Reply To: Academically-Inclined Folks w/ADHD?


Like others who’ve replied, I was diagnosed relatively late… in my 50s, over the course of just the past couple months. A lot of what you write, BlueRose, sounds just so familiar, and so yes, I’d say ADD is a plausible diagnosis for you. Like you, for so long, my ADD symptoms had been masked by academic and professional achievement that was high in some ways, though I was floundering in others. Being naturally curious, interested, motivated, and in certain respects talented can be great coping mechanisms and helped me compensate in many ways, but eventually procrastination, avoidance, and disorganization nearly did me in. As responsibilities grew with my level of seniority, they overwhelmed my ability to compensate. While I’ve shined in some respects, I’ve totally tanked in others, and earned myself a reputation as someone who is unreliable and doesn’t deliver… nearly a death sentence in a workplace.

Thankfully, I have a supportive workplace that’s helping me get things sorted out. I’ve been assigned a compassionate manager with whom I feel comfortable speaking freely about my situation (though this isn’t recommended for everyone) and who is starting to help me develop some coping strategies and organizational systems. I have an excellent therapist, who is extremely well-informed and empathetic about ADHD because she has it herself, and she’s also just a wonderful human being. Visiting family over Xmas, I shared the diagnosis with them, and got supportive responses from all.

My spouse is relieved I’ve been diagnosed, and definitely finds affirmation in learning what ADD-spouses routinely deal with, but I wouldn’t say our relationship has moved passed the very strained state it reached, and that it’s transformed into being a source of support… that’s my main challenge at the moment (in addition to work), and quite a painful one (even more so than work).

Here are some thoughts, based on what’s helped me so far:
– learn as much as you can, but remember that ADD manifests differently for different people. (There are some great podcasts, including ADDitude Magazine’s ADHD Experts. Dr. Ned Hallowell’s work is really helpful… e.g., the classic book Driven to Distraction)

– get a good therapist, and make sure it’s someone who *really* knows ADD, and works with a lot of folks with ADD, and who you personally click with.

– meditation is extremely helpful. (Dan Harris and Jeff Warren’s “Meditation for Fidgety Skeptics” is super practical and down-to-earth. Also check out Lydia Zyloska’s podcast on ADHD Experts)

I hope there’s something useful in all that.
Warm wishes and best of luck.

  • This reply was modified 1 year, 8 months ago by sk1927.