and so have to do without Strattera that works so well for me.  I’m using Rhodiola rosea, but its just not quite the same.

I continually run into issues with attention to detail and impulsivity in my thinking and analysis of data.  I’m mortified by all this, but it seems to me that I am doing fine until my advisor or someone else critiques my work.  Then I see that I didn’t think carefully enough (or perhaps deliberately linearly enough).

Its enough to make me consider abandoning my quest for a TT position and either get out of academia or try to get signed up as someone’s tech.  I would be a stellar tech (or so my PhD advisor said!), but who with a PhD can get hired as a tech?

Anyway, I am looking for any advice others may have to offer.  Just knowing that there are other academic scientists who were able to get tenure would be great.

Thanks, all.


I would look for a coach. Find someone to proof your work and to listen to you as you present to look for missed items.  Once you finish your doctorate you will be fine, remember, it’s your advisor’s job to poke holes in your work.

You are being too self critical.  Check out resources for Strattera if that has worked for you in the past.

Posted by Lee Anne on Nov 28, 2013 at 7:14pm

Sorry, I meant your post doc work, missed that detail, LOL

Posted by Lee Anne on Nov 28, 2013 at 7:15pm

I agree with Lee Anne.
No worries.
I have worked with successful academics who have developed protocols to manage their ADHD.

Many of the well known and successful authors in this area have ADHD. It looks messy but it’s really quite simple if you focus on what works best to leverage what doesn’t work as well.

Posted by John Tucker, PhD, ACG. ADHD Coach on Nov 28, 2013 at 7:20pm

I relate to what you ‘re experiencing. I’m a master’s level high school English teacher. The world of academia is overrun with rather judgmental, linear types. Those of us who struggle with linear thinking stand out. And not in a good way. We find ourselves apologizing and trying to laugh off the gaffes that others observe. It can be quite painful.

If I could afford a coach, I would certainly have one. Alas, teachers in my state have had zero raises in the past six years. Also quite painful.

Good luck to you, my friend. I know how you must feel. Get a coach!!  smile


Posted by libbyr78 on Nov 28, 2013 at 8:23pm

Hey, I am studying a PhD in Geography of Transports Systems.
I have many problems with organize and procrastination.
I have Known that I’m PhD and dyslexic 5 months ago.

Posted by Pàmies Sans on Nov 28, 2013 at 8:27pm

I fully intend to get a coach once I get back to USA. I would love to have one, but I don’t think they exist here. The country I am in right now is quite bad for ADHD.  They make it very difficult to get medications and I’ve been told several times that they don’t really believe in it.  It is an American pseudo-disease or something.

Posted by mudscientist on Nov 28, 2013 at 8:38pm

Could you get the Strattera in a neighboring country?

Posted by whizinc on Nov 28, 2013 at 11:47pm

I am no longer in science but now in healthcare, but have a PhD and have been recently diagnosed ADHD as an adult. I know how tough it is when everyone else seems more organised and can think through things differently and I found my PhD pretty hard.
You’re a post-doc, so you can do research, even though it’s tough.  The question seems to me to be to do with whether you really are that bad at writing grants and whether this level of research is what you want to do or whether a lot of it is self-esteem.
Low self-esteem has had a huge part to play in my own journey and feeling a failure despite achieving a lot. I have recently started Concerta and things do now seem a lot clearer, and i have also been able to confront the tricky stuff.
Maybe the decision isn’t as harsh as giving up your career- can you move to a country where you can get the meds you need so you can enjoy the job again? Have you tried googling for a private doctor in your country so you can get some meds? Can you visit your own doctor in US on holiday and get a prescription?
Don’t give up! One thing about us ADHDers - we’re tenacious!!

Posted by Joninetyone on Nov 29, 2013 at 12:20am

I feel like this person is saying that in France (I looked it up on the profile) that Strattera is not even available in France. I did look it up and found that they use the generic word Atomoxetine for it and that it is a class of drug under the heading of norepenephrine and it is also used for what they have classed under mental illness as ADHD. All that said this person could order it through the mail with no prescription. So Maybe this person is saying there is no way to get and take it without jeopardizing their position??
Just saying.

Posted by missmix48 on Nov 29, 2013 at 9:54am

My first advice is to find a country where they do acknowledge the existence of AD/HD if you can.  But for a career in science you need to look at what you have to offer.  That is probably going to lie more in the area of creative, divergent thinking than in some area of research that requires rigid use of methodology to do experiments and accumulate data.  You will probably do better and be happier in some theoretical field than an applied one.  Look for a team or group scenario.  If you come up with the right group, you will do the theorising and others will test the theories.  Read Einstein’s biography - he just thought up the cool stuff, and other colleagues like Minkowski did the math.

Posted by Cedar on Nov 29, 2013 at 10:09am


Where did you see that Strattera is available without a prescription in France?  When I went for my mandatory immigration health exam, the doctor looked up Strattera for me and said that it had been withdrawn from being allowed to be sold.  I accepted that as truth, because I saw the computer screen myself.

The plan right now is to try to get my previous neurologist to prescribe generic Wellbutrin, and I’ll go get a bunch next time I’m back in the USA.  But if Strattera is available OTC (and legally), that would be fantastic.

Posted by mudscientist on Nov 29, 2013 at 4:57pm

There are many ADHD coaches in the US that will work with clients over Skype. I think 90+% of all coaching relationships are over phone or Skype anyway. Look into that as a possibility to help you get through the program.

ADDconnect Moderator & Mom to Tween Boy with ADHD and LDs

Posted by adhdmomma on Nov 29, 2013 at 9:17pm

Reply to this thread

You must be logged in to reply. To log in, click here.
Not a member? Join ADDConnect today. It's free and easy!

Not a member yet? Join here »

Search the ADDConnect Group Discussions