Self-esteem problems blaming it on my ADHD

I was diag. several years ago with ADHD I am now 62 years old. I am now having so much trouble with self-esteem issues which might sound crazy at my age. I am divorced and live alone I have always had trouble making friends. I feel it is because I often interrupt people and will lose my train of thought while they are speaking to me I am sure this annoys people. My problem is I really do not have any friends and I am constantly trying to stop my self-talk of being ugly, old, and useless. I often feel incredibly lonely. I was wondering if other women my age have had these problems and if so what in the world do you do that helps

12 Replies

  • Are you taking any medication for your ADHD? If not, I'd be a friend to yourself and make an appointment to see your doctor. I do not personally know older adults with ADHD, but I also feel as though many older people do not know that ADHD could be the problem. I think the best place for you to start is by making an appointment with your doctor to look into medication or a different medication if the current one is not working. My mother in law will be 75 this May and her personality sounds a lot like yours. She's not divorced, but lost her husband 10 years ago. She goes to a Senior group each day but she also says that she doesn't have any friends. Do you ever try to change your routine? Like take a walk, watch a new show on TV, or try a new hobby? Do you have a pet? I think many of these things can assist in helping you...especially a pet.

    Good luck.

    Never give up.

  • I am medicated for ADHD but I am going to my doc this month and may need to change it up. I do have a sweet precious dog and have had her for several years. This self-esteem issue with me is kind of new and I just don't understand where it is coming from.

  • Hi. There are a lot of us out here. You aren't alone. I identify with everything you are describing. The key for me was finding 1) a psychiatrist who specifically understood and treated Adult ADHD and 2) a therapist who was well experienced in the same. If I didn't have access to providers who specialize in ADHD, I would still seek out the combination of medication and therapy. From what I've read and experienced for myself, those of us with undiagnosed ADHD develop coping mechanisms in our early lives that don't necessarily serve us well as adults. For me, the consequences exacerbated existing self-esteem issues that compounded over a lifetime. The therapy component is helping me to reset the lens through which I see myself and others. But what I really appreciate about the therapist I'm working with now is that we problem-solve very specific situations so I practice new skills. Talk therapy alone is helpful and often necessary; but putting new skills to practical use helps turn things around for me.

  • I think woodsprite is right on. I'm 62, diagnosed at 40, and I'm still realizing different ways that my interactions might be making ppl uncomfortable. But getting Rx and therapy each gave me a big boost. I'm more optimistic. A depression Rx might be needed, as well as for ADD.

    It's true, there are many millions of people, all ages, and many are not getting treatment. Please do as woodsprite suggests.

  • Trina18:

    I am a 44 years old woman and was diagnosed with ADHD when I was in my late 20s. I've had it all my life, but it was explained to me that the coping strategies I used as a child and young adult were no longer helping me as a working adult with a family. The best prescription for me is to do the following: 1) adhere to my medication, 2) get enough sleep, 3) exercise (swimming is my choice), and 4) keep a daily routine. I have seen counselors in the past, but haven't been to one in about 5 years. I just recently changed medications because what I had been taking for 3 years was slowly wearing off and more ADHD symptoms were appearing. My doctor told me to "experiment" with the dose. I tried to go without it for a day here and there (weekends) and quickly learned that I need the medication in addition to routines, structure, and self care. I don't like changing medicines because there is always a window for a few weeks were dose adjustments need to be made. Sometimes it isn't pretty during those changes. My husband told me that it's painful for him watch me when I'm in an adhd state. I think it's probably comical too; you have to laugh or you'll cry.

    It's still a struggle at times and I have to CONSTANTLY work on not "going down the rabbit" hole, especially when I'm at home and on the weekends. My job outside of the home is so structured that I don't have issues at work as long as I'm on my medicine. If I'm off the medicine, I loose things, memory is poor, and I have difficulty thinking on my feet. I'm now struggling with fatigue after work several days per week, not everyday, but enough to be a pain in my side. I didn't have that problem in my younger years. I wonder if that is because I "keep it together" at work and that can be exhausting for us ADHDers. I think ADHD changes as we get older and go through different stages in our lives.

    I too, have few friends. I have friends at work and friends that are made through my husband. I'll talk to anyone, but have few close relationships other than with my husband and family. I have some co-workers whom I can confide in, but I don't trust everyone.

    You said that you are lonely and feel useless. First of all, you are not useless. I wonder if a small part-time job might help you? Or volunteering somewhere for a few hours per week? I'm off work in the summer and that time can be a struggle because I don't "have" to keep a routine. I find that if I volunteer my time to kids or at church that I usually feel better. If I have too much free time, I find that I really struggle. Let me know how you're doing. Hang in there.

  • I just read everyone’s posts. It’s interesting how all of us have similar experiences, how we’ve found ADHD changes with age, etc. This stuff IS real! Thanks everyone!

  • New here, I hope I remember to bookmark. Very real, can and does lead to depression. I Always knew there was something wrong with me growing up I just didn’t know what it was and then I had two boys that were born premature and they were diagnosed ADHD that’s when I started thinking I was going to get diagnosed as well-so I went through the complete evaluation. It shows much more than just adhd. I can’t believe how many people think we are “fine”. OP: It does get lonely sometimes, even with 2 young boys and 2 dogs. I think volunteering would get you motivated and help your issue. Pick a place/breed of animal/person or thing < grin> that makes you smile inside. I chose animal rescue in 2011. Best thing I’ve ever done. It’s helped me to get over many self image things,no confidence and depression. I felt “needed”. Keep in mind, Depending on what you choose there are so many different ways of helping the organization or facility out. I know I’ve written a book here but tell us just a couple things if you decide on say a dog rescue or animal shelter can choose to be a dog walker you could be a counselor or adoption person that sits at the desk and does the paperwork or you could take/direct phone calls and people. Thatreally that could apply to most places. 😉

  • Great ideas! I too wrote a book earlier. 😉

  • I'm 63. I was diagnosed at age 45. I Have been chronically depressed along with my ADHD and a sleep disorder most of my adult life. And there have been plenty of things I could not do. But over the years I have happily ignored most of the things I could not do and chose to focus on what I can do. At this age we don't have a lot of time to set out on a lifetime self improvement program. Just cut yourself loose from all the things you don't have or can't do and focus like a laser on the things you can do to make yourself happy. Live your life on purpose. Make bold choices that leave other people shaking their heads. THose other problems will either resolve themselves or they will not. But when you get to the end you can look back and say, "I lived the life I chose starting at age 62." And you will be amazed how comforted you will feel by the fact that, good or bad, you created your life all by yourself. Start doing it today.

  • Trina18--I am so glad to "meet" you and to have read your post! I am 52 and was diagnosed a few years ago when my son was and am feeling very angry today for having had wasted so much time spinning in circles never knowing what was wrong with me. I am so sorry you are also experiencing these awful feelings of feeling old, but please know you are not alone...I'm here right with ya. I share some of your negative self-talk and I think we need to help each other stop it...immediately. One thing that I do that helps me to change my mood is listen to the music that is uplifting. There is, one in particular, that is on Youtube and really helps me enormously! It is called: Happiness Frequency - Serotonin, Dopamine and Endorphin Release Music, Binaural Beats Relaxing Music

    My best to you! Lori

  • I am not a woman but I am right there with you. I'm 63 and face all the same issues. All I figure I can do is be the best me I can be and hope that brings me good things. One thing I am aware to avoid is isolation. Stay out in the world. Have a job, even if only 10 hours a week, Involve yourself in some fun clubs or activities. Try to find people in your community. At this point, most of us are just playing the cards we have been dealt, biding time. Try to avoid that mentality. Stay smart, aware and involved and keep a friendly smile on your lips.

  • I can relate —I have worked really hard not to interrupt and to be more present this past year—I am 51–it has helped me in work force. I think. Added all and also meditation has helped me—also have listened to many podcasts on adhd—I still beat myself up but not as bad if that helps—