Is it too late for help for me?

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    • #81932

      I am sixty-nine years young. I have carried a depression diagnosis for over forty years, and have been on medication for thirty five years. I have had a lot of therapy with a lot of therapists over the years, sometimes it has been intensive psycho therapy three days a week for three years. I began talking to therapists about my ADD symptoms about ten years ago. They all continue to insist that it is just my depression flaring up with various life stressors. Their solution was to keep increasing my anti depression medicine. My current psychiatrist also downplays my ADD symptoms, stating that what I am describing is probably more to do with “Personality Stuff” and insisting that I get back into regular therapy.
      On the ADD test I took today on this site, I scored a 77. On every test I take anywhere, I always score high with suggestions that I need to talk to a DR. about my symptoms and take him the test results. I have done that to no avail. In reading several of the posts in this forum, some of you sound like you are describing me to a Tee. I know I have ADD, I’ve lived with it all my life. I try and try all the things self help articles and magazines tell me to do, and believe me I try very hard (just as example I have completed a Masters Degree, and still cant pull my life together – I have no savings, 401K, income, no car, I do not own a home. I’m living hand to mouth and it “aint” because I don’t have any smarts).
      Now that I have no responsibilities, or obligations (My husband died six months ago. I had been caring for him for five years) I would love to be able to focus on me and get my life in some order before it’s too late. Are the professionals feeling that it’s already too late, and don’t want to tell me that directly? Do any/all of you feel it’s too late? If not, I need help getting the professionals to listen and diagnose me. I’m not even sure if a diagnosis will help. All I know is I don’t want to live out the rest of my life like this.

    • #81951
      Uncle Dharma

      I am 67 years young. Everyone assumes that I am 10 to 15 years younger than I am, and then say that I am young at heart and so on.

      My formal diagnosis was 10 year ago, and it helped me a lot.

      My solution is to have a routine that is forced upon you. By this I mean, a job or regular volunteer work. This gets you out and about and meeting people.

      Then I hope to be able to focus on the two books that I have in me.

      Sending hugs.

    • #82074

      Thank you Uncle Dharma for responding to my post. It is good to hear that having the Diagnosis helps. I think I’m going to push forward in getting a diagnosis. I do have some obligations that get me out of the house, which is good. It’s when I’m home that’s the problem. I too have so many things (I also have a couple of books I’ve had in my head for almost 20 years) I’d like to accomplish, but try as I may, haven’t been able to get to them. I refuse to give up though. That’s why I’m pursuing a diagnosis at this late stage. Good luck with your books. Sending hugs back. Namaste.

    • #83736

      What do you mean by “too late”?

      Too late for a diagnosis? I was 65.

      Too late to adjust to a diagnosis? To restructure your life? That’s up to you.

      I was diagnosed 5 years ago. Like you, I was recently retired (more later on that one), and everything had fallen apart. I thought I was going nuts. I had so much time, but was getting less and less done. I’d always been messy and cluttered, but I’d always had the dreams of Someday. As in, Someday my condo will be neater, Someday I’d be more organized, Someday I’d read the books, write the letters, finish those projects, … etc.

      I don’t know why the medical, psychiatric, and psychological establishments can’t think epidemiologically. We know there were ADHD kids in centuries past, we know it’s mostly hardwired, and we’ve known for almost 50 years that kids don’t often “grow out of it” (even if they look and even feel like it, they can have unrecognized symptoms and deficits). So it stands to reason that there are generations of undiagnosed adults out there.

      I took an early retirement opportunity because of increased job pressures accompanied by decreased job performance and evaluations. Then I fell apart — poor executive function, couldn’t create my own structures to pursue any goals, even things I was historically good at (part of the diagnostic input). Moreover, I had a long, very complicated period of grief from which I am just now emerging. For newly diagnosed seniors, I think this is more common, but I also think that post diagnosis grief in adults is also more common than I read about.

      Bottom line: you’re relatively young, you can look forward to 20-30 years of productive living. I’m not happy about having ADHD, but I know that any goals I have, any happiness available to me, can only happen by working WITH my ADHD, not against it. So, yes, it’s important to get a diagnosis.

      BTW: your best chance for a diagnosis is with professionals who know what to look for in older adults. You need to ask around and maybe even travel. I live in New England, where pioneering work has been done in this area. I wasn’t at all looking for it, I was just fortunate to have a MSW trained therapist who suspected it and referred me to psychiatrist similarly attuned. His oldest patient he diagnosed was 72; a doc with the adult clinic at Harvard said he was working with a woman in her 80s.

      Good luck!

    • #83913

      You and I are the same age; I was diagnosed at age 60. You are not too old at age 69: you may live for 25 or more years, and you cannot give up on yourself. Doctors certainly know that people often have depression and ADD at the same time, and you may be running into resistance by doing self-diagnostics. Your challenge may be in getting effective medications rather than getting a formal ADD diagnosis.

      You may be expecting too much of yourself in view of having lost your husband recently. You don’t say how long you were married, but if you spent 5 years caring for him, you are heavily invested in your relationship with him. It is just not realistic to think you can grieve him and regroup in six months.

      An ADD diagnosis helped me in the sense that I could understand that some of the crazy things in my life were in fact due to a real illness. It took some time to arrive at a good mix of medications for ADD with anxiety. Medications are helpful but they are not going to cure your illness or solve problems by themselves.

      Try to start small. If you are living with someone, make sure you keep yourself neat and clean. Do some of the small jobs that make the house pleasant and make an effort to make the household run smoothly. This won’t require money. Try to see what needs to be done and make an effort to be helpful without being prodded. You may feel better, and your welcome may last a lot longer too.

      Try to believe there is hope for you, because there is. Good luck.

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