1 day after being formally diagnosed

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    • #85451

      So yesterday morning I learned that I have ADD, as well as auditory processing and social anxiety.

      After 45 years, I am beginning to understand why I am who I am. Of course this is new and exciting, so I’m reading articles like a mad man.

      I’m blessed with a very high IQ, but I’ve always just gotten by in school. Average high school grades, then three attempts at college – the third one in my late 20s-early 30s finally stuck. It was a degree focused on engineering, design, and 3D modeling, technical illustration, etc.

      I do wonder what life would be like today if I had been diagnosed earlier in life, but my life is pretty damn good today. Married to a wonderful wife, with two beautiful 7 year old twins. I have a job with a great salary.

      What I feel most today is relief and understanding. I can almost understand why I get so angry when my wife tells me how to do something simple. She’s just trying to help, and I’m lashing out because my emotions aren’t regulated normally, and I pretty much feel like a total failure in everything I do. Until yesterday, I had pretty much thrown in the towel on being a better person, resigning to the thought that I’m just a know it all ass hole with no motivation to do anything and my family would be better without me.

      My doctor has the same diagnosis, and after speaking with her for an hour, I felt like I’ve found my long lost twin.

      So far, this diagnosis is a liberating experience. I’ve seen therapists for depression, anxiety, and alcohol abuse. Never did they mention ADD as a possibility. I made an appointment with an ADD specialist just to see, but fully expecting to find I don’t have ADD and I’m just a crappy human.

    • #85453


      I’m glad to hear that you feel relieved by your diagnosis. ADHD can easily be both misdiagnosed and go undiagnosed. I was diagnosed as a child so I have 20+ years of experience with knowing I have the disorder. The hardest part is finding the right treatment. It sounds like you will put in a diligent effort towards that though. I’ve been on every type of ADHD medication there is since the 90s, although for awhile I hated it so much that I took myself off medication for several years (that’s when the downward spiral started).

      Because ADHD manifests itself differently for everyone it can be hard to treat. Medication is helpful but its not a cure. I had to completely change my diet, follow a strict sleep hygiene routine, exercise regularly, and use a number of tools to make things a little easier like ordering my groceries online and keeping extra hygiene products literally everywhere (house, car, office, etc).

      The best advice I can give you is to take note of EVERYTHING. Journal how you sleep, what you eat/drink, when you take time for yourself, your mood, exercise, etc. I used an app called MoodCast because its simple and easy to quickly track or make notes about everything. Then treat ALL the symptoms! Make sure there’s nothing that is getting in the way of alleviating your ADHD symptoms; i.e. caffeine late in the day = trouble falling asleep, lack of sleep = lack of concentration and moodiness, stress from work = stress at home.

      It’s not that those things aren’t due to your ADHD, its that because you can’t cure ADHD you need to cope with it the best you can, and those extra changes are small but mighty.

      A big misconception is that poor performance in school automatically equals ADHD or vice versa. It’s also a misconception that you would be horrible at you job or unorganized. However, I can see from your experience, which is a lot like mine, that you found a way to make it work. The idea that we can’t figure it out or be successful or even happy is a lie. We work very passionately and are determined to be great, and I believe that because its so much harder for us is exactly the reason a lot of us ADHD adults make great employees. We already know all about hard work because everything is hard. 🙂

      Kudos to your wife for being so supportive. The relationship selection of this site has been an answer to my prayers! It’s not easy loving someone with ADHD but it sounds like you found the pearl in the ocean.

      Good luck with your treatment!


    • #85454

      Thanks, Tina.

      Curious about meds. My Dr. started me on 20mg Vyvanse every morning. I took my first dose yesterday around 10:30. Second this morning. I honestly don’t feel that much different, but it’s a lazy Saturday and I’m perfectly happy piddling around the house. I had no troubles sleeping last night, and my appetite is normal.

      BUT, I came home from work yesterday feeling energetic and happy – usually I’m exhausted and just want to be alone for an hour or so.

      I know 20mg is relatively a low dose – simply a starting dose, but what should I be experiencing? My mind certainly isn’t working through 420 different potential catastrophes etc, but I don’t feel driven to reorganize my closet or anything either. I’m definitely not annoyed by stupid things – it’s actually been a nice relaxing morning.

      • #85497
        Penny Williams

        The best practices for ADHD medication is to start at the lowest dose and increase only if and when needed. ADHD medications are not dosed like pain relievers — they’re not dosed by size or age. Instead, an effective dose of a stimulant is determined by an individual’s brain chemistry, metabolism and genetics. So, 20 mg of Vyvanse might actually be your perfect dose. 😉

        A Patient’s Primer on the Stimulant Medications Used to Treat ADHD

        ADDitude Community Moderator, Parenting ADHD Trainer & Author, Mom to teen w/ ADHD, LDs, and autism

    • #85513

      So much of your post resonates with me. I had my first appointment with an ADHD specialist last Thursday, and also went in half expecting to be told that I’m being ridiculous. I’m 44 years old, fairly intelligent, and have largely found ways to either work around or avoid my problems with disorganization and procrastination.

      For me, it was work that drove me to make the appointment I’ve inadvertently found myself in a role that is largely self-managed, involves juggling multiple projects with hazy deadlines, and requires attention to detail. So many of my weaknesses. But there are so many great things about it, and it involves a lot of big picture thinking and brainstorming as well. It’s the first job I’ve loved, and I am constantly screwing things up and dropping balls.

      Reading your post, though, I realize that maybe my home life is more impacted than I’d like to admit. I will have to think about that.

      Anyway, I came home from my first appointment with a prescription for 10mg extended release Adderall, to be upped to 20mg if I don’t have side effects. So far, I’m pretty sure I’m feeling no effects, side or otherwise.

      I keep turning this diagnosis over in my mind. By seeking out an ADHD specialist, did I create an “everything looks like a nail when you’re a hammer” scenario? But if I hadn’t gone to a specialist, I’d be wondering if they knew what they were talking about. I’ve suspected for almost 20 years that I have ADHD, but is it real?

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