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  #1  
Old 02-18-10, 10:45 AM
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Late diagnosis regrets?

As some may know I was recently diagnosed ADD. It has occurred to me how much this has impacted my life and yet, it never crossed my mind that it was an actual condition and not just me being me. After meeting someone who was a sufferer from ADD, we got to talking about it one day. Everything he said made me say me too. Then he looks at me and tells me that I have ADD and that it is obvious.

So being the impatient person I was, I wanted to try the stimulant treatment and he gave me one of his Adderall. (Yes I know this was not the best way to test if I had ADD) and to my surprise it made a huge impact. I remember that day saying that I never wanted to go back to the way things had been before hand. It was such a difference that I made up my mind that day to seek treatment for it.

So now I am prescribed Adderall and even though not at my right dose yet, I can feel the positive changes already. They are still relatively mild, but enough to quantify. So now that the stage is set I can get to the point of this post.

I did terribly in school and ended up dropping out and what not. My education has giant holes in it from periods where I just didn't learn anything. This has had a very big impact on how my life is currently. So now that I see the positives of treatment, I can't help but to think what if? I wonder what I could have done if I had been diagnosed when I was much younger and had the help I needed then.

So I was curious if anyone else has had to think about that. I realize that 27 is not the end of the world and that there is still time to change things. I also realize it is better late then never to have treatment. I am also really happy to see these changes and for that I am grateful. However, it doesn't change the fact that I really wish it had happened sooner.

So if anyone has similar feelings, I'd like to hear your takes on it.

Thanks!
~Bill
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  #2  
Old 02-18-10, 11:09 AM
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Re: Late diagnosis regrets?

Yes, Derven there are plenty of people who feel like you do.

Except they {we} are twice your age!

Just keep looking around the forum, you will find them.

So please don't let yourself feel like the lone ranger, you are not.
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Old 02-18-10, 11:30 AM
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Re: Late diagnosis regrets?

Regrets? None-nada-zip-zero...and I wasn't diagnosed until age 46.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Derven View Post
As some may know I was recently diagnosed ADD. It has occurred to me how much this has impacted my life and yet, it never crossed my mind that it was an actual condition and not just me being me.
Tell me about it! BEFORE I was diagnosed, I'd have plenty of "WTF is wrong with me?" moments...and I too wrote it off as I am who I am, figuring it was just the consequences of growing up, living and working in the rat race that is NJ (I live in Middlesex County).

Quote:
Originally Posted by Derven View Post
So being the impatient person I was...
LOL...thought it was just me...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Derven View Post
So now I am prescribed Adderall and even though not at my right dose yet, I can feel the positive changes already. They are still relatively mild, but enough to quantify.
I'm on Vyvanse...same deal re: dose...but I also feel positive, for 2 reasons-the medication effect and finally having a diagnosis.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Derven View Post
So now that I see the positives of treatment, I can't help but to think what if? I wonder what I could have done if I had been diagnosed when I was much younger and had the help I needed then.

So I was curious if anyone else has had to think about that. I realize that 27 is not the end of the world and that there is still time to change things. I also realize it is better late then never to have treatment. I am also really happy to see these changes and for that I am grateful. However, it doesn't change the fact that I really wish it had happened sooner.

So if anyone has similar feelings, I'd like to hear your takes on it.

Thanks!
~Bill
Ah yes, the 3 most famous words of regret known to man: "Woulda, coulda, shoulda..." The tough thing about hindsight is that it's always 20/20, perfectly clear vision...and the tougher characteristic of history is that you can't change the past. I think we all go through this "mourning" phase once we're diagnosed and begin treatment...and it's a natural human reaction/emotion-regret can be a very powerful influence on your thoughts. And right now, in the early post-diagnosis time frame, you have these conflicting emotions running through your head-regret & sadness vs. happy & grateful & positive outlook.

Bill, you have a 19-year "head start" on me...and the irony is that I married my wife at your present age...and I have driven her nuts during that ENTIRE time with my inattention to her, impulsivity, procrastination, and many other dumb things. It took the severest ultimatum a spouse can issue-"Find out what's wrong with you, or I'm outta here"-before I took the first steps towards diagnosis. She has already seen some of the positive changes, and I can only hope that I have not damaged our relationship beyond repair. But, no matter what happens with my marriage, I will continue to move forward. I don't know what your relationship/marital status is, but you DO have the tools now (diagnosis, medication, and perhaps therapy) to either fix or prevent this from happening.

At 27, with good health and some luck, you have at least a half-century of good life ahead of you-take advantage of your new positive outlook...and ONLY "look back" to learn from your "mistakes", NOT to dwell on the "if only"...

I hope this helps!

Mike
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Old 02-18-10, 11:45 AM
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Smile Re: Late diagnosis regrets?

Hi Derven, I am more than twice your age and will just be going to a psych doc for the first time. Like you I thought that the labels that others gave me, Unmotivated, lazy, scattered, etc. were just me and my problems. It took me to the age of 32 to graduate college because of these issues. I am also sure as I look back now that I messed up many relationships too.

Sooo do I have regrets? Well I don't know if I see them as regrets or want to dwell on them as such. In some ways, knowing what I now know, I feel I am lucky to have been as successful as I had been. But my regret is that had I addressed this sooner I would probably have had more success and less pain and anxiety.

Don't dwell on your regrets though. Now is your time. Move forward. I intend to do so even though I am much older than you. By the time you are my age I hope you will look back to this and be happy you did something about the issues and moved forward to be everything you want to be.

S
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Old 02-18-10, 11:48 AM
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Re: Late diagnosis regrets?

First, let me say thanks to the responses. I also want to say that I am not letting it get me down really, just more of a soft sigh type of feeling. I also understand that there are many people here that were diagnosed much later then I have been, I make no claim to being worst case scenario . In fact that is why i posted this question, i wanted to hear from those who have had either the same situation as I have or worse from having to have gone so much longer.

My outlook is good. I just like sharing experiences with other ADDers on this forum because it is comforting to see how other people have shared many of the same experiences.

Thanks guys for sharing your own stories!

~Bill
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Old 02-28-10, 08:15 PM
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Re: Late diagnosis regrets?

I regret it for me... I regret it because I resent my brother for having a Dx before mine and saying he didn't like the ritalin...

Then I go to work and I have an insight into what my patients are thinking that not everyone gets. It doesn't make me a better clinician. But it helps me enjoy what I do and know that sometimes someone who doesn't think ANYBODY gets them knows that someone now does.

After I rethink, I think my big regrets were my rage moments, when I said hurtful things with sloppily built apologies or not acting on the extra help a teacher tried to give in vain to a kid that didn't have the faculties to receive it...

Otherwise, Im glad I got treated in the first half rather than the second...
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Old 02-28-10, 08:21 PM
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Re: Late diagnosis regrets?

I just found this sight. Why did I come looking? Cuz I finally knew something was wrong and when I read everyone's posts I did the same thing...me too,me too!
I'm 55.
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Old 02-28-10, 09:14 PM
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Re: Late diagnosis regrets?

I certainly would have done better in school, and at my various jobs, if I'd been diagnosed a lot earlier. I'd also have finished school earlier.

HOWEVER, had all of that happened, I would not be married to the woman I am today, so I really can't find myself regretting everything too much.

What I really do regret is that if I had been diagnosed early on, my younger brother would have been diagnosed too, and maybe even my father... and my younger brother wouldn't have ended up as an alcoholic at 30, getting involved in a car accident that ended up with the death of the other driver and him going to prison for a year as a result. My life is a paradise compared to his. He's getting back on track now that he's out on parole, and he believes me about possibly having ADD, so he's trying to get tested, but all of this could have been avoided.
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Old 02-28-10, 10:32 PM
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Re: Late diagnosis regrets?

27!!!

How about 27 times 2, plus 5 = 59!

Some people never get diagnosed and If I could have been dx-ed at 27 I'd be a freakin' millionaire by now.

Take the next 32 years and knock it out of the park!
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Old 03-14-10, 02:28 PM
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Re: Late diagnosis regrets?

I recently turned 24 and regret getting a late diagnosis. I could have done so much more, I always knew there was something wrong with me. The psychiatrists told me it was anxiety/depression. It was ADD. ADD was the trigger and cause of the anxiety/depression I was experiencing. I tested out of high school two years early, home schooled before. Completing my weeks-worth of homework in one night switching from subject to subject is a memory of procrastination and struggle I hope to never have to battle with again. It's a new year, and this is a new me. I'm getting things accomplished, can finally focus, and can finally see clearly for the first time in my life.
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Old 03-14-10, 02:34 PM
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Re: Late diagnosis regrets?

Quote:
Originally Posted by therepetition View Post
I recently turned 24 and regret getting a late diagnosis. I could have done so much more, I always knew there was something wrong with me. The psychiatrists told me it was anxiety/depression. It was ADD. ADD was the trigger and cause of the anxiety/depression I was experiencing. I tested out of high school two years early, home schooled before. Completing my weeks-worth of homework in one night switching from subject to subject is a memory of procrastination and struggle I hope to never have to battle with again. It's a new year, and this is a new me. I'm getting things accomplished, can finally focus, and can finally see clearly for the first time in my life.
I suspect there are plenty of people older than you and older than me (39) who wish they had a lot of untreated ADHD years back. Once I began treatment for ADHD, I wept because of regrets at least a couple of times. It might have been the initial effects of Adderall, but I'd like to think not.

My diagnoses going back to the early 20s were similar -- anxiety, depression, alcoholism (17 years sober, that one was real!), OCD, you name it. ADHD was considered but downplayed because I had compensated so well. What a shame, because it grew worse as it was left untreated. That is my greatest regret -- that my family, employers, sig others, and me didn't take seriously the obvious problems that were SCREAMING ADHD. I overachieved but with no real purpose. I also graduated from high school early and had about 17 majors as an undergrad. But all of it felt hollow because I knew deep down that there was not something I like to call a "life arc" there -- I knew I was severely limited despite grades and wide varieties of interests: I would never grind out research papers or whatever else it took to get where my grandiose ideas placed me at any given moment...an ugly cycle of great hopes and dreams (or delusions, depending) undermined by self-sabotage created my experiences with what I would come to learn were manifestations of ADHD. Had I known then what was going on, and had I been treated then, perhaps I wouldn't have felt so stuck in that cycle? Who knows?

I quickly realized that, for me, putting my energy into the future was the only way to keep myself on anything resembling a track. To this day, my darkest minutes, hours, days, and months are those spent lingering over what might have been. It isn't a good place for me to live...

Holy rambling! Sorry about that. Take care!

Felix

Last edited by misterfelix; 03-14-10 at 02:40 PM.. Reason: Need to ramble a little more
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Old 03-14-10, 07:24 PM
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Re: Late diagnosis regrets?

I do wish that I had been diagnosed earlier but better late (at age 48) than never.
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Old 03-15-10, 04:12 PM
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Re: Late diagnosis regrets?

NO, I DON'T REGRET IT!

I'm really glad I got a late diagnosis, well treatment to be more accurate. I'm 25 and recently started getting treated for ADD.

I come from a family of substance abusers and it was natural for me to abuse substances when I was younger. Through the hard lessons of life I matured and learned to moderate myself and not impulsively abuse substances.

I know that if they would of put me on ADD meds before my twenties I would of abused them and most likely done great damage to myself and my future.

But since I got on my meds after my substance abuse phase of my life. I am getting the most benefit from them and I know I use them very responsibly.

I even actively abstain from my meds on the weekends and holidays. I actively try and keep my tolerance as low as possible so as I only get the focus and attention effects. I don't want euphoria, motivation, or lots of energy from my meds.
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Old 03-15-10, 05:12 PM
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Re: Late diagnosis regrets?

After reading all the posts i have to say no regrets, but do i wonder what many life would be like if i'd found out at a younger age? Yes, as another post wrote: shoulda, woulda, coulda!
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Old 03-15-10, 05:15 PM
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Re: Late diagnosis regrets?

I'll toss another perspective on the table. I was diagnosed at age four, prior to beginning kindergarden.

At that time, it was still believed that you would grow out of it- that it wasn't possible to have ADHD as an adult. For me, that magical day never came- just as it never comes for 70% of people with childhood diagnosis. As I grew older, it was very clear that I still had it- but that was impossible- so I must be depressed. That resulted in any number of anti-depressants that messed me up to the point that I simply refused to speak to anyone with the ability to prescribe.

It was in the 90s before anyone was talking about Adult ADHD. By that time, I was pretty gun shy and still not open to talking to anyone about it. In 97 I worked with a guy whose son has ADHD. He urged me to consider getting treatment for mine. I finally did... in 2005.

I'm 47 now and at least understand what my needs are. I have some decent coping mechanisms and have been on and off meds. I am considering asking my GP if he would consider managing me on medication because I trust him and I still have a definite lack of trust with psychiatrists. The last professional I reached out to asked me for my history and current issues. She asked me what I thought appropriate next steps should be. I told her that if I could get some help managing the ADHD I would be significantly more able to manage the other stressors in my life. Her response was that my ADHD wasn't my issue and that I MUST be depressed. I walked out and never went back and am not willing to GO back.

If my GP isn't willing to be in that role, I probably won't pursue it further. I understand that medication would be helpful to me, I just don't need (more) problems.

Regrets I've had a few
But then again too few to mention
I did what I had to do
And saw it through without exemption

I planned each charted course
Each careful step along the byway
And more, much more than this
I did it my way

Thanks, Frankie. Couldn't have said (or sung) it better.
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Last edited by ADHDTigger; 03-15-10 at 05:17 PM.. Reason: typo
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