That is a good idea. I do set alarms on my phone. I use Outlook at work since I can't use my phone there and I do other stuff. One problem with me is I'm impulsive. If I'm not going to remember to call home right when my buddy says "Hey, come over and check out this new toy I got." I won't remember to set the alarm either. It always just seems like a few minutes, then it turns out to be hours. It's weird. It helps work go by faster though.
For my wife I use the one that sounds like a nuclear bomb is about to go. I also use a variant of that for my wife's ring tone. It says "WARNING THIS IS A CALL FROM YOUR WIFE... etc." She hates it but she doesn't use my phone or call me on it when we're in the same room so it's my little secret.
Would you go to your mechanic and ask them for a medical diagnosis? Probably not. That's not really their job is it?
Unless your parents are Psychiatrists, they probably aren't qualified to make a medical diagnosis like that. The human brain and mind are very complex systems. Even experienced doctors may take some time to even get close to what's really going on in our heads.
At 37 years old I was diagnosed with ADHD and later OCD/Anxiety. It took my doctor about 6 months to decide if I was Bipolar or not. Bipolar is so similar to ADHD / OCD that I take the same medicine I'd probably be taking if I did have Bipolar Disorder. My brother has ADHD and Bipolar. The biggest difference between the two of us is he has wild mood swings and violent tendencies. I don't get violent. Just loud and obnoxious.
My advise is to find a psychiatrist. Have them diagnose your symptoms. You might get a second opinion just in case. Then instead of having your parents tell you whats not wrong, you can present your case from a much stronger position. If the doctor decides you need treatment or therapy. you can ask for ways to include your parents so they can learn about how your brain works and what they can do to help you fit in better. You may not need anything at all or maybe it's not permanent. If its a stress reaction or something like that, you might fight it by removing the stress. The main thing is NOT to go into it with the attitude that you already know your own diagnosis. Listen to the doctor. Answer the questions she asks without trying to figure out where they're going with it. Lots of times they ask some questions to rule out something else. You want to avoid trying to steer the conversation in any particular direction. Let the doc do her job. Be open and honest and don't hide anything that might be relevant. Otherwise it will just take longer to find the right treatment.
Once you know for sure what the problem is, you can begin to address how to approach your family about it in a productive way.
The back story here is my wife and I had been in a "discussion" for about a week. It was pretty intense. She was upset that I got home over an hour late and forgot to call when she'd been expecting me right after work. The family waited on me to eat dinner and so on. So I felt pretty guilty too. The problem is that she just kept on about it. I tried to explain that I don't experience time the same way she does. I can get so focused that the house could burn down around me and I'd ignore it. She KNOWS that's how I am. She knows it but she doesn't really feel it. She acts like ADHD is one of those things you can just conquer with willpower. She said some things that reminded me of school and the way things used to be and it struck a nerve. I went into full on jerk mode. I remembered my therapy. I took a deep breath and told her that I was too upset to be coherent and I'd need some time to cool off, could she please just leave me a lone while I collect myself. She did for about 3 minutes. Then started in on me again. This went on for nearly a week. I was ready to leave her.
Then, inspired by the X-Men movie we'd just seen, an idea hit me. We ADHD people are kind of like X-Men "mutants" we have traits that make us a little different. Like the X-Men, we just want to be accepted and appreciated. That gave me an idea of how to talk about it so it doesn't sound like an excuse.
Here's the tip: I had her take off her glasses and try to read a sign. She couldn't see it well enough without her glasses. Then I told her to concentrate harder and see if it made a difference. It didn't. I told her she wasn't trying hard enough. She could really do it if she had enough willpower. I told her to "will" her eyes to focus better or her brain to compensate for the fuzzy image. After a few minutes, she finally just said, "Stop it. That's not something I can do."
Then I asked her whats the difference between her vision and my ADHD? She didn't buy it at first. Then I said, well, try it with something else. Will yourself to speak a different language or fly or change your hair just by thinking it. I know it sounds like I'm being a jerk, but I was very polite. It got her thinking about it. Eventually she conceded up to a point. She agreed that willpower wasn't enough, then she advised me to "set little goals." I said, what like you trying to learn how to see the letter "J" without your glasses? I set goals, I just forget about them.
The next day, she was sitting across the room without her glasses. I held up a kitchen gadget and asked her what it was. She said she couldn't see it. I started again. Will yourself to see it. She wasn't having it. She said it wouldn't work. So I said, "What if I talk about it and remind you constantly to try harder to see it A LOT? Would that help you see it better?"
She stared at me for a minute and said "Touche'. I get it now." She agreed to back off and let stuff go. I agreed to try to call if I'm going to be late, but I warned her. My brain won't change. This is how I am. She's going to have to accept it and let the bad stuff go and not take it personal. Even with meds, living with ADHD is tricky. It always will be.
She's been a lot nicer since then. She backs off when I do that Therapy trick and tell her exactly how I'm feeling in plain language. So she knows to give me some space when I need it.
I posted this because I thought it might help someone re-think the way they deal with their loved ones with or without ADHD. The main goal is clear communication and being willing to listen to each other. It's easy to let things build up until they become a barrier the longer you know someone. That's when it pays to lighten up and be friends.