Ask the Experts

Late to the ADHD Party

“I am 62 years old and was just diagnosed with ADHD. I have made a lot of mistakes during my lifetime, and I can chalk most of them up to my undiagnosed ADHD. How do I overcome my anger and sadness over not being diagnosed sooner?”

I am puzzled by someone your age being diagnosed for the first time with ADHD. Let me start by explaining how an accurate diagnosis is made, to be sure your clinician followed these guidelines:

> You show evidence of hyperactivity, inattention, and/or impulsivity. You have problems with organization and time planning.

> You have had a history of these behaviors since about age seven.

> These behaviors occur consistently – at home, at work, in social settings.

Unless a clinician can find a chronic and pervasive history, other reasons for the problems should be explored. Start by discussing the diagnosis with the person who made it. If the diagnosis is correct, work with a therapist to understand the impact of not having been identified earlier and what you can do to address this problem.

Specific medication might be helpful. Along with medication, you might work with an ADHD coach to improve the problems you have.