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ADHD Adults

Hello. I am new to this group

and new to adult ADHD.
I’ve have been reading prior discussions and find myself in tears.
There are people like me!  I am not alone. and I am not worthless and lazy.
I cannot complain about a lot of things.  I have had a very successful career, a lot due to my ADHD and hyperfocus, however other areas of my life have suffered greatly. Now semi retired these other areas are so much more important, but I just can’t deal.
Is there hope?


I was the same way when I found this place and realized I was not alone. There is a certain solace in knowing that there are people, and not just a few people but whole lot of people out there somewhere that are just as screwed up as you are. Welcome Tyler, make yourself at home.

Posted by Rancher John on Sep 07, 2013 at 4:41am

Hi Tyler,
Nope. You are not alone. And most certainly you are among friends here.
There is hope and more.

Posted by John Tucker, PhD, ACG. ADHD Coach on Sep 07, 2013 at 5:43am

You definately are not alone.  I feel the same way!!!  It stinks!!  Thank god for these forums!!  I am 46 and have ADD/ADHD, anxiety, depression, and etc.  It is not easy.  I have a wonderful family, a wonderful husband, and 2 great kids if it wasn’t for them I wouldn’t be here.  I have worked countless jobs in the past couple of years.  That I have decided after getting fired from my most recent job in July that I am taking a mental break and need to get myself better and end this vicious cycle.  I am having a horrible time.  I am feeling so lonely, worthless, powerless, and etc.  We are here for you.  Contact me anytime at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).  Let’s support each other.  Hang in there you are not alone.

Posted by hawaii92 on Sep 07, 2013 at 6:02am

Thank you all for your replies.  I am coming to grips with this which of course includes a lot of reflecting on misdiagnosis. Being angry at things I’ve missed out on in my life and generally being overwhelmed.
I’m so happy to have found this forum!
Thank you again.

Posted by tyler43836 on Sep 07, 2013 at 6:50am

I feel the same way!!!

Posted by hawaii92 on Sep 07, 2013 at 6:53am

It is very emotional to find out you have ADHD. It has hurt me that in my life I have been described as lazy, selfish and stupid many times, by different people.  I have struggled with ADD. I also have felt extremely lonely even though I have always been surrounded by people. It left me with a strong sense of worthlessness.
I battle daily with my ADD.
I eventually gain a successful career once I moved into teaching. It was actually whilst studying about learning difficulties i found out about my ADD. some of the traits of my ADD work in my favour in this line of work. But, I have again battled through some differ cult times work wise.
For me the hardest part are relationships. So much so, after finding out i had ADD, two years ago I stopped any socialising. I took up solo backpacking and walking in my spare time. I have been very happy now, but have come to realise I need to get back in touch with my friends. I can no longer cut myself off from people..This is an area I struggle with. Is this where you are struggling?

Posted by EducatingRita on Sep 07, 2013 at 12:35pm

Right now I am struggling with a bit of everything.  I have become a bit isolated because I don’t have to explain myself if I’m by myself…does that make sense?  I have always taken the bull by the horns no matter how uncomfortable, but I just feel unable to get a handle on things at the moment.

Posted by tyler43836 on Sep 07, 2013 at 4:43pm

THIS HIT ME SO HARD: “I am coming to grips with this which of course includes a lot of reflecting on misdiagnosis. Being angry at things I’ve missed out on in my life and generally being overwhelmed”

I am 45 as of last Tuesday and was diagnosed around 9 months ago. I have had such trouble when I realized how many problems I can now attribute to my CHILDHOOD AD(H)D. At six (six!!) a teacher wrote “Angela lacks self control” on the conduct portion of my report card. And my mother would whip that phrase out any time I acted up or acted out. I remember the misery and embarassment I felt every time she said it. On top of that, she spent at least 6 years shuttling me to every ear nose and throat Dr she could find, convinced I had a hearing problem (I spent one whole summer miserable because I had drainage tubes inserted in my ears for NO REASON and couldn’t swim the whole summer). AFTER that, I had repeated earaches which I’d never had before. And that was just the first 12 years of my life. I look back on the shame of “mean girls’ who decided I “bragged too much” because I was always seeking attention, the hyper-sexuality that started when I was around 14 but I fought, being raised in a a strict Baptist household, then left that house and went wild at college. The number of times in a job I would sit at my desk and not be able to figure out how to plan a day and the number of books I read/have read about organizing, the financial issues because I can’t budget well, etc.

Don’t get me wrong, there are many GOOD things that I believe are a part of the ADHD as well. I’m a terribly creative, hyper-ideas focused, strategic yet creative thinker so in my work as an advertising and marketing executive, I can usually come up with the BIG IDEA, so that’s great.

I just have such a mixed bag of emotions about it all.

It’s good to have online support and yes, to read that I’m not alone.

I’m not sure my point, just like having a place to “spew” to people who don’t go “yeah,yeah, yeah, you have ADHD—we heard it all.”

Posted by brandismom1990 on Sep 07, 2013 at 9:47pm

I so agree with everyone and feel the same way with everyone that has replied.  Is there such a thing as ever feeling normal???  What does it feel like???

Posted by hawaii92 on Sep 08, 2013 at 12:25am

The more I think about this and reflect I think about the things that would have been so much easier had I just KNOWN.  Now that I have the diagnosis I think I actually feel better because I know there are things I can do to cope.  My mother drilled it into my head that I was lazy and selfish.  Good grades but avoided homework like the plague…I was lazy.  Great job success but my house was a mess.  Lazy.  I could spend five hours cleaning the grout with a toothbrush yet ignore something I spilled on it 5 minutes later.  Lazy. Money in the bank, but bills unpaid. Lazy.  Choosing men who were a ‘challenge’ and then having the relationship blow up.  Selfish AND lazy!  I know I am not those things.  I could go on and on.  One day at a time.

Posted by tyler43836 on Sep 08, 2013 at 1:09am

While I am here…I’ve been wondering.  I have talked to my Dr. who really isn’t a specialist (hard to come by in Mexico) and to trusted friends, one who has a 19 year old son who has ADHD since childhood. and would like your opinion.  Can you develop the skills, diet, etc to deal with this without medication? The pros and cons have been gone over ad infinitum and I’d really like to give it a go without meds if I possibly can.  What is your experience?  For years doctors have misdiagnosed and put me on anti depressants and anti anxiety meds.  They either didn’t work at all, or plunged me into a very dark place. I have always had an extremely high drug tolerance and I fear the years of dosage adjusting and experimenting!

Posted by tyler43836 on Sep 08, 2013 at 1:28am

Bienvenue a la menagerie! (Welcome to the menagerie).  Whenever I look at this thread I am struck at once by how similar are the experiences and yet how diverse. I also was diagnosed late (mid-50s) and lived a long life of problems ranging from physical abuse to social isolation because of my AD/HD.  But I also got a good education and have had an OK professional career, and I’m now about to retire and asking “what next??”

I think the main danger of retirement is the general lack of structure and motivation, so I would look in that direction.  Ask what it is you are good at and what you can contribute, and then look for some sort of structured environment that you can use to do that.  I’m a lawyer and looking at some kind of disability or AD/HD advocacy work, but for you it could be coaching sports or something entirely different.  But I would see retirement as an opportunity - a lot of the things your AD/HD has probably been a barrier to don’t matter any more, and you have a lot more freedom to choose activities that interest you and that you can do well. 

That also suggests an answer to your last question about whether there is a way to live without meds.  Every one of us is different, but personally I find that I can start and stop them (I take various kinds of methylphenidate) and it depends on what I’m doing.  If I need to write an article or do serious research I take them, but the sort of zany creativity that can get me in trouble at work when I don’t is actually kind of fun when I’m not working.  It is part of who I am and it is only a “disability” when my neuro-typical colleagues expect something else.  I expect to take a lot fewer meds in retirement.

Posted by Cedar on Sep 08, 2013 at 2:54am

Yes retirement is kind of scary.  I have spent 30 years in finance in the music industry.  I retired to Mexico and suddenly decided to teach myself web design.  I am enjoying the both the creativity and the structure. I am also enjoying working from my home and not having to deal with someone else’s opinion of how I ‘should’ be doing things. Left to my own devices and my own way of doing things…I am good at it!

Posted by tyler43836 on Sep 08, 2013 at 3:06am

Tyler—I had so many years of Depression meds NOT working for me because of the genuine depression (comorbidity is a word that RINGS in my head daily) that was caused by my inability to get the “lazy/failure/useless/” messages out of my head and the inability to “fix” things. I agree with the replies that say “everyone is different” but I do know that my ADHD meds have given me such a better ability to COPE with life that I can’t imagine going without them. I also find that exercise and many TINY steps towards coping are infinitely helpful. I am also still adjusting my meds as I’ve had a leveling off. Again—I’m not sure if that helps YOU, but I am just so heartened by the EMPATHY of your words here that it makes me feel able to share my experience HONESTLY. Which is really hard on the “non-ADHD” friends, who get a little sick of it grin.

Posted by brandismom1990 on Sep 09, 2013 at 7:44pm

Thank you for sharing your experience.  I am still considering meds.  Your right about the non-ADHD friends.  I’m lucky to have a few with first hand knowledge and to have found this forum!

Posted by tyler43836 on Sep 09, 2013 at 8:16pm

I read you just now.  Yes, getting diagnosed at a later age is hard, but YOU, only you, can turn that into positive !  I’m 62 now, diagnosed around 47/48, and the more I grow up, the more I realize that the diagnosis was a gift to me.  An unexpected acknowledgement !  I mean YOU are able to do more than others !  Don’t ever be afraid of retirement, to me.  very much ADHD,  it is really the greatest time of my life !  Yes, I mean this, let me know how you go!

Posted by nailbiter on Sep 16, 2013 at 1:16am

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