"If Only I'd Known This 20 Years Ago."

Regret and resentment are common among adults diagnosed with ADHD after a lifetime of learning challeges, self-esteem struggles, and harsh criticism. Working through complex emotions is Step One. Then follow these steps to decide on the best treatment plan and secure the support you need.

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Step One: Honor Your Feelings

Your immediate reaction to the news of an ADHD diagnosis may be relief — now you know why you are the way you are. But it may well be regret for past struggles and for what might have been, or fear that ADHD treatment will take away your creativity and change who you are.

You may also have difficulty accepting the diagnosis itself. "Even though my diagnosis made sense, I just couldn't or didn't want to believe it," says one woman who was diagnosed in her forties.

Understand that your feelings about the diagnosis, whether positive or negative, or mixed, are natural. Realizing you have something to feel sad about, or work on, or capitalize on and preserve will help you take action.

POLL: What was your primary emotion upon learning that you have ADHD? Take our community poll.

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TAGS: Adult ADD: Late Diagnosis

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