I stumbled upon a the following question on Quora:
What are the biggest regrets that people with ADD/ADHD have?
I like the way my response turned out, so I'd like to share it! :)
My only real regret is the fact that I didn't start receiving help earlier. That said, I have faith that everything happens for a reason, and if that means not getting a diagnosis until I was 25, well, then that was exactly when it was meant to happen.
I often wonder what life would have been like had a been diagnosed in, say, preschool when my traits were first VERY obvious. I should add now that I'm also diagnosed with autism (Level I or formerly known as Asperger’s), OCD and anxiety. The latter two diagnoses also came at 25, and the autism one not until I was 31.
Now, although I endured some struggles, I managed to come out pretty successful. I have a Bachelor's in Social Work and three jobs in human services. I don't yet live on my own, however it doesn't bother me that I'm not yet ready. One thing at a time. Besides, this just gives me more time to work, make money, and take life at my own pace.
Had I been diagnosed earlier on, where would that leave me? Sure, I may have had an easier time with things, and known more about myself earlier on, however what if I just became another statistic? Another kid thrown into the special education program which is still in need of great reform today? I was in all mainstream classes, and demonstrated that I could handle them, given there were no diagnoses yet in sight. Had I been slapped with a label from the get go, perhaps my abilities would have been overshadowed by them (note: I don't like to look at my diagnoses as “labels” but rather “titles” as they have given me many answers at the times of diagnosis. However, in some cases, they are seen as only labels and people look for what they limit, rather than enable, in a person.) I've seen friends of mine go through the special education system. Friends who have outstanding levels of intellect and could easily have gotten a degree, however were set back because they were not awarded the same diploma as their peers. I feel that the system has failed them.
To reiterate my answer to the question, I feel that if there are any regrets I had, this may be the only one, but at the same time, I feel very fortunate to have gotten as far as I have. That combined with what I know know about myself, I now use to help others in similar situations :)