I Spent Twenty-One Years With Untreated ADHD

And I really wish I hadn’t

Phoenix
Humans with ADHD

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Prescription drugs on an orange background with a pill bottle.
Photo by Christina Victoria Craft on Unsplash

For most of my academic experience, I did well in school.

The only genuine issue was that I often distracted my friends from their work. Otherwise, I finished my work early and almost always got high grades. If a teacher saw me reading a book instead of doing schoolwork, they assumed I’d already finished.

Sure, I was forgetful, and I procrastinated, but that didn’t affect my grades.

In my last years of high school, though, I started struggling.

In history, I remember the teacher calling me over to his desk to go over my grades with me. He showed me my grade — barely passing — and then showed me my ten missing assignments. If I passed those in, he said, I’d have an A+.

I never submitted those assignments.

In classes where I needed to do practice problems, like physics, I really struggled. If I did the practice problems, I knew I’d understand. But I didn’t — despite my best efforts, I barely scraped by.

Then a friend mentioned ADHD. My struggles started making sense.

According to WebMD, in the United States, up to 5% of people meet the diagnostic criteria for ADHD. That means one in every twenty people, on average, has the…

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Phoenix
Humans with ADHD

Neurodivergent and queer writer of both fiction and nonfiction. He/they. Check out my recommendations (affiliate links): https://benable.com/nebulanix