ADHD Diagnosis: Hello, I posted on here... - CHADD's Adult ADH...

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ADHD Diagnosis

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Hello, I posted on here the other day that I have recently learned of my ADHD diagnosis. I think I found out about it because all the changes in my life exposed it to me. I moved in with my girlfriend, started a stressful job, have been locked down because of Covid when I have been an athlete the majority of my life, and had bills to pay. The forgetfulness, memory issues, inability to sit still, inability to listen, added on with feelings of anxiety and depression became too much. I felt like I finally got a great job and moved in with my significant other and finally was starting to get the things I always wanted, but still didn’t feel comfortable in my own skin.

I finally was able to connect with a psychiatrist who gave me the ADHD diagnosis. It almost seemed obvious to him that I had it based on the symptoms I was experiencing and previously experienced. He started me on 5mg on Ritalin. I am assuming it is a starter dose and I am noticing some effects already. To further compound issues I found when I was a child that I was prescribed Zoloft and adderall for a month and taken off. I also had a ton of progress reports and psych evaluation all pointing to adhd. I was thinking how could my parents miss all the signs?

I talked to my brother who has his own mental health struggles and he said my mom knew but didn’t want us on meds. My mom lied to me and said she didn’t know I had it. The feelings I have are confusing at best. Despite all my struggles I was an accomplished athlete, have a masters degree, a great job, a girlfriend, and an apartment, but I can’t help but imagine how much easier my life would have been growing up. I don’t have many friends, have always felt odd, and have always had tumultuous relationships. I try not to dwell in the past and am trying my best to stay future oriented, but I am definitely frustrated. Have many of you had similar experiences? Or felt odd or out of place growing up?

25 Replies

I feel for you. I found out that I had it, as my son was being diagnosed. It explains a lot of quirks and feeling out of place. It is a journey. Listen to some ADHD experts podcasts and when insights speak to you, follow through. With diagnosis and treatment comes understanding for you and those around you, especially those who love you. Be well.

My Whole life , abandoned as far back as I can remember. Trust issues, my adhd started in Elementary school.

Thank you for sharing. I hope you are doing well 🙏

Hi, by "noticing some effects already", do you mean positive effects, or negative effects?

I'm sorry it's been a struggle for you and I'm REALLY sorry your mom lied to you :( That sucks. Were you able to have a conversation with her to find out if there were certain side effects she had noticed in you (e.g. rather than in your brother) that caused her to take you off of them?

I agree with always having felt odd - my ADHD is mild and was not an obvious case given my "success" in life and lack of struggle until recently with COVID changes really hammering it in. But I always struggled with making friends as a kid, and always felt that I was annoying people even though they wouldn't tell me that I was. I got the impression from most people as a child/teen that that they didn't like me. Fortunately as an adult I eventually got over that and started not caring lol, and realizing that wasn't true (most of the time).

Positive effects!! I talked to my mom and she said they didn’t know I had it. I hope she isn’t lying, but my parents had me later in life and are in their 70s so I can understand that maybe they are from the time period when ADHD was thought to be a childhood disorder and something that people “grow out of”.

I can completely understand your point of view. I am sorry to hear you felt those ways, I felt the same way!! I decided to take action mainly because I started to get extremely concerned about annoying people at work and wanting all my coworkers to like me. I am fortunate to have my girlfriend as a source of support but I have very few friends and it is hard to have serious discussions with my male friends. I am hopeful though with the right treatment that better says are ahead!

I'm curious, how did you find out you were on Zoloft and Adderall? From your family doctor or medical records? If you "confront" your mom about it, does that evidence not carry weight from her perspective? Or perhaps your mom recalls that you were prescribed the medication but she didn't know why (i.e. didn't know you had ADHD) and thus took you off it thinking it was unnecessary? Or is every aspect denied/not recollected?

Also I'm glad positive effects. That's great to hear. I was finally prescribed medication to treat my ADHD on Saturday but I'm still waiting for it to come through from the pharmacy..... waiting.... waiting... 😐

It took me some time to get my medication as well. I hope it helps!!

She says she was surprised to see that I was on those medications and that she just followed the recommendations of my pediatrician at the time. She mentioned that she thought me getting in trouble in school for being disruptive was just related to me being a teenager.

That last part sounds like my mom in a way. I wasn't evaluated or anything as a child as there wasn't any need to (?) because it wasn't impacting my life enough. I wouldn't have said it impacted my functioning much as a kid either except for the social part.

In the process of my recent diagnosis my mom filled out the questionnaires for the psychologist that ask about what you were like as a child. I had to caveat a number of my mom's responses to the psychologist with what things were REALLY like. When I asked her about some of those responses in relation to the difficulties I see that I had, she said "I was just so grateful you were a good kid, did well in school and never got into trouble, I thought that having a messy bedroom as a child was really minor and that you'd be embarassed as a teenager when you started having friends over and clean your room up" (spoiler alert: never got embarassed, now I live in a disaster of a house on a perpetual basis).

I also find it hard when hindsight is 20/20 to accuse our parents of overlooking and not addressing problems, when there are also so many things you do have to let be and see how they play out with kids growing up. (For my part, I'm not at all upset that I wasn't diagnosed as a child or teenager as I have succeeded in life and it hasn't felt like a massive struggle - I have always oriented myself to doing things that I like and am good at. I recognize that is not the case for most of the people here who were diagnosed as adults. I also don't have children so I have pretty much no authority on parenting).

Your thoughts and situation sound extremely relatable to me. I appreciate you sharing. I don’t think I noticed much of an impact as a child either. I remember trying hard to fit in and being bullied.

I did notice the effects a lot more in high school to adulthood. I completely agree about my parents thinking “I was a good kid” and didn’t need as much help. My brother absolutely needed more support and intervention than me so I do think as a parent they focused much more on his needs and maybe thought I wouldn’t really need as much support.

I try not to blame my parents, I just want to make sure they were honest with me. I know most parents try their best for their kids. I wouldn’t say I struggled horribly but I have had experiences in my life that could have been avoided had I learned of the diagnosis sooner. It can be exhausting when your mind doesn’t shut off and worries and perseverates on things.

I have felt the same things a lot. I always felt like an outsider, I'm super creative, love to draw and do things on my own like read and listen to music. I took up running because I miss high school sports and the consistency that routine brought. It is a lot to learn at an older age that you have ADHD. I know my mom had to take me in for a test as a kid and at the time they just said I was very creative and I'd be fine. But during COVID it became really apparent that there was something else behind all my issues with chores, balancing things that everyone else was able to, memory and all that. It's a lot of stuff and it'll take time to be at peace with it. I find that a few min of meditation a day helps me. I also have a therapist and I'm on meds which help.

Thank you so much for sharing! It makes me feel encouraged that people have overcome a lot of the same feelings that I have been experiencing and am so hopeful with the right treatment that things will get better.

Your story it's so similar to mine, I was also an athlete for most of my life and because I did "well" in school I never got a diagnosis until lockdown just seem like way to much and I seek a diagnosis for a neuropsychologist. I studied Psychology for my bachelor's and felt like adhd made so much sense but the diagnosis criteria didn't explain a lot of the emotional aspect. The videos of How to ADHD and Couple ADHD help me a lot.

I don't feel robed because I got my diagnosis until now, the way I see it is I want to be proud for accomplishing all this things without realizing my whole potential. The hard part for me was I always work so hard and still felt that my performance wasn't enough, understanding how my brain works is feeling me with hope that I could start working with my brain instead of against it.

Thank you for sharing!! I got my masters in the counseling field as well which made me much more aware of my own mental health. I honestly had no clue the emotional dysregulation was part of ADHD and that has probably been the biggest struggle I have had in my life. My mind never shuts off, certain things like break ups seemed to impact me much harder and longer than it would for most people, I was prone to bullying and losing friends due to impulsivity issues. The diagnosis finally was the missing piece for answering some of the questions and emotions I was experiencing, the lack of extremely close friends I had, etc. I hope the diagnosis can help us both find answers.

Thank you for your post. I was recently diagnosed in the last year at 53 after years of memory decline, inability to focus and remember simple instructions. I started a new job as a product manager for a different company with over 25 years experience, but in a very different market and a product that comes from the gift of human tissue donation. No matter how hard I tried I just could not pick up thinks the way I used to, and remembering something someone said to me 5Minutes before was impossible. I went to my regular doctor who did a series of tests and diagnosed me with ADHD. Over the last year I’ve tried several different meds before landing on Adderall twice per day. 180° turn for me. My boss is just amazed at how much I’ve changed. So the meds have changed my life. Unfortunately there is a stigma with stimulants and that could have been one of the reasons why you weren’t given it when you were younger. I have to call every month for my refill, I have to show ID when I pick up the meds and it makes

Me feel like I’m doing something wrong. I hope you can get an assessment and if your doctor recommends meds, at least give them a try. My diagnosis may have saved my job.

Thank you so much for sharing!! I am so glad you have had such a positive benefit from getting treatment. I am hopeful that medication and therapy can help change my life in such a positive way!

I do too. It takes patience and self examination. Once I started to realize my ADHD behavior I almost laugh because I see it happening and then how I’ve tackled dealing with it. Meds help tremendously and I’m so glad that my doctor and I tried the meds. They worked better than I ever expected.

I honestly cannot wait to try them!! The doctor prescribed me 27mg of concerta to try. I am just waiting for insurance to approve

I am a few months into my ADHD journey, and I am struggling with the same frustration about how things could have been.

I've started working through a workbook called "The Cognitive Behavioral Workbook for Anger" by William Knaus.

I experience anger when I think about the past, and I also experience anger in the present (like when people ask if I've tried using a planner).

I want to expand my idea of myself to allow for the challenges of ADHD but also remember my strengths and dreams and allow for the many feelings I have.

It sounds like you have many strengths and goals that are a part of who you are, just as much as the brain-based challenges of ADHD. Best wishes in your journey!

Thank you so much for sharing and for your encouragement. I greatly appreciate it!!!

Sorry to hear that, I hope your feeling better now. I just recently knew that i've got Adhd after taking several online tests and reading on alot of articles related to that topic. Actually what introduced me to Adhd is a TV series of a 30 year old lady who had Adhd. Her attitude and personality captured my attention and made me relate so much to me. I always feel that their is something wrong going on with me but never knew where is the problem coming from. Feeling of anxiety, depression, loss of memory to various things, lose concentration very easily, always lost and feeling out of place, nail fidgeting , lack of motivation to study, lose track of things, and low self esteem. Alot of endless symptoms that i think are linked to ADHD , i am not sure and hope i can find an answer.

I just hope one day I can get diagnosed and deal with whatever I have effectively. You are not in this alone. But the most important thing we should do, is to never stop trying and working hard on our mental health and well being. Stay safe and just hope that tomorrow will be even better =)

It is amazing that so many people shared those same feelings that you described and didn’t know why. It is so nice to have answer why I felt those ways. I am trying my best to improve each day. Thank you so much for sharing!!

Thanks for your reply. However I don't get it are the symptoms i mentioned signs of depression/anxiety or Adhd or sort of both from your point of view !?

Hello the psychiatrist told me often anxiety and depression are comorbid with ADHD. I also had no idea that emotional disregulation was a part of ADHD! It explains so much for me. Things that caused me stress, anxiety, depression almost seemed to be amplified compared to what someone without ADHD would experience. I know experiencing such intense emotions wasn’t normal but I didn’t know why. The psychiatrist told me if I treat the ADHD some of the anxiety and depression should subside.

I also noticed a lot of difficulty studying, I did poorly in math and science especially. I also can’t sit still, being alone and relaxing isn’t even possible, I feel like I need to be doing things or be around people.

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