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Thread for those with adult ADHD or who think they might have ADHD

(341 Posts)
Borntobedifferent Thu 11-Apr-19 19:34:59

So I've put this into mental health as although it isn't really a mental health issue it tends to be discovered (in adults) when there is other mental health issues.

I've written a few times elsewhere on here about my ADHD but thought it might be nice to have an ongoing thread.

All that i ask is that we focus on adult ADHD as I'm sure there is other threads for those with children with ADHD.

I am nearly a year diagnosed now (I'm 37) and am on Elvanse 40mg and amfexa 5mg first thing in the morning.

I am so on 200mg sertraline and diazepam as by the time I was diagnosed I was just totally broken.

I have a therapist and today I started with an ADHD coach, I have to learn to accept my past and to embrace the positives of ADHD but it's not an easy thing to do.

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toffee1000 Thu 11-Apr-19 21:03:42

I really fit inattentive ADHD. I also have ASD diagnosed Nov 2017. I’m having counselling right now, mainly for self esteem problems, and a couple of weeks ago my counsellor did mention an ADHD assessment. I’m seeing her again tomorrow so I might mention it.

Borntobedifferent Thu 11-Apr-19 21:19:05

Lack of self esteem is a real factor for those who have undiagnosed ADHD. We hear more negative comments about ourselves and always know we don't quite fit in or manage life like other people.

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ADHDme Thu 11-Apr-19 21:25:37

Thanks for this thread.

I am building up the courage to see my doctor about an assessment. I have bought the book 'You mean I'm not lazy etc'.

toffee1000 Thu 11-Apr-19 21:51:59

My self esteem issues mainly stem from ASD-related social problems I think, rather than ADHD problems. Poor executive function is a feature of ASD, and it can sound pretty similar to inattentive ADHD. But who knows? I don’t “officially” have ADHD. I’ll definitely look into it.

northface90 Thu 11-Apr-19 23:14:35

I am pretty certain I do. No self esteem and way too lacking in confidence to go discuss it with my GP!

BlossomCat Thu 11-Apr-19 23:21:07

Northface, are you me?
I am pretty certain that I have ADHD, but actually going to the doctor and requesting an assessment feels to much like an admission of failure to be a proper grown up.
My son was diagnosed in infant school, and he is definitely like his mum!

Whatdoyouknowwhenyouknownowt Thu 11-Apr-19 23:25:38

I'm dx'd. Middle 40s.

I occasionally comment on threads but I suffer a bit with rsd so tend not to go back & check, particularly if there are nonbelievers posting.

Happy to discuss...

shiveringtimber Thu 11-Apr-19 23:47:07

Hi! I was diagnosed with ADHD eleven years ago and was prescribed Ritalin. I'm on 20mg x 3 / day, although if I have a lie-in, I only take two.

The Ritalin changed my life (for the better). I can't even begin to describe it. When I told my DF, he admitted he'd been diagnosed with it also but had refused any treatment. Both my DC (DD 18, DS 15) were diagnosed shortly after I was. DS still struggles, even with meds and therapy. DD only takes her meds when she's at uni or studying.

Borntobedifferent Fri 12-Apr-19 01:28:03

Whatdoyouknowwhenyouknownow

Totally know what you mean! I'll start a thread and no one will reply or I'll seem to kill a thread and I take it personally.

My ADHD life coach said there are meds for RSD which surprised me and I'm going to look into it.

I understand those who feel reluctant to speak to their GP. I saw a NHS psychiatrist about my depression and told him I thought I had ADHD and he didn't say anything and it wasn't mentioned again.

I went private in the end, first through an online Skype service and now I go to Leeds to see a top specialist privately. I'm fortunate I can do that and he's been amazing and has just skyped me to see how I was doing before (not charging me ) and I am happy to be seeing someone who is leading the field.

Our understanding of adult ADHD is changing all the time and so I do try and keep up to date with what is being talked about here and in America.

Was anyone else perfectly fine at school? I was miss chatterbox but was happy and generally liked by peers and teachers as I was enthusiastic and would volunteer to so things. I think the high level of interaction and short lessons suited me. I did though have my moments.

So if you wonder if you have ADHD but are out off by thinking that you can't have it as you fine at school it's still worth investigating. You have to show you had it from a young age and j did have it but it didn't present in the way many people think it does.

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toffee1000 Fri 12-Apr-19 02:27:55

I liked school, which seems to be unusual for someone with ASD. I don’t have any major sensory problems, the ones I do have are quite minor and not to do with light/sound. My main issues were social; I found moving to secondary difficult and made no friends the first year. I basically went to the library at the start of every lunch break and would wait till there was no queue outside the lunch hall (the library overlooked the playground (it was a 4-18 school) and the canteen was entered from the playground). I eventually made a couple of friends but they weren’t the partying type, they were fairly quiet like me. I wasn’t ever bullied which again seems unusual for someone with ASD, there were a couple of girls I didn’t really like much but they weren’t bullies. Perhaps I got lucky with my year group. They were fairly nice (it was all girls, I never (personally) experienced any bitchiness).
The main ADHD issues would’ve been organisation (dear lord my organising skills were horrendous!!) and keeping focused on my work, I was often at the front of the classroom. I liked French and German as well as RS (guess what my A Levels were gringrin), most of the others were “meh” or shit (mainly maths, physics, PE and ICT). Teachers found my lack of organisation rather exasperating, plus I never really worked hard; I never really understood what working hard meant, and I wasn’t a competitive person. By that I mean my dad was told he was good at English at school, so he determined to do the best he could at English and tried to be the best in the class etc. That wasn’t me at all. It was a selective school and they were used to bright girls who worked hard, I only fit the first one. Still managed to do well and went to a Russell Group university, and a fair few of the teachers still liked me.

I was somewhat “hyperactive” as a child (not in the naughty acting out sort of way) but that’s totally gone now, I don’t tick any “hyperactive” ADHD boxes. I’m not fidgety or anything like that.

ADHDme Fri 12-Apr-19 08:26:30

You have to show you had it from a young age and j did have it but it didn't present in the way many people think it does.

What sort of presentations would be typical for a female? By young age, do you mean under 10? I thrived in primary but not so much at secondary.

@toffee1000 This sounds very familiar. I was bullied for my looks and for being studious. I think my year group was full of ND females. I was constantly late and daydreamed a lot in classes-I could be entirely somewhere else for a whole lesson.

ADHDme Fri 12-Apr-19 08:28:19

for my looks haha I mean appearance

northface90 Fri 12-Apr-19 09:26:20

I didn't really fit in at school and had a number of exclusions. I'm really scatty and my brain seems to go a million miles an hour. I also talk really fast and people find it hard to understand me. I Start loads of things but don't finish them. My house and desk at work are a mess - I'll regularly blitz them but it gets on top of me. I don't sleep very well either.

northface90 Fri 12-Apr-19 09:29:08

I'm trying to get counselling about other issues so maybe this is something I can talk to them about.

grumpyyetgorgeous Fri 12-Apr-19 10:01:09

Hello, can I join in? No diagnosis as I've never asked for it, I manage. But a counsellor I saw for several years told me a few times she thought I should look into ADHD/Asc..... I do believe I have traits. Very very socially anxious, over eat massively, a lot of sensory issues, need a very high level of down time before I can face social interaction, get overwhelmed easily. I could go on.
At school I used to pace endlessly round the corridors or playground.... and cry a lot. Apart from that I was fine hmm
Thanks for starting this thread and hello everybody!!

Whatdoyouknowwhenyouknownowt Fri 12-Apr-19 10:01:41

I was good at school, other than talking too much & struggling with social stuff.

Started to struggle at A levels & failed one, really struggled at Uni. Work was a disaster & have had many jobs.

Housework, hmmm....

Can hyper focus!

Anyone wondering, have a look at the NICE guidelines. Tho it appears some GPs appear to struggle, mine was good.

Anyone in Wales, there is no adult ADHD strategy, tho ASD people have their own service now, so I cannot see why not when it's often co-morbid. I've been writing to my AM, not that it appears to have any effect.

ADHD seems to be treated as the unwanted love child of the mental health world. People like ADHD Foundation have a lot of resources. ADHD Wise runs courses & meets.

I think the sad thing for women is the misdiagnosis, as treatment for depression isn't even half as effective as treating ADHD.

Whatdoyouknowwhenyouknownowt Fri 12-Apr-19 10:04:48

The hyperactive element can refer to the internal workings if the brain, not running around & climbing the walls.

I'm not what you'd imagine as dx'd by along way!

AgentCooper Fri 12-Apr-19 10:14:12

I really wonder about this. I’ve have a diagnosis of generalised anxiety disorder and also have been experiencing depression in the past few years. I have seen a number of counsellors and am now seeing a clinical psychologist every few weeks on the NHS. Nobody has ever mentioned ADHD but the more I read...

I did well at school but in the subjects that I didn’t really have to try in (arts and languages) but struggled with anything that required a lot of concentration (maths, science). I would (and still) daydream to the point of completely zoning out then realise I don’t have a clue what’s going on. I always feel like there’s 2 or 3 conversations going on in my head and a song playing, like it’s never quiet. I’ve tried mindfulness meditation but find it so hard.

I’m a quitter. I haven’t lived up to my potential. Started uni and won the prize for French, quit and went to art school, wanted to quit but stuck it out, then went back to uni. Ended up getting a PhD but the lack of structure and company sent me over the edge and I got so anxious I was suicidal. I won prizes for student journalism but never stuck at it. Left academia and now work in university admin, which I think suits me as it’s lots of small tasks in a structured day but sometimes I wonder what I could have done with my life had I lived up to my potential. I know I couldn’t do a job with huge responsibility because I make so many stupid wee mistakes, and am absent minded. Even when i’ve checked and double checked something there are often still mistakes. My mind just drifts. I spend two minutes on a task then onto the internet.

I used to smoke and felt like it made me feel right, focused and calm, but I stopped because I wanted to get pregnant and basically didn’t want to get cancer and die. I vape now, though it’s not the same. When i’m feeling low/anxious I think non-stop about smoking, with a really intense focus, and I wish i’d never even tried it. It’s a complete obsession and I hate it.

Does any of this sound familiar? Those of you who were suffering with anxiety/depression, do you find ADHD meds have helped at all? I’m still breastfeeding my 18 month old DS so I probably wouldn’t be able to change from my sertraline anyway (psychiatrist at my practice has refused exploring other meds before).

Whatdoyouknowwhenyouknownowt Fri 12-Apr-19 12:30:55

Have a google for the DIVA 2 diagnosis document. It has examples and I found it very helpful as I struggle to think and obv some of the issues I didn't see myself but they are very obvious to others.

For a dx, you need a clinical assessment too but it's a good place to start. My DH was a bit "oh, another thing" until he went through it with me and it was much easier to look at that and discuss, before seeing a GP, etc.

Whatdoyouknowwhenyouknownowt Fri 12-Apr-19 12:33:20

I think there's definitely a lot of "could do better" and "didn't achieve my potential" and "why can I do x and not keep a tidy house/look after myself, etc" in common from what I've read on forums/FB groups/talking to people.

Toughmonkeys Fri 12-Apr-19 12:36:07

This could be perfect for me, I'm being encouraged to go for an asd/adhd diagnosis. 4 of my 6 children either have a asd or adhd diagnosis or are in the process and it's the professionals working with them who are encouraging me. I only discovered I probably have these issues 2 years ago. I just though I had something wrong with me and was weird. I feel I can cope a bit better knowing what is likely wrong with me.

Borntobedifferent Fri 12-Apr-19 19:28:50

@agentcooper

You certainly have some red flags.

Feeling like you haven't achieved your potential is a huge thing for undiagnosed ADHD women. We know we have the tools but somehow can never use them properly.

Also I watched a video on ADHD the other day that said 40 percent of people with ADHD smoke as it gives them dopemine which we lack.

I would certainly investigate more if I was you.

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Borntobedifferent Fri 12-Apr-19 19:30:32

@toughmonkeys

Rememeber if you do have it there is nothing wrong with us (I have to try and remember this myself!!) We just live in a world that isn't built with us in mind.

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Borntobedifferent Fri 12-Apr-19 19:35:03

This is an article by Rob Baskind who is a leading psychiatrist in the UK for adult ADHD (and happens to be who I see!)

The main thing to take from this is how ADHD presents as an adult and is exactly how I presented to my doctor.

www.guidelinesinpractice.co.uk/neurology-/top-tips-adhd-in-adults/453652.article

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