Adult ADHD Support
2,589 members700 posts

Son diagnosed with adhd at 44

My husband and I have been supporting our son for the past 8 years. He has problems keeping jobs and keeping a roof over his head. He has been on meds for 2 years. Seems to be better in a sense, can talk with people now, before ran away from people. Was employed for 4 months last year then on unemployment. When the unemployment benefits stopped he started to try and get credit cards under my name or his brothers. It seems he has no conscience about doing such things. Knowing it's a crime. If my husband and I stop supporting him he would be homeless. Has anyone gone through this sort of situation with their adult son/daughter?

33 Replies
oldestnewest

Sounds like your son needs to get on disability. His condition won’t get any better. Unfortunately we live in a society where people like me and your son are not highly valued. The fact that he tried to get Credid Cards with other people’s names may be a desperation rather than a malignant act. The reason why he shows no remorse, may be because he feels so shameful about what he did and is not willing to face it, it’s simply too painful for him. Also, he’s in a very disadvantage situation in the modern society we live in today. Does our society in general have any remorse on how it treats people like him? Not really.

1 like
Reply

Thanks for your reply. I talked to his psychiatrist about getting him on disability, and his reply was he is able to work. Wouldn't qualify, I said well he can't keep a job. We have been supporting him for 8 years. Without meds he is content to watch TV all day. And he is peaceful then. Not sure how he is treated by others at work etc. But I do know people who live near him think he's a great guy. He worked very hard at very job he has ever had. Before he started taking meds we couldn't understand his frequent job changes. After his diagnosis and 2 years of psychiatric care he is better at socializing and picked up a new a sport that he is very excited about. Jobwise I do not what happens, he blames other people.

Reply

Ok, the psychiatrist is not really the right person to talk to about disability qualification. A psychiatrist may look and sound like a smart person but their job is to diagnose and try to treat a condition and they don’t have a clue about the bureaucracy and assessment for people’s need for disability. What your son needs is a TEAM of psychiatrist, psychologist/life skill coach and a social worker. In the end, the social worker is the only one that has the special skill to assess if your son is able to function well enough in society to keep a job and navigate the system to make that decision.

Many people can be very likable regardless of their handicap, even mental handicap. They can even sound and act normal most of the time but then out of the blue, the glitch shows up. For example, people that live around your son like him, he’s a nice guy in general. But does he have any close friends? Is he able to keep long lasting relationships going on? If not, he’s not able to connect with others that is required to keep an ongoing job.

I can describe this in physical terms for you, because I know this is probably hard for you to grasp. Few years ago, I broke my ankle. Before that incident I could get on my knees and stand up without thinking. Now I can’t do that easily, because the automatic motor signal that tells my my leg how to do that is severed. It does not exist. When I try to do what I did before there is nothing. It doesn’t matter how much I try to get up like I did before, it won’t happen. Not because I can’t physically push myself against gravity, but because that communication has been cut off. I can use the other leg but I have to balance myself in a certain way to get up. The same thing is going on with certain connections in your son’s and my brains. It’s not there.

1 like
Reply

Oh, I am so happy be learning from you! I kinda wondered why my son doesn't keep long term friendships. I ask him why de doesn't see so and so from high school and he says oh I do not have time for that. I have to work and then too tired to socialize. But after taking meds for 2 years he is very eager to socialize especially with his tennis social group. Yes, he does look normal but at times he gets very angry with me when I criticize him in any way. Then I realize it's not a normal reaction. I am just starting to understand him. It's been a long journey. His son thinks his father is bipolar, well I told him he has adhd. Harder tor him to understand. His son is a good boy. Loves his father very much!

1 like
Reply

Conditions like bipolar disorder and ADHD can look the same to normal people and even professionals that treat them. But one difference I know to be true, is that bipolar people get into mania every now and then and actually get something done. They can also be better at doing tasks that they are not interested in. The reason why ADHD people, can look indulgent at times to normal people, is that we don’t have any connection in our brain with mundane tasks unless the process engages us somehow. I’m not sure how this works but it does happen. When you do something you don’t necessary like that much, let’s say, washing dishes, you do have a natural reward system in your brain 🧠 that kicks in when you are done ✅ which gives you a sense of accomplishment and well being. We don’t have that reward system and we have to put huge amount of concentration to stay on that task and not wander way lost in our thoughts, which in most part are going on from one thought to another at a stunningly fast rate, compared to your/normal brain, I’ve been told. I just know how my brain works, it’s very fast, distracting and never slows down. But then again, if we like for example, washing dishes, we’re 100% focused on that task. There are mundane tasks that we like to do, but the process has to be enjoyable or satisfying at least. My body also likes to move like an automatic robot. I may be doing something but abruptly find myself in another location having no idea why I’m there. Having an ADHD brain is a bit like having few TV screens in front of you all with a different channels but no access to the remote control.

Reply

And I’m glad I can help a little bit. 😊 it feels good to be of some use. Thank you 🙏🏼

Reply

Thank you so much for your insight and honesty. You're a good person!!!

1 like
Reply

My son also tries to do tasks he doesn't like but somehow gets half done. He is very untidy in my opinion he doesn't see the messes he creates as being messes.

Your description of your brain is very illuminating. Maybe that is why he would watch TV and be happy in the past when he had no meds.

Do you take meds, do you work?

1 like
Reply

Sounds like something Dr. Phil can help you with.

Does he have values, morals, passion, drive, motivation, confidence, self esteem, dreams? Does he want help? Meds is only part of the treatment. A good therapist, family/friends support. He’s 44, has he lived at home always? Because of my adhd not being diagnosed until i became an adult. I developed other issues, anxiety , low self esteem, depression

1 like
Reply

Well he was raised to be a moral man. At times I feel I do not know him anymore. He does have passion for his work and tennis. He is a good chef loves to cook for people. Also been a general manager for over 20 yrs. But was drinking and gradually got worse. He went to rehab got himself jobs but couldn't sustain them. We couldn't understand. Off and on he has lived with use but always tries to get jobs and sustain himself. But 2 years ago he was so depressed and down on himself, my husband and I insisted he see a psychiatrist. That's when at 44 he was diagnosed with adhd. When he started taking ritlan he said there was a light that went on in his former darkness. But his meds have changed along the way and he is on Adderall and klonopin a combo that seems to work for him. He gets jobs but for some reason gets fired.

Reply

Oh, no not Dr. Phil. He’s just has to keep his show running, so he can make his millions. I don’t regard him as a real psychiatrist/psychologist (or whatever he is) and have people humiliate themselves in front of everyone that watches. Even worse, he fully participates in that humiliation and is a complete creep in my opinon. 🤮

1 like
Reply

I certainly wouldn’t want to have to go on the show to tell him a the world my problems. But he does nail it and I’ve learned a lot watching his show over the years. This past year I’m watching less and less.

1 like
Reply

I think in the beginning he was much more genuine, I don’t watch his show often, but lately, what I’ve seen, it just looks like he’s gotten to authoritarian and flat out mean and treats his guests like “shite”. Makes me feel he’s only in it for the money. Now he just creeps me out. I don’t need to watch that spectacle.

1 like
Reply

I rarely watch Dr. Phil. I find the show very disturbing.

1 like
Reply

I’m going to have to agree with the psychiatrist on this one. If he can play tennis, he can work. He needs to develop the skills necessary to hold down a job and in this case it sounds like the social and interpersonal skills, like following instructions, treating others with respect, etc.

What I find disturbing is he has no qualms about breaking the law and violating the trust of others (obtaining fraudulent credit cards) in order to maintain his life. And then shows little to no remorse. That’s not really an ADHD behavior. ADHD is more important Lise control problematic. Identity theft - which is what he is performing- takes some forthought and planning. I’d have a hard time rolling that into ADHD. And I’d say there are a huge number here with ADHD that doesn’t not engage in these behaviors and wouldn’t dream of doing so.

I’ll be honest. I have two teenagers and there is not a scenario imaginable where I would tolerate this behavior from them and impulse control issues go part and parcel with being a teen. He’s 44!!! His butt would be booted to the curb so hard it would leave a bruise. He doesn’t have long term friendships most likely because he is taking advantage of those people! If he has no qualms about stealing yours and his brothers identity, what is he doing to his friends?!? And he doesn’t have time to see old friends—-why? What else is taking up all his time? Tennis and TV, because you just said he doesn’t work.

I have compassion for your son because he has ADHD. And so do I and before I was ever diagnosed, I went back to school to get my degree in my 40s because I found myself the sole support to two children and I couldn’t provide for them the way I wanted to on what I was earning. So I worked f/t and went to school f/t while raising them alone. And I graduated magma cum laude with my BA- during all of this I was in treatment for a torn rotator cuff. I graduated, had surgery to finally repair my shoulder and one month later started my masters degree and graduated with that a year later. I’m telling you this to let you know that you can live a very full rich and productive life with ADHD. It’s how we process information, not a “get out of jail free” pass on life.

My partner and I both have ADHD. His is so much more severe than mine and thus many things are much more difficult for him than me. But he shows up for work every day and he works on managing his ADHD every day. I just asked him over the weekend about working from home and if he thought he had the skills necessary to do so if it was ever offered to him. My thought was he wouldn’t be able to because organization and motivation can be problematic and there are a lot of distractions and not a lot of “work structure” at home. But he really surprised me when he addressed my concerns and outlined how the work goals were assessed at his job and how he would use their metrics as his motivation. It really turned my mind around on the subject and honestly, I wasn’t sure that was possible!! Lol. It turned into a conversation about using those same techniques to help him accomplish some things at home and we both learned something. I share this because what he did was understand how he is motivated, as Ellapony was explaining above, and used that information...well, as they say in the comics “used his power for good instead of evil”. :)

Myself, I would make the continuation of my support contingent upon him holding down a job, working with a coach as well as a therapist in order to gain the life skills he needs to be independent and with that team set a goal date for him to be on his own. After all, who is going to take care of him when you’re gone?

1 like
Reply

Thanks for your story, you must be very proud of yourself!!! Good fellow indeed.

Yes, our goal is too see folks in DHHS in Montgomery County and to get him to get the resources he needs to live a self sustained life.

1 like
Reply

Cmiceli, it’s nice that you have been able to accomplish so much in spite of your ADHD. But even we are different from each other. Not every ADHD person is able to pull themselves by the bootstraps like you. The son, we are discussing here, also has other problems like alcoholism. I don’t have that, so there is not much I can say about that. I haven’t tried to steal anyone’s identity either and really don’t do activities outside of the law nor do I challenge the law, like for example take stimulants or maybe other substances for the purpose to do better in school. But I’m fully capable of all kind of other self sabotage. Maybe your ADHD is special and doesn’t come with the self sabotage that most people with the condition have to deal with. Maybe your stimulants just make you the super person that you describe yourself to be. Great for you! I find you a bit harsh and judgmental. Just because someone does not have exactly your condition doesn’t mean that their condition is not valid. You are basically insinuating to evergreen70 that her/his son is inherently evil. I don’t believe that for a moment and I think that is a cruel thing to imply. Stealing your relatives’ identity is a highly disturbing act, I agree with you, but you don’t have a clue what motivated him do do so. You weren’t there, let alone were you in his head.

Reply

Thanks Ellaphony! My son I believe used alcohol to cope with problems in his life that we never knew about nor did he. My son doesn't drink anymore, his meds help him feel somewhat able to live his life. But in desperation and with his adhd he may do things most of do not understand. HE is not an evil person. But I have told him, there are dire consequences for doing what he has attempted to do but did not succeed. HE tells me I do not understand the pain his daily life is. No I do not comprehend that but I am trying to understand.

1 like
Reply

Of course there should be consequences, none of us can escape that. We all need to be accountable. But I don’t believe your son did what he did because he’s a bad person. I think it would be good for him to get a lif coach. I just recently got a life skill coach who helps me set goal Every two weeks, we try to figure out which goals are attainable for me for that time period and then we go over what I accomplished, how I sabotaged some of my goals, what I can do better etc. It has really helped me to have someone that helps me set small (right now) goals and be accountable. For me it’s a big life change and I’m not even on meds yet. Since I just started seeing the life skill coach, I chose to see her only every other week, I thought I would be too overwhelmed, but I’m going to see her every week soon, since that is available to me.

1 like
Reply

Good for you!! I will keep you in my good thoughts daily!!!

1 like
Reply

Thank you, you are very sweet and nice 😊

Reply

I believe you misunderstood when I wrote “use your powers for good instead of evil”. I meant that he should use the beneficial aspects of ADHD in a positive fashion.

I’m sorry you find me harsh and judgmental. Identity theft is a crime with actual real life consequences that include imprisonment and paying restitution. I imagine the letter writer would prefer to avoid her son having to face those kind of consequences. I’d hardly label this behavior as “self sabotage”.

It has been my experience that many loving families with adult children who have ADHD have a common thread running through them. They have difficulties setting limits and boundaries. They are trying so hard to help their loved ones that they fall back into the parent role and their adult children often slide right back into child. It’s important to temper the compassion with accountability and expectations. It is not unreasonable to expect a 44 year old man to take ownership of his own recovery and be an active participant. I stand by what I said - if he can play tennis - a wonderful sport requiring excellent hand eye coordination and focus, organize games, get to the courts and arrange matches, he has the skills necessary to hold a job. And being successful will build his self esteem and help him immensely in the long run.

Reply

Nope, I did not misunderstand, you made yourself very clear. You oversimplified a very complicated condition. It’s like you don’t have a clue! I don’t have the cookie cutter version of ADHD. Unlike you, Cmiceli, I can’t define it. It leaks out everywhere in my life. That is why my life is a mess. It’s scary serious for people like me and son of evergreen70 and I have to try very hard every day to be as close to functional as I can. It’s very hard when the connections in ones brain are just not there. I’m baffled why you don’t seem to understand the fundamental underlying condition that causes ADHD.

Reply

Alcohol is probably still a thing? He has to want to get help. If he doesn’t, then you got to let him go, he’ll learn the hard way or whatever. You should make sure he know you love him and support him but tell him you can’t afford paying for him and he’s got to figure it out 😬. My parents would never put up with that. I love and respect my parents, I hope one day I can afford to care for them like they did me if they need it when they are older.

I hope your son wants to get help and is ready to because if he isn’t it’s going to brake your heart watching him do this to himself. Please let us know how things are going periodically. I feel like you are going though so much your self. So take care and let us know.

Reply

My son does not drink anymore. He has meds now. Before he used alcohol to cope with his life. Finally we understand that.

1 like
Reply

It’s great that the psychiatrist diagnosed your son with ADHD. It sounds like there are some life skills your son needs to establish. I liked a previous comment about finding a social worker/counselor to help him build skills and figure out next steps/goals. I also wonder if there isn’t an element of autism here. It isn’t uncommon for autism and ADHD to go hand in hand. The psychiatrist might not see it because your son could be good at masking. You say he worked as a general manager for years; it’s possible he masked his disabilities at the expense of his mental health, resulting in burnout. I’m not a mental health professional, but you might want to find out a bit about adults with autism and what they call “autistic burnout”. It might fit your son’s situation. In any case, I wish you all good luck!

1 like
Reply

Oh, sorry - one more thing. There's a great YouTube channel called How To ADHD by Jessica McCabe and her husband. Jessica has ADHD and each episode deals with a different way to handle living with ADHD as an adult. I think it's pretty helpful! youtube.com/channel/UC-nPM1...

1 like
Reply

He’s a grown man with probably so mental health and mental illness. Does he see a therapist and psychiatrist? If he wants to get better, the right support can change his life. And if he doesn’t care then maybe you should stop buying things for him. I would let him live at home but I wouldn’t pay for his car, phone, going out money, etc. and if he wants to drive he needs car insurance. He needs to have some responsibility and if you do everything for him he won’t know how to do it for himself. I think it would feel a little humiliating at 44 and having Mom and Dad take care of him. Under the circumstances he may be depressed.

1 like
Reply

We do not pay for anything but his roof over his head and his meds because he doesn't have insurance. Doing so also makes him feel like a failure. Without our support, a mentally ill person would be on the streets homeless!!! We have not taken care of him all his life. HE started his decline at 38. Then at 44 was diagnosed with adhd. So his life has been difficult especially since he has probably had adhd since he was a child.

1 like
Reply

Im pretty appalled how judgmental some of the ADHD people here are evergreen70, you have stated here that your son worked for 20 years, that he has often taken care of himself but that he does have problems that come with having ADHD. There are hosts of problems that come with this mental illness, it’s a MENTAL ILNESS, and it’s seems to me that some people here don’t understand that it comes with a host of all kinds of other problems. For me this condition is no walk in the park, but for some people it looks like it is and they have control over it and are able to fully beat it into submission. I just wish...

I don’t know how the problems that co-host the ADHD condition can be so thoroughly absent in some ADHD-res here? I like to share my experience and how I cope and what I’m trying to do to be better, rather than being an expert on my own and other people’s condition and judge others that are not exactly like me. Let alone boast about how great I am, so I can put myself in some big almighty judgment seat and scold other people because they make different mistakes than I do.

1 like
Reply

yes, my son has a psychiatrist, the first year he went every week. Now his meds are where he can function. So he sees him once a month now. But yes he needs a life coach as well.

2 likes
Reply

That’s great to hear. I hope things strait to click for him and we start seeing improvements. I hope you continue to give us updates. I don’t know but probably you town might have this as well. It’s chadd. You don’t have to become a member to go to meetings but once a month there is a meeting for adults with adhd and once a month there is an adhd for parents who’s kids have adhd. I know he’s not a kid anymore but it still may be helpful if you’re interested in attending. Google it if that’s something you would like to find out more about.

2 likes
Reply

I love 💕 Jessica McCabe. She is so much fun to watch. 👏🏼👏🏼👏🏼

Reply

You may also like...