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can the symptoms get better or worse w/age?

can the symptoms get better or worse w/age?2010-12-08T13:21:52+00:00

The Forums Forums What is it? ADHD/ADD in Adults can the symptoms get better or worse w/age?

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    Post count: 14413

    I do think that the hormonal thing affects women with ADD when we reach menopause–don’t know about men, though y’all are supposed to have hormonal shifts as well—I’m finding it harder to stay organized than it was a few years back…and forgetting what I’m doing in the middle of doing it? Thank god for a highly developed sense of humour, that’s all I can say on that one! I’m considering going back on stimulents, fer cryin’ out loud! And, I find it MUCH harder to get back to hyper-focusing when I’m interrupted. Example: I’m self-employed,like a lot of ADD-ers, an artist/designer type, again,no surprise. I had an amazing week last week,designing and creating wonderful new things for a show I’m in the middle of…and, I had great expectations of making boatloads of money this weekend,cuz the show was building each weekend,and my new things were absolutely gorgeous! So, there I was, happily hyperfocusing along,until Friday afternoon, when I had to stop what I was doing,a full 2 1/2 hours before I thought I had to, to drive what I had done to a friend to get to the show the next morning…the plan then was to return home and finish the other new things and be at the fair by mid-afternoon saturday….well, that never happened…By the time I drove the hour there and back,I was frustrated by having to rush and stop before I thought I had to,my friend/employee was upset because she felt I was an hour late,then I felt guilty because she felt bad (and no,she didn’t berate me, she was very adult about it,and so was I ) then I felt depressed because I have no life due to all the procrastination/hyperfocusing,add to that the anxiety caused by the adrenaline of rushing to meet her, and,well,I just couldn’t get back to it when I got home! So, I went to bed early,got up early, though not as early as I should have,sewed all day, hyperfocused all night (literally, ALL night) then could NOT drag myself to the car after two hours of sleep to bring the new things to the fair. As a result, had an AWESOME Saturday and a lackluster Sunday. Shot myself in the foot AGAIN!

    Luckily, I found the program related to this site on PBS while I was waiting for my employees to call me with the Sunday totals!


    Post count: 14413


    I’m a newbie to this site

    and to the idea that there is something “wrong” with me.

    Toofat, I love your terminology and it pinpoints the way I’ve felt my whole life.

    Even as a chld I knew what my teachers and other adults including my parents were

    saying wasn’t true. I’m not “lazy”, I’m not “not applying myself”, I’m not “just not trying”. They just couldn’t see what I was seeing, they couldn’t feel the things

    I felt and they didn’t know the things I already knew. And I couldn’t for the life of me

    figure out how to explain “it” or myself.

    A good portion if my “pressure to conform” subsided when I reached Jr. High.

    I loved sports and actually excelled at ALL of them.? (go figure)

    A great deal of relief came due to daily class assignments carring much less weight

    in the overall class score. 10% at the very most. Quizzes and exams made up the 90%.

    I went from teachers passing me based on test scores and because they just couldn’t

    bare to have me disrupting their class another year to not just passing but practically straight “A’s”.

    Needless to say, but I’m gonna anyway, I developed a new found relationship with my folks, teachers and other linear thinking people (thanks Toofat) in general. I soon became known as ” fun to be around”, “a kid with a great sense of humor”, “a prankster”, and yes “ornery”. No more was I the mean, rude, thoughtless troublemaker that I was labeled and carried with me for 11-12 years.

    Life was great and just kept getting greater and greater!

    I too had a son that was gifted just as I. Didn’t know what to call his “affliction” any more than my own, but I knew we were one in the same.

    Also have tinnitus. Silence is not golden for me! Oops giving my age away.

    I have read a few posts that make me wonder if hormone fluctuations/age may have an effect on my ADHD.

    Spent the first 12 years in my secret, private world no one else understood.

    Spent my next 37 years grasping the world by the tail, kicking butt and loving every minute of it.

    And now for the last, something like a year, lost inside my head and can’t seem to get out.

    I welcome any thoughts or coments, actually I’m asking.

    Am I the only one changing with possibly age???


    Lost and so exhausted from trying to find my way out…

    But still pacing throughout my home while poking this out on my phone….

    I too have tennit


    Post count: 14413

    Hey RZ …… loved your post. Yes.. so many things are so obvious to us immediately, that linear folk struggle with, all the time. I experience this a great deal, everyday! Could be, some of the inattentive behaviors we exhibit stem from the fact we already have finished the persons thought loooong before they have actually gotten the wooooooooords out…..soooooooooo….we drift ooooofffffffff waiting for them to finish speaking….yaaawwwwn. Hahahahahahaha….funny but true!!!!!

    On the other hand…..Yes!!! We are fun…really a lot of fun..or can be. Funny, fun to be around, fun to hang with…people gravitate to us, like a magnate. It has something to do with the ability to visualize and expound on one train or thread of thought in many ways, …with a continuity that comes from stringing thoughts together from what seems to be a random stream of conciousness…..all at a the same time so it fits!!!! They find it funny!!!!! It’s just the way my head works…..it keeps me on track, I amuse me!!! Whew…. that was hard to write!!!! Hahahahaha

    Not all of us are the same though….my son whose brain works the same way as mine (ADD I guess we can call it )…attracts people…all sorts. He has found the mental and verbal fun or humour in this gifted brains of ours!!! My daughter….also a random thinker…is not so socially blessed. Can’t get the patter to work for her socially….. great person, just different skill set with the gift. Go figure eh?? Has a university degree…..seems to excel in different ways???

    Do yourself a favour rent, buy…or somehow get your hands on Robin Williams stand-up videos. It is a little hard to explain, I know I have fumbled my thoughts badly here…but sit down have a laugh and watch the magic the Robin can weave via a random stream of conciousness verbalized along a single train of thought or what the linear world calls ADD. It is fabulous to watch and very powerful.

    Giving away your age RZ…..who cares I’m 60…means nothing to me??? Not a very old 60 at all…. but 60 just the same…actually 60 going 25…hahahhahaha. Chronologically older, socially mentally younger….kind of an inverse Benjamin Button maybe????

    So, help me here RZ…..I read….

    “And now for the last, something like a year, lost inside my head and can’t seem to get out.

    I welcome any thoughts or coments, actually I’m asking”. ….hmmmm, can you say that another way????

    I would share….but……not sure what is happening there RZ……… maybe try that little piece again…… in a different way…a story maybe…..

    Tinnitus?? Hmmmmm….. usually not an issue my brain shuts it off lots…inattentive to the ringing, too lazy to listen maybe!!! So…I don’t notice it very often till some turkey mentions it and then bingo..ringing…thanks RZ!!! Hahahaha…… isn’t that a riot!!! I think it’s funny anyway….

    Hey did you know the ringing is not really there!!!! Here is what an “Ear Nose Throat” specialist told me. The hairs in your ears do something with the electrical current (signal) to your brain. What the signal from the hairs say to the brain is ringggggggggg. Really there is no sound…..it’s not there!! The brain just reads the signal as a ringing sound so….. that is what the brain produces…how weird is that????



    Post count: 14413

    Regarding the original question, I remember hearing when I was young;

    “However you are when you are young is how you will be when you are old, only more so.”

    I believe we can change and improve, but our basic characteristics tend to become more pronounced with age. Also, as much as I hate to admit it, (I am close behind Toofat in age), our brains tend to slowly go downhill, the same as the rest of our bodies. It is encouraging though that scientists now say we can continue to learn and grow intellectually throughout life.

    Regarding whether ADD is a disorder or a difference:

    This is a subject I have debated in my head a lot and I’ve gone back and forth on my conclusions, sometimes daily. I like something I read somewhere. It went something like this; “If attention deficit is a disorder, there should be a diagnosis of ‘Spontaneity Deficit Disorder,’ and all Engineers have it!” Haha, I Love that concept! ADD seems to me to identify a set of pretty basic characteristics. I have read that certain personality types have a higher incidence of ADHD diagnosis than others. If you are familiar with Jungian Types; “NF”s or “Idealists” have many of the “symptomns” ADD.

    Everyone has strengths and weakness. Often our weaknessess are our strengths taken to an extreme. For example; one of my strengths is “Adaptability”. Taken too far, that becomes “wishy washy”, “undependable”, etc. I am intrigued by Strengths Theory, which basically says that we get a lot further by focusing on and living from our strengths than we do trying to “fix” our weaknesses. Toofat, you seem like a great demonstration of that! I want to be like you when I am your age. I only have two years!

    I am an INFP, and sometimes I feel like my “ADD” is just part of my “ugly duckling” misunderstood personality type. But not all NFs have ADD and certainly not all people with ADD are NFs! If you are curious about your personality type, you can take a free and pretty dependable test at humanmetrics. com. For more about Strengths Theory, go to the Gallup sight. They have published several great boooks on the subject and each book has a code that allows you take the StrengthsFinder, or they may call it StrengthsQuest now. It’s a test designed to identify 5 of your top strength themes! Very good stuff!

    Btw, it has been very interesting reading insights from individuals with ADD who have obviously been much more successful career wise than I. Rather uncharacteristically for someone with extreme ADD characteristics, I did school well! (As long as I took medicine.) It’s “just” life – especially the world of work where I fall flat on my face, (meds or no)! I often wish I did have the hyperactivity, so maybe I could work for myself!

    “Toofat”, I am curious and puzzled by the screen name you have chosen. It seems like self deprecation and uncharacteristicaly so, judging by your writing. But then you do say you have learned not to take yourself too seriously. This is another lesson I have yet to learn.


    Post count: 14413

    Hi DE…….. like your position of strength view!!!! I too am a believer!! Giggled at….”If attention deficit is a disorder, there should be a diagnosis of ‘Spontaneity Deficit Disorder,’ and all Engineers have it!” Yes yes….here’s a true story, very funny. I was at an office party talking to an Engineer (talking about what we did for a living)… I asked what was the driver to him to be an Engineer??? This is true…. he said ” I am not very smart” so I thought I would try Engineering!!!! Likewise when I told him I was the Policy Analyst in a telecommunications corp. and what my function was he was astounded. He could not fathom having a job where there was no real description…..no formula, no guidelines, no process to follow, no net below. What does that mean….nothing really just that we are different linear/compartimentalized thinkers and visionary/random thought thinkers. Not Less…but Different!!!

    It is the visionary/random thought brain function…the hyper focus ability….. that allowed me to accomplish the things I did… that thing we call ADD. Sometimes it’s difficult to find what our strength is…… or where it fits. The question I ask then is….success.. how do we each measure??? Myself, am I a good person to myself, and others…do I feed my soul constantly… am I kind and gentle with myself…. do I play…do I play well with others….can I laugh at myself…..hahahahaha. Are those the measures of success or a life well lived….or a job??? These are my questions…. for me only …… these are the things I know I must focus on to be content.

    Oh ya…..Hahahahaha toofat eh….. nope slim actually…. very very healthy….. I take extremely good care of myself both physically and mentally as well as my soul.

    Toofat is a trick I use to remember my passwords into various websites (so many to remember)….. It is a thing from my motorcycle life. ADD right !!! How do I mange it well……. it’s “toofat” for me.

    Oh right stay on topic…….live….learn…always….age does not mean that stops!!!! Work the head muscle!!!



    Post count: 14413

    I found ADHD improves with age buecause life’s experiences help you decide what you “want to do when you grow up” this helps overall focus therefore ADHD in general



    Post count: 546

    I think if it was only adhd then that would be no problem. what i find is not the adhd, it is the LD that is the cause of of most of my problems. if we could all go through life just not being the same as every one else then ok. but what i find is the LD that i struggle with puts up more road blocks than the adhd. if i could read and wriight and spell and remember what I have been tot in these areas then I could have stayed in school and gone to collage too. even now EI told me not to try get my ged because I would not pass. so all they want me to go some where like a robot,this is where my adhd gets in my way. some days I think I should have been born a dog, because i am allways chasing my tail. ha, ha. so I think its not the adhd alone,its all the things it brings along with it .


    Patte Rosebank
    Post count: 1517

    They can indeed get worse with age. During times of great biological transformation in the body (childhood, adolescence, perimenopause, menopause, geriatric), the symptoms often become more pronounced. Once the transformation is complete, they tend to recede a bit.

    My mom’s geriatric specialist said that the medical profession is only just realizing that many cases of what they always thought was senility, may actually be an increase in symptoms of the undiagnosed ADHD that the patient has had for his/her entire life!


    Post count: 913

    I wondered, and I’ve found it getting worse for me the last few months.

    Amazingly, my wife now makes sure the windows are open on the car when she drives to work – ya know, those hot flashes. Mood changes, hot, then cold, then hot, that’s her. And I’ve found that lately my “symptoms” if you want to call ’em that, are more pronounced. I have less control over some things. More forgetful, less likely to complete tasks, waste more time, etc.


    Post count: 14413

    I don’t know that it’s gotten worse with age for me. In fact understanding the symptoms has helped me to cope (somewhat) and explaining it has helped those I’m close to that don’t suffer to understand me. Humor does help. I find that I’ve always struggled with procrastination, but as I’ve gotten older the things I procrastinate on are different. Paperwork is just too daunting for me. I hate sitting down and paying my bills so badly that I’ll put it off until some are overdue. (why can’t they all be due on either the 1st or the 15th?) I’ve applied for promotions that I end up not getting mostly because I procrastinated until the last day and so was rushed and didn’t do my best.

    I do think some of the hyperfocus abilities I have make me very good at some aspects of my job. The easily distracted helps me be situationally aware and able to move from one task to the next without getting badly off track. Listening to coworkers drone on is torture, but as I’m becoming more aware of why, it’s easier to just ignore the droning, and ask someone who gets to the point better to explain it later. Adding humor to those questions makes my inability to listen a joke without offending the original speaker.

Viewing 10 posts - 16 through 25 (of 25 total)