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ADHD - has diagnosis and medication improved your life?(21 Posts)
I am 44 years old and strongly believe I have ADHD. I have finally reached the stage where I can no longer handle the impact on my work and personal life. I am in the process of getting a referral from my GP to a specialist.
Can you tell me what your experience has been since diagnosis? If you are taking medication, has it helped?
Also, I am worried about what I read about having to ask your parents to fill in information about what you were like when you were a child. My parents are very elderly and I do not want to involve them in this. Was this an issue for anyone else?
I was recently diagnosed. My 10yo has adhd and asd.
Iam 31. Since i started medication I am.a less tired as I excert less energy and am more in the moment than doing 50 things at once i gave a.case history as a child- very outgoing and impulsive and didn't need info from parents
That's good to hear. Another reason I don't want to involve my parents is that I grew up in a big, chaotic family where we were left to our own devices. As long as we were not failing school or in trouble, we were left to ourselves. Also went to a tiny school in the countryside that was also a bit chaotic - we never had tests and no report cards. Glad to hear I may be able to give my own testimony.
Not personally but I've seen the process through work. Where I live there is only one psychiatrist who does an assessment clinic for adult ADHD and when I was a student I spent a week with him. He was really passionate about how diagnosis and medication could change people's lives (and the subject in general was of great interest to him). He also talked a lot about people (particularly women) being incorrectly diagnosed previously with Borderline personality disorder, when in fact they had ADHD. He believed for these people the medication had a huge positive change in their life, where previous treatment had not.
After sitting in on several assessments I definitely felt I met criteria for the hyperactive part, but not the attention deficit and knowing this has been helpful on a personal level.
@greysome Thanks, that sounds positive. I used to think this is just what I am like. I happened upon an article describing the symptoms and I felt so seen. It came as a shock to me. Now I realise why I have chopped and changed my jobs so often throughout my career. I currently work for a really great company but before lockdown had started looking for new jobs as I just couldn't cope even though the work is quite easy and non-stressful. I have come to the realisation that I need to work out what is up with me first before thinking about changing jobs.
YES. Immeasurably. The diagnosis more than the medication.
Growing up in a chaotic family probably won't surprise the assessing doctor and they may even mark it down as a point to be considered - ADHD is highly genetic so it's likely that one or both of your parents would have it too, and this can lead to a slightly chaotic kind of upbringing.
Watch/listen to this. It's long (I put it on while sorting laundry or cleaning the kitchen or cooking) but it is incredibly emotive - he just GETS IT.
My son was diagnosed as a 'tween' and medication has been life changing for all of us, most of all him. He has ASD as well but found his ADHD far more debilitating (he has high-functioning autism). He's been able to excel at school, make lasting friendships and plan on long-term goals like university. Had to go private for diagnosis, however, and we pay for his meds privately.
@BertieBotts - Looks interesting. I will listen while I try to do my chores this weekend (I will start my chores, then decide I need a coffee, then decide a different non-essential chore needs doing, then it's probably time for lunch, go back to original chores, feel defeated, decide to go outside and buy another notebook where I will make lists and that will solve all my problems....)
@InDeoEstMeaFiducia - I am going to go private. Have health insurance through work that will pay for an assessment. Might as well get some use out of the policy. Also, want to try and access this as soon as possible. I feel READY!
Good on you! It's been well worth it for us. What's troubling is knowing how many people out there whose minds and educations have been ruined by this condition and left them unable to reach their full potential, what a sad waste.
@InDeoEstMeaFiducia - Thank you! Yes, I definitely have not reached my full potential and have had some difficult years. I've made decisions that I regret about relationships because I felt I couldn't cope in that moment and the only thing I could change was the relationship. I've left workplaces I liked because again, it seemed like the only thing I could change in the moment. Some friendships have fallen by the wayside. I've watched all my friends pass me by and been successful and fulfilled in various ways. I think they find my life strange - I was always the smart, bright one
I really hope you can get diagnosed and medication makes a difference for you. Everyone deserves to live their best life and that includes you. Onwards and upwards! They should be able to assess you without your parents being involved.
There have been quite a few long-running, recent threads on adult ADHD diagnoses, have a search. Full of useful info.
Im like you OP, the clever one in my class/family but overtaken by the diligent ones.
Two of my kids now have ADHD diagnosis but I'm holding back, slightly worried about facing up to what my life should have been if it did work for me and im 50+ and my blood pressure is starting to go up, so health concerns play a part.
@Absolutely20 - I just noticed one not far down the page after I posted mine and kicked myself for not joining in that one. ARGH! For about the last 12 months I've been lurking and googling 'mumsnet + adhd + adult' and that's what's given me the courage to finally confront this.
@Wbeezer - I've spent months trying to face up to this and finally understood that I am (hopefully) halfway through my life and I want to make the most of the coming years.
I know that diagnosis and maybe medication might not bring about the changes I hope, BUT I want to be able to know that I tried. What's done is done, the past is the past. I am sure if I had a brain that worked differently, I'd be in a different place, but then again, I might not have met the people I've met or had the experiences I had. So, it hasn't all been bad.
Have you spoken to anyone about this or asked your GP?
No, part of my my problem is my Dad was a GP and I've been left with a horror of bothering the doctor unless im actually ill! Nowhere for adults to get a diagnosis here. We've also spent quite a lot of money getting the kids private diagnosis, they had to come first because they had exams to pass. I actually did quite well at school and art school just couldn't stick at anything when i was out of the protective cocoon of family and education.
I think i will get some help soon, dont really need help understanding it, working out what to do to help the kids has educated about myself too, but i dont think i will get beyond acceptance to actual change without meds, well maybe i could when my life gets simpler when all the kids dont need me anymore. The menopause is looming which will not help, if im lucky i should have 20 good years, it would be nice to achieve something beyond being a mother.
I have managed a succesful 25 year marriage though its not all bad!
@Wbeezer - Yes, you have a family and a long successful marriage. That is an achievement that I couldn't even imagine Hope you can carve out the time and resources for you soon.
There are non stimulant medications which aren't a concern for blood pressure.
I totally relate to all of these stories about being bright and clever and "full of potential" only to end up pregnant at 19 and then in a string of dead end jobs. I have a bit of a complex about it. I have just moved into a job I absolutely love in a career direction I am really excited about going but I am still beating myself up because it's "only" retail.
I try to look at the positives. At my most recent interview the guy interviewing me said "You've done a lot of things!" and I didn't know if that was positive or negative so I just smiled in what I hoped was a confident way and said "Yes, I have!" I've done lots of little bits of things. I've gone in about 5 different separate directions now to date and none of it makes coherent sense if you look at it as a narrative. I kind of like that though in a way? Who wants a boring life? I mean yes I am highly envious of the kinds of perks DH in his boring predictable office job has. Part of me longs for that. Another part of me says I should be grateful to get any job and at least I'm having fun. About once every 5 years I do something crazy and it's not working out too terribly so far I have never wanted to be rich but it would be nice to be comfortable.
I'm 43 and whilst looking up adhd for my child, I stumbled on Russell Barkley, then watched his adult adhd video and BOOM, everything made sense, I have ADHD!! Not diagnosed but I ticked all the attention deficit boxes. I was very bright at school, a grades mainly, went to uni, managed to do well career wise, I'm earning more than pretty much all my peers from school. But I can't hold down a relationship, I'm impulsive, I dive in with both feet and 3 years later have a dawning realisation that they are abusive and I need out. This has happened about 6 times now. I'm scatty, I agree to do things then forget, I'm rubbish with deadlines, I'm always late, My house is a mess, but realising I have ADHD has made me incredibly happy because now I can use techniques and or meds to improve. I was supposed to have a telephone appointment with the doctor on Wednesday just gone to discuss it but I forgot so I missed the call 🤷♀️
I’ve been following these threads with interest as I really recognise myself in the experiences of women with adult dx of adhd. I was very academically bright but have endless trouble completing tasks, was always criticised for being messy, disorganised over emotional at school. As an adult I slipped from relationship to relationship and job to job often experiencing anxiety and depression. I’m so distracted and prone to procrastinating that I forget things, rush to do them last minute and really struggle to complete tasks still. My thoughts run a mile a minute but once inspiration drops I can’t motivate myself.
But can you have ADHD and be academically successful? I completed a degree after 2 drop outs and terrible abusive relationship. I did a masters and have after much support from my supervisor done my PhD (he literally sat me in his office towards the end and talked with me while I got my ideas in order). So can I still have adhd?
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