Finding Care: Hello, I am a 31 y/o... - CHADD's Adult ADH...

CHADD's Adult ADHD Support

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Finding Care



I am a 31 y/o female who has recognized that I have ADHD for quite sometime. I’ve known that this is my challenge since about 15 but have always been criticized as just lazy, depressed, selfish, low motivation and ‘ditzy’. So much so that I even went through a period of considering it’s not ADHD at all and just something fundamentally wrong with me. It is indeed ADHD and I fear seeking treatment because I will not be able to handle another person not listening to what I’m telling them and assuming I’m just self diagnosing ADHD like a lot of people do just to try and get med and not helping me with it. I’ve tried getting telehealth support for this and luckily I was heard and tried two different meds that were HORRIBLe and Off label for ADHD. Again, I feel like this half-hearted attempt on both my end and their end. I don’t know where to go and my rejection sensitivity dysphoria is pretty extra right now. I’m at a point where not seeking professional help/meds seems like a better option and I guess I’ll just keep having to suffer through this. Has anyone felt this way and how did you get REAL help?

11 Replies

Hi. I understand and I've been there. The feeling of not being heard, trying over and over, the RSD. I was finally diagnosed at 47, and that was by chance or blind luck. I went to see this Dr because I thought something else. This Dr figured it out in just a couple of minutes (I need to remind myself that I have had some luck in life, where I have had good things happen. But do wish I'd found out 20+ years earlier, when I started to try to figure out what's going on with me). *I feel that a lot of the problems with ADHD and mental health, is that the Professionals don't ask the right questions*. For example, if my mind races at 100 mph, how do I know, that it's not normal? I've been this way my whole life, it's all I've ever known. So to me that was 'normal'. For me, Adderall was a tremendous help. But it seems like my ADHD changes or morphs in response to stress and... I haven't figured it out yet. I'm sorry I can't give you direct advice or answers. Here are some things have helped or worked for me.1) Do Not Give Up! People call it persistence (I call it spite). Unfortunately there will more frustration and the other stuff that will knock you down. Retreat when you have to, Recover and heal your spirit-and try again And again. If you Google 'ADHD specialists' in Chicago, you'll get quite a list, but I believe very few have the answers.

2) The best literature I've read is "Delivered from Distraction" by Drs Halloway and Ratey (There's also their 1st book "Driven to Distraction", but I didn't get as much out of it).

3) As I said earlier, Adderall works for me. Ritalin had no affect on me.

4) Outside of Rx and Therapy, spend more time with people, and this is hard to define, 'People who are your kind of People'. People who get you, accept you for you, don't make you feel bad or worse about yourself. They may get a chuckle out of your quirks, but it's good- natured. I'm lucky to have 4 people in this world like that. Unfortunately, 2 live far a way, and of course, they all have their own life to live (I'd like to spent more time with them, but I also worry I'll be too pesky). Somewhere later in life, or maybe now, you're going to be to others who struggle 'their kind of People' (I hope that makes sense).

I wish you luck, but more importantly, I hope you find relief. Relief, calmness, peace of mind.

Don't forget #1.

Thank you for your reply. Yeah, the 2 medications they prescribed me were 1. For depression and off label ADHD. This literally made my mind hit a brick wall and I tried to make it work for 6 months thinking I needed to give it a chance and it was just horrid. Then they gave me BLOOD PRESSURE meds! Off label for ADHD, ridiculous. Just tired. It’s like...... I know what I want to try, but god forbid you directly ask for a controlled substance. I feel like I have to just cry to everyone until someone suggests it. So I didn’t know that they can’t perscribed “controlled substances” via telehealth... and I have no idea where to start with going somewhere in person. I’m also so fearful I’m just going to walk away with tools I’m already trying to practice and some more crap meds lol.

There is an ADHD center around me but what the heck do I do, just call them up? So the therapist that I have been seeing is in total agreeance with me ‘self diagnosis’ and I was at least able to get some crap meds prescribed for it. But like, is that enough to go to an ADHD center and not have them fight me tooth and nail over this? I’m just exhausted... and I know a lot of this is also my rejection sensitivity.

I am thinking that getting more involved in the community would be far more helpful and less expensive than therapy - tik tok also has been wonderful for information.

The thing that really stinks is I felt like the 1st physiatrist wanted to just be like ‘depression’ and ignored everything else I was complaining about. YES I AM SAD because I can’t get help and am struggling to help myself with my attention issues that I’ve had since birth that no one wants to help me with!!! Ugh. Lol thank you very much for all the advice.

If Drs (and I have no doubt you are right) - ".....assuming I’m just self diagnosing ADHD like a lot of people do just to try and get med". Why don't Drs keep some Rx on hand, and when you come in, give their patients one to try and see how they respond? Literally "Take this medication, go back out to the waiting area, and I'll call you back in to my office in 20 or 30 minutes and we'll see what response you've had". How much time and money is spent/wasted on an Rx that we're prescribed, only to find out it doesn't work. How much would the insurance companies save? Talk about inefficient. But the drug manufacturers love it.

The meds they gave me ‘take a while to build up in your system to see if it works’. Like..... I almost set my apt on fire because I forgot the stove on. I’m late everyday and everyday with intention of getting there early. I go back into my house at least once everytime I leave. I have no idea where anything is at. People think I don’t care about what they have to say when I get distracted mid sentence. I am suppose to be overseeing our entire company operations soon and I’m in complete fear that, this is it... I’m not going to be able to mask as well and they’re going to find out that I’m actually a complete mess who isn’t capable of completing anything and my life will be over and I’ll lose everything I’ve worked so hard for. Not to mention the constant screaming at yourself mentally that idc how painful it is to sit here and finish this task, you’re going to do it. To the point where when you get home you’re so drained you just can’t do anything.

Like someone please stop questioning me and just give me freggin adderall or something.

LOL. Very relatable. But haven't gone through all the processes you have described. I am 28 male and doing OKAY in my career. Not because I claim I deserve everything because of my talent. Sometimes I feel I tried too hard to get to here for what people would have done for little. I am very scared I might lose everything one day when I realize it's not worth the effort and give up everything. It's just too hard to comprehend certain things, always in a dilemma state, confused between multiple options and flickering mind are all my hurdles.

Anyways, I had to put in a lot of efforts and focus too much to understand something, my feeling is that I paid dearly to obtain my career in exchange for other things like other necessary skills, or maybe I am overthinking, but the fact is, I have lost a normal emotional touch with people. I am not enjoying people's company, yet I want to. Not feeling close to anyone although I want to. I might also be labeled by others as a selfish person for who I am in the pursuit of a career.

WowOK in reply to JimWalter

Hey Jim thank you for your reply ^^ my above reply to findingtheanswers is for you as well. I also feel like I have a really hard time connecting with people. I’m single and have like 3 close friends and I kind of have a hard time getting close to people for multiple reasons. ADHD issues and also trauma/rsd.

Feel you! it’s a challenge daily but you made it this far in life so far right? Your not lazy I get that and selfish is just a mislabel if your in you thoughts 24 hr a day who wouldn’t be. Medication can cover up some of the attributes that ADHD give but they also give some nasty side effects as well. As I age and manage everyday life the best I can, I learned if you don’t like or accept it don’t let the door hit you on the way out. With all that I said there are supplements that are a must Vitamin D sunlight, complex carbs and protein, I started taking SamE and helps tremendously. Exercise is key be it a walk or a run effects all the neurotransmitters that will keep ADHD symptoms at bay and help feel motivated again. Hope this helps😊

Hi WowOk,

As someone who does have depression and put off treatment for it for far too long... (and mild inattentive ADHD)

I would like to emphasize the importance of finding a doctor who is right for you - makes you feel heard, understands, offers good advice, doesn't rush to prescribe meds right away without going through all of the available options with you and discussing with you what options you would like to try, etc.

Don't get me wrong. I am wholly dependent on my depression medication (escitalopram and wellbutrin). I was recently diagnosed with mild inattentive ADHD and I can't WAIT to try medication (still waiting for my 2months + later appointment to get meds).

But I do know the difference between a crap doctor who just prescribes medications without follow up, without hearing you out and listening like they care, without suggesting a number of additional non-medication therapies, and a good one.

It sounds like you need a formal diagnosis. As a woman with only mild, inattentive ADHD, getting a diagnosis was a struggle, because I knew the impairments to my life were not severe and the possibility of having ADHD had gone unnoticed by me and everyone else until my late 20's. Conversely, it sounds like you have recognized ADHD symptoms and impairments in your life for quite a while. Getting a formal diagnosis as the first step should not be as difficult, though that doesn't guarantee it will be easy. The formal diagnosis as the first step will make subsequent treatment with medication (and other treatments) that much easier.

Diagnosis - do you have a general practitioner/family doctor? If so, is that doctor comfortable diagnosing adult ADHD? Make an appointment with your GP (if you have one) about ADHD and have the discussion. If you don't have a GP, and/or your GP is not comfortable diagnosing ADHD, then make an appointment with a Psychiatrist. It sounds like you have seen a psychiatrist already. Don't give up after one appointment. Follow up with that psychiatrist and describe what interventions you have tried (particularly the ones the psychiatrist recommended or prescribed) and describe how they have not worked for you. If your psychiatrist doesn't know that they haven't worked, they won't know to explore other options (e.g. ADHD instead of depression, trying different medications). I understand that ADHD is often missed in individuals who may be diagnosed with depression or anxiety first when really their biggest struggle is the ADHD which needs to be treated first. (In my case, my depression really did need to be treated first as it was the bigger struggle).

Focus on describing your symptoms and the impairments to your life rather than jumping straight to identifying a self-diagnosis of ADHD and asking for meds. When the psychiatrist asks you about ADHD, you can then identify that you identify with a lot of ADHD symptoms.

If the psychiatrist still doesn't think you have ADHD, then you will likely need a psycho-educational assessment or a targeted adult ADHD psychological assessment by a psychologist who does those assessments. My psychologist that I saw for 2 years for therapy for my depression did not do those assessments - she thought I had ADHD, but wasn't able to do those assessments. I had to see a different psychologist for my diagnosis (after the Psychiatrist told me it was "too difficult to tell" if I had ADHD). A psychologist uses different methods of arriving at a diagnosis, which uses many rating scales and tests done by you and those who know you well and knew you well as a child.

If the psychologist in your area can't prescribe meds (in my region in Canada psychologists can't prescribe medications) then you will need to revisit either your GP or your psychiatrist about the meds and provide them with the psychologist's report containing the diagnosis.

Hang in there. In my experience as well, people in my life were shocked to hear that I thought I might have ADHD and was getting assessed for it because they didn't see any evidence of it. After my diagnosis, the shock continues. That doesn't mean it's not there - they're not the ones capable of diagnosing it, so really their opinion has nothing to do with whether you have ADHD or not. Focus on a diagnosis from a qualified professional who is able to properly assess you, and then next step is medication.

It's not easy and can be frustrating. But if you can focus on the next step in the process, that can channel your energy and provide some sense of calm knowing the next step; instead of building up in your brain and bouncing around in there and resulting in feeling like your head wants to explode 🤯 ... which it sounds like might be the stage you're at right now? That's how I feel when I have no idea what to do next!

Have your parent or sibling go with you and describe your behavior to your provider. It was a hilarious eye opening experience when my wife was asked questions about my behavior. I looked at her and said that's why I forgot to give the dog a bath and fold the laundry!

Hi WowOK

BatWoman has a lot of good things in her reply, as do the rest. Main thing is to start doing. Your GP is a good place to start, I got lucky and hit a good psychiatrist and was formally diagnosed. Problem I had was I wound up being allergic to some medicine and getting severe side effects and couldn’t take others... so I am unmedicated. Being diagnosed I personally feel is important because there are other things that can contribute towards ADHD... like sleep apnea for one...

Good Luck

Hey guys thank you for all the comments. I’ve been looking at places and I think I am going to go with this, if anyone have time to check it out opinions are welcome thanks!

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