Dave here new to this this but not new to ADHD 70yrs old still learning

Brain dump. Thank you Jessica I am using your brain dump method to try and get these thoughts down and hopefully organized in some coherent fashion so as to be readable and make some sense. If I ramble on too long and don’t get it right I apologize in advance. Been looking for others who share these same hurtles to talk to on and off for some time now. Would start a search many times but never managed to find any groups before losing interest (big surprise huh) After looking about on this site I soon realized I had found a place that felt comfortable and at home. Diagnosed in my early 50s, that was almost 20 years ago. Got to spend most of my life knowing that I was different but didn’t know why, just knew I was. Went thru grade school and high school being told I was a dreamer, lazy, not trying hard enough I just needed to buckle down and concentrate more. Was asked by a teacher why wasn’t I doing better as they knew I could do a lot better so why wasn’t I ? (Like and ADDer knew the answer to that one) Worst I knew I was smart and yet could not do all the things my peers could do….Add numbers together at the black board. Spell words (Like my last name that everyone else in the class could do but I could not.) This lasted all the way thru High School where I had the distinction of graduating dead last in my class. Went to a 4year collage/tech school for electronics engineering and managed to make the Deans list once during my 2nd year. (another example of what we can do if we find our niche–cause as a kid I used to take everything apart to see what made it work and built electrical things like motors and telegraphs etc.)
The reason I got diagnosed when I did was that it was effecting our marriage and knew I needed to do something so went to my GP and emptied my heart out to him. Luckily he had experience in this area and got me the help I needed. Got my dose of Ritalin adjusted and started down that path toward acceptance. We live in a rural area and so there aren’t any other neurodiverse to talk to here (that I know of) and end up feeling quite lonely at times so feel this is a good place to interact with like minded folks. Hopefully maybe my many years experience with ADD can be useful to others as well. After watching Jessica’s video about “What I want people to know about my ADHD” I remembered some things I wrote down a few years ago that kind of fit that same category. The first one is “I don’t need your pity or your sympathy or your confusion or your anger, what I desperately crave is your understanding.” The other one is “I am so alone, please let someone understand where I am.” Well I don’t feel so alone anymore now that I have found this group. Thanks so much. Dave


Welcome. So glad you’re here and that you can connect with others so you don’t feel so isolated or alone!

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Dave you have a buddy in me. In addition to being a man with ADHD, I’m 73 years old and was diagnosed when I was about 52 or 53. My son who is now 42 was diagnosed at age 6 with ADHD. He was the “wild man“ in the classroom. Long story short, we got him all the help he needed and after years of thinking of himself as “stupid” he decided he might actually be able to get through a college program. It took three colleges over seven years but he did it. And like you, he is technically minded and graduated as an Electrical Engineer.

Throughout my growing up I dealt with all sorts of “stuff”. I had poor impulse control, was flunked in conduct in the fifth grade by a teacher who know me well. He was the music teacher and came to my house to give me trumpet lessons. I was the funny man in class, blurting out comments that were funny most of the time. So I asked the teacher why did you give me a failing grade in conduct? He said “you’re always telling jokes Barry!” I recall saying, “But you laugh at them!” And he said “Well they’re funny!” How’s that for a Ying and a Yang?

My short-term memory has always been poor. Trying to memorize things almost impossible. I thought I wanted to be a chemistry major in college but got a “D“ in the second term of chemistry because the lab assistant insisted that we all memorize the flow charts used to identify unknown chemical substances.

When I was working I probably spent 1/5 of my entire career looking for things that I lost on my desk. I have difficulty reading a book and can only get through it if I push myself through enough of the story to get some sort of sense of it. And I don’t know if this is ADHD or not but I have a huge startle response. Say “boo” and if I don’t realize that someone is next to me I will literally jump with arms flailing. and as for frustration tolerance. . . not much. As a result, I get angry easily over a little nothings and usually it is directed at my wife. One day 20 or 25 years ago when she had just had enough she asked a question which was quite brilliant: “Barry are you angry or are you anxious?” [We were driving in Philadelphia and I was completely lost]

Without hesitation I immediately said: “I’m angry because I’m anxious.” I teared up, and promised her that I would seek out a doctor to prescribe appropriate medication . . . Which I did. I’ve been on meds ever since. But I can tell you more about that if you’re interested.

I’m relatively new here in this forum. I’ve been pretty active responding to posters. I have gotten a lot out of it in both directions. That is “giving” and “receiving”. Been retired a few years. Was a social worker helping people struggling with mental illness. It took me a while to come out of a funk after I no longer had my career. So I started different types of volunteer work in my community. And with that and being able to help people, here I am much happier.

I want to stop here so I don’t create a book that perhaps you are not willing to read. I really do hope that you and I can stay connected. I have a little out of place given my age. But now it appears that I have someone of my similar “Vintage”!


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Thanks much for responding. It is good to know there are others my age dealing with the same issues. I am already feeling connected to a caring group. I’m so glad to hear your son found an area that worked out for him. Feel we all have abilities that allow us to excel at things we find interesting. Thanks again for responding.

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