Feeling like a failure due to overwhelming emotions

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    • #103195

      Been feeling like I’m lost and wasting my brain and capacity on a job I don’t like but need and feeling also not so brave enought to finish my master or change my current job to something I really like.
      I’m super new at my diagnose and don’t know what are the stages/phases/steps of this whole adult diagnose and the whole situation is very hard to manage at times and feel hopeless and almost into tears constantly…

      The methylphenidate dose was raised and was feeling good but sometimes is just too much in my brain to cope with even on my right med schedule. I don’t want to get back to that dark time in my life where I just wanted to cry and couldn’t get up of my bed or even get a shower, it’s painful just to even remember it.

      Not feeling super good to talk face to face with another human being and tell them that I just want everything to be over and to solve all the unfinished matters withouth profusely crying and having migraine afterwards. Also, saw some very comrenhensive and loving individuals that had answered previous inquires and that gave me some confidence to write here.

      Any advise on how to manage the whole thing? I think is the first time that I’m letting myself feel the heartbreak that this diagnose was and the constant challenge that it have been even with the meds. Excuse me if the text doesn’t have a lot of sense but since the medication, my verbal and writing skills have decreased and that is making me worried (advise on that will mean a lot too).

      All help is appreciated and valued.

      Best regards

    • #103230
      Penny Williams

      This after diagnosis survival guide can help with accepting the diagnosis, and next steps:

      Your After-Diagnosis Survival Guide

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

    • #103260

      Hi. My name is Jim. I am writing a response to your post, but it’s taking a little while to do so thoughtfully. I just wanted to let you know that I am thinking of you, and responding. For whatever it’s worth, you’re not alone. I will post my response soon. I hope you are okay today. ~ Jim / Boise, Idaho, USA 🇺🇸

    • #103262

      I will try to avoid talking about myself and get straight to your question about steps to take, now that you have been diagnosed.

      I believe that in the early stages it is most important to *learn* about ADhD—what it IS, and also what it’s NOT. And it is vital that you develop a sufficient awareness of what ADhD means *to you* and in *your* life. Yes, there are things about ADhD that are more-or-less typical for all those who struggle with it; however, like anxiety or depression, ADhD is also a very individual experience, which manifests itself variously among those who ‘have it’. It is also typical that ADhD is accompanied by other issues, such as anxiety and depression, challenges with memory and Executive Function, and the complications in life that result.

      So, to begin with, below are links to what is likely the most relevant material currently available re. ADhD. Dr. Russell Barkley has spent many years developing his books and video lectures, which are exceptional, always with many explanatory visuals.

      The same is true for Dr. Hallowell. These men are pioneers and innovators in the field. You will find Dr. Hallowell’s work to be very approachable, and while Dr. Barkley’s work is more academic, it is extremely thorough, and also very engaging. Check it out.


      Dr. Russell Barkley
      Dr. Edward Hallowell


      Dr. Russell Barkley

      Dr. Edward Hallowell
      1). Driven to Distraction
      2). Delivered From Distraction

      Amazon Search: Adult ADhD


      Undoubtedly you will find yourself looking back on your life, with greater awareness on one hand (“Oh, now I understand why…”) and regret on the other (“If only I had known then…”). A diagnosis of ADhD brings mixed emotions, including doubts about yourself, concern about your future, and frustration in your relationships with other people. You will have to work through this for yourself, but it’s helpful to know that this is typical.

      You will want others to understand you and your struggles with ADhD, and what goes along with it for you. You will find that this is not only difficult to achieve, but also that there is stigma involved, with many accusing those with ADhD of being lazy, making excuses, not applying themselves or being self-disciplined enough, not caring enough, etc…. while at the same time you struggle to simply ‘keep up’ with the ‘neurotypical’ world around you. You are not alone in this.

      Medication is a challenge, to get it right, and it takes time. You should know that there is a typical approach that doctors are *required* to take when prescribing meds for ADhD, starting on the ‘low end’ and working their way up. The approach is trial-and-error.

      There are basically 2 classes of meds for ADhD: Stimulants and Non-Stimulants. Then, within each of these 2 classes, there is a low-to-high ‘range’ that doctors are required to prescribe within, starting on ‘the low end’ in each class (first the one, then the other if the first is not effective enough).

      They typically start with the stimulant class first, then prescribing the least potent of the stimulants first, and at the lowest dose. So, for example, I was started on Ritalin first, at 10mg, 3x/day. We increased the dose a bit, but soon I experienced side effects (pain in my feet and hands, and a feeling overall of being hot). So we moved on to Dexadrine, at a low dose, which we then increased over time. We found that this Rx was not effective enough, so we then moved on to Adderall, which I am taking now, and it has been working well for more than a year.

      Each person is different, and you will need to work with your doctor to find what works for you. In my own case, I also take Duloxetine, for anxiety and depression. Some 3 years after my diagnosis, now age 56, I am finally on a fairly even keel, but I have to be diligent to take my meds, eat well, and whatever else my unique situation requires.

      This is all I have time for now. START with the links above and LEARN as much as you can, about ADhD in general, and about you and your own experience with it. Something you will find beneficial is coming to the point of at least understanding it for yourself.


      PS: If you find that your verbal and writing skills have been negatively impacted by the meds you are taking, tell your doctor right away and *ask* to try something else. They are constrained to a specific approach, but only inasmuch as you must try ‘A’ and rule it out before they are able to prescribe ‘B’, etc. Be sure you are clear about the side effects, and that you are able to clearly explain them to your doctor ‘for the record.’

      Bye for now.

    • #103600

      Discovered when I was 50.Twenty years later no medication and trials and tribulations later it is best to.1. List 5 things you need to do now
      2. Start No. 1
      3. Do not go to No.2 until No. 1 is finished
      4. Repeat these steps until you get to No. 5
      5. Start a new list
      This will be the best way to get things done.
      Write all your ideas down on paper. We tend to forget a little
      Go to CrusherTV- Alan Brown Great person to listen and read. He has ADHD
      I don’t say good luck(ONLY WITH LOTTERY). Every thing else I pray for. HE LISTENS

      Like I say on my blog:”Follow My Words and We’ll See Each Other Later”

    • #103716

      Based on my experience feeling emotional after diagnosis is a normal part of a grieving process that will take some time. I was diagnosed when I was in my mid-fifties and I was angry and sad because my life would have been so much better if I had known earlier.

      It may take a while for your body and mind to adjust to the medication. Still, you should talk to your doctor about any problems you are having with it.

      Reading about adhd is helpful but, trying to implement all of the advice from books and articles is overwhelming. Take a few small steps to improve your life and see if you feel better. Getting support from a therapist or ADHD support group may help you sort out what your next steps should be.

      It took two or three years to decide on a new career field and implement a plan to move me out of my job to a job I like better. I did some volunteer work and studied to reach my goals.

    • #103912

      Be gentle with yourself. Getting a diagnosis is only the first step. Things do get better from here. 🙂

      Don’t feel the pressure to make any radical changes right this minute. It is wonderful that you recognize that you are not passionate about your job and that you want to do something that has more meaning for you. Some people live their whole lives without that much self-awareness.

      Don’t feel like you have to have all the answers today. You just received life-changing news. give yourself some time to come to terms with your emotions. Sadness, anger, resentment, these are normal, and you’re not alone. A good therapist can give you space to deal with the mess ADHD has made before making any big decisions. Besides, new and exciting things can be great! But if we bring our messy lives into them, they tend to continue being a mess. Best to deal with the mess before moving on, I say.

      Practice self-care. One of the most crucial parts of learning to live happily with ADHD is learning to love yourself for who you are, right now, ADHD and all. Journal, take walks, exercise, baths, tea, play with a pet, spend quality time in meaningful relationships, create, make lots of space and time for you to do things that are relaxing and that you enjoy. Your brain need space to process it all. Your ADHD doesn’t change who you are. It explains why you do the things you do and why some things are such a struggle. Now that you know, you can begin learning tools to ease some of the struggle.

      You have some great advice in the replies above. Medicine can be tricky, so being honest and quick to communicate with your doctor can help you find what works for you. If it’s not working, let them know so you can try something else and start feeling better.

      Edward M. Hallowell is an ADHD genius. His works are so helpful, inspiring, and educational (without being boring). Some of his books and speeches are on youtube. These are a great resource when you’re feeling down on yourself. He’s so positive. He has a wonderful perspective on ADHD and is so good at empowering others.

      Focus on the little habits you can incorporate into your life to help you be successful with what’s already on your plate before you add more or unfamiliar experiences. Baby steps, like in What About Bob. 🙂 Like, finding an enjoyable means of exercise, getting enough sleep (hugely important!), and managing time and stress. When you feel more comfortable with these things, explore what bigger changes you’d like to make, like job and school. You’ll be better prepared to face the new challenges, because you’ll already have the tools you need to be successful. One thing at a time.

      You can make changes to make your life more enjoyable, and you can succeed. You can find a job that you enjoy and can be successful at, and you can finish school. Just give yourself time. ADHD tends to make us feel like everything is urgent, leaving us impatient. Meanwhile, it also forces us to take a little longer to figure things out. I’m finding that that’s okay, because when you do figure it out, you’ll be unstoppable. 🙂

      Best of luck to you, friend. <3

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