Perpetually unemployed : I keep getting... - CHADD's Adult ADH...

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Perpetually unemployed


I keep getting fired over and over again accounting ...and I’m too scared and ashamed to start on something new...I’m 40. Feel like I’m only good at failing . I was diagnosed officially with Inattentive ADD in 2017. What do I do ?

20 Replies

Does the medication help? You may need to try different kind and doses until you find what works and sometimes what worked once no longer works. I've also found that some natural supplements that help with neuron transmitters can be very helpful as well. Eating or avoiding certain dietary things and Also 15 mins or more of higher heart rate exercising 3-6 days a week is A Very helpful additional tool For many people, if that's something you also Do. But you probably need To Also do some Cognitive Behavioral Therapy to help find what the major factors are and develop some plans and strategies.

cuteenigma81 in reply to TJK2S

Thank you for responding. I was on Adderall and Lexapro of varying dosages for 2.5yrs then stopped when I started IVF. Also still going in for CBT but need to do it more consistently. The exercise is probably the only good thing I manage to do I try to do 30-60 min of exercise. Perhaps Accounting isn't for me? In my last position I found that when someone was training/explaining my mind would "check out" like have left the room? Where it went I have no clue. But at the end when I'd have to do the task on my own....I'd be lost.

Did they give you a reason for being let go? How long have you been on lexapro? It was a happy accident when I forget to pick my Prozac up. Now I’m only on Vyvanse feeling on top of the world. I’ve been the same way. I’m 35 and in the course of about 8 years I’ve had 8 jobs

Yes my last position was performance related. I wasn’t keeping up. Couldn’t perform at the level they hired me. I’ve found my common problems though : General disorganization , bad note taking, and my technical accounting skills I’ve forgotten it seems or weak. I’ve taken lexapro on and off for 10yrs. I’m not on anything right now .

So sorry to hear about your job issues. It's tough, especially now with all the crazy in the world. Maybe you need a job where it's more hands on and you're moving around more. That's what I enjoy about my normal job. I'm a surgical assistant and I mostly float and help out all over the facility. Unfortunately, due to covid I've been reassigned and it's giving me a lot of anxiety and trouble. I'm supposed to screen people by sitting at a desk for 12 hours. That just... does not work for me. I've asked to be a runner so I can move around more. Maybe that's a good idea for you, finding a job that requires more movement and physical tasks that aren't computer related?

Thank you...that's really a different approach I hadn't thought about. I will think about that let me move more...and maybe let me be a big picture person...verses being detail oriented. I can be at a desk because I'm more Inattentive than Hyperactive but details seem to cause me trouble.

Hi. I am 56. Diagnosed 8 weeks ago. Adderal put space around my thoughts. I worked as an office manager with heavy emphasis on keeping track of "the books" for 12 years at one job. I spent another six years trying my best to "manage" a small owner operated company. I had honestly been faking my way through life & looking damn good doing it. (Sarcasm- I was imploding) I have spent the past 4 months reading & learning everything about this magic ADHD brain of mine. For me, there is no good way to do the jobs I have been doing. I tried the best I could. I ended up with legal issues at both places. Looking back at my life with ADHD lenses at least it makes sense to me now. My executive functions left the building with Elvis. I am happy & flowing when I create. I feel good when I help other humans & living things. Life for me is about being mindful of each moment of my day. I read that there is some kind of assessment skills test?? out there that will help you know what makes your heart sing & pays money. I wish I had that test back in high school. Good luck to you. Work doing something that makes you smile.

Thank you for sharing your story. I can relate to where you say you felt like you were faking it. I've always felt like there was more to me than the role others in my life wished me to play. Kudos to you for working so hard in the positions you've held. I have yet to hold a job for a year...What is it that you create? How do you help others?

I need to try more skills assessment tests ....maybe one of those will help. I'm trying to brainstorm on things I enjoy doing...but I am too scared to go out try these things...also my Inattentive ADD comes with comorbidities of Depression and Anxiety. The 3 of them suck the joy out of my I'm going in circles being perpetually unemployed/Fired and just coping/recovering. They have my executive functions hostage...

I too wish they had spent more time on career/interest assessments in high school. But also I wish I had gotten treatment for my mental health back then too.

I find that all my work experiences, too, sour at some point. I strongly believe it relates to ADHD. One has to balance customer service, the job duties, getting along with supervisors, and getting along with co-workers. Because of ADHD my moods can be different. Some days, I am really quiet and lethargic. Other days, too hyper. Because of all the problems I have had in life due to ADHD eventually it comes into work in one way or another.

cuteenigma81 in reply to Billy50

Were you diagnosed as an adult? I was diagnosed in my late 30's. I too never learned or had my I-ADD moods regulated. Of course meds and CBT do work but they aren't a magic bullet...they take time. Though, it just dawned on me...either way I'm spending time not at the level I want to be...might as well spend time trying to get relief instead of in despair.

Billy50 in reply to cuteenigma81

I was diagnosed as a small child. I always have had it, and every year frustrated that I was still behind the curve. It is a very non-ADHD World, and it is a challenge every day.

I don't know your location, but where I live, the state has a program for people who are disabled to get back to work or find steady work. The employers, by virtue of being part of the program, are willing to accommodate people with disabilities. They even pay for training/school in some cases. It goes above and beyond what regular unemployment career counseling is provided. You need to get approved for the program, which is based on your medical history/documentation. Hopefully where you live there's something similar. I guess it really depends on the state.

cuteenigma81 in reply to jonghee

I'm in Illinois. I have a call scheduled with unemployment I shall ask them this now for sure!

jonghee in reply to cuteenigma81

Awesome!! Glad to hear. I'm in NJ, and they give you a dedicated counselor/social worker. Although the covid might affect it currently, you can take solace in the fact that there's help out there for us 🙂

So, I’m an Architect, mid-40s, and I’ve lost countless jobs - all on account of the negative side of my ADHD mind. Each job has absolutely LOVED my passion, creativity, leadership, and people skills... but my utter inability to stay focused on the menial tasks, my seemingly inattentiveness to the feelings of others, and my complete lack of respect of time and budget has always gotten me the “can you come join me in the boss’s office” speech.

So my question is this:

If ADHD is a diagnosable mental illness, a one that we’re all born with and have no real control over, then WHY is it not protected like other disabilities?! Why can I lose my job over this disability, but not over a more obvious physical disability? I’m not saying that others shouldn’t be protected, but rather that the stigma surrounding mental illnesses needs to be dismantled.

ADHD can be both a curse AND a blessing.

It’s so infuriating that my employers have all used me for my talents and then discarded me when they felt that I wasn’t fitting in their neurotypical stereotypes.

JacksonB in reply to dogsix

I am an Architect too! and, except for 3 times in my career where I changed jobs I was always let go. My very first employer said this about me: I am like a racehorse, it is very difficult to get me into the gate - but I ALWAYS win the race! And yes, everyone loves my passion, energy, positivity, creativity, and great people skills UNTIL they realize that I do not fit into their neurotypical linear thinking. When I come up with recommendations or find the answers before they get there they see it as a threat!

Before menopause I could scramble and finish everything, and was always accountable to my team and the clients, but always felt like I was running a race no one else was. Then at 51 with perimenopause the brain fog crept in, so what does my GP do but put me on anti-anxiety and anti-depressant meds, which INCREASED the fog. After that I could not hold a job for more than 18 months. The last one I was actually bullied and shamed. I needed to regain some semblance of self confidence again so actually retired in March 2018. But I feel directionless. I miss my profession immensely - I have been interested since i was 12 - but realize I don't fit into the firm hierarchy anymore, especially when I have led departments or firms in the past. Still trying to figure out what else I am good at, without a career in that field...

jonghee in reply to dogsix

As with all mental illnesses, workplace rights are way behind in terms of practice, but in terms of on paper, it is a protected disability. This means that an employer must make reasonable accomodations for you and cannot fire you based on ADHD alone. The problem is that ADHD accomodations are not physical, as opposed to someone who has cancer. We get no sympathy. I totally feel you when you mention being used for your talents then discarded. My advice is that during that "come into my office" conversation you mention that you suffer from ADHD (you need to be under a doctors care for it to be considered a disability). From there, they will at least be more careful, as all managers have to be cognizant of potential lawsuits. If you have told your employer about your ADHD and they still singled you out or unfairly terminated you, find an employment lawyer. Could be grounds for a lawsuit. I don't know all the details, so take what I say with a grain of salt if I missed any important points. But the compassion you would hope to expect for mental illness not being there is something we all have to deal with. Tell me a culture where it's NOT stigmatized. Hopefully things can change. Hell, celebs and mental illness is out in the open way more than it would have before. Celebs disclosing that they take medication for depression)anxiety is a small step. Take care, stay safe and stand up for your rights!! It's the law damnit ⚖️

cuteenigma81 in reply to jonghee

Thank you so much for the advice. Today I will be trying to contact Social Security office to see if they have any help.

ok so meds and therapy with a twist of exercise, and a ton of acceptance - YOU HAVE ADHD...OK stay with this group, get your doc and therapist on the team and experiment on what helps you stay on track. First maybe look at why you get fired - what's the Thing? Ask former employer for a no holds barred explanation and tell em its to help you direct your "fix".... most important - be humble - don deny - and accept that theres some stuff to "fix"....FOR YOU....

I look at myself and say ok - yer a mess! so what'll it be TODAY Mac?- whats the success / win for today and fit it into the schedule - damn it feels good....oh ya and stay on top of the docs, therapists, partners and chatters - no body will care (nor should they) more about you than you!!!

Hey, I can relate to your are not alone!

First, I suggest taking this time to seek proper, educated help. Coach, doctor, therapist, etc.

Second, you need to find a medication or several to get you balanced. I take Clonidine for Rejection Sensitive Dysphoria, Despiramine for Anxiety and Vyvanse for all my other ADHD symptoms.

Third, I like the other members suggestions for you to find a job that requires you to be less detailed and more active. It doesn't have to be a permanent career move. Maybe think of it as a temporary place holder for now. Once you get on a successful medication routine, then maybe you can go back to accounting. Just a thought..

Balance your mind, balance your life. :)

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