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ADHD in Women


This is going to be a long post.  Sorry. :(

Hi I am 46 years and I have been on and off in therapy all my life.  But recently since March I have been in therapy and found an excellent therapist.  We have come to the conclusion that I am ADD/ADHD, major depression, major anxiety, and some bipolar.  So I started with my general doctor and we tried Adderall and I couldn’t sleep so she told me to try Vyanese and that didn’t do much at all.  So between my therapist, general dr., and me we decided I should see a psychiatrist.  So I did see that one that my therapist highly recommended and he is highly educated and well liked.  So anyhow I spent 15 minutes with him talking about everything that is going on lately and he said that I am bipolar and gave me Senoqual at 100mg.  I took it Thursday night and oh boy Friday I couldn’t function I was so tired and out of it.  So then he told me if it made me feel like that to split it in half and I did Friday night and I still felt so groggy.

I am not 100% sure that I am 100% bipolar.  I believe I am add/adhd, depression, bipolar, anxiety, and etc.  I don’t know what to do.

Went and saw another psychiatrist for the first time and liked her but can’t continue seeing her in the new year because she is not covered under my new insurance.  :(  But I saw her and she said I am not Bipolar and that I have anxiety and depression and all she said was let’s up your Zoloft from 50 mg to 100 mg.  Ugh!!!

I am seeing another psychiatrist to get tested for ADD/ADHD in January.

I am not even sure what to do at this point!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  :(

I come from a history of having a very unsupportive, unencouraging, and negative upbringing.  I have 2 sisters and my parents and I was always brought up being negative.  My sisters are twins and they were always great and I was OK my parents always said. 

I have a husband who is supportive, encouraging, loving and etc and we have been married for 20 years.  I have two wonderful kids who are just awesome. 

So since being in therapy since March we have come to the conclusion that I am scared to death of positive things in my life.  I am so scared when something positive comes into my life that I do everything to make it horrible and etc so I don’t have to deal with the negative or the failure.  I could go on an on but I won’t. 

I have not been able to hold down a job for a long time.  I have had 10 jobs in the past year and I got fired from my most recent one in July and am taking a break from working to get myself mentally better.  Which right now I am so frustrated with because nothing seems to be getting better. 

WHAT TO DO?????? 

Any suggestions, comments, anything at all would be greatly appreciated


Hi Me!! First, I want to acknowledge your perseverance and intuition in not settling for the professional opinions you received so far, and continue to search for solutions. I am close to your age and also female; has anyone discussed with you the effects of peri-menopause and hormone changes at this time? ADHD and anxiety can become much more intense and disruptive and not to be underestimated. Sounds like you are on the right track and will eventually find what works for you in time. It does take time and trials. Keep reading as much as you can on women and ADHD, I found the info very helpful. Best of luck! and you are in good company!!

Posted by HShepherd on Jan 13, 2014 at 7:35am

Thanks and I am glad I am not the only one. I feel better now.  I am here if you ever want to talk or on FB. smile

Posted by hawaii92 on Jan 13, 2014 at 7:41am


Here is the thing…  You have already done a lot of work getting to a diagnosis.  I believe that you may have the same situation going on that I had.  My early childhood years were spent being told that I was stupid, not as good as (name anyone else’s kid), and that I did nothing “right”.  By the time I became an adult, I was convinced that I could accomplish nothing of worth.

what I found out many years later is that most of the problems were due to my untreated ADD, but in my younger years, no one knew what ADD was.  My diagnosis in 5th grade was “Minimal Brain Dysfunction”.  I was the daydreamer in the class.  I doubt that many of my teachers caught me actively paying attention or frantically writing notes, but I did alright on tests.  Go figure!

On my 50th birthday, I was officially diagnosed with ADD Inattentive Type.  My doctor did prescribe an antidepressant, but not medication for my ADD.  He didn’t need to.  He referred me to a therapist.  That therapist also lived with ADD, so we mapped out a program for me that involved discovering all of the good things about being me.

It was my therapist who introduced me to the concept of “good enough is good enough”.  Perfectionism had been the biggest factor in my depression because of what I had learned in childhood.  We started looking at my strengths an weaknesses; then began to build on my strengths and find ways to work with the weaknesses so that they did not trip me up any longer.  It took time, of course, but at the end, I not only had the emotional tools to help myself, I also had these other tools that helped me with my sense of time and failure to remember things.

I use a planner and my smartphone.  I also have a PIM program on the computer.  I follow Flylady to del with what has to be done in my home.  I plan the meals on a weekly basis and develop my shopping list so that I am not overspending.

Look for what works for you; not what worked for someone else, unless, of course, they happen to be the same.

This is your life.  You get to choose how you will live it.  Get the help of your family when the task really is something that you cannot do, but I would be willing to bet that you will find yourself capable of doing a great deal without any additional help.  You will surprise yourself—often.  You will probably not surprise those who love and support you on this journey.  They had the confidence in you that you lacked.  Then, one day, you will come to realize just how far you have come and how much better life is.

I hope some of that is helpful to you!

Posted by Dianne in the Desert on Jan 13, 2014 at 3:06am



you are in good company because most of us (if not all) can relate to your story.  I was diagnosed with adult ADHD a few years ago when my son was diagnosed with ADHD and Asperger’s.

I applaud your honesty in sharing your story.  Having ADHD can be really challenging as an adult because we have to maybe ‘unlearn’ things.  For me, it’s made me realize that some things I struggled with was probably influenced by my ADHD.

Continue to search for a therapist that will HELP AND SUPPORT YOU!  You know yourself better than anyone right?  Trust yourself in your search and you WILL find someone to help you.

Focus on your family and all the positive people and things in your life!  The more you do it, the easier it can become.  I know, it is so hard to do that.  I wish there was a magic pill to just make it all go away and make everything ‘perfect’.  I fight through my insecurities daily because they’re so automatic for me to be negative.  As Dr. Daniel Amen calls them, the ANTs (Automatic Negative Thoughts).  To fight them, we have to change our thinking patterns.  You can do this and rise above your circumstances!

All the best!

Posted by aholamom on Jan 13, 2014 at 3:23am

Posted by adhdmomma on Jan 13, 2014 at 8:19pm

Wow!  Thank you all for sharing so honestly.  I’ve known I’ve had ADHD for a long time but then I choose to pretend I don’t have it and that clearly doesn’t work.  I try to pretend I’m like everyone else because I’m ashamed of my ADHD brain.  I have so many friends who have stayed with careers, etc. I’m still wandering around at the age of 50 wondering what I’ll do when I grow up. I’ve raised three wonderful children, one who as ADHD, and have been married 25 years.  Now that I’m turning 50, I feel like I’m running out of time to “get it all together”.

Posted by aussielover on Jan 14, 2014 at 11:01pm

Have you heard aabout Ty Pennington/  He is my shining example of someone finding his own way while living with ADD.  He isn’t putting on an act.  He is the “real deal” and living well with his ADD.

If you have not done so, you might want to do some online career assessments to see which careers your ADD makes possible for you.  That is what I did and ended up as a tax preparer who worked well with “live” customers or those on the phone.  I also do an excellent job with customer support for products or services, but I am terrible at sales.

I had the accounting skills before I learned about my ADD.  I was good at what I did so long as I did not have a lot of noise or distractions.  I was better at it when I created my own “environment” in which to work.  I became self-employed.

Being self-employed means that I can create the kind of surroundings I need to be able to perform well and be effective with clients.  Since that time, I have retired, but I pretty much apply the same kinds of tactics to life that I applied to employment.

My home runs well.  My life runs extremely well.  I “played” to my strengths and fond ways to get around my “weaknesses”.  I used tools:  computers, smart phones, planners, tablets, sticky notes, and anything else that helps.  My husband has some good laughs every day as he watches me do what I do.  He was around for my “discovery” process and was my greatest fan when I needed encouragement.  He is still my greatest fan and has found that many of my methods work for him, too.

Never give up on you!  Even at age 50, which is when I was diagnosed, I was able to get to where I wanted to go by actively seeking what worked well for me. 

You are worth the effort to have a terrific life that does not have you apologizing for what you did not plan for yourself.  Create the life you want and have the life you have only wished for…

Dianne in the desert

Posted by Dianne in the Desert on Jan 15, 2014 at 12:22am

Thanks, Dianne in the desert!

Posted by aussielover on Jan 15, 2014 at 12:25am

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