Dr. Umesh Jain is now exclusively responsible for TotallyADD.com and its content

Re: Diagnosed at 45 and not sure if meds are working.

Re: Diagnosed at 45 and not sure if meds are working.2011-12-10T20:07:11+00:00

The Forums Forums I Just Found Out! My Story Diagnosed at 45 and not sure if meds are working. Re: Diagnosed at 45 and not sure if meds are working.


Post count: 14413

Well, as is probably not unusual, I haven’t read all the posts before posting – haven’t even read any one post in total. So my post may be a little unrelated, but I just wanted to share my story. I just discovered this website because of a documentary that I stumbled upon on PBS. It just feels really good to connect with other people with ADD/ADHD. I was diagnosed at about age 44. I am now 60. I was seeing a therapist for grief issues and she suggested to me that I might be an adult with ADD. At that time I did not understand the difference between ADD and ADHD and also did not understand the spectrum idea of the disorder. I saw myself as the complete opposite of someone with ADHD so I could not believe I could have this. She explained that I probably had ADD, not ADHD and suggested that I read a book called Driven to Distraction by Hollowell and Raley. It was a revelation getting that book. I didn’t read the entire book cover to cover (of course!!), but what I did read was my life. She suggested that I see a psych. who specialized in adults with ADD/,ADHD. I did, but I was not entirely happy with the results. He diagnosed me with “mild to moderate ADD” and immediately wanted me to go on Meds. After living to age 44 with this disorder and managing somewhat, I was and still am hesitant to go on drugs. I looked into other ways of coping with this, tried meditation and simple coping strategies, many of which I had instinctively done to get through my life already. At this point in my life, I do believe he correctly diagnosed me and think that perhaps meds might have helped many of the issues in my life that I still struggle with. However, I must say that simply knowing there is a reason, other than being “spacy”, “zoney”,” undisciplined” and” disorganized” that I have these struggles and knowing that I have to find ways to cope – lists upon lists being a huge one – has helped a lot. It seems lately I have been experiencing a certain amount of sorrow over certain things in my life that may have been different had I been diagnosed and treated much earlier in life. My passion in life is music and I wanted to be a professional musician. I started off in college as a music major, but dropped out and tried to work as a free lance musician. However, I was never able to make enough of a living that I could completely rely on it and always had to do other “odd jobs” to make ends meet. Eventually in my early 30’s I went back to college and finally completed a bachelors and a masters in special education, a field I had always had a strong interest in. Being able to complete those degrees and the masters with a 4.0 was a huge accomplishment for me and a huge confidence builder. I was a terrible student in high school and had no confidence in my abilities intellectually. And even though I was a good musician and a good actress (I was very involved in music and theater from a very young age), I had very little confidence in those areas either. After getting my degrees, I worked as an early childhood special education teacher for a while and then quit when I had my own late in life child. I now work as a Headstart teacher. I love the work and believe strongly in the program, but I really want to spend my energy giving to my family and working on my music. I do still play in some local groups and perform, mostly on a volunteer basis. But after working all day at a pretty demanding job, it is difficult to have the energy to be a good mom (I still have a child at home) and give my music the attention I need to give it to be at the level I want to be. If we didn’t need me to work financially, I would quit and do as much music as possible whether it paid anything or not. I guess this is all to say that looking back, I would have loved to have had a career in music and I think I had/have the talent, but ADD got in the way of being able to have the right kind of discipline and focus needed to be successful. I need to close because I was actually on my way to cleaning the house before going on line and joining this group!! I guess the lesson in my story is that if a person thinks they or their child has ADD/ADHD, get the help you need. But I guess also the lesson is that sometimes life works out the way it is supposed to. After two failed marriages, I now have a wonderful family. Perhaps if I had had that career in music, I may not have met my husband and had my two wonderful boys. I just wish I could have found a way to combine a music career and my family and I think ADD is largely responsible for my difficulty in doing that.