Originally Posted by Monkey.Tennis
I've had a read through this thread and it's been very helpful. Basically, I was hoping to get some advice - bear with me as this might be a bit long!
I'm in my late 20s and in college at the moment. This is my third attempt at college; I've never lasted this long in a course before so that's definitely a positive, but I'm really struggling at the moment. I don't have any issue with the intellectual side of the subjects I do - I can grasp the material just fine, but I really, really struggle when it comes to managing my time, focusing for concerted periods of time, and in general managing the workload. It's only now that I've actually managed to stick college out for a while that I've realised that this has always been my issue. Even when I was in school, I always felt like I had the potential to do so much, and to do really well in exams (I didn't do badly in school per se, but I definitely got lower results in exams etc. than I felt I was capable of). I always just assumed that I was lazy and unmotivated, despite actually being motivated in the sense that I had things I wanted to achieve that I felt were 100% within my capabilities, and really did try my best to do them.
Now that I've been in college again for a couple of years, I've started to realise that my issues in education aren't for want of trying or lack of ability. As I've said, I don't struggle with the intellectual side of things, it's the preparation and execution that get me. I can spend all my time planning stuff meticulously, but I just can't follow a timetable or a study/work plan. I'm finding that I cannot balance my job with college. My job is very flexible in that I can work from home, and to a degree at my own pace - without going into too much detail, I basically get a bunch of work to do when they need me to do it, and have to have it back by a certain date. I find that the two main issues I have around balancing college work and work work are that I cannot do both things at once - one takes precedence to the other's detriment - and I also cannot manage my time at all. For example, if there's any extra work going, I'll happily take on what I think will take maybe five hours to do, but it could end up taking me 20+ hours. Similarly, with assignments and exams, I try to allocate time for certain tasks, but a reading that I think will take me 30 mins to do will be more like four hours.
At the start of this academic year in particular, I was struggling a lot. My inability to manage time and follow through on timetables and study plans meant that I was working 40+ hour weeks as well as being in college and dealing with assignments and lectures, and I just couldn't manage. Luckily, my job is somewhat flexible, so although I missed quite a lot of deadlines for returning the work, they were relatively okay with it, thank god. At this time, two separate people - a friend and my partner - both said to me in the same week that they were concerned that I may have ADHD. I'll admit, I didn't know a whole lot about it - when they said it to me, I had that stereotypical idea of a restless, excited child in mind, but when I looked up the symptoms of it in adults and read people's experiences, I literally cried because I identified with it so much. Now, that's obviously not to say that I have it or am self-diagnosing in any way, just that people's experiences really resonated with me.
I suppose this is where the advice bit comes in - I've been under a mental health team for about ten years now, for unrelated issues. Because of this, I see an OT in college who has been very helpful, in that checking in every couple of weeks gives me the opportunity to reflect on what works and what doesn't work for me (although 99 times out of 100 it's more what doesn't work). We've created study plans together, timetables, lots of practical things like that, but absolutely none of it sticks despite my best efforts. I have brought up my issues with focusing etc. to the psychiatrists in my outpatient clinic numerous times, but it constantly seems to be brushed aside. It doesn't help that I have to see a different doctor every time I go there (I've literally seen my consultant twice in six years). This is a recurring issue - if I mention anything outside of what I have been previously diagnosed with, it is brushed to the side and never really mentioned again. To be quite honest, I'm not even entirely sure what my current diagnoses are - different doctors and psychologists from the same team say different things, and some of them are never mentioned again, so there's certainly an issue with continuity of care there. While I really want to bring this issue up yet again, I don't feel like pushing it because they don't seem to react well to things like that.
I'm not entirely sure pursuing a private assessment would be beneficial after reading a lot of the replies here. I was actually in a private hospital a few years ago which helped me quite a lot, but was discharged back to the local clinic, and it didn't seem to go down well with them - I was immediately taken off all of the medication they had put me on in the hospital and told that they had treated me incorrectly there. I was considering going to my GP (who is an excellent, compassionate doctor) and explaining the situation to him as when I repeated the LC a few years ago I approached him with the same concerns, and asking him to write a letter to my psychiatrist in the hope that he might listen to another professional. Does this seem like a good idea? I'm not entirely sure what else to do, so any advice would be appreciated. I'm not hell-bent on getting a diagnosis or anything; if a professional genuinely thinks that I don't have it and need to find other ways to manage, then that's fine and I'll do that, but I just want to at least rule it out - I don't want it to be a thing where it might be something that I do have, and I'm not getting the necessary helpful treatment.
Sorry for the long post, and thanks for reading if you've managed to get this far! Any advice would be really appreciated.