Can I succeed with ADHD?

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helpmeplsthanku
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#1
Report Thread starter 1 year ago
#1
hi all,
This is a bit long but I'd be sooo grateful if you can actually read it and reply
i'm a year 12 student in a very competitive grammar school. i'm studying 5 A-levels; History, Politics, Economics, RS and Turkish. I got five 9s and five 8s in my GCSEs.

I find it extremely hard to study. I can't maintain my focus. I also really struggle to listen in class. I struggled with my GCSEs too in terms of the workload but it was manageable. But A-level workload is way too huge for me. We are expected to revise 20 hours a week but that's basically impossible for me to do. I struggle to revise for more than 2 hours a day. And I also struggle to revise everyday. I can only revise 10 hours a week at max (which is really rare). I got diagnosed with inattentive ADHD a few weeks ago. I'm starting medication next week. I also got diagnosed with depression (due to untreated adhd), and depression makes my ADHD ten times worse. I have no motivation nor concentration to do anything.

I kind of gave up a few months ago. (before I knew I had ADHD). I was so frustrated and so unmotivated that I stopped revising completely. I even started skipping school. I haven't attended classes nor revised properly for like 3 months now, whereas my peers are doing 20 hour weeks. I'm so incredibly behind atm. After my ADHD diagnosis, it finally made sense. I'm a bit more motivated and I'm trying to get back on revision. I'm also hopeful that medication will make it better.

I'm also planning on dropping my 4th subject (RS). But I'm still struggling. Can someone like me succeed in their A-levels and get As and A*s? I think that I have a bit of a natural ability in my subjects and I find them really easy to learn which could give me an upper hand but of course that cancels out when my peers are doing 20 hour weeks. let's say that I somehow succeeded in my A-levels and got into a top uni... will I survive there? Let's say that I managed to get into a uni like LSE or UCL, will I be able to cope with the workload..? How about Oxbridge? If i got in, will I be able to graduate when I have ADD? Should I apply?

Please help me. Thank you so much :')
Last edited by helpmeplsthanku; 1 year ago
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HaruhiSuoh
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#2
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#2
I believe in you.

First of all to get into a grammar school is pretty amazing, secondly just because people say they do 20 hours a week doesn't mean its true. I remember at the start of college I did very badly, but I was so embarrassed of my grade that I slowly started putting in effort every day little by little and then by the time mocks came I was pretty happy with my results (it wasn't 3A*s but I saw how much I had done) and now I have managed to get 2A* predictions in subjects I would consider tough ( bio and maths and an a in chem).
I also noticed that you already have some belief in yourself which is awesome. something that I do and works is talk to Myself in the mirror outloud as if I'm in a convo, you might not feel like something is changing but it does and I also reflect on what I have done in the day before I go to bed. I understand that you might feel like you are on your own but I'm pretty sure there are people at UCL or LSE who have ADHD and have done amazing. don't let your condition hold you back let it show you how strong you are and your will power.
I hope ive said plenty to convince you that you are able to excel at Alevels the next step is to convince yourself.
goodluck and stay safe.
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helpmeplsthanku
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#3
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#3
(Original post by HaruhiSuoh)
I believe in you.

First of all to get into a grammar school is pretty amazing, secondly just because people say they do 20 hours a week doesn't mean its true. I remember at the start of college I did very badly, but I was so embarrassed of my grade that I slowly started putting in effort every day little by little and then by the time mocks came I was pretty happy with my results (it wasn't 3A*s but I saw how much I had done) and now I have managed to get 2A* predictions in subjects I would consider tough ( bio and maths and an a in chem).
I also noticed that you already have some belief in yourself which is awesome. something that I do and works is talk to Myself in the mirror outloud as if I'm in a convo, you might not feel like something is changing but it does and I also reflect on what I have done in the day before I go to bed. I understand that you might feel like you are on your own but I'm pretty sure there are people at UCL or LSE who have ADHD and have done amazing. don't let your condition hold you back let it show you how strong you are and your will power.
I hope ive said plenty to convince you that you are able to excel at Alevels the next step is to convince yourself.
goodluck and stay safe.
thank you so much for making me feel a lot better. your experience really inspired and motivated me. good luck to you with everything too!
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HaruhiSuoh
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#4
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#4
(Original post by helpmeplsthanku)
thank you so much for making me feel a lot better. your experience really inspired and motivated me. good luck to you with everything too!
Im so glad you feel better don't ever give up sometimes just give yourself some time to think and remind yourself of your accomplishments
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Pathway
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#5
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#5
Of course you can succeed. You just might have to do things a little differently. Speak to your teachers about how they can best support you.
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FTheOpps
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#6
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#6
Fairly certain I have it undiagnosed I've struggled with concentration my whole life. I'm doing alright and you definitely are - you'll be fine
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username5347244
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#7
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#7
Of course, you can! I have ADHD too, and I find ways around it and I have straight A's right now. You got this!!! :borat:
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Muttley79
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#8
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#8
(Original post by helpmeplsthanku)
thank you so much for making me feel a lot better. your experience really inspired and motivated me. good luck to you with everything too!
Have you spoken to your school SENCo to get support in place? You are also probably entititled to exam special arrangements e.g. small room, rest breaks [can't be sure without seeing the diagnosis report]. I used to be the SENCo so I know ADHD students can achieve highly - I would encourage you to seek support asap.
Last edited by Muttley79; 1 year ago
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helpmeplsthanku
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#9
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#9
(Original post by Pathway)
Of course you can succeed. You just might have to do things a little differently. Speak to your teachers about how they can best support you.
thank you
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helpmeplsthanku
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#10
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#10
(Original post by FTheOpps)
Fairly certain I have it undiagnosed I've struggled with concentration my whole life. I'm doing alright and you definitely are - you'll be fine
thank you! also you should definitely see a psychiatrist if you're suspecting it. a diagnosis makes a huge difference even if you're doing alright atm
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helpmeplsthanku
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#11
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#11
(Original post by sunny.side.up)
Of course, you can! I have ADHD too, and I find ways around it and I have straight A's right now. You got this!!! :borat:
so inspirational!! thank you
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helpmeplsthanku
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#12
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#12
(Original post by Pathway)
Of course you can succeed. You just might have to do things a little differently. Speak to your teachers about how they can best support you.
i definitely will! thank you
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helpmeplsthanku
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#13
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#13
(Original post by Muttley79)
Have you spoken to your school SENCo to get support in place? You are also probably entititled to exam special arrangements e.g. small room, rest breaks [can't be sure without seeing the diagnosis report]. I used to be the SENCo so I know ADHD students can achieve highly - I would encourage you to seek support asap.
i let the school know about my ADHD and next week i'll be talking with SEN about arrangements. thanks for the advice & motivation!
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FTheOpps
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#14
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#14
(Original post by helpmeplsthanku)
thank you! also you should definitely see a psychiatrist if you're suspecting it. a diagnosis makes a huge difference even if you're doing alright atm
Naa in the UK it's impossible to be diagnosed without being put on a long waiting list that can last up to two years, and as an adult you're less likely to be seen
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kaagyu
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#15
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Throughout my A levels I had undiagnosed autism and had a lot of the same issues that you describe. I'm not sure on how the new GCSE grade system works, but I got A*, 6 A's and 3/4 B's. During my A levels I barely revised at all because I just couldn't and I had to do an extra year of A levels because of it. In my final year, I didn't revise either. Ended up with ABE, and the majority of unis wanted ABB at the very minimum for the course I wanted to do. I'm now in my final year of uni, getting top grades and have applied for a very competitive master's degree elsewhere while my current uni are begging me to stay. I'm not at a top uni so I can't speak for them (actually at quite a **** one, but it gets me my degree!) but there are extra provisions in place for those with things like ADD/ADHD, autism etc, you just have to give them a doctor's letter to prove it. Definitely speak to your sixth form because they can provide additional support. You're not doomed to fail. 20 hour weeks don't necessarily get you good grades - all that time could be spent doing something absolutely useless.
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helpmeplsthanku
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#16
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#16
(Original post by FTheOpps)
Naa in the UK it's impossible to be diagnosed without being put on a long waiting list that can last up to two years, and as an adult you're less likely to be seen
yes i totally understand. i got diagnosed by a Turkish psychiatrist (we did a zoom call). i went to a psychiatrist here in the uk before, it was a private one as well, but it was totally rubbish. she disregarded me completely, she said that i was just going trough a typical teenager phase and she didn't even let me explain myself. she took my money (was very expensive too!) and vanished. i never heard from her again and she never replied to my emails.

i understand that the NHS must be even worse than the private sector. especially those years long waiting lists!! if you have the means i would recommend you to try and contact a clinic abroad (apparently the US is pretty good for teenagers with adhd, but i'm not sure about their approach to adult adhd). good luck with everything
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helpmeplsthanku
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#17
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#17
(Original post by kaagyu)
Throughout my A levels I had undiagnosed autism and had a lot of the same issues that you describe. I'm not sure on how the new GCSE grade system works, but I got A*, 6 A's and 3/4 B's. During my A levels I barely revised at all because I just couldn't and I had to do an extra year of A levels because of it. In my final year, I didn't revise either. Ended up with ABE, and the majority of unis wanted ABB at the very minimum for the course I wanted to do. I'm now in my final year of uni, getting top grades and have applied for a very competitive master's degree elsewhere while my current uni are begging me to stay. I'm not at a top uni so I can't speak for them (actually at quite a **** one, but it gets me my degree!) but there are extra provisions in place for those with things like ADD/ADHD, autism etc, you just have to give them a doctor's letter to prove it. Definitely speak to your sixth form because they can provide additional support. You're not doomed to fail. 20 hour weeks don't necessarily get you good grades - all that time could be spent doing something absolutely useless
it's really comforting to know that there are other people who dealt with a similar thing during A-levels but are doing really well at the moment. i'll definitely take your advice. thank you
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Quick-use
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#18
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#18
Writing a note here to remind myself to post a message when I get to my desk shortly.

P.S. I have ADHD and am currently on my postgrad. Ergo, yes you can and will succeed.
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FTheOpps
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#19
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#19
(Original post by helpmeplsthanku)
yes i totally understand. i got diagnosed by a Turkish psychiatrist (we did a zoom call). i went to a psychiatrist here in the uk before, it was a private one as well, but it was totally rubbish. she disregarded me completely, she said that i was just going trough a typical teenager phase and she didn't even let me explain myself. she took my money (was very expensive too!) and vanished. i never heard from her again and she never replied to my emails.

i understand that the NHS must be even worse than the private sector. especially those years long waiting lists!! if you have the means i would recommend you to try and contact a clinic abroad (apparently the US is pretty good for teenagers with adhd, but i'm not sure about their approach to adult adhd). good luck with everything
Unfortunately due to us being young they'll disregard most of our worries and once we're 30+ they'll tell us we're too old to be affected I dont understand why GPs and other professionals cant do their jobs properly

Anyway it doesnt affect me to the point where it would be worth the hassle of chasing a doctor, however there is one way to get diagnosed fairly quickly I think by a company called PsychiatryUK or something similar but you have to go through your GP and be referred.
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Quick-use
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#20
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#20
With ADHD, the most important thing you need is organisation and support (by school, medication etc). It's hard to do all of this by yourself, so please do reach out to your school. And, definitely drop 1 A level (any).

The problem about university is that in the more traditional ones like Oxbridge, LSE, UCL etc, you'll be doing the majority of work yourself. Everything is reliant upon self-study and self-research. That's how it was for me at Edinburgh and all my other friends at Oxbridge or other London universities. It really is tough and you will struggle more than your neurotypical coursemates. Even so, it is doable.

To be honest, if I could go back in time, I know that I would prioritise my mental health over trying to do everything and anything. I kept ignoring my ADHD and it's really affected me long term. I'd change a lot of things like admitting to myself to take a year out in order to get to grips with ADHD; by asking for help and not being stubborn or too proud in case I appeared weak or lesser; by taking extra time for exams and taking extensions; or, by acknowledging that something was wrong seeing as I would always do everything last minute (the night before) all the while panicking myself into hysterical heights. Each time, I'd swear to myself that I'd do my best next time and that I'd do it in a timely manner; yet, that never happened.

I'm 26 now and it's only in these past 2 years have I been able to get to grips with my ADHD and be able to give my assignments and everything else my 'best'. I don't do important things last minute either, and I certainly don't do any all-nighters.

In other words, I'd advise you to be cautious and practical - if you take on too much to reach your 'potential', you may just end up taking too many steps backward, thus impeding your progress for the next several years. This will be irreversible; please do heed the advice of someone who was also crazy enough to do 5 courses in his final years of secondary.

I promise you that there are multiple routes; you're not going to forsake your potential just because you're not doing everything in front of you right that second; and, you're certainly not below others either. You have the potential, and you can reach it if you're patient and kind to yourself and your present capabilities. You have to take small steps and slowly find what your limits are as of now and then build upon them over time.

Ironically, you can't rush this ADHD journey even if your affliction tries to do so otherwise. Patience and faith.
Last edited by Quick-use; 1 year ago
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