Would it be helpful for a successful 40YO to be diagnosed with ADHD?!

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    • #183197

      I am 23 and I was recently diagnosed with ADHD. As I get to know and understand ADHD I am getting more and more certain that my 48 YO mom and her 44 YO sister have ADHD. They have regulated lives, families, education, professional success, etc. but it is becoming more obvious to me that they do in fact struggle with ADHD and it’s been bothering them all their lives but they have just accepted it as part of their personality and in some cases even found smart ways to cope with it. They have all the symptoms (emotional regulating problems, hyper activity, inattentiveness). So a few weeks ago I told my mom very casually that I find her to have a tiny little bit of ADHD symptoms. She told me yesterday that she’s become very self conscious about it and that she feels kind of dizzy. I told her that I don’t know nearly enough to diagnose her and that with the amount of regulation and success she achieves in literally everything she couldn’t possibly have ADHD. I obviously lied. My question is if she was to be diagnosed would it be even helpful or would it only make her confused and out of balance? Would it make life easier or harder?

    • #183214
      Penny Williams

      It’s never too late to get an ADHD diagnosis. Many people, women especially, are being diagnosed in middle age or even older.

      Worth the Wait

      “That Explains Everything!” Discovering My ADHD in Adulthood

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

      • #183285

        I was surprised by my ADHD Inattentive diagnosis at 52 last year. Just knowing that I AM oK but need help was amazing!!! If anyone feels they are broken, lazy, etc then I highly suggest going after a diagnosis. I am off meds for “depression and anxiety” and on ADHD meds, my brain sprarks! I am not getting things done but I am only 6mos on meds and know this is going to take time to find what’s right. I can look back over my life and say AHA instead of YIKES.

        • This reply was modified 1 year, 1 month ago by StephTheB. Reason: added in specific diagnosis
    • #183215
      It’s A New Day

      I was diagnosed last year at 57. I will tell you from experience, that it made life both easier, and harder. Easier in that I finally had an explanation for all those times throughout my life that I felt different others. Why it was harder for me to learn, remember, act appropriately. It truly eased my mind. The biggest, “Ah Ha” moment in my life.
      Harder, in that, now I must try to rediscover and redifine myself. Being careful not to change who I am. I am not on medication for my ADHD, but take my therapy very seriously. I still struggle with the”changes” I need to make, but it has made a tremendous difference in my life. Not everyone is willing to accept that they have ADHD. I’m glad I did.

      • #185943

        Thank you so much! It’s good to hear it from someone who has actually experienced this.

    • #183219

      I had known for a very long time that I was “different” and it was gradually eating away at my spirit. I was exhausted and frustrated and I couldn’t quite understand it – so, I didn’t know what to do about it and that perpetuated the problem. I had a friend at work who was a fellow odd-ball and one afternoon, she talked about her teenage daughter getting diagnosed with ADHD and how that lead to seeking a diagnosis for herself. I asked some questions and risked the vulnerability of sharing with her some of my experiences over the years. Immediately, she invited me to join her at her ADHD support group that night. I went and felt a deep sense of being home with a group of strangers who had been struggling like me. A few months later, I made an appointment and got my diagnosis. That was almost 6 years ago and I was 40.
      Six years ago, I often went to bed hoping I would never wake up because I was in so much turmoil and I felt utterly hopeless. I wouldn’t say my life is easier or harder now, but it is far more sane, because once I had a name for what I was dealing with and a community full of resources and support, I found that I was not alone and I started to learn successful strategies and began to develop myself in ways I had not thought possible. These last few years have brought me tremendous self-awareness and eventually self-acceptance, gratitude and a positive outlook.

      For your mom and aunt, they might not be ready to accept the idea of having a condition like ADHD, but that doesn’t mean they would not benefit from you sharing about what you’re learning about how to manage your own ADHD. And, if you are like me, it is wonderful to no longer think I’m the only one living with this; so they might get something similar by hearing your story(ies) and having a safe person to tell theirs. If they ever choose to explore it more, they’ll know that they can talk to you.

      • #185946

        This was actually great advice! The most helpful one I guess; thank you so so much!

    • #183225

      You also should provide her with info on both Inattentive & Hyperactive symptom lists.

      You have researched ADHD but she could still have the misconception of it being an ‘hyper boys disease’

    • #183381
      Dr. Eric

      Only if they have it!

    • #185881

      When you start understanding your condition, you start seeing it everywhere, so be aware that your relatives may not have the condition. Having said that, ADD tends to be found in relatives, so it’s cetainly possible.

      I was diagnosed in May at age 50, and starting treatment was like seeing clearly for the first time. If it’s possible to have a psychiatrist diagnose your relatives, that’s a valuable step. If they do have it, they will certainly benefit from treatment.

      If you have to start with your family doctor, that’s only preliminary. Standardized questionnaires are no substitute for specialized expertise.

    • #185944

      Thank you everyone for your time!

      • This reply was modified 1 year ago by kimalavi.
    • #186127

      I was diagnosed this year at age 30. I suspected I had it but I also queried borderline personality disorder. When I was diagnosed I was VERY relieved and even excited. I literally told so many people about it. Like your family members, I am “successful” professionally/academically- yet I still found the diagnosis helpful. I guess it validated a lot of my earlier experiences and explained why I often struggle to feel comfortable in my body. I am not taking any medication and I am not really doing any therapy (I’m a clinical psychologist and find it weird to do formal/structured therapy) but being mindful of the symptoms when they arise has helped me a lot. I sort of enjoy the symptoms sometimes. I have always enjoyed the compliment “you are weird”, have numerous interests, lots of energy, and see the world from a unique perspective. I am not downplaying the impact that ADHD can have. I know first hand that it can be a struggle. But it is also kind of beautiful- in the same way that I often find people with autism to be beautiful 🙂

      • #186333

        Thanks for sharing your experience

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