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Newly Diagnosed ADD - Struggling.

Hi all,

Just to introduce myself. I’m 27, female, living in the UK and was diagnosed 8 months ago with ADD and dyslexia. Rather than providing the confirmation of something I’ve long suspected this diagnosis has really effected me in ways I didn’t expect.

Everything I do, every little mistake I make, everything I forget or lose, every interaction I have with anyone leaves me feeling incredibly stupid, frustrated, tearful and defeated. I can’t separate myself and my own personality from my ‘diagnosis’. I feel like I am not an individual, just a walking mass of symptoms. My work in health care requires me to work both in an office and with patients. I am clumsy, ridiculously disorganised, unable to maintain any attention, even in important situations like meetings or visits to patients, I overreact to any slightly stress provoking activity. My boss recently told me I should not work with people, as this was a selfish desire and that my disorganisation made me a burden upon the rest of the team.

I shout at my partner and spend most evenings despising myself and feeling ashamed of all of the mistakes I have made during the working day.

Sorry for the rant, I’m just feeling pretty hopeless at the moment, this diagnosis just seems so permanent, if that makes sense. I feel that I have lost all control, and just ashamed and embarrassed of myself. I tried to express how I felt tonight to my partner, he told me I needed to get over the diagnosis as I was ruining both of ours evenings.

Again, sorry to introduce myself with a rant, I’ve just stumbled across this website. I hope everyone is well.

Thanks, Nikki.

Replies

Dear Nikki,
I’m sorry you are having such a hard time right now.
Try to keep in mind that there is a lot of help out there and ways you can manage the symptoms of ADHD.
While some things that are obvious to other people may not be so obvious to you you can learn skills and strategies to minimize the impact of ADHD at work and at home.
I would start by learning all you can about ADHD. There are great books to read, and this website has wonderful articles and webinars. Knowledge is empowering.
You might also try to find a support group for women with ADHD.
Another thing you might try is to step up your self-care. Make sure you are getting enough sleep, eating right, and exercising. Mindfulness meditation can also be a tremendous help.
Remember you are not alone and there are trained professionals, doctors, therapists and coaches who are knowledgeable about ADHD.
I wish you all the best,
Kathy

Posted by coachkathy on Jul 07, 2014 at 7:25pm

Hi Nikki,

I am in a similar situation to you.. now that I have been diagnosed ( by 4 psychiatrists) 5 months ago I have made it a priority to help myself.

I am still searching for the right doctor to help me properly my last efforts have led me to an ADHD specialist whom is a 4 hour drive away and my appointment is Thursday..and it has proved the hardest feat of all, however I have also become aware of some great strategies to help myself while I wait for the physician who will medicate me correctly and help me in the ways that he can.

I have made a book nook.. I am only allowed to read a book when I visit that spot.. It switches my mind off all other things going on around me.

I use music therapy, pop/rock when I need to be motivated and other styles depending on how I need to function.. It quietens the “chatter” in my head and helps me focus

I have printed out a calender page (only for the month I am in) to keep appointments and have found a great “to do list” on Microsoft office templates that suits me well.. I slap a LOGO on the top relevant to ADHD and it reminds me to “Only Handle It Once” or “Just do it”

I take photos of before and after.. Its a visual reward to feel accomplishment after a mundane task is completed.

I have booked into online summits, webinars, and am always on this site reading blogs, stories, information and ideas, e mailing people and making calls to validate what I am reading, Totally ADD is another great site where you will feel at home.. watch some funny skits people have made.. It makes you giggle and feel somewhat ok about yourself,

I am following an ADHD diet to ensure that no triggers are through incorrect nutrition, and seem to be doing ok with it,

I have forced myself into a better sleep routine, knowing I am up at 4AM I make sure I am in bed by 9PM almost every night.

I do cognitive training online with Luminosity to get my brain functioning in a positive manner and it helps me focus on mundane tasks for an hour or so once Ive finished..

I use sticky notes all over my house ( but I find I always have an excuse not to follow those colorful buggers)and I try to be as mindful as I possibly can.. If I am losing my mind and getting confused I pick up a book and read.. I find that meditation comes easier after reading a few pages of a novel,

Most of all I laugh, I laugh because I have to, if I didn’t I would cry.. The laughter is the best medicine of all, I also delete friends from my life that cant laugh alongside me.. It leaves room for friends that can.

Sorry about the rant, I just know how hard it is to see ADHD in everything you do

Good Luck!
Megan

Posted by Jerrythekoala on Jul 08, 2014 at 5:34am

Wow! @Jerrythekoala has some excellent advice! I love hearing what works for individuals with ADHD—I’m going to offer some of these strategies to my son.

As far as being newly diagnosed and struggling, here’s some information on next steps.

1. Treatment is important. Have you considered trying medication (http://www.additudemag.com/adhd/article/9783.html)? Are you seeing a therapist for counseling (http://www.additudemag.com/adhd/article/9129.html)?

2. Learn all you can about ADHD, and succeeding despite ADHD. There’s a great webinar coming up tomorrow (7/9) at 1 pm EST on a game plan for young adults with ADHD. Sign up here (FREE): http://www.additudemag.com/adhd/article/9129.html. Also, Dr. Hallowell just did a webinar on turning your ADHD shame into ADHD acceptance, which is crucial for you right now: http://www.additudemag.com/RCLP/sub/10680.html. Read “Drive to Distraction” and “Delivered from Distraction” as well.

3. An ADHD Coach could really help you develop some strategies to succeed at your job as well (http://www.additudemag.com/adhd/article/4002.html). Here’s a directory of some ADHD Coaches: http://directory.additudemag.com/listing/guide/adhd-coaches.

4. Seek support from those who know what it’s like to walk a day in similar shoes. This forum is great for that but you can also look for face-to-face support groups in your area.

Hang in there!
Penny
ADDconnect Moderator, Author & Mom to Tween Boy with ADHD and LDs

Posted by adhdmomma on Jul 08, 2014 at 2:51pm

Thankyou to everyone for your kind replies. Its been really helpful to read all of your responses, I’m definitely going to set aside some time this weekend to have a real dig around on this website. I’ve found just venting, and having these completely nonjudgmental and understanding responses has helped massively just in its self.

I’ve had another rubbish day today, I think this is just the start on a very long road. I’m really glad to have stumbled across this site.

All the best wishes,

Nikki

Posted by Nikki_morgan04 on Jul 08, 2014 at 7:50pm

Hi Nikki
Just touching base after my specialist appointment on Thursday..

I have found “The One”
The right psychiatrist that believes understands and is happy to do what he must to ensure my condition is correctly managed. It is crucial in your management program!

After 4 psychiatrists that diagnosed my ADHD and gave me 3 months off work as treatment ( Im not even working) haha I finally found a realist in an ADHD psychiatrist who knows his stuff. 

He did his assessment, he didn’t grill me and try to get me to break down into tears, he was wonderful I came away from there with masses of knowledge.. masses of material to read and medication. Most of all I came out of there feeling like I was being heard finally!

I am a changed woman!
2 days of medication and I can do my dishes from start to end, I don’t have a constant headache, I found about 50 pairs of socks at the bottom of my ironing basket (yes I actually got to the bottom for the first time in a year), Who would ever have thought that writing a list was so easy! I actually know what needs to go on the list! It enters my brain and stays there till I write it down!

Yes I managed to learn skills to work with what I had before seeing Dr Tofler but the right medication is crucial if your life is falling apart around you because of your ADHD.

Find a specialist who deals with ADHD in your area and make an appointment.

You wont regret it.. Until then, find ways that suit you and help you on your journey.. The big one for me was my book nook ( I haven’t finished a book for 20 years) I have now read two from cover to cover without getting bored smile

I get out of bed happy smiling and joking with my kids, I finally feel relaxed positive and am enjoying daily chores..

Find a specialist.. first job.. and ensure.. then ensure again and then double check that he deals with ADHD and is reputable.. that is the biggest key.

Good Luck!
Megan

Posted by Jerrythekoala on Jul 11, 2014 at 11:01pm

Hi Nikki,

Your rant, articulate and passionate, is always welcomed here. And see what excellent responses you have generated! Marvellous and thoughtful advice. I can think of almost nothing to add (but being who I am I will always add something).

No one can stop you from denigrating yourself if you chose. So if you must you can stay in that mode.

But I’m not sure you value your self and your accomplishments as well as you might. It wouldn’t hurt to make a list of all the good things you do, all the times you’ve helped people, all the times you’ve done what you have set out to do, all the good intentions you have for those you love.

While you’re at it you may as well list writing that is so good it borders on the poetic.

ADHD is not you, it is merely a thing about you which you will tame if you are willing to learn how to feed and care for it- and train it to do your bidding.

Posted by John Tucker, PhD, ACG. ADHD Coach on Jul 16, 2014 at 12:35am

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