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Readers Respond: Personal Stories of Adult ADHD

Responses: 109


Updated March 26, 2013

Why Don't I Get Temper Tantrums, Part 1

TO GUEST JAMIE BLAKE! You are cracking me up!! I'm a May Gemini, and YES! That is the "excuse" I've been using for years! All ADDers are natural Geminis. In astrology they talk about how "lucky" we are to be multi-talented. That always gives me a laugh. More like jack-of-all-trades, master of none, another joke I use with people. BTW, tonight I'm supposed to be working on my script about a woman who has ADD, and I'm having more fun writing in the blog. *SIGH* When will I learn....

Why Don't I Get Temper Tantrums, Part 3

And can we talk about boredom. OH MY GOD! The boredom. I ain't Meryl Streep, but I've been acting for a while, and know a thing or two. Watching a beginning actor get up and hack through a scene is torture for me. I behave, I remind myself I was that actor for a long time, and people had patience with me, but WOW, it's so painful. Other big problem: if you haven't noticed already, I know I talk too much. But I'm an actor and a writer and an English major - I'VE GOT OPINIONS. WHY AREN'T I LIKE EVERYONE ELSE?! I feel like I think faster than everyone else, but I sure as hell know I'm not smarter than everyone else. To those of you out there who are older - remember that ad for the United Negro College Fund in the '60's? "...because a mind is a terrible thing to waste." I've got things to do, scripts to write and act in, acting jobs to chase, songs to write, guitar to practice, and this damn disease screws me up. Oh, I can go on, as you all well know, just needed to vent.

Why Don't I Get Temper Tantrums, Part 2

Contrary to what I am reading on this website, I'm overly sensitive to the verbal and physical clues of other people. I'm better at it than most. So how did I master this skill when I have ADD (believe me I've been diagnosed.) I am an actor, and we are taught to use every trick in the book to re-create real emotion. However, get this: we are also taught to "live in the moment." I didn't even know what that meant at first. I now do - it's the golden Nirvana all actors want to achieve, but SO HARD for us ADDers. Other problem - all actors must take class, all the time, unless you are working all the time. SO I have a very good teacher, but acting classes are structured so that two actors do a scene, then the teacher coaches the actors. This is where the talking starts, and my god, it goes on FOREVER AND FOREVER. I'm 52 years old and I swear to god it's all I can do to sit there and not run out of the room screaming for relief from the constant talking. ACTING IS DOING. BUT, this is a necessary component of the acting class.


I quit everything I had been doing to cope, and got a job...but when I started my job, I found myself right back where I was in school. Unable to focus, organize, and not getting it. I convinced myself I was lazy, and stupid. I stayed at that job, and went on maternity leave when I had my daughter, and I never could have imagined how ADD would get in the way of my good intentions as a mother. Becoming a mom was and still is, the best thing I have ever done, but I found myself not only exhausted, but unable to do simple things for us like planning far enough ahead to go out for an entire day without forgetting things, couldn't plan out meals, couldn't get how mothers did all of this, and kept a clean, sane home. My family just made fun of me, and called me lazy, unorganized, lack of memory and punctuality. Relationships always failed...I could go on forever about how it's affected my life, but I'm just glad I found this site and read your stories. Thanks.
—Guest Amy

Wow! It's all starting to make sense now

I am 26 years old, just diagnosed with ADD 2 days ago. Looking back, I KNOW I've had ADD as far back as I can remember. When I turned 16, I turned to drugs, and alcohol, because I felt so stupid, for dropping out of high school, because it felt like everyone else "got it" but me. I would sit in class, staring at my teachers, writing on the board, and literally have NO idea what they were even talking about, because I hadn't been able to focus long enough. I would talk so much through public school, my grade 4 teacher made my desk face a window in the portable, and put a box around me, so I couldn't disrupt my friends, with my constant jokes, and talking. I was always so antsy as a kid, and unfocused. I've always had problems with sleeping, because my thoughts never stop. When I found out I was having my daughter, who is now 7, I moved to a new city, got a job, and was really excited, and felt ready, for the first time in my life, to focus so I could be a good mother, and provide a stable great life for my baby....con't
—Guest Amy


I was diagnosed with ADHD in 2005. I never saw it coming. I was forgetting names of things and people during conversations. I was always articulate with a sharp mind. Completing a task became a struggle and I stopped being able to filter out distractions around me. Finally I went to see neurologist because I thought I had Alzheimer's ...lol! Fast forward 8 yrs. Now I am a newlywed! My husband is a stickler for details and I can't remember sh*t. It's like getting in a boxing ring with no gloves or skills. Each time I get knocked out. He says I never listen to anything and it drives him crazy that I have selective hearing. When he's really angry he spells out words to me...talk about feeling like crap! Until marriage I tried to forget about ADHD. Now I have to address it. I plan to give him literature and possibly take meds. He thinks he has it bad...I wish he could be on the receiving end of his wrath. Thanks to all for sharing..it helps to know I am not alone!
—Guest Vidette

Having ADHD while in school

All my life I have been made fun of but have never known why. I was different, I not only dressed different but I acted different with being overly hyper. I had (and still do) trouble focusing in school and would often daydream. I get easily confused and it takes me a long time to read and understand a book. You see I have ADHD, and it has not been kind to me. I have lost so many friends due to the fact that I have no impulse control and that I will just act out. My mom never believed me when I told her something was wrong with me so I was never put on medication until now, and I am 17. I had no friends, none. I had a scare few here and there but only for a short time, it wasn't until between my freshman and sophomore years of high school i started making real friends. I still have trouble with the ADHD, as it complicates things in school for me. And ever since the kids in my school found out there has been more. But I know someday my imagination and creative writing will get me somewhere.
—Guest Kat

Add im sure waiting to get tested!

In school I had highest late record in the whole school. I got distracted with everything and lost track of time. College I never finished and would walk out of lectures as so bored and could not sit. Traveling I could not decide where to go so I went up and down the west coast spontaneous outbursts...Same with recent travels to South America, went alone on a whim, got into some dodgy situations ran out of money as I couldn't control finances and just basically never had a plan...Change my mind on career and men all the time! This year alone it's been teaching (where they finally told me I may have something) Spanish and photography, all of which I never finished. Cant hold down job. People say I'm funny and say funny things. Love to be around me but when they get close they think I am crazy!! I start the washing up, next minute I'm reading a paper, I don't finish what I'm reading then I'm taking a photo. Then I'm making tea, I boil the kettle then forget and go on the Internet.
—Guest Hab ba

Life with ADHD - Part 3

I struggle with ADHD in other aspects of my life such as money management (I really suck at it) and relationships with friends and family, organization skills, you all know the drill, the same stuff as usual. I know I am also really really immature a lot of times which doesn't help as a parent but the kids think I am fun. I take Ritalin sometimes when I feel myself getting out of control and I need to start focusing again but only for 1 week at the most (had a single prescription now for the last 4 years, haha) I personally cannot organize my thoughts or words. When I am trying to think of what to say or the next word, its like there are 100 TV's playing in my head at the same time at full volume and I can't focus on any of them by themselves. Communications with people in general is definitely a challenge and now I see my daughter struggling through this and I really feel bad for her. I wish I could help her more than anything but I am soooo lost especially cuz she is a young girl.
—Guest Paul

Life with ADHD - Part 2

Because I have a family now I started to focus on a career. But what could I do that wouldn’t bore me to the point where I would quit. I went back to school to learn computers and networking and Programming. I discovered that I really love to do this and could focus well on this field. The great thing about this particular field of work is that it is very dynamic. It is always changing, evolving. There is always a challenge, a new puzzle to solve. I spent 3 years learning and passed with the highest marks of all the schools in my area which felt great. I started working as soon as I graduated and haven’t stopped yet. I have been able to stay employed longer and enjoy my career. I have been working in this field for 12 years now and will probably retire doing this. I have 3 kids now and 2 of them struggle with ADD/ADHD. I can see them going through it the same as I did and I try to advise them of certain pitfalls and help them where I can but it is difficult...
—Guest Paul

Life with ADHD - Part 1

I am a 42 year old who has struggled with ADHD as well. I could never sit still in class (still can’t) and couldn’t focus on anything during class. Because of this, I failed miserably. In school, when you start getting a little behind in your learning and you don’t get help, it will snowball quickly until you have reached the end of the year and by then it is too late. But the school system was so pathetic back then (and still is today) that they just push you through to the next grade which doesn’t help because you didn’t learn anything from the previous year. This went on right through to high school (7 years and no diploma) until I could give up and go out into the "working world". I had soooo many jobs like a lot of people with ADHD I would be excited and ready to learn, but eventually I would get bored of the job and start slacking, losing focus and would get fired or just stop showing up. It wasn’t until I got married and a child was on the way that I knew I had to provide and get serious about a career.
—Guest Paul

why i'm not surprised

I was diagnosed with ADHD in the early 80's after reading an article i brought to my doc's attention...was tested and determined to have severe ADHD... the worse symptoms are the racing thoughts that most often can't be captured and processed like a non ADHD mind...spinning wheels and going nowhere.. easier being alone, even though i enjoy people, easier than trying to keep up and not feel different...smart, wise, great insight and intuitive.. just a little "off"... it's a love hate relationship at best.. life altering as diagnosed in my 30's i didn't understand why i was different.. now that i know and understand.. i don't worry there is something wrong with me.. everyone has something and i am blessed with something that i can control and accept for the most part.... it can be emotionally and socially damaging.. but i still love me... makes it easier for other to do the same thank you all for sharing...
—Guest living the adhd life

just wired this way

I am not sure when it was I first knew I was different. Truth is, we all are. My first realization that I was perhaps ADD or whatever, came when a borrowed book, 'Driven to Distraction', and all in it, gave me in words and understanding, all I had ever felt, and been thus far in my life. I felt overjoyed at the discovery. I could never find words to describe what I felt or how it was for myself....and the book gave me complete clarity about it. It was the weirdest thing. I have talked with doctors about it, and it was very much agreed, yes, I am wired that way. I took Strattera previously, but not currently. Never offered other meds. Honestly, I have found a stimulant brings me in with the reins, and I can have a day that is 'mine', and not everything BUT MINE. So much trouble getting a prescription, and the weirdness of feeling like I am asking for it. It is easier to buy Ritalin off the street, the same person has sold me theirs for 8 yrs now...every month.

31 diagnosed at 24 with ADD

It's so comforting to know that more people, not just children, but adults are also affected by this. I was able to make it through high school and college with the coping mechanisms I had built as a child...but when I had my first son...I was no longer able to keep up my facade...I was diagnosed after I hit the garage..instead of backing out i drove forward..i was distracted doing a million things.. I was putting on makeup and drinking coffee the worst part was my son was in the back seat..there was no damage to car and slight damage to garage and we were fine but it made me seek help... I was constantly late or missing my bills even though I had the money to pay...and procrastinating any and all tasks in life and work..in 2005 I was diagnosed and put on Adderall once a day..and I still have moments where I know my ADD is kicking in..but it no longer has the impact on my family and personal life it once did..medication not a perfect solution..but a livable one.

why am i not suprised lol

i always thought i had ADHD, and everyday i read on the symptoms and traits of people with ADHD and everything describes me 100 percent, the whole money management thing, i can go from spending high amounts of money all at once at a given time simply from being impulsive/or being impatient. or try to save up or not spend money at all so people don't think i waste my money soo much, i would only eat out only if there is absolutely nothing at home, then i spend only a few dollars for the cheapest fast food. i'm a little frustrated because some people are telling me i don't have ADHD, i've been seeing a psychologist and psychiatrist for about a year now, but haven't actually brought up if i actually have ADHD, maybe i should give them more time to get to know me? btw none of the meds i tried have worked, i've been concluding that i might have something else like Aspergers/ODD/autism or something else, but i mean i share so many ADHD traits, i guess its a combination of everything.
—Guest jihidiwhite

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