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.

Updated on April 20, 2017

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  1. I was diagnosed last year at age 55..my life is a mess, unable to hold down a job desperately fighting the benefit system just to survive, risk taking, substance abuse, addiction thats my ADHD…My son 24 and 31 year old daughter both un-diagnosed both struggling I had no idea, but those who insisted in tested my son at primary school they failed to see his ADHD they should have looked at me? Grrrrr So now we all live in this mess an upside down house of dis-functionalness

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