Adult ADHD Support
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I'm new here and confused inexperienced and worried

Hello everybody, it's nice to meet everyone.

I was told by my GP I was "highly likely" to have ADHD(focusing more on the inattentive, some but few hyperactivity) as a young adult. I just don't know about this whole process and everything..

I started taking ritalin 10mgx3 a day, which seems to be the standard starting medication. It worked for an hour but would wear off, and after telling my GP he gave me a generic of concerta, and concerta generics have a history of not working after doing my research, and this one felt like I was taking nothing overall.

After 2 weeks of that I took some of my leftover ritalin pills and today was the first time it didnt really work.

Is it possible my GP made a mistake in his diagnosis, maybe I dont have ADHD? Is he testing me to see if I truly have it by giving me these kinds of medications? Is it normal for it to take multiple tries to find the right medication? Do I need to employ other methods on top of the medication so I can actually focus and study for once in my life? Can my doctor prescribe me medication even if I dont have it?

I feel like I dont even know what is normal anymore, everyone says they have ADHD cause they hate their prof and cant focus during lectures, what if thats me? But I also scored high on my doctors ADHD test and other online adhd tests, and everytime I watch a ADHD video for the most part I feel like they literally describing all my tendencies and I could really really relate to them which was what prompted me to talk to my GP about this.

TL;DR if someone with alot of experience could talk to me for 30 mins thatd be nice, Im just really confused

Thanks to anyone who read the whole thing

18 Replies

It seems really unlikely that your GP made a mistake in diagnosing you with ADHD, especially considering the testing you've done and the fact that other ADHD'ers stories seem to reflect your life.

Finding the correct drug and dose to treat ADHD is a very trial-and-error process because every person responds differently - what works really well for one person may not work at all for another. How you respond to certain medications doesn't reflect whether or not you have ADHD, it just means you don't respond to those medications or to those dosages. Unfortunately for some people stimulant medication just doesn't work at all no matter what the dose :(

Don't give up right away though and assume meds aren't for you if the first few don't work. It may be a PITA but it's worth the trial and error if you can find one that works well for you.

Here's a guide by Dr. Dodson on how to find the correct drug and correct dose:

Here's a great guide about common myths and misconceptions about medication:


Thank you for a thoughtful response, Ive read those articles and it gave my more insight :)

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I stopped taking generic concerta because I thought it wasn’t helping me. I also quit seeing the psychiatrist at my college, and my therapist because I always find a reason to talk myself out of this condition. I relate to what you are saying. The first psychiatrist took several visits to diagnose me with adhd I started at 36 mg for one week then up to 54mg the next weeks then 72mg. I was taking one saturday class from 8-330pm and decided I wasn’t benefiting from the medication not knowing what I should be feeling in the first place. Now it’s 5 months later, my original doctor left the practice and I just had my first re-evaluation with the new dr. I had to go over all the same info as before so he could get to know me. I feel everything takes so long to get moving with this condition . My next appointment is this Monday and he’s still gathering information plus he threw in the possibility of obsessive compulsive disorder. which totally caught me off guard, but it’s his specialty area as well as adhd. I’m hanging in there hoping each visit will bring answers.

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Oh man, you have it worse then me :( hopefully things will get better for you.

If you dont find sharing, how come you talk yourself out of your condition? You dont trust your psychiatrist?


See... someone out there always has it worse! I’ve lived with it for 48 years and now just coming to the realization after diagnosis that I’m still functioning able to get out of bed and work I just can’t get past a certain level professionally (i’ve quit my last three jobs without notice or warning) or tackle college how I need to i order to become more successful. School has never been my strength, especially with undiagnosed adhd as a kid in the 70’s , 80’s, and 90’s, . I was literally “spacey stacy” I never learned how to be good at school. it’s hard to accept that my life has been driven by adhd and caused good and bad for me.

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Im sorry to hear that =( hopefully things have turned around for you.


Please go see a neurologist. They know more about the brain than a psychiatrist and definitely more than your GP. My neuro has me on the right dose of Adderall and I can focus so we'll and I take a low dose of citalopram for anxiety (because ADHD & anxiety go hand in hand because we are all over the place).

Plus my neurologist won't just medicate. He offers other suggestions to work with what he has prescribed already.

Anyway, find yourself a good neurologist and I'm sure he will know what to give you before you even finish your explanation.

Good luck!!!


Thank you for the info. Tomorrow I’m going to the university psychiatrist to see what his thoughts are and I’ll get his spin on what he thinks. I’ll look into a neurologist too😊

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Thanks for your advice, I appreicite it :)


When I was 54, I went back to college for nursing (BSN) as a traditional student. I already had a degree in Literature that took me 20 yrs to complete!

In my 40’s I was dx’ed with ADHD, along w two of my children...what a SHOCK for me, yet I was relieved...I was always a social misfit; I was smart, but limited in ability, & I just thought I was strange...back when I was in school, ADHD went undiagnosed. Instead I spent hours w school counselors, etc., blah, blah, blah...and eventually joined the USN, then married etc.

ALL THAT TO SAY: I went back to college in 2006 & graduated w BSN in 2010. The ONLY reason I was successful in a very difficult academic program was bc my college was legally obligated to provide accomodations, which they took seriously; the “special ed dept” of my college understood me for the first academic time in my life, and WOW! I could actually keep up w the rigors of the nursing program & it was a wonderful experience.

So, I encourage all college students to meet w the “spec ed dept”...(sorry, there’s a better name, I just can’t remember it)...

and take advantage of any & all accommodations. Unless things have changed in ten years since I went back, it’s the law. Any college that takes any government funds, that is.

Best to you.


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Thanks for such a thoughtful response, Im grateful



I’ve met with our Access center which is the special ed department and it was a very new experience for me. What type of accommodations would you suggest for nursing school? That’s been my original plan, but since I have a partial bachelors degree and would have to retake all my sciences since they are 10 years old, Ive battled with the traditional RN path or trying a vocational school and getting an LPN because it seems easier try after all I’ve been through. I’m really torn about what to pursue. Were you able to work or did you have any help? I struggle with how to support my self and taking a demanding program.


Re— Accomodations for university students w ADHD in USA:

(...Any other ADHD students, the same?...)

My experience at university: All text books in audio version, if desired; another student was paid to take notes for me; I was given an attended quiet room for exams, no other students;

I was given extra time for all exams; I was allowed one piece of paper to write out my thoughts during exams;

during in-class “pop” quizs I was allowed headphones to block noise; and, overall, the academic instructors were decent & understanding. They all received special paperwork r/t me before each the “special ed dept” was really on it...

However, the days at the hospitals for clinicals were pretty trying. Different instructors that taught the “work” of nursing...I cannot tell you how many times they were exasperated with me: “I just told you that ten minutes ago,” as an example. My lack of short term memory means I have to ask for repeating something. Big hassle!

And to this day I cannot work in fast paced environments...I am a home health RN who takes few patients. Coming home and having to document sucks...its bad & a trial for me...and I still get very nervous etc w patients & procedures...

The reality is: although I love to help people & I love nursing, I am not that good at it! Nursing isn’t a good fit w my ADHD.

Overall, even with good medication & wonderful doctors, I have a difficult time in the working world. I just prefer being a nanny, family housekeeper or dog walker:)

And I really like my brain too. I super like the way God made me. I like being alone & entertaining myself;

...but I know its different for you younger people still trying to find your way...

Again, best to you. Here’s hoping you are always nice to yourself in your journey.



Thank you :)


I enjoyed reading your reply Stacie. One thing age has blessed me with is coming to know myself and accepting myself. We have only so much time in this life. Knowing that has helped me to do those things I’m good at, and let others do what they’re good at!


Thanks for sharing your story Stacie. I didn't know I had this when I was in college and eventually dropped out. I'm amazed at the accommodations - audio text books! I so relate to not being able to perform well at work and people getting upset when you ask them to repeat themselves. I have heard it so much - I just told you that! I'm so on the verge of just finding a way to buy an RV and just check out of the whole shebang. Even with medication, working, paying bills, trying to deal with a roommate -- it's alot - and a constant battle to function.


Hi warmheart - and I can see you really do have a warm heart from your responses to everyone's comments on this post! Now that a couple of months has passed, I'll bet you've been learning lots about ADHD. I hope it's helped you to feel more informed and empowered. My husband has just been diagnosed, and I'm also on a journey of discovery about it. Have you watched 'How to ADHD' on You Tube? A great resource! Hugs, and best of luck.


I totally understand and I've been there.


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