Tired: I’m just so tired. Every year I... - CHADD's Adult ADH...

CHADD's Adult ADHD Support

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I’m just so tired. Every year I get older, the more tired and harder life gets. The less coping strategies work. I’ve gone through 20 therapists in the past 10 years. Cardiac side effects to meds, so no longer an option. My family is dissolving and I’m growing apart from my friends. My work is crushing my spirit, I’m burning out and my performance is decreasing steadily. I just cannot grab a toe hold on anything resembling hope, as I am fairly young and know that life only gets harder from here, I’m only going to get older and MORE tired. I don’t know what to do. I don’t feel like there’s anything I can do.

I’m not even sure why I’m posting this. Just something I’ve been thinking for a long, long time and needed somewhere to express it.

20 Replies

Please don’t feel that you can’t share this. Here, you can. You are tired. You’re posting this because you’re tired. You sound like you’re on the way to burnout. You need a break ASAP - and if possible, at a retreat or quiet place for some thinking time and space. Life doesn’t always get harder though it can feel like that. It can mean that we are ready for something different or that we need a change of sorts. At the moment you feel that the changes are happening to you and you have no control. You do. Just maybe not where you’d like. When you can, take a step back and look at what you think needs to change. Take it from there. x

Hello, First of all, I think Everyone is feeling the same way you are feeling after more than a year of being locked down and very limited due to the Wuhan virus. We are all feeling isolated, lonely and tired. You just described the way I feel when I do not manage my ADHD. Having ADHD requires some effort however the pros do out weigh the cons. Managing your ADHD can seem daunting, especially now. Managing by making and keeping a schedule which includes: nutrition, exercise, Appointments, Have to dos, want to dos, friends, medications, et al. It is not glamorous however necessary, keeping the promises that you make to yourself Is extremely important for yourself esteem. Life does not get harder If you manage your ADHD. Loving yourself enough to manage your ADHD is the rub. You will find that having ADHD is really a blessing once you find your superpower(s), we all have them. Finding what yours is, is the challenge. The more you manage the better you will feel. Start out slowly and Praise yourself for every completed task. It does wonders! Whenever I forget where something is, I let it go for awhile and then I remember and I thank and praise myself for remembering. You can do it, you just need a little encouragement by knowing how many other people are feeling the way you do and are managing to live fun, productive lives. If I can do it you can also. We may have to struggle but the rewards are great! Many hugs 🤗

Cheer up, As a mature person I moderately excercise daily & walk 2 miles, which I never had time to do when younger. The more you do the more you can every stage in life has its advantages if you think positively. Cheers, Iside X

Skdubs2021 in reply to Iside

Cheer up? How absolutely trite.

Iside, please don’t listen to this person. They started their account today, just to be rude to you and I on this post. It’s obvious who’s actually behind it. Also really disturbing that someone felt the need to open an extra account to make it look like they have supporters.

😂😂😂 wow you think a lot of yourself. I’m just a new user on this site. But I thought you were ignorant enough to remark on, yes.

Iside, pls be careful. Telling people to cheer up is tone deaf and insensitive at best and re-traumatuzing at its worst, so please, expand your view and realize that what works for you doesn't work for everyone, and glibness never helps.

I don’t think they meant any harm. I think a lot of us recommend what has worked for us in the past and are only trying to help. What works for one person may not work for another. Either way, we’re all talking to people with ADHD and likely rejection sensitivities, prone to anxiety and depression..... we should absolute focus on the original poster to try and offer our support in their moment of need. Unfortunately using words like tone deaf, insensitive and glib can be very hurtful to some people. As a person who used to have a lot of anxiety, I can tell you that this post would have eaten my brain for days. Possibly weeks. I would have lost sleep, a lot of sleep, likely cried on and off for a while and possibly then gotten depressed. All because I didn’t mean AT ALL to cause any offense and now everyone hates me and I’m tone deaf and insensitive and I can never get anything right. I don’t know why I try at all! Nobody gets it. Why is it so much harder for me!..... you see where this goes. Oh lord I know it all too well. I think we all do.

In that spirit, I think you were just trying to protect the original poster who is having a moment. Perhaps someone once said something like that to you and it was grossly unhelpful. It was noble But hopefully it doesn’t then cause damage else where. Which I don’t think was your intention.

thank you, but please don't tell me what to be sensitive to. nor was -intention- mentioned in my reply. telling traumatized people to cheer up is something that -should- be described as tone deaf, as is your response as well, so that it doesn't keep happening despite best intentions. please learn and grow, and allow others, such as myself, to speak up for ourselves and to help others learn too how their words might be causing harm - where harm was obviously not intended.

The hypocrisy in this response is astounding.

Please allow me to be the adult in this conversation and apologize as I have obviously offended you. Apparent by your now lashing out at me. Given some of the context of my original response, highlighting that situations such as these can have the capability to throw people into a depressive downward spiral, I can only assume at this point that you are trying to cause people harm. Because you are.

I’ve been on this site for months and was so unbelievably, pleasantly surprised at how supportive everyone is! No one ever gets aggressive or forceful or calls others names or points out people’s weaknesses like you see on so many other social media sites when there is a difference of opinion. I always assumed it was because all of us understand rejection sensitive and wouldn’t wish that on anyone. Apparently that assumption, was wrong.

Again, I truly apologize as I don’t want to cause you any negative thoughts or feelings either. I don’t think we need to lash out at each other. We’re all in tough situations.

OP (original poster) I truly hope this hasn’t hijacked any good feelings we’re all trying to send your way.

Adhd has an emotional regulation component. I suggest perhaps you are feeling lashed out at when that clearly has not happened, for that reason. Your perspective is yours only, and I too feel like the adult in the conversation here.

This was not emotional dysregulation. I was feeling sympathy for the poster that you called tone deaf and glib and was hoping that those words didn’t flare their rejection sensitivity that can cause many of us to spiral into depression. Then you called ME tone deaf as well after I just explained that calling people names can send them into a depressive spiral. I then labeled you as a hypocrite because you are going around calling people in a SUPPORT group tone deaf. Instead of my ADHD emotional dysregualtion having this conversation, I didn’t say all the things I really want to say to you (which are all nasty and uncalled for) and exercised as much emotional REGULATION as I could. I’m sorry it’s not up to your standard.

As I genuinely was not trying to hijack the OP’s post and their moment of need I will not be responding to any other posts from you and engaging in a conversations that I’m sure we can both agree is and has gone nowhere.

You are Amazing!

Wait! Who said life gets harder? Why do you think that? I remember when I was in high school, undiagnosed, unmedicated, suicidal, depressed, trapped in an impossible situation with no ability to escape, my grandmother yelled at me because of what I was putting my parents through. She was all too keen to tell me that these were the easy years! That it only gets harder and harder from here when “real” responsibility came. That was 100% NOT TRUE! My life go easier. A lot easier! Was it ideal? Of course not. Nobodies is. Not even neuro typical people think their life is ease. I still struggled being undiagnosed and unmedicated until I was 40 years old!!!! But 100%, life was easier than those days that my grandmother took any kind of possible hope that may have been left and buried it to die. It was an unbelievable awful experience and I wouldn’t wish it on anyone. I was off the rails for a few years after that. With her words repeating in my head. Thinking I was in my situation forever and there was only worse to come! But I couldn’t not possibly handle anything else! I was drowning. I loved with the idea for a long time. Hanging over my head with no will to live and even attempt to experience it. But it wasn’t true! It was no where near the truth! No even close! When I was old enough, I fled my situation. I left my home, my city, my friends, and I never looked back. It was the best thing I ever did in my life. Now, I’m not saying that’s your answer to this situation but you should start but adjusting the way you’re thinking about it. You’re in a rut! For sure! You’re sounding depressed and like you’ve lost hope. BUT THIS ISNT THE END! You’re not experiencing this because it’s some kind or natural progression. Things don’t get hard and hard every year that we age. It’s just not true! You’re not experiencing the slow progressive beginning of the end. It’s not a sling shot ride where you get thrown in the air and then come straight back down. It’s a rollercoaster. There’s up and downs and turns and drops and thrills and scary moments...... stop the inking or only gets harder. You’re brain is lying to you. You brain is feeling down and defeated and our ADHD brains LOVE to lead us down dark tunnels. It gives our brain a thrill! It feeds some dopamine to it! But nothing good ever comes from those thoughts for us. Just disappointment, depredation and depression.

Life doesn’t get harder. Don’t tell yourself that. Life is hard for you right now. You’re feeling the grind. But that’s not the new norm. That not your life from now on. Things will ease up. Take care of yourself.

I hope something here helps.

PS- a B-complex with a high B6 content is great! High dose omega 3. A vit c. Zinc (no more than 25mg per day) and I use nature’s vitality calmful sleep to sleep. It’s a game changer! The bottle says 2 tsp but I only needed 1/2 tsp at first. The ingredients are great and even help combat anxiety. Try to work on getting some sleep. Also, go to your dr and ask for a fatigue panel and testing for any autoimmune disorders. I’ve been tired my whole life and to my surprise, something recently came back positive! With a few changes in feeling a little better but we will still need to do some investigation. Point is, sometimes it’s not ALL ADHD. We’re still human, Have you tried any of the non stimulant medications? There’s also a new one out for.... I think it’s for narcolepsy and sleep apnea? It’s called Sunosi. It’s a non stimulant. If your dr is willing to try off label things maybe something like this could help? There’s also some meds for shift work disorder. Madonifil I think it’s called. It’s technically still a stimulant! But it’s definitely different from the ADHD stims and some people swear by it. Also off labor though. Maybe it time to try some combinations. A little wellbutrin with some Strattera or something. I don’t know. I’m not a dr. Just don’t give up hope. One thing is for sure, something always changes. That’s not necessarily a bad thing for us.

Wow telling someone going thru it that their life is not getting harder. Great job.

Hi There To All You Bicycle Riding Cats!

Ive never responded to a message on here before but this one really touched me and whilst it seems like maybe u just wanted to vent (which is of course totally fine) I just thought I might say a few things that came to mind....errr in bullet points otherwise I tend to go a bit ramble-ish!

1) I totally feel you on the inexorable march of time making things feel harder with each passing year. I am not in the same boat as you exactly as still able to take meds but even with a full complement of those battling for my benefit in my system I still feel that I am not exactly 'winning the longer term war" as it were. I'm 37 but that sensation of rising anxiety with each passing birthday that I am still not making the kind of progress I wish to make ideally is not particularly enjoyable.

2) Please do not forget however that what we both are experiencing is kind of a more extreme example of the natural process for most adults as they age, everyone slows down to one degree or another and sometimes this isn't always because they are actually experiencing some kind of cognitive decrepitude but rather because over time its kind of normal for peoples priorities and expectations to mellow and a lot of the things u thought were terribly important when ur in your twenties tend to be looked back upon with a wry sense of gentle humour because they seem so insignificant to u later one when u have other demands on you like, in your instance, a family to think of.

3) ADHD folks kind start off emotionally less mature and cognitively slightly more impaired than neurotypical folks from the outset so you may not be as far behind as you think given that they all heard the metaphorical starting gun to life go off a few years earlier than you so the fact you havent caught up to them doesnt mean u still havent be running your lungs off all this time. So maybe look at that reality for you with a little compassion and kindness, you know u have tried hard right, maybe not with the same results as when other people try hard but in many ways its the effort that counts, thats where the heroism of life is located for most people, not the end point or outcome, but the sysiphean boulder pushing that defines ur character.

4) I spent a lot of time trying to do things, like a 10 year stint in a hospital job that I basically loathed and that I just was never going to be able to maintain in the longer term because I genuinely thought this was what I needed to do to be an 'acceptable' person in the eyes of neurotypical society and my own family. Life got better when I started trying to focus on building a career that focused on the things I really did enjoy to the point that I would do them for next to no money if I was forced to. So for me this was becoming self employed as a dog walker which combined the sunshine, exercise and nature exposure into walks in one fell swoop so I wasn't trying to cram these in after an already exhausting day at work. It also meant I could set a schedule that worked better around the times I am less alert and functional so now I mainly work in the mornings and only do few walks in the afternoon when I naturally start to flag. In the afternoons I used the time to train as a yoga teacher so I can be self employed at that as well in a profession where I wont be forced to work interminable 10 hours shifts but can still make a significant difference to peoples lives. Im not beholden to some boss/ever changing company policies that I cant keep up with/adapt to very easily. But the main thing is, I learnt NOT to feel guilty that I was some how taking the easy route out or something by not doing jobs that others expect me to be able to do at my age. Comparing urselves to neurotypical folks can be so demoralising at times and doesnt make you any happier in the long run. So my suggestion in to try locate things u think you could do consistently and that u might enjoy truly and build ur life around these EVEN if it takes u much longer than others might take to achieve the same ends. Built it slow and surely, tiny baby steps all add up in the longer run.

5) again, I am with you on the friends and to some extent the family thing (although I dont know precisely if u mean ur parents and siblings or your own partner and children) but yes, over time friends to tend to fall out of touch but often not because you are a failure but again because this is the natural order of things often as their lives grow in complexity and theres less and less time for them spend on socialising when they are so devoted to the rat race of survival and families and settling down themselves. People tend to this odd thing of once they decide to really "knuckle down" and get on with creating their own life they then start to cast judgement on people they previously wanted to be friends with but who now arent coming on their 'growth journey' with them. The trick here is to stop worrying so much about what theyre doing with their tribe and start to find supportive people who are in ur own tribe. Theres plenty of online ADHD support groups out there where u will meet others who can relate to how u are and will be much more the kind of people u actually want to talk with because their brains work on the same operating system as urs. Its soo much less exhausting to talk to people who understand where ur coming from and that u know are not judging you for "not being as good as them" the entire time. You can also make alliances like accountability buddies and 'body doubles' (see the you tube channel 'How To ADHD' for more info on this) As I tend to find that ADHD folks REALLY want to do well at not letting other people down and are often very generous spirits but who do still need a lot of positive encouragement to keep them on track.

6) Therapists are sometimes very useful and Im not advising you to ditch yours if its going well as you perceive it but often its hard to tell if progress is being made at all, or so it seems to me, because they all generally rely on some core kind of idea that is about YOU figuring out who YOU think you are whilst they provide a supportive witness to that process (in theory at least, lol, their milage varies on that front)...however its hard to build a constructive internal narrative in your head about where ur life is and how that relates to the past and where ud like to be in the future, when often you cant even remember if you had wheatabix or wasabi paste for breakfast this very morning. I relaxed a lot when I stoped trying to produce a cohesive narrative in my head ordered along linear time because my sense of time is practically non existent anyhow lol, its seems better to start focusing moment by moment, day by day on what you can do to make these things more comfortable and less stressful for you so you have at least the spoons left over to try and put into place things might blossom in better things later on. Think of building a life that works around YOUR capabilities and YOUR actual wants rather than trying to make you life adhere to some internal blueprint/schema or what uve been told is supposed to be happening for you at your age according to society and ur friends/family.

6) YIKES! This has gone on wayyyyyy to long lol apologies. As a final though, there are a few good audio books on Audible that I have found super useful not so much for the "organisational/antiprocrastination tips" that MOST books on ADHD generally espouse but rather for helping you to come more to terms with the emotional overwhelm and grind of living everyday in a world that is not engineered to work with a brain that operates as urs does. They helped me to really stop the cycle of self blame and hate/anxiety by employing much more of the self care/self compassion strategies...which weirdly (despite my worries that they would make me more self indulgent and too relaxed to do anything) actually ended up giving me a bit more energy to focus on the things I really should be getting on with because I wasnt wasting so much time each day beating myself up internally...

So those were

1) Status Axiety: Alain De Botton

2) The mindful path of self compassion- Christopher Germer

3) Personality Isn't permanent: Benjamin Hardy

4) Laziness Does Not Exist : Devon Price

5) Acceptance and Commitment Therapy: Steven C.Hayes

6) Divergent Mind: Jenara Nerenberg

7) Focused Forward : James M.Ochoa LPC

8) Self Compassion : Kristin Neff

I appreciate this is a fairly long reading list but if I could pick my top 3 it would be books 7, 8, 5 annnnnnd....ok, well top four then...and 3! lol

Audiobooks are much more digestible to adhd brains than trying to cope with reading off the page and also, recently I found a odd "hack" Entirely by accident really...for some reason I can focus much better if I play them back at double the speed. Im not exactly sure why but I have a theory that the sound of someone speaking at you rapid fire like an cattle auctioneer on meth seems to set off some kind of fight/flight response that mean u pump a bit more addrenaline so you can focus to avoid missing any crucial detail. I think a lot of the time we find focusing on speech so tiring and difficult is because most people speak sooo damn slowly to say really very little at the end of it which a) gives us too much time to get distracted and wander off in our heads wondering about our own internal bibble and clusterbomb of questions. Also 90 percent of speak is mainly "filler" and we really just want them to skip to the end and give us the broad picture/highlights. So listening double time reduces this frustration whilst at the same time engendering more focus on the content. If u miss anything u think u should have paid attention to of course you can also just rewind a few 30 seconds and relisten or just slow it down then if you really wish to take it in more deeply. But basically what Im getting at here is each of those books take less than about 2 evenings each at double time so its not an insurmountable task.

Anyhow I will stop jibbering as promised now! I wish you all the best and hope u find some peace in your brain....really everything written above could have just been summed up in one sentence "treat yourself with the kindness you would give to a good friend who was in the same situation as you" most people would never be as unkind to others as they are to themselves when they screw things up...so please try to remember that YOUR A PEOPLE TOO! and as such deserving of your compassion as much as anyone else on this completely batshit crazy planet!

Robyn (Self elected spokesperson for 'The Sunscreen Society Of Great Britain!)

lol .... youtu.be/sTJ7AzBIJoI

Cats... by the way, I really like your screen name.

Damn, I hear ya. I sat in the very decline you are describing. Ultimately I destroyed everything of value in my life. Yes it did get harder for me as I got older. I’m 68 now. I don’t know about other people but it did get worse for me as I got older. A year ago I pulled the pin on my marriage, my reputation, my morals, my integrity, and my family. I quit trying to get better and made the firm decision to just let my worst fears take over and push me over every cliff I has spent my life avoiding. Damn, it worked. I fell all the way. I’m glad I did. What was true for me, perhaps not true for anyone else, when I hit the bottom was that the bottom is where I finally felt the ground under my feet. I was working so hard and long to stay strong and above the what looked like the river of shit I spent my life avoiding. When I finally abandoned trying to be what I was not, I found that what I was avoiding so assiduously, was actually who I really am and where I really always wanted to be.

You are right on course my (imaginary) friend. You are succeeding in your process of living with what you have been given. There is actually nothing wrong with you. You are a most unique and perplexingly amazing person. You are completely irreplaceable. Other people’s rules don’t work for you. You are not measuring up to the yard stick they and you are measuring you with... Get a different yardstick. One that tells you the truth. Yours are a magnificent being. Eternally valuable, perfectly human. Magnificent.

Alan0127 in reply to Alan0127

*You (not yours) are a magnificent being.

I feel you. I never thought I’d come this far to be in this much pain.


Hello, this is Karen, CHADD's moderator for this site. I am responding because several people have asked me to review and comment on the preceding posts.

Firstly, I need to remind all parties our community guidelines, found at


Above all, we ask that our members be respectful of one another, most especially when disagreeing with one another. The several of the above posts display a failing lack of respect, though I don't see that there was any original intention towards unkindness or desire to cause harm. Sadly, a few comments have now turned in that direction.

I am not removing or modifying comments at this time but I am providing a warning. Please consider your words in term of how supportive they will be. If they are not supportive, please do not post them. I will be deleting comments after this that continue bickering with each other.

Thank you for your understanding and for being members of this community.


CHADD's National Resource Center on ADHD

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