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Just Diagnosed With ADHD (Adults)

Not sure what to do next...

Hello All,

I was recently diagnosed with ADD about 5 months ago.  To be completely honest, I was relieved to finally have a diagnosis after years and years of trying to figure out what was wrong with me.  Ever since I was young I knew I was different.  I guess I slipped through the cracks of a diagnosis of ADD as a child mostly because there wasn’t much information out there at the time.  I also think I was able to do well in school as a child and teenager. 

My ADD didn’t become a problem for me until college, although looking back on my childhood and adolescence, there were definite signs.  The unstructured environment provided way too many options and that’s where I really fell apart.  Most people thought I was lazy or unmotivated or that I was selfish or that I just didn’t care about anything or anybody.  That couldn’t be further from the truth.

Now I am 37 years old and trying to put my life together. Its amazing what happens to a person’s life when they don’t feel “normal” and no one understands them. I became very isolated and depressed.  I spent over a decade listening to friends and family members tell me I was depressed or that I just needed to “suck it up”. Relationships were a nightmare aside from the “honeymoon phase”, which I’m sure most ADDers love because of the adrenaline rush we all get from it.  My depression deepened the older I became.  My gut has always told me there was something wrong, and although I was depressed, it wasn’t the cause, it was the result of untreated ADD for decades.  I believe we accumulate more and more depression and anxiety the longer our ADD goes undiagnosed.

Finally with what I feel is the right diagnosis, I can begin to heal. I am only about 5 months in but I feel positive for the first time in my life.  I am not trying to blame anything or anybody for my disease, but it’s hard, especially with all the years that went by undiagnosed.

I guess my question would be (after all this rambling), what do I do next?  I am reading as much as I can on the subject but aside from seeing a qualified doctor regularly, where do I begin? All the information out there really is overwhelming me. I need to start with one thing, the only problem is, what is the one thing I start with? 

I have so much more I can talk about. Its been 37 years with ADD and only 5 months into a diagnosis.  I have a lot to share on the subject but its hard to put it all down in one sitting, especially when there are a million thoughts in my mind going at once. 

I hope I may be of help someday to others who are going through the same struggles as I have. That’s for letting me share part of my story.


Hi, Has your doctor started you on any medication? I can totally relate to your story. I am 52 and just diagnosed 1 month ago. Started on adderall and feel like a new person. Also going through a breakup with my partner of 2 years. My heart aches, but for the first time in my life I don’t want to go running back to him to avoid the pain I feel. My depression is better and I’m not stressing over my future. I am reading all I can as well on ADD. Fascinating. Good luck to you!

Posted by SBB2421 on Nov 15, 2013 at 3:49am

I am 50 and was diagnosed just 4 months ago. I can truly relate to your story. I recommend you read, read, read. knowledge is verification you’re not crazy or lazy.  you already have a Dr. the next step is medication like others have indicated. you’ll be amazed at the difference it makes. it may take some time to get the type and dosage right. also, many others, including myself, are taking supplements that help too. you’ll find info on all this throughout these forums. just google. good luck and God bless.

Posted by theresaADHD on Nov 16, 2013 at 12:22am

Thank you SBB2421 and Theresa for your replies smile  I too just recently ended a relationship of 18 months.  I am deeply saddened by it, but it was the right thing to do for both her and myself. Its very difficult to date someone who either isn’t very supportive or that doesn’t understand how the ADD brain works. I hope to find someone someday that does “get” me.

I am taking adderall 20mg. I split it into two doses. Its been a life changer. It gives me the ability to focus on one thing at a time. I’m also taking a multivitamin as well as omega 3’s. 

I plan on reading as much as I possibly can on this subject.  I am also thankful to have somewhere to go to ask questions and chat with people who are going through similar situations. 

Thanks again for your input.  I feel as if I am doing the right thing for the first time in my life.

Posted by Free_Man on Nov 16, 2013 at 12:55am

I was just diagnosed and I am 66.  Don’t feel bad.  You actually have a lot life yet ahead of you!  My son is about your age and I am trying to gently get him to understand and get help so that he doesn’t continue driving his wife crazy with his many projects and ideas.  Right now I am just telling him about my struggles and he is responding with “That sounds like me!”  So there is hope. 

As I have aged my ability to concentrate has diminished.  It has more to do with the unstructured time of retirement so I am trying very hard to live by a schedule.  Actually my very kind husband is very solid and my love for him and desire to please him has helped me more than anything.  He really likes things to be the same.  So giving him as much as possible “sameness”  has helped me be more structured and actually more calm.

Posted by Eliseeker on Nov 20, 2013 at 8:21am

Yes, you have a long healthy, happy, and challenging life ahead.  I was diagnosed at 48, and was grateful!  I think the most important thing to do is to BE KIND to yourself.  And to remind yourself all this is a brain thing, not a me thing.  I feel like a child learning those things I was unable to master.  You can apply for scholarships to adhd conferences (chad or ADDA)... I learned a lot.  It as great to be around people that understood.  Hope u are doing well….

Posted by gigitx on Nov 23, 2013 at 10:30am

Hello All. I’m 47.9 years old (turning 48 next week). I’m a two month old ADHD infant. I’m saying that both because it’s funny, and also, that I truly think that my life changed so much on Nov 14, 2013; it’s comparable to being just born. Yes, I mean that. I have so much to share, (btw three months ago I would’ve never written in a forum like this, as I never, ever have in my life). First and foremost the most important aspect of all of our new realizations is that we should feel extremely fortunate (or blessed if you will). Why? Well, because we just found the answer to most of our life long dilemmas. The endless nights of sitting or lying in bed, trying to figure out what just happened that day, and why. Staring at black and white text on a page of a book or work document, trying to read a line growing increasingly frustrated to the onset of physical pain from trying to concentrate so hard. All this, while humming a GNR song (sweet child ‘o mine) in your head, and reciting an argument with your wife from that morning, (also in your head). Leaving to go to and appointment, and noticing a billboard on the freeway that prompts you to exit saying: “Hey as long as I’m here, I need to go and get that tool, I wanted for 8 months, but always forgot to buy”. Next thing you know, the phone rings, with an inquiring if not slightly annoyed voice on the other end asking:” We had an appointment at 11 am, are you going to make that, or?” Lord! It’s 12.30. What just happened with the last hour and a half? Besides, I just made plans 10 minutes ago to have lunch. I can go on and on, but all of us had the same things happen. But back to being fortunate.
We just found out what caused all or most of our problems in life. Well, at least those of us who “only” have ADHD as a main condition and all the depression, anxiety, low self-esteem, anger etc. is a secondary goodness that comes as a result (onset) of the main course. Unlike many others who, when diagnosed with a new illness or condition, will just add to the confusion that has existed for years. For them, instead of answering the Million $ Question to life’s little mystery, a new diagnosis will just create another rather large set of questions, and more confusion. I consider myself fortunate. Not because I just find out I have an illness (the negative), but because I just figured the “why” to the “what” for anything that happened to me and my surroundings through all my life. (The positive)
I don’t exactly know yet if it’s the Adderall 20 mg/day alone, or the combination of medication and realization of my situation (I guess you can call it “self” cognitive behavioral therapy), and being able to change and adopt, but my life has officially been changed.

Posted by bugwig on Jan 12, 2014 at 11:42pm

Oh man…..I’ve done those things countless number of times. I’m glad I’m not the only one (yes, I really thought I was crazy for a while) lol.
On a more serious note…Has anyone used an ADD coach or life coach to help develop better habits/choices? I feel like the medication is helping, but I know that I need more than medicine to fix 30 years of bad choices/habits.

Posted by Pati83 on Jan 25, 2014 at 1:11am

I’m not sure if they have those coaches or not. I agree, Adderall is a wonderful help, but I too have many years of crappy circuitry to re-wire. I think you have to take small steps even though that usually contradicts what we actually want to do. Keep moving forward and don’t be too hard on yourself if you slip up. You’re making great strides just communicating on this website.

Posted by Free_Man on Feb 18, 2014 at 1:53pm

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