Adult ADHD Support
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Feeling Alone and Worthless

I'm 25 Y/O. I was diagnosed with ADHD when I was just 5. I stopped taking the medication when I was in college, but recently had to take a temp job while I'm trying to get back on the career path I want to be on. But my job is miserable. I've been there for almost 8 months, and the type of work I do can be very difficult for someone with a limited attention span. I basically perform the same, mundane data entry task about 20-40 times a day. There are so many things to look at, that sometimes... I just completely zone out and can't even understand what I'm reading or how to even do my job. I've been taking 10 mg of Adderall for the past few months but i don't really think that its helping... I'm not even sure if its a solution to the problem at all. All I know is I'm very unhappy, and I feel like no one really understands why I can't concentrate... or why I am even starting to struggle with my memory. Aside from my boyfriend, I lost all of my friends when I developed depression. Everything about my situation sounds alien to my family, as well. Their advice often misses the point.

I suppose my point is that I'm at an impasse. I feel crippled by my mental faculties. And in a very serious way, they are leading me down a dark path of self-reflection. Does anyone out there understand? Can anyone out there show me a way forward?

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Hi Twigy:

I’ve experienced your symptoms and feelings of depression, confusion and pain.

The very first thing I would stress is that none of this is your fault. You have (and suffer from) a legitimate disease that can leave you feeling helpless and very lonely, not to mention scared, isolated, hopeless, and unable to make any kind of sense of what is going on.

My experience with ADD/ADHD is very similar to your own. When I am not on my meds I cannot make sense of all the things I need to do, let alone prioritize them and create some very needed and vitality important to-do lists; my self esteem suffers in a very physical and painful way. I also have suffered from clinical depression since I was ten, and that, along with several other issues get all wrapped up and tangled, with me in the middle. It’s a hideous way to live, and since I am my 84 year old Mom’s caregiver it affects her in too many ways.

The good news is that when I am on my meds, it all changes: the depression lessens a great deal, I can easily prioritize and find things that seemed important before, aren’t, and can be mentally archived, clearing the way for the tasks that are truly important, which I am able to fairly easily deal with them.

I strongly suspect the amount of Adderall is not enough, thus your frustration with the results. I am on 60 mg of the XR version and 40 mg of the IR version. I’ve been on Adderall since 1998, and for me it is a miracle drug.

Of course, effective dosage amounts are highly individualistic, your ideal dosage most likely would not be the same as mine. Still, 10 mg sounds very low-more like what would be prescribed for a child.

And that’s assuming Adderall is the best med for you, which it may not be. Have you ever tried Concerta or Ritalin? They might work better for you.

Still, I would go for a larger dose of the Adderall first, something like 20 or 30 mg; I urge you to discuss it with your doc. If he/she won’t consider increasing, I would try another doctor.

As for the loss of your friends, I’ve gone through the same experience. It’s hard not to be bitter, isn’t it? I am frankly very angry about how crappy most of them turned out to be. They loved and treasured me (so they said) when they needed support, but when it became my turn, poof! They vanished into thin air.

On this matter I will say this: try very hard not to blame yourself! You have every right to feel betrayed and angry at the way you’ve been treated, and it is they that owe you apologies and more!

I want to write more an your situation but I am running out of time.

Just know this: none of us are perfect, we’ve all made mistakes, bad decisions, etc., as have everyone else in this world. You are, however, very, very valuable and needed, no matter what you may think and feel. Please hold on to that fact as hard as it may be, and find ways to be kind and gentle with yourself, and do as many of them as you can, each and every day.

I hope my advice will bring you some encouragement, no matter how small.

Scott B.

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Ok- First of all you can pat yourself on the back for reaching out. You sound overwhelmed and you’re getting down on yourself because of your high expectations. Welcome to the Club!

I suggest that you first of all, go up on the Adderal. 10 mg is a starter dose. You can try 20mg xr in the morning and see if it gets you going. The proper dose of stimulant will most likely boost your mood as well. You can also ask your doctor about an antidepressant. He or she will most likely start you on Zoloft. More than half of adults with Adhd also take an SSRI for anxiety or depression. Do you exercise? Even just walking your dog at a fast pace to get your heart rate up will help boost your mood. Have you had a complete physical with Bloodwork done recently? I suggest you find a holistic/ integrative doctor to oversee your healthcare and who can suggest the proper supplements your body may need. For Ex. If your Vitamin D is low, that can greatly affect your mood. Also what you eat can greatly affect your mood as well. Start eating healthy and you will feel better guaranteed. Now work wise. Most people with adhd do better working for themselves or in a creative or less mundane field of work. When we love what we’re doing we are amaaazing at it! I also suggest while you’re young to travel as much as you can. You have so much ahead of you! Godspeed!

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Get a different job

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Yes. Travel!!! Us ADDers love that. Im 40, and wish I would have done that more!! You have time for no regrets. You should temp, finish college (if you havent already). I agree with the above post. Can you find a more creative career? Maybe sales? Design? Im a teacher, and wish i had pursued a career in interior design. Ibran a nanny agency for 7 years, but stopped after my 2nd chils. Life is so much tougher with kids! Do you!!! Nows your time :)

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I agree with everyone else about the fact that you just haven't found the right situation yet and the medication is probably too low a dose. The right meds at the right dose are a miracle. The information you're entering will snap into focus and you can actually SEE it. Like REALLY SEE it. It becomes alive for you and more stimulating.

I have done a ton of data entry. If you truly hate it, commit to finding something else. Now you that have office experience any local temp agency can find you another position that is more interesting, like being a receptionist, a file clerk, work in the mail room - lots of options. You're not stuck. Maybe even a different kind of data entry. And look at this job as a temporary situation that you're doing to stabilize your life while you work on bigger goals.

I have gone back to office work myself to stabilize my income after trying to have my own business (untreated ADHD tanked it). I have to write EVERYTHING down - like passwords, how to log into programs, simple tasks step by step -- things most people will remember. I keep a big notebook and even though people think it's ridiculous that I need so much support, having a place to go to for answers when I can't remember what I was trained to do has helped me keep my job. Yes, I get the sneering looks. I was bullied by a co-worker for awhile. But now it's starting to stick and I need it less adn less. Sometimes I take it home and just read it with my dinner like a book. It brings it all back to the front of my brain somehow and I do better the next day.

Be sure you're going slow enough and not rushing, taking the time to think about what you're entering. Like if it's addresses, etc why not make a story about what each one person looks like or something? I find listening to music on headphones while I type/do data entry does wonders for my concentration because it gives most of my brain something else to do and allows the data entry to flow - I'm following the pattern in time to the music.

One day I couldn't figure out why I was having so much trouble reading bar code numbers that are part of my job -- I had forgotten to take my afternoon dose! I was stunned. The next day I made sure I took it right when I got the reminder on my calendar -- and those 15 digit numbers were crystal clear and made sense. I still have trouble prioritizing, I'm getting feedback that I "overthink" everything, I tend to hyper-focus and have trouble making transitions from one task to another.

It's challenging to be like us and live in a neuro-typical world, but we're creative enough to do it. And we've got each other in places like this.

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