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ADHD in Women

Struggling for Support and Diagnosis

Hi, I’m 42 years old and recently come to the revelation that I have ADHD. It is like the missing piece of the jigsaw. Suddenly everything in my life makes sense. I have done a lot of in depth study sand am confident that this is my problem, but I am struggling to get a formal GP diagnosis. I have little family support and am struggling as a single parent, seeing my daughter growing up with the same problems as me. Her teacher dismissed my suggestion of ADHD, as she tries hard in class to fit in and is very bright. It only shows there as slow working and being talkative. She is really struggling in her friendships and feels no one likes her. I felt like this and it’s so painful to see her going through it. I feel so alone with this and need to talk to people who understand. I feel like no one is taking me seriously and am so exhausted, it’s difficult to explain to people. I’m not necessarily looking for medication in the first instance, but for support for both of us and most of all acknowledgement so I can move on from feeling so ashamed and disappointed with myself.Did anyone else struggle to get taken seriously? How do I go about getting diagnosis and support? Thank you


Also I’m not sure how to talk about it to my daughter without worrying her.She’s nine and quite sensitive.

Posted by Janeybee on Mar 16, 2014 at 11:06pm

I think there are probably a lot of American members of this site, so it would be helpful to understand UK health care a little bit better so we can advise you.  I do understand that in the UK, it is more difficult to get a diagnosis and treatment and that ADHD is not as accepted as it is here in the U.S.  Do I understand that correctly?

When you say GP, you mean a General Practitioner, or your regular doctor, correct?  Could you see a psychiatrist or neurologist?  If not, could you change your GP?  I don’t know how easy this is to do where you live, but if you have good insurance here, it’s relatively easy. 

I did have one psychiatrist who treated me like a drug addict.  I was pissed.  I later found out he didn’t believe in ADHD.  I only went to one appointment before I switched doctors.

On another note, I have a nine year old son with ADHD.  Medication does help with learning social skills, because when you can attend mentally, you can learn from a situation and how you are presenting.

I wish you luck.  I can feel your struggle.  I remember being undiagnosed and untreated, and it is not a fun place to be.

Posted by TimeMgtQueen;) on Mar 17, 2014 at 2:02am

Hi and thank you, just knowing I am not alone helps. Sorry, yes I have realised this might not make sense as I am in the UK so I have posted this on the ADHD in the UK group as well. I have discovered since posting this that I can self refer to the (National Health Service) Adult ADHD team so I am going to try that. Yes GP means general practitioner, which is usually the first person to go to for referrals to consultants.

Posted by Janeybee on Mar 17, 2014 at 2:49am

I suppose part of my distress is at realising it could have been different if there had been more awareness and I’d had support for this earlier.

Posted by Janeybee on Mar 17, 2014 at 2:52am

I could have written this.  I mean all except being in the UK and stuff.  LOL Im 43 and just found out my diagnosis a few months ago.  On top of that Im not ready to share it with anyone so Ive only told my closest friend but not my husband and parents.  I guess I fear it will be held against me and a free pass for them…if that makes sense. 

But back to you.  Definitely go through the stages of mourning for your past…your childhood but try not to get stuck there.  I am clawing my way out of that right now.  round and round I went saying how I could have had a better life a better past a happier less anxious life. 

Truth is, it is what it is and nothing I can do now will change any of it.  All II can do it use it, be more aware and learn from it.  I hope you can do that.  Its definitely easier said than done


Posted by Alioop143 on Mar 24, 2014 at 6:16am

I have managed to get a referral to the adult adhd team through my counsellor, phew.

I know what you mean Alioop143 about who do you tell? My thinking is that people close to me know me anyway and in a sense it;‘s an explanation for a lot of problems. I had difficulty convincing my dad, he was a bit dismissive, but I guess he doesn;t realise how much I’m struggling. My ex husband accepted what I said without disputing it, but he had mental health problems and he knows how it feels to be hiding your problem through fear of being judged, which he has been by some, although family have been v supportive. I thought he might have said ‘oh that’s just an excuse for all your issues” but he didn’t. I was a bit surprised. So I guess we can;t always be sure how people will react. the thing is it’s not a mental illness it’s neurological, it;s the way we are.

Why would it be held against you? i hope your family are supportive, it would be such a relief for you. It is difficult to carry inside and to be hiding it. I went through that for years with my husband- having to keep it secret and not being able to talk to anyone for support.

Actually although I am mourning in a way I am starting to feel empowered by naming my problem. I am learning about it and working on strategies and also blaming myself less for my failings.

Posted by Janeybee on Mar 26, 2014 at 11:23pm

I’m 49 and sorta diagnosed myself.  I always kinda thought it in the back of my head though.  My son is ADHD, brother is ADD.  So it would make sense that I fit in the mold somewhere.  I’m organized at work but my house is constantly in disray.  Which does not work well for my son who is on meds for ADHD.  Plus, I have always dreamed about tornadoes and even go as far as telling people and being able to admit it is because my life is one.  Now after 49 years, I realize why.  I am definitely ADD.  I’m a compulsive eater, have always had problems making and keeping friends, etc etc.  So after reading a recent article on ADDitude while thumbing through it regarding my son….and a light bulb went off….that’s so me!!!  So, I went to my doc the very next day and asked for meds just to try it out.  And I have NEVER EVER been happier about a decision ever in my life.  He put me on 30 mgs Vyvanse which is what my son is on too.  I love what it’s doing for me.  It has definitely given me my life back.  I feel great and have no side effects.  I have only been on it a week but it’s one that is automatically released so the effects are immediate.  I love what it’s doing for me.  I only wish I had done it years ago.

Posted by shannabanana49 on Mar 31, 2014 at 5:09am

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