ADHD, PhD, & Meds

woman in graduation cap

Growing up, ADHD was still stigmatized so it was treated as a “personality” problem & told things like, “girls don’t have ADHD” & “you can’t have ADHD, you’re smart.” So, like many others, I did my best to blend in & find tricks to keep myself “normal” & survive like tapping my feet & submerging myself in learning to overcompensate for the fact that my social skills were AWFUL.

Even after my diagnosis in high school, I shied away from meds because it was so ingrained in me that I couldn’t be ADHD AND smart. I was so afraid people would claim the meds were the only reason I got a PhD & not because I deserved it. But they were wrong; The meds help calm my racing thoughts, help me be rational during bouts of rejection-sensitive dysphoria, & keep my body from hurting if I don’t tap my feet.

I hope this reminds you that you CAN be smart & have ADHD, meds are NOT a sign of weakness or a “cheat” or “smart pill,” & you can do anything you want to do because ADHD is YOUR superpower.


Read more tips from people about helpful treatment options.

Shine and Surprise!

I harness my potential, using a multi-modal approach, including Lifestyle modification, life-skills training and some Cognitive Behavior Therapy.

Lifestyle modifications imply The ‘MEDS-H’ approach, that is, Meditation, Exercise, Diet including supplements, adequate Sleep and Human connection.
Important behavioral principles comprise of practicing the pause and working on my listening skills.

Honing my communication skills through a speaking forum, books and online courses has proved beneficial to me.

While I am not on medication, Omega 3 supplements, and an ayurvedic medicament with herbs like Brahmi and Ashwagandha, are all helpful.

In hindsight I think that enabling an ADHDer child to play to his strengths by supporting him or her morally, emotionally and financially is the best things that a parent can do.

Working with natural ways of dealing with the condition, playing to my strengths and adapting my environment to ADHD have been my Mantra to surprise and shine with ADHD.


Read more tips from people about helpful treatment options.