I can't find help: I am a 38 y/o female... - CHADD's Adult ADH...

CHADD's Adult ADHD Support

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I can't find help

Itsajojo profile image

I am a 38 y/o female who has been struggling with ADHD symptoms for many years. It's affecting my professional life and my home life. I've recently started seeing a psychotherapist for the first time in my life but she doesn’t seem to understand the struggles of my ADHD brain. I need help & guidance but I don't know where to find it.

17 Replies

I have been getting a lot of good tips from a YouTube channel called, “How to ADHD” and have learned a lot of information from lectures by Russell A Barkley PHD (also on YouTube) I related so much with what he was saying that I just picked up his book today. It’s called, Taking Charge of Adult ADHD. I hope this helps. I found this support group through his book and it has a lot of other resources listed in there as well.

Definitely checking these out! Thank you for your response and guidance.

Finding good help as an adult with ADHD is definitely harder than it should be. Too many medical and behavioral health providers are not sufficiently informed. Therapists are also most often focused on healing - which can definitely be helpful - but less focused on developing the strategies we need to succeed. I'd suggest searching the CHADD, ADDA (add.org) or ADD Coaches Organization (adhdcoaches.org) directories for professionals who might be able to help you better. If you haven't yet been diagnosed, that's a good place to start... depending on where you live doing a search for "adult adhd" may yield a doctor or clinic that may be able to help you with that.

There R coping tools for ADHD such as

Cognitive behavior therapy; deep

breathing exercises; visualization layin down, pillows propped up eyes closed quiet environment possibly peaceful music and

Imaging pleasant and peaceful visions.

I’m in your corner hugs 🤗 Shnookie

If you get diagnosed then they can help more. Ask your go to refer you to adult adhd, I did this after I was dx asd and had done some research and realised I must also be add/adhd. It’s very validating even if it does take a long time, also my health in general isn’t great so it’s taking a long time to try the meds while I resolve other issues like blood pressure. My therapist is not helpful, she doesn’t really understand the problem.

Hi, everything the other members already said and i highly recommend meds. Meds make everything easier so that you can actually use the tools you might learn in therapy. Good luck!

After a few years of trying to find someone through my insurance plan, I looked at the referral list on CHADD website and tried a psychologist who was out of network. Unfortunately, I pay more out of pocket but feel like it’s worth it for someone who truly understands adult ADHD.

I was diagnosed after my son. I saw a psychiatrist that specializes in ADHD.

Most medical professionals are not trained in that area. If ADHD runs in your family, that is good to mention. Next I am looking to see a psychologist that specialize. They can diagnose and should be more thorough and able to find other issues that might be going on. Psychologists are able to give you coping skills as well as talk therapy

CHADD is an excellent source of information. See if they have a group in your area. If not, you may have to resort to online professional help. Many medical professionals are providing virtual therapy since the pandemic. I find it works as well as in-person sessions and is a lot less stressful. Some groups are also meeting online using video programs. Groups have been an excellent source of coping tricks.

We are here for you as well.

I was diagnosed at 45, now I'm 50. Been ADD/ADHD all my life. Bipolar 1 to boot. Good luck, it's not easy. You can do it. If I can, you can!

ADHD has affected my professional life and my home life too. You are not alone. First, I didn’t realize I had adult ADHD until about six years ago. It wasn’t until about one year ago that I realized I need a psychotherapist especially trained in dealing with ADHD patients. That is where I turned my attention one year ago, that is, looking for a therapist specializing in adult ADHD.

Dear Itsajojo:

Thank you for contacting the National Resource Center on ADHD. I am sorry that your current psychotherapist does not understand the struggles that you are experiencing with your ADHD. Finding an ADHD specialist is important to help manage your symptoms. You can check our Professional Directory: chadd.org/professional-dire... to find a specialist near you.

Other resources that can help you find an ADHD specialist are Psychology Today: psychologytoday.com/us/ther... and the National Alliance on Mental Illness: nami.org/Home .

If you have further questions, please let us know!


Health Information Specialist

CHADD's National Resource Center on ADHD

Hi Itsajojo. Have you ever considered working with an ADHD Coach rather than a psychotherapist? There are many fine ADHD Coaches listed in the ADDCA.com professional directory - they are specially trained in Life Coaching using an ADHD lense. Most of them have ADHD themselves, which makes them all the more attuned to where ADHD is showing up. Other suggestions already listed - ACO (adhdcoaches.org) and ADDA (add.org.)

I am an ADHD Coach as well, so if you're interested in finding out more about ADHD Coaching I can give you a free Intro Session to explore how it might benefit you. Let me know (privately on chat) if that interests you and we'll put something on the calendar.

Welcome to your Peeps! It gets better :-)

Hi Itsajojo,

For other good books, YouTube videos, and even a podcast, look up Dr. Edward Hallowell (also known as Ned Hallowell). He's written several books on the subject (some in partnership with Dr. John Ratey), including "Driven to Distraction", "Driven to Distraction at Work", and "Delivered from Distraction".

Dr. Hallowell is a practicing psychiatrist, and understands ADHD well because he has it.


His podcast is called "Distraction with Dr. Ned Hallowell".

Other helpful podcasts I've listened to include:

ADHD reWired

Hacking your ADHD

ADHD Essentials

There are so many resources out there, including books, YouTube channels, and other podcasts, that you should be able to find some that help you. (Just keep in mind that there are some ADHD nay-sayers out there, and the content they publish will come up in the same searches.)

I hope that either your psychotherapist is able to come around to understand your struggles to help meet your needs, or you are able to find another psychotherapist/coach/counselor/etc. who does. I'm fortunate that the first licensed counselor I went to has been helpful (she's got family members with ADHD, and she works with a lot of ADHD clients as well), but my doctor still seems like he may be skeptical of my diagnosis.

For moral support and good information sharing, you've found a good community here. Another one I frequent is forums.howtoadhd.com/ and there are more out there, too.

Hey Itsajojo:

I totally understand where you are coming from with your post. I hope you are doing well, I know you posted a few days ago. You aren't alone- welcome to the group!

I have been on my own mental health journey since 2009. It does get easier.

Always remember you know you better than anyone else, you know your brain and your feelings and try if you can to keep from getting discouraged... Its easier said than done I know! Always advocate for your mental health! I can offer a few resources if you'd like-- nami.org is great


groups like this one- I am a bit hit/miss on online chats generally but.. I will say... Keep at your journey-- Its totally worth is because YOU DESERVE TO LIVE YOUR BEST LIFE ALWAYS and I (as well as others here) are here however you may need.

Keep us posted!


Aloha, I understand completely. I just found one after12 years of looking. Where I live the supply of psychiatrists, counselors, therapists is almost non-existent . The ones that are here aren't taking any new patients, especially if you have ADD/ADHD. There are those that only use FaceTime or something like that. It wouldn't work for me, especially in the beginning. You can go to Psychology today, they have lists of those who specialize in this field. my best advise is to keep on looking. They are out there. If they do not understand ADHD, I have found them to be useless, and I have gone to many. To help me I read a lot of books, watched videos, YouTube, gone to sites by experts in this field like Dr Amen ( you'll find a lot of answers on his site, I did and still do. It's not easy, but it is very possible, just do not give up!

You have a lot of good ideas in these replies. Check them all out, in your own time.

Blessed Be, Dianna

Your situation is not uncommon. Important that you try to learn as much as you can so you know how to find good resources. I would always ask about the background of the medical professional. What did they do their PHD on? If it wasn't ADHD or related to executive function then try someone else.

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