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ADHD Adults

ADHD better/worse at different times in life?

Hi everyone. I’m new here. I was diagnosed with “hyperactivity” as a child (the 70’s… I don’t know if anyone got medicated in those days. I didn’t) and could not sit still or stop talking. I was constantly falling over and hurting myself because I was such a bundle of energy. My schoolwork was sloppy because I couldn’t focus for very long. I continued to not be able to focus well through high school, and then in college I did very well and had incredible focusing abilities. Then came grad school and, after being quite depressed and taking SSRIs, I found I couldn’t focus again and went on Ritalin. It was like someone had swept away this veil of fog and distraction that had been there my whole life. Eventually, Ritalin stopped working and I tried a couple of other things with no luck. I went unmedicated for several years and seemed to be mostly ok. Now for the past three years, I have been freelancing and I find that, with no boss to be my taskmaster, no amount of list-making (which I love and do every day) or prioritizing helps me get anything done. I just went back on Ritalin, which, so far, seems to be working again.

That was a long-winded way of asking if you have noticed that there have been times in your life where things seem ok and other times where they’re a disaster? I’m pretty shocked I’ve managed to remain employed with how much a mess my brain has been the past few months.


For me the last 2.25 years have been the worst. High stress job that, for better of for worse, is coming to an end; exactly as I predicted about 6 months into it. I’m 52 and unemployed again.

I don’t remember ADD being a problem in college. I didn’t know I had it then. I was heavily involved in marital arts though and worked out to exhaustion 5 days out of 7. That may have been what got me through it.

Posted by ADDedValue62 on Aug 29, 2014 at 6:58pm

I understand what you are talking about.  My report cards as a child repeat over and over again,  can’t sit still,  talks constantly,  does not focus on her work…  Back then they didn’t have the ADD/ADHD labels,  I was just a problem child that wouldn’t cooperate.

As an adult I find that I am much sharper in the morning and try to get as much done in the morning as I can.  In the afternoons as I get more tired I am much easier distracted and by late afternoon I can forget getting any work done…. 

I still have a problem sitting still smile

Posted by alanamil on Aug 30, 2014 at 9:27pm

I was diagnosed with ADHD with Adjustment Disorder in 2012. I lost my job with the Commonwealth of Kentucky as a Network Analyst, that I had for 7 years because of my ADHD. I missed deadlines and could not remember what was said 10 minutes before. I now take 60 mg of Vynanse and 50 mg of Sertraline daily. It is not helping as I expected. I am am unsure what to do. I don’t want to lose another job because of my ADHD. What can I do?

Posted by mcmyers1 on Aug 31, 2014 at 5:38pm

I believe that there’s an ebb and flow to ADHD struggles—I certainly see that in my son. I have tried for years to find a trigger for the periods when it’s worse, but haven’t come up with a thing.

Maybe there will be some strategies on organization at work in these articles that you haven’t tried yet:

An ADHD Coach can be very helpful in implementing strategies and systems for more success too.

ADDconnect Moderator, Author & Mom to Tween Boy with ADHD and LDs

Posted by adhdmomma on Sep 02, 2014 at 3:06pm

I was listening to a show on our local NPR station earlier about ADHD and a caller said something he read suggested that stress can bring on increased symptoms. That would make sense.

So I got on Ritalin (which I had great luck with years ago) last week and had to immediately stop taking it because I also suffer from depression and every afternoon/evening when it wore off, I would get really depressed. I’m hoping to try Wellbutrin again (also tried that before just for depression, with mixed results, but the fact that is is used for both ADHD and depression seems like it could be a good choice). I have had an impossible time finding a psychiatrist my insurance will cover and have literally spent two solid workdays calling places that are on the list on my insurance website, only to be told they don’t actually take it, aren’t taking new patients, or I’ve read such dreadful reviews that I don’t want to see that Dr. I eventually found someone and have an appointment in a few weeks so… ugh. I hope I can hold myself together until then.

Posted by Elgar_op.85 on Sep 04, 2014 at 8:20pm

I’m not sure if my condition got worse, but as my life got more complicated, it became more apparent.
I’m always had trouble with motivation, distraction, tardiness, etc. When I was only a student, with no other responsibilities, living with my parents who provided structure and support, I did okay despite my poor study habits.
Years later, now a parent of a young child, I went back to school in a demanding program with a mandatory open studio component. It was disastrous. I couldn’t concentrate in the studio. Balancing school and parenting and other household responsibilities was very, very difficult. Sleep deprivation took a huge toll. Add in things like taxes, life insurance, mortgage renewals, bills, filing, etc.—I was a mess.
I’ve since been diagnosed with ADHD (inattentive) and I’m working to improve.
I do wonder if hormonal changes in pregnancy/postpartum or perimenopause made my condition worse.
I notice that my ADHD symptoms (and my mood) are much worse during PMS.

Posted by K.D. on Sep 05, 2014 at 3:40pm

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