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ADHD Adults

New to ADHD. Need help!!!

I am a 20 year old woman and was just recently diagnosed with ADHD.  I am slowly getting my things together and my head wrapped around it.  My biggest concern is whenever I get a goal (like to lose weight) I will come up with an awesome plan get really excited but within two to three days I become extremely depressed to the point of crying myself to sleep and overly angry because I want the result NOW!  And if even one thing goes wrong I give up and then slip into a self loathing period.  I don’t know how to help this urge to have result right then and there, I can’t keep going through what I am right now.  If you have any input please help, I’m completely miserable and lost.


So I’m 22 and just got diagnosed with ADD too. And the thing that I’m realizing is structure just makes everything so much easier. Having a schedule or a list of goals with step by step plans. My therapist recommended I make a vision board so I can always see what I’m working towards. I know it sounds like a lot of work, but whenever I’m in the middle of my chaos looking at my schedule feels like I’m being thrown a lifesaver!

Posted by Becks on Jan 18, 2014 at 11:33am

Hi JessiB,

wow, do I know your feeling. however you have some things working for you!  yipeee!

one you are young and diagnosed.  I was young once, undiagnosed until age 50. :(  that sucks.

two;  do you have a primary care doctor who is VERY familiar with dealing with Adults with ADHD and other disorders that commonly co-exist with ADHD. The most common being “DEPRESSION”. Others include Bi-polar, Anxiety disorders, etc etc.

I had no clue I had it. in fact I have a life long depression so no clue I should have felt any way different. No clue what it was like to be happy or a possibility of being happy.  What you describe is similar to what I felt.
You need a doctor or shrink that understands ADHD. not just one that pushes pills.

next you need to get into Talk Therapy, ASAP. 

lastly, I joined Weight Watchers. it is not overwhelming, they are there to help you, you can talk to the leader on site for additional help and ideas, it took me a year but I stuck to it. I learned to eat and I came to understand a bit about why I was eating.

oh, the wanting stuff NOW thing. that is normal for your generation.  The age of speed and instant results. Guess what.  Real life is not like that.  Welcome to the real world.

so, get a good doctor, do your research and a good talk therapist, check the various ADHD resources for a possible list in your area and check your health insurance web site they will have a list also.

Again, be glad that you are young and diagnosed. Realize what is truly important to you (only you, not what your family etc thinks important for you) and stop taking life so serious.  After all, It is YOUR life.

Posted by TXDarlinLOL on Jan 18, 2014 at 7:26pm

Hello JessiB
I do not have a lot of great advice to give you, and I wish I did. If you are a Christian all of the concerns you are battling can be given to God in prayer. I pray that you are able to use this great website to find what you need to succeed. One good thing that has already been stated is that you have been diagnosed at a young age, that is a big deal. I was not diagnosed until I was 42yo so you have your youth to work through all of complexities of ADHD. God bless you and do not give up.

Posted by Rancher John on Jan 18, 2014 at 8:54pm

Your story is typical. We think BIG. What helps me is to change my goal. You might consider changing your goal from “lose weight’ (or “lose 20 pounds”) to something attainable like “for one week I will walk 10 minutes a day at lunch and on Friday will update my goal”. Write that down on a chart. I took an online workshop for dealing with arthritis. A method I was taught was to list all of my end goals (lose weight, get into better cardiac shape, lower blood pressure, feel more rested, have more energy, get rid of brain fog…) on Sunday, decide on a goal for the next week. A SINGLE objective… JUST FOR THAT WEEK. It must be specific and pertain to one of my end goals.  Write it out in a sentence. below the goal statement, make a table for that week. You can write the task in the box but leave room for a check mark or notes. It might look like this:
Goal: lose 10 pounds. Objective statement week 1:“walk the stairs to my desk at work instead of elevator every day and at lunch break”.  In the table below you’d check it off. On Wednesday, you evaluate it. Is it working? If not, write the barriers right below the table. Feel free to adjust the goal - maybe “walk the stairs on Tuesday mornings” is the goal for the whole week. Next week maybe work on the same goal but tweak it. If you write it down with specifics and you check it off, you succeeded! This method can help us stop taking on all at once. Sure - you might decide to do a bunch of things at once, but if you do the one thing you wrote down as your FIRST thing, you are learning how to take care of your priorities and you will make progress on that one thing which can help prevent the slide into despair and self criticism. The idea is to learn to make a realistic goal and be comfortable adjusting goals to a manageable level so you have success.That’s the main point to break the failure habit. You have to do that before you can have success.

Posted by Juggler on Jan 18, 2014 at 10:42pm

Thank you all very much, I’m willing to try just about anything!

Posted by JessiB on Jan 18, 2014 at 10:52pm

There are steps you can take to boost your emotional state.

1. Exercise
2. 8 hours of sleep
3. Diet (eat healthy foods - stay away from junk, and white flour, high carbs).
4. Meditation

Practice gratefulness - place positive statements in places where you can see them. 

There are emotional release techniques that can work to help reduce the negative emotions.  It takes practice to start reversing the negative feelings that crop up with ADHD.

Small positive steps every day.  Set small goals and achieve those.  You eat the elephant one bite at a time.

Posted by coachwithheart on Jan 19, 2014 at 9:12am

I’ve had ADD/ADHD my whole life and I’ve been on medication for 10 years.  When I was a kid it was the 70’s so if you were on ritalin or something you were also in Special Ed.  So it was something my parents didn’t do .  That being said, even having it all this time I’ve only begun to come to grips with my ADD in the past year.  Finally a breakthrough where I’ve realized what I have to do and what I want to do and I’ve stopped blaming myself for every single little tiny thing. 

The fact you are here posting and reading is huge!  I read a lot of things that don’t click then all of a sudden I read that one thing that sticks with me and helps. 

My 20’s were the absolutely worst time for me.  So many ups and downs and so much I was wrestling and struggling with in my cootie infested brain. I have also been in a fight with myself for year.  Like who is this person I’m talking to inside my head that somehow makes it impossible for me to do what I want to do??  The perfectly sane and together me is trying to work with ADD me and it’s like a fencing match.  Lately because of the work I’m doing on myself they come together a little bit now more than they ever did.  Not as much as I’d like but baby steps. 

I’m glad you have this and people to talk to and don’t give up and really try to focus only on today or the next few days and work it a little each day.

Posted by msnuggie on Jan 21, 2014 at 6:05pm


Becks is right about structure—having a system to write things down and you can follow up on later.  There are many good task management apps you can use or a paper notebook.  A good non-ADHD book I recommend is “Getting Things Done” by David Allen.  His clientele are more business types than us but one of his core principles is have a trusted system to reduce the cycle of overwhelm.  Sound familiar?

FWIW, losing weight is not a goal, it’s an objective.  A goal would be to lose 10 lbs. in six months.  From there, you can identify the steps (diet and exercise) to achieve your goal.

Having a structured system that works for you will reduce overwhelm and the lousy feeling you have when you fail.

Last word: find an ADHD support group in you local area.  first, you will find you are not alone, and second you will find what works, and what you can adapt to your situation.  It has been an eye opener for me.

Diagnosed two years ago buy WAY older.

Posted by bobinator on Feb 16, 2014 at 4:09am

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