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ADHD Adults

Why is everything so difficult to begin/stay motivated =[

Sitting here thinking about what I want to say in this discussion makes me want to get up and go do something else. Well I guess you need a little backstory if you want to understand how and why I’m writing this.

Diagnosed around 14-15 with AD/HD and only took medication to get me through 2 months of summer school which has been reoccurring in my life every other year for the same reasons and subjects. Unfortunately I took medication for a short period of time because of my parents financial situation and the cost of the meds were too much for them to afford. Another tid bit, my parents never really gave me a clear explanation of why I needed to take them so I just figured I needed it to stop acting out in class or because I was not smart. The following year I almost couldn’t walk at high school graduation because I barely passed.

After 3 or 4 years of community college I was given some medication by a friend and it started bringing back memories of me needing to take the meds from when I was in high school. I couldn’t take 3+ classes because I couldn’t handle it and was going to school part-time. So I than decided to go to a neurologist to get the medication and it helped me finish out the last 3 years so I could graduate. Overall It took me 8 years to graduate with my associates and I considered 3 or 4 different majors before deciding to graduate with a general associates in prof. studies and figured I would go to a 4 year and figure out what I wanted to do for real but since I was turning 26, my families insurance couldn’t cover me anymore and I lost my meds.

With the same mentality that the medication would cure my problems, I soon realized that without supplemental therapy and medication education/physiological knowledge of what was actually going on with my body was actually making the symptoms worse.

After the first 3 weeks of a full time schedule of 4 classes(required because I got a scholarship that required full time status), I had to withdraw from the university and begin retracing my steps and symptoms going back to when I was first diagnosed which really took a toll on my mental well being and sent me spiraling into a depression and loss of my jobs because I couldn’t keep up with the work or everything about the jobs started irritated me. after 3 or 4 jobs I started and quit without giving them notice because I was too ashamed of myself.

I was than blaming my parents that they should have taken care of this or helped me understand what was going on and had to get away from living with my rents and went to go stay with a neighbor who was about to go to jail for a few months. Practically homeless/unemployed, my neighbor couldn’t support me any longer and I than started to get on his nerves because i started reorganizing his house to better suit my needs without even knowing it. He than had to go to jail and I had to move back in with my parents.

3 months have gone by of just watching tv in bed all day and night barely going outside or talking to anyone. Today I mustered up all the courage I could and started talking to my parents again and went to my community college to set an appointment with a career counselor to try and start my life again.

Eventually, I;m going to fall back into the same habits of talking myself out of doing things because of thinking its not going to work out without taking medication or I’m going to require using all my energy to do the mundane tasks of the day without taking care of what needs to get done to move forward.

I get aggravated about the dumbest things.

My mind goes a million miles a minute and the only way I can calm it down is if it watch tv in bed.

I can’t sit still for more than 5 minutes without having to move on to something more stimulating.

I get aggravated when I make breakfast wrong or choose to eat like crap because its much easier than taking to time out to prep the meal and just settle for fast carbs like pasta or cereal.

Instead of researching what I want to do with my life, ill punch in the choices into google and click on a website, read 10 lines and have to get up and do something else.

I barely retain and recall anything. Working memory is similar to that of Dory from Finding Nemo”

I’m probably on my 11th cup of coffee today trying to push through today.

Cant concentrate on anything unless I have music playing in the background

Can’t fall asleep without watching tv or having the fan blades spinning on full blast.

Don’t have any friends or anyone to talk to about this stuff and it just gets bottled up inside because I don’t have insurance or a job. Someone please help me figure out a solution.


Congratulations on taking that first step and laying out the backstory.

You need a career which captures your attenton so making an appointment with a career counsellor is a wise move.

Since you don’t have much money it may seem that you are trapped but you are not. You can immediately help yourself if you get moving. Your restlessness is normal for ADHD and it implies that you need some kind of physical activity which is both interesting and physically exhausting.

Posted by John Tucker, PhD, ACG. ADHD Coach on Apr 19, 2017 at 9:54pm

With the misconception of AD/HD and the use of medication and how its considered a controlled substance people don’t really understand how exhausting it is and it puts us in the dark when we try to beat the stigma of laziness and lack of motivation.

With the rise in suicides, divorces, lack of good American jobs, war, and constant stream of media diluting the minds of Americans, The American dream doesn’t exist any more. So whats the point unless I become a psychologist.

But in the mean time…..I’m struggling without any support

Posted by J Trubela on Apr 19, 2017 at 9:59pm

Hi, J-
I get what you are saying about the getting started and keeping the motivation.  It is a daily challenge.  I don’t like how I feel on medication (kinda irritable and a little jittery) so often I will power through on brute force alone.  The things that I find most useful are exercise to get the brain chemicals flowing, eating real food instead of fast carbs (the rollercoaster is rough) and being intentionally positive.  I know it sounds stupid, but I really think I can sabotage my day by assuming it will be rotten without even giving it a chance.  Often, if I can force myself to do one small thing the tiny bit of progress feeds my desire to want to do another thing.  Even baby steps are still forward progress!  It sounds to me like you have already made a couple of baby steps in the right direction.  Don’t get me wrong, most of the effort is forced, but once you get rolling it is easier.  Best of luck! 
P.S. I was diagnosed in my mid 40’s and have gone back to finish my degree at 46 years young.  It’s never too late!

Posted by OhSoScattered on Apr 20, 2017 at 1:24pm

Getting started is super-tough for many with ADHD. Here are some strategies:

There are ways to get medication as well. You could apply for Medicaid — I imagine you qualify since you are currently unemployed. Another option is patient assistance programs. I know Shire has one: They make Adderall, Vyvanse, and Equasym.

Here’s the patient assistance program for Concerta:

And more programs are listed in this article from CHADD:

I highly encourage you to post this question to ADDitude’s new discussion forums, as well. I think your question would get a lot of attention in the Treating Your ADHD forum: ADDconnect is transitioning over to this new forum.

ADDconnect Moderator, Author & Mentor on Parenting ADHD, Mom to teen w/ ADHD, LDs, and autism

Posted by adhdmomma on Apr 21, 2017 at 1:06pm

It’s no wonder why you’re in this pattern. You need to change your diet now. The past is not helpful when the food you’re currently consuming, is making things worse for you.

This whole article is full of good advice.

Adults with ADHD often find their energy and focus levels dipping throughout the day, and as a result tend to “self-medicate” with foods and drinks. Namely, caffeine and sugar. These things can give us a quick energy and focus boost, but it’s short lived, and followed by an intense drop. And how does one “fix” that drop? Another soda/coffee/candy bar/bagel, etc… This is a dangerous cycle that has your energy lifting and dropping all day long. It wears you down and it’s not food for your health or your mood. It’s much better to eat protein with every meal and snack, keep hydrated, and consider medication. These things can help keep your energy consistent throughout the day.

Posted by MrNeutron on Apr 23, 2017 at 7:19pm

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