When were you diagnosed with ADHD?

"She closed her fingers around the acorn, feeling the press of the cap's bristles indent her skin. Maybe it was up to her, she found herself thinking."
-Charles de Lint, "The Conjure Man" from Dreams Underfoot (pg. 223).
I recognize my younger self descriptions of adolescent Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). In Maybe You Know My Teen, Mary Fowler writes, “High school students with ADHD often find themselves on a collision course with the curriculum. The course of study places focused emphasis on memory, organization, time management, concentration, independence, long-term assignments, and integration skills. All of these skills are long-recognized areas of weakness for students with ADHD” (pg. xii).

I was diagnosed with ADHD as a sophomore in high school, but the age of diagnosis varies depending on the person. Some patients are in elementary school, others beyond middle age. When I reflect on why I sought diagnosis—fears about grades, an inability to excel in certain courses, impending college entrance exams and applications–I find that the pressures and requirements of a new landscape sparked my need to seek help.

When talking with other ADHD’rs, they always cite external reasons for seeking help: marital troubles, difficulties getting along with others, poor grades, lower than average reading skills, the inability to sustain a job, newly recognized addictions…While we all must attend grade school and learn to play nice with others, perhaps, in addition to therapy, we should consider the settings we place ourselves in and what each demands of us. What choices can we make in our professional and personal lives that would no longer demand us to act counter-intuitive to our natures? In what settings can we excel?

I’d love to hear what motivated you to seek diagnosis. How old were you? Did something change about your environment (new job, school, relationship etc...) that brought your ADHD weaknesses to light?