I am 30 years old, and I have recently found out that I have Adult ADD. Looking back, this diagnosis explains many of my challenges growing up, especially academically (which I was completely unaware of). I received my B.S. in Biology (GPA 2.6) in 2001. I would like to take the MCATs this spring and apply to some postbac. programs to increase my GPA. I was wondering if anyone had a similar situation or any other advise would be greatly appreciated.
Happy New Year!
I don’t have any particular advice on the ADHD, although I had a friend who was classified as learning disabled in high school and barely graduated . After her daughter was diagnosed with ADHD, she was diagnosed. When she went back to school for nursing, she had the appropriate medication and did very well.
I’m curious as to why you are taking the MCAT and then applying to postbac programs to raise your GPA. Obviously, you have the bio pre-reqs complete - have you completed the rest of the pre-reqs? If not, you want to do the post-bac FIRST and study for the MCAT and then take it after the postbac. Also, you don’t need to go to a formal post-bac program. You can enroll at a four year institution and take courses on your own.
My daughter was diagnosed with ADHD at 17; and, as you pointed out, when I look back, things seem to make sense now. I was told that the diagnosis usually misses females - I know of another woman who was diagnosed in her late 40’s.
I was 20 before I was diagnosed with AD/HD & dyslexia. Life made SO much more sense afterwords! I am actually quite glad that I wasn’t diagnosed until later because 1) I developed myriad coping strategies that worked decently well; 2) I had an explanation for myself that I could digest in a mature fashion; and 3) when I went on medication, the difference was PROFOUND.
The best tools that I’ve found is self-education, green tea (it improves focus) and yoga/meditation. There is also a Chinese herb that improves attention (the name is escaping me) if you’re not interested in trying a stimulant. Also, there are some diagnostic tests (brain/blood flow) that you can do (but they’re expensive) to determine if yours is more hyperactivity or inattention driven.
Personally, I resisted the diagnosis for a while…but once I fully embraced the fact that my brain processed information differently, it really changed my life experience! I always thought that I was a little air-headed…and once I learned that there was a “reason” and went on medication, I also learned that I had the mental capacity to pursue my desire to be a MD!
Good luck, and remember to never view yourself as having a “disorder,” because in many ways it’s a blessing. Knowledge if power :)!
Glad I’m not the only one! My previous GPA before getting ADHD under control is dismal. In fact, I basically flunked out. I just graduated nursing school this past December Summa Cum Laude. Now I really think I can go to med school, but I need to retake a few courses to boost my grades (bio, chem, etc).
I suspect very strongly that I have it…probably a ‘mild’ case of it. But, I feel that I have successfully developed personal tools to cope with it & have learned to use the parallel processing/multi-tasking aspects of being severely “Right-Brained” to my advantage. I personally do not want the meds just in case they may disrupt the strategies I employ to maximize it.