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Just Diagnosed With ADHD (Adults)

I feel cursed. Does anyone else?

I am 49, and found out just how much damage this disorder, that has gone undiagnosed for all these years, has caused in my life.  I knew what ADD/ADHD was.  I didn’t know it could do such damage though.  I can’t keep a job, because I can’t tolerate certain types of people at all and end up leaving the job, always thinking I needed to learn how to accept these people that I couldn’t tolerate.  I can’t finish any projects that I start - even commissioned ones, even when I want to.  Since I have such trouble getting along with people, I have tried for almost 30 years to “change myself” to work on those things that make me a difficult person to be around.  I could never do it - now we all know why.  I have been in counseling since I was ten - not one doctor, teacher or counselor ever suggested that my problem wasn’t really me - but my dysfunctional brain.  I don’t view this as any kind of good thing.  I honestly do feel cursed.  I have lost a marriage from this, I’m in debt to my eyeballs from this, I have barely any friends from this and sadly, the only med out of five to work so far, also makes me suicidal.  I HATE that I have this and that my life is like this.  Does anyone else feel this way?  I can’t be the only one.


I felt exactly the same way 3 years ago, i totally understand you. You can’t imagine. I was in the same emotional situation, thinking a lot about killing myself…. Down roll spiral.

I am ADHD and i have general anxiety disorder.

The great new is that there is hiddens benefices of having ADHD. The only thing is that our current society don’t teach us our advantage. They teach us how to fit in (i can’t do that and i bet that you can’t to).

I believe, and this is not only my opinion but many successful people\coach/specialist (a minority), that having ADHD give me some massive disadvantage and also give me massive advantage. I truly believe that we must focus more on our advantage than our disadvantage.

Posted by Mr.focus on Oct 04, 2016 at 6:06pm

Many folks feel betrayed by this discovery, especially for the reason Mr. focus gives of having to fit in when you can’t. Being angry makes perfect sense!

Learning about it, learning about it a lot, can be quite helpful.

It is also good to work with someone who knows about ADHD and, above all, knows that blame has to pried off the doorsill and out the door.

This person could be an ADHD coach or some other kind of advisor/counsellor. You will know that such a person is right for you because you will feel your shoulders unknot and you will feel you are in a welcoming place.

Posted by John Tucker, PhD, ACG. ADHD Coach on Oct 04, 2016 at 6:17pm

Your reaction is very common for those diagnosed in adulthood. The positive aspect though is now you know there was a reason for the madness. And, now you know you can improve it with treatment.

These articles offer many strategies to work through the emotions you’re having from a late diagnosis:

These discuss treatment for adults with ADHD (medication and therapy are the “gold standard”):

And a First 100 Days Guide:

ADDconnect Moderator, Author on Parenting ADHD, Mom to teen boy with ADHD, LDs, and autism

Posted by adhdmomma on Oct 05, 2016 at 2:57pm

You are not alone. I tried to change myself for about thirty years. No one caught my add. I had a doctor very close to me personally who I found out wasn’t concerned about me diagnose everyone’s maladies except mine.  I’ve know her for almost 20 years and all I think about is “what if?” I have not come to terms with it, but I am close to 40 and I want to enjoy the years I have left. It may not be perfect, but it is all I have and that is good enough. I understand I was not put on this earth to be happy. It is sobering, but it allows me to enjoy things. Hang in there. It will get better.

Posted by Endan20010 on Oct 06, 2016 at 4:13pm

I want to say, the words that I never thought I would hear. I know what you are feeling and your confusion/anger.  I am 57 and was diagnosed 4 months ago.  I have seen countless numbers of counsellors, doctors, psychologists, and psychiatrists, and the one who suggested that I might have ADHD was my best friend. Now I can see the choices I made, the jobs I lost, the trauma I went through and have gone oh F.  But my friends and family love me and they have all said that it is the quirkiness about me that they love the most.  Yes I suppose it can be sobering, and I can definitely see the negative impacts on my life, however I will continue to live laughing at my lateness, my sudden impulsive behaviour, my creative and nonsensical thoughts, and know that there are people out there who will love me with or without this diagnosis. Find those people in your life. Oh and laugh out loud

Posted by Jacjacs on Oct 08, 2016 at 7:47am

I was diagnosed a little over 4 years ago, at age 27 and overall the initial feeling was euphoria- it felt great to know that there was a “why” behind 99% of what made me feel like the oddball. After staying connected with reading articles and learning more, I could finally put the pieces of my life together that seemed to be scattered everywhere. But oh somedays, even periods of months have been challenging- and at times feeling very cursed, leaving me feeling like “Why me? How does everyone else just show up on time for stuff without effort or stay on task so easily? Why am I the one who can’t stay committed to a routine?”

I could go on forever with filling in different scenarios and questions. I have gone for so long trying to change me just to fit and though I am very much a work in progress, I’ve learned that instead of trying to change who I am to “fit” into society’s unforgiving, cookie-cutter template of what I should be, I should work more on self-love and acceptance.  I’ve learned that even though I didn’t ask for life to turn out this way, I can still make the best of it by playing to the many advantages I’ve learned about.  If nothing else, I’ve also learned that I am a worthwhile person, who is loved, and has just as much potential to do great things, just as much if not more than the next person.

Posted by Evey_0718 on Oct 08, 2016 at 11:06pm

Ok guys. Let us stop the whining about what we have and let us enjoy what we have got and make the not the best of it. It is damm fantastic that for some reason I through my parents have inherited this different way of doing things.

So let us look at the struggles we had and you will find that if it was not for all the nonsense we have to take from other people we just might have been successful a lot sooner than most people.

So I was diagnosed at 52 after having a panic attack from who knows where that I had get someone else take me to the doctor. Driving 70 km home I had another one and had to flag a stranger down and ask his passenger to drive me home.

A friend of mine manage a ambulance service so I ask him to take my blood pressure. Guess what? it was normal.

I have been in Education for 30 years and despite lacking some serious executive function manage to still be appointed as a principal of a school in the same week that I was diagnose.

So what does this mean? I dis enough to get a have a great CV. Yes I did the typical ADD thing and tried to do everything. Did I manage to finish my tasks and all my task, did I manage to build good relations and could I get people to do stuff for me even though I felt that they hated my ideas and what I was doing within the school.

Hell yes I could do all those things. And yes their was the typical bully that wanted to make sure that I dont rise through the ranks.

So how did I manage to conquer all of this. You don’t? Ask any surfer of big waves. To overcome the fear of being on this big wave can only be done if you take the ride and making sure that you stay on top of the board.

If you fall of and trust me you will, get up and attempt again but learn from what you have done from the the first or second ot third experience.

Note I do not say from what is wrong. I AM DOING THIS FOR A SPECIFIC REASON.

We don’t follow the norm when it come to doing things, but that does not mean what we do is wrong. We just do things from a different perspective to make it work for us.

People spend all their energy to make to make us fit into the same mold from which they came. We must be more like them.
I don’t want to be like them. I want to be me.

So why does things seem to get worse once you have been diagnosed. Very simple explanation. We tend to want to please people all the time so we allow them to feel as if they are in control of us to keep the peace.

Are we at peace, no but do we value the people around us. Yes we do because we can see that they just do not get it, so we keep on trying our level best to make things as normal as possible. Do they offer us the same cutesy in the home or the workplace and eve in the church.

No they don’t but we keep on doing it. So yes they say ADHD gets worse. If ADHD is mostly diagnosed by what we do and what we tell others we do or want to do but don’t or just what we think in general all the time going from one thing to another.

Without making any assumptions it gets worse because person can consistently be on the outside what he is on the inside, So are we this raging bull on inside that gets release when we become treated. No, we are just taking a stand and we say this is me and no longer do you have the right to tell me how to think or tell me what to say or do just because you think my so called impassivity is going to embarrass you.

Who of you go out their and tell everybody you have ADHD. No i don’t suppose you do because look at all the trouble we pick up if we do. Medication has change things for me. It has altered the way my brain process information and it did it immediately and even after dumping medication for two weeks some of those changes has remain.

The guy who writing this is not saying to you get over it, i telling you to tel the man of women that is in your face because of this to get a life and to stop meddling in mine. I am fine but are they.

Suddenly they have lost control of you. No more playing games and making me to be out to be the irrational one.

Just to go of on a tangent for moment. O there goes a squirrel up the tree. Nearly forgot what I had to say. Yes you are still going to do things that may be out of place but there are going to be a lot more things you will be doing right. Yes it take time but the problem is with other that thinks that just because you speak better, write better spell better relate better o and can charm the hind-legs of a donkey better that you suddenly going to be without any faults.

So what if I leave a cupboard door open or my socks on the floor.. It does not happen everyday when I come in to house and shed all my clothes and want to put myself in the couch watching tV with a cup of coffee.Yes. Not everybody that has a severe case of ADHD becomes this hidden Drug Addict, alcoholic and sex maniac. We can be normal you know. What someoneelse do is their business so don’t judge me because it appears I have been made in the same mold.

There goes another squirrel up the tree. I like explain things visually ad yes it does get me into trouble at times. To strengthen the contents of the mold with applying fire and heat does not mean that every piece coming out is going to be perfect.

The clay that goes into the mold may contain impurities or even air pockets. When going into the kiln the moisture content may still be to high which can cause problem late which make the whole mold weak. On the outside things may look perfect but on the inside things may not be so great.

So if their is cracks in your makeup because of the the molding part of once life being a bit crappy then guess what?

If you were a toilet seat made out of clay and their is a crack in your character then what comes forth will be a lot of ......

So how did I beat the odds, that they wondered how I managed past 20 years of age not to say 52. Easy. It is called character. Once personality is shaped by the age of 7. You have no control over it. What you do have control over it is the choices you make.

I not saying that it is possible if you have a good character that your choices are going to be always right, it is not going to be and it never will be.

What you do with what you did after you have done it, is going to define who you are. And that is the difference. Yes it is all in once attitude. Fine that is all good and well you may say. I sometimes cant help my self and the people around you will say, stop blaming everybody and everything else for your problems.

You know what? Damn, there goes another squirrel. I like to d0 this. Asking these stupid question that irritate the living daylight out of people and then then giving them the answer. Their response of course is that I must not assume they are stupid.

We are suppose to be the insecure ones but our Non ADHD associates, wives and all the so called ‘normal people just don’t get it. That couple of seconds where we express ourselves, and there are always a pause as if we now waiting for them to give a answer’, is the time that we give ourselves to formulate a clear and precise statement.

So bully for them if they want to be so judgmental of what they think I mean by the way I express myself. If they are so quick on the draw with what they say and they can say it so well, then why do we still spend so much time in litigation.

I have never been in a law of court in 53 but I am going to be in in one soon but it is not me that is going to be in the defendants dock.

Yes, this it is the bully that is going to be there. In the words of Bruce Springsteen.

“A time comes when you need to stop waiting for the man you want to become and start being the man you want to be.”

So why do we think things are getting worst. Because the people around us make it worse by the fact that they no longer can control us. Even if when you were out of control you become this person who seems to have it all under control.

At the end of the day, that part we can do nothing about, still is the way by which people live their lives if they lack CHARACTER.

I have been told to leave immediately from my job and was march out of the school with my boxes with no evidence of wronging been proven in a hearing where the only thing I did, was to bruise some ego for not doing doing their job. 

Guess what? There I do it again. So nearly a year later I am still getting paid with no possibility of even being told to leave. O i can’y go back because if I do and the truth be told, things will get a lot worse before it is going to get better.

I am not the one who is going to be on the receiving end.

So how did I go from a low self-esteem and no confidence to be what some may say being now an arrogant know it all ........

A simple choice when I was told 8 years early by my boss to either get out of his school or do what I was told.

There goes another squirrel. I am afraid, sorry wrong word. Another squirrel.

When i asked him that if I should leave all my side shows and want to grow and do his job, what should I do, he took to me to a bookcase and gave me some books on school management to read.

The discovery I made, was that I was doing things right but still I was seen differently. I was doing things differently and getting results within my way of dealing and coping with my own disorder. i had to put things in place to cope.

So our country has migrated to an document that governs how the system of content against assessment against recording of the assessments results must work.

That after going through two previous versions of Education Systems.

I wrote something in 1997 but it took another ten years before someone actually realize that this that they have seen somewhere could actually work. Yes I gave my ideas away after being told I may not become involve in the development of the new OBE system which since been replace by two other systems. The last one based on mine from 1997.

So what has this all got to do with what i read in comments.

In the last year I have told more than 3000 people who I am and what my story is and that I am ADHD and all that.

The response was that 95% of my respondents children or their spouses or themselves have ADD OR ADHD. So what is wrong with this picture.

I the people working to treat us is bound by confidentiality to say nothing and tell us to say nothing. then that explain why only 7 to 10% percent of the world “have” ADHD.

So here comes a typically ADHD person with ODD, definitely not OCD some Asperger, because I just cannot liie, with a dose of Tourettes and who knows with a little bit of RAINMAN in me and I am hell-bent to expose the myth of ADHD and who we are. Highly intelligent and who knows a lot more than what we are suppose to know.

Another squirrel up a tree. We had to learn so much harder and we had to learn so much more to succeed and to work our way to the top. Give us Concerta and or ritalin and what do you get.

Without putting it mildly. A person who do not think he knows everything but every one else thinks he tings he does. So they don’t like him. No, what you have is person who just no to much and who knows things that he should not know but do.

In our quest to always overcome what we perceive what are wrong and in trying to correct it, we learn so much more than others who don’t have this so called problem. Then when eventually when you have been diagnose and given medicine, you find yourself with a new problem.

With great power comes great responsibility - From the Comic and movie Spider-man.

To end of at last because I think I have been at this conversation for the last two hours.

If any one of you feel the same as I do and it causes havoc.

Look like all the focused and attentive ones is making big money of the hard labor that are from all the ADHD people creating and producing products just so that we can end up paying big bucks for others to manage our affairs.

Let us reclaim our place in society and show the world what we we are made out of,

Lets choose a live that matters and let us stop rearranging the deckchairs just because we are told to do so. The boat is sinking and we know how to stop the leak while others are creating the committees to organize the seminars to decide who is going to be in charge of the tenders that must go out to find someone who is going to plug the leak just to find out that we did they did not budget for this.

When in the end someone like us could have fix it and it would not have cost anybody a cent.

Tell me your story so that we can tell everybody our story. WE are not asking for sympathy. All I trying to say is, SHAME ON them for the ignorance they have displayed.

If any of what I said does not make sense. When one has the gift of discernment then messages will be clear.

i am done. Gone hunting for some squirrels now that I figure out how to spell it without using spellcheck.

Posted by craig1nicholson on Oct 09, 2016 at 5:24am

Molls—No, indeed, you are not the only one.

I was diagnosed 3 1/2 years ago, at age 65, and I raged off and on for about 2 years, and dealt with other grief symptoms for another year after that. I hated being like this, I hated living like this—in all the clutter, being late all the time, etc.

My diagnosis made me more symptomatic, oddly enough, It was as if the diagnosis, under all that anger, was a kind of relief—I didn’t have to try and be like everyone else anymore. Or try and PRETEND to be like everyone else. I could admit that I felt “little”—overwhelmed and at sea—in settings where everyone else seemed to “get it” in ways that I didn’t.

Worse—I had returned to graduate school and made a midlife career change; the new field felt like a perfect fit, and everyone who knew me agreed it was. However, the available jobs in my new field were not such a perfect fit, due to my undiagnosed and un-coached ADHD, and I took an early retirement offer to avoid more serious consequences.

And one of the things that really TICKED ME OFF was people telling me about the gifts or the benefits or the upsides of having ADHD. RUBBISH!!!!

Seriously, I believe the grief associated w/ a later in life diagnosis is woefully under appreciated, at least in the reading I have done, where that aspect of it is treated with not much depth or understanding, if it is treated at all.

Look, ADHD is a global thing, it affects pretty much everything we do. The building block of adult life is deciding to do something and then doing it—which is exactly what we struggle to do. Throw in a weak sense of time, and it gets even harder. Plus, if you are around people with high executive functions who think all that is natural, easy —well, it certainly is a lot easier for them than it is for an adult with ADHD.

Standard adult talk therapy is geared in part to building up self esteem and self confidence, so I had learned to live with those reassurances and downplayed the effect of my symptoms; I had no idea I was struggling so much more than other people.

I think it was an Ari Tuckman book that suggested newly diagnosed adults re-tell the story of their life, from the perspective of undiagnosed ADHD. I found that very helpful. My experience was that I was pretty much remodeling my entire self image. It wasn’t always easy, but it helped bring me peace.

Living undiagnosed can sure make for one ginormous pile of negativity in one’s mental landscape—it’s almost a sure thing that some kind of depressive state has been formed by all the negative feedback we have had our entire lives. And it might not all be at school—I was in many ways the perfect little girl in school; I loved school—and who knew that my enthusiastic hand waving and my hyper reactive facial expressions loud voice and social style were all ways that girls can be hyperactive?

Learn the various strategies and start using them: lists, schedules, day planners, clocks, post it notes, whatever helps. You will get better at them with time, although you will never be 100%. So learn to rejoice in small victories. Some of them will seem very small—like things that NT middle schoolers seem to learn automatically, as if by osmosis. But our brains didn’t do that, so we need to learn them now—because they’re not optional, we NEED them.

Your brain is your brain; it is what it is. Managing an ADHD brain requires help and it requires a lot of learning.

Don’t let anyone tell you you “should” feel something you don’t; everyone’s grief is different, and it has its own rhythm. Be open to the possibility that you might have a clinical depression, too.

But last of all and first of all and most of all, be compassionate toward yourself. You have struggled your whole life, sometimes without being aware. Remember that pretty much everything you do will take more time and be more difficult for you.  Then finally be open to discovering that it is time to let go of the grief; you don’t have to be happy with your ADHD, but your only chance for happiness is to be happy as a person who has ADHD.  Accept that, accept yourself, be gentle with yourself, and you’ll do fine.

Posted by ADD me on Oct 29, 2016 at 1:25pm

52 and just realized that I’ve had this all of my life. My version is calm and not hyper—and I’m also hyperfocused. It’s only recently that the internet has offered better descriptions for ADHD - I had taken tests before and never come close.

Until ten years ago I made my living as a creative professional musician, and this not only played on my strengths but also excused all of my quirks. I thrived and overachieved for many years.

I can’t imagine how a non-creative ADHD person could get through this without help, and it breaks my heart to think of it.

This has hit me hard in the last ten years, though. I’ve struggled keeping up with the routines of exercise and nutrition that used to keep me strong and on track. My organizational skills have gone from barely there to non-existent.

I despise a cluttered home, yet here I am. 52 years old and I FORGET to clean up after myself.

Mostly I feel disappointed that I’ve lost ten years of my life - unhappy in my work and location but somehow unable to pull out of it.

At the moment I don’t care what it’s called. If this is something I can manage that will let me get back to being successful and free and happy- I’m all in.

Posted by rbr on Mar 07, 2017 at 9:03am

You are not the only one who feels this way. I did almost four years ago when my marriage ended. I don’t have very many friends either. Hang in there,it will get better. The more you work on your recovery,the better things will be.

Posted by mschneweis on Mar 21, 2017 at 7:26pm

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