Newly diagnosed female at 41 years old. - CHADD's Adult ADH...

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Newly diagnosed female at 41 years old.

IntegrityBee profile image
6 Replies

Hello! Mental health is nothing new to me, but ADHD diagnosis is. I've been misdiagnosed for 20 years, mainly bipolar and borderline, those medications and therapy never helped. However, after seeing a Neuropsychologist a few months ago, everything changed. I went to psychiatrists prior to this. The older I got the more I started understanding myself, emotions, root causes, and overcoming shame. I say shame because, I've always been a "tom boy" and was sick of everyone looking at me like I was masculine. I was in self denial and that was hurting my diagnosis outcome. Also, gender biases that females and males have to be a certain way doesn't help the cause. At first, I was told I was the inattentive type. However, when I took my subconscious blinders off and shook off the shame, it looks like I'm more of the hyperactive/impulsive sub-type. I will know for sure here soon. Thanks for listening. I would like to know if anyone else has had this issue. Thanks!

6 Replies

Hi, and welcome to a unique community. I was diagnosed at 47. This after seeing 'Mental/Emotional Health Pro's for over 20 years. Therapy did help in that I learned a lot about myself. I was so lost. But the Therapy didn't get to the 'Root' of my problem. One day (at 47) I walked into this (she was a new Dr for me) Psychiatrists office, and she diagnosis me in less than 5 minutes. God Bless Adderall!!! But I had/have 47 years of crap to get over. How many like us are out there in the world today? How many others have been trying to work on themselves, as we have, and have tried every type of Therapy (and more than just talk therapy?) and still not found the right Doctor? How much time and money lost? But for us, luckily we keep trying. Good thoughts and prayers to all. But even more so to those who haven't been diagnosed and still struggle horribly.

STEM_Dad profile image

I was diagnosed at 45 with anxiety and Inattentive ADHD. That was a year and a half ago. (I just turned 47.)

The signs were there all along, through my whole life, but I kept believing that I was neurotypical. For three decades, I tried multiple time management and organization systems, vitamins and supplements, memory tips and tricks, read books and articles about making better use if my brain. I believed that I just must be inherently lazy, slothful, which according to my beliefs is something I shouldn't be.

When anxiety had built up for years, and I finally went to a mental health counselor for help, I asked her to also evaluate me for ADHD. (The state I live in let's licenced counselors diagnose ADHD.) After several weeks, sure enough, she diagnosed me, and the next week my doctor also did.

When in tell people who have known me for years about my diagnosis, nobody is surprised. So why didn't anyone who knew of my many struggles over the years ever suggest that I get evaluated?

I'm glad I got diagnosed. I'm glad that my meds work so well for me. I'm glad that the struggles that I went through make it so that I can relate well to others' struggles and encourage them. Maybe that's why I had to go through it all. There's a lot of things I wish I'd done differently. But like people say, "hindsight is 20/20." I'm where I am now, and I'll do the best I can with it. That's all we can do.

wtfadhd profile image

hey IntegrityBee- i was diagnosed very late 30’s and yes- it was after years of being misdiagnosed with Bipolar and Borderline. I dont suffer with the gender role issues but i struggled with extreme anger about my misdiagnosis from many many psychiatrists. i now know that i dont have borderline and instead its RSD and when i learned all that- the world shifted. RSD is one of the main and prob most debilitating symptom of ADHD. women are commonly misdiagnosed with borderline and bipolar vs ADHD.

enjoy the journey! this group is a fabulous support.

CatsareFun86 profile image

I'm new here and I'm really grateful to read your stories and the others in the comments because I'm know I'm not alone. I'm 35 and was diagnosed a few months ago. I was diagnosed Bipolar II and anxiety about 7 years ago. My therapist (who has been with me on and off for that time) and the other therapists I've had do not think Bipolar II is the right diagnosis. I'm the one who discovered that I had adhd and my psychiatrist evaluated me.

Now, I'm fighting to have my adhd treated and truly re-evaluate the bipolar II diagnosis because my psych is deeming any symptom is bipolar and I don't think she knows the symptoms of adhd in adult women. I'm still learning them and learning when I'm masking and what I have shame around.

It is just infuriating that I had to advocate so hard for a change in my Strattera when she opted to change the mood stabilizer first, which made nothing better. For two weeks on a crappy increased dose of mood stabilizer and no changes; this week, my Strattera dose was increased and days later I actually feel the difference. I'm clear headed, looking forward, and not just doing the bare minimum. Executive functioning (like 80% of it) is back. If anyone has tips for someone in my shoes, please share. But at the very least, knowing I'm not alone is incredibly helpful.

STEM_Dad profile image
STEM_Dad in reply to CatsareFun86

I know that I'm the medical field, care is often coordinated between different specialists on a "care team". They share information and have conversations about the patient's case.

When I got diagnosed with ADHD, it was by the counselor that I was going to for treatment of anxiety. (My state permits licensed counselors to make an ADHD diagnosis.) With my permission, my counselor shared my diagnosis with my primary care doctor.

Do you think that your therapist can talk with your psych, to share information and discuss findings in your case? In other words, do you think that your therapist could act as an advocate for you with the psych?

Sedakoc profile image

I'm diognosed at 32 , after 2-3 years panic attacks , anxiety and depression :// Gender roles, expectations and culture could be inhibitory for right diagnoses. As a hyperactive girl , "tom-boy" tag was fun for me till I want to be excepted with my sexuality also.

Tom-boy , lazy at school, time blind, impulsive , forgetful , careles ,.... all these tags are created by community but made me a self-judger also. I'm not sure if I'd have problems without any knowledge of these terms. Struggles are based on where we live , school, jobs ,.... I wish I know how my brain works before, love myself and focus on the pozitive sides of ADHD.

In my culture almost all adhd symptoms recognised as masculine . I mean if a men is careless or impulsive its normal which is quite sexist. As a women you're expected to be orginized , wise , calm.... I realised that I tried so hard to look "normal" that end up with self avoidence . Thanks to theraphy , I know there is an exit , I'll keep looking for it until I find...

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