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Readers Respond: Personal Stories of Adult ADHD

Responses: 74

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Updated March 26, 2013

Falling Apart & Destroying My Life

This is my first time to share my experience with ADHD. I feel better reading other responses and knowing that there are others experiencing some of the same symptoms or issues that I am. I've always had ADHD, but not diagnosed until 8 years ago. I didn't have poor behavior in grade school, but got C's & D's in conduct for talking too much, comments without being called upon, etc. I'm 38 now and ADD/ADHD was not heard of back in grade school. My symptoms seemed to improve as I got into middle school and high school and eventually in college. After college I became a Pharmaceutical sales rep focusing on Psychiatry and Neurology. My performance was great and I enjoyed my job. One day while talking to a Psychiatrist I mentioned my past symptoms and how I still have a difficult time sitting down to read and comprehend the information. Of course he comments on how that can be improved. I figured I might be able to do things that I never thought possible if I was treated.
—gj20

ADHD Anxiety

Anxiety & ADHD is not just an adult condition. We found out that our 8 year old is suffering from it, for all reasons mentioned in the article about adult ADHD & anxiety. We don't treat it as a separate condition (no more meds!) but we are ever mindful that ADHD plays into his behaviors as much as the ADHD does.
—Guest AlwaysSharing

ADD sucks

I have come to a point in my life where i am almost 100% definite i have ADD. I can't sleep if there is even a little noise, or study (I'm suppose to be studying right now). I cant sit in a lecture for 2hrs and concentrate I feel like jumping out of my chair. I've been told all my life that I'm lazy, messy, useless etc. I tried teaching but it was an absolute nightmare as i was overwhelmed by all the organization even though i was up till 1am every night trying to organize. i was told that i wasn't trying hard enough and this hurt like hell. I am scared of getting a desk job because i know i wont be able to sit for 8hrs without wanting to escape but most jobs are desk jobs at least the ones where the pay is reasonable.
—Guest kate

...LIGHTNING STRIKES TWICE

CONTINUED...its a really crappy way to live after you were a fairly well put together person and now i'm scattered all over the place. I'm side tracked easier than a 6 yr old. i have this unending game of ... WHERE DID I LEAVE MY READERS THIS TIME..my wife has even found them in the freezer, i own at least 14 pr. and can't find one. Needless to say, the rest of my life is in constant turmoil. i unlock our front door when i get home in the evening and the mail man hands me the keys in the morning.. drugs help to a degree but they don't help me get the job done. all i can say is it is important to keep a sense of humor about things and it will help you and yours cope with ADHD easier.
—B.LUCK

Struck by Lightning ...strikes twice

hi paul, i hope you didn't mind but i printed your story out and gave it to my M.D as an exact copy of my life as i know it today. I'm 54 and been living with this mess ever since i died on dec. 29/09 of respiratory arrest and some bonehead saved me after. I'd been dead & without oxygen for approx. 7 mins. I've always been wound a bit tight most of my life anyway/most of the classic ADD symptoms and things didn't make much sense here and there but i managed. Something took place during the 4 days in i.c.u and now i can't work but i have lots of time and things to do (my wife makes sure of it) lol. At the end of the day my wife comes home from work and asks what i did all day and i explain I'm beat, i was going to go do this..and remembered i needed to ...but decided to go over and get.. but i ended up trying to fix and...well.. all said and done i didn't get a damn thing done all day!!! I don't care what anyone says....its not easy to chase your own tail all day long.
—B.LUCK

To Paul

I laughed so hard and loud at work (in a call center on a sat.) so it was super quiet just me laughing to tears... that's me, especially wondering why I'm so tired and nothing got done. I'm a mother of 4 so they all take a part of my brain already.
—Guest Ishi

extremely interested...and often bored#2

I could organize my bedroom without getting confused as to what should go where or telling myself “I just don't have the proper organizational materials. As soon as I make that trip to Staples, I am going to put EVERYTHING in its proper place." Problem was, when the meds didn’t handle everything, I was left feeling like a failure, that there must REALLY be something wrong with me because I couldn’t even get my act together with the drugs. It wasn’t until recently, at the age of 31, that I decided to do more research. And low and behold, there are aspects in ADD treatment that are probably essential, but that I never knew existed. Now, I am just trying to pick my self-esteem off the floor, find some faith and stop insisting that I am stupid, or not good enough, lazy, or insane!
—Guest Leah

extremely intersted...and often bored

I can't begin to describe how much I appreciate reading these posts! I was diagnosed with ADD when I was 13 and was put on and off stimulant drugs for years. This worked for certain aspects of my ADD, but when the drug wore off, or if I didn’t take it, in fact sometimes even if I did take it, my world would return to the cluttered self destructive mess that it had been before. I was told that ALL I had to do was take the drugs because they would solve EVERYTHING! Yeah, well, not so much. At first, I absolutely experienced that "Aha" moment of "wow, my brain suddenly feels so crisp, clean, and clutter free.” I found I could tackle sitting through classes (3/4 of which had previously bored me to tears) with a modicum of interest. Some days, I even found myself excited about aspects of the previously mundane lectures my teachers had to offer...
—Guest Leah

i feel ya

I was diagnosed with ADHD at the age of 6 and I’m 26 now and I feel like I have ADHD at a massive level. Everything they describe in the reports for ADHD pertains to me. Every day is just a struggle for me just to get by. I have lost many friends because of it. I always feel down about myself when I never complete a task at work and they call me on it or at home I always have a nonstop thought pattern which really scares me and causes me headaches or migraines. No psychiatrist will see me so I can get on the medicine I need to be on so I’m out here alone with no way to control it. There are times I’ve laid awake at night and cried because I figured I’d be better off dead and it would all end but to me that is too easy of a way out. I can’t be organized. I can’t focus. I can’t sit still and I have a hard time keeping a job. It’s all way to overwhelming to me. I often daze out at work. I get very frustrated and have a big anger problem which leads to problems at work and at home. I wish someone could help me.
—Guest franklyn

Fear I won't be Listened To

I am 45 and have probably had ADD all my life as I can't remember ever having a straight thought without having a thousand or so other thoughts congesting my processes. I procrastinate, I can't focus on my job, doing anything I have to have outlets to redirect my focus to and from what i am trying to accomplish. This is how i compensate for as i will describe having all the pages in all the books at the library floating in space like confetti, within my head, never being able to focus or read a single page, to having each book placed neatly in the bookcase. I can pull each book out when i chose and read its entirety. My issue is I need to find a doctor to listen to me and not think i am trying to direct his diagnosis. I am an RN. I know the game. So many people are scammers and the people that need the help can't get it.
—feramentum

I hate you ADHD

I am a 38 year old woman who was just recently diagnosed with ADHD. It has always been a joke how distracted and unorganized I am but the emotional side is awful. My intimate relationships are affected greatly and I have an amazing ability to sabotage them. I feel as my symptoms are getting worse. I recently started taking Adderall, that has helped a lot, however, I have developed so many bad habits especially with relationships that I am having a hard time breaking those habits. Hurt feelings can turn to sadness can turn to anger can turn to sadness can turn to hurt feelings so quickly that I don't even have time to process which thought/feeling is taking over. This happens especially during times of high stress and anxiety and at night when the medication is losing its effect. The wall of ADHD anger I hide behind is so strong that at times I am uncertain if it will ever go away. I guess the only way to be loved is if someone climbs over it and stays. I hate you ADHD.
—Guest jennifer

I'm homeless alot -ADHD and money

I'm a 45 yr old mother of 4 grown kids but they have seen me move from place to place. It’s so humiliating to not be able to handle your money and have a place to live!!! My parents used to help me, but now a days they think I'm such a screw up they said they can't handle it. I am so terrified. I try really hard and I do well for about 6 months then I crash and burn again. I have always been able to pay everybody back when I get in a jam---that is when I remember to, but sometimes I forget and I have lost the respect of several because of it. Then I finally get them paid back. But the older I get the more this is causing me to have panic attacks and over the last 2 yrs I've been becoming a "person that is afraid of going out of the house" which is really bad because I'm the only person there to pay the bills. In Jan 2011 I quit my job of 10 yrs because I felt like everybody thought I was a joke. Anxiety was making me sick. I don't want to die, just hide it's safer.
—Guest srahn

ADD habits

I let my research on ADD distract me from doing my job! How ADD is that? I'm at work right now with a whirlwind in my head - How to get to the next task!
—maryofFrance

Undiagnosed

I am 43 years of age and it was a little over a year ago that I realized, with a lot of strong suggestion from the love of my life, that I have ADHD/ADD. I am undiagnosed because I can't afford insurance and the cost of testing is expensive and time consuming. But after doing some research for the last year I am convinced. I have spent all of my time learning to function and redefine boundaries in my life. I have ruined my work history and my credit. I have problems with my temper and emotions. If it I didn't have a strong need to create I'd never make it.
—Rockett_man

LATE ONSET ADD exists

I am a senior year medical student with ADD! I've been struggling with symptoms for the past few years without relating it to the disorder. By definition the disorder starts in early childhood, but the symptoms didn't cause me such problems until now.
—Guest DEE

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