Adult ADHD: A debilitating condition that’s often missed

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  • Mary Whitman says:

    Precisely, thanks for sharing this great effort Wendy & Maureen. I hope this could possibly help people who are suffering from adult ADHD. Worth to read looking for more ADHD content from you thanks.

  • Chrissie Nebbett says:

    So…Its 2019, 3 years on from this article…I’m in England. Just been diagnosed on NHS (took one year) with combined type adhd and am on a waiting list to see a psychiatric nurse and to be prescribed meds. There is a bottleneck of adults waiting for appointments, as adhd has been recognised in adults more in last couple of years. I receive a low income as I am raising a child alone. So through our National Health Service, all my treatment is free until my income reaches a certain amount. Only medication is offered on the NHS currently because of Austerity cuts to services. I pay privately for a therapist at present. I feel very fortunate and hope our health service is never privatised, as it is invaluable to the impoverished and vulnerable.

    Adhd is incredibly difficult to live with. I have a high IQ but have never managed to study successfully and this has been a barrier to achievement. I am so passionate, versatile, creative…I have loads to offer society, but hit a brick wall each time I attempt to move forward. Society is set up to reward consistency, organisation, proving you can focus and do the mundane grind before you are allowed to progress. Everything adhd is not!!

    I only received a diagnosis 2 weeks ago. I have encountered stigma everywhere. Adhd confuses people who do not have it. ‘we’re all like that…I forget things too…I have trouble motivating myself too…everyone gets tired…you just have to get on with it…too many people have adhd nowadays!’

    They can’t feel how it almost physically hurts to concentrate for long, or try to keep all your balls in the air.

    I am optimistic though. Maybe meds will help me study more effectively. A diagnosis has at least aided me in understanding how my brain works. I can try and find a way around those brick walls instead of throwing myself at them again and again.

    And I am still super chatty and imaginative. I have learned to be compassionate, tolerant and witty…this helps enormously in those moments when I am completely tactless, impulsive and bounce off the walls doing everybody’s head in!

    Life is still fab and the challenges just make it more rewarding when you occasionally get things right

  • Mac says:

    I had suffered for many years from anxiety and depression since I was a teenager. The only thing so far that has improved my quality of life has been the diagnoses of adhd with a treatment with stimulants. I can get so much more done, when I get in my anxiety cycle I can choose to think about something else. It literally saved my life. I personally feel the social anxiety is learned and the depression is as a result of the consequences of having unmanaged adhd. I have never been able to achieve any of my goals, I now can hardly leave my house got much worse as I had children, I am always losing or forgetting something. I have had more fines for missing deadlines and missing paperwork than I care to admit. My neighbor scowls at me and tried to have my house condemned because my yard is a mess and can’t remember garbage day ( thankfully the by-law officers are far more compassionate than them and reassured me that my neighbor was being over dramtic). Yes the medication helps and the diagnosis allows me to be more compassionate towards myself I clearly have not got it managed or fully treated. So despite being intelligent and creative I am not finding this a whole lot of fun and would desperately like to walk through my community without feeling judged and perhaps reach a goal one day.

    • Michelle Henderson says:

      I know exactly how you feel and don’t give up, I am confident that we can get help if we all continue to seek resolutions and make our Dr.s aware of our issues.

  • Karen says:

    As the authors suggest, adult AD/HD may be under-diagnosed. But there are a number of diagnoses that mimic AD/HD, including hyperthyroidism, also under/misdiagnosed. Similar symptoms to those of AD/HD are all part of the constellation of symptoms of hyperthyroidism too, including hyperactivity, weight loss, nervousness, moodiness, irritability, anxiety, depression, forgetfulness, lack of focus, inattention, impulsiveness, and sleep disorders. Especially in young adults not previously symptomatic of AD/HD, astute clinicians presented with these symptoms should wonder whether there’s more to the underlying story, including undiagnosed hyperthyroidism and associated immunoendocrinological disorders.


Wendy Glauser


Wendy is a freelance health and science journalist and a former staff reporter with Healthy Debate.

Maureen Taylor


Maureen Taylor is a Physician Assistant who worked as a medical journalist and television reporter for the CBC for two decades.

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