where are all you 60+?: are you aware... - CHADD's Adult ADH...

CHADD's Adult ADHD Support

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where are all you 60+?

Pollyanna444 profile image

are you aware of the support here? where is the support here for those of us just finding out at 50..60..78...82??

36 Replies

I'm here

Hi…… what are you looking for ? Just want to talk? My spouse is 69 and I am the nonADHD spouse at age 67. We have a conflict-filled relationship daily. What’s up with you?

I've seen quite a few people here who were diagnosed between 40 and 60, fewer older than that, but we are here (hi Stonesfan). I was diagnosed last month, and will be turning 71 next week. I've been talking with a therapist and a psychiatrist and I'm hoping to be on meds by November 1. 🤞

The biggest difference I see with being diagnosed later is that I have so many years of mistakes and missteps to look back at, wondering how it would have been different if I had known and had gotten treatment. I'm really trying to let go of that and focus on moving forward.

What would you like to talk about?

Salsinator profile image
Salsinator in reply to brego_mom

Hi there. I was diagnosed at 52 (2 years ago) and started on meds. The results were dramatic and immediate. Like you brego_mom, I look back and know I’ve had this my entire life and sometimes wonder how I made it through college and grad school and have maintain a great career. I finally saw my doctor when I could no longer remember what someone said to me 30 seconds before, could not retain things I was learning, and was failing miserably at my new job. Always makes me wonder if I’d been diagnosed and treated earlier, would things have turned out differently?

I too went for diagnosis because of the degradation of learning, etc. What I find is that I can retain what I’m interested in. But there’s a whole lot, I’m not. And when I’m interested, I have to push, push, push on it and then leave it alone for a while. Which makes the school thing challenging. And I don’t test well any more. As a child, none of those was as big a problem. I was an A student. But with age, and for me, and menopause, I don’t handle stress as well and that turns into the mind whirling when trying to come up with a particular thing at a particular time. But 5 minutes, later, in it pops.

I’m stuck in a loop right now of going repeatedly over the things I can see were ADHD. It’s part of my reconciliation with myself but can also very negative. I want to learn from the past but not live in it. Tough to do with 60+ years of “why in the worlds” and “if only I’d known s”. I constantly have to refocus myself on the fact, that none of my world would be the same, if I weren’t ADHD. And there ARE many positives.

Sleepygal profile image
Sleepygal in reply to brego_mom

I get it!

Sleepygal profile image
Sleepygal in reply to brego_mom

I know what you mean. You’re sure not alone. I was diagnosed in my 60’s. At first I didn’t believe it. However my doctor put me on Vyvanse a d it’s made a big difference. I have much more energy and focus. I wonder though…Will I have to take it forever? I hope things work out well for you.

brego_mom profile image
brego_mom in reply to Sleepygal

Yeah, I guess we'll never be "cured!" But as I understand it you can take the Vyvanse as needed? Jessica from "How to ADHD" (YouTube channel) said once that she has hers on her nightstand so that she can take it before she even gets up, but on the weekends she often skips it and lets her brain do what it wants. ;)

Thanks for your good wishes! My doc is trying to be cautious so she started me on Atomoxetine, which isn't a stimulant and takes up to 2-3 weeks to take effect. So far (8 days) nothing. It's frustrating as I know the stimulants work almost immediately. But she's promised that if this doesn't work we'll try something else.

Well I am not ADHD and I’ve been married to ADHD husband nearly 11 years. He refused to even talk about ADHD when we first married amd we began talking thru problems. I honestly didn’t even know anything about his dx or anything about ADHD. But I was always running into “walls” with him when we would disagree or have differences. And by about the 4th year he did consider meds as I was ready to leave. As I have been ever since. He has been very savy to avoid and stonewall, intimidate, turn things around on me that he couldn’t deal with, not work on problems with me. Left me just dealing with any relationship issues without him. Recently I have discovered I don’t even care anymore what he does or wants. I just am out of energy to work toward a relationship with him. And I don’t even care. He is so defiant when we talk. I have lost any respect for him as he has lied to me so much about little stuff for no foreseeable reason other than he could. And it was fun to mess with me. It seems he enjoys seeing me confused or angry. And then I become the ugly one. But it’s all my fault. I talk too long. I correct him. I expect him to look out for me, only. Etc. I used to take what he said to heart. Now. I don’t care. I have sought every single help we have had. Not him. He has known about his ADHD for at least 25-30 years and only because of his kids. So what did he do? He learned all about it and led workshops. Didn’t treat himself. He is a minister by career choice. So he is untouchable. He thinks he has the inside track on truth. He is an interventional specialist by trade. He knows everything. He has done everything to hear him talk. Lifeguard. Gymnastics. Challenge course. Youth group workshops. But the things he’s not so proud to tell about I’m not allowed to mention. The cheating on his first wife. The debt of $100,000 when we married that I wasn’t aware of and he didn’t tell me til I forced his hand. Meanwhile he lived rent free for ten years with his sister and her husband, set up another woman in a trailer in FL with money they loaned him and he never paid back, who he had unsavory relations with via inet that he paid for etc. Drank a lot. Etc.

So we marry and I find out all this stuff. So my trust is gone after that. And meantime I work a full time job and this woman he cannot bring himself to kick out or clean up his mess. He says he was “working on it”

And he felt bad for her. So I stop working so muc: I’m not going to pay for her support. And then I’m a bad person cuz I speak up. I say what I see and I expect cleanup results. Of it all!!! I get counseling at LEAST 7 times. Marital workshops. Books galore. CD’s about marriage and all the conversations. Meantime his adult kids don’t even talk to him or answer his phone calls, which he rarely (once a year seriously) makes cuz he knows it is painful but won’t call it that - “they’re busy”.

This man is Denial. He doesn’t just live in a state of denial. And so now I just DONT CARE anymore. But here I am. Now a bitter woman. Now I have learned what ADHD is and what it does if it’s not treated. And he thinks I’m just a meanie. An angry woman. Yep. That’s why I got married after waiting 15 years….so I could pick on YOU! So I’d be miserable. He’s so clueless.

Thats my story.

I’m hoping you are able to move forward and realize the damage you have both suffered and caused - and hopefully intend to do better. When you learn better, Do Better. Is all one can do. My spouse doesn’t care to do better. He seems to just want to get by. He seems to think people other than me like him just fine. But they notice. He hasn’t been so successful in ministry or in his choice of rehabilitation with justice-induced behavior problemed school kids…who don’t learn how to solve problems either. And he sets goals for them that are so far below their age appropriateness that they are just pushed thru. I’m almost embarsssed how he earns money. It seems on the backs of those less fortunate than him. He is not a healer. And I cannot bring myself to listen to his sermons anymore when I live the life I have to with him preaching “Love” and not giving me what I ask for which isn’t much but some effort to listen, care, be present, remember what you said you would do and so it, don’t stray, ne on a budget we can afford, don’t drink beyond a level that is unreasonable for a man your age and stage of life.

I care if you do. That’s my new outlook. But I only save they for other people. Who care about me too. I have waited for a real loving exchange-worthy investment return and he’s not worth it any more. That’s what he has shown me.

I’d like to think you are looking for insight, and that you make strides to truly have hope for a good life. I hope you take what’s left of life and make it better for you and for those who love you. Glad you’re getting help voluntarily and no one is pushing you. That is the deal maker in my opinion. Best of luck on the new meds. Congrats on the people you have found to counsel and lead you. Stay in touch.


Rodster profile image
Rodster in reply to

Wow, you have done so much for someone that doesn’t care enough to get treated. You’ve really gone above and beyond.

Hovi profile image
Hovi in reply to

I’m 66 and have known like most that something wasn’t quite right with me. I just ended a 30 year search for what it is. ADHD it fit pretty well and medication kind of helped. I went for neuropsychological testing and got the real diagnosis, it’s not ADHD. Give some grace to your husband, if you can, as one without a brain based disorder, it must be very frustrating. Know this, those of us suffering with these confusing symptoms are frustrated and ashamed, we all need that grace and space for each other.

brego_mom profile image
brego_mom in reply to

ADHD makes it more difficult for us to handle money, stay on track, get things done, follow conversations. It doesn’t force us to lie to people, behave as though we are the only ones who matter, or be abusive. Untreated ADHD may help to explain some of these behaviors, but it doesn’t excuse them.

I suggest that you explore what has kept you in this relationship. It sounds as have been angry and unhappy for a long time. He has chosen to be who he is and behave as he does. You have every right to do the same.

When I was in my early 20s I stayed in an unhappy marriage because my husband told me that I was the only thing that had ever gone right for him, and that if it weren’t for me he would go back to using reds (barbiturates) and probably overdose. I honestly believed that my leaving could cause his death. Fortunately I read a memoir about a woman in the same position who finally did leave. Not only did her husband live, but without her propping him up he was able to face his issues and start to grow. Likewise, over the years after I left Ben acknowledged he was an alcoholic, got help, finished school, worked many years as a counselor, and at least as of a few years ago was still alive.

It’s okay to make the best decisions for yourself, just as what your husband does will be up to him. Take good care of yourself; you deserve it. ❤️

Sleepygal profile image
Sleepygal in reply to brego_mom

Brego mom…do you happen to remember the name of that memoir you mentioned?

brego_mom profile image
brego_mom in reply to Sleepygal

Yes, it's "Don't Push the River" by Barry Stevens, published in 1970. There's a bit more to the story: my husband was studying psychology at Oregon State and he recommended the book to me. It kind of backfired on him!

Hi Polly. I am 80 and doing well. Just diagnosed this year and feeling Soooooooo much better with a bit of medication. My life is vastly better and different. My wife has Altzheimers and i am the sole caretaker so just a bit of stress in my life but other than that I am actually accomplishing tasks now and taking care of things much better. One Thing At A Time is my mantra now.

I’m so glad that the meds are helping you, both for your sake and because I’m hoping they’ll soon be helping me. Your attitude is an inspiration to me as I’m only 70 😄and have to work at being positive.

All the best with you and your wife. My dad developed ALZ when I was in my early 50s. He moved in with me for several years and then into a wonderful, homey, foster care home for the last years when he needed more care than I could provide.

The two things that helped me stay functional while he lived with me were a caregiver support group and occasional respite provided by my brother. No matter how much you love someone, some outside support makes a huge difference! Hope you have all you need. ❤️

I will be 55 and was diagnosed 6 months ago, so we all here finding support, no matter the age, yes is disappointing that you have to be "that old" to find out that there is something missing, but to know is so worth it, even at that late in life

I was diagnosed at 50, ten years ago. My ADHD impacted my whole life, as well as my relationship with my wife and children. My life before diagnosis was one rough wave after another. Add to that depressive cycling unregulated emotions, self-isolation, anxiety, low self-esteem, and I had no idea the mental context in which I existed.

My experience with mental health issues and substance abuse illustrates clearly that you can only help those that are willing to help themselves; sometimes, walking away is the only way to show love.

“Getting by” is a phrase I have used often. Some days are all about just making it to tomorrow. There is no magic pill that cures ADHD, and those diagnosed late in life can feel actual grief for the perception of life lost. Knowing why my life was the way it was before diagnosis provided me with new possibilities. You can't change the past, right.

I’m here♥️

Hi. I’m 61 and was “diagnosed” about 3 years ago. I raised it as a possibility several years ago with the nurse practitioner who was prescribing for depression. I read a few articles and a light bulb went off. She was dismissive when I raised it. I pushed and she finally prescribed a stimulant. I’ve switched doctors since but even the current doctor (who touts himself as having a clinical interest in ADHD) seems disinterested in the ADHD diagnosis. The drugs have helped a fair amount. But I don’t talk to anyone about it except for a couple of close family members. I think everyone else would dismiss it out of hand. I went to good schools, have a graduate degree etc but my finances and home life have always been a mess. Also, my career could have been a lot better, I believe. My 21 daughter was diagnosed when she was a senior in high school. Meds have helped her. Glad she didn’t have to wait until she was almost 60. Sigh. It’s been a struggle.

Lindavee88 profile image
Lindavee88 in reply to Mvep1492

Hi! When I speak with my fellow adults with ADHD we have all found that the vast majority of psychiatrists and other prescribers are dismissive of the ADHD diagnosis most of the time. They almost always want to focus on anxiety and depression - - which most of us have from living for years with undiagnosed ADHD! Of course it is important to treat anxiety and depression, but it is just as important to acknowledge the underlying ADHD which is like a foundation for all our other challenges. One of my biggest regrets is that I never established a career. I hopped from job to job, took time off to raise my son, and took jobs that did not require a college degree. I have a master's degree which has only been used in my many volunteer roles. I always felt that I would not have the focus and drive to actually put my skills to use in a professional job. I underchallenged myself to avoid what I felt would inevitably happen. But I didn't realize it was ADHD that was causing this until 10 years ago.

As for disclosing about your ADHD, I agree that it isn't necessary in most cases, and that many would misunderstand and/or not believe you have it. Part of me is an advocate, however, so I try to pick and choose opportunities to share my story if I think someone may benefit from learning about ADHD. You never know who you may be helping!


_Sarah_J profile image
_Sarah_J in reply to Lindavee88

Yes! And there seems to be a huge hesitancy among medical providers to medicate older patients for ADHD. One doctor literally asked me ( I was in my 60s) what I could possibly need to do in my life to require meds. And they definitely want to peg you as having anxiety and depression. (I suspect this is more often the case for women.)

Leefordss profile image
Leefordss in reply to _Sarah_J

I found it difficult to get treatment when I moved out of state. I had to go searching and went through two clinics before finally finding a provider at the third one that was willing to listen to me. The thing was that I had already been receiving therapy and meds for years.

Hi Pollyanna and all others who have ADHD and are over 50, or thereabouts. I am 66 years old, and first realized and accepted that I have ADHD about 10 years ago. I had already been getting treatment for anxiety for many years. I finally asked my psychiatrist if I might have ADHD. He administered a quick test and we both agreed that ADHD is part of who I am. I had signs and symptoms of ADHD when I was a child, such as being a perennial daydreamer, taking a long time to finish tests and assignments in school, and social awkwardness. But because I always did well academically, there were no red flags.

The most important thing for me as an older adult with ADHD is having the support of others in the same boat. I facilitate a CHADD-based support group for adults with ADHD. It has been a very rewarding experience. We understand each other in a way that no one else can. Sometimes one of us will start telling a story and the rest of us will know where this is going, and our heads will be nodding, and by the end of the story, we're all either crying, laughing, or murmuring "I know! I know!"

Life can be a very bumpy road with ADHD. And at times I feel grief about the opportunities I have lost because of it. But I keep moving forward, grateful that I now understand where my lifelong difficulties have come from. And relieved to know there are others who share this journey!

Does your support group meet online? I so feel that I could benefit from an adult-diagnosed -late -in -life support group but I am having a hard time finding a local support group. I am still grieving that perception of a life of possibilities lost but trying to move forward and be positive. Stimulants have done me wonders for the past 6 years, but suddenly now at 59, I feel like my mental acuity has taken a nose dive and it scares me. My word recall is atrocious and I am afraid to do any public speaking. I now under- challenge myself in my career choices because I am not confident in my abilities any longer.

Hi. I can relate to the insecurity of seeming to lose that mental acuity we once had. Certainly that happened to me during my 50's, and it doesn't improve in your 60's. But I've made my adjustments. You may want to focus on your other strengths, such as willingness to work hard, sense of responsibility, ability to listen well to others, your sense of (appropriate) humor, writing skills - whichever you can relate to. If you're not sure what other skills and strengths you have, take time to do an inventory. You might be surprised. You are very welcome to join our ADHD support group meetings online. We meet once a month. You can find us on Meetup: meetup.com/Tri-CHADD-New-Jersey/. Have faith that you will find NEW strengths and skills as you progress through your life!

I was 45 when diagnosed back in 2000. It was actually a blessing because prior to this every incompetent doctor tried to label me with all sorts of other conditions/disorders. (I don't even know what to call them.) My son, now 32, was diagnosed at the age of 5 and this is when I started researching and reading everything I could find on the subject. Up until this point I wasn't even aware adults could have ADD. I was under the (wrong) impression that kids just grew out of it. Not sure where that came from but what I discovered shocked me. As I read the symptoms of adult ADD/ADHD 95% described me to a T. In fact, without any information, I read them to my husband and asked him what he thought. He said it described me perfectly. Bingo! Well, that only succeeded in spending the next 5 - 10 years trying to get a doctor to validate what I believed. It sure wasn't easy and it pissed me off. I got very, very tired of these people trying to say all my problems stem from drinking. Yeah, maybe for a few years when that's all I did, but HELLO, substance abuse is a symptom of ADD/ADHD!! The funniest thing is I only drank heavily for a very few, short years around age 30ish. When I WAS TOLD I was an alcoholic I spent a good number of years going to AA meetings. They were okay but I truly didn't 'feel' it. I always thought there was something else. But hell if I was going to voice my concerns because then you're accused of being in denial. Well, I have proved beyond a shadow of a doubt I AM NOT an alcoholic. I am able to have 1 drink and that's all. In fact, I rarely partake as I don't really like it. But, this just proved my point. Alcohol was just a symptom of a much bigger issue. Yet, try as I did, I couldn't convince anyone of that. Until, summer of 2000, when I made an appointment with a psychiatrist who a friend recommended and had ADD. Within 15 minutes of talking to her she diagnosed me and never changed it in the 8 years I saw her! (She moved to a different state and ended that relationship.) I did worship this woman as she was the only person who listened to me and validated what I believed. I might have been crazy but not stupid! Since about 2008 I haven't had any counseling, therapy, etc. because you can't pay, you can't play! I don't have the big money for coaches and all sorts of specialists. I take my meds and pray some hot-shot doc isn't going to stop them (because they like to do that.) I am rather bitter that I had to suffer needlessly, having people tell me I'm a this or that when in reality I was right all along. Why do they do that?? Talk about feeling like crap. We feel bad enough already and then they discount our feelings and disregard our beliefs. I spent A LOT of years researching the subject very extensively and have actually written papers on Adult ADHD of the InAttentive type. So, when I opened my mouth it was full of facts, not crap. Yet, like the naughty little girl, I always felt like I was demeaned and discounted.

Sorry didn't mean to get on my soapbox....anyway I totally am with you people who were diagnosed at older ages and don't have a clue what to do or think. It's mindboggling. I recently joined an online support group I found through my local CHADD. It meets on the first Monday of every month and last month was my first time. I will be attending this coming Monday, with bells on! I will be 67 in Nov. and this is the first time I've ever found a group of ADULTS who are of like mind! I don't know if all areas have groups like this but I'm sure there are some. I can't afford fancy specialists or coaches, nor is it even easy for me to get around due to an old, piece of s&^t car! So, anything online is like magic to me.

I hope I haven't bored everyone to tears.

lostnspace profile image
lostnspace in reply to WriterG

Thanks for writing. I hear you and it's not boring. I suspect it's quite common what you describe and a lot of people do what they can to self medicate consciously or not. Regardless, I personally can relate to your description of alcohol use...for me, I decided in my 20's to drink like drinkers do but it just made me sick and I'd be surrounded by people with different metabolisms laughing and having fun in uninhibited ways meanwhile I was just nauseous and alert with an allergically flushed face wondering what the point was. Many people like me don't respond in typical fashion to drugs in general, and as a woman I've noticed that my hormones have a huge effect on my metabolism and neruo-chem. I'm 53 and it's a daily routine to do whatever I can to not be in constant overwhelm: diet, medication, self-medication, meditation, yoga, exercise and of course denial 🤣 I've researched the crap out of any angle that can be related to what feels like a life long existential crisis as far back as some of my first memories at 4 years old...so I know what it's like to have only periodic experiences of equilibrium and okay-ness and generally just feeling weird, anxious and emotionally/physically overwhelmed. With a mind like mine that is always analyzing, solving problems, monitoring the environment and experiencing things so sensitively that most people don't know what the hell I am talking about, it's getting harder to want to try to connect with people frankly. Needless to say I do whatever I can to limit social interaction with people online and off because it requires wearing a 'mask'. Although the mask is effective and appreciated (cause I am smart and good at masking/camouflaging), I'm left with a sense of being completely ignored, not truly understood, recognized or accepted for what I really think and feel, plus it's exhausting. All the things I've been told about myself suddenly came flooding to mind: ' too sensitive, think too much, talk too much, overshare, bossy, need to calm down, need to relax, don't take things so seriously'....and of course there's more on that list. Aging is exposing more acutely the many ways people like me struggle to maintain their security and sense of wellbeing in life. Just call me 'crabby'. I joined this group today because I am so burnt-out and isolated and all the tricks I have in my bag aren't working these days. I have zero close friends, lots of burnt bridges, a traumatic childhood and a sporadic but intense romantic history of more painful burnt bridges, a job that is seasonal and isn't conducive to facilitating friendships of any kind, (in a field that I excel at but exposes me to monotonous superficiality and rarely 'sparks joy' and leaves me exhausted) a daughter who will be empty-nesting soon, and a sense of impending doom as my parents age. I'm glad I wrote this in response to your post. I need to write more as it helps me process the content of my life that I tried to process verbally with therapists and anyone who would listen throughout my life. Going back to my depth psychology audio book now cause 'heavy stuff' is reassuring. xo

GabyLaw profile image
GabyLaw in reply to lostnspace

This is so interesting. You should write more.

GabyLaw profile image
GabyLaw in reply to WriterG

Nope. Very interesting.

I was diagnosed at the age of 39. I am now 70. I never paid much attention to the executive function disorder aspect of ADHD, but it has suddenly hit me that it has become a huge problem that I have been struggling with that for the past few years.

Hi, Pollyanna. You are my first contact here. I'm 74 and have never been diagnosed with ADD, but I firmly believe this accounts for my lifelong daily struggles. I just thought I was crazy. There's so much yet to learn. Do you know if this gets worse with age? It seems like it has. If medications help, I definitely want them.

Hello. Just got diagnosed a month ago at 59. I always thought I was different. This just makes my past more understandable. I feel like I shied away from what I wanted because of this feeling of being different and am now thinking about what could have been.

I am 45, diagnosed last year, and I just love to talk about this matter with those that have more experience than I.

Although we are all talking about our struggles in life, such stories really encourage me to go deep in to this quest for knowledge and acceptance on how to deal with life inside a neurotypical society being the “crazy black sheep” … 😅

You are true and unique references, no matter how much you’d achieved from the society standards (money, position, fame, etc.). What matters is how much you’ve achieved as a loving human, and to know that your experience can help other people with similar struggles.

I don't believe we have all this awareness and thoughtfulness of our feelings and surroundings by chance. We are like highly specialized instruments.

I really like a thought that I heard from a Christian author, that is something like this: “Your fiercest struggle may become your highest strength, your life's purpose to help your brothers and sisters (your ministry).”

Just don't give up on others and don't give in to your negative thoughts. 🙏💪

Our faith always pushes us through our deserts!

Thank you ❣️

Here! Thanks for headsup

Hi Polyanna444! I am 71 yr. Old female and was diagnosed at age 44 by a neurologist. My ADD symptons began as a result of 2 concussions when I was under the age of 5. Glad to see another person over 60 here. Anyone else reply yet? I'm still learning to navigate this site.

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