Can ADD get this bad?

Home Welcome to the ADDitude Forums For Adults Emotions & Shame Can ADD get this bad?

Viewing 5 reply threads
  • Author
    • #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 2 years, 6 months 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
      Penny Williams

      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

    • #125154

      Hi ,

      I was diagnosed at 6 yrs old I was told re-diagnosed at 52 I am now 60. I have been taking the meds and going to counseling for about the last 8 years.

      What I discovered is I have a learning disability. Depression kicked in along with rapid bi-polar. Once the meds were straightened out and I started listening when going to counseling. Things have gotten better.

      Learning how to think like an adult has been the challenge with the ADHD. Getting overall the shame from a lifetime of non-treated ADHD is a little tougher. I can be so stubborn. Don’t like people telling me what to do, even if it’s me.

      I wish i was 22 or even 30 again with the knowledge you guys have. Something is not right you are correct in saying that. I believe ADHD can be treated and dealt with medication but not without counseling. We just need to re-learn.

      I am not sure how many summers I have left but you guys have way more than I do,you will work it out. Sometimes it’s comfortable sitting in our own stew. It’s familiar. I am just in a tad of a hurry so i have been rapidly learning how to turn this problem into an asset.

    • #125160

      You might also look into dyslexia or an audio or verbal processing disorder since those are common with adhd and you can get hopefully get the support you need. I hear ya with the embarrassment. Lately I have tried replacing my “sorries” with “thank-you’s“ and that helps my self-esteem. For example, instead of saying, “Sorry I am late,” I might say, “Thank you for being so patient with me.” I have been surprised and frustrated by how truly intrusive ADHD can be, but life if life is about learning compassion and overcoming, we ADHD’ers have an advantage!

    • #125372

      Oh man, I LOVED waiting tables, but the long delay in my executive functioning made it nearly impossible to know if I needed to do something; just did it, or thought I did it based on a detailed memory created by worrying about what I needed to do. Ugh!

      I’m still in the service industry – my ADD makes me an exceptional problem solver with a “can do” spirit – but I found my niche in membership services, where I was working within my own time-frame…playing to my strengths and minimizing my challenges.

      As I re-read your post, I see you striving to be your best but lacking the medical support to meet your peak demands. You Need To Document how you feel/function throughout your day – and Show This To Your Doctor! As an adult, our day isn’t neatly packages within a typical school day – we have to meet demands in the evening, too. If you are working at night, you need an evening med that will allow you to function AND KEEP YOUR JOB. (Tell your doctor that! You must make a case for the need.) If you’re already taking an evening med, it needs to be increased or changed – because it’s not working.

      If this feeling of the rubber not hitting the road is something you are feeling throughout the day – You may have Outgrown Your Meds! In my family, our bodies learn to process the enzyme (needed to clear Methylphenidate from our blood) quicker. Over time, the benefit of the medication diminishes until we are struggling again – Time For A New Med! When I changed to generic amphetamine, this stopped happening and I have been on the same dose for 20 years. Every person is different, which is why it’s important to communicate when you are no longer feeling supported. It’s tricky because it can come on so gradually that you don’t notice it at once but, if you’re not feeling “normal,” you need to find the right treatment that supports you correctly!

      Don’t give up. I feel like you have the classic signs of being under-medicated, which is far worse that not being medicated at all, in my humble opinion. Find the support you need to flourish and shine! You deserve it!

Viewing 5 reply threads

You must be logged in to reply to this topic.