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Has anyone been diagnosed with ADHD in adulthood?

(15 Posts)
Anonynonny Sun 20-Jul-14 13:24:46

And if so, how do you deal with it?

I'm not sure if I've got it, but a friend of mine who knows about it told me she thinks I have and said I should go and see a doctor about it. She sent me a list of behaviours and I tick something like 9 or 10 out of 12. Thing is, I don't believe in medicalising stuff that might just be a bit out of the ordinary normal and I'm not sure what use it would do to get an official diagnosis, but I wondered if anyone has experience of this and has managed to organise their life without medication or with. Just want some advice and experience if anyone's out there who knows.

Am rushing out today so apologies if I don't return for a couple of days, but I'd be grateful for any opinions.

Anonynonny Mon 21-Jul-14 11:33:15


Anonynonny Mon 21-Jul-14 17:11:30

Another bump

EasyToEatTiger Mon 21-Jul-14 20:20:00

Would a diagnosis help you? Drugs are available which are said to concentrate the mind. For some people the diagnosis is a great relief, though in adulthood it's much harder to diagnose because so many other things can cause the same symptoms. My brother decided that he had ADHD, looked up all the symptoms, started living by them, decided he wanted a diagnosis, and subsequently got one. He got the drugs and stopped taking them as they weren't working. His lifelong friends, amongst whom are mental health professionals, didn't agree with his self-diagnosis, so these days he lives in a muddle. Most people can clock up quite a lot of the symptoms of ADHD. It's called being human.

Enough about me. There are lots of self-help lifestyle things you can do and minor changes to diet, and of course, writing lists. Some people might get a comorbid diagnosis of personality disorder. These conditions can wreck lives, and certainly, if there is help to be had, it is worth getting as much as you can!

Sorry about the rant. DB is mentally far worse these days than he used to be, especially since he decided all his problems were due to ADHD.

StandsOnGoldenSands Mon 21-Jul-14 20:21:43

Is it negatively affecting your life? If not then I am not sure what seeking diagnosis would do for you.

If you feel that these behaviours are negatively affecting your life then it is definitely worth pursuing diagnosis and whatever support is out there.

Pagwatch Mon 21-Jul-14 20:27:22

My friend has and it's been life changing.
Yes, a diagnosis helped enormously. She has a genuine understanding of what drives behaviours that she previously couldn't understand
She's a fantastic woman. I've seen the most wonderful change in her. It's bloody brilliant.

If you think it's possible, do it - pursue it

Anonynonny Mon 21-Jul-14 23:48:47

Standsongoldensands, yes it definitely affects my life. Really adversely. I feel permanently on edge, wondering what I should have done today but haven't done. I am constantly losing stuff, being late for things, missing appointments, forgetting to do things I'm supposed to - just generally being flaky and feeling out of control. I've always been like this but I think I've got worse recently. I got a bit better when I had children because you have to be a bit organised with them, but it seems to have gone back to the chaotic way it used to be.

It's more than the usual "bit scatty" problem, it's making me feel desperate, anxious, inadequate and hopeless. I'm afraid to apply for promotions etc. because I can't imagine how I can ever organise workloads, tasks etc. And yet I'm very intelligent, well-educated etc. (promise!) and used to run my own department in a marketing firm (albeit it was so easy and structured that I didn't have any organisation to do, just wrote my list every day and ticked it off, so that made me look efficient when I'm not really).

Pagwatch, what did your friend do when she had a diagnosis? How has it helped her getting one, what made her feel different once she knew it was definitely ADHD that made her behave in a certain way?

Easytoeattiger, I completely take your point that so many people can clock up symptoms of ADHD and I wonder if I'm exaggerating to myself to try and flail around looking for excuses as to why I am incompetent at organising myself and remembering things. I'm scared it's all a figment of my imagination and I should just get my act together and get myself sorted and get on with it - but I try that about every month after an hysterical meltdown after I've lost something else important or missed an important deadline to do something. I really wonder if there's some way of getting a grip without going through that process of dealing with mental health teams etc.

Elibean Tue 22-Jul-14 09:25:50

My dh has a client who was diagnosed in his late 30s. It's helped him, and his marriage, enormously...I guess it helps to 'place' stuff, to understand and accept and help others just understand and accept, rather than take personally etc.

Not personal experience, but dh was struck (as, apparently, the man was) by how much difference just having a diagnosis made.

Pagwatch Tue 22-Jul-14 12:07:52

She had been treated for so many things over the years including pnd and other stuff. When anti depressants and counselling etc didn't help she just blamed herself.
Knowing what makes her tick has allowed her to get medical but also find strategies to help her as well as stopping her getting into cycles of blaming herself, feeling guilty and frustrated etc.
I can't be more specific I'm afraid. I know what she tells me but I don't drill down in detail because she doesn't necessarily want to.

I think realising she wasn't all the things she told herself for years helped her enormously.

mayihaveaboxofchoculaits Tue 22-Jul-14 13:07:03

google Hallowell and Ratey for adult adhd , I found them really helpful.

There is also a adhd f/b group.

Im in two minds about meds vs organised life or both together.

A relative has always been having symptoms since early childhood but no doctor was interested.
Now at 20, she has been assessed at uni and given a grant(dsa) to cover dictaphone, help getting organised (personale)and computer programs. But noone is saying ADHD.
I think it depends where you live in the country whether you get put forward for a diagnosis and when. In our area its a 9 month waiting list (nhs) or a £500 bill if you go for a private diagnosis.
My relative has little confidence and feels as if everyone is so much brighter than she is.

I personally think that a strong (protective) social network or family is the most helpful thing. Trying and failing constantly without social support is such a blow to your self esteem, but maintaining a social network is often one of the difficulties to face.

Pinkfrocks Tue 22-Jul-14 17:31:24

Diagnosing ADHD formally is quite hard- children see a paediatrician but not sure who an adult would see- maybe a psychologist or a psychiatrist?
You'd probably need to pay privately unless your ADHD was causing you huge day to day problems.

It might be better to deal with the issues you have and forget about having the 'label'.

You might find that you can draw up your own list of what would help- many people with ADHD have to rely on technology- using their phone etc for prompts. Someone like a personal coach who is able to work with clients with ADHD might be helpful, to help you with time management and organisation.

There will be support groups and forums so if you haven't already, have a google.

Anonynonny Tue 22-Jul-14 19:00:57

Thank you all so much for talking to me about this.

mayihavea, is it John Ratey or Nancy Ratey? They both look quite interesting and both look as if they deal with Ratey.

Does anyone have any recommendations for support forums? I've found this one but wondered if there are any others people have found useful.

Pinkfrocks Tue 22-Jul-14 19:26:21

Have you seen this- support info right at the bottom of the page.

Pinkfrocks Tue 22-Jul-14 19:27:32

This is one of them listed

mayihaveaboxofchoculaits Wed 23-Jul-14 20:43:26

Anony, its john j ratey.
Also Kate Kelly/Peggy Ramundo book You mean i'm not lazy stupid or crazy.Its helpful. A lot of adhd reading centres around children.
Adhd doesnt go away but adults develope helpful and unhelpful stratagies to overcome their problems.

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