Newly diagnosed and lost: Hi there, I... - CHADD's Adult ADH...

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Newly diagnosed and lost

1972jules profile image
19 Replies

Hi there,

I will be 50 at the end of the month and was diagnosed 2 months ago. I am on a leave at work because I can’t focus. I am not sure what to do now. I am currently on Concerta and have had bad side effects. I wanted to be evaluated because after reading about it, I realized that this was me. I started a new job last January and I was able to get by then. Now, I seem worse. In addition to that diagnosis, I had lost my mother last March and was so busy taking care of others that I realized I did not take the time to grieve. I am dealing with delayed grief. I feel lost and do not want to return to my job because I have realized that it is not a job that I am suited for. So, I am using the avoidance and procrastination and feel stuck and unable to move. I can’t hide forever!

Has anyone had any success with Concerta? Is there another one I should try?

Thank you for reading.

19 Replies
baked_bean_ profile image

hey jules, sorry you're having such a difficult time and i'm sorry for your loss. i was diagnosed with ADHD last september, and went out on leave too for about 3 weeks. i felt immense guilt for not working everyday, and pushed to return to work which exacerbated everything and now i'm back out. moral of the story, don't push yourself to return to a job that completely drains you, because you deserve to put that energy into yourself for a change. you deserve some room to breathe! a quick chat with HR might be helpful too. these situations could be covered under short term disability.

for meds, i take adderall. it doesn't solve for everything but it does help quiet my mind when it's firing in every possible direction. this allows me to focus and complete a single task vs. simultaneously working on 13 tasks at once and feeling useless because i finished none of them. just having all of that extra clutter in my head alone was enough to block me from making any real progress. not sure if you're struggling with something similar.

i've been off work since march this time with a huge mindset shift--i'm not returning until i feel better, even if i lose my job. basically, i said f!@# it!! i'm really making strides. i'm glad i chose to focus on myself, instead of back-to-back meetings and office politics . treating this stuff IS the harder path, you're already so brave for taking time off work and looking after yourself. thanks for sharing your story and being vulnerable!!

1972jules profile image
1972jules in reply to baked_bean_

Thank you soo much. It helps to know I’m not the only one!

baked_bean_ profile image
baked_bean_ in reply to 1972jules

Anytime! I'm really glad I discovered this community. Hang in there.

1972jules profile image
1972jules in reply to baked_bean_

Me too!

Synonymous- profile image

I too was diagnosed at 50. I take adderall and it does help me get moving most days but doesn't do anything for my processing. I am stalled out and your work scenario resonates strongly. This February I went through a Psilocybin ceremony hoping for some direction but it is a very slow and ongoing path. I was home from work for a month and a half, I was working in a Preschool classroom and had to leave because it was just so overwhelming. I got so incredibly depressed not working. So I started a new job and nothing is different except for the chaos of young children not being present. This is a long way of saying that I hear you, I see you, and I feel you too. I wish I could tell you what to do, I also wish you could tell me! Best of luck to us all!

jdelmonaco19 profile image

God bless you…🙏🏼❤️🙌🏼

FeelingNappish profile image

Jules (& others)— I am going through a very similar process! I feel for you!! I am 52, diagnosed a year ago. I went on medical leave for 4 months, and did make some mental shifts — including learning what a human and ADHD-friendly pace feels like! Having had that time, I can see now that my career is not a good fit for me. I feel overwhelmed most of the time, and I am exhausted from trying to hide it by working more hours etc.

I have found Adderall helps me to focus at work, but doesn’t help me with other ADHD challenges like prioritization and time blindness and slow processing time.

I bought a used copy of a classic book and have found it super validating as a woman with ADHD who wasn’t diagnosed for decades. I’d really recommend it if you haven’t read it yet: Sarah Solden, Women with Attention Deficit Disorder. One of her refrains is to stop trying to be what you aren’t and embrace the positives — your creativity and ADHD gifts, energy for ideas and big picture thinking, whatever it is.

I am contemplating making a big career move. I don’t want the next 15 years to be a continuation of overworking and compensating in a position ill-suited to an ADHD mind.

It’s not too late!!! It CAN be better!!!

(I’d love to hear what sorts of jobs make for a good fit with our minds. Maybe I’ll start another thread on that.)

Good luck and keep putting self-care first!!!

1972jules profile image
1972jules in reply to FeelingNappish

Thank you. That is a great book! I have been listening to books on audible otherwise I end up reading the same page over and over again and it still doesn’t sink in!

Jiraf profile image

I too am recently diagnosed (last August) at 60, and am on medication for the first time. I've been on Concerta, which for the first 3 weeks was like a miracle drug, but it has never worked as well since, despite twice increasing the dosage. I am ready to start trying other drugs, but because my GP retired at the end of 21 I have been struggling to connect with a doctor that can help. I have an appointment for next Tuesday that I may or may not be able to keep (right now I am sick, but hoping I'll be well by then.)

I too am thinking that part of the problem is that my current job is not well suited to my ADHD brain. What are resources to help figure out what types of work are suited to our mindset?

I'm so sorry to hear of your loss. My husband experienced something similar with the loss of his dad because he was primary caretaker for both of his parents and his mom needed him so much that he did not fully grieve his dad until his mom also passed. It's an ache that never entirely goes away.

PATSEY009 profile image

Hi Jules, I understand and I'm sure a lot of others can relate for sure! I'll be 55 and my anxiety/fear/panic attacks/depression/ADD has me running around like a chicken with its head cut off OR I just don't even want to get dressed! Ugh! I have it ALL! You are doing great, and I say that b/c you are asking for either some more needed assistance and/or a different regimen for yourself. Medication is helpful but just not enough (and I get it). Always, always talk with others like on this site, but we (as women), really need to actually see each other in's in our nature/nurture. I'm looking for a part-time job myself and YES I am nervous about getting back into the workforce again! It's been a while b/c of my cancer diagnosis. But I'll leave you with this...We are strong and will get through this. And for that... it's a huge bonus for us all! Keep us posted-Patty 😊

1972jules profile image
1972jules in reply to PATSEY009

You sound like an amazing woman. You have been through so much but are still helping others. I really appreciate you opening up. Good luck in the job search,

DesertAl profile image

Diagnosed at fifty also, my condolences for your mother's passing. I'm on Zoloft and Vyvanse, the combination helps quite a bit. I experienced grief related to my forty undiagnosed years with ADHD, sound like your addressing the emotions.

Be kind to yourself, absolutely focus on yourself, you might mention to someone you can be vulnerable with how you're feeling about your mom's passing; receiving compassion and empathy can buoy the soul.

Best wishes,

understanding your ADHD behaviors and their impacts will allow you to mitigate the impacts by limiting the behaviors that cause the most damage.

Walls are made to be traversed.

Illustration of a wall, ARD©20
1972jules profile image
1972jules in reply to DesertAl

Thank you. I am trying to be kind to myself but it has been a challenge. I appreciate you reaching out and helping me. 😊

Chemronin profile image

I am not currently under medication but I used to take wellbutrin. It worked well but made me feel like a robot. It might work for you, though. I am sorry for your loss, I wish words were enough. Strenght and courage, my friend.

Credit profile image

Sorry for your loss. It feels like I also went through the same path, so maybe if I share what seems to work for me, it could help?

I was diagnosed at around 40 but only took the diagnosis seriously at around 52. After almost two years, I think it is starting to work and I am kind of getting somewhere.

Here is what seems to have worked:

+ I started taking my prescribed Adderall XR consistently

+ Started CBT Therapy

+ Started "slogging" every day (slow jogging)

+ Gym at least 2-3 times per week (started very lightly)

+ Learned meditation with headspace

+ Dusted off my guitar and managed to make more progress in a couple of years than in the prior 30 years (when I stopped every time I was starting to make some progress.)

+ If you haven't yet, I would highly recommend the book "Driven to Distraction": I am a slow reader, so I listened to it as an audiobook with Audible. It is eye-opening.

It saddens me to think that I may not be able to maintain this without medicine, but it is what it is. I made the error of stopping medicine when I was first diagnosed in my early forties. Going years without it, I went through terrible times because I could not function properly.

I regret not having learned CBT earlier. I highly recommend it. Try to find a therapist that specializes in ADD, though.

Just realized I am mostly writing about myself, sorry about that, I just mean to share some experiences that hopefully can help you and/or others.

Very best wishes to you and all,

1972jules profile image
1972jules in reply to Credit

Thank you so much. It’s great hearing about your experiences. You have given me some great ideas for me to move forward.

Fire_Horse profile image

Grief for loss of a parent as well as grieving over the missed opportunities and feeling like one hasn’t met one's own potential is an overwhelming lot to deal with. Learning about a diagnosis late in life is brutal. I tried the non stimulant type treatment meds and like the majority, they didn’t do enough to make a difference. Stimulants alone won’t cut it either. But to do the cognitive behavior therapy ADDERS need, your going to need to focus to practice those strategies. Don’t feel bad for missing work. You’ve carried enough shame for a lifetime. Others will continue to keep that bowl of shame full. Even those that love you. Great resource: go to ADDitude snd search for the adult section. Subscribe to the full magazine if possible. Print off anything you want loved ones to understand. I made the mistake of trying to educate my family myself and they just see it as an excuse which wore me down over the years. Make sure you are seeing a psychiatrist with experience in prescribing meds and dialing those meds in. It may take a while. As a woman, peri menopause and menopause exacerbated my symptoms. Find your tribe and feel validated. Mostly, be kind to yourself and define all the ways one defines self care. Exercise, diet, human connection and creative outlet. Self compassion!! I’m sorry for your loss. Now give birth to your true self.

Fire_Horse profile image

Also, I thought I was lazy. I’m not. I as bored and unable to sustain a working memory intensive job. I had intermittent FMLA. If you work for a company with over 50 employees, depending on the role you play, you may be eligible for that. Consult the ADA. Americans With Disabilities. Tread carefully with HR, until you fully understand your rights as well as the advantages and disadvantages of disclosure to supervisors depending on what works for you. I’ve determined I need to start my own business so I can work according to my own most productive hours. What time of day or night are you best with executive functioning? Good luck!!!!

1972jules profile image

Thank you! I have been carrying so much guilt and shame over the years. I never knew what was wrong it’s me. I would start a job with I can do it all attitude,p. I lived in fear that they would come to realize that I was fake and not qualified or smart enough to do the job. The diagnosis has been both a blessing and a curse. I appreciate you replying and you have made me feel better. You make a great cheerleader!

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