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Adjusting to Your School Routine Doesn’t Have to Feel Impossible, Especially If You Have ADHD – Here’s Why

 
Presented by Supernus x Her Campus

Everyone experiences moments when they can’t stay on task, days when they have to re-read the same sentence over and over again, and times when Harry Styles is the only thing occupying their brains. (No? Just me?)   

But, some people – both in and out of college – feel more than just “distracted,” and have been professionally diagnosed with Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, better known as ADHD. ADHD is a persistent pattern of inattention and/or hyperactivity-impulsivity that interferes with functioning or development, with a prevalence of 5% in the U.S. In fact, approximately 15.7 million children, adolescents, and adults have ADHD in the U.S. – which means there are also 15.7 million Americans who have the potential to create a management plan and to help keep their ADHD symptoms under control. 

Between diet and exercise, staying organized, a prescribed medicine, or another option suggested by your doctor, the right ADHD treatment is different for everyone.

One option is Qelbree® (viloxazine extended release capsules) the first nonstimulant medication approved in 10 years for ADHD in adult and pediatric patients, 6 years and older. Qelbree is a nonstimulant that in clinical trials was shown to have a demonstrated safety and tolerability profile and showed no evidence of abuse. 


IMPORTANT SAFETY INFORMATION

Qelbree® (viloxazine extended-release capsules) 100mg, 150mg, 200mg, may increase suicidal thoughts and actions, in children and adults with ADHD, especially within the first few months of treatment or when the dose is changed. Tell your doctor if you or your child have (or if there is a family history of) suicidal thoughts or actions before starting Qelbree. Monitor your or your child’s moods, behaviors, thoughts, and feelings during treatment with Qelbree. Report any new or sudden changes in these symptoms right away.
See below for additional Important Safety Information 

Everyone’s ADHD journey is different, and one medicine isn’t necessarily a solution for everyone. Maclane (she/her) a young working professional, and Kelsey (she/her) a student getting her Master’s Degree, both live successful lives after being diagnosed with ADHD. They’re also sharing their personal experiences – including their own ADHD diagnosis and symptoms – and are passing along some great tips about how they’re managing their ADHD in school and in their current careers. 

So, whether you’re newly diagnosed, have had ADHD for years, or are looking for more information about managing your ADHD, thanks to your doctor and having resources like Maclane and Kelsey, staying focused this fall doesn’t have to feel impossible.

DISCLOSURE: Maclane (she/her) and Kelsey (she/her) are not currently taking Qelbree.

ADHD SYMPTOMS

Kelsey: I have always had a hard time completing tasks. I bounced around from task to task without actually completing one, just doing a little bit of everything. I always felt like I was a little, “too much,” for all of my friends because I had so much energy and I never knew when to chill, even if my friends or peers were giving me social cues that they had enough, I didn’t know how to contain myself if I was excited about something. 

Maclane: My symptoms were lack of focus and fidgeting. Even when I wanted to pay attention and would try my hardest, my brain just wouldn’t let me. I would try and focus on multiple things at once, and I would become extremely overwhelmed and [then] fidget. My mind would just be racing thinking about so many different things all at one time. 

ADHD DIAGNOSIS

Kelsey: I got diagnosed with ADHD in 7th grade because my mom thought I might have it. One of her friends had begun tutoring me in math and he suggested that I may have dyslexia but my mom was sure it was something else. I went to the doctor and after a few weeks (it was a process), I was diagnosed and put on two different forms of ADHD medication…I was seen about every 90 days to assess how the medication was doing [and] how I felt, and then would be re-prescribed. From what I know, this is pretty standard, and continued into college as well.

Maclane: I was officially diagnosed with ADHD my freshman year of college. I’m so easily distracted. I've been that way for as long as I can remember. But, it wasn’t until my freshman year of college [that I got diagnosed]. I visited my primary doctor and told her about how I always fidget, can’t stay focused, and that my brain goes a million miles a minute. I took an ADHD [diagnostic] test without knowing what it was and based on the results, I decided to start trying medication. We started with a very low dose of medication, as well as some tips from my doctor on how I could better control my ADHD, mentally.

ADHD LIFESTYLE MANAGEMENT

Kelsey: I have always had an active lifestyle which helps me to manage my ADHD. If I don’t get in some type of movement, I feel like I have all of this built-up energy with no place to go, especially on days that I am less busy in terms of work/grad school. 

If I don't particularly feel like working out, playing with my dog or taking him on walks helps relieve some of that energy. I have always drank lots of water throughout the day but I have also recently learned that a balanced diet has improved my overall frustration levels. Having a pretty structured routine has helped me. If I have a schedule to follow during and after work I can make sure I get everything done without feeling like I am all over the place. 

Maclane: I make time for myself to just sit and think. I usually do a daily brain dump and get everything I’m thinking out on paper first thing in the morning because this helps calm me down a bit and doesn’t cause me to give up on things so quickly and move on to the next task. I also make time daily to move, [because] going on walks just to clear my head and get some of the pent-up energy out really helps with my frustration levels. 

ADHD IN SCHOOL & CAREER

Kelsey: I definitely struggled with grades my entire life, [and] when I was put on ADHD medication my grades significantly improved. I felt like I could finally perform academically. 

When I [first] started undergrad, I immediately went to the Office of Disabilities (later renamed The Office of Accessibility) and gave my paperwork to them. They went over the accommodations that I qualified for, [and] I was able to take tests in the testing center, given extra time to complete tests and I also was able to apply for a note-taker for each class I was in.

Having a note taker was the best thing for me because I was able to focus on the lesson being taught and participate in the class discussions, knowing I would have notes sent to my email every week. I have terrible handwriting – and when I was younger my mom made me practice my penmanship every day after school but it never got better – so having notes taken that I could actually read and was organized appropriately, was a tremendous help.

Maclane: The way my studies were affected in college is what ultimately helped me decide to talk to my doctor about what I was experiencing. I couldn’t focus at all and I would get overly frustrated with myself and just give up. Additionally, I would procrastinate just about everything because I knew as soon as I sat down to work it was going to take me forever because I would get distracted too easily, even with the smallest things, [like noise].

In college, all of my professors knew [I had ADHD]. I was given the option to test away from the rest of the class and things of that nature. Anything to prevent distractions. After graduating and getting a full-time job, no one at work really knows about my ADHD. It’s not something that I directly bring up because it doesn’t affect the way I handle my work due to having my ADHD under control.

WHAT OTHERS SHOULD KNOW ABOUT ADHD

Kelsey: People should be careful what [they] say. A lot of the time I overhear people saying they are, “so ADHD” or something to that effect and it’s a little annoying. I just want to ask them, what does that mean, “so ADHD?” 

Maclane: I’m fortunate enough to be surrounded by such caring and loving people, [that] no one has ever treated me differently due to my diagnoses, but I realize that’s not the same for everyone. 

My biggest fear about having ADHD, though, is the assumptions people can sometimes make. The term ADHD can seem daunting to those that don’t understand it. People tell me all the time I talk “too fast” which isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but it sometimes bothers me when they tell me to slow down… like I would if I could. I just center my breathing during those times. 

FOCUS LIFE HACKS

Kelsey: I have learned that I do better when there are minimal distractions. Turning my phone on do not disturb has been a great help to me. Giving myself breaks is also important when it comes to the way I personally work. I can’t do my best work if I am fighting the urge to walk around or move a little. I [also] LOVE to have snacks and water ready while I am working so that I can fuel my brain throughout the day.

Maclane: Make a to-do list or a list in general. I find that when I plan ahead and try to prepare my brain/body for what the day is going to entail, things can go a little smoother, and if they don’t, we’ll try again tomorrow.

LIFE WITH PROPER ADHD MANAGEMENT 

Kelsey: I think I am a lot calmer after taking medication for all these years and I also have a better understanding of myself and appreciation for all of those “quirky” behaviors I was ashamed about when I was younger.

Maclane: I wouldn’t say that my day-to-day physically changed all that much, but my day-to-day mentally changed so much. After being diagnosed, I learned to give myself more grace to understand things, focus, have patience, and to not get as easily frustrated with myself. I learned that nothing was “wrong” with me, my brain just needs a bit of extra love to function.

ADHD PEARLS OF WISDOM

Kelsey: Like with all things, just be as accepting as possible.

Maclane: Friends and loved ones can show support just by being there, by supporting you without any judgment to how you handle things, [and] how you process things. They don’t treat you differently because of your diagnoses, they just treat you with a little bit more understanding.


IMPORTANT SAFETY INFORMATION CONTINUED
You should not take Qelbree if you: Take a medicine for depression called monoamine oxidase inhibitor (MAOI) or have stopped taking an MAOI in the past 14 days. Also, you should avoid alosetron, duloxetine, ramelteon, tasimelteon, tizanidine, and theophylline.
Qelbree can increase blood pressure and heart rate. Your doctor will monitor these vital signs.
Qelbree may cause manic episodes in patients with bipolar disorder. Tell your doctor if you or your child show any signs of mania.
Do not drive or operate heavy machinery until you know how Qelbree will affect you or your child. Qelbree may cause you or your child to feel sleepy or tired. 
The most common side effects of Qelbree in patients 6 to 17 years are sleepiness, not feeling hungry, feeling tired, nausea, vomiting, trouble sleeping, and irritability, and in adults, insomnia, headache, sleepiness, tiredness, nausea, decreased appetite, dry mouth, and constipation. These are not all the possible side effects of Qelbree. 
If you want to learn more about ADHD or get diagnosed, contact a medical professional and head to Qelbree.com.
Please see Medication Guide, including Boxed Warning.
This is a sponsored feature. All opinions are 100% FROM Her Campus.

DISCLOSURE: The information in this article may be useful but does not constitute medical advice. This article is not used to make diagnoses, prescribe medicine, or provide treatment, and should not be relied upon as a substitute for consultations with qualified health professionals who are familiar with your individual medical needs. For questions about ADHD medications and other symptom management, please talk to your healthcare professional.

This is a sponsored feature. All opinions are 100% from Her Campus.

Emily Murphy has been with Her Campus Media since 2018, and is currently the Branded Content Associate. She was the Campus Correspondent and Editor/President at her chapter at Winthrop University for four years, but has had a passion for all things writing since she was young. When she's not scribbling ideas down for her next branded article, she's watching reruns of Seinfeld while scrolling Pinterest for apartment inspo. Follow her on Instagram at @emilysmurfy
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