Can ADD get this bad?

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This topic contains 3 replies, has 4 voices, and was last updated by  ADHDmomma 2 days, 4 hours ago.

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  • #122316


    I was diagnosed with ADD at the age of 9. I am now 22. Back then it was a relief to be diagnosed. To me it meant I wasn’t dumb, there was actually something wrong with me, just like someone with a brain tumour. To me, it meant it wasn’t my fault, it isn’t who I am.
    However, as my life went on I’ve been fighting with my self to not think other wise. And I have a very hard time wrapping my head around it. That is why I am here.

    The biggest and only issue I have with my ADD is my lack of ability with basic thinking. In school I would never be able to answer a question when the teacher called on me because I could never process the information to give an answer. My reply would always be “I don’t know”. Writing papers I could only give a couple paragraphs, while other wrote pages.

    Fast forward to adulthood and I’m finding my self having a hard time finding my words.
    I struggle to come up with solutions.
    As a restaurant server, I find reading the food bills to be impossible most days. I end up staring at the bill and the food trying to match everything and make sure the main comes with the right side.

    I’m feel hopeless and embarrassed that I struggle with the most basic tasks that SHOULD require little thinking. I feel so stupid all the time and honestly, I’m not sure how much more I can take it. When people get frustrated with me I just wanna scream, “I’m a thousand times more frustrated! YOU’RE NOT THE ONE STUCK WITH A UNLESS BRAIN THAT WILL NEVER WORK!”

    I don’t know how to accept that this is who I am and I can’t change it. I feel I am the only one with ADD so severe that I can not function in society. It’s scary and it’s painful, and I just don’t know what to do.

  • #122317


    Yes. ADD can get this bad!! I’m 30 and feel like I’m functioning as maybe a 24 year old. It’s only because I am JUST NOW learning how ADD has affected me my entire life. It’s great you are learning about yourself to better self advocate! Hopefully you can soon learn to laugh at yourself and come up with a way to express to others that it’s not you- it’s your ADD! Advice to you is to not get down on yourself and never think you are ‘less than’ everyone else. I don’t seem to do well in social situations even though I consider myself a very pretty girl who comes off as very put together and smart. Unfortunately, I have lost a lot of relationships, friends and lovers, due to issues surrounding ADD. Now that I have made that discovery, I can learn how to fix it. I have experienced everything you have. My mistake was that I truly thought I was dumb and have had terrible self esteem.

    I recently started working with a coach who is helping me find my learning style. Maybe a coach would help in finding strategies for you when you need to retrieve Information quickly. You’re not alone girl!

    • This reply was modified 4 days, 17 hours ago by  addlinton.
    • #122323


      I understand exactly your issues only too well. I started a bachelors degree at 39 years old because I was wanted a change from working in hospitality. My university noticed something wasn’t quite right with my learning, so suggested I investigate further. I found out I had ADD at 40. I finished my degree last week; I turn 43 next month.

      ADD makes us better; we have to work so much harder than neurotypicals, it gives us a stronger character.

      I get what you mean about focus and reading the order dockets. Most days I really find it hard to retain information that I’ve just read. Some days are much better than others. I have found sleep to be a major influence on retention and mood. I have started a gluten elimination diet, which does help with my retention when I stick to it. I’m trying this because my mother is a celiac, and so is my brother, so I thought it worth a try.

      When you say you struggle with basic tasks, and people get frustrated with you, try to tell yourself that there is no correlation between intelligence and ADD. We have to work harder to fit in in a neurotypical world, and we are playing by rules not setup for us. There is a good chance you’re probably not interested in the task they are asking you to do, which will make it almost impossible for inattentive add types. Our brain activity slows down when we try to do tasks that don’t interest us (I’m inattentive), and it’s like a constant battle.

      I’m reading “Change your brain, change your life” at the moment and am finding it very interesting, with lots of suggestions to help us out.

      I hope this helps, but remember your not alone!

  • #122381


    I find it most helpful to put away the shoulds and ask yourself, “What can I do or what do I need to be able to succeed at X?” If you’re more visual, could you create a photo cheatsheet and use that? Or a symbol relationship if that would help?

    And, when something just isn’t a good fit, look for something different. Maybe waiting tables isn’t a good fit for you (it isn’t a good fit for a LOT of people). What might play more to your strengths and not require so much of areas of weakness?

    How to Align Your Career with Your Passions

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

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