I Wasted 16 Years of My Life by Cheating in School by Being Misdiagnosed with ADHD

Last Updated: 12 October, 2016
adhd victim

#MyStory: For as long as I can remember, when I was 8 years old I’ve had horrible issues with sleep in general. I was always tired during the day and evening no matter what was done. I could sleep 6 hours or 12, absolutely no difference.

At the time, none of my doctors could figure out what was wrong with me. They had assumed because I wasn’t fat, and I was so young that it simply was ADHD. So I was given Adderall to mask the symptoms of sleep, which did help.

#MyStory: I Wasted 16 Years of My Life by Cheating in School by Being Misdiagnosed with ADHD

I don’t know if you guys know what massive sleep deprivation does, but imagine having no sex drive and being tired all the time. Anytime you try to study, you get unbearable sleep attacks that even if you did fight it; it was moot because you literally forgot what you just read.

My sleep deprivation was so bad; I had to constantly rock my head against the desk just to stay awake. My teachers were always frustrated with this, and would frequently think I was sleeping and ask me questions. Amazingly enough, I was able to answer these questions and not get in trouble.

Eventually, my parents got scared that I wasn’t getting proper education and took me into homeschooling. This was literally the worst decision in my life to agree to. They were unbearably strict, I had to get an 80% or I was grounded and had to take the lessons over again.

It was impossible for me! I tried so hard, but no matter how much I tried, it didn’t matter. I would be literally fighting myself to stay awake, and forget the last 30 seconds of my life. I didn’t know what was wrong with me!

I did the only thing I could, and that was a cheat. This is my biggest regret in my entire life, I had cheated through ninth grade to 12th, hardcore. I installed a virtual machine, which for some reason Windows 7 gave admin rights inside of it even if you were a standard user. I had copied the answers from the Teacher edition.

Eventually, the guilt overwhelmed me and I admitted this to my parents. They were not happy at all and made it much harder for me. I then had to use a keylogger to steal the password and grade the courses myself.

I felt so guilty, I had graduated high school by cheating and as far as everyone is concerned, I have no better education than a 7th grader. I no absolutely no math at all, I even struggle with addition and subtraction. I became very depressed and was given anti-depressants which didn’t work at all. I did make a recovery from depression, however, but it was during dark times. I didn’t realize I was gay until right around this time, and it kind of hit me all at once. But it was a huge weight lifted when I got out of the closet as if I was suppressing my own feelings without realizing it.

So at this point, I did the only thing I could do. I started studying in computers, as much as I could. I got the shittiest help desk job and moved up the ladder and make decent money, but currently feel I have hit the glass ceiling. I opened up to my friends here and many of them felt that my medication for ADHD was “cheating” and that being tired is perfectly normal. This hurt me the most because these co-workers were the closest thing to me other than my parents and they totally disregarded my problems as something normal and I was taking the easy way out.

I felt no doctor could figure out what was wrong with me so I literally diagnosed myself, I did research online and with the symptoms I had and blood test results I knew I had the conditions.

I tested positive for Narcolepsy, which involves taking 5 naps with 2-hour breaks in-between. I fell asleep on 4 out 5 of them, hitting REM within 6 minutes.

I was rated at 48-72 hours of constant sleep deprivation. My entire life, I was misdiagnosed as having ADHD. To make this even worse, I also had sleep apnea despite not being overweight. I inherited the sleep apnea, from my mother and narcolepsy from my father.

It was an overwhelming experience, everything made sense. I no longer feel stupid and understand why I had so many problems.

But in return, I feel my entire life has been wasted and I am not sure what to do. I had cheated through High School, skipped college and only went into IT knowing that it didn’t require an education. I had played life the best I can with the cards dealt.

But now knowing this can be treated and I can go to college, I am scared. Part of me regrets not being more resilient to my parents by complaining I needed help, but they never believed I had issues as I had good hyper-focus. I was writing scripts in games at age 9, so they felt I was more than smart enough to handle it.

Perhaps my calling is to become a doctor myself, but having no education and starting from High School just not sure, if it’s possible.

I know I can’t blame my parents, they couldn’t have known. There’s nothing I can do to change the past, but hopefully, my story can help support others who have similar issues with staying awake and feel trapped.

Courtesy: Reddit User

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