Recently diagnosed with ADHD after ch... - CHADD's Adult ADH...

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Recently diagnosed with ADHD after child loss

shadowfaxboxer profile image

Hi everyone. I’m 34 and I just found out this week that I’ve been living with ADHD since I was a teenager. I found myself reading about adult ADHD and I noticed that every single symptom or marker was something I struggled with for 20 years: smart but can’t get homework done, never have clean laundry, can’t balance a checkbook, anger and anxiety because people can’t read my mind or think things out the way I would.

With this diagnosis my immediate family has realized they all have it as well, and we’ve been learning more about my grandparents and great-grandparents and they seem to have had similar issues and turned to alcoholism to deal with it.

On top of this I lost my only child, a son, in labor at 40 weeks in July 2019. We don’t have a reason why. And it’s normal to feel failure after that kind of loss, but I had already felt like a failure for years because of the undiagnosed ADHD so when my son died I took it as confirmation that I was bad- all of my failures in the past were the reason I couldn’t have my son.

My diagnosis has brought relief but also so much sorrow- mourning the life I had, hurting because of all the horrible things I said to myself over and over again in my head, the way I treated friends and family when I was frustrated and flailing and unable to explain what was happening.

I have a team in place for meds and therapy, which will begin next week. I’m already feeling better, just knowing that this is what it is- that I’m not incapable of putting my clothes away, but my brain just needs to start looking at it differently.

Any tips for an ADHD newcomer?

15 Replies

*July 2017.

hi shadowfaxboxer, my deepest sympathies for your loss.

you will find acceptance here in this community

Im glad you sought help. I also was diagnosed after a significant loss. It seems like I was struggling in life but able to function enough to keep the important things going. Then when the grief hit and subsequent depression, it took me over a threshold. Perhaps you too? The good news is: 1) it caused me (us) to seek help. 2) after a year and half of treatment (meds plus varying degrees of therapy starting with more intensive group program) I am much recovered from the grief/depression and was able to wean myself off those meds. 3) Now I’m focused on diet, amino acids and supplements to address the stress and focus issues.

Educate yourself about what helps. MEDITATE (try Insight Timer if it’s new to you). Ask for support. Surround yourself with positivity wherever possible that helps you focus on what you DO have, what you CAN do and what you LOVE as a way to balance the other feelings that also need love and support.

🙏🏻❤️☀️ Sending love through the ether.

Yes! The grief from losing my son, along with two friends who committed suicide this year, led me to just absolutely break. But it was the rock bottom I needed to find the answer, and though I wish it didn’t happen the way that it did, I am grateful for at least this one silver lining in what has been the worst two years of my life. I’m so sorry you had to go through grief and loss to get here as well.

I will definitely check out that meditation Insight Timer. I have been finding even just stopping myself for one minute to let myself breathe and collect myself before starting a project has been so helpful. And by project I mean, “getting yourself ready to drive the car”. Take a breath and think of the things I need, instead of rushing around in a panic freaking out that I’m running late and then I forget the checks to deposit at the bank or my phone or my debit card was left in my other jacket pocket, etc.

It feels like I’m relearning how to be a human, almost. It’s difficult for sure, but my husband is 1000% supportive of me and I already know I’m luckier than a lot of people with ADHD and/of child loss. We have started using Cozi to schedule our days and he’s really helping me stay on top of the new skills and coping techniques I’m using. My parents, who have seen all three of their children suffer through the same things many in their family has suffered from, are reading everything they can about women with ADHD ago better support me, and even though my mother might not ever be ready to admit she has it too, she has been more open with me about her “issues” (as she calls it) and my grandmother’s struggles with it. My friends are rockstars.

I also feel power in knowing that the cycle of confusion, abuse, and not understanding what’s happening in my brain ends with me. My ADHD has given me exceptional research skills and I will research a topic into the ground just so I can make sure I know everything I can. My kids, should they have my kind of brain, will be the most supported and understood children. When I was pregnant, I was so prepared, which is also what made the loss so hard- I felt like I did everything I could and still failed. But now I better understand that it truly was a fluke- that unfortunately losing a healthy baby in labor is possible, and it is possible to never have an answer.

Thank you so much for your kind response and I send you love right back through the ether. ❤️

Hi, My sincere condolences to you and your family. Remember, absent from the body is present with the Lord. That's a lot of love there. Any day of the week, not just on Sunday Morning, you can go into any church and find help from a preacher, pastor, chaplain, Father, Rabi, minister, Prayer Counselor, Church Member and receive everlasting comfort. 1-800-273-talk (8255) is a US National Crisis Hotline. Just pick up a pen or pencil, write it down and put in your pocket, please, just because; I did and didn't know how bad it was. is an AA online group 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. The nice thing about a 12 Step Program is the word alcohol can be changed with anything, and it works. Don't pick up that first drink. To be sober is for your benefit. You see, untreated/mistreated ADD/ADHD can manifest into alcoholism, drugs, and sinful things. That's a slippery slope. is great for 12 Steppin.

Have a blessed day.

Hello, wontquit. I do not appreciate the assumption that I will become an alcoholic or a sinner if I don’t start going to church or AA. My brother and father have both completed AA and have been successful in their journey to sobriety- my ADHD has not led me to pick up the bottle. It did, however, lead my grandmother to the bottle, and she was raised Catholic. She was also in a Catholic orphanage for two years where she was abused by nuns and priests for her ADHD. We have different ideas about what leads to healing. Church is not and will not be my path to ADHD salvation, considering the majority of religious groups have a history of ignoring mental health problems and telling those who struggle with it to just read the holy book and trust in a higher power.

I choose to trust in myself and the people who are here on this Earth with me now, and I choose to go to safe spaces that allow me to be me, rather than a place that has caused my family years of pain, abuse, and generational trauma.

You have a good day.

I don’t sense that post was as much about you as a recount of won’t quits own path. But good clarity and standing up for yourself.

You’re right, I’m still learning to maybe take a step back and not react as quickly- I saw that they had just joined today and only commented on my post, so it seemed a little suspicious. I’m also sensitive to the suggestion of religion as an answer when I post earnestly in support groups, because I joined a child loss support group and was told by a woman that I deserved my loss because I asked that in my child’s memory donations be made to Planned Parenthood- they confirmed my pregnancy and helped me with my insurance and helping me find an ob/gyn in the area since I was new to where I now live.

Part of my journey now is learning how to not engage with those who I do not necessarily agree with. Obviously it will take a while. Oof.

Ditto!! Years of moral self destruction initially brought on by never living up to the standards. Years that I can never get back, thank you very much.

Hi Shadowfaxboxer,

My condolences for your losses.

Welcome to a very unique chat group. Here is the first place I didn’t feel so quite alone, I am also involved with a local ADHD group, which I found great comfort in meeting real live people like me. It was such a release valve meeting them.

I have done a lot of research on ADHD/ADD. Being informed also helps me because I no longer feel like I am broke and need to be fixed, what I do feel is I am different, think different act different feel different, I am a unique person with my own unique experiences. I do want you to know I am reserved and don’t go out trying to meet and find a bunch of people, I have my close friends and am happy with them. I did go out on a limb to meet people in the local add group and I am very glad I did.

I hope you have good experiences here. And find what you need in your world.

Thank you, Nick. Just knowing there’s a group like this out there has already helped me so much and made me feel less alone in this. I tend to reach out too much- I tell my friends everything under the sun and I’ll talk to strangers like I’m the mayor, and I’m realizing that trait is probably me attempting to organize my thoughts and using other people as some sort of weird human planner- if I say it out loud I’ll most likely remember it so here you go everyone I’ll talk at you forever, haha.

I hope it gets easier to sort out who I am versus what ADHD negatively contributed to my personality.

Thank you for your kind reply ❤️

Sounds to me like you talk so you can figure out what you need to do.... I usually plot my day when I am alone outside walking.... if I start talking no one to hear me....

Don’t feel bad - a lot of this is about the struggle that we all have with you this everyday or at least me. Email me at and we can talk more. We have a lot in common

Download the app called ‘productive’ -

It’s a life changer.

Anything you want to know or talk about I’m happy to oblige. I was diagnosed at 40 with autism and ADHD.

All the best


Hello, my dear. I am so very sorry for your loss. Regardless of ADHD, losing a child is one of the worst experiences a woman can endure. I lost my first baby at age 40, after suffering from uterine tumors for years. Upon undergoing multiple surgeries to remove the tumors and months of fertility treatments, I was given a window of time (not even considering the “ticking clock”), in which pregnancy might occur. Losing that baby nearly ended me and my marriage, but we pushed through it and my miraculous children have blessed each day of my life since their birth. Give yourself time to grieve and know you will always remember, but know, too, that there is hope. You didn’t lose your baby because of who you are, ADHD, or anything you did or didn’t do. It’s very common for women to blame themselves and second guess every action, but please give yourself a break. Don’t hyper focus on “why”. Be kind to yourself and focus on achieving the kind of inner peace and balance conducive to getting pregnant again (if that’s what you want), or continuing to grow as a human being, if not. Taking care of your ADHD will be part of that. Diagnosis gives you a hook to hang your problems on, but it’s just the beginning and doesn’t change behaviors or help you with compensatory strategies. It’s hard work, but so very worth it. Take good care.

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