Newly diagnosed – aged 39

Viewing 5 reply threads
  • Author
    • #125360

      I guess the post title says it all…I’ve officially joined the club and feel like I want to tell the world. I’m sure there are plenty of others with stories similar to mine…and getting this diagnosis is extremely insightful. All of a sudden, I can start to join together the dots that span across a lifetime…..things from my past seem to make a lot of sense to me.

      I’ve been treating with Dexamfetamine Sulfate for nearly two weeks and am simply blown away by both the subtle and not so subtle changes in my life. It’s the small things that seem to be the most profound though. For instance, getting all of the ingredients ready and at hand before I start to cook a steak….rather than running around frantically trying to find them while it’s spitting away in the pan. Extrapolate the small changes such as this across a lifetime and into every facet of life….and they add up to something completely new. I feel like I’ve just levelled up in life.

      I have so many questions about my life to date and have a lot of things I need to work through. My mother, who works for a Paediatrician specialising in ADHD could have made me an appointment to see him as a 15 year old…how different would my life have been if I had received this diagnosis as a teenager? The Consultant Psychiatrists who have been treating me for depression and anxiety for the last 12-13 years….what if they had asked the right questions to check for ADHD? Would I have then avoided the patterns of failure in my life, the hundreds of thousands of dollars of lost income, the emotional distress, the poor choices….and the collateral damage to people around me, including my children. How much have the wrong medications impaired me all of these years?

      I guess it doesn’t matter. I have an opportunity now to make changes in life with the hope that they can be sustainable – by embracing the right strategies for my condition. What does matter is my next choice, my next step – and with this diagnosis comes optimism – that maybe I’ll be able to break the patterns that have plagued me for so many years. Hope – that I can understand my previous failings in life and find ways to turn my weaknesses into my strengths. Excitement – that maybe, just maybe, I can find ways to reach my potential as person.

      This spectrum of emotion also has be scared. I thought I knew myself so well. But those four letters….ADHD….change everything. Who am I really? What am I capable of with these new insights, and those that are to come? Will I like this new person that emerges on the other side….and will my family like that person too?

      I’ll never be able to explain to anyone else just how profound the diagnosis is for me, how life changing it is. That’s why I’m grateful for the resources on this website and this forum….because you guys all get it! 🙂

    • #125368

      Congratulations! I was diagnosed at 52. Prior to, I’d diagnosed myself (I’m a mental health professional) and, after years of supporting a son with ADHD, I decided to go in for a formal evaluation. I’d received a job promotion that pulled on a different skill set and I felt the strain. After starting medication, I felt many of the same epiphanies – and feelings like gratitude, validation, confusion and “replaying” the past in light of what I now understood and perceived accurately (about myself). I remember the same experience with you described with meal prep. Especially how much less anxiety and stress I feel each day.

      It is tough to look back – but that is totally normal and something to just be with. The years before your diagnosis/treatment shaped you and, I’m sure, helped you develop compensatory skills that will only be augmented now!

      Best wishes!

    • #125370

      I was diagnosed at age 40. Looking back, the signs were there but I was in denial about it. My child’s psychiatrist picked up on it and recommended I go see an adult psychiatrist. I hesitated treatment because I didnt want it to change me, I like who I was and what I have become. Treatment has only made things better and knowledge has really helped improve my life overall.

      ADDitude Magazine and this website is a great resource. Dr Hallowell has good resources as well.

      Embrace your gift (yest I call ADHD a gift or superpower). Now that you have a basis of understanding things that may be helpful or not to you, you can reflect back on yourself and identify where you need help (like starting projects or stability at work). Having some target areas of focus will help you identify the right resources for you. A good therapist that you can work well with can really help you sort things out in the short and long term.

      Welcome to the club and best wishes!

    • #125418

      Hello everyone,
      I’m Nancy and I was diagnosed 10 years ago at the age of 40 also after being treated for depression and anxiety for several years. I also ask myself what if… I would have been diagnosed at a younger age. I always struggled mentally at school because I felt I wasn’t stupid but I didn’t seem to know how to do and say thing the right way. It took me ages to study because I could’nt stay focussed and I was so scared of failing that it stressed me out at my exams. By the way, I’m from Belgium so excuse me if my writing isn’t perfect in English :).
      Since I’ve been diagnosed I take meds and feel more focused but as I get older I struggle more with fitting in as before. It is if I’m so angry that people (mostly at work) do not see the capabilities that my ADHD has to give and that they only see the person they want me to be instead of the person that I am. I’ve been changing jobs since I’ve been diagnosed because of that feeling. Searching for something I can’t describe.
      It is nice to just write this down knowing that you probably know what I meen because here in Belgium ADHD is like … not taken serious and hardly ever spoken about. Those who do know it think that ADHD is this child that can not sit still and they say that it is overrated because when kids these days are a little bit to excited they are diagnosed with ADHD. And when I try to explain what it really means, that it is so much more then that, people are not really interested. No wonder if you think about it when you know that even our gouverment doesn’t take it seriously. In Belgium we have quit a good medical care system for everyone. Proscribed Medication is 95% compensated by our medical care system but medication for ADHD is only financialy suported untill the age of 18years. When you ask why they proclame that there is no real proof that the condition manifests until adulthood. This is a laugh no ? Hello I’m proof that this is not true !!

      Anyway it is hard work being different and thinking different. Nevertheless I’m proud of who I’ve become. I’m a mother of two beautifull sons and I finally got my bachelor degree at the age of 40. So I can’t complain. But sometimes it would be nice to have more people, other than my family and therapist, around me who understood my inner restless feelings a little bit better :).

      Thanks for listning

    • #125419

      Thanks to all for your replies and insights. It sounds like I am far from alone with what I am experiencing, I also do wonder if you all also feel a similar sense of isolation in life.

      I do believe I’m in a good position to move forward in life and put the right strategies in place – especially given my history with depression and prior work with related therapies. I’m working on setting the right initial goals and very much taking things one day (sometimes, one moment) at a time.

      It’s nice to feel understood here, at least 🙂

    • #125483
      Penny Williams

      There are lots of emotions that come with an ADHD diagnosis, especially a diagnosis as an adult. This guide will help you work through some of those emotions:

      Your After-Diagnosis Survival Guide

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

Viewing 5 reply threads

You must be logged in to reply to this topic.