How do I become a functional adult - CHADD's Adult ADH...

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How do I become a functional adult

bridget28 profile image

I’m 23, living and working in manhattan diagnosed with ADD and Anxiety in 2012. I take vyvanse.

I am struggling to find and stick to routines that will help me. I moved in July and have pretty much just let my impulsivity run wild, and I feel so out of control. I used to be healthy and now I treat my body like shit. I resist all things I know I should do. Yesterday I had a panic attack, something that hasn’t happened to me since my sophomore year of college in 2013. I know that if I take care of myself I will start to see things come together but I can’t motivate myself. I’ve let it go on so long now that I am actually depressed. I knew I was doing it the whole time, but I lied to myself and just lived like someone who doesn’t have ADD.

I want to get back on track, I have to or I will hit bottom and I don’t want to know how far down that is from here. But I’m not sure where or how to start. I don’t like to talk to my family or friends about how I really feel when I’m like this, I hide it. Because I don’t want anyone to worry about me or think that I am failing or disagree with my choices. I

I need to feel accountable to someone, other than myself in order to succeed. But I can’t afford a therapist like I had when i was in college and this happened last.

Does anyone have any cheap or more convenient help?

24 Replies

I’m a mom of an adhd daughter who I love very much. Congrats on graduating from college-my daughter failed out and is hoping to go back. When she isn’t doing well she shuts out the very people who love her and want to help. It’s very frustrating because I know she wants to and can succeed. Take a risk and a first step and reach out to someone (maybe your mom) and tell them how you really feel and what you need. Let them help you figure out a plan to move forward. God bless you.

A big step in reaching out to this community! Owning what it is going on and asking for help takes emotional courage and vulnerability. Glad you are here!

I am curious as to what books you've read or listened to on adult ADHD. It was actually a couple of them that brought some insightful Ah-ha moments on things I could do.

What would you think about reaching out to a friend after you've come up with a plan - just one thing you could do to make an improvement? Then the friend could be your accountability partner to hold you to a commitment of a new way of managing your life?

A life coach that works with adult ADHD people is a great resource and prices vary. I have a family member who really found working with one beneficial to her life and now her career life is amazing too.

Like many things, one step at a time, a day at a time, get you to a better place.

Blessings to you.

Hello Bridget, can you remember any strategies that helped when you felt this way in the past?

I understand how you feel 100 percent!

So I seriously ask myself the exact same thing everyday. It’s hard. I’m still trying to figure this all out myself but the best thing I’ve learned through therapy is you have to start small. Like reeaalllyyy small. Make small goals to accomplish in your day that could help you. I know for exercise is great for ADD but actually getting to the gym? Sometimes that just can’t happen. Think ahead and make your small goal. Like I will step outside today. Then when you get use to doing that, add on. Spend time outside. Say you’ll go for a 5 minute walk. Things like that. I’m not sure if that makes sense but it’s something I got from therapy and it has to do with building your confidence and working on routine. Just start small. 😊

lkrportland profile image
lkrportland in reply to Si95

Baby steps. Thanks for the reminder that tiny steps have to be REALLY tiny sometimes.

Si95 profile image
Si95 in reply to lkrportland

Absolutely! It’s pretty discouraging when it seems like you see the normal brains out there making it up a whole new staircase every month and we are only on step three. But the difference is that we fell down those stairs like 20 times and have to get ourselves back up again. We just have to look and say I’m three steps ahead of where I would have been if I just stood there. AND got back up each time. You CAN get to where you want to be and you WILL.

Aliness80 profile image
Aliness80 in reply to Si95

Absolutely! I know getting back up is going to be hard, but I know I’ll be all the stronger for having done it.

I'm 24, I have ADD and am struggling with depression. I have the same issue with sticking to routines and my life is spiralling completly out of control...! I feel so alone up against the monster that is ADD. I don't even know where to begin to become an adult. No one around me seems to understand my struggles and I can't afford a therapist.

I don't have any advice for you, but I just want to let you know that you are not alone! :) I'm here for you!

I completely agree with you!! I’ve felt so misunderstood my whole life and it’s so frustrating.

I'm 51, when I have the answer i will get back to you lol. For now live your life and smile ;)

Is there any way you could use your work as an anchor? Do you have a regular schedule, or could you get one? I know we all have different manifestations of ADHD, but I've found that, for me at least, having someone else tell me when I needed to be somewhere, instead of deciding for myself, helped a lot. It also allowed me to control my eating, because I could precisely schedule meals and have only what I needed to eat on hand. Working on a schedule set by someone else was about the only thing that tethered me to earth for a while.

If you have any friends or coworkers who you feel comfortable sharing this struggle with, maybe they could help you stay accountable? even a text message asking if you've eaten your veggies or brushed your teeth could be helpful. When I was starting a business, I tried to schedule weekly meetings with my husband to go over all of the things I was doing, but he's pretty lazy and just didn't care enough, and I went off the rails. I could have used a good friend for that too. Someone who cares about you but isn't involved in your day-to -day personal life is where I'd start!

Good luck getting on track!

I’m 55 and I don’t even know how to be an a functional adult. But there are moments where I function better than others. In you are in NY city you should be able to reach out to so excellent professional help. Have hope. I know it takes a lot tho keep impulses down, it’s like a full time exhausting job. My best advice, for whatever it’s worth is to seek out therapy and a psychiatrist.

Oh and another thing, for me it was a big error to talk to family and friends. Most of them turn into self help experts about a subject they don’t have a clue about. It I would have told them that my skull was broken, they would probably rush me to the hospital. Since it was my 🧠 they had sometimes well meaning advice, but other times it was just patronizing ignorance.

Have you considered getting an accountability partner? I am currently looking for one, too.

When was the last time you had your meds reevaluated? You may need you dosage or type changed. I know from experience that after awhile you body builds up an immunity to them and something needs to change.

Do you have health insurance?

This sounds so much like me. I’ve had phases where I’ve been able to go to the gym or had to be on time etc, but now it’s a miracle when I do anything slightly productive. I was so much better when I had a schedule I was forced to adhere by. Currently, I feel like I need an adult babysitter to tell me what to do every day because I get stuck so easily and I end up not doing anything unless I absolutely have to. I’ve never tried the whole coaching route but I think it’s much more affordable and I’ve heard good things about it. I can also see how it would be effective because I always do so much more when I feel a sense of obligation to someone else. I wish I had that same attitude when it came to doing things for myself. I hope you find the help and encouragement you need to feel happy and productive.

hi bridget28! i can relate to what you're going through I'm suffering from adhd as well and i go to lots of depression episodes! in my opinion the first step to get better is to accept that you have ADHD and your brain is wired different AND that's okay. you have to be completely honest with someone who understands ADHD and validate your feelings, I'm going through this and its so hard to find that person that's why i joined this community to find people who understand, that's number two yeah? to really treat ADHD you have to understand how your brain works and what i mean by that is to know what type from seven types of adhd do you have? and then you can target a treatment based on your type because there's different treatment for every type. example I'm over focused type of adhd, adhd meds alone like Ritalin make me feel worse my anxiety get worse.

start with small steps like cleaning your room if you normally don't. train your brain to focus by watching small videos, talk a walk everyday .....

i know that Adhd comes with lots of anxiety, depression, self pity, confusion. a hot shower and mediating for 10 minutes a day will help. hope that helped and I'm looking for motivational person in my life who understand adhd, you can message me and we can talk about our experiences with adhd and learn from each other.

You'll always be out of control; The best is to enjoy the ride and not create enemies or strangers out of your friends and families (and coworkers, bosses)

Hi Bridget,

I have to admit that after having ADHD since childhood and now in my mid 50's, it gets more manageable, but never easy. I am not on meds and don't really trust the whole pharmaceutical side of this condition, but understand it helps some people to cope better. Do you have outside support like church, organizations that focus on your passion or interests, or really close friends? Sometimes you might want to stop and give yourself credit for small things like taking walks, organizing some aspect of your life, or even cleaning your room which can anchor your sense of self-esteem. You might want to keep a journal with your thoughts, successes or goals. The writing will force you to slow down and focus on a task. Try not to take yourself too seriously, since everyone has some things that they try to hide and usually fail to do so. I have seen myself so many times acting in ways that are just not understandable. Thanks for sharing your experience.

Maybe we could talk once or twice a week to share ideas. I also take vyvanse. I have successfully made positive changes in my life. :)

Honestly I have very severe ADHD and will screw off constantly. I turned militant about being a functional adult. It's discipline that's needed for that not a pill or a life coach which is where unsecure losers go to get pepped and it's a joke and the laugh is on whoever is paying them. You don't train winners/fighters your either born one or not but you can evolve as a effective one with training,

Vyvanse is a weaker med. 70mg Vyvanse = 30 dextroamphetamine over eight hours. You may need something like Zenzedi name brand Dextroamphetamine I take 30mg 3x a day which is much more effective compared to Vyvanse. I took Vyvanse one month and said I'm done. It was like a placebo that aside even with the best ADHD med on the market you still need discipline day in and day out for the rest of your life. Depending on your severity ADHD is a hard knock life. You can't lay lay there when you get punched you have to get right back up. Only to get hit again.

The day you deicide your truly an adult with a very frustrating condition that can screw your life up on the a regular basis. Having ADHD is very expensive as it is frustrating it depends on how much stuff you lose or break or quit and not follow through.

I'm not being a jerk but it's 100% our reality's but it's always subject to change.

I'm a force of nature and I never ever give up and the vast majority of the time I win because of discipline and preparation. Take it for what it's worth but I have it to you 100%. Everything possible my parents paid for even 3,300 a month for a "school" and it did nothing because I was a baby.

An accountability buddy is reasonable you help each other but if they slack doesn't mean you can. I wish someone would have told me this in my 37 years. Unless you major have depressive disorder then yes brush your teeth 7am get a shower get dressed and do it. I do recommended Zenzedi unless your a methylphenidate responder. Good luck

Small steps. Exercise is a good thing. Think about what you did when you were in school. What made you happy? How did you get your schoolwork done? Did you exercise? Pick something that worked, and begin. You will stumble. Pick yourself up, and begin again. Maybe one thing a month. It will be slow. Good luck. Have a good night.

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