YESYESYESYESYESYESYES, my life has been completely changed by having the ADHD diagnosis.
Like you, I had had a very long history of depression (we think due to the fact that I finally “hit the wall” when I was 16 as far as coping with the symptoms of the then-undiagnosed ADHD). I have been in-and-out of so many college and university programs over the last 10 years. This summer, after a big blow-up with my husband (which resulted in me seeing a new therapist, and which triggered my thoughts about possibly having ADHD, which got this whole ball rolling), he (my husband) was even at the point where he was encouraging me to start looking for full-time jobs in fields like food services in hospitals (unionized, with benefits). Knowing what I know now, this probably would have been a *total* disaster.
Luckily, I did persevere through getting the diagnosis, and starting on medication. At first, he was skeptical (because so many depression treatments had seemed to work for a while, and then not), but we were able to pop some champagne last night because of my first completely successful post-secondary semester *ever* (I completed four courses, probably all with A/A+ final grades, and I really enjoy the program I’m in). The counsellor I’m working with at school says he never would have guessed that I had a history of depression, based on our sessions (I’m working with him now that I’m doing well to make sure that I stay that way). I actually feel honest-to-goodness HAPPY (I still have down days, just like anyone, but they’re not hide-under-the-blankets-can’t-even-take-a-shower-or-brush-my-teeth days anymore). I still have regrets, from the things that I messed up over the last decade, and we’re still plowing our way through a *mountain* of debt, more than half of which was accumulated by me. But I do not think, anymore, that I am doomed to failure, and neither does mr. purlgurl.
I am not an expert, but I would really encourage you to try to find someone to work with regarding your obsessive thoughts/ruminations – even starting with your family doctor. I’m sure you know this, but the thoughts are not accomplishing anything positive – in fact, they are almost definitely making things worse. Also, they are probably a symptom of depression, more than a part of *you*. Good luck with everything.