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Women with ADD/ADHD This forum is for women to discuss issues related to being a woman with AD/HD.

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Old 11-02-04, 05:35 AM
damelle damelle is offline
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Women Diagnosed with ADD/ ADHD At 50 or older

Hello All,

I am new to this forum. I was recently diagnosed with ADD. I have known for years that something was not quite right, but "the not quite right part" seemed to be elusive; until I was researching another issue for a friend and stumbled across a blurb on ADD that led me to Sar Solden's book. After reading the first chapter of her book, I knew that I had found my answers. I immediately sought diagnosis and treatment. I am in counseling and recently started medication (Ritalin). I am not sure as to whether the meds are working--I am extremely tired when the 7-8 hour cycle ends but I can only tell small differences when it actively working--no appreciable change in ability to focus. But, I am bound and determined to learn how to make the pluses of ADD work for me and to management the negatives.

As a result, I am seeking other women who were diagnosed at 50 or older. In my view, being diagnosed at this stage in life is challenging for many reasons--hormonally, the idea of "starting over," the disappointment with oneself for not having become all that you could have become, yada, yada, yada--I would like to talk to, or correspond with other women not only to grow and develop as a person who has ADD, but is not defined by ADD; but also, to write an article about the challenges and quite frankly joys (finally knowing) of a diagnosis after 50.

Thanks for any help/insights you may provide.

Damelle
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Old 11-02-04, 08:33 AM
andocrates andocrates is offline
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50 is just a number.

Love Mike
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Old 11-02-04, 09:41 AM
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Hi,
50 is a number, and I'm not 50 yet, but some of the experiences in this age group are different than those experienced by younger persons. When I was growing up, even when I was in high school, ADD had not yet been identified as such. It was labeled Minimal Brain Dysfunction. Professional educators didn't think to look for MBD in a National Merit Scholar finalist. I knew something was wrong, they knew I was lazy, unmotivated, and not working up to my potential. I internalized their "knowledge."
I have a lifetime of similar knowledge to deal with. 50 may just be a number, but early diagnosis would certainly have changed my life. It's also very frustating to be angry at the persons who educated and raised you, and realize that they were clueless and simply could not help. Susan

p.s. I was diagnosed this summer, at 48 yo. Doesn't meet the criteria fpr this thread, but I suspect that my experiences/emotions, etc, are similar as to those I would have had if had been born in 1953 as opposed to 1956.
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Old 11-02-04, 11:03 AM
andocrates andocrates is offline
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I've met 25 year old women who were already old. I've met 50 year old men who were like teen boys, without trying. So I believe age is just a number. What went on in the past is irrelevant, because there is no past. Or, to put it another way, nothing exists in the past. Nothing exists in the future, the past the future they are concepts not real things.

Therefore the past has zero bearing on the present, except for the power you allow it. If you see regret for not getting helped in the past I see opportunity that the rest of my life will be more productive. I have already decided I'm going to be genki till I'm 90, therefore only half of my life is gone.
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Old 11-03-04, 03:14 AM
RhapsodyInBlue RhapsodyInBlue is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by andocrates
I've met 25 year old women who were already old. I've met 50 year old men who were like teen boys, without trying. So I believe age is just a number. What went on in the past is irrelevant, because there is no past. Or, to put it another way, nothing exists in the past. Nothing exists in the future, the past the future they are concepts not real things.

Therefore the past has zero bearing on the present, except for the power you allow it. If you see regret for not getting helped in the past I see opportunity that the rest of my life will be more productive. I have already decided I'm going to be genki till I'm 90, therefore only half of my life is gone.
So true. What is a number? Something that humans use as a tool of measure; and not always a very reliable one at that.

The youngest person I have ever met was a 78 yr old lady, and she was beautiful.

damelle, I am not 50, but I think your age is irrelevant on this forum. You are first a person and not a number, and there are many caring people here who will be your age, and others that will be far younger. All have insight to offer, and I would think that you, too, have things to teach us.

You have just been diagnosed. It is right at this moment in time that counts

Welcome to the forum
Hugs
~Viktoria
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Old 11-03-04, 04:19 AM
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Your 50 ---- Im 50


is that like

Potato ---Po-TaT-O

Emotionaly Im 18 - Physically Im 50


________________________________________________
Welcome to your new Home Away From Home

All your new brothers and sisters will be glad to help you anyway we can.....


Read, Read, and Read some more, and when your ready, jump in and post away to the threads that interest you.


As I am very lazy when it comes to typing so I have created a welcome page and ADDed a link here to get you there

My Welcome Page

Garry
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I am ------------ ADD
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Old 11-03-04, 05:18 AM
damelle damelle is offline
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Age also represents roads traveled & choices made

To all who have replied. I thank you for your replies.

My question regarding others who were diagnosed at 50 and older, has nothing to do with my my sensitivity about age per se. However, although I live in the moment, my personal philosophy is that the person that I am today (and even the person that I will become tomorrow), is a result of ALL of my experiences and how I chose to process them. It is not to deny that others, chronologically younger or older, do not have things to contribute to me and vice versa. I have read many of the threads in these forums and have found some of the responses and insights very interesting; and, in many cases, helpful. But, they have not responded to my need to have a conversation, or exchange, with another female(s) in my age group, who was NOT diagnosed until her 50s. For instance, my view of a diagnosis at 50 is no different than a person wanting to know how do you handle being married or parenting with an ADD diagnosis. Do you tell them that parenting is only a choice that one made in life and deny that being a parent adds another layer of management, both emotionally and physicially. Trust me when I tell you, age is not just a number when it comes to a number of the physical, chemical and emotional changes that occur with aging, particularly in women.

Again, age in and of itself is not a problem for me. I have accomplished a great many things in my life that I am extremely proud of...and, I hope to accomplish many more, particularly, now, as a result of my diagnosis, that I understand "the why" of somethings.

What I am hearing from the responses to my request to connect with others who were diagnosed in their 50s, is that my need to have this connection in someway diminishes others, or says that there is something wrong with my need to have connect with a group of women that I have defined. It is my hope that to the extent that I participate in this forum, I would be allowed to so in a way that I can be supported but not judged for identifying and taking care of my needs.

Again, thank you for your responses; and, I would still welcome the opportunity to have an exchange/share with any woman/women diagnosed in her late 40s or after 50 if she also has a desire to so communicate.
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Old 11-03-04, 08:58 AM
RhapsodyInBlue RhapsodyInBlue is offline
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Damelle, rereading your original post again, I can see where you are coming from. Apologies on my part for not understanding correctly.

I'm not 50 by a long shot, so I can't help. I hope some ladies that are or were in a similar position to yourself come forward and have a chat.

All The Best!
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Old 11-04-04, 08:48 PM
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Hi there!
I am "only" 42 but I have a feeling I know what you are going with this. I was diagnosed with ADD about six months ago. I have still not fully absorbed it all. I have been lurking around these forums for a while, saw your post and felt I had to acknowledge it. It is not a good time for me to switch gears and get deep but I look forward to pursuing this!
Vicki
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Old 11-05-04, 05:22 PM
Blondiex46 Blondiex46 is offline
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Well 49 here (diagnosed) 51 now I would be happy to talk if you would like. However you want.
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Old 11-05-04, 10:19 PM
onegreatgal onegreatgal is offline
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Diagnosed at 49 -- Double edged sword

Hi, I think I know what you mean. It really is different to be diagnosed this late in life... it's not about the number, but it is about the experience and I agree that 50 is not 25.. which doesn't diminish anybody... People view you differently at 50 than they do at 25, for one thing... and that's not necessarily a bad thing... I think that if it means someone is interested in learning something from me, after slogging through 50 years of life experience, that's very cool... I actually don't look my age. At most, I look 40 -- so I tend to blow people away when I tell them... But as for being diagnosed at 48 actually (and I turned 50 in May) -- it really is a jolt. On the one hand, it makes sense of A LOT of stuff in my life.... disorganization, not feeling like I know the right thing to say in certain situations, lack of commitment in relationships (because I get overwhelmed), money troubles, stuck in low-paying jobs because I am too scared to 'move up' to a place where I have too much responsibility, a lot of "bad" days where I can barely think at all -- even the long bouts of depression. Now I know what's been behind all that. And it has been a kind of liberating feeling -- as in "Gee, I am not a big fat loser after all." And maybe I can change some of the things that have held me back. But -- boys and girls -- it really IS hard at 50 to start to relearn everything from how to express anger appropriately to how to stick to one task before moving on to another (i.e. finish washing the dishes before you go see what's on Oprah today and figure you better take the garbage out 'before I forget' etc.) -- But I will say this... I cannot remember the exact quote, but someone once said that, up until you take your last breath, it's never too late to change. And Ram Dass, one of my favorite people on the planet also said in a lecture I went to in New Haven -- "It's later than you think... and you have all the time in the world." Now THERE is a guy having to deal with re-learning stuff and depending on others, after suffering a stroke... And he still has sense of humor! -- Brenda
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Old 11-06-04, 01:25 AM
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Hello!

I agree with them that 50 is only a number. Thinking optimistic at least u realised it while some people doesn't know their whole life. Don't worry, you have come so far, life is good. Don't look back is my motto. And most importantly never compare. I read that in a book, the author said " what is happening in my life now has nothing to do with what's happening in your life.."

I hope that your article will come out great. Don't worry, all is well. I have bad bouts of depression too in the past and sometimes now. Don't worry, all is well is something i always talk to myself to comfort myself.

I hope that after your realization of add, you will find ways to improve your life as from now onward. Don't look back. Look forward.

Good luck to you!
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Old 11-06-04, 10:05 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by onegreatgal
...money troubles, stuck in low-paying jobs because I am too scared to 'move up' to a place where I have too much responsibility, a lot of "bad" days where I can barely think at all --......-- Brenda
Brenda,
I can really relate to your quotes above. I have such a great boss at work. On the days when my brain just feels overwhelmed and I cannot prioritize he has actually said 'ask me I'll help you prioritize' and he does - with NO underlying sense of 'what's WRONG with you?'.

To get back to the thread Yes dx'd @ 52. How this relates to me is that I chose to ignore many many of my ADD symptoms as being hormonal--confusion, memory loss, emotionally overwhelmed when not being able to stay on task, etc.
Drs. also do not help as they as so very willing to write off every issue as an 'aging/hysterical female' issue.

IF I would have only realized say 5 years ago when my hormonal issues were kicking in that just maybe I had 'other' issues that needed to be treated I would've/could've been that much more ahead of the game.
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Old 11-06-04, 12:32 PM
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Damelle-

First of all, I wanted to say the clarity of your written speech is delightful.
Secondly, may I take a stab at sharing my experience? We'll see if this is the kind of conversation you were interested in...

I am 49, and this past Monday, the psychiatrist who has been my prescribing physician for the last 4-5 years quizzed me after having listened to some of my recent experiences.

I had been relating what I considered to be some of my usual concerns (I was diagnosed with dysthemia at the age of 40), when he suggested that my responses to his questions were also typical of ADHD.

I am anything but hyper...however, I have been through so much in the last few years-some of which are things, in my opinion, related to being a perimenopausal woman nearing 50-that I was happy to have the doctor suggest a possible additional diagnosis and potential treatment!

You may say-Wha...? Happy to have another diagnosed problem? Happy to have another medication to add to the cocktail know as your life?

O.K...maybe "happy" isn't the right word...maybe cautiously hopeful would be more appropriate...hopeful that I can make some substantial behavioral changes to improve the quality of my life.

I would be happy to elaborate on any portion of the above, if this is the kind of thing you, or anyone else, wants to talk about...
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Old 11-06-04, 09:52 PM
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Thank you...hope does spring eternal

Thanks to all of you wonderfully delightful hearts who replied to my post...

And yes, you're right on with the kind of thing that I am interested in hearing. My perspective...being diagnosed was a relief of sorts for me; and, yet in some ways, the idea of "getting busy" with the work of change, made me feel weary. I was always so tired from making "fighting" the symptoms of undiagnosed ADD as well as other challenges of the years--broken neck, Chron's Disease, pancreatis, asthma, hypertension, fibroids and ovarian cysts, divorce, deaths of my best friends (my brother, mother and father)...

I didn't recognize until after my diagnosis, while doing some personal reflection, why the death of both of my parents has been so difficult for me. Oh yes, their deaths would have been a challenge to deal with no matter what. But, because of the ADD, I no longer have anyone who can provide a sense of structure for me. I am not married, I don't have children and I work from home--I depend solely on my personal motivations and systems to provide structure (not the best situation for one who is ADD challenged). I have a BA, MS and JD; but, still wonder why finances are always a challenge; and, I can't decide what I want to be when I grow up. It always seemed that I had sooooooo many interests and ideas. And, too little time to get any one thing done--not to mention all of the things that I was interested in. So, I'd become so overwhelmed that I would just sit down and loose myself in a good/not so good book.

The good news is that between the meds and counseling...and the acceptance that I cannot do all things well (difficult for me because I have strong perfectionist tendencies)...I have gotten really clear about what I want to do NOW that I have found the HOW to growing up for me!

The challenges of menopause...that's a story for the second installment...but, thanks so much for sharing. I suppose there are three key, or specific questions...how did your symptoms manifest themselves--if you had been living undiagnosed for 45/50+ years, what made you seek help? And, two...in what whys have the diagnosis changed your life? Three, what have been the biggest challenges for you in meeting that change/rising to the challenge?

Sorry for the length of this post...but, I was trying to draft a general response to everyone's post while at the same time sharing a part of myself in hopes that others will feel comfortable sharing with me. If you do not wish to share openly but would like to respond, please feel free to send me a personal email.

Thanks,
Damelle
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