How do you manage motivation and sleep when paired with ADHD and depression? Are you a late-diagnosis of ADHD, and if so, how did you cope with learning so late? I’m a newly diagnosed adult for ADHD (have been diagnosed with depression for 5+ years already) while in college and have a hard time figuring out how to handle it while managing difficult classes.
I've been diagnosed with depression for more than a decade and basically just got diagnosed with adhd as an adult a month ago. I'm still kind of processing it but I've slowly learned coping mechanisms that work for me to be an adhd student i didn't realize was from adhd haha.
I have ADHD all my life. But I found a few things that helped me is - sifting and sorting what I like and don't like and do more on things I like. I also made games out of things like putting a timer for 15 minutes and see how much clothes I can out away for that time. I have ADHD music in the background when I'm pounding out my work tasks. Somehow, they help me focus. And learning that I have a tendency to hyper focus, I aim it towards things that will help me instead of destroying me. For example, thinking about negative things will just lead me to downward spiral. So instead, I talk about progress and how to get better at something so I'm more inspired to move up.
Meditation helped me quite a bit. Putting aside 15 minutes first thing in the morning helped me focus better throughout the day. I also give myself 5 minutes of "appreciation" - when I list off things I'm thankful for. It can be as small as - I like the feeling of wiggling my toes right now. I'm glad I get a nice pillow to sleep on and a warm blanket to use.
As for sleep - I'm so active that by the time I hit the bed I fall asleep right away. Maybe incorporating more exercise in your schedule will help.
Hope that helps!
I was also diagnosed late, just last year at 20. I am still trying to figure out how to cope with only recently finding out. It’s incredibly frustrating to think back on my childhood because I remember exhibiting so many obvious symptoms, yet I was just written off as lazy and unmotivated. However, all I can really do is accept what is and find ways to make my own accommodations from here. I was diagnosed with depression at 15, and ended up barely graduating high school. I used sleep to avoid feeling anything, and probably spent more time asleep in those four years than I did conscious.
I am also in college and still taking online classes, which have been dreadfully painful. I started this semester taking a full course load, but I have since dropped 2 of the 4 classes I was taking. I started working with an ADHD coach a few weeks ago who has been really helpful in helping me understand my own brain, and coming up with ways of making my life easier. I highly recommend speaking to a coach if you are able to! Other than that I can’t say I have any specific tips. Best of luck on your journey!
Lol @EnergizerBunny we've all had it all our lives—its a neurodevelopmental disorder, you can't acquire it 😝🙃 (Though that being said—the resultant traits from TBI can be SHOCKINGLY similar).
I was diagnosed Severe Combined-Type Complex ADHD last August at the cusp of 33, plus heavy cPTSD+PTSD which I was well aware of. In January followed my Autism diagnosis and the entire story of my life became crystal clear. I'm still in that diagnostic evaluation, by the way. Wednesday is visit #9. Evidently I have more letters to disambiguate. 2 weeks ago, my Vocational Rehab rep dx'd me with over 9 counts of TBI through the NE TBI Society's criteria . Things have become even clearer. I started 31hr/wk classes today for an IT Networking Admin & Cloud Security program I'm going to just conquer like Alexander. You can get through this!
The timer advice is KEY! 🗝️ #IBNU is our enemy! "Important But Not Urgent"
You have to give yourself a sense of urgency if something is only important but doesn't interest you, or you're not going to find the motivation to do it. Even fake timers work—we forget they're fake! 👍🤣 I know I'm NOT the only one here with clocks set ahead, by amounts of time I closed my eyes and button-smashed to achieve ignorance of ⏰. I literally forget that they run fast sometimes and it gets me running out the door 7 or 8 minutes early because I *just dont think to look at my watch* when I'm panicked for time! AND WELL "8 mins early" to me is more like "8 mins earl-IER" aka "probably almost on time" 🤣😭⚰️
I'd HIGHLY suggest watching some of How To ADHD on YouTube, literally most of my advice comes straight from her content (incl. #IBNU).
@cassquirrel (hehe ♡ the rodents in here) the "then I recognized all the past neglect and wept for the person I feel I could have been" thing is huge. Common to the ND experience, it seems, but a very important step to go through, nonetheless. Congrats for accepting it and moving on so (seemingly?) quickly! I cried for a month straight sbout it and typing this now still makes my eyes glossy.
I manage motivation and sleep directly through the use of stimulant medication, specifically Vyvanse for me. My GeneSight test showed that half the ADHD medications will be ineffective for me, so I'm lucky to have found the thing that works first. But I've had lifelong seriously medically-frightening sleep problems, so even just sleeping every night of the week, let alone being on an actual schedule I can expect, is huge for me and changed a lot of things.
I’m 24 and finally just graduated college after getting diagnosed with adhd at age 23. Luckily my bf also has adhd so I do have people with insights but I’ve had a lot of major realizations lately that many of the issues that I thought were caused by other issues are actually just symptoms of adhd or not treating adhd. I find it super difficult to manage trying to get a handle on this while trying to start a career and move out.
For college I highly suggest being upfront with your professors and letting them know what you struggle with. I used to write down every thing I had to do in multiple places so I wouldn’t forget and have the constant reminders.
Resources for you ♡
(including a couple which assert your disability rights and provide easy accommodation examples, which you can just print out and hand your instructors if it makes things easier... or send them attached any way you can. Also to send to faculty Administration or a counselor/"career coach" assigned to you, if you have one):
Not all college students with ADHD are the same and have the same level of difficulty adjusting to college...
Entering College with ADHD
Succeeding in College with ADHD
Legal Briefs:AD/HD and Test Accommodations
By Patricia Horan Latham, J.D., and Peter S. Latham, J.D.
Providing Classroom Accommodations to Help Students with ADHD - CHADD
ADDitude's Classroom Accommodations to Help Students with AD/HD
(↓ This one should be easy enough for *anyone* to read...)
ADHD Classroom Accommodations for Specific Behaviour
Copyright 2005 Georgina Rayner, prepared for CADDAC
Source archive for Attention Magazine:
☝ This content is generated by our users and it is not a substitute for professional medical advice. Please consult with your physician before making any medical decision
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