Does anyone has not been hyperactive,... - CHADD's Adult ADH...

CHADD's Adult ADHD Support

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Does anyone has not been hyperactive, even in his/her childhood and has been diagnosed with ADHD as an adult?


I am wondering if my diagnosis is correct, I was a calm, shy kid. Now, I am an inattentive 54 years old woman, struggling with organization, prioritization and luck of motivation.

33 Replies

Yes me. Also have inattentive ADHD. Why do you think your diagnosis is wrong?

Addmore in reply to MiniMum97

Because I read that syntoms of PTSD are very similar to ADHD. I have heard here most of the comments are from people that were hyperactive when they were children. Was you a hyperactive kid or always u have been just inattentive?

pippapeach in reply to Addmore

Hi! I also have inattentive, and also PTSD (collecting the alphabet is fun, right?). It is possible to have both, and can be hard to figure out if it's an overlapping thing versus one or the other. I wasn't really hyperactive as a kid - was definitely more on the inattentive side. Some of it may come down to looking into reasons behind symptoms - for example, is symptom X a direct result of a trauma response or flashback, or is it coming from what feels like out of nowhere? PTSD and ADHD can affect really similar parts of the brain, too, so some of the behavioral treatments can overlap.

Sesy2 in reply to pippapeach

Hello Pippapeach, I am Addmore, I have a mess, I just realized that I have 2 accounts. my apologies.

we are PTSD ADHD, Thank you for your info and for sharing your experience. Feels good to realize that somewhere, somebody has similar situations in the brain like me, so I don't feel so confused now. Thank you! :)

MiniMum97 in reply to Addmore

No always just inattentive.

So there are 3 different types of ADHD, hyper kinetic, inattentive, and a mixture of the first two. Who diagnosed you? Google symptoms of ADHD and you'll probably associate with a good few of the criteria. Either way, if you're still unsure, get a second opinion. Good luck!

I got a diagnosis from a psychologist that has not speciality on ADHD. I will see a second opinion. Thank you Sortofoutdoor.

Yes, I was shy and anxious as a kid and inattentive. Diagnosed at 47. Reading "Driven To Distraction," by Ned Hallowell was very eye opening for me. When my kids were diagnosed with it, I suspected I had it too.

ADHD also generally presents differently in girls than it does boys. There are some boys who are inattentive as well. My son is a good example.

Sesy2 in reply to CheriS

Hi CheriS. I am Addmore, I have a mess, I just realized that I have 2 accounts. my apologies.

Oh wow! I definitely will read the book. Wow! I am learning more from you guys than from my doctors, psychologist...... I appreciate your sharing from the deepest of my heart . Oops! my mood dysregulation is present now.....LOL.... Thank u!!

I'm pretty sure I was not hyperactive as a kid. I was diagnosed with 39 with mostly inattentive. I have trouble sitting still now, unless I'm really interested in something or enjoying the company I'm around or engaged in work. I like creating projects and working on them, but struggle at finishing them. I tend to be in the constant motion also the time which I enjoy, but I wish I was more efficient which I think would come through way more organized and well thought out.

Sesy2 in reply to F_RN_Dx_at_39

Hello F_RN_Dx_at_39. I am Addmore, I have a mess, I just realize that I have 2 accounts. my apologies.

That happens to me too. I am into the creative work; when I'm enjoying what I am doing, I can be hyperfocal, but when the project needs more metal effort, or some researching done (reading) before start , I am not able to sitting still for more than 15 min. I go to the fridge, or to the bathroom, or starting breathing exercises, or......etc. Then, I come back, still not focusing, a battle against my brain starts, I push my brain to work, I get exhausted, lack of energy, go to lie down, come back again, I am there, like a zombie, starting on my computer screen, like a frozen mind, the day almost ends, I am lack of motivation, .........days past, clients want to cancel and want the advance (money) back, I am very stressed, I decide to stop all the pressure on me and I give up, money to return, many many days of wasting work. I know am not lazy, but people don't understand. I can be more efficient but so far, nothing has worked. I have been called: " a very responsible woman, very compromised with her job" but another occasions: "lazy and unprofessional". Well, at least I have pros and cons......LOL.

Organization is another huge factor, it take me long time and effort to organize my stuff, when I finally have a descent place to work, a couple of weeks pass and I have not idea how my place is again a mess. Prioritizing is something that affects me being organized as well, I under estimate putting things on their right place, everyday.

Thank you F_RN_Dx_at_39 for sharing your experiences. LOVE and KINDNESS to ourselves.

F_RN_Dx_at_39 in reply to Sesy2

If you're able, some exercise that gets your cardiovascular system going such as jogging or biking or something that gets your mind and body going, for instance rock climbing can be helpful at burning some energy and it's supposed to allow for some helpful focus time for approximately 2 hours after.

Sesy2 in reply to F_RN_Dx_at_39

jogging, biking......I will do it...thank you!

My neighbor has very tall trees, I will try to climb them.......I'm joking....LOL

Thank u for replaying! :)

Diagnosed at 25, and I really think that one of the reasons I wasn't diagnosed for so long was because I didn't fit the stereotypical mold of ADHD.

I wasn't hyperactive, and I did really well in school. BUT I always had a lack of motivation for most things that didn't interest me and never did well with homework. This just made me come off as lazy, which is just something I internalized with a bunch of other quirks because I and many others just simply never considered ADHD.

Of course, things became extremely difficult in university, where many of the structures that allowed me to succeed are now gone. And I had no idea why. It wasn't until a therapist listened to my specific problems with studying that came to the conclusion that it may be ADHD, and encouraged me to see a psychiatrist (and honestly, bless him).

I had many doubts too, and fears. I had never even considered it, didn't know anything about it, and there was always that nagging feeling of "what if I'm just like this?".

I got some medication prescribed, and it changed everything. Literally flipped my whole world upside down. I wear glasses as well, and it's a perfect analogy; taking that medication cleared up the fog in my brain and I could actually focus.

There are still a few issues, but that's where I am now. Something else that's helped me tremendously is hearing about the experience of other people with ADHD. It's validating to read or hear something and go "woah someone else does that too!". It helps you really understand that you DO have it.

If I could explain why I do think you have it: How fast are your thoughts? I didn't really notice it before, but now that I think about it my mind jumps all over the place even though I would describe myself as calm and slow.

In fact, I'm slow BECAUSE I think so much: I think over every possibility and that can paralyze me. This is also why I myself am shy as well.

I also never realized how impulsive I was until recently as well. Impulsivity is a hallmark of ADHD, so that was another sign.

Sorry for the wall of text. Hope it helps.

Sesy2 in reply to WonderMusic

Hello WonderMusic. I am Addmore, I have a mess, I just realize that I have 2 accounts. my apologies.

How fast are my thoughts? mmmm one counselor told me that, in my conversations, I jump from one thought to another; at that time, I did not think that that means "having fast thoughts", but now that you mansion you "think over every possibility", in fact, I do too. In my case, I though that it happens to me because I am a perfectionist (always looking for perfection but never it is achieved). However, now I think that looking for perfection (in my case) is a symptom of ADHD.

Also, your text makes me think that I am shy because I am afraid that people find out that I am a SLOW PERSON because my thoughts are....... faster than theirs?...... A FASTER THINKING MIND!!!!? Wow! That makes me feel like having a super power!......LOL....So, I have a better brain that the rest of the people which have not a good opinion of me? ......LOL......LOL. Now I feel so good, kind of empowered...... LOL....LOL.

A question for you: Is your medication a stimulant? if so, is anxiety a side effect in your case?

I was taking Wellbutrin (for depression) which, I believe, it is not an stimulant and helps a little with focusing but, in my case, anxiety was a bad side effect on me. I will see another psychiatrist next month, so hopefully I can start meds for ADHD.

Also, yes, I am impulsive too.

Thank you for your feedback; I read it two times, every word meat a lot to me. I really appreciate it.

Best for you!

I was a quiet, painfully shy kid. I was diagnosed in my 40s when I started to really struggle with similar issues after a career change. I also questioned my diagnosis and sought a second (and third) opinion from a specialist. Looking back, there were definitely some symptoms of ADHD when I was young. Some things I’ve only recognized after a lot of self-reflection. For example, I never thought of myself as impulsive, but after being diagnosed (three times, lol), I started to remember things I did as a kid that were in fact pretty impulsive. I also started to notice things I do as an adult that I wouldn’t have thought of as impulsive, but actually are, such as finishing other people’s sentences because I know what they’re going to say and just can’t wait for them to finish! Do you remember having any of your ADHD symptoms when you were younger, or did they only emerge more recently?

Sesy2 in reply to Birdwatcher19

Hello Birdwatcher19. I am Addmore, I have a mess, I just realized that I have 2 accounts. my apologies.

I always knew that something was not "normal" with me, but I could not explain what. I knew I was more sensitive than the kids around me. I was fearful, and socially inhibited, I hated eye contact, I would feel like naked if it'd happen. I hated myself because I wanted to have friends, but at the same time I wanted to be alone. I think those were PTSD symptoms where, of course, depression is included.

I recall that I struggled a lot with learning skills and distractibility; however, after having failed 4th grade, I was really scared to feel abandonment again that, for having good grades at school ( 5th grade), I forced myself to the limit, studying like crazy . From those days until starting college, grades where really good but, that did not make me feel rewarded enough because at the end of the day, I had the same learning disabilities and distractibility which made me feel like a retarded mind. I thought that if getting good notes at school, my brain will change. I was always waiting for "the reward " of my tremendous efforts, it seemed like never arrived.

Good grades lasted until starting university, I quit the first semester, it was so overwhelmed for my brain, any extra effort did not made any difference on my grades. The next year I applied for another university in another city; this time I was determined on not quitting not matter what may happen. My grades were not good, some failings, but I kept going. It was an ordeal, the worse days of my life, but I never gave up. In those years, I think ,my ADHD symptoms were more conscient to me, I was not a little kid anymore and capable to having more self introspection. Some day ,I read some about ADHD, but I thought that was for hyperactive kids. In those days there was not enough literature about adults with ADHD.

I know sometimes (or maybe many I am impulsive and very impatient, because very frequently, I am behind of time, I procrastinate, I am in a rush, with a lot of stress. So, I don't know if being in that conditions, it is considered an impulsive behavior as an ADHD symptom; or it is just a consequence of taking too long on doing the projects because of distractibility? If distractibility is a symptom, impulsivity is a consequence? If you are not short of time, could you be not impulsive? Or impulsivity is triggered only when you are in stressed conditions such as being behind on schedule?

I got the ADHD diagnosis just 6 or 7 years ago, the psychologist had not experience on ADHD, I did not get therapy. Now, I am again back on the searching, hoping to find the adequate therapy and psychiatrist for me.

I appreciate your feedback, such a good soul.

Sorry for the long replay.

I was diagnosed originally in 6th grade but parents wouldn’t tell me the diagnosis even as an adult. Rediagosed at 50. Disregulated Attention is what I think Dr.Hallowell thinks is a better term. (Or something close to it.) Im Inattentive type, and shyish. The executive functioning of my brain made learning a struggle and memory glitches. I feel like I have a trap in my brain. Once it spring shut I can’t remember something to save my life, at lest not in the moment. Hours days later maybe. Estrogen for woman can play a role as when it decreases we can struggle more.

I was bullied which didn’t help my brain processing and with codependency issues with a controlling parent. Never diagnosed with PTSD or CPTSD but do have lingering effects in relationships. Giant hugs to you.

Sesy2 in reply to Emerald-Eyes

Hello Emerald-Eyes. I am Addmore, I have a mess, I just realized that I have 2 accounts. my apologies. One as Sesy2 another as Addmore. Sorry.

"I feel like I have a trap in my brain" This sentence sounds perfect to describe how I feel. I had a controlling parent as well.

Since we have the advantage that COVID19 is not a cyber virus, I send you very tight and giant hugs to you too. :)

Luck doesn’t exist. Luck is self made.

You made your own self feel motivated. That doesn’t sound like luck. Sounds like willingness and passion.

Sounds rather familiar to me! My first Aha moment was observing a Pastor friend of ours once at his office. We were setting time up fir our adult night out!

Observing and hearing him state something was removed from his piled high desk he immediately looked in 2 stacks! The off he went searching the area for a file he’d had out on his desk.

When he returned I was open mouthed in amazement ad the experience has been like watching a male version of my daily self at work or home!

It was quite a few years later before the first diagnosis came. The medication actually helped a lot but I did not want to take it! My last doctor in CA could tell without doing all the evaluation tests the one in TX had done!

Hi Addmore,

I was a calm, shy kid, too. I asked my psychiatrist years ago what made my diagnosis the combined type of ADHD. My struggle with organization, prioritization, and lack of motivation was the inattentive type of ADHD. My impulsiveness in relationships, blurting out answers, and shopping was the hyperactivity type of ADHD.

Good luck to you!

Have fun about how you feel about having adhd.

By that I mean, I say this because of myself and how i relate to each of those things you mentioned having struggles with.

Organization. I stop and plan mentally what I need to do. I literally stop and shake off anything and everything I notice myself thinking about and I look directly at the thing I need to do. I start

With identifying the “task” or “thing”. Ask myself the question of what I want to do? Why I want to do it? How I’m going to do it? Repeat the answers several times and then just react.

Repetitive actions might be from being hyperactive or from my possible autistic mindset. Or whatever. My mental health is such a mess lol (I’m have bipolar manic depressive and also substance abuse issues, I’ve confused just about everything and everyone)

Prioritization, yeah no I feel you on that one. I’m at such a loss lol. Things just come to me and self prioritize based on present moment interest. And I haven’t found my entry way of re gaining or gaining control of that sense. I’m basically a dog in a human body 😝😝🤓 let me know if you find something that works for you cuz yeah no this one is hard for me too. Don’t feel alone at all :)

As I mentioned, luck isn’t real. Luck can actually be a contributing factor to the sense of motivation hehe. You may be motivated by luck, but motivation does not come from luck. But I’m just a huge brainiac who’s done a lot of soul searching and thinks he knows it all. Motivation comes from purpose. Finding your purpose. I thought I lost mine while using meth and destroyed just about everything in my life. I found it hard to understand what that meant and questioned if there really was such a thing. And there is.

Purpose for me, came from trying every single thing I hated. Lol I say that like that because I “hate” everything I haven’t tried. That’s just how I speak though hehe. I found myself realizing that I didn’t know myself as much as I thought I did. There is and was and will continue to be so much more to me than I can ever come to find out. Once I discovered or learned more things about myself, I was able to see everything I didn’t want to do. And pin pointed back to the things I was already doing and found my passion again.

We can get bored fast and easily. And that can result in a loss of motivation I believe

I’m not a professional. I’m no one to say or speak of all this as fact. I’m just a recovering addict and alcoholic sharing my realizations and coping mechanisms that help me. I take concerta 27mg for my adhd. Along with strong efforts in making sure I exercise (right now I’m keeping it simple and walk endlessly at random locations or around my apt complex), eat right (I read that omega 3 rich meals play a key role in our brains; I eat fish for it, there’s supplements for it too you can find at Walmart and stuff) and making sure I get my sleep 6-8 daily (mandatory and without a question, key for your brain to properly structure the things we experience on a daily basis)

Hope this helps. Don’t let the stigma or thought of having it be a bummer or bring you down. Most people actually admire your being but won’t say since stigmas and mental health is a sensitive topic to the general public. You’ll be ok and things will get and be better for you. Trust yourself and believe that they are. Because they are :) love you and stay safe and strong.

Message me if you need someone to talk to. I got lots of experience. Like everyone else in the world. You’re not alone :)

Sesy2 in reply to fakehackr

Hi Fakehackr, I am Addmore, I have a mess, I just realized that I have 2 accounts. my apologies. One as Sesy2 another as Addmore. Sorry.

OOOh my God! such a text you wrote!! such a soul you have, compassion. I got motivation. Thank you. You right, we are not alone. Fight stigma, not one human being is the same. I love diversity. I get bored very easy, but being among such brains, it inspire me a lot.

Tight Hugs





I have been where you are regarding this question.... I was “retested” 5 different times to check because.... it’s confusing...

Here’s what I’ve figured out in my 10ish years since “official” diagnosis...

I have noticed that ADHD is a big umbrella that “covers” a lot of different types of inattentive-attention -deficient-sub sections...

Like... a library/bookstore with different sections so... we “all” have ADHD... cool... now what the heck’s that means right?

Well I’m aaaaactually...

ADD (attention deficit non hyperactive)

MDD (major depression)

GA (general anxiety)

oppositional defiant (don’t tell me what to do... lol... )

But also I was diagnosed at 23. 2009.

I learned coping skills and ways to get around my deficits all through college until I went to law school.... it got harder to keep up and boom adhd diagnosis #1....

I’m also female—which old research says means I can’t have adhd because—I forget... guess originally the science was that only boys child age could “get” this.... yeah.... but also my meds don’t work worth a poo at times because of hormones and also bc I am female... so..

Don’t dismay though because.... a lot more research etc is coming out constantly so our library is growing so to speak.... so overall...

Don’t get discouraged.

I’m here to share whatever I can.

Lmk how it’s going :)

Hi Positivepassenger, I am Addmore, I have a mess, I just realized that I have 2 accounts. my apologies. One as Sesy2 another as Addmore. Sorry.

I enjoyed your text too much, you sounds very funny in spite of your struggling and diagnosis, which that sounds like Thank you for cheering me up and your good vibes.

Tight hugs, no worries, COVID is not a cyber

Yes, I am exactly as you have described yourself.

Sesy2 in reply to jasoniniowa

Thank you jasoniniowa!!!


P.D. I am Addmore, I have a mess, I just realized that I have 2 accounts. my apologies. One as Sesy2 another as Addmore. Sorry.

Hi Addmore.

I’m sorry you’re feeling confused about your diagnoses. I think it’s good to question your diagnoses! Most people here have probably been told by a professional or 2 that they didn’t have adhd. But we did! And we didn’t accept what they said because we knew better.

Now, I’m not saying you don’t have adhd. But since a professional thinks you might, it’s good you’re here. I think it’s important to read up on adhd, especially people first hand accounts, and see what sounds familiar. Or maybe nothing sounds familiar. But if you have it, you’ll find some people’s first hand accounts likely speak to you.

You of course do not need to respond to this but I wonder if you’ve looked into menopause. Preimenopause and menopause can cause serious brain fog in some women. Along with many other symptoms. Some women can also experience low iron during that time which can exasperate the fog even more. A women can experience mood swings and other physical and emotional issues.

However, women can also experience worse adhd symptoms during this tike as well. With the “brain fog” never lifting once in menopause. The lower estrogen can make a women’s adhd be at its worst. But this is a constant state once in menopause.

My mother had undiagnosed adhd during menopause and it was, in her words, the worse years of her life. She had serious deficits. I just breastfed my son for 2 years and was in “a state of menopause” because I didn’t have a period and it was debilitating. It lead to my diagnoses. I had to stop breastfeeding to start my medication. Which changed my life! My brain was so broken the last 2 years I thought I would need an MRI. The neurological deficits were that severe.

I hope this helps.

Also, my older sister is inattentive type and she definitely was not hyperactive as a child. Or an adult! It may help you to read real life stories if women with inattentive type if that’s the specific type your friend thinks you have.

Good luck to you. I hope you figure it out.

Hi IgnoranceWasNotBliss, I am Addmore, I have a mess, I just realized that I have 2 accounts. my apologies. One as Sesy2 another as Addmore. Sorry.

Thank you for sharing your experiences. I agree, first hand information is the most important.

Definitely, menopause has worsen my ADHD, specially because of the tiredness and sleeping problems. I am being treated with Progesterone on cream, it is extracted from a plan. I wanted to try plant stuff rather than animal's. I am still in the researching of that too because it has not helped me as I expected, my sleeping problems are still present.

You mentioned Estrogen, I was prescribed Progesterone only. I have to ask my Dr. why that only. Also, I knew that Iron is needed in menopause too, but my Dr. says that since I have not my period anymore, I don't need Iron. I am waiting for my lab results to verify that. Has Iron been prescribed to your Mom or to your older sister?

Thank you, Hugs!!

Yes my mother was prescribed Iron. When you check the level be sure to look at the ferritin. Even if it’s not LOW but on the low side of the “normal” you should supplement regardless since is with ADHD tend to be on the low side.

You dr probably didn’t mention estrogen because it’s not the safest to supplement with. Also, your estrogen won’t be coming back now. So you would have to take it forever. That’s not a good plan.

It’s my understanding that progesterone fluctuations are what can cause worsening adhd symptoms as well. Not a lack of. So if you’re already in menopause, your progesterone has likely stopped fluctuating...... and add the progesterone could be causing a fluctuation. But I’m no dr.

For sleeping I started Natures Vitality CALM the “calmful sleep” formulation and it is EXTREMELY EFFECTIVE!!! Just 1/2 tsp. It cured my mother in laws insomnia as well.

Maybe do some research on vitamins and supplements to help both the adhd and aging in general

Things like




B complex

Alph gpc

Vit d

Omega 3 (higher EPA)

Magnesium (especially magnesium taurate and magnesium glycinate before bed)

Hope this helps.

Hi IgnoranciaWasnoBliss,

I appreciate to take your time to help me, I deeply appreciate it. Big Hugs

Yes. I have Inattentive type. Was not a hyper kid. Also probably one of the reasons I was never diagnosed until 38.

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