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Old 08-23-17, 06:41 PM
Caoimhin Caoimhin is offline
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Diagnosed at 56 - finally

My apologies for a long post.... The last month or so has been a whirlwind of changes, and I'm still on an emotional rollercoaster...

I guess some of us are slow learners... I grew up thinking that ADD/ADHD was just those kids that can't sit in their seats.... It certainly wasn't me.

When it came to school, I somehow finished high school at 14 without studying or being able to pay attention in class... All because I had teachers who kept an eye on me and helped me manage in class, and worked one on one with me after school.

I then went to College at 15, and failed everyclass for 3 years until I quit... I couldn't manage to study - I used to tell myself every day that I was going to pay attention in class - which lasted about 5 minutes each time... Three years of wandering around lost trying to figure out why everyone else there understood what was going on - except me.

Eventually I did go back to College, and because I got involved in a really hands-on major, I somehow made it through with all A's... Looking back I realize that because the classes weren't traditional, it let me do well.. I ended up with three degrees with a 4.0 GPA.

When I got out in the "real world", I ended up losing a lot of jobs through the years - for either not doing paperwork or trying to do it, but not keeping up with it... I now realize that teaching 160 kids a day when you have ADHD might have been an issue!

I've been in therapy for many years, and about a month ago, a new therapist asked if I wanted to fill out an ADHD questionnaire... I thought, "sure, that'll take two minutes - it has nothing to do with me".... It took me about two weeks of looking at the questions, answering one and stopping because each question seemed to describe me perfectly... which freaked me out and I kept putting it aside.

After discussing the questionnaire with my psychologist, he recommended I read "Driven to Distraction"... and everything in the book fit me to a tee...

My therapist then recommended I go see a psychiatrist - who after meeting me and quizzing me in detail about my whole life - recommended I start Adderall.

At that point I was still in denial... I figured I'd take the Adderall and it would make me hyper and that would prove to the psychiatrist that I wasn't ADD...

I took 10mg of Adderall the next morning and instead of being hyper, for the first time in my life, my mind was calm. It wasn't racing... I wasn't thinking about 20 things at the same time.

I went to therapy that afternoon and fell apart. I felt every emotion under the sun - Happy that the pills worked, sad that no one had ever thought of discussing ADHD with me, angry at my parents who called me "stupid" the whole time I was growing up. (Even though I had skipped two grades in school.)

I've been on Adderall three times a day for a couple of weeks, and last week went to an all day training session at work... Normally within a few minutes I have my phone out, looking at things, making comments to entertain my table-mates, and planning what I would do later in the afternoon after the "boring" meeting was done.

Instead, I found the meeting interesting, and was surprised when they announced lunch... I had been so into the meeting that 3 hours had gone by... and the same thing happened when they said it was time to go home at 4:00 - I don't think I had taken my phone out at all.

There have been some other things that sort of shocked me - like no longer going crazy in L.A. traffic, being able to sit on my porch and just enjoy being there instead of trying to figure out what else I could be doing... and being able to watch TV without playing with my phone, two computers and an iPad at the same time.

With all the good stuff happening, I've also realized that I'm grieving how my life could have been different if I had been diagnosed earlier... I only have 9 more years until I retire...

I'm working on focusing on the future and not the past - which is why I'm here. My therapist and psychiatrist are great, but they aren't ADHD, and it feels really important to hear how other people deal with it.

I might be "an old guy", but I still have lots to learn...
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  #2  
Old 08-24-17, 12:16 AM
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Re: Diagnosed at 56 - finally

Hi Caoimhin,
I'm new here too. I haven't been brave enough to post my story yet, but it's almost exactly like yours. I'm 57 now, I was diagnosed a couple of years ago. I'll post more later. It's 11:20 pm and I have to go grocery shopping!

I have a story,
Country Girl
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Old 08-24-17, 10:47 AM
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Re: Diagnosed at 56 - finally

Welcome. I'm 59 but I dont post to often cause I type so slow. I read a lot of posts though. I understand about being dx late in life.
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Old 08-24-17, 12:03 PM
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Re: Diagnosed at 56 - finally

Ive been on these forums for awhile
I finally have an appointment for a diagnosis in september!
49, i totally understand
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Old 08-24-17, 12:21 PM
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Re: Diagnosed at 56 - finally

I also thought adhd meant hyperactive boys. But my granddaughter was doing
things that really puzzled me. I mentioned them to a friend online who told me
that her daughter has adhd and my granddaughter might have it.

I was 52 at the time, she was 5. I began googling adhd and found this forum.
I went to the library and got Driven To Distraction and it made me cry because
it was describing ME ... and my granddaughter of course.

It was a few more years before I had the diagnosis confirmed by a Connor's
evaluation. And I realized there was another piece to the puzzle, my youngest
grandchild had inherited autism from me. Yep, I have it too.

You are right not to focus on the past, but it's not wise to ignore it either. How
do we know what changes to work for if we don't see what we did that wasn't
working so well?
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Old 08-24-17, 04:46 PM
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Re: Diagnosed at 56 - finally

59 here and oh what a relief it was.
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Old 08-25-17, 04:33 AM
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Re: Diagnosed at 56 - finally

Diagnosed with an "attention disorder" when I was in second grade. Confirmed adhd diagnosis when I was 23.
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Old 08-25-17, 09:03 AM
Caoimhin Caoimhin is offline
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Re: Diagnosed at 56 - finally

It's great to see there are a few of us around... This place has been amazingly helpful since I started reading it... Sort of like a virtual support group!

Oh, and Sarah, been meaning to thank you for all the support you offer here. You're a big part of this place...
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Old 08-25-17, 09:48 AM
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Re: Diagnosed at 56 - finally

Thanks!
Quote:
Originally Posted by Caoimhin View Post
It's great to see there are a few of us around... This place has been amazingly helpful since I started reading it... Sort of like a virtual support group!

Oh, and Sarah, been meaning to thank you for all the support you offer here. You're a big part of this place...
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I've always been one of a kind. It just hasnt always been positive.
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Old 08-27-17, 04:12 PM
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Re: Diagnosed at 56 - finally

I got diagnosed with some kind of memory deficiency when i was in grade 3 and thats what they said the reason i could not pay attention or focus its not until many years later when i turned 26 did i seek to get reevaluated and thats when they hit me with the high possibility you have ADHD.
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Old 08-27-17, 04:12 PM
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Re: Diagnosed at 56 - finally

oh and welcome to the forum friend
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