At 45, just told work I’m ADHD

Yeah so I am newly diagnosed, just told work and sent some stuff about ways to work with me. I haven’t got anyone to talk to about this! So I joined this forum.

I was diagnosed with
depression at 15
PMDD soon after,
anxiety in my 30s
complex grief after that
Restless leg syndrome at 40
Childhood trauma last year
And ADHD this year.

It will be a longer road to get the medication.

I have no one to talk to about this stuff I have no family and can’t talk my friends ears off, they don’t really get it….

My boss already triggers me, she acts like I’m lazy and careless and punishes me constantly. She is the worst part of my life but I don’t have the self esteem to leave.

Just wanna learn about myself and… feel like everything will be ok, with others who understand.


sometimes we get it in our heads that we need to feel a certain way in order to act when really it is taking action that will help us to feel a certain way.

start taking steps to leave. update your resume. don’t tell anyone about it.

if you have access to therapy, you can also try to workshop this there too. also talk through the decision to disclose. when, how, and what you hope to get out of it.

anyway, hello and welcome.

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Thanks @papserweight I didn’t want to trigger anyone as to how low my self esteem is, my work and colleagues are amazing. So leaving to a new environment which could be so much worse is… not an option right now.

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You’ve come to the right place . . .

Jessica, mastermind and creator of this forum . . . numerous videos here . . . very instructive stuff . . . and entertaining!

Best of luck to you!


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Welcome @Luxr , Lu to the forum.

A diagnosis of ADHD at 45, is better late than never .

It is common to have comorbid mental health issues such as trauma , low esteem , anxiety, depression .

I think it can be difficult to get ADHD detected in adulthood.

Good luck .

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Welcome to the HowToADHD forums @Luxr !

You’re in the right place, among other ADHD Brains.

I was diagnosed at 45 also, just a couple of years ago. I’ve also struggled with anxiety much of my life, but it got the worst ever when I was working for a manager who seemed dismissive, even narcissistic.

  • I had a lot of good coworkers at the workplace, and previously had a couple of great managers, but things don’t always stay good.
  • However, we lost more than a few good employees under that difficult manager, and the director who hired him. (It took way too long, but the manager was finally let go, and the director left a little while after that. Not before the writing was on the wall for me, though.) – I had tried working with HR to improve my lot, even requested a transfer back to my previous position, but had no luck.

Anyhow, after developing the worst case of anxiety in my life (and even getting offered a better job in that organization, with a nicer manager), I finally got counseling, and got diagnosed with ADHD from that.

Since I was later let go from that organization, I ended up in a better job with a better boss. (Sadly, I’ll be leaving that job soon due to moving to the other side of the country to be near my kids.)

Life is full of uncertainties, but getting answers about ADHD helped a lot, and the treatment in getting helps a lot, too. (It did take several months to get the medication and dosage right.) I’m doing much better now, though martial problems and getting divorced didn’t help, but it did help me to learn to get professional help when I need it, not after my soul is broken down.

  • I find that mindfulness and CBT (cognitive behavioral therapy) techniques help me to keep from drowning in anxiety or depression.

Thank you JD, this story is very relatable…. Maybe I’ll try to move sideways in the org but I’m hoping to get on medication. Emotion regulation is the biggest problem.

An email can set my mood for the next two hours. You know? And I can’t do anything because I’m so upset or whatever….

Hopefully my work will respect me. I just need to take it easy day by day…


Medication might help some with emotion regulation. In understand that therapy, notably dialectical behavioral therapy (DBT) can help with that. (It does take multiple sessions, over a period of months, from what I’ve read.)

My emotions were out of control when my marital struggles were ongoing (my wife was having an affair, but I was trying to win her back…it didn’t work out). Understandably, I was very distraught. One therapist helped me get through a depression, but no other help (the therapist’s attitude about his own ugly divorce skewed him). The next therapist was abusive (I never saw him again and reported his unprofessional conduct).

But then the next therapist was exactly who I needed at the time…a good listener, patient, empathetic, and trained in CBT (cognitive behavioral therapy), which helped me with my anxiety and the smaller depression I went through more recently, after the divorce, when she moved and I knew I wouldn’t see my kids for a long while. (I helped her to move, because I wanted to make sure the kids got there safely. She was in such a rush.)

At the same time, I did a lot of self-education, including about grief, and acceptance (the fifth stage of grief, by the original model). Now, I use mindfulness, CBT and acceptance as tools to help me manage my emotions.


Wow, yeah that is a lot to go through, I hope you weren’t alone in all that.

My last psych taught me CBT pretty thoroughly though I already had a good grasp, but you never know when you are going to start ruminating about something new! I can shut down bad thoughts pretty quickly, but trauma and grief have overridden much of the last 6 years…

My mum, who now has alzheimers was a covert narcissist, and I didn’t realise, my psych told me early last year, but it was Christmas when it really hit me, my body caught up, and I cried for 3 weeks straight. Everything I thought I knew about my childhood was gone.

And as a child of that kind of upbringing, you tend to seek the truth at any cost, seek justice, be excellent at reading peoples minds, because these were survival or reactionary skills needed to grow up that way.

It explained so much, but it didn’t explain why my life was in such a pile of mess. Trauma and adhd have a lot of overlap in symptoms, but the stories on how to adhd were so vivid and reminded me so much of me from a very young age, I realised that was the missing gap.

My psych is trying to work on my self esteem and help me rebuild a future vision for myself. Because of course grief, like you went through, makes it difficult to see a future.

But I will ask her about DBT she is very skilled in a lot of areas… and has taught me more about myself in two years than I’d have believed possible.


Welcome to the forum,

I’ve been on medication, dexamphetamine, now for all of two weeks and mood regulation and voluntary task switching seem to be the two things that I’m noticing the most benefit from. The bad work habits of 30 years are still in play but noticing that my feathers aren’t being ruffled as quickly. There’s also the odd moment of just feeling satisfied and not worring about future or past.

Getting dosages right has been fun and I imagine that there’s still a long road ahead.

Before “the meds” I tried all sorts and waiting over a decade to explore that avenue is ill advised.

Don’t know if it will help but “the crappy childhood fairy” channel on you tube might also prvide you with solace and guidance as you deal with your childhood trauma aspects. Sounds like you’ve giot support and know that you’ve survived this far in the dark imagine what you’ll do when you get a few glimmers of light?

Good luck and safe travels.


Feels like we have all been travelling in the dark a long time. A nice 6 month holiday would be just the ticket don’t you think?


M sorry I haven’t replied to everyone here, I find it hard to read and write on the iPad… so I sort of have to go off memory and try not to have too many bad typos.

One important thing I learnt from my (awesome) psychologist today is that cbt and dbt tend to be good for surface stuff but if you have deeper issues, child hood trauma etc, the pan psychoanalysis is the way to go.

One thing she often does with me is brain spotting on a core issue that’s upsetting me. I’ve just done it today on a topic I’m sure many of you will relate to “not feeling capable enough for this life”…. Anyway it was pretty powerful.

Not for d very one.but thought it mention that if someone has trauma, they are likely to need to go beyond the basic CBT type stuff in order to heal old wounds.


Yes! Absolutely. In situations that caused me anxieties the core thought in my head turned out to be: ‘“they see see I can’t do it” or even “they see I’m without value”. With an underlying conviction of not being capable.

CBT really laid that bare for me. And now that I’m aware of it. It’s much easier to calm myself down in those situations.

For me this realization was the basis for looking at myself in a different way. Or even accepting myself in a different way. This, for me, was more effective than medication ever was.

Oh btw: welcome to the forum!


Mine comes with emotional abuse, so it’s pretty deeply ingrained, but my psych does a similar technique called eye movement desensitisation and reprocessing (EMDR).

But I think it will take a long time….


I’ve heard EMDR can be incredibly effective when treating trauma. So I hope you will benefit from it soon.

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I’ve read that EMDR is helpful for specific traumatic events. It can help with reprocessing trauma or abuse, and thus can help with PTSD.

It’s said that it’s not ideal for non-specific trauma, such as the workplace difficulties that I went through that caused me to have severe anxiety a couple of years ago. So, it’s also not very effective for Complex PTSD (CPTSD), but maybe helpful for specific events that much have contributed to complex PTSD.

EMDR seems to be one of those things that only a few people seem to really understand why it works. I have read a bit about how it works, but I don’t understand it well enough to explain, that’s for sure.

The name she uses with me is brain spotting, and pretty much it only gets used if she can see I’m tearing up, I’m freaked out, I’m hurting, and she senses it us an old deep trauma… like believing I’m worth nothing because of how I was treated as a kid, which is echoing to now when I eff up at work and in life.

Your brain does most of the work, just processing the feelings.

One of the sessions she did about my boss and for months she didn’t get under my skin. I think it was tied to traits she shares with my mother.

It’s weird but interesting and, I think sitting with the hard feelings and facing them and not having to say much with a trusted person is generally quite a good thing, allowing yourself to be that vulnerable and feel it all.

But yeah different brains different needs!

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