“I Knew I Had ADHD as an Adult When…”
They thought they were sad, anxious, or simply out of control — until they realized what their symptoms meant.
Readers share their inspirational stories about the first time they knew they had ADD as an adult.
> I attended a talk by a woman who had been diagnosed as an adult. I recognized all of her symptoms as mine long before I was formally diagnosed. – Diana, Scotland, United Kingdom
> I was prescribed Adderall, because I couldn’t complete tasks at home or at work. After taking the medication, I felt calm and was able to focus and complete tasks easily. – George Hanson, Bogalusa, Louisiana
> I was ballistic and out of control on one of my PMS days. I didn’t think I had ADD, but I knew I needed to do something about my attitude. It was ADD. – Miriam Green, Spring Valley, New York
> I read a book called Attention Deficit Disorder in Adults, by Lynn Weiss. I nodded over every word I read. – Chris Chilson, La Grange, Illinois
> When I realized my son, who has ADD, is just like me. We both have anxiety in social situations where we don’t know many people, worry about failure, are quick to get angry, and take things literally. I only wish I had known all this as a child. – An ADDitude Reader
> My anal-retentive ex-boyfriend constantly complained about the way I did things. It wasn’t until I met him that I realized how differently (clumsily and chaotically) I do things. I was diagnosed with ADD as a kid, but I thought I had outgrown the symptoms. – Julie Casali, North Providence, Rhode Island
> After my son was diagnosed, I started reading ADDitude. I stayed up half the night reading stories about people who were diagnosed as adults. I cried and cried, because all the seemingly inexplicable things I had done over the years made sense – constantly switching jobs, never being able to finish a book, getting excited about new projects only to quit. If only I’d known sooner and could have gotten some help! – Kimberly, Michigan
> The psychiatrist whom I had gone to see for what I thought was a wicked mood disorder cracked up laughing. He asked if I had ever heard of ADHD. When I said yes, he told me that I had a perfect score on the intake sheet that I had thought was a mood-related questionnaire. I kept asking him if he was sure. I spent the rest of the day researching adult ADD/ADHD on the Web. He was right. – Christine Lee, Kentucky
> When another student in my coaching class shared his excitement about getting diagnosed. I asked what ADD was. When he described it, I was blown away. It was my life in a nutshell. – Sydney Metrick, El Sobrante, California
> My mind couldn’t turn off. My mind occasionally still refuses to turn off, but it has done this a lot less after my ADHD diagnosis. – M.B.W., Anchorage, Alaska
> When I misplace my copy of ADDitude. – Shelli A., Austin, Texas
Updated on June 7, 2021