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Readers Respond: Personal Stories of Adult ADHD

Responses: 74


Updated March 26, 2013

Hearing from others with ADHD and knowing you are not alone in your struggles can provide a great source of hope and strength. Life with ADHD can begin to feel better with proper diagnosis and treatment. Please reach out to others by sharing your own stories of hope in gaining better control over difficult ADHD symptoms, as well as any words of encouragement for those still struggling day to day.


I've been over doing it for the past two weeks. I feel so stressed out from work and kids. I work at a school and it can get very loud and overwhelming. I'm an assistant and when the teacher is not there and there is a sub, it gets really hard on me. I haven't been sleeping well. Today I just called in sick eventhough I wasn't really sick, I just feel so stressed out. I got into a fight with a friend co-worker the other day. I just lost it, because she wouldn't let something go, that I didn't even remember saying. I feel spent and I mean spent. I feel like I have no one to talk to. I am on meds and yes they have helped a lot to get more organized, but when I reach the boiling point, I don't know where to go with it. I also called in sick for tomorrow, so maybe I can get something done around my house. I feel like I'm neglecting my son, because I'm so tired on the weekends, all I can do is stay home, and try to catch up on housework. He's so important to me, and I want him to have fun.
—Guest suzanne

Still Trying to Cope with ADD

Reading what others with ADD are experiencing can be very helpful for me. Like, I'm sure, everyone else is needing some words that are very familiar and comforting. I, myself, still don't understand what has happened to me or when I am going to understand what is going on. I became familiar with all my faults through a rather stormy and really bumpy conversation with my spouse. I had no idea why he was making all these statements about my behavior or about me not having any kind of civil, fair, explanation as to what and why I am what I am. Is this how it is for all posting?
—Guest msylvester227

My 'Aha!' Moment

Hi all. I’m 23, an undiagnosed ADD adult. I always thought ADD/ADHD was some kid running in circles and not doing his/her homework. But last month I read up on it and I felt like they were talking about me! Reading everyone’s stories, I can relate to all of them so much! And looking back it seems so obvious. I did good in school because I loved reading/writing. But I barely got through the topics I hated - math. I get hyper focused on things and tear through them and then later (in the day/week) get bored and never finish. So many unfinished projects filling my apt. I always thought I was just genetically lazy. I used to have strange bursts of anger as a kid that would freak me out a little, weird crazy impulses. Luckily my friends liked my brand of weirdness because they’re still with me as an adult. My husband has ADHD and when I talked to him about my having it he just looked shocked. He said he felt stupid for not noticing until I said it. We both laugh at marrying someone with ADHD. We figure we get along...
—Guest violet (1)

My 'Aha!' Moment (2)

(continued from previous post)...better because of it. Fighting bores us quickly, sometimes even though I know it’s an important topic. But where he wants to buy everything and has no clue on how to track his money, I can keep track of it better, mostly. And when I forget/don’t have the focus or energy to do chores he gets up and does them, mostly. And our impulses trigger each other, which may or may not be good - because the urge to run off to the beach or go get ice cream instead of doing bills or homework may not be the best. Blind leading the blind I guess! He doesn’t take meds anymore, his choice. He said they made him feel funny. I’m not sure if I want to try them. I’ve heard scary things. Feels great to hear from others though, like we aren’t alone. I’m more aware of my and my husband’s actions, and more understanding.
—Guest violet (2)


Hi there. I'm Karen aged 47 yrs. Diagnosed with ADHD about 7 years ago. I have 5 children ages varying from 21 years to 10 years. 3 of the 5 are diagnosed with ADHD and CONDUCT DISORDER, have learning difficulties & dyslexia, but won’t take their medication any more. The other 2, exhibit loads of ADHD symptoms and learning difficulties, but the doctor/clinic won’t diagnose them. I have great difficulties in many areas of my life because of ADHD. I no longer take medication for ADHD after 6 years, because I don't feel they have any effect on me anymore. I'm VERY easily side-tracked (distracted) and procrastinate my days away. I don't have the 'Get up and Go' that I need to finish the many started tasks that surround me! The mess is making me angry, yet I can't motivate myself! My house is half decorated, still after 10 years when I started it! My garden is halfway through its make-over, of a toy dumping ground after starting it 5 years ago...
—Guest KarenneraK


Hey, you would think, there would be more than 50 characters for our comments. ADHD Peeps always have so much to say. LOL! Anyway, to conclude....Any Relationships are short-lived (I'm divorced), I suffer with Chronic Depression and take meds for that! I get angry and shout a lot more than I should, which doesn't help my high BP. My children cause me too much stress with the day to day grief that they give me and I feel like a complete failure! On the brighter side of ADHD, I am quite creative - Write Poetry, Draw, try to Paint, Really love macro digital Photography of nature and objects and scenes, that most people walk past. I wish, there was more we could do about helping teachers, doctors, cynics and the police force, to understand our disorder!
—Guest KarenneraK

Struck by Lightning Part 1

I received the following email from a co worker. Little did I know that it would turn out to be so biographical. A brief history of my life will help to set up the story.I am less than a month away from my 42 birthday. As it turns out, I had been diagnosed with depression and/or anxiety in my early 30's. Job history has been hit and miss for me as impulse control issues (one of the more fun symptoms) have taken care of that. Anyway, here is the email I got: Recently, I was diagnosed with A.A.A.D.D. - Age Activated Attention Deficit Disorder. This is how it manifests: I decide to water my garden. As I turn on the hose in the driveway, I look over at my car and decide it needs washing. As I start toward the garage, I notice mail on the porch table thatI brought up from the mail box earlier. I decide to go through the mail before I wash the car. I lay my car keys on the table, put the junk mail in the garbage can under the table and notice that the can is full...(continued)
—Guest Paul

Struck by Lightning Part 2

-cont So, I decide to put the bills back on the table and take out the garbage first. But then I think, since I'm going to be near the mailbox when I take out the garbage anyway, I may as well pay the bills first. I take my check book off the table, and see that there is only one check left. My extra checks are in my desk in the study, so I go inside the house to my desk where I find the can of Coke I'd been drinking. I'm going to look for my checks, but first I need to push the Coke aside so that I don't accidentally knock it over. The Coke is getting warm and I decide to put it in the refrigerator to keep it cold. As I head toward the kitchen with the Pepsi, a vase of flowers on the counter catches my eye - they need water. I put the Pepsi on the counter and discover my reading glasses that I've been searching for all morning. I decide I better put them back on my desk, but first I'm going to water the flowers. (continued)
—Guest Paul

Struck by Lightning Part 3

-cont I set the glasses back down on the counter, fill a container with water and suddenly spot the TV remote. Someone left it on the kitchen table. I realize that tonight when we go to watch TV, I'll be looking for the remote, but I won't remember that it's on the kitchen table, so I decide to put it back in the den where it belongs, but first I'll water the flowers. I pour some water in the flowers, but quite a bit of it spills on the floor. So, I set the remote back on the table, get some towels and wipe up the spill. Then, I head down the hall trying to remember what I was planning to do. At the end of the day: the car isn't washed the bills aren't paid there is a warm can of Coke sitting on the counter the flowers don't have enough water, there is still only 1 check in my check book, I can't find the remote, I can't find my glasses, and I don't remember what I did with the car keys. Then, when I try to figure out why nothing got done today...(continued)
—Guest Paul

Struck by Lightning Part 4

-cont I'm really baffled because I know I was busy all day, and I'm really tired. My condition is ADHD, not AAADD, and for years I was treated for the symptoms, not the cause. Strattera was the first ray of light that I had ever experienced. The clarity of thought and increased focus was in such stark contrast to all that I could remember in my pre diagnosed life. Not to mention I rarely have the uncontrollable urge to throttle people that piss me off. The night sweats and sexual side effects were a bit much to deal with so I switched to Adderall. Adderall seems to be working a little better than Strattera and without the side effects. (so far)
—Guest Paul

Response to Steve Dunkley

Yes it is possible to get diagnoses through the NHS in The UK Steve. I live in Birmingham and was diagnosed last monday and am already on Concerta whilst on a waiting list for the ADHD clinic to receive free counselling and support. I hope you see this as it's several pages after your comment, but to anyone else in The UK who is wondering whether you can get diagnosed the answer is YES you very much can!

Finally - continued

with the proper treatment though (3 different medications) and developing strategies to cope with things l don't suffer the depression and anxiety l used to. And don't have to use the huge amount of energy to just get through the day. l used to be constantly exhausted. I am much kinder to myself now and don't beat myself up anymore. I don't always feel like l will have to find a new job soon and don't have the frustration of not feeling like l can't fulfill my potential.
—Guest John B


My Partner of 18yrs used to tease me about being ADHD when I was scattered, distracted, disorganised, late, etc. My 3 kids were diagnosed with ADHD and the fact that the oldest is from a previous marriage, the finger was pointed at me as the genetic common link. I have had an amazing mix of jobs and start each new job with enthusiasm and flair and good results only for them to disintegrate due to lack of organization and/or relationships with colleagues or supervisors etc. It became a real joke between a few people that I wouldn't be in a job for even a couple of years. It did cause a lot of anxiety though and l was always planning for the next change because l 'knew' l wouldn't be able to maintain my current occupation. If l didn't have a "plan B' my anxiety would run rampant. I had a tough time at school and found friendships difficult to maintain. l was ostracized at school and suffered badly from depression (though it was not diagnosed and l was further marginalized and blamed).
—Guest John B

Glad I'm ADHD

When I was young, I was labeled a bad and lazy kid. Now I know I'm a good person. Funny, quirky, hardworking. I have a great job and have educated my supervisor on ADHD and let her know that from time to time, I'll need guidance. I love the projects I work in and I am allowed to work to my strengths. I finally have a darling husband that is completely OK with my quirks, and actually loves me for them. Life does get better, but developing coping mechanisms is key (the bills are in order of the due date and are clipped with a magnet to the front door; keys ALWAYS hang in the same place, etc.) I now spend time helping kids with ADHD understand about their brain and that they can achieve. My guidance counselor didn't give my parents much hope. I'm glad they didn't listen!
—Guest Denise

Falling Apart & Destroying My Life - #4

I don't get to see our son because she continues to lie about me being a threat to her & his safety. I've lost another job now and am unemployed. I'm not on any meds at all and I'm crawling out of my skin, have no motivation to do anything (I have reasons to be motivated but I just can't make myself accomplish anything), I can't focus on anything not even an email (emails not take me hours to complete), I talk much more excessively than ever before, I have no interest in anything that I once did (other than my son that I can't see), and my memory seems to be failing me, I react based on emotions, can't calm down, feel like the world is crashing down on me and I can't get out. My friends turned against me because they think I threatened my ex-wife. The court thinks all I do is lie (always rule on the side of safety) and she tells the truth even though there's no history of such behavior, no evidence to prove I did anything, just she said/he said one time. The story continues...

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