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Parents of ADHD Teens and Young Adults

19yr Old Daughter Newly Diagnosed - A Million Questions

Hi all,

Our 19 yr old daughter was recently diagnosed. She took the IVA+Plus and came up as severely impaired in every category.

As her family, we are struggling with what this all means. We feel like this explains a lot of her behavior and it’s a relief to know why.

We are having a hard time finding a psychiatrist that we feel good about and she is currently not on any meds. She has taken a friends Adderol and Vyvanse (we do not approve of this) and now has seen how she feels while on it. She said all her thoughts go in “little boxes” in her brain and she can “get things done” and then sleep at night.

We have a month until our next try - this one has been recommended to us and is hard to get into.

I would love any thoughts, input or advice you could give us.

This is all so new to us!

Thanks in advance…


Wow. I thought my 14 y/o was old for being diagnosed. You can also get the meds from a regular dr. My son gets his from his pediatrician. I wish I had some advice for you but we are still figuring things out too. Good luck!

Posted by sammi1966 on Jan 27, 2014 at 5:18am

Hi There. My son to is 19 but we have know for years that he has had ADHD but unfortunately we were under the old thinking of “He will grow out of it, he’s a boy and young”. Well now we continue to struggle with this because he is older and expectations are higher and the ADHD has become more noticeable and more of a struggle at this point. It is important that you find a good psychiatrist that really knows and understands ADHD. We were lucky enough to find one that specializes in ADHD. Its has been a good help and its also important that your daughter likes them and connects with them. If not good luck getting her there without war! As a parent I have struggled a great deal. I have felt guilty, sad, mad, frustrated etc etc etc. I have found what has helped me is reading, researching, talking to other parents (this site has been a huge help in helping me understand), support groups and most of all learning different strategies in how to deal with my son when he displays his behaviours. I know for myself I can’t parent him like a typical teen (young adult) and I have come to accept this and learn a lot on how to help him. The best advice I can give you is take this journey day by day, focus on the positive, stand strong and firm, don’t; let the guilt weaken you (that can harm her as well by letting ADHD be a excuse for the wrong behaviours) and try and turn the ADHD into a gift. However must be honest…..Easier said then done! Good Luck.

Posted by Jodtam on Jan 27, 2014 at 7:30pm

Hello Katesmom. First let me say that you are a blessing to your daughter as you are reaching out to understand the many facets of ADHD. It can be complex and scary but I echo what Jodtam said, read and research and educate yourself. My son is now 17 and was not officially diagnosed until he was seven years old though his kindergarten teacher first alerted us. For two years we read about diets and supplements and sugar and food coloring, etc. and tried them all and more in an effort to avoid medication. At eight years old I watched my son sob and tell me he “could not think”. It was heartbreaking but it was a springboard to the trial and errors of finding a good doctor. I still do not like the medication but my son now knows and feels the difference when he is not on it. He has had some great doctors. One of which was a well-known researcher. We learned so much from him but it is his current doctor that has taught us about how the chemicals in the medications work on the body. You have an advantage in that your daughter is old enough to learn about ADHD with you. This website is valuable and I recommend books by Hallowell, Lavoie and Zeigler.  All the best to you.

Posted by BDogsMom on Jan 28, 2014 at 3:33am

Thank you to everyone for your replies. We are pretty overwhelmed by all of this. Going back now and wondering how her (and our) life could have been different had we figured this out sooner!
I am so sad that she’s struggled like this and we blamed it on typical behavior for her age, diva-like behavior, selfishness and of course alcohol and drug influences. It’s all so complex.
And from what I am reading and learning, the drugs will help, but she’s got a long road ahead sorting this all out.
She doesn’t like to talk to people and I am going to have a hard time getting her to do any kind of support group or counseling. She just wants the pill to make her brain be more organized. It’s not that simple, but she wants it to be!
Her Dad and I are kind of relieved to have a name for what’s wrong with her. We’ve asked ourselves so many times why she is this way! Stubborn, selfish, impulsive, strong-headed, difficulty keeping friends, loses everything, multiple car accidents, moody and a total slob!
And other times really caring (she was late to work the other day because she saw a homeless man and went and got him a cheeseburger)
We love her so much and just want to be there for her any way we can.
She’s got to learn that having ADHD is not a free pass to allow her to continue with these behaviors.
We live in a smaller city, not sure if there are even any support groups to go to. Any recommendations?


Posted by Katesmom on Jan 28, 2014 at 4:21am

  We, too, found out our son has ADHD, diagnosed a year and a half ago.  He’s almost 23.  He was an athlete who competed at a very high level, so his ADHD was masked somewhat.  In hindsight he had some tendencies like losing things, some impulse control, was a 3.0 student but barely.  He left college after sophomore year, after retiring from his sport and moved home and “Whoa” we didn’t know this kid.  He was no longer exercising like he did, so his ADHD hit us smack in the face. 
  I feel totally behind the curve, and I would say while he’s on meds, he doesn’t like taking them.  He says it kills his creativity and motivation.  He can do a task for hours, but when he’s done, he doesn’t want to do anything else, if that makes sense.  I can see, then why he doesn’t want to take it.  The problem is his behavior and mood is much better on meds than not.  I think we need to keep searching for the “right” one for him, or as close as we can get to “right” 
  All the things you described: stubborn, selfish, impulsive, strong-headed, etc, those are all him.  Yet he shows empathy toward others in the most tender of ways. 
  We are trying like heck to get a handle on it and not let it be an excuse for him but an obstacle that he must work around, utilizing tools and meds (if appropriate) and finding his niche’. 
  It truly is one day at a time, and I guess the one piece of advice I would give is try to find someone who is years ahead of you in this process—someone that you have seen really get it figured out—and tap them like no other for info, their ideas, suggestions.  Not everything will be the same for you, but it’s a great place to start. 
  I think God gave us this “gift” because he knows we can handle it, even though some days we really wonder!!! 
Big hugs,
Good luck,

Posted by ToniC on Jan 29, 2014 at 5:49am

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