In 5 months of researching this new c... - CHADD's Adult ADH...

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In 5 months of researching this new condition...I am beyond frustrated

Pollyanna444 profile image

with our healthcare providers...they know nothing about WHY if this is the most researched mental condition, do we know squat as to what to do to get better...At least we have this small forum to talk..but where are our answers?!

This reality needs to change to fit us! How bout that? It's this linear..9 to 5..goal setting..achieve more, mentally that is screwed up..not us...we dont do those things well cuz we are the Creators..Visionaries..Engineers...Artists..Inventors..Dreamers of Dreams!

6 Replies

I personality think that the idea that ADHD gives us an advantage is romantic nonsense. And it can prevent us from recognizing the help we need. I guess it does one thing: gets us to accept ADHD in a positive way and seek to make the best of it. Certainly, hyper focus can be used to good effect. But it does have down sides.

That said... There's a ton for doctors to know, and when it comes to behavioral health at the individual level... It's an art not a science.

ADHD isn't technically a real condition in the sense that heart failure is. There are measurable differences in body and brain but the root cause is unknown. In other words to call it a disorder is perhaps misleading to some. It's a set of very highly correlated symptoms. But maybe in 50 years we'll know there are really 3 or 10 different causes or something. Who knows. Now it's real in the sense it's measurable and correlated and people struggle in ways that are understood.

But it's also true that with behavioral things it's very hard to mind read. So it makes sense that professionals may struggle to tell if someone has one thing or another in the DSM.

Rodster profile image
Rodster in reply to 99cents

I’m not sure I follow when you say adhd is not technically a real condition like heart failure is. What is considered “real” and why would heart failure be more “real” than adhd?

brego_mom profile image
brego_mom in reply to 99cents

Like Rodster , I'm confused by your comments about ADHD not being a "real" condition and that we don't know about the causes. We don't know exactly what causes all the various cancers, and doctors are still expected to look for the symptoms. We do know that ADHD is heavily genetically linked, and a few other likely causes have been identified.

Hi Pollyanna444, I feel your frustration! I was diagnosed two months ago at age 70.

I've been seeing psychotherapists since the 80s. The past five years, my symptoms have gotten worse and I've asked my psychotherapist, my PCP, my cardiologist, two PhD psychologists from the cardiology department, and finally a psychiatrist for help with my problems in focusing and in finding the motivation to getting things done. All that they could offer were modifications to the antidepressants.

It was YouTube that finally figured out that I needed to consider ADHD. I'd been looking at videos about depression treatments, and their algorithm delivered me "Should You Be Assessed For ADHD?" ( Dr Stephen Humphries, Harley Therapy). I associated ADHD with fidgety kids, but decided to watch it anyway. Thirteen minutes later I was weeping as I recognized my life and struggles in his description. I learned more, pursued a diagnosis and just started atomoxetine this week, the day after my 71st birthday.

So why was YouTube better able to diagnose me than all those medical/psychological specialists? I think we older adults were just born at the wrong time. When we were children, ADHD wasn't really known, though hyperactive boys did get some attention (sometimes helping, sometimes hurting). By the time I was in my 20s, it was being diagnosed in children (mostly boys) but not recognized in adults. By 1995, when it was finally seen as continuing into adulthood, I was 45 years old and had developed coping skills that allowed me to hold down a good job, even though my personal/financial life was a mess, so even someone who had a clue might have missed the diagnosis.

There are now more resources for "adults with ADHD" but they seem focused on ages 18-40. Those aimed at women want to talk about parenting. The only information aimed at adults older than 60 seems to be about how to enjoy retirement. Well that would be great if I could afford to retire! My years of financial mismanagement have left me with no savings other than home equity. Luckily I can continue to freelance but only if I can stay productive. And then I see articles like this one asking whether it's worth seeking an ADHD diagnosis after 50. The answer is YES! Now how can all those mental health care professionals be brought up to speed?

There’s no quick fix. We are all different - each of us have different struggles/advantages with how ADHD affects us. We can’t rebuild the world to fit our brains. We have to adapt to survive in the world we have. I find I have lowered expectations of what I can do - executive function for example. When the kitchen becomes a hyper focus I get all the things done. But day-to-day? I get meals made for kids and do some dishes. That’s it. But it’s my home and I can work that way. And I can do creative things whenever I want. In the business area? I need to do the work that comes to me. No delaying for the perfect hyperfocus time. Just plug along. It is what it is.

It's so frustrating about the lack after so very many years. Are you involved with ADDA online? It's all about adults. Check out Sari Solden's works. She was one of the founders of sharing ADHD in Women and has it herself. There is also a book You Mean I'm not Crazy, Lazy or Stupid. It's a big thickish book might could find in Library or get on Interlibrary loan. Another Here's To Not Catching Our My Hair On Fire: An absent minded tale of Giftedness & Attention Deficit - Oh look! A chicken! by Stacey Turis

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