Adult ADHD Support
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New to ADHD

hello. I am new to the ADHD world. I was diagnosed last month. I have been reading delivered from distraction and learning a lot about the disorder. In addition to the ADHD, I have been treated for depression. My family has a history of depression. It is my hope that ADHD treatment will alleviate some of the depression symptoms. So just looking for support and advice from the community as I start treatment.

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Welcome aboard fellow ADHDer! It's good that you have started self-educating and reading some books. Great to reach out to others with ADHD too. As for the depression, getting treatment for ADHD will help, but you'll need support and additional treatments for your depression symptoms. Good news... surrounding yourself with people that will help build you up will definitely help! Glad you joined!

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Patricia Quin (the ADHD expert, not the tv personality) said “if your life sucks, you’re going to be depressed.” Untreated adhd made my life so much more difficult than it needed to be. Good luck and welcome!

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Thanks. And good luck to you too!

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“Is It You, Me, or ADHD?” by Gina Pera is also a really good book. Dr. Russell Barkley has the best videos on YouTube on ADHD. He’s absolutely brilliant and he is an amazing speaker. I like to listen to him sometimes when I’m going to bed.

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hmm I'll have to check that one out. Currently reading Delivered from Distraction by Dr. Edward M Hallowell. It's been very enlightening and insightful. “People with ADD often have a special “feel” for life, a way of seeing right into the heart of matters, while others have to reason their way along methodically.”

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I’ve seen Dr. Hallowell before. His books and public speeches are inspiring and uplifting, and give us hope. My personal opinion is that he’s great at inspiring us and making us feel better which is truly a huge deal when we are in need of hope. I don’t like the way he refers to ADHD as a gift because if this is a gift, I wish I had the receipt to return it. Lol. He definitely helped me when I saw him in 2014. I had to basically stalk him to get an appt. I found out he was speaking in Orlando and I showed up to the event 45 minutes early and I was so lucky that he arrived at the same time as I did. He gave me his personal cell phone number and told me to call him at 3am if I needed to because I was in a really bad place. I think that speaks volumes about how much he cares which is so different than most psychiatrists/psychologists.

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Oh yes. Living with ADD obviously has its challenges especially if undiagnosed. When he talks about it as a gift I suspect he just means that people with ADD have a tendency to be more creative and intuitive. Which I would definitely call those traits gifts. There are a lot of artists, musicians and entrepreneurs that have ADD.

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Yes, but those traits aren’t because the person has ADHD. They are completely unrelated. If someone like Michael Phelps is an amazing swimmer, it is because he has a talent that would be there regardless of whether he has ADHD or not. Saying ADHD is a gift is dangerous in regards to those trying to get help with work or school under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). It’s difficult to get help from the government if we all go around talking about what a gift this disorder has been our whole lives, when in reality it has made most of our lives more difficult. Let me be clear, I love and appreciate Dr. Hallowell’s positivity because people with ADHD need to feel that support and love because so often we feel so misunderstood. I’m glad you’re reading his books and starting this journey. I did the same thing and pretty much became obsessed with the whole topic because there’s so much new information out there that the world needs to know. Dr. Hallowell was the first person I saw on a 25 minute interview on PBS who made me realize that the majority of my issues are all the same issue, and the relief I felt after I realized this was priceless.

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You know. My mind works very fast and very hard. Working very fast doesn't mean it's efficient, either. I have many problems with self esteem myself even though many people claim I've accomplished quite a bit in my life.

Nature vs Nurture is very important. I was taught to work hard for things, my Dad's motto was always "just do it, like Nike". I was given a good work ethic because that's how people in my family were.

ADHD has made things hard- I work with mathematicians and I can't do arithmetic as fast as them. I have massive problems focusing on things that aren't stimulating enough.

One thing ADHD has given me, is the ability to work harder than everyone else, but that's because I have to. During my bouts of "mass stimulation" (those times I get obsessed over something interesting so that I can jump-start my brain and be happy, I often get very creative and I solve important problems and I usually do very useful things. For that, I think ADHD can be a super power. I think in other ways it has made it challenging... however as a result, I think it's given me a better work ethic.

The other side to this is that I have a wife and 2 kids (and a third on the way). When I go on these "mass stimulation" bouts, it's almost like mania. It's addictive and I go into a 8-12 month long hyperfocus mode that really makes me absent- not physically, but mentally. Even worse, it's not uncommon for me to go from one thing directly to the next... so there's never really a break for my family.

Back in January, I finally got officially diagnosed. I'm taking Vyvanse and it appears to be helping to stimulate me normally so that I'm not constantly chasing it. This is where the nature vs nurture comes in... or the biology vs probability, whichever one you prefer to think of it as.

There's a lot of behaviors we shape our brains into throughout our lives. I'm about to embark on quite a task for my phD program that has a lot of people's jaws wide open, wondering "how the fuck?" The reality is, I've nurtured my mind with a heck of a work ethic... so now that I'm on Vyvanse, I can be kind and present with my family and my work ethic hasn't gone away. Not sure if that completely makes sense, but I don't think the ADHD is the only reason why I strive so hard for accomplishments.

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I completely get what you mean!! I’m resilient AF, and I think that probably has something to do with my ADHD. I still struggle with self esteem issues because it seems like my whole life I’ve been expected to do better than I was doing in every aspect of my life. My career is the first thing I’ve been truly successful at and I’ve never given up even when things didn’t appear as if they would ever work in my favor. There’s no better feeling than succeeding at something when everyone around you thinks you can’t do it. My parents and boyfriend at the time when I first got into real estate would say things like “maybe it’s time to go get a real job.” I can’t even describe how nice it feels to not have anyone question what I’m doing with work because I’ve proven myself to everyone who watched me from the beginning.

Good for you regarding your PHD journey. I hope I get to hear your story once you get it, because I bet it will be a good one!!

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Can u tell what my current obsession is? I'm sure you guys are already tired of hearing about it. lol.

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Learning about ADHD? I don’t know? Tired of hearing about what? I really don’t know and I feel like I should since you put it that way. Lol

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Oh, that's funny. Looking back at some of my other posts, I feel like a broken record. School this, work ethic that, blah blah self esteem & Leonardo Da Vinci... blah blah blah hyperfocus... lol.

I guess it's nice finding an outlet with others that understand.

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Yeah, we are all pretty much complaining about the same stuff😂😂😂😂

Honestly, I don’t have a good work ethic. I used to when I first started and I was trying to prove myself to everyone who didn’t believe in me, but now my work ethic is pretty lackluster. I work smarter not harder now, which I guess is what I was working toward without even realizing it. Lol. I had a client take me to spray tan yesterday before we went to look at properties. He was on a conference call and needed to finish before we got started anyway so he didn’t mind. Win/win. Haha

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Welcome Tajmapul. Most people with ADHD, especially untreated, are chronically depressed on and off. We have to put in so much energy to keep up and even if we do pore all our energy into our lives we still can’t keep up. We mess up, it’s a part of our life. A good thing is to value yourself for who you are, instead of what people expect of you. Getting a life skill coach helps greatly and learning how to compartmentalize and prioritize is a must. It’s a very hard task but it’s better that being all over the place like I’ve spent my life doing. Think about the one productive things that you absolutely love to do more that other things that you kinda like and try to focus on that. It doesn’t matter what it is as long as you enjoy it and it’s productive. I know it is very hard because eventually it becomes boring for us and we just want to start something else that is more exciting. But then we get depressed because we don’t finish things and our sense of accomplishment and self worth goes down the toilet. The right Medication is very important and will greatly help you focus.

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Thanks!

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ADHD medication does help me with my depression a lot. One thing I wish I was told when I got diagnosed in 2002 was to see a therapist who’s knowable about ADHD. Struggled a lot over the last ten plus years. It would of helped me to have had a therapist. ADHD I believe caused me so many issues in my life

And becoming aware of then and knowing how to overcome them is always I believe part of treatment to getting better. When I first took medication for ADHD it felt like magic , like a light turned on and I could see the world like other people do and it affected me all those years undiagnosed.

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I know exactly what you mean about the light turning on. Medication has helped me so much.

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I have found that both medication to address my ADHD and cognitive behavioral therapy to help me develop new coping skills in everyday life have greatly lifted my depression. I believe I do suffer from chemical depression (also in my family plus bi-polar and addiction), but much of my depression is due to constant rejection, not being able to make clear-headed decisions, frustration and generally feeling like a failure and a misfit. I am on 20 mg Lexapro for the anxiety and depression.

Now that I am able to make progress in my life, one step at a time, I am starting to feel hopeful again. It has only been 30 days since I began medication and therapy. For the first time in my life I was able to turn around a negative work situation that was caused by both poor peer training skills and my ADHD. It is a minor miracle not to be let go "again." And to be liked by my co-workers. Do not settle for poor services. From what I read, you must become a strong advocate for yourself. A few weeks into therapy I was told "Are you aware of how many times you say you are stupid?" No. I wasn't aware. It's changing. I'm almost 62 yrs old and spent most of my life untreated. If I can do this, you can do this. Hang in there.

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Thanks

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Yep, when I became more aware of my self talk, I cried because of how hurtful I was and sometimes still am to myself.

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