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Relationships & Social Issues This forum is for adults with AD/HD to discuss how AD/HD affects personal relationships.

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Old 12-23-17, 03:56 PM
Barbrady1 Barbrady1 is offline
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No friends at 27

After my recent break-up with my girlfriend (who is obviously now my ex), I now find myself in the exact same position I was in before we met. I have no friends. Zero. Not even someone I speak to in passing on occasion.

Should I be concerned that I don't have any friends at 27?

I was quite popular in school until my half sister was given a long prison sentence for a very serious crime but that was over a decade ago. Over the years, I have been diagnosed with borderline personality disorder, depression, GAD, depersonalisation, high-functioning autism and most recently combined-type ADHD. But it's only really the latter that made any kind of sense because I have always been remarkably inattentive and scatterbrained despite being labelled as bright (yet lazy) at school.

Admittedly I do feel a touch embarrassed that I haven't had a friend since I was a teenager. Naturally, my self-esteem is staggeringly low and I have been quite indifferent towards others throughout the last several years.

Is maintaining friendships a difficulty for many of those with ADHD? Or is there perhaps something fundamentally wrong with my personality? I have a kind of "don't give a ****/apathetic" air about me, which is apparent even when I am not battling depression.

I don't particularly want to be alone for the rest of my life, but it is incredibly difficult for me to remain interested in others for any length of time. I guess stimulants help a bit in this regard but I still have a terribly disorganised mind that it does somewhat inhibit me from getting to know anyone well.
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Old 12-24-17, 03:19 AM
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Re: No friends at 27

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Originally Posted by Barbrady1 View Post
Should I be concerned that I don't have any friends at 27?
Friendship is extremely important for mental wellbeing, no matter what the age!

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Originally Posted by Barbrady1 View Post
I was quite popular in school until my half sister was given a long prison sentence for a very serious crime but that was over a decade ago. Over the years, I have been diagnosed with borderline personality disorder, depression, GAD, depersonalisation, high-functioning autism and most recently combined-type ADHD. But it's only really the latter that made any kind of sense because I have always been remarkably inattentive and scatterbrained despite being labelled as bright (yet lazy) at school.
Since things get exponentially more complicated when comorbid conditions are included, let's just assume that ADHD is the primary issue, and that the other issues are a secondary consequence of ADHD (ex ADHD prevents you from having stable employment, which then leads to symptoms of depression).

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Admittedly I do feel a touch embarrassed that I haven't had a friend since I was a teenager. Naturally, my self-esteem is staggeringly low and I have been quite indifferent towards others throughout the last several years.

Is maintaining friendships a difficulty for many of those with ADHD? Or is there perhaps something fundamentally wrong with my personality? I have a kind of "don't give a ****/apathetic" air about me, which is apparent even when I am not battling depression.

I don't particularly want to be alone for the rest of my life, but it is incredibly difficult for me to remain interested in others for any length of time. I guess stimulants help a bit in this regard but I still have a terribly disorganised mind that it does somewhat inhibit me from getting to know anyone well.
Since you didn't have social issues as a young child, it doesn't seem like autism. As I understand it, generally ADHD people have much higher rates of difficulty with social interactions. However, ADHD generally doesn't directly cause a person to be disinterested in others. It's more like ADHD makes them say impulsive things, be flakey, be more emotionally volatile, etc. which causes them to become socially unpopular. That can naturally lower the individual's self esteem, causing that person to voluntarily withdraw socially.

You might just be the type of person who naturally isn't very interested in others? Maybe that's where the borderline diagnosis is coming from? (Caution -
I really don't know much about borderline!) Social isolation is super common among depressed males, and depression is much more prevalent in society than borderline. Occam's razor - a combination of lifelong ADHD, negative life events, and emotional baggage has made you depressed, which leads to social isolation. Depression and social isolation create a self-reinforcing cycle.

My 2 cents - instead of driving yourself crazy trying to determine the diagnosis, focus on improving your life functions. Are you seeing a psychiatrist and/or therapist for ADHD and other mental health issues? You say yourself that you want to have friends, and that's the first step towards making positive change in your life! If ADHD is directly impairing your ability to interact with others, then any effective ADHD treatment should also directly improve your social abilities.
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Old 12-24-17, 04:05 AM
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Re: No friends at 27

Thank you for your thoughtful response.

Whilst I don't believe it's healthy to obsess over my various labels, it's to be expected when my circumstances are taken into consideration.

I've seen lots of therapists over the years but it's not a route I want to revisit at this juncture as I am not depressed right now.

I guess I need to get out of my comfort zone more.
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Old 12-24-17, 05:43 AM
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Re: No friends at 27

I'm 27, have no friends and couldn't care less.
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Old 12-24-17, 06:28 AM
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Re: No friends at 27

I think you should at least see a doctor to consider the possible diagnosis' you mentioned..
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Old 12-24-17, 06:53 AM
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Re: No friends at 27

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I think you should at least see a doctor to consider the possible diagnosis' you mentioned..
Pardon my ignorance but what do you mean by this?

I was diagnosed with BPD and depression in 2013 after two suicide attempts, but healthcare professionals have since said it might well have been a misdiagnosis as BPD can mimic some symptoms of ASD and ADHD.

It's my foggy mind that has always been my greatest cause for concern but ritalin/concerta has given me some relief in this respect.
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Old 12-24-17, 06:55 AM
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Re: No friends at 27

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I'm 27, have no friends and couldn't care less.
Doesn't it affect your self-esteem at all?

Good for you if it doesn't.
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Old 12-24-17, 06:58 AM
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Re: No friends at 27

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Doesn't it affect your self-esteem at all?

Good for you if it doesn't.
I go to the gym 3-4 times a week. It gives me something to aim for and I always feel great when I walk out of there knowing i've given it everything. Great self esteem booster.

The one thing that does really impact my self esteem at the moment though is my facial skin, which is by far the worst out of anyone I know. Anything I try to do to improve it, only makes it worse.
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Old 12-24-17, 07:08 AM
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Re: No friends at 27

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Pardon my ignorance but what do you mean by this?

I was diagnosed with BPD and depression in 2013 after two suicide attempts, but healthcare professionals have since said it might well have been a misdiagnosis as BPD can mimic some symptoms of ASD and ADHD.

It's my foggy mind that has always been my greatest cause for concern but ritalin/concerta has given me some relief in this respect.
I meant that because of the multiple diagnosis/ misdiagnosis it might be worth your while to get into those possibilities and see if it affects your ability to have/maintain relationships.
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Old 12-24-17, 02:05 PM
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Re: No friends at 27

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Originally Posted by Fraser_0762 View Post
I go to the gym 3-4 times a week. It gives me something to aim for and I always feel great when I walk out of there knowing i've given it everything. Great self esteem booster.

The one thing that does really impact my self esteem at the moment though is my facial skin, which is by far the worst out of anyone I know. Anything I try to do to improve it, only makes it worse.
My acne was really bad in my mid 20s. Accutane fixed it very quickly from what I remember. Have to be careful though as it can cause suicidal side effects even. Perhaps they have some better drugs now.
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Old 12-24-17, 02:12 PM
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Re: No friends at 27

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My acne was really bad in my mid 20s. Accutane fixed it very quickly from what I remember. Have to be careful though as it can cause suicidal side effects even. Perhaps they have some better drugs now.
Yeah, I tried Accutane about 12 years ago. Took care of the cystic acne I was having at the time. My biggest problem these days isn't so much the acne itself, but the scars it leaves behind. My cheeks are severely discolored/reddish and I have some pitting as well. I've tried a series of chemical peels, microdermabrasion and derma needling to no real avail. They just make my skin break out more which leads to fresh scars over the old ones. Think I might have rosacea though which is linked to more internal factors.
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Old 12-24-17, 02:18 PM
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Re: No friends at 27

I read that social isolationism was a common theme in early deaths. Even us introverts need people.

Making friends and keeping them gets harder and harder with age, especially if you go a long time without so I'd really try now before you get even older.

I had more friends when I was young too even if I've never been a social butterfly. It is really hard for me to socailize. I don't think my adhd made me introverted but it certainly makes me have a harder time doing things I don't want to do with socializing being one of those things. Plus years of having difficulties paying attention to people when they talk has made me hate socializing even more.

I had only 1 friend for a really long time. I just made 2 more but tbh, I think I need some friends that have more interests in common with me. Think it would be more fun that way. I'll probably join a meetup group or something where hopefully I can find people who like the same things as me.
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Old 12-24-17, 11:21 PM
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Re: No friends at 27

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I'm 27, have no friends and couldn't care less.
If that works for you, then no need to change anything! For the vast majority of us, we need friends, but there will always be some outliers.
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Old 12-25-17, 03:52 AM
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Re: No friends at 27

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If that works for you, then no need to change anything! For the vast majority of us, we need friends, but there will always be some outliers.
It's that word "need". Men should never "need". We all have desires, but if we wish to fulfill those desires, then we must also be prepared to make changes and sacrifices.

If you don't have any friends, then it's not everybody else, it's you. If you desire friends, then you need to look at yourself and ask yourself what you're willing to change about yourself in order to welcome more friends into your life.
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Old 12-25-17, 04:18 AM
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Re: No friends at 27

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It's that word "need". Men should never "need".
I think we all have needs unfortunately. We need food. We need shelter when weather is too harsh. And its hard to imagine a human who doesn't need some companionship without suffering some psychological issues or dying an earlier death. Maybe I'm wrong about that don't know.

I think I agree with everything else you said.

It doesn't matter but wanted to correct that I should have said I have 4 friends, one online one met on this forum. I actually share more with him than anyone but haven't met him irl as he lives on the opposite side of the world.

I made 3 of these friends within the last couple years. We can always change our lives at any moment. Though I'll have to say, I do find it much harder to feel a closer connection the older I get.
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