Just Diagnosed with ADD – at 54!!

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    • #139828

      Hello. During my annual well check yesterday, I discussed issues I’ve been having with some work place problems – problems concentrating, procrastination, stupid mistakes, etc. I went through menopause at 47 and have noticed these things more since then, but much more recently this past year and especially the last couple of months. Doc thinks I may have had it as a child, but because I did well in school and wasn’t disruptive (in school..lol), it was just never diagnosed. My brother was diagnosed – bad grades/behavior, etc. Doctor prescribed a low dose (30mg) of Adderall and I took my first dose this morning.

      He also suggested I meet with someone to review my work space and the various tasks I perform at work to see if maybe they could recommend a more efficient work space and work flow, which I’m open to – I’m a paralegal, btw.

      Thought I would hop on here and see if anyone else has suggestions. I’m not struggling with the diagnosis – it is what it is, but I do want to try to maximize the effects of the medication and also know what to look out for as far as potential side effects. The only thing I’ve noticed so far today is that time seems to be flying by. Doc only gave me a 14 day supply to see how I do with it – also recommended that I not take it on the weekends or if I’m on a vacation.

      Thanks in advance for any thoughts/suggestions.

    • #139850

      Hi, I am also a 54 yr old female and was diagnosed about 12 years ago. I’m certain I had it as a child and was never even tested. I don’t know how I got through college and graduate school. I’m very sensitive to medication so generic adderall is really the only thing I can handle. I’m prescribed 20mg/day but I only take 5 at a time. Unfortunately it only lasts a couple of hours or less so I have to take 5 mg about three times a day. I try not to take more than 15mg in a day because when it wears off I feel very anxious and overwhelmed so I have to take a very small dose of Xanax. For me, it’s an extremely delicate balance. It seems like 30mg is a lot to start with if you’ve never taken it. I would take it slow and be sure to take breaks from it when you can. Getting detailed tasks accomplished is extremely challenging for me and I definitely won’t attempt these things without adderall. I am compulsively neat and organized so everything has to be in order before I start other tasks. I’ve never had a good memory and it’s only getting worse. I literally write everything down in my notes and reminder apps. I half-jokingly tell people that my phone is my brain. I have intermittently struggled with low self esteem over the years likely due to not accomplishing everything I would’ve liked to thus far in life.. probably because of living with ADHD. One of the most helpful things has been this website! It helps me to feel like I’m not alone. I find the comments sometimes to be even more helpful than the blog posts and articles. Good luck to you.

      • #140858

        Hi, I noticed you said adderall wears off after awhile. Have you tried the extended release version? That worked better for me. It kept me a steady “feeling” pretty much all day

    • #139901

      I’m 53, and was just diagnosed a year ago. I’m with you. I don’t struggle with the diagnosis at all. It quite frankly explains a lot. I’ve been in trouble at just about every job I’ve ever had due to lack of organization and inability to keep up with deadlines.

      My Doctor was at first averse to prescribing stimulants, and she started me on Wellbutrin in November 2018. It helped … decreased impulsivity and kind of let me organize my thoughts. But I nearly got written up at work and we discussed it again in October of last year and she started me on a low dose of Vyvanse. I currently take 20 mg, and will probably increase to 30 mg in the near future. I can definitely tell a difference. The main side effects I have had are decreased appetite and a somewhat faster heart rate. In all, the trade off seems worth it.

      Good luck.

    • #140048
      Penny Williams

      Here’s a primer on ADHD Medication you’ll find informative and helpful as you tweak your medication:

      A Patient’s Primer on the Stimulant Medications Used to Treat ADHD

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

    • #140325

      Hello! I am a 51 year old who was diagnosed with ADHD, inattentive type, about 20 years ago. I take 20mg of Adderally XR daily. You said that your doctor started you on 30mg tablets of Adderall. That is not a low dose at all. Generally, starting doses are around 10mg for adults and increased every few weeks or monthly until desired results are achieved. I was on 30mg a few years ago, but voluntarily dropped back down to 20mg because it was keeping my RESTING heart rate too high. (around 100 beats per minute) It can also cause high blood pressure and aggression, though it doesn’t for me. Having worked in pharmacy for 15 years, with multiple people in my family and friends with ADHD, I have never heard of a doctor starting someone at that doseage. Definitely call your doctor if you feel any unusual physical symptoms. Sorry to preach, just concerned for your health. 🙂

    • #140837

      Hello, I am 50 I just got diagnosed six months ago. Like everyone else, I knew I had it all of my life but was too busy taking care of everyone else and let my needs suffer. Vyvanse didn’t work for me, so then I was switched to Adderall also starting on 30 mg, now at 50IR. I’m going to extended release when I see my dr next because it wears off too fast. I recommend listening to the magazine’s podcast, so many good tips there on how to manage work, organization, and lots of episodes are not feeling shame in managing medication. But geez I guess there are a lot of us getting diagnosed later!

    • #140840

      Hi! I’m 48 and was just first diagnosed last year. I wasn’t bothered by the diagnosis, it was actually quite exciting to know there really was a reason for why I do the things I do and that I’m not lazy. I had to fight to get my primary care physician to accept the diagnosis. Even after she had reviewed the therapists notes and diagnosis, the Dr. was reluctant to address the adhd and gave me the option of buproprion (generic wellbutrin) and some other anti-depressant. She did explain that buproprion would only address the depression and not anxiety, but that it may help with the ADHD a little, where the other option would only address the depression and anxiety and not the ADHD. I chose buproprion and I am happy with the results. It helped balance my moods quite well and it doesn’t make me feel flat like the SSRIs did in the past. Eventually she started me on generic adderall. I’m at 25 mg at the moment and seeing really good results with very few side effects. Hugs to everyone!

    • #140859

      I’m 50 and I’m in the same club! Just started taking meds less than year ago. Stared with adderall, then switched to extended release adderall which was better. But then I started noticing I was obsessing some a few things. So it was pushing me to the OCD side of thinga! So now I have been on Vyvance for a month. It’s ok I guess. Not getting much done, still can’t decide what to do

      I’ve just gotten into reading this website. And I’m shocked how much info is out there. So I would start here and I also heard their podcasts and really good too.

      Good luck with your new journey. All I can say is talk to doc over even the slightest issue. They can figure out the best option.

    • #145026

      I had to diagnose myself at age 52. I have been to so many doctors and psychiatrists who all told me I was depressed. I have been on every antidepressant in the world but none of them worked nor did therapy. I had finally accepted that this was going to be my life and although it made me sad I just tried to deal with it but never really feeling good. I feel so stupid because I am a nurse but adult add was never on my radar. Finally a psychiatrist prescribed a stimulant for medication resistant depression. It worked minimally, but at least it let me function. As I get older I realize how sick of living with doing the bare minimum just to get by. I am unable to give 100% to anything. I do the bare minimum with everything in my life, being a mother, wife, nurse and friend. It is getting worse because now I am starting to get depressed because I have nothing in my life that I enjoy. Everyone who knows me including my family and co workers would be shocked to know how sad I am because I put on a good act. I am a few steps from falling apart and I think it is going to be bad when I do eventually. On top of my sadness I am angry at all of the times I went for help and was failed by all of the medical professionals, so I have lost faith in asking any professional for help. I am just lost but I am glad that you are feeling better thank you for listening

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