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Readers Respond: Personal Stories of Adult ADHD

Responses: 109


Updated March 26, 2013


I was put on ritalin when I was in grade school then my mom decided it wasn't needed any longer. Since 6th grade I've been thrown outa multiple schools, dropped out of nursing school twice. And had 6 jobs in last years all lasting only few weeks to a month. I can't sleep, sit still, finish anything, and always forget things or get distracted. I'm almost 24 and just want to function again.
—Guest tiredofmoving845

Thinking I might have ADHD

As a child I was highly talkative to the point it would annoy others. I can remember a neighbor of my grandparents refering to me as the girl who had ants in her pants because I was always on the go. I loved learning so I made good grades. Math was torture and I struggled with it all through school. People always would call me space cadet and always said I lived in my own little bubble a bubble. Once I became a preteen and was given more responsibility I began struggling in school. I would always forget basic materials like pencils paper and text books. I would forget to bring homework home and when I did I would leave it at home. It was never intentional. I was contantly getting in trouble for this as well as for not finishing chores and leaving my stuff every where. It seems like I was getting grounded every other week. I would forget to study for tests but have a great short term memory which helped me study enough before a test to pass.
—Guest L87

Learning to deal

I was diagnosed with ADD after we found out my son had ADD traits. The doctor asked if I wanted medicine and I just laughed. I am 45 years old and don't need medicine for something I have lived with for this long. It's just nice to know why I have felt so "different" all my life. ADD came close to destroying my life and I have made some seriously compromising decisions which really affected my family in a negative way financially. But I am learning to deal with it for what it is and we are successfully working hard to put the pieces together. Some days are hard, like today - I just can't focus on getting the job I need to get done on track, other days I am on FIRE and make up for the bad days in spades. Like guest Denise mentioned, I have had to learn systems to make sure bills get paid - I use on-line banking and have the bills paid automatically out of our account. I feel for those having a tuff go at it - hang in there and try to find something you love to do!
—Guest Paul

Undiagnosed ADHD

I work best under pressure but only when the subject interests me. I feel my spouse doesn't understand me and my whole family, I feel like I see things they don't. And I mean insightful. It's sad how ppl dismiss our kind. I think it's ppl w ADHD that work the hardest and not the way the world thinks worthy. But if we could use our minds to get things done lol they ain't got nothin on us!!!
—Guest ?

Undiagnosed ADHD

It's funny I couldn't read past 4 stories I needed to add my own. I'm nervous about what to say. Socializing has been the hardest thing for me. Maybe bc ppl think I don't care. I think I care too much and all the while they're talking I'm trying to conclude. I think I have special talents. I can do so many things and wish to do so many more I don't know where to start and it's overwhelming. I am extremely stressed and by it overwhelmed w worry and fear. I always knew I was different and that was a sure sign to me of success. What fun is there in being the same as others? Being irreplaceable is far more important. (That's how I see it). I'm catholic and I've noticed ppl think I'm obsessed w religion. Well I learned to let that go. I was scaring ppl off. I only have 3 friends that I also consider close but often even they're not around. My minds been fogged since forever and right now I have small but major to me goals. Like washing dishes and cooking. It's a challenge.
—Guest Miss talented


How on earth have we survived? There must be something built in us that helped us keep getting up. In everything I face I have to find someone who is good in that area, ask them how they did it, from filing to studying and relationships. Seems like there r days you just can't make a simple decision. Why can other people sit down and think things through and come up with an answer and then let go of it?
—Guest Karin


I'm glad I read these posts because I can feel a little better knowing I'm not alone with this curse....especially Paul's story which made me LOL literally!!!! It's funny but it's also extremely frustrating and exhausting. I've been living this nightmare for years and, without any real help. Parents would never have considered ADD but had no problem criticizing me, labeling me and all of my family has laughed and done this for years. Yeh, thanks for all the support right. I've educated myself but have never found the right place to go for treatment. I've tried but it’s impossible to find someone to date regarding adult ADD. Probably too late to do anything with all my years of developing coping skills that would be hard to change at this point. At least I've found others who I can relate to and they with me. Depression is overwhelming at times (it's more like dysthymia) and so much a part of my life I have no answers of how to change it. Tried numerous antidepressants and also Ritalin.

always had ADHD but not grown out of it

I've had ADD/ADHD ever since i can remember. i was diagnosed with it in kindergarten i am now 24. i just lost my job and i get bored with them easily. i hate long term projects because they bore me. i love being put on projects that require problem solving and and quick to the point detail and instant gratification. i am at the point in my life that i should be out on my own but i cant hold a job down cuz i cant keep my darn mouth shut and its really affecting me. i have tried on several occasions to keep it under control and to no avail i blurt out what im thinking, or scoff or be a smartass without realizing it. im tired of it and i have also noticed that i always feel like im always being targeted at a job like they are always looking to fire me, even tho im doing good...i think, then it happens, when i think im doing good i get fired cuz im off in my own world or not working fast enough and im tired of it. i wish i could get help, it really hurts.
—Guest tristan price


42 yrs. old and just finding out i have ADHD. it hurt, but it didnt hurt. it hurts because i didnt have parents to see this in my childhood. it doesn't hurt because i know that this is a gift and not a curse. just need to slowdown, just started seeing a therapist and studing this gift that i have, keep in mind this hurt me for 42 yrs. but lets look at the bright side i will not allow it to take 42 more yrs. i will be going back to the therapist to talk and learn more, until i start my meds, studying about this as well as finding out released alot of stress.

Stupid Brain

I've known I've had ADHD since 4th grade. I went through various medications that were miracle helps for school. In high school, I knew enough about myself and how I worked that I was able to cope more readily without it. (I kind of needed to sometimes, because the meds that worked best were appetite suppressants). When I moved out at 18, I didn't have the money to get my (much needed) ADHD medication and learned to live with my racing thoughts, short attention span, etc and it was difficult. Mostly I over organized everything to the point of OCD. Now I'm in college and I'm realizing just how much I need to be back on some kind of medication. The frustrations and tears are not worth it and not being able to find the focus within myself for class is unbearable.
—Guest Rose

Well interesting

I work in an office and always had a very hard time with English and sitting still in class. I am not sure if it is ADD. Sometimes I can focus on more than one thing at a time and out pace most people around me. Other times it seems like I have 7 billion horse power and no steering wheel. I often wonder if it is a sleep issue or if it is this problem. I intend to get checked for a sleep problem.
—Guest Dan also

I think I have ADD

I really feel like I have ADD but I haven't been tested for it. I am in my 5th year in university. I've felt this way from as far as I can remember (at least since grade 4 or 5). But I'm really starting to notice more and more as time goes by. My brain always feels cloudy and foggy. I am always thinking of 5 different things at once. I have to get people to repeat themselves all the time because I either didn't hear them or wasn't paying attention. I am always late for things (class and assignment). I procrastinate for everything!! I procrastinate to the point where even when I have something due the next day, or even the same day, I procrastinate or get distracted. For example, I knew ahead of time I was supposed to read a book and do a seminar on it and I left it too late and thought I could do it only to realize I was too over-whelmed and nervous to even attempt getting it done and I ended up telling my teacher the day of (for a 4th year university class) that I couldn't finish it.
—Guest Lisa

Grateful Today

Recently I realized that when my husband and I disagree it doesn't mean I am wrong. I am a mother of three teenagers(young adults). Two are diagnosed with ADHD- different symptoms- I was diagnosed after they were in the past couple of years. I went through a mourning stage- what could I have accomplished in life if this was addressed at an earlier age. I turned to alcohol and excitement during my teenage years. I am now sober over 15 years. The steps I have taken with a sponsor have helped me a lot with my ADHD symptoms which has been helpful with relating with people and life on life's terms. I take adderall which has helped in many ways, some behaviors are still needing attention. I recently changed health care and have coverage for seeing a psychologist. No local psychiatrists in the area. I have hope to continue to learn and grow into the woman I deserve to be today for myself and those around me. Especially my husband and children. Learning more about myself each day grateful.
—Guest 40+ & accepting myself most of the time

Social nets insufficient

I feel a little better reading these posts but I want to bring something to light here. I've been looking for adult resources for ADHD for *expletive* years. A great deal of the knowledge I maintain about my disorder I had to learn since I've seen so many psychiatrists and psychologists that DO NOT KNOW HOW TO HELP. You google ADHD in adults? Oh guess what....help for your kids, help for your teens.... oh here's some idiotic holistic BULL. The answers I require lie in the neurochemistry and unless I understand this disorder down to the neuron, I will remain feeling helpless and misunderstood.
—Guest captain_asparagus

Why Don't I Get Temper Tantrums, Part 75

Okay, one more thing and I swear to god I'll shut up. I've read a lot of these posts and I want to say THANK YOU to all of you. We may never meet but I get and understand each and every one of these posts, and we are out here in cyber space feeling your pain! Just know that...

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