Dr. Umesh Jain
is now exclusively responsible
for TotallyADD.com
and its content
Dr. Umesh Jain is now exclusively responsible for TotallyADD.com and its content

The Forums Forums I Just Found Out! My Story Did anyone else actually do well in school?

Viewing 15 posts - 31 through 45 (of 48 total)
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  • kkarasu

    I did very very well in school! consistent honor roll, 80-95%… but my parents would write me notes for any time I wanted to skip class, so I was never in class and would always do my work at home. At home, I’d be scrambling around and working on my school stuff for 10-20 minutes at a time, do something else, go back to it, etc.

    if I would have had to BE in class, I think we would have noticed that I had an attention issue sooner. whenever I got bored, I just left class (even during the class) and my parents would write me a note. the school accepted them until my final year, when they finally said that “I couldn’t keep doing this even with the notes” and threatened to kick me out of school. but I fought them hard on it.

    I failed a course too and did quite poorly in my last year (the good grades balanced the bad ones though and I still achieved HR), but I had taken an extra credit course outside of school for art which made up for it.


    I was almost a straight “A” student from elementary school through high school and college. Played every sport, captain of the football team, played football in college and then was in the top of my class in law school. But at the same time, I was always getting into trouble for impulsive acts both during school time and absolutely risky (but exciting) behavior after hours. So intensely that several times I almost died.I procrastinated, doing my work at the last minute. I couldn’t understand someone having a week to do an assignment and actually start on it, review it, rewrite it and get it in good shape, using that whole week! I did mine the night or morning before due. It was just not exciting enough for me. All of this took place in the ’70’s & 80’s before anyone had heard of ADHD or ADD. There were very few consequences (and I didn’t care even if there were) because every teacher/professor chalked it up to just being a hyperactive guy, after all I made such good grades all of the bad things I did were overlooked. But I always knew something was wrong. I had to be constantly highly stimulated or interested in something new. And once I had tackled something that others thought couldn’t be done but I considered a challenge, whatever that may have been was no longer interesting. So I was wildly inconsistent in my post-graduate year. At every law firm I worked I was immediately labeled “a star”, but that was because it was all new and exciting to me so I worked very hard–until the cases became mundane and my work performance went so far downhill because of procrastination, disorganization, missing deadlines (even reasonable ones) that I would be fired. And that whole process repeated itself over and over. Sp I knew each time that something was wrong. And I sought help many times but because counselors and psychologists didn’t think a person with my education/accomplishments couldn’t possibly have ADHD/ADD, the only model they used was alcohol use, which I admitted to many times as a way to keep my “excitement” level high. So I went, at different times, to three inpatient rehabs and four outpatient rehabs. Didn’t drink for several years at a time. BUT nothing changed. My work habits and personal life were erratic, inconsistent and generally in a shambles. I could (and did, more so than most attorneys in my state) win every Supreme Court case in my State, even though I dropped my briefs off usually 5 minutes before they were due but, even though I made a lot of money, I couldn’t balance a checkbook, pay my bills on time, keep from wrecking cars (sober) or manage relationships.Losing a marriage, house, two cars, jobs and every long-term relationship. Things I of course know how to do, but I just couldn’t do them like normal people did.
    Finally, I lost my last job in 2002. After trying to go it alone for a few years, having to run my own office, do the billing/accounting, etc.–all the things I knew how to do–I couldn’t do it anymore without my clients suffering. So I turned my law license in to the State Bar. The Supreme Court was understanding because they’d seen me argue many cases and issued a ruling that if I sough psychiatric help and was cleared, I’d get my license back.
    Thank God, that though it took 19yrs. of schooling, 23yrs. of practicing law, not one but two psychiatrists diagnosed and treated me for Adult Add. My whole world changed because the answer I always had been looking for, I had found. Psychologically it explained why I was very prone to drink, engage in very risky behavior, fail to manage my life, my emotions, my finances, my relationships, etc.
    And though I may have strayed a bit from the topic, I have to relate this. One counselor who I met only once to do my intake at the first psychiatrist’s office and administered 6 hours of testing (I’ve had four times as much now from two different doctors). Made a statement to a government administrative law judge (despite the ADD diagnoses by the two psychiatrists) that he just couldn’t see how someone could get so far, with so much education and success and have ADHD/ADD. But this idiot’s conclusion after seeing me one time is now universally proven to be ignorant.
    Thousands of doctors, lawyers, CEOs and other professionals are being diagnosed. This includes many people who did well in school, so although the stereotype may exist in some places, your education, whatever the level, is not a primary indicator for Adult ADD/ADHD.
    For anyone concerned about the educational issue and some of the newest medical info on Adult ADHD/ADD, I encourage to search the web for the research papers and findings of Yale Professor, Thomas Brown. They explain Adult ADD/ADHD than anything I’ve read. And you’ll see your story, just as I saw mine.



    I’m still waiting for my first screening with a neurologist. I have not been diagnosed with ADHD (yet). But I seem to fit particularly well with all the symptom-checklists I found so far.

    I talked with my general practitioner, and he would tend to rule out ADHD mainsly because I never had any problem at school.

    I wonder if he’s wrong, of course.

    I actually did great at school, sometimes even when the subject or the teacher weren’t all that interesting. I had some difficult semester,s but in general my grades were above average.

    But now that I think of it there have been quite a lot of motivational factors:

    1) from second to eighth grade I was one year ahead. In an attempt by my parents to put me in the same classroom with a brother one year my senior, I was allowed to skip first grade and begin at second. I guess that made school a lot more exciting for me and kept me on the spot. (I evenutally lost that advantage, repeating the first year of junior high)

    2) That first year of junior high I scored quite poor. guess what: I had chosen a science and math curriculum which was way off-mark for me. Once I reverted to arts, which I was passionate about, it went way better.

    3) My parents always made it clear that with poor grades I would have had to find a job right after high school. No college. That was very motivationalç

    4)Something strage happened at senior high. My school, and my class in particular were not very good. Actually I could have easlily got the best grades without doing much. That kind of scared me. I somehow realized that poor preparation, even if it would get me through exams, would never gear me up for college or life. So I began just studying for the sake of it. I would do extra-curricular activities or dig deeper in to certian topics at the library just to be sure that I was REALLY learning, and not rather “doing well at school”. That equipped me for college.

    5) I has a girlfriend at high school which was smart and cultured.

    6) I had a lot of older friends and a lot of smart firends, so I was sourrounded by stimulating individuals.

    7) When college came, it was a blast. I loved attending, I loved the subjects (arts again) I loved the people. That helped a lot.

    Now that I think of it I guess that I managed unknowingly to tap in to the right strategies to keep my focus.

    (hell, now that I think of it maybe it means that I should pursue an academic career or a teching gig…)


    My conclusion is that school performance alone can hardly give you the right frame for ADHD.




    “I wonder if he’s wrong, of course.”

    He is, of course.

    There are lots of reasons why this is not true. Being challenged and interested in what you are studying, as you indicated, is one. Also, people with ADHD in many cases have a higher than average IQ, which allows us to do well despite our faults. And just having the right teachers and a supportive environment can make a huge difference.

    It is strange that you continued to do well when you got to college. Typically the lack of structure and increased freedom in college spells doom for the ADDer. Of course, that is not always the case,and ADDers are anything but typical. 😉



    I just spent 20minutes replying and the server decided my reply could not get created at this time.

    Is this a test?


    I wanted to provide details about my college years and how they were not all that easy actually.

    I promise I will re-write my post.



    That happens sometimes. But your comment is probably still floating around here somewhere. If you contact the support people, they may be able to get it posted.

    It seems to happen to me a lot when I take a long time typing, but not every time. I don’t really understand it, but but I do understand the frustration. It did it to me awhile ago when I had spent close to an hour researching a response for someone. It will also happen sometimes if you did something that looks suspiciously like spam, like copy and paste a lot of stuff or put a lot of links in you post.

    Anyway, I hope you understand my comment wasn’t personal. It was just an interesting little thought that popped into my head. So don’t feel like you have to post the details, but share if you want to.

    Patte Rosebank

    @Gianmaria, if the system “eats” your post, please scroll to the bottom of the page, click on “REPORT A BUG”, and submit a Support Request. If you just complain about it in the Forums, it can take a long time for them to see it.

    There are a couple of ways to prevent your post from being eaten and lost:

    1) Before hitting “Submit”, select all of your post (hit “Ctrl” & “A” together), and copy it (hit “Ctrl” & “C” together). That way, if it gets eaten, you can Paste it (hit “Ctrl” & “V” together) into the form and try again. Or, Paste it into a Word document and save it for later.

    2) Type your post in Word, then Select All, Copy, and Paste it into the form.


    I think the problem is more to do with the environment of traditional schooling. People “like us” do better independently especially if it is a topic we are interested in. It’s not us that fail it’s the traditional (i.e. OLD fashioned and out of date) school system that is failing us ;).





    No big deal, folks, thanks for replying.

    In general I just wanted to nuance all the “doing zwell at school” think and as I wrote my post I was actually starting to remeber a number of “bumpy” semesters and also looking at my school history in a different light (also with regards to the good grades)

    anyway, I should also try not too hard to “fit” the ADHD checklist.

    I have not been diagnosed yet and mine are speculations. Self-assesment is actually pretty hard.


    Thank you guys and gals for the support anyway. Whatever it is, I have to do something about it and it is such a relief to be able to share.




    No problem. I


    The question of whether “any one else actually do well in school” (with ADD/ADHD) is an important one. And I apologize for a previous long-winded response about my experience. Its a common misconception that if you have a high IQ or do well in school that you could not possibly have ADD?ADHD. Without repeating what I said about this misconception, suffice it to say that even if you made good grades in K-12 grades of school, or college or graduate school, just like anyone else you may have Adult ADD/ADHD. And the affliction significantly can impair your “Executive Function”, no matter how smart you are, and like anyone else it effects your job, relationships, and so on.
    I encourage anyone interested in the question of whether persons who get good grades, are very bright, etc. read the scholarly paper by Dr. Thomas Brown from Yale. He has several that are helpful. Here’s a link to one I found to be very helpful because I used to think that you couldn’t have ADD/ADHD if you made good grades or were successful. NOTE: Its in PDF form but if you want to read it just Google “Executive Function In High IQ Adults with ADHD”. Here’s the link (I hope it helps, it did for me): http://www.drthomasebrown.com/pdfs/HighIQAdults.JADonlineversion.pdf


    Thanks for the link. It is quite interesting a reading.

    While I’ma waiting to get a proper diagnose by an expert, I can find comfort in the idea that, if I’m ADD, maybe I also have an above average IQ.


    Candies for my ego!



    Ava Green

    Hi!  Just wondering  @gianmaria and @blackdog if you would mind telling me

    – which OS (Mac or PC) you’re using and

    – which browser (Firefox, Chrome, Safari)?

    We’re looking into the glitch that you had with a post failing now and then and knowing the above will help us troubleshoot.

    I don’t want to dwell on it in this beautiful stream!  So feel free to contact us with this info using the Report A Bug link in the blue footer at the bottom of the page.  Or just post the info here if you like and we’ll delete the posts once we get the info.  Thanks in advance!  Ava – TotallyADD


    I’m on MacOS 10.5.8

    Browser is Firefox 16.0.2


    Patte Rosebank

    I’ve had the glitches while using Firefox and Chrome (on my Windows 7 desktop computer), and while using Firefox, Chrome, and the built-in browser on my Android tablet.

    But it seems to happen more often on the tablet.

    I’ve just installed the Opera Mini browser on my tablet. Maybe it’ll be more stable. Or maybe WordPress goes a little wonky on tablets. I’ve heard of issues when using iPads, too.

    Update: P.S. – I typed this post on my tablet, and the system was slow to load it, after I’d hit “Submit”.


    As far as doing well in school, me, too. I started reading and writing at 3, did fantastic in school up to senior high, then did horribly in college. I think, something about not going to school because the professor is not as interesting as the anime I was watching (or was it because I was watching anime, so I couldn’t get up in the morning). There were always something or the other in college to stop me from going to class.

    Before college, I lived with my mum and dad, and my mum supervise me like a hawk. I did a lot of advanced stuffs (I learned sophomore year mathematics, mostly calculus, analysis, algebra in junior high, and moved on to numbers after that) in high school. In college, I tested out of all of those, and then got lazy in all the other classes that I actually had to do some work. On top of this, in school, the teachers let me slide by if I turn up without my homeworks because I won competitions. In college, they fail me without hesitation… Heck, in school, I even got excused from exams. In college, no way they’d let me get an A without taking the exam.

    I went to grad school for math. This time round, tho, I did alright. I think, it’s got something to do with work is slightly more boring than school (and I love math), so I couldn’t wait to leave work so I can do more math… I am not even sure if this makes any sense. But at any rate, I understand math, and it understands me. Of course, there’s also the spouse that keeps me in line by telling me to go to school and do my homework (tho I still do them a couple hours before they are due).

    I got diagnosed sometimes last year, and I think my mum wasn’t too surprised when I told her. It seemed like she knew.

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