Women With ADHD ADD

For Women with ADHD ADD Who Want to Connect

Having ADHD/ADD doesn't mean there is something wrong with you

Hi everyone, I am new to this site.  I am 19 years old and less than a month ago I was confirmed of having the inattentive subtype of ADD.  I was pretty sure of it for a while, but never brought it to my doctor's attention before.  The difficulties that having untreated ADD brought forth in my first year of college pushed me to finally consult her about it and she started me on Vyvanse.

My purpose for creating this forum is to express how upsetting I find it that so many members discuss their ADHD/ADD as having "something wrong" with them.  I don't see it that way at all!  Yes, often times I get frustrated having to sit in class or read pages upon pages from textbooks.  And yes, my poor time management and tendency to be late no matter how hard I try to be somewhere on time is exhausting.  Maybe it's because I've come to terms with all of that after years of compensating and pushing through it, but I see my ADD as a gift.

So let's write about all the positives to having ADHD/ADD!

For starters, I am grateful for my ability to see the world differently than the majority.  And for the way I find music more calming than silence.  And for the incredible motivation and drive that keeps me pushing for my dreams, knowing that it is more challenging for me than others to get there but once I do, it is all the more rewarding.

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This is something I've had to point out to my 13 year old daughter.  Like me, she's Inattentive type.  My 9 year old daughter is ADHD with the hyperactivity and my "bonus son" is severely ADHD.

I told my eldest that she can be mad she has it.  She can even be mad at me since it was my genetics that got passed down to her.  However, I told her that she can't let it DEFINE her.  Any more than the color of her eyes or the fact that she's already taller than me.

It is a part of us, but it is not us.  I love that I can hyper-focus, that I can jump topics and can multitask.

I keep a sense of humor too.  I posted on Twitter and Facebook that I have decided I'm an ADHD Superhero.  Now I just need a name! LOL!

I hear ya, Melissa. I have a hard time understanding the shame people feel about ADHD. This disorder carries the same kind of social stigma once associated with unwed pregnancy. There was a time when having a baby out of wedlock was a terrible secret women would not reveal to anyone, not even people they were close to. We all know what happened with that, don't we?

Now people talk about their ADHD in almost the same way. I find that weird. It was a huge relief to me to discover I had ADHD. (1) I finally had a name for what was wrong with me and (2) I was born with it—it isn’t my fault.

Johnny Depp once trashed a room in a posh New York hotel. He blamed it on an armadillo. Afterwards, the hotel thanked him for all the free publicity, because they were flooded with requests from people who wanted to stay in that exact room.

Meanwhile, I hear story after story about women with ADHD who are socially isolated because they are afraid to have friends over because their houses are such a mess.

There is something wrong with a society where a celebrity is admired for trashing a $1,200-a-night Presidential suite, while at the same time women with ADHD are overcome with shame because they can’t keep up with the housework.

Why blame yourself if your house is a mess? Why not blame an armadillo? It worked for Johnny Depp.

I don't feel there are any positives.  I'm not ashamed of having this disorder but I wasn't diagnosed until I was 63 (4 yrs ago).  I've had a life time of disasters - I'm the nurse that couldn't hold a job, had severe financial difficulties.  I was too embarrassed to have friends over - At first when I was diagnosed I was relieved to find out that I wasn't really stupid - then I quickly realized that it was too late to change anything.  I'm now retired - living only on Social Security due to not being employed long enough to get a pension.  We need to educate our therapists, psychologists, psychiatrists - A number of years ago - I was seeing a psych. for antidepressants - I told him I was having trouble holding a job - He said "Dont worry - you'll get another one" And another and another and another etc. 

 We need to educate our therapists, psychologists, psychiatrists.

As far as I can tell, the mental health profession is almost unanimously opposed to people disclosing their ADHD. That way more people will have to wait until they're 63 to get diagnosed because no one talks about it. so how could anyone know.

What's up with that? Is it a control thing? I wonder. Maybe it's because I think of the mental health profession as The Enemy.

It's been mostly woman who have been neglected to be diagnosed.  People think  either it doesn't exist or only disruptive little boys have it.  It's only in recent years that more women have been diagnosed.  But, there are still many therapists that are totally uneducated about this disorder. 

I was one of those who thought attention deficit disorder was just hyperactive little boys. I never heard any different. Things like that were not discussed in those days.

A woman my mom’s age group once commented to me that people who go to see therapists are “mentally unstable.” Yep, that was the attitude. If you wanted to confide your troubles to someone, and your family and friends didn’t want to hear about it--tough. Seeking professional help meant you were “mentally unstable,” so, better just keep your mouth shut.

I struggled mightily for years to figure out what was wrong with me. There was nothing really stopping me, aside from the fact that most people are clueless. Even when I first began to identify myself as ADHD, for a long time, I still didn’t get it. Not because I didn’t want to get it. I just didn’t get it.

Times have changed and more women are being diagnosed, and at a younger age, praise God. There is more open discussion about the topic and they have more resources to find the information and support they need.

But they still have their battles ahead of them. Times have changed, but not all for the better. In my day, being normal was considered a good thing. Now, we live in a society where stupid, crazy, destructive behavior is praised and admired. Elites and celebrities and their stupid, dysfunctional lives are constantly shoved in our faces.

I can find no discussion about this, I can’t get a discussion about it started myself, the mental health profession is silent on the subject, so talking about it must be a big no-no.

Wouldn’t it be nice to go through a supermarket checkout stand and there’s a magazine cover with a young woman saying, “I have ADHD and it doesn’t mean there’s something wrong with me. I am glad to be different and I am determined to achieve my dreams.” Just once I would like to see that.

When the media starts holding up young women who triumph over the challenges of ADHD as role models, instead of Lindsey Lohan or Kardashian, I will say we are headed in the right direction.


Susan Abrams writes: We need to educate our therapists, psychologists, psychiatrists - A number of years ago - I was seeing a psych. for antidepressants - I told him I was having trouble holding a job - He said "Dont worry - you'll get another one" And another and another and another etc. 

I recently went to a community health clinic for therapy. Not the first time I've been in therapy, but the first time I've sought therapy for ADHD. I saw this guy a couple of times and I liked him. He seemed pretty knowledgeable about ADHD.

The third time I saw him, I told him I had just been offered a job and I was so scared if I took the job, I wouldn't be able to keep it, since I have a very hard time hanging onto a job.

He said, "We will work on teaching you how to be more friendly."

I was like, "What? I don't get fired from jobs for being unfriendly. I get fired for getting confused and making mistakes."

He said, "You're fighting me over the word 'friendly.'"

Danged right I'm fighting him over the word "friendly." No employer is going to keep you on if you are a liability, just because you are "friendly."

So I guess I'm back shopping for a new therapist.

Hey there Falcon!  I have been busy writing papers for the past several days so I have been remiss in keeping up with you.  I’ll go back and read them this evening.  Did you ever go for your med eval?  I know you mentioned it a few weeks ago and was just wondering….plus I am a royal snoop!  Who evaluates your meds?  A PCP?  Psychiatrist (M.D.)?  I ask because psychologist’s hands are pretty much tied when it comes to med management.  I know you are skeered of meds after the wack-a-do put you on B.P. meds but I was hoping you made that leap and got on some proper meds.  Hope I’m not being too nosy…..I guess it’s my shrink schooling.  That’s my story and I’m sticking to it!!!!!

Josey: I have a med eval scheduled in a couple of weeks. I've had to wait a long time for that first appointment.

I'm also checking into acupuncture. If I can find an affordable acupuncturist, I will definitely consider that as an option.

I have just recently begun to learn that just because I have ADD, doesn't mean I can't follow my dreams or achieve great things. I have been in therapy for almost a year and a half. I started going because I was suffering from anxiety and depression. My therapist has been really great about my ADD. As well as my psychologist. He says that ADD is just a different way of seeing the world. That was so comforting to hear. In my experience, mental health hasn't shunned ADD. There are even therapists and psychologists in my area that specialize in it. I think part of the reason adults live in shame about it is because it's mostly considered more of a childhood disorder. I think for myself, it's important to remember that there are lots of successful people in the world with ADD/ADHD. Celebrities even. Like Micheal Phelps. He's the most decorated olympian of all time and he has it. Justin Timberlake, Karina Smirnoff from Dancing With The Stars. It gives me hope.

I love all the comments on here!

I too, as many have posted, was recently diagnosed with Inattentive ADD. I was lucky to have stumbled onto a therapist who himself had it as well, and at first I thought he was off his rocker. I sought therapy to just have someone listen to me talk (a captive audience) about the billion things happening in my life that were stressing me out that I felt like no one understood. Instead he caught me totally off-guard with a simple observation, he'd made about me and when I balked he took the time to let me slowly come to terms with what he knew after spending 5 minutes with me.

It was like I'd been standing in a corner, facing two adjacent walls, and struggling for decades to just TURN AROUND and see that there is a room behind me, but he took the approach of just pulling the walls down! Now I can see the entire world!!!

Melissa, you are absolutely correct, we are not cursed with some horrible malady. I think that the greatest blessing of having ADD/ADHD is not only the sheer brilliance displayed by the creative brain bits, but the ability of the rational bits to overcome all the obstacles that pop up (sometimes self-created) like the driver's ed car with the second wheel & brake pedal on the passenger side. A part of me, Miss Worry-Wort, functioned well enough, stayed alert enough, worried just enough, to keep Miss Happy-Go-Lucky who was insisting on "driving" this whole life experience from drifting off the road & going down a cliff for 43 years.

It's been thrilling & exhausting & mind-bending & tragic & magic all at the same time.

With medication & resources like this forum, I have come to embrace I both my "Miss"'s equally, and let them both have their share in the driver seat.

Susan, what I heard from your story is not that you were a failure, not by any means. What I envision, much like I was able to look back & see in my own life, is that for every situation that challenged you, you found some sort of coping mechanism that got you past it. You & I & all the other members on this site were born with a different toolbox than everyone else. It may take us ten times longer & a far more difficult path to accomplish the simplest of tasks, but we do it every single day! That's not failure, that's sheer willpower & determination that someone who doesn't have this will never understand. We are not lazy, shiftless, stupid, etc, we were just given a set of directions in Greek at birth, then taught English to decipher it. Of course we are challenged by it, but we just deal with it, every second of every day, like a Boss!

The reason THIS forum caught my eye is that even a diagnosis of ADD/ADHD is not cookie-cutter. My therapist, who has become a huggable hero to me, had to learn that I could not relate to a concept of my ADD meaning I don't focus on things that "bore" me & I DO focus on things that "interest" me. I had to explain that there are plenty of things that bore the hell out of me that I do stellarly & do so often. I can even hyper-focus on them. My two categories are things I understand & things I can't grasp no matter how many times I take a run at them. Before my diagnosis & medication, I wasn't under functioning, I was over functioning at running into a brick wall. The creative part of me would change tack so often, I couldn't even keep track of what had already failed so I'd do it over and over again.

I pushed myself thru 12 years of school, graduating Valedictorian of my class with numerous scholarships & I was so exhausted by the time I entered college that I could barely function, but I graduated from that as well. Had I known then the scope of what I was dealing with, I would have been a incredibly proud of my accomplishments & would not have spent the next 2 decades beating myself up for what I didn't know was going on in my brain!

But now I know. :) And I don't have to forgive myself for anything because this is who I am & I LOVE ME!

Hi, ladies:

I can tell that some of you are put off by the negativity of the discussions on this board. I can’t speak for everyone else, but the purpose, or at least the primary purpose of this forum is for people to share their problems, so they can get the information they need to solve the problem, and to my way of thinking, that is a good thing.

I am no expert, but from what I’ve learned, there is an organic basis for ADHD, that is to say, an ADHD brain functions in a way that is outside of the norm. This puts ADHD people at a disadvantage because they have to get along in a world where most people’s brains function differently. This especially true if you don’t know that your brain is different.

That does not mean you have to be depressed because you have ADHD. It means that, if you have ADHD, odds are higher than average that you are depressed already and that you did not know your depression was symptomatic of ADHD.

That doesn’t mean that you should not love yourself if you have ADHD. As far as I’m concerned, everyone should love themselves because they are a child of God. But loving yourself does not solve the problem of having ADHD, the same way that loving yourself would not cause you to grow legs if you had no legs. You would still have to get around the problem of having no legs.

Not everyone agrees with that, that’s for sure. There are plenty of people who firmly believe there is no organic cause for ADHD, a brain is a brain, anyone who thinks they have ADHD just needs to change their attitude—more discipline, more self-love, more effort, whatever. However, I don’t think many people who visit this board think that ADHD is imaginary, if they did, they probably wouldn’t visit this board.

Hope I’m explaining that right. As far as I’m concerned, visitors to the forum should be able to talk about whatever they want. Hearing them talk about their problems is a bummer, but that is what this board is for. I would lose interest very quickly in this forum if it was mainly people talking about how much they love themselves. If ADHD is wonderful and causes no problems, there wouldn’t be any point in having this forum to begin with.


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