New ADHD diagnosis at 48: Hi there, I... - CHADD's Adult ADH...

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New ADHD diagnosis at 48


Hi there, I live in the UK and have suffered with treatment resistant depression and anxiety my whole life and a chance meeting a year or so a go led to someone telling me they thought I had ADHD and to get things checked out.

I spoke to my GP and last weekend, over a year down the line, I was diagnosed with ADHD. Now everything I have read fits my life experience far more than the generic anxiety/depression.

I have been prescribed lisdexamfetamine (Elvanse) to help me and started today on a 20mg dose. So far, in one day, I have felt high, elated, nauseated, exhausted, emotional and anxious! I know side effects with medicines are to be expected but has anyone had experience with this and how many days these have lasted.

Is it also common to start on 20mg and then increase the dose as/if needed?

Really hoping this can be a turning point in my life and hope everyone here is doing OK



15 Replies

I live in the United States. Here the medication is referred to as Vyvanse. I started off on a low dose and I am now at 50mg. I have taken it for 4 years and I have seen significant difference in my mental clarity. It takes 2 weeks to a month for your anatomy to get adjusted to it accordingly.

Of course, everyone has a different response to any medication. Individually, Vyvanse has been game changer for me, my inattention to detail and lack of structure caused to me to be fired from multiple jobs. Simply because I could not focus and perform adequately. Now I have gainful and sustained employment going on 5 years now.

I tried Adderall, and 2 other stimulants before moving to Vyvanse. I would strategically pay attention to your alarm system. Internally we all have one, and if something is going off that doesn't feel right, definitely contact your Dr for action of recourse.

SimmoMaz in reply to Viewer87

Thanks for your reply and experience, I am glad it has helped you, especially when we spend our lives thinking we will struggle every day. I look forward to seeing where this journey takes me now.


Hi I'm in Australia and started off on 30mg per day. The first few days it was exhilarating and I was ready to save the world. My overnight resting heart rate was higher for the first few night. Things calmed down after a few days and I now have a gentle buzz, my afternoon crash has gone, am more motivated and less self critical when on it. Hopefully you'll be ok soon.

Am not a doctor so do your own research but consider the following.

It depends on the individual and their dose but Amphetamines can be quite toxic and stressful to the body ( Some people also say that after a while the effect wears off. (Personally this scares me.)

To counter this I try and keep the dose to a minimum so still on 30 mg (I try to get my diet (little sugar & processed food), Sleep 7 hours per night & exercise optimised as much as I can when I can) all these things help. I don't have it on the weekends (so the body doesn't get used to it) and instead take ginseng and curcumin and l-tyrosine. I think the healthier you are the better the tablets will work.

I also drink Hydrogen Water and take COQ10 and resveratrol to help clear my body and reduce the Oxidative stress created by taking it. Vitamin C can negate it, so maybe some vitamin C at dinner will help you sleep if need be.

If you are in the UK have you heard about alpha stim it's simple not a pill and helps with depression and anxiety? I understand that the NHS are making it available, so it maybe worth looking at it and asking about.

Goodluck ad I hope you stabilise soon.

SimmoMaz in reply to Mad_Maxy

Thanks so much for this. I was also thinking about not taking the meds at weekends once they have settled in over these next few weeks.

I am a vegan, non-drinker and non-smoker and have a pretty good diet but sugar is my weakness and that is something I want to work on.

What you describe here 'Things calmed down after a few days and I now have a gentle buzz, my afternoon crash has gone, am more motivated and less self critical when on it.' is what I am hoping for at least....that in itself would make things a lot easier and more enjoyable!

My thanks again, glad this is working for you.

Stay well


Hi Simmo,

I have a similar story to you, and am also from the UK, although I was lucky enough to be diagnosed in my early twenties. At first I was hesitant to use the stimulant medication (in my case dexamphetamine) regularly because of the rollercoaster you describe, but this year I started taking the medication far more regularly due to work, and the rollercoaster has thankfully now disappeared and I now basically only notice the benefits of the medication in terms of my ability to focus, and none of the slightly overwhelming and mostly unwelcome other features of it you described. It took about a month to six weeks for the rollercoaster to platuea, so my advice would be to be as patient as you can with it.

A good piece of advice I read online but which my psychiatrist never told me is that you should not seek to change or increase your dose because the high you initially associate with the medication kicking in disappears. What you want is for the medication to help you concentrate, and ideally you will reach a point where it does that without making you feel jittery, over stimulated, or high or anything like that.

It's normal to be started at a lower dose which can then be increased if you feel necessary, although I'm not sure what the upper limit is for Vyanse (for dexamphetamine, it's 60mg/day in the UK, and I'm currently on 15mg/day having started at 10mg/day)

Personally I don't bother with l-tyrosine, as there is no evidence that supplements of it increase dopamine levels in the brain. I would advise exercise, good sleep hygiene, and controlling sugar and particularly caffeine intake.

Feel free to reply with any questions if...


Thanks so much for your reply and glad you were able to be diagnosed earlier - mine has been a complex journey of misdiagnosis after misdiagnosis so I'm just glad to be where I am now.

20mg is the minimum which I am on and on these meds they can put you up to 70mg a day if needed, I will have a review in 3 weeks to see how I am getting on but am a stickler for going by the book when it comes to meds so I will do as the specialist says and not play around with my dosage

I guess the frustrating thing is with this disorder you want instant reward and apart from the initial buzz on the first day all I have felt since then (4 days now) is a bit ill, very run down, a bit wobbly, extremely tired and generally foggy! I know I have to give it time and that is something I, and I expect nearly all of us on here, struggle with.

Thanks again and I'm really glad the meds are working for you. I know they take time and from what I've read they do work for the majority of us so I shall persevere in the knowledge that I am finally addressing the issue and not the symptoms as I have done for the last 30+ years.


58inahurry in reply to SimmoMaz

Hey there Maz, i was interested to read yr initial post as i am 59 and only diagnosed last year, i get what you say completely about better understanding your past now or maybe just realising that alot of perhaps terrible things that happened were due to the intensity of the adhd and not our fault. In relation to your future journey, i was blown away by the freedom i suddenly felt on diagnosis and the clarity that meds gave me. I hope, like me you have been able to bring changes to your life, i managed to tackle a soul destroying addiction and other things, however i have struggled for support here in the uk as its thin on the ground. As you know, ongoing support will make your journey forward an easier, warmer and safer more handleable thing. Yet here in Gloucestershire it hard to find. Anyway, i wish you all luck!

SimmoMaz in reply to 58inahurry

Hey 58inahurry, thanks so much for your message of support and am so glad you too have found answers and have moved in the right direction - it feels little hard at first because you realise how different things could have been. However, I wouldn't have it any other way as I have needed to learn to adapt, be resilient and far stronger than others realised. Hopefully all that will stand me in good stead for the next part of my journey.

Am on 20mg now and has been a week so need to give it time as not really noticing a difference right now but at least I am on that right road - like you I have lived through major addicitons and thankfully I was able to fight the worst ones off a few years ago.

Yes! I have noticed how thin on the ground the support networks are and how a lot of the information relates to specialists and not those with the disorder which is why I found my way here.

Thanks again and good luck finding the extra support to help keep you moving onwards and upwards


If you have felt ill for a full week of taking medication, I would talk to my doctor. There are so many different medications to try. I was also diagnosed late in life and initially had feelings of resentment of not being diagnosed earlier. I theorized that I would have had all the skills and tricks of adhd already learned and would not struggle as much as I do now. But it is what it is. Good luck!

Thank you! Funnily enough (i.e. not funny) I did actually call my GP this morning as I was quite distressed.

It transpires that the antidepressant meds I was given several weeks back were half my usual dose as the 100mg were not in stock. I have only been taking my half dose for nearly 3 weeks which could also explain a lot.

I am back on 100mg as of today and have been advised to give it a week or two and if still struggling then I am to drop the Elvanse for a while to see if symptoms persist.

Very glad you have the diagnosis you needed and can manage accordingly and I am aware I definitely need to temper my expectations!


I got really bad anxieties, neurosis, etc. some time back. I got out of it by being my own psychologist. I looked into everything thing that I thought and feared. Why am I thinking this way? What is really causing it? Then, I started to self talk myself about it. Sort of being Sherlock Holmes. I still have anxieties, but they really went down when I understood why I was having them. One example, was I started to get paranoid about anyone who looked at me. "Do they think I am a bad person, etc?" Then, I said "Well, maybe that person is just staring at me blankly like a deer. Or, maybe that person thinks I am an old classmate. It was at that point that I concluded "One cannot really tell what someone is thinking. It could be all kinds of possibilities other than what I convince myself it is". Another anxiety that women tend to have, but as a man I also have, is "Did I leave the oven on?". So, I would go back to my place and make sure the oven was off. Then, I started self talking. What am I really afraid about? It turns out that it is a signal that we send that we are anxious about leaving home, such as to go to work. So, I worked through my fear that way. I would make sure I looked around my place before I left and said "Goodbye. I will be back. I know this is stressful. I am just going to work".

I am really excited for you! This most likely has been your depression and anxiety all of your life. Sometimes it takes a very long time to get the right medication and dose, but you have hope now! It may take some time for everything to settle, but remember, this might be an answer to a question you’ve never even had! Good luck!

SimmoMaz in reply to quiteasmile

Thank you and yes! With so much focus on the anxiety and depression the root cause was always overlooked. The difference after 7 weeks is amazing.

Congratulations! Welcome to the tribe! Starting meds at a low dosage is common, and advisable.

Thank you - on week 7 now and up to 60mg a day and the difference in how I feel and behave is incredible.

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