Young white man in blue tshirt, wearing black backpack stands with parking lot behind

Life with ADHD

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By Sidney Richardson

Nathan is an Oakland University student studying chemistry. He has taken medication for ADHD, or Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, since he was 5 years old.

He is 21 years old now, and a senior in college. ADHD is just a fact of life for him, he says. “It’s my entire life. It’s the way my brain works, it’s who I am.”

  • Black and white picture of young man walking with backpack in parking lot
  • Close-up of bottle of medicine spilling pills on countertop
  • Black and white picture of young man sitting at desk, jars of paint brushes in the foreground
  • Black and white young man sits at desk reading notebook

Asked about how he felt about taking medicine, Nathan said, “My relationship to my medicine is complicated. A lot of my happiness is based on being productive, which I need my medicine to do. But even when I’m focused I don’t get that feeling of motivation and drive to get things done. I don’t feel that at all. Sometimes feel like I’m really missing out on that.”

Dealing with academics, Nathan says there are always challenges. “I feel like I have to work much harder to succeed at school, for sure.”

“I’m comfortable with who I am,” Nathan said. “It’s not like I feel like every day is a chore or a struggle to get through. ADHD is a part of me and I embrace it, it’s not necessarily something ‘bad.’”

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