View Full Version : ADHD? Seriously Doc... WTH are you talking about?

12-09-15, 07:45 AM
I am 40.. Female... Mom... Daughter... Sister... Wife... Salesman (yes, I like that term better than Salesperson)

So, I go to my doctor for a mole.. it's on my nose... it's tiny, but drives me crazy when I take out my contacts and put on my glasses.

I don't go to the doctor a whole lot, have the opinion that if it isn't broke.. don't mess with it.

I mention, somewhat casually, that I don't care. I've said it to him in the past, differently, but the crux is the same. I describe the feeling two ways, my primary go to:

"I have all the symptoms of depression, except... I'm not sad"

and the other, less urgent comment that can be heard from my lips is:
"I'm the kind of tired that sleep don't cure"

Typically, I am (Or at least I remember being) a highly energetic, fun loving jokester that feeds off the inappropriate. Lately, the overwhelming feeling of 'MEH' has joined me. I don't want to leave my house, I don't care about people, I don't want to see people and I don't give a rats *** if I get up and go to work.

I said something, that obviously halfways shocked my doctor, I mentioned on long drives, I will get to my destination without having the slightest recollection of the drive that had just transpired - What are you thinking about he asks... Everything, I answer... weather, family, dishes, terrorism, work, childhood... He misunderstands at first, thinking I will spend the drive on one of these topics... I explain that the drive has included them all in some form. The thought that I work in my car, and I cannot focus on the task of driving throws him into a tailspin, he is obviously not impressed.

We then delve into the QUESTION GAME! (this was fun - Insert Eye Roll here)

- Do you always have trouble focusing?
- Have you always been like this or did something change?
- How is your interaction with others?
- Have your actions ever gotten you in trouble?
- Is it typically the same actions that get you in trouble time and time again?
- How are you at keeping a job?

This went on for some time, he goes back in my file to our first visit several years ago. He'd penned a note to himself, that he, on our first meeting... suspected I was ADHD. LOL apparently I had just confirmed his suspicion.

ADHD... Hey Doc.. You do realize I'm not a 9 year old boy right?

Now, you must understand, I have an AMAZING doctor! He understands that I am active in the world of addiction (professionally, not recreationally) and feel that medication is a LAST resort to anything - it takes me two days to decide if my headache is bad enough to take an advil.

We discuss further, he suggests Ritalin/Concerta - based on our discussion, I actually decide to give it a shot. What's the worst that will happen?


I started just before Halloween on 18mg. It didn't do anything for focus at ALL, nor did it turn my thoughts into something that wasn't a jumbled mess. But, that being said... 2pm came and I didn't want to lay down and go to sleep. (I'm not slow here, I do realize it's a stimulant and that is a normal reaction to it).

I go back to the Doc, and tell him the results - he bumps to 27mg
Day 1 - I think I was stoned - I laughed a lot - I was in the shower and I think I stayed in there too long watching the pattern of the water drops. I didn't remember the drive on my way to work.

About 3 days into 27mg - I am sitting on the couch and I thought:
and that is ALL that I was thinking... This sounds so ridiculous... but really, I was legitimately thinking about what I was doing in that moment, and nothing else. It was very cool, and somewhat jarring.

I go back to the Doc - Regurgitate the results. I move to 36mg - I did one 27mg tab and one 18mg tab - My life CHANGED
I didn't get high like I had the first time with a 27mg
I did, however; see trees, and other cars, and heard the song on the radio

I go back to the Doc - He asks how it is going... My words:
"I haven't felt like this since I was 16 years old"

We did try 54mg because both he and I were curious if it would be a better option, NOPE NOT AT ALL, I felt sick and anxious and tired and awake and stressed and and and and and ... I don't have much recollection of those two days.

I am back on 36mg, but this time as a single tab... and I am slightly confused... The afternoon exhaustion seems to be seeping back in. But I still feel like I'm able to function 70 to 90% better than I ever could in my life.

Having those letters thrown at me for the FIRST TIME in my life at 40 years old...

I don't know why I went on this rant.. I haven't told many people about it, and the ones I have kind of eye roll me... or tell me that ADHD isn't real (which incidentally I believed until October 2015).

I really, REALLY, REALLY thought everyone thought like me. I had NO IDEA that when people were driving they thought 'Car, Sign, Pole, Tree'

This has shaken me to my core!!!

Anyone else with a VERY late suggestion of ADHD?

12-09-15, 08:54 AM
I was in my late 30's when I was diagnosed. The ADD brain doesn't process dopamine as others might, this is a simplistic answer but it's a start.

We use medication as a catalyst to improve our lives and give us more ability to live life.


12-09-15, 09:24 AM
Congrats for getting the diagnosis and feeling great again! I'm somewhat like you, but unlike you I never had a dr that actually suggested ADHD to me (never knew it could be like this). Luckily I had a friend who suggested it when I told him how I feel (figured out something was wrong some 10 years ago and ruled almost everything else out, before actually going to see a psychiatrist about my problems). You're lucky you didn't have to jump through fifty billion hoops in order to get any kind of diagnosis. Even after thee visits and multiple tests and paperwork (had to collect everything from early childhood), I still have not been given a chance to try any medication that is actually known to work, and I'm now stuck on Voxra (bupropion) for the foreseeable future (kind of works and hoping it will get better after 5 weeks).

12-09-15, 09:38 AM
Welcome to the forums :)

I'm not diagnosed but when I read the list of symptoms for the first time at 41, my whole life made sense and I realized that I wasn't doing these things "on purpose", and that there could be a reason why I get so distracted.

I have the same issue with driving! I never renewed my license and I haven't driven for many years.

12-09-15, 11:51 AM
I legitimately didn't make a connection between some of my 'behaviours' and my wild rambling thoughts.

I completed tasks, all of the ones that were interesting to me.
The ones that I lost interest in, well - I have a pile of those that are unfinished.

It wasn't a 'thing' when I was growing up..

I feel like it's a shame that I was unaware of it up until now, because even though medication is NOT a fix, it does help - but being aware of it, and how it presents - I have been able to make changes and talk myself through things.

It is exhausting to try to be like everyone else.

12-09-15, 01:41 PM
Anyone else with a VERY late suggestion of ADHD?

Uh . . . yes.

I was 53 and a grandmother when a friend suggested my granddaughter might have ADHD.

I began reading about it and thought, she surely does have it ... and so do I!

I too thought it was only hyperactive little boys, not quiet girls.

My granddaughter found that Concerta worked very well for a couple of years, increasing the dose as she got older.

But even at 72 mg it wasn't lasting through the school day, much less helping with homework.

I suggested the doc add an afternoon booster, but she decided to switch to Vyvanse, and my g-daughter had a horrible reaction to that so stopped taking meds at all. :(

You might want to ask your doctor for a small afternoon booster of Adderall IR, or you may want to try a different med.

Either way, good luck and welcome! :yes:

12-09-15, 06:32 PM
Diagnosed at 37, in October of this year. It's an eye opening experience for sure!

12-09-15, 08:32 PM
Well congratulations ... As I was reading your post--before you made the comment--I was saying to myself, "She has a REALLY good doctor, a doctor who's really observant."

Lots of us got diagnosed as adults. I got diagnosed at age 46. I'm now 53. Yes, the diagnosis reshaped my whole view of myself and the world ... What I realized is that I had been hiding and minimizing all the ways I struggled to cope or concentrate ... because the only explanation I had was laziness or defectiveness. Once I got the diagnosis, I felt I could be fully honest with myself ... about how my brain works and doesn't work ...Now I work WITH my brain and try to minimize the tedious stuff that wears me out.

Just a heads-up ... sometimes the meds do not stay as effective as what you are experiencing right now ... so you will want to keep in touch with your doctor and do as you're doing ... updating him ... and getting the meds adjusted as necessary.

I remember having the experience you describe here ... the first experience of a quiet mind ... I was out at a dance class ... and there was none of the non-stop chatter that usually went on in my head. I was simply present, in the moment, in the class. Truth is I hadn't recognized the ongoing chatter in my head until after I experienced some quiet.

Welcome aboard the journey ... It can be a wonderful journey once we start really understanding our brains instead of criticizing them or ignoring them. Keep paying attention to when the med works best, etc ... Understand that the better your lifestyle---as in getting adequate sleep and exercise and fun time--the more effective the meds are.

After I was diagnosed, I was angry at first that I had "missed out" on so many opportunities going without treatment or awareness for all those years. But here's the irony: a lot of really bright people go unnoticed and undiagnosed. ADHD is one of those conditions that if left untreated, causes more and more problems the older we get. Ultimately many of us get diagnosed when our lives sort of fall apart.

Good luck.


12-12-15, 01:10 AM
I hate to be the bearer of bad news but ADHD
And bipolar disorder go hand in hand. You feel
The exact same with BPD only with serious mood
Swings and either homicidal or suicidal feelings.

I'd get re-evaluated, if I were you.

12-13-15, 09:45 AM
I also like to consider myself in the atmosphere of addiction (recovery) and I know some people really struggle with self care because of past addiction issues. Studies have shown that people with adhd who are treated have are less likely to abuse or self medicated with sunstances then people who are untreated. As long as you are open and honest with your doctors treatment with stimulants can be a success story for you.

12-13-15, 10:33 AM
I hate to be the bearer of bad news but ADHD
And bipolar disorder go hand in hand. You feel
The exact same with BPD only with serious mood
Swings and either homicidal or suicidal feelings.

I'd get re-evaluated, if I were you.

Why? I totally get the feeling meh towards other people (I enjoy it, but cannot help feel I should be doing something else) and only being interested in things that are interesting to you. I'd say this is pretty common for people who have gone most of their lives without a diagnosis, as they are struggling to keep it together, which causes immense stress and depression (I'd argue mostly anhedonia, due to lower levels of dopamine to begin with). If she is feeling great, then why would another diagnosis help? :eyebrow::scratch:

12-13-15, 11:49 AM
I hate to be the bearer of bad news but ADHD
And bipolar disorder go hand in hand. You feel
The exact same with BPD only with serious mood
Swings and either homicidal or suicidal feelings.

I'd get re-evaluated, if I were you.

I think this is where family history comes in useful.

Therapists suggested that both my youngest granddaughter and I had bipolar, but there is no family history of that.

There is a very robust family history of ADHD and Autism, so for us, those diagnoses are the most logical.

Our psychiatrist treats symptoms, not diagnoses. Sounds like the OP has found that stimulants are helping her symptoms, so why look for a different diagnosis and different meds?

12-13-15, 04:49 PM
I hate to be the bearer of bad news but ADHD
And bipolar disorder go hand in hand. You feel
The exact same with BPD only with serious mood
Swings and either homicidal or suicidal feelings.

I'd get re-evaluated, if I were you.

You're right it is a comorbid.

But they don't always go hand in hand. But it is important to consider other diagnoses.

BPD stands for Borderline Personality Disorder, BP stands for Bipolar. :)

12-17-15, 07:52 AM
I was just diagnosed this month, at 48.

But I figured it out a few months ago, when I started researching sleep disorders to see if maybe I had one. (I have had problems sleeping all of my life, even as a toddler.) In my search I came across the phrase 'time blindness' which stuck in my head. Maybe that was what it was when I sat down to read a book in the early evening, and all of a sudden it was 6am and my husband was getting up for work but it seemed like barely any time had passed?
I finally got around to googling it, and every place it led to was something to do with ADHD (one of them being this remarkable forum.) And yes, time blindness was exactly what I thought it might be plus a Whole Lot More- ALL of which applied to me.

And as I delved deeper into the threads here, I had the same feeling that Stef described above, suddenly my entire life made sense.

I would never in a million years have suspected it, even though I know a bunch of adults with ADHD, and I helped my niece get diagnosed when she was four, because everyone I know with it has an emphasis on the "hyperactive". I had never heard of the inattentive or combined types.

But I definitely have it- thinking a billion thoughts at once, can't focus worth a rats patootie, disorganized, messy, piles of unfinished projects, piles of laundry, dishes, stuff, & more stuff, late is my middle name, hate boredom like vampires hate sun (and what a relief to know I'm not the only one), the sudden realization that no, most people do not narrate their life in their head or rehearse things 500 times in advance, etc ad infinitum.

I've been on Methylphenidate ER, 18mg for about two weeks now, and I've seen an improvement, though I need to remember to call my doc & ask about adjusting it, since I'm not sure it's enough. That feeling though, of the din in my head quieting down a bit, not forgetting things as easily, or procrastinating as much- it's pretty awesome.

01-31-16, 02:41 PM
I'm still on 36 mg - I find some of the things that I used to experience (ie fatigue and just general all around 'whatever') are returning.

My focus improvement is amazing though.
That being said, I've also learned somewhere in this forum about schedule, and following it.

I have set alarms for even the most mundane of chores. My house is clean, my laundry is done and I am the most successful at work that I've ever been.

But I'm slipping. Today I didn't take anything - my doctor actually suggested a day off because I was wavering on what was actually creating the successes - is it the medication or is it the alarms? I have a headache, and haven't accomplished anything - I barely have the focus to finish writing this (is this normal after one day?) My laundry is actually still on the couch from Friday (not that I wasn't focused on Friday, I just had a very busy schedule)... and mostly now I want to take a nap.. and thoughts are fleeting ..

I put out meat for supper in the sink hours ago, and can't be bothered to see if it's thawed, as a matter of fact until this moment - I didn't even remember I took it out.

I guess in closing, my thoughts are this:

Treating this inconsistency in my head is a tandem balancing act between proper medication dosage, structure - Focus and then REFOCUS when I loose track.

I feel disappointed today, that I just realized that this is a life sentence.

01-31-16, 04:13 PM
Some people recommend medication breaks but they can have their disadvantages. Mainly the inconsistency. I used to try to avoid meds on the weekends but this meant that I didn't get anything done on the weekends, was more likely to snap at hubby and the side effects were worse on Monday. So then I started taking a reduced dose on the weekends which helped (I mean I'm not sure there is a point in reducing your dose for a couple of days a week but for me I mainly used to forget taking my later doses on the weekend. Taking the meds every day with whatever dose is what helped.)

I also think that once you are used to the meds the withdrawal effects actually do.make your symptoms worse for a few days.

And yes, it's a constant and never ending struggle to refocus (or to get yourself to try and focus in the first place) but the meds do make the refocusing bit slightly easier.

02-26-16, 01:41 PM
I'm 40 and was just diagnosed yesterday with ADD. My doc seemed surprised that no one had ever mentioned it to me before. I told him that they always blamed my symptoms on anxiety. I've been on depression/anxiety meds for 10 years and just dealt with the racing thoughts, boredom, etc. Almost every question that he asked I agreed with. I feel like FINALLY after dealing with counselors and psychiatrists for 32 years that maybe I've found what my problem is!!

He started me on Adderall twice a day. We'll see!

07-28-16, 12:15 AM
BPD is rough, I don't know if you have it or not but it sucks. I wasn't diagnosed with either BPD or ADD until I was 38 and along with that, possible bipolar.

I realized I have spent all of my life trying to make up for things that are in a large deal out of my control.

I guess my best advice is to try and stay positive. I do not have experience with Ritalin as my doc says due to my genetic testing I will have less than positive results with it.

Everyone has "life-sentences" :) We can only do the best with what we have offered, or what we can find as alternatives.

I am grateful that I finally got the diagnosis', as frustrating as they may be to me.

I hope things are well with you and you are finding some middle ground to work on.