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ADHD and College and Higher Education

Coping with the College Conundrum

Does anyone else feel overwhelmed and frustrated by the lack of support for adhd and mental health in general sometimes?  Maybe I am just having a bad day, but I am exhausted from trying to deal with everything myself. 

I am a first year law student who has struggled with mental health issues all my life.  Throughout undergrad I had to take medical leaves, and just over a month ago my psychiatrist gave me a diagnosis of ADHD with comorbid depression.  I am doing everything I can to build a support network- going to all my therapy appointments, joining a support group, enrolling in disability services, talking to my teachers, etc.  However, I have been having a lot of issues with attendance and with getting organized in general.  I know this takes time, but it’s exhausting.  I just feel teachers are getting more and more frustrated with me, even though I am trying my best to get back on track.  Oh, and yes, I am taking medication but it’s a struggle to find what works best.  I know this takes time too and I am trying to be patient, but I feel like I have run out of patience from other people.

Anyone have similar experiences?  Advice for teachers and support, or for coping in general?  Thanks.

Replies

As a parent of a college student dealing with all that, I can only offer a big pat on the back to you and further encouragement to keep plugging away. It IS exhausting and so many people/offices just don’t understand what you deal with all day every day.
Congratulations for already doing so much to help yourself & Godspeed.

Posted by AW1492 on Feb 25, 2014 at 3:49am

Look into getting an ADHD coach. They can help you pull all of this together and learn strategies to cope and succeed. Here’s a Guide to ADHD Coaching from ADDitudeMag.com: http://www.additudemag.com/adhd/article/4002.html.

Good luck to you!

Penny
ADDconnect Moderator & Mom to Tween Boy with ADHD and LDs

Posted by adhdmomma on Feb 25, 2014 at 7:36pm

As a doctoral student, I felt *exactly* the same way! And yes, professors and teachers get tired of it real quick and rightly so: think of all the things they’ve heard over the years. Anyone can say “I’m going through a divorce/had a baby/have Lyme disease/have to take steroids that make me really tired/ etc etc and ADHD is *no different*  We’re expected to manage and overcome as future professionals.  It’s your first semester, so anxiety is probably making your symptoms much worse.  Manage stress really well or otherwise you won’t have the mental energy to try out different coping strategies, which is trial-and-error because they have to be tailored for you as an individual.  But sooner or later, you’ll get there. Then you’ll feel so good about yourself! Organization for me took about a year of now have a solid system using color-coding and what I call the “all in one place” method (everything on my laptop, synced with my smart phone)  Did you know they make all kinds of organizational things for cars, closets, office?  I was like a kid in a candy store!  They’re apparently for mothers with 5 kids who have the same organizational problems we do, LOL!!  You’re going to be a *GREAT* attorney!

Posted by Lisa M on Feb 27, 2014 at 12:32pm

There are a couple of things you can do to reduce the frustration.

First, you can declutter space and life issues, getting rid of things you don’t need or really want. After that it is a little bit easier to organize.

Second, you can make a list of all the things on your mind in two columns; Things Not Worth Worrying about and Things Worth Worrying about.

And if a thing that’s on your mind is someone else’s responsibility you can feel free to put in your Things Not Worth Worrying About column.

Posted by John Tucker, PhD, ACG. ADHD Coach on Feb 28, 2014 at 3:01am

Question: do you utilize your school’s learning disabilities offerings?! We went through the schools Health clinic, with the diagnosis got moved to the learning disabilities office, and were given a good amount of support.

Like being able to take tests in a separate room, and more than anything: additional support and talk time with professors.

I found the two most useful tools to be: make it a habit to visit EACH professor once a week during their office hours, and find the person in my class making the best grades, and ask to be their study partner!!

Posted by Merganize on Mar 03, 2014 at 8:29am

I have been thinking of you and I hope you are ok.  I hope you are seeking encouragement and ideas from friends and counselor

I’m assuming you already have your bachelor’s?  Otherwise disregard everything I said and by all means use their free resources.

If it’s graduate level, the pressure’s only going to get worse.  Even more reason to “adapt and overcome”

This website has wonderful ideas:  Look up William Dobson, Phd. pn here. He’s fantastic.

Posted by Lisa M on Mar 03, 2014 at 12:15pm

I know exactly what you’re talking about. I just found out I had ADD in December smack in the middle of my freshman year and my school pretty much gave me a list of the accommodations I’m entitled to and then didn’t actually follow through on all of them no matter how much I harassed them. My professors also got more and more frustrated and I eventually ended up nearly getting kicked out because of my grades (even though I was totally working harder than everyone). You are not alone, and I’m glad to know I’m not either!

Posted by Yubbles15 on Aug 18, 2014 at 5:29am

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