59yo female - struggling to get a definitive diagnosis

Working with a counselor now who has promised me we will get all the way through assessments. Since I grew up in the 60s and 70s, my behavior was seen as absent-minded and distracted. It’s been a very difficult journey. I’m embarassed, humiliated and broken from all the lost jobs and missteps in life. I can’t give up, but I’m so very tired.


Hi sueb.

Don’t give up… Getting a diagnosis won’t be a magic bullet that miraculously parts the clouds and allows the glorious light to shine through.

But… It will help.

From my own experience, I know how tiring it can be. I was diagnosed two years ago at age 49. Barely a half century of the same troubles you’ve had for a little longer.

A diagnosis, even without treatment, will give you clarity to some extent.

Instead of wandering around aimlessly, always wondering “Why is this happening to me? What did I do wrong? What do I do next?” you will at least have an answer to some of those questions.

Instead of unconfidently heading out in a hundred different directions looking for answers, or ways to understand your life, you’ll have a much clearer idea of which direction you need to head.

That alone can be a huge relief.

Going back through traumatic and embarassing memories that never really had much of an explanation, you’ll now be able to connect the dots, and finally have a clearer picture of what really happened.

My diagnosis helped in subtle ways. Now I am generally calmer, more confident, and finally I have a sense of hope for the future. Just a shame that hope for the past is not a thing. Better late than never though.

Then there is treatment. I haven’t had much in the way of spare time, or if I have, I’ve been out of work and haven’t had the money to fully pursue treatment. But it’s out there. And can be effective to a degree.

But the diagnosis alone answered questions that I didn’t even know I had about myself, and increased my quality of life.

So hang in there…

This forum can also provide one piece of information that really helped me out. That is, you are not alone.

You are no longer a random molecule floating around a universe that wishes you harm. You are now part of a group of people who share many very similar stories, across so many different walks of life.

You are no longer an outcast, but now a valued member of a community.

Hang in there! You’re on the right path. Not all sunshine and rainbows, but at least there will be more light than you are used to.


Hi. I got diagnosed at 59, a year and a half ago. It wasn’t easy to get an assessment, so if you got someone committed to help that’s positive. I’m thinking our journeys might be similar and it does wear a person out. You’re not giving up and that means you get up everyday & that is our strength. Practice good self care, don’t be hard on yourself and acknowledge what you have done. Find the accomplishments in between the failures - we all have both of them; but the mistakes can make it harder to see the positives. Peace.


We all have them and they can be instructive as we learn more about ourselves. I agree with comments here by @Smoj. We are here for you . . . :+1:




You have more patience than I . . . i.e. taking time to respond to others here in greater detail and at greater length. So, as I have done, I will reserve the option of citing your comments as they may mirror my thoughts. OK? (I assume it is . . .)

And “Thank You” for enriching this amazing on-line community of ours . . .



Fine words.


Thanks for the kind words! Nice of you to say… :slightly_smiling_face:

Of course, I do the same thing. If somebody has already written what I wanted to say, I won’t waste my time, or anybody else’s by basically saying the same thing. but I’ll jump on to show support.

I haven’t been on here for quite a while. Decided to get off the bus for a while, and working 12 hour days a couple of thousand kilometers into the bush limits my time on the interweb until I get home again, and I’m often too stuffed to bother.

But thankfully, I’m out of work now (again…). So I’m a man of leisure, and can throw a few words around if I get the urge.

This forum helped me out and educated me, so I like to return the favour and let the good times keep on rolling.

Likewise Barry! Thank you sir!

Being an Aussie, I’ll probably have to start calling you Baz, or Bazza at some point… :wink:



I had no clue . . . So found this . . .


Let’s stick with “Barry” . . . OK?



Ha ha… That’s probably a little less than generous, as an explanation for Bazza. :laughing:

In Australia, we have a habit of shortening everything. Barbecue is Barbie. Simon becomes Simmo. That sort of thing. Like Dave instead of David, but we’d also say Davo.

I don’t know about Bazza being white-trash, unless I’m white-trash myself and can’t see beyond that, which is entirely possible. Actually, that definition sounds partly like me, I won’t say which part.

Barry is fine… :+1:


Props to you for sticking it out and fighting all this way. It shows resilience and strength. I know it can be hard, especially when it comes to waiting to get a diagnosis and get the help that comes after.

It’s good that you’re working with a provider that’s committed to the evaluation. It can definitely take some time to sort through things, but at least you have a provider who is willing to entertain that. I wonder if you’re doing any specific times of screenings, rating scales, or assessments. There are lots of different ways to assess for things, but a good interview and a good history is the most important. I hope you’re getting that.

I also hope that even without a diagnosis so far you can still find support and resources here. I think for a lot of us who were diagnosed as adults we had to learn certain ways to cope with the challenges without knowing that we were doing so. So, we may come with a toolbox of things that work for us already but there are always new tips and strategies here or on the Youtube channel that help.

Good luck during this process!


About 20 years ago my daughter spent one term studying abroad in Australia. I believe in Sydney. When she returned home she said all sorts of strange words . . . :rofl:!


You are amazing. And you’re right. It won’t solve all my issues, but may help with focus and understanding. I’m big on thoughts and feelings but putting those into words are difficult. Thank you, thank you, thank you. I’m grateful to be here.


thank you!

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No worries Sue, thanks. :smiley:

You’ve already found out about ADHD (even if you haven’t been officially diagnosed, you probably already know if ADHD is what you have).

But be aware that there can also be other problems which stick to ADHD like a magnet. They call it “comorbid”.

Things like depression (big surprise there), anxiety, maybe autism spectrum, or a stack of others.

Having ADHD doesn’t automatically mean you will be comorbid with other conditions, but it’s a pretty good possibility.

Good luck with the counselor! I hope they can give you a better idea of what’s going on, and even better if they can give you some form of treatment.


Hi Sueb,

Diagnosis (at age 45) was one of the best things that ever happened to me, and I wish the same for you. It makes you feel. I know that a lot of people diagnosed later in life go through the stages of grief (denial, anger, etc.), but knowing what you’re dealing with is a gift.

There’s a lot of humiliation and self-doubt and utter exhaustion that comes with undiagnosed ADHD, but the diagnosis really helps with that. Please don’t give up before you talk to the counsellor.

Wishing you the best.