Patient Comments: Adult ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder) - Symptoms

What symptoms have you experienced with your adult ADHD?

Comment from: mittsmoomoo, 19-24 Female (Caregiver) Published: February 28

Life is so much more difficult for this young man with ADHD, he can"t focus, he has trouble taking simple orders, he forgets things, he needs to be reminded every day the same things that are so easy for others like take the trash out, take a shower, do laundry, etc. He has social problems, excessive behavior, impulsive behavior, many tasks sit unfinished. He feels very agitated most days, these are just a few things that he experiences in daily life.

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Comment from: Carolynrmj, 25-34 Female (Patient) Published: October 08

I was diagnosed with ADHD when I was 26. It was at a routine psychiatrist visit when the doctor asked me why I was always fidgeting. He then asked me some questions about my childhood and that's when he/I realized that I had ADHD. I think that's when everything fell into place for me. I realized why I was how I was. I used Wellbutrin and it really helped me but I don't take it religiously. It's really hard sometimes for me to focus, to finish things I start, to not get distracted by everything else besides what I should be focused on. Sometimes my thoughts loop and I can't focus, I get thoughts stuck in my head and I repeat things over and over and sometimes its hell... But sometimes I'm ok and that's good. Most days are ok.

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Comment from: benevoice, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: October 07

My symptoms included a constant attempt to complete tasks and continue working on them without switching to other activities. For example, I would be cooking dinner and decide to check the mail. Not only would I retrieve the mail, but I would impulsively open various pieces and read them. That same mail that was so important at that moment would then be ignored for a long time (procrastination) as my energy was scattered among my activities of life such as work, child-rearing, other family care and housework. It is said that sometimes chronic boredom is a sign of ADHD, but I felt overwhelming pressure with having so much to do and so much “unfinished business” in my home and life with what seemed like no time to do it. I have not felt bored since I can remember; just the strain to get to things. Most modern Americans seem to have much they'd like to or need to do in their lives, but my feelings of incomplete responsibilities have been for many years, very heavy. Feelings of inadequacy would dominate my emotions as I felt stupid, lazy or not motivated, yet I knew at root I was none of those. I had a low frustration tolerance with myself and others around me. Also, I would have afternoon sleepiness that was so severe that I fell asleep on the kitchen floor more than once as I worked in there cleaning and stopped to rest. I have learned to be more tolerant of my family and others, and medications have helped for me to be more alert throughout the day. All my life I've been a hard worker and although my school grades didn't show it, I was bright, achieved a college degree (took 6 years instead of 4 or 5) from a well-respected university, and have a determination that I don't see in many other people. Having been a school-aged child in the 1960's and 70's, there was not the recognition of ADHD the way there is currently for school children. My parents didn't recognize any of it (behavior problems and sometimes poor grades) and chalked it up to my being a child who daydreamed and liked to talk a lot or get attention. When I finally could not take these unhelpful feelings of myself and the frustration any longer, I sought help (at around age 43) from a therapist and then a psychiatrist and received a diagnosis of ADHD (ADD). Along with a supportive doctor, family, and an empathetic and knowledgeable counselor, I have seen improvements in how I function in my life and know that I've achieved more in the past few years than I could have with an unrecognized diagnosis. It brings a certain amount of acceptance to one's life when you finally see what has been happening. I try to be strong and encourage others to not have shame when it comes to this often joked-about condition. Having understanding of one's self and educating others along the way where appropriate about this condition is important. I know there are other mental health diagnoses that have little or no effective treatment and can leave one with truly minimal or no functioning in life, so I feel thankful in a way that it is ADHD.

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Comment from: Ross, 75 or over Male Published: August 28

I am 81 years old, and I have had ADHD since childhood. I have been on Ritalin for 12 years, beginning with 5 mg to 45 mg now. Each year, I discover new benefits from taking this medication. When I had high blood pressure, I would stop taking Ritalin (no problem) and would start again when I realized I was beginning to lose its benefits. There is no doubt it is a miracle drug. My bridge game improved and my golf game improved because I can practice for an hour without being bored.

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Comment from: CTE, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: May 13

Let's be real. ADD a nuisance, it's a disability, it's a pain in the butt, but it is not the end of the world. Actually, it's a lot better to be diagnosed and understand what's going on than to agonize over all the things you've forgotten that are your "fault." I will always lose my keys. I will never be able to beat myself into being "organized" enough not to lose my keys. But I can recognize that and have two sets in easy reach, two more emergency sets, and a final dig-up-the-yard set for when all else fails. I can tell myself it's a legitimate problem and ask for help. I can give more keys to the neighbors, I can hire someone to go through the mail for me. I can concentrate on my skills instead of my weaknesses. Am I easily distracted, or am I creative? As the graduate of two ivy league universities (one graduate, one undergraduate), I can assure you there are lots of smart folks out there with ADD, and lots of them deal with it just fine. Sure, ADD can make life horrendously difficult some days, but so can the weather, the stock market, and rush hour traffic. Recognize problems for what they are. Don't blow them out of proportion.

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Adult ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder) - Treatment Question: What treatment has been effective for your adult ADHD?
Adult ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder) - Diagnosis Question: Please describe how you came to be diagnosed with adult ADHD.

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