Freshly diagnosed – I'm not sure what to think or what it means

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    • #126393


      I have been freshly diagnosed with ADHD at 37 after a lifetime of insecurity issues, and pretty awful depression and anxiety for the last 10+ years. I have tried every anti-depressent known to man, with pretty much no effect.
      I’ve self-medicated with drugs, food and alcohol for most of my life and I am concerned about the potential for abuse of any medication I am given. I have over-indulged in these thigns, but never really to the point of blackout or loss of control, I just like to be a little buzzed to escape my own mind as often as possible. Not at work or family functions etc and I have never hurt myself or anyone else when using anything. Years ago, I would get in the car after a few beers, but never super wasted, and I gave it up years ago and now I’d never get in a car under the influence of anything. I’ve too much concern for myself and other people. I guess I did a little stupid stuff when I was younger, but nothing too crazy, and not anymore.

      I am not even sure about the dianosis, I am not sure why, maybe I am worried that I don’t feel like I fit into what I would consider the typical mold of someone with ADHD. I have never had any terrible behaviour problems, I seem to have accomplished some pretty good things in my life as an adult. I have been in therapy for years due to what has been described a pretty average childhood with semi-abusive passive aggressive parents. Which is what I have thus far blamed mostly all of my anxiety problems on. (Mostly just on high-alert all the time and never being sure I was good enough as a kid or being told I was loved etc)
      That said, I have always had trouble finishing things unless I am interested in them, I spent more time looking for films on netflix than watching them, often turning them off after 30 mins. I didn’t have terribly bad behaviour as a child, but I was always getting into trouble for being disruptive etc. I have a huge problem being told what to do unless I agree with it. I have had 3 different careers and about 16 different jobs since I was 17. I would never be called an over achiever in anything I do, often just enough to get by and not get fired. I’ll take the easy way out of just about anything, and take the piss at any job that allows me the opportunity to do so. On the other hand, if I enjoy something, I am all in. As a result, I have picked up some reasonably advanced/or half reasonable skills in computer science, land surveying, dancing, brazilian jiujitsu, guitar and motorcross.
      I’ll take short term pleasure over a long term benefit almost every time.
      I have trouble keeping friends, not because I’m not fairly well liked, but mostly because I just don’t make the effort like I should. All of my friends know and make jokes about how they are always welcome at my place, but I’ll probably never be the one to pick up the phone and invite them, or be the one that goes to their house.

      I drink too much alcohol, smoke a bit of weed, and when younger, I played around with different drugs (Mostly MDMA and amphetamines), I’ve since given all of that up these days and I like to hermit at home and get an early night. The cost of feeling terrible through the week is not worth it to me anymore.
      I have a long term relationship with an amazing partner and we love each other dearly. We own a house, have a dog and we get by pretty comfortably.

      I am worried about the diagnosis, and my potential for abuse of any medication prescribed. I have trouble making good decisions for myself sometimes, even if I know they are destructive. I’d never use a needle or anything, but I’d probably happily snort anything you put in front of me if it made me feel better in the short term.

      Can anyone share some advice or anything? I am a little confused about what this diagnosis means, and whether or not I could be heading down a road that’s not easily returned on.


    • #126400
      Sam k

      I’m sort of in the same boat minus drugs and alcohol. I have been referred to an adhd specialist here in the UK, finally after 25 years of trying every antidepressant going. I only took them for a few weeks as they made some of my symptoms worse.

      I am on a “very long waiting list” , which is decanting as it means I can’t get the help that I need quickly enough.

      Stimulant are my last chance at trying to fix my brain. I don’t know why I can’t get on with my life, everyday is difficult, due to the emotional ups and downs, moodswings, procrastination, excessive daydreaming, social anxiety, depression, I even talk to myself and pace all over the house. It’s hell and I seriously hope they can fix it. I’m 40 now and feel despair as I haven’t reached my full potential, I’m way behind my peers, socially, emotionally and professionally. I have so many qualifications which I can’t put to use because of all the symptoms.

      I would say to you don’t worry about the diagnosis, it’s not your fault your Brain is like this, adhd is a neuro developmental disorder, It isn’t actually a psychiatric disorder. Speak to the specialist and see what your options are, if you don’t want to try meds then CBT might be helpful. If you are worried you might abuse the drug, tell them that,see how they can help. if you can find a support group in your area, get in touch with them, it’s easier to talk to people with the same problem.

    • #126465
      Penny Williams

      People prone to addiction have been able to treat their ADHD effectively.

      What You Should Know About ADHD Meds if You Have a History of Substance Abuse

      The Truth About ADHD and Addiction

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

    • #126774

      Hi Paul,
      Based on your post, you seem to be pretty self aware. And you also mentioned that you dont like ti take directives unless you agree with them. I’d suggest that you take a bit of time to read more on this site. I am 41, diagnosed about a year ago and one of the most validating things I’ve found is reading articles that ive found by people who I’d swear are living my life (if this person has it, so do I). Before my diagnosis, I often felt isolated, knew I was different from other people but didnt know why. Getting the diagnosis and making the choice to educate myself was one of the best things I ever did.

      If I’m honest, I likely wouldn’t have even graduated high school without pot. It was the only thing that slowed my racing thoughts enough to allow me to focus. I had trouble finding the right career but then I found a job with a lot of varied responsibilities and when I found it, I felt a lot more fulfilled and finally felt like I was bringing something important to my workplace.

      If you truly have ADHD, the stimulants, in the right dose, wont make you high. When I started, I described it, I said I was “still me, only better”. It also helped me control my impulses and think before I acted (at least for a moment, but that makes a big difference).

      If you received a diagnosis from a doc that you trust, try to trust then enough to at least try the meds and see how it goes. Like I said, if they get it right, you’ll know right away, if it doesn’t help, maybe talk to your partner about how you would like them to help you – before you even start (maybe by getting rid of any left over). You’ve suffered this long, you reached out for help, choosing not to try might end up being a choice not to succeed.

      Good luck, I hope you find the solutions you are looking for 🙂

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