With examinations coming up in May, Redditor Poppyharlow77 is like many young undergraduates in Singapore who are hitting the books and working hard in school.
Unlike most of his peers, however, Poppyharlow77 has found his progress hindered by what he suspects to be Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD).
In a post published last week, he explained that he had only learnt about such a condition a couple of months after starting university.
He began to realise that several symptoms he had long passed off as simply being “slower” than his peers could in fact be signs of ADHD.
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The student at a private university in Singapore detailed his struggles with studying and keeping up in class.
Anxious that his results may suffer, Poppyharlow77 shared that he had booked an appointment at Khoo Teck Puat Hospital to see a specialist in mid-March. However, he fretted that not being prescribed medication soon could affect his exam preparations.
“(The) modules are extremely tough for me… The lecturers’ words will just fly over my head no matter how much I try to focus in class, to the point that I feel the need to keep fidgeting in order to keep myself more awake and alert.
“Words can’t describe how much this disability sucks, I could spend a whole day at the library and not manage to finish up a single chapter as I keep zoning out and re-reading sentences that I just can’t absorb. It is so frustrating to read content countless times and not absorb any of it.”
Seeking advice, he wrote: “I’m at this point where I’m pretty sure I’d fail my exams in May if I don’t get medication, and I definitely would not want to pay thousands to remodule in a private university.”
Helpful Redditors quickly came forward with personal accounts of living with the condition, and provided information such as online resources and guides to assuage some of Poppyharlow77’s worries.
In addition, several spoke of their own experiences in seeking professional help, like how quickly one can be diagnosed by a doctor, and how soon medication could be prescribed.
Others shared their tips for coping with the condition. A Redditor whose friend has ADHD wrote: “For studies, (my friend) prefers to do things in short bursts, and rotate to studying other modules or doing other things to maintain his focus… Long days in the library are an absolute no-go for him.”
Another who professed to having been in the same boat at Poppyharlow77 just last year commented: “Honestly, the coping mechanism that has helped me through is exercising… I exercise four to five times a week to keep myself mentally sane and to zone out less.”
And beyond the practical tips to help tide Poppyharlow77 over this period of anxiety, there were also warm words of support and solidarity.
Chrisjonesish wrote: “As someone with ADHD, I can totally empathise with this stress… I want you to know that it’s okay to be you. We all learn differently. Being hard on yourself will not make you work faster or do better, it’ll only give you more stress. Break things down into small, bite-size chunks. Be mindful of your distractions. Give yourself a break. You got this.”