(WGHP) — As a child, Megan Bolz thought she was a bad student. 

“I struggled in school and being able to follow through on things,” Bolz said. “I felt like something was wrong with me.”

From turning in homework to taking tests, Bolz had a hard time staying focused and getting things done. 

“I couldn’t even apply myself because I would try, and it was like I was paralyzed,” Bolz said. “It was like, ‘I just can’t do this.'”

It wasn’t until years later after Bolz moved out on her own, became a hairstylist, got married, gave birth to her son and battled postpartum depression that it suddenly clicked.  At the age of 26, Bolz was diagnosed with Attention Deficit/Hyperactively Disorder (ADHD).

She described the diagnosis as “liberating.”

“Everything made sense. I didn’t feel like a burden, I didn’t feel crazy,” she said.

Findings by Russell A. Barkley, a leading researcher in the ADHD field, show roughly three to five percent of adults have ADHD but fewer than 20 percent are accurately diagnosed and treated.

According to Dr. Brooke Griffith, a licensed psychologist with Novant Health, that’s partly because what we know about ADHD is changing.

“Traditionally, we have thought about ADHD as the person who can’t sit still and the person who is all over the place,” Dr. Griffith said. “If you just have trouble focusing, and you have trouble being motivated, and you can’t seem to get things done, people tend to attribute that to a personal failing.”

The inattentive type of ADHD often gets missed in children, and it’s not something people typically outgrow. It affects what many people might recognize as their “adulting skills,” Dr. Griffith said. This includes things encountered during day-to-day life such as accomplishing tasks, staying organized, responding to emails and showing up to places on time.

“What we’re seeing is a lot more adults who are presenting for other things … because they are having trouble at work or they’re having trouble in their relationships or with parenting,” Dr. Griffith said. “They’re having all those problems that are associated with executive functioning.”

Of all the mental health disorders, ADHD has one of the best response rates to medication, but it’s not necessary for all patients. Yoga, Tai Chi and reading books to develop better coping skills can also be effective. 

For Bolz, the diagnosis means she can give herself a little grace and better focus on everyday tasks.  

“I felt like a normal mom,” Bolz said. “It changed my life.