August 26, 2018 at 4:49 pm #92293
What do you do when you are so discouraged and have no one to talk to who understands. I have known for many years after one of my children was diagnosed with ADHD that I also have have it, but only recently decided after many years to get formally tested and started getting some therapy and now on meds. I have felt the meds helping me out with some things especially at work, but lately feeling lonely and depressed as no one I don’t have any friends (mostly my ADD has seemed to take care of that I think). My husband and co workers that I do talk to start work and are very friendly with don’t be seem to want to talk about my having ADD if I try to talk about it. Feeling rather depressed atm. When I bring up things like this to my therapist she just says you need to find time to go out with my husband and to try to find a way to make friends. I think to myself can’t you see my eyes glaze over and I think wow thanks for nothing.
August 27, 2018 at 4:41 am #92302pinewallaParticipant
Hi sounds difficult. I was diagnosed at age 47. Diagnosis has been a relief and explained a lot. But I felt low for a while too and resentful that no one had told me earlier. I reflected on many lost opportunities, rather than on future possibilities and hope. I realise now a year on that this was part of natural grieving and then accepting diagnosis.
I have been unable to have children or long term relationships I think largely because of undiagnosed ADHD and autism. I am not close to family either. They know I’m diagnosed and on meds but thats as far as conversations go. It can feel lonely at first.
Your therapist doesn’t sound great, if you are finding their advice unhelpful! I would say tell them that, I assume you are paying for the sessions! I went to a therapist who told me he didn’t think I had ADHD so I chose not to continue with sessions.
Coming to terms with a lifelong diagnosis and brain difference is hard!!!! There is more ongoing community support for adults with autism in the UK than for us with ADHD. The self critic can be a big problem for us because we ve been criticised most of our lives!
I found that ‘coming out’ to colleagues and telling them about certain work adjustments was helpful but needs to be carefully planned and isn’t for everyone. We are covered under the Disabilities Act I think which is a positive! There is 1 work colleague who I trust and is more of a friend who I can talk more to but never in huge detail.
So yes coming to terms with diagnosis can be tough and feel lonely. But there is hope! I have found this site so helpful with lots of hopeful articles, these forums, webinars, a regular meditation practice, and regularly trying to notice and change my self critical thoughts.
Learning as much as I can about ADHD has helped hugely. 3 books I liked ‘Focused Forward’ ‘the Gift of Adult ADD’ and ‘Cognitive Behavioural Therapy for Adult Adhd’. Plus this website.
Over time you will get a sense of who to tell and who not to. And explore your interests and creativity! I am creative and sporty and am slowly finding people with my interests who don’t judge me. We share common interests and meet for coffee now and then.
I hope that your life opens out and your confidence builds. We all need to feel connected, and maybe you can flourish from now on beyond the boundaries of your marriage, and begin to love who you are as a person.
Us with ADHD were born with different wiring, life has been harder for us, therefore we deserve to feel proud and confident! We are creative and innovative if only we can realise these qualities!
Good luck. Take it slowly. Do lots of reading. Explore your interests and strengths. Your life might well change for the better….
August 27, 2018 at 8:43 am #92318Penny WilliamsKeymaster
It’s really hard to get anything from conversations about ADHD with those who don’t have it or understand it. That’s why online forums like this are so great.
It’s best to find people who get ADHD to talk with about ADHD. See if there’s an in-person support group in your area.
Here are also some tips for making new friends when you have ADHD:
ADDitude Community Moderator, Parenting ADHD Trainer & Author, Mom to teen w/ ADHD, LDs, and autism
September 3, 2018 at 7:32 pm #98092ghhorton47Participant
I too have experienced much of loneliness most of my life. Beginning in elementary school all the way through high school, mostly due to my ADHD condition and because I was an introvert, preferring not to mingle with the “in crowd”. I was only officially diagnosed with ADHD three years ago. I am now age 71, retired, divorced and living alone in the beautiful city of Prescott, AZ.
After I moved to my retirement spot, I decided to become much more outgoing. I keep very busy by volunteering with three community non-profit organizations: The Red Cross, The Senior Peer Group of Prescott & The Suicide Prevention Foundation. In addition, I am very active in my church and hold several callings there, including Family History service missionary. I also enjoy golfing, swimming and hiking. I travel whenever I can. Oh yes, and I also work part time for Aires Caregiving as a Professional Disability Services Assistant in a group home near my apartment.
So you see, I don’t have a chance to feel lonely. Surrounding myself with other people and serving constantly is my way of being happy and fulfilled as an individual.
Best of luck and may God bless!
Gary H Horton
September 3, 2018 at 8:50 pm #98070NowIknowParticipant
Oh, I feel for you and know how you feel. When I told my mother I had ADHD, she laughed and said how could you have ADHD, you are the most organized person I know. I tried explaining to her that, while I can be organized and HYPER focused, it doesn’t mean I don’t have ADHD. I also realized that I have Rejection Sensitivity (I know there is controversy over this as a ‘diagnosis’, but geez, I feel like someone is inside my brain when they write about it. (Especially Elizabeth Broadbent ) It helped explain why I had challenges with friends and relationships; why I always was more sensitive then those around me – and why my son is as well.
You are not alone. And like the other two commenters said, learn all you can, join online support groups, figure out what you like. Just because you are an adult and a parent, it doesn’t mean you know what helps you. I bet as a parent, you spend most of your time trying to help your child. We all do, but it is ok to help yourself too :-). It won’t make it all ‘go away’ and you won’t one day wake up and not have to ‘deal with it’ anymore, but you will wake up feeling better about yourself over time because you have finally learned to validate your own feelings and figure out what works for you.
Good Luck and keep us updated.
September 4, 2018 at 5:43 am #98135sajiniParticipant
i am a college counsellor and handling students with ADHD . this children are studying with the other 100 children in a class . Attention deficit is the main villain in their case but I started to help them to train their BRAIN . THIS HELPED THEM A LOT. they started interacting with their thoughts and now able to handle their attention span for mor than 45 minutes. the main thing we need is constant interaction with one’s own thoughts and action and sure somebody to observe and guide
if any body feels lonly you can write to me i will be their to listen and guide you
September 4, 2018 at 7:44 am #98140harrietandriessenParticipant
Dear Discouraged, I can understand so well that you feel lonely, it is not easy to learn to live your life with ADHD but it can be very rewarding too. The connections you can make with other people can be so deep, much deeper than with family I have found. You will be able to recognise other people with ADHD more and more, and share great friendships. The other comments have given so much excellent advice, I can only encourage you to follow it. Particularly, serving other people, contributing to other people’s happiness in whatever way have given me so much happiness myself. Good luck and take care, big hug, Harriet
September 4, 2018 at 8:43 am #98157socknoggleParticipant
I understand exactly how you feel. The loneliness and feeling that no one understands (or wants to) can be overpowering. One thing that helped me was the virtual support groups you can find on the Attention Deficit Disorder Association (ADDA) site. They are groups that call in to a phone line once every 2 weeks to talk about their struggles. I found it very helpful. Go to ADDA.org and you can find all sorts of good information. Of course, I’ve found so many great articles on this site as well.
Another great resource is the How to ADHD YouTube channel. There are almost 100 videos with a whole range of ADHD related topics.
You are not broken, my friend. Just different, and that’s okay.
September 4, 2018 at 10:21 am #98167ADHDudeParticipant
I too understand what it feels like to be in that situation. There are groups in my state for support but they are over 2 hours away so I can’t really do that when i work full time and have a family that I try to spend time with as much as possible. When I was diagnosed with adult ADHD only a couple years ago, I was also diagnosed with depression and anxiety. I take ADHD meds and meds for anxiety and between the two I am feeling good about 99% of the time. Sure there are certain days that aren’t as great but I try to view my ADHD as a positive in my life. It makes me creative, it gives me passion for my hobbies. The best thing for me was finding what makes me happiest. For work i have a knack for figuring things out and trying to make things faster. I am an automated tester in which I create processes to make testing faster in my company which is amazing. At home I make sure to set aside time each week for playing videogames because they let my mind escape reality for a little while. It is what helps me and everyone is different but that is what I would concentrate on first. Making friends is super hard. I have lived in my city for over 3 years now and I only spend time with my family outside of work. I honestly can’t say I have a single friend. We have family friends that are mostly my wife’s friends but I don’t have a friend to turn to if I need to escape home.
I do second socknoggle’s recommendation of How to ADHD on YouTube. Her name is Jessica and I got introduced to her from her TEDtalk which is awesome, I highly recommend it. I recommend just starting with looking online for groups and people. Check ADDitude for your area and also check out MeetUp’s website. My city doesn’t have a group for ADHD but yours might. I’m not sure how old you are or if you are into videogames but I know that is a way I have met friends in the past.
Hope my rambling helped a little. I am on this website daily so if you ever need anyone to talk to, don’t hesitate to reach out.
September 4, 2018 at 3:42 pm #98220fusciaParticipant
talking to people about ADHD is tricky, I would recommend a support group in your area, if there is one. I can’t find one here. Telling people at work you have ADHD might be misunderstood as a cop out, it’s like migraines, to people who don’t get them, they are just bad headaches, but migraines are obviously so much more. I have both migraines, and ADHD, plus some other stuff. I can usually tell pretty quick who I can tell about these things and who I can’t. I look for open minded people who aren’t judgmental. If you can, try to surround yourself with supportive, non-judgmental people who are open minded and interested in learning new things. Even though my husband and daughter are very accepting of me, I still have times when I feel lonely and like no one understands me. This might just be apart of having ADHD. I just have days when I’m feeling depressed and isolated. I think this is normal. I’ve had to let go of fitting in, and just create my own existence and dynamic. Anyone who judges me without even getting to know me is the one with the character flaw, not me. Focus on your strengths. Ultra Runner Lucy Bartholomew, uses this technique when races go south, she thinks of 3 things she’s grateful for, and what makes her great. Try it 🙂 Because I’m sure that you are great!
September 5, 2018 at 12:10 am #98231PushtreesParticipant
Like your experience, I went to a psychiatrist to get a proper diagnosis and evaluation and just pestered them not to force a particular diagnosis just because I was talking about it…I truly wanted them to discover any disorder…They diagnosed me with it ofcourse…It has been a difficult time…imagining all the days and years that no one knew, and still don’t…My doctor of course understood the anxiety, depression and social struggles that this comes with and basically it is a justification of the life I’ve lived…halfway in everything…but he also just suggested that I try harder and he quit his practice over some employment issue…Amazing isn’t it…I can’t even keep a psychiatrist…
I for one, cannot remember the name of one kindergarten friend, or anyone who was really a friend…But, I’m from a different culture…Here in America, my parents didn’t let me do anything or be anything…On top of all that, I had/have many lung issues due to being born 2 months premature…I wonder if it is some sort of congenital thing when your mother works during pregnancy that causes this…and I have a stupid name that also makes everything and peculiar and makes me self conscious.
Anyway, I’ve never had anyone…I’m married…to someone my parents made me marry…I had no other choice…and now that I backtrack through my ADHD, I can see why it was easy for so many to manipulate me and coerce me into so many things…I needed friends and just to belong, so I would deny everything about myself for that…and people could see that about me too…like they do all of us…and penalize us for that…I have a daughter somehow and she’s almost 7, and including the time she was conceived and since, I’ve had sex less than 6 times…in 7 years…and I’m a guy…I feel like a loser most of the time…
I live such an odd life, that I feel so foreign to people around me…almost like a foreign object…going through the motions…
I cannot compete with other folks…Being with most people just makes me feel smaller and more alone…All the inattention and the lack of remembering and mental structuring that one needs to keep a life together kinda explains why I don’t feel like others do…
I feel intense pleasure and comfort from small physical things…souvenirs of times gone by…I’m a hoarder in some ways…holding on to little things here and there and…
Nothing I ever plan out ever works out, because I place so much importance on things that most people take for granted…All you fabulous, strong, amazing people with normal names and parents…are luckier than you know…
September 7, 2018 at 11:45 am #98402DJStudiosParticipant
Stay strong, not everyone can understand what it really feels to have something as difficult as having ADHD, OCD, Depression and other disorders. Not everyone can see the real struggle behind these things, sometimes it’s so tiring to feel the same heaviness over and over again, then having no one to console all your problems to but we’ve got ourselves and we need to learn how to somehow keep going no matter how discouraged, lonely, and sad we get. Though I know that these words are not enough to really comfort and help you, remember that some people around you may be going through something related to yours some just hide it better although that is not something to be happy about but know you are not that alone in all of these struggles. You can do a lot of activities to maybe relax your thoughts a bit, you can go strolling and get some fresh air just let of some of the steam your situation is giving you. I won’t really know how you’re feeling cause we’re two different people and deal with things different but from what I experienced when you struggle hard, it can be okay to feel what you feel for a while but don’t allow it to last, sometimes you just have to enjoy simple pleasures that may overlap situations like this one and if you really want you can try to seriously make your husband and family see the gravity of what you feel and are going through. Don’t give up and dwell, you said so yourself that the medications helped so that’s a good sign, keep doing the therapy until you get there. There are people who also have ADHD, maybe some of them you can even befriend. Just know that I support you and feel free to talk to me if you want, always here to help. =)
September 8, 2018 at 6:00 am #98492
September 8, 2018 at 9:55 am #98497pinewallaParticipant
Hi Jonny Vegas thanks for sharing your story. It rang bells for me. All the posts have done!
Having adhd and autism conditions diagnosed in mid life has been really helpful now I’m recovering from the post diagnosis shock and shame.
I realise now (help from therapy too) that I’ve always worn a mask around other people in my world because i just believed i was failing and less than everyone else. So I tried for perfection and copying neurotypical others all my life based on that wrong belief. But perfection isn’t real and it made me more ashamed to just be me! I’ve tried to fit in and tried so desperately to hide the real me who is wacky, kind, creative, amazingly intuitive etc etc.
I read a great vid though recently on a site called ‘Aspergers from the Inside – how to help your aspie friend’. Take a look, it is all about the importance of finding not just social connections for the sake of it but finding friends who will truly accept me for me warts and all including when I make mistakes, turn up late, blurt things out etc etc.
I am in mid life now and this is going to be my practice and project for the rest of my life, ive spent too much energy trying to be like the neurotypicals in the world. It will be hugely difficult and scary, and I’m not really sure where to start. But despite finding social aspects of life so hard (hence the mask) I need to do this to be truly content and flourish from the inside out.
Good luck everyone,
September 10, 2018 at 3:45 pm #98876
I am at a loss for words right now as I want to express my heartfelt thanks for everyone’s kind words of support and encouragement. I have read them all (at least twice ;)). I now feel not only more hopeful and encouraged but too have some tools to use from your suggestions and ideas. Even if just to be calm and be okay with being one of us non-neurotypicals. I have started also going to another therapist for insomnia and he is positive and tells me a lot of good things. He even makes me feel like I am a good person even though I don’t always feel like it. I do have an amazing job even though I can barely keep up physically ect. at times. I work at a medical daycare with babies and kids. I love being around kids as they don’t see your flaws, faults ect. They don’t care if you are alble to be as good as others, they just want to be loved and taken care if. I wish I could do this job forever, but because of physical issues I am going to have to retire early. I need to work longer, but I will only be able to if I can find a less physical and maybe a part time situation. Either way I will be okay. Thank you all again for reading and responding I really do appreciate all of you! 💙 Best of luck to all of us as we travel this road together!
September 11, 2018 at 9:20 am #98927ADDLobstahParticipant
So glad you found a decent therapist, as that makes a world of difference. As far as friendships go, try your local theater group. You don’t have to act, you can build sets or any number of things. But a lot of theater people are ADHD, and as a group tends to be non-judgemental about things. If not that, then yoga or some other type of class. I have found that sharing a hobby can create wonderful friendships.
September 11, 2018 at 9:22 am #98928ADDLobstahParticipant
One other thing. When I talk about my ADHD I always frame it as being “right-brained.” People often get that better than any clinical terms.
September 11, 2018 at 9:49 am #98929
Thanks for the suggestions, I hope to find the time for some of these asap. I will try using the ‘right brain’ term and see the reactions 😁. The therapist I was talking about, he is not the one I see for meds…is retiring next month but he did say I could see someone else there. I may, but I may be ok with just seeing the one who also does the med check. She is better some days than others. The one I like told me recently he has ADHD also, no wonder he gets it 😅. Thanks again 😊
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