Does anyone else experience these?

Hi - I’m new here, 44, and I was sort of diagnosed a month ago, my therapist thinks I most likely have ADHD, so I went to a psychiatrist and he said lets try the med and see what happens… I guess I’m worried I really am lazy and forgetful and dumb… and annoying… so I’m wondering if any of these symptoms sound familiar?

I’m horrible at directions in general, telling north south east and west once I enter a building. I get super lost in hospitals. It takes forever to remember how to get somewhere if I don’t drive there everyday for a month. Forget where I parked.

I refuse to take a left turn if there isn’t a light and traffic is only moderately heavy, (how am I supposed to watch both directions, what if I can’t see a car behind another car, what if they speed up, crap there’s a car behind me now getting pissed, should I just gun it and hope for the best?.. ) Really scary for me, so I just turn right and then left, turn around in a parking lot, then turn right, or just drive all the way around a block or section…

I am constantly looking for better and efficient ways to do things, and improve things that seem to work fine for other people

I highlight each day in my calendar once it’s past so I can immediately see what day it is when I look at my calendar, and highlight the past and upcoming month in a different color… For some reason I don’t like to waste 4 seconds trying to find today’s date…

I would put signs up around the house that said things like “Just Get Started!!” “It’s not too much to do!!” “Doing something is better than doing nothing!!” These helped a little…

I usually only clean if someone is coming over. Even if I have enough time to clean, I still think, it’s too much to do, it won’t be perfect, it will just get messy again…

I watch a ton of TV even though there are things to do, bills to pay, laundry to fold, dishes to wash, things I am totally capable of doing but just can’t seem to find the motivation

Struggle to complete a workout at home, if I even get started. It’s like I pile all the ‘hard’ onto the present moment, and I’m thinking of everything I still have to do, and it’s never going to end…

I buy items in bulk in case I misplace or lose them, like pens and highlighters

I buy tons of books but rarely read a book start to finish. I start a book, then decide to read a different book, forget what I read, start another book, think I must be dumb because I can’t remember anything I read the day before so I have to read it again… I feel like to get anything out of a book I would have to memorize the entire thing.

Have struggled with addictions like spending, eating disorders, alcohol, smoking, then vaping…

Hyperfocus - in the past I have often spend 30+ minutes just picking my blackheads…

Any input or similar experiences would be greatly appreciated, I really want to belong here, and have a legitimate reason for all my struggles. Thanks!

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Welcome to the site Stephanie. I am not sure the first two items, regarding sense of direction and making a left turn are ADHD, at least not not for me, but they might be…

Better ways to do things? It could be your way to be creative, which ADHD brains generally like. But it could also be other things like trying to prove to people you are smarter due to trying to be better than others, or trying to win approval.

Highlighting calendar. Similar to the above, trying to be more efficient, even if its 4 seconds?

Cleaning and other chores can be difficult for any number of reasons.

Workouts. They can be boring. For me, I need a workout partner to challenge me. I often think about all the other things I need to do when I go for motorcycle rides. Could be similar in that when I have things to do, maybe I feel guilty about doing things I enjoy or doing things that aren’t completing those things that might be more important. It makes it hard to enjoy riding, some of the time. If you do have ADHD, maybe you can make the workouts more ADHD friendly by turning it into a game or challenge? That’s my plan, eventually.

I can’t really read if I am not interested in what I am reading. I don’t think that’s the case here. You bought these books yourself, you are reading on your own terms. Is it an issue of focus of memory? I can’t answer that…

While addictions are common for people with ADHD, its usually for the dopamine that certain addictions provide, such as gambling and stimulants. My guess is spending is the only one that would apply.

Hyperfocus, maybe, but it could also be OCD, etc.

As for meds… Different meds at different doses work for different people. It could take months to figure out what the right thing is for you, and the phrase “try meds” sounds like they aren’t even sure?

I would argue that all addictions apply, because of the shame you feel for being so incompetent. Also alcohol helps quiet a racing mind, and helps with getting started with things that seem overwhelming.

I can relate to alot of that :joy: i would say most of it could apply as a reault of adhd eiither from the negative side effects or the positive ones which are there are many but often not discussed, like we can be really good at putting new improved aystoms in place for ourseves and you are right that often they are better for everyone else too.

definately sounds like adhd to me, just going off of what you have described, certainly enough to warrant an assesment, but it also sounds like you are managing really well with it.

also it is recognised that having adhd does make you more likely to have issues around nicotine and alcohol etc so those would apply.

Can’t argue with that, a lot of things are all about context.

ADHD or not, recognition of things you need to improve on, or at least things that bother you, or the people around you, is a good first step. Knowing its ADHD can help determine what approach might work better than others.

ADHD symptoms are not unique to people with ADHD, and that has been part of the problem in understanding and diagnosing the condition.

Regardless of your diagnosis we are here to listen and help if we can, or provide some words of encouragement.

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You belong here . . . The moment you showed up . . . The moment you shared your concerns . . . The moment others responded to you . . . you belonged here!

All of us here have struggles. Some different than others. But there are common threads that weave us together.

ADHD is real.

The more you learn about it, recognize the characteristics, and compare your notes with others (here is a great, supportive, loving place to do that) . . . the more you will appreciate your differences as strengths . . . not deficits!



Thank you for your input! One of the reasons I want to know for sure is that I think two of my kids have it, my daughter (12) struggles in school, says she hates it, has told people she wants to kill herself, (she’s seeing a therapist now)constantly talks during movies (who’s that? what’s he doing? why is he doing that?) which I find annoying and makes me feel guilty… (honey, can we just watch the movie?) at other times it’s like she has to say every single thought that is running through her mind… always has a messy and cluttered room, (then again so does my other daughter) my son (7) acts out in school, is constantly getting up from the table at dinner, sometimes to go to the bathroom but also to play with the string hanging from the blinds, (I keep joking we are going to put him back in a high chair) gets immediately frustrated when trying new things… and old things which he has done before, but at that moment decides he can’t… (put on his shoes, zip his coat, turn something inside out) he often gets emotional and starts crying when I get frustrated with him for not doing these things.

So anyway, if I have it there’s a good chance they do, and I want to help them through it. I don’t regret not ever being diagnosed because I have taught myself a lot of tricks that I wouldn’t have needed to otherwise.

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Everything you’ve said in your post, I can relate to.
I find doing things, or starting them very difficult and I have many unfinished craft projects cluttering up my cupboard. In fact, my house is a disorganised mess even though I make heroic attempts to organise, I get so far and go on to something else.
I’m not too bad at directions but then I do love maps so I’ve learnt East, West, North and South by studying them.
As for books, yes, I have hundreds but there are many unfinished ones. That’s why I prefer non-fiction rather than fiction as I can ‘dip’ into those when I feel like doing so.
I was also a heavy drinker before being diagnosed with bipolar in 2007. Then I gave it up as it didn’t mix well with the meds. Now I only have a drink on special occasions.
Oh, and I also spend time picking my fingers to the point of bleeding, my ears and my scalp. And scabbed over scratches from my cats. Sounds gross, but hey, many of us do these things and we shouldn’t feel bad for doing so.
I hope this helps a little. I’m new and as yet undiagnosed but I hope to get some answers (and a diagnosis) soon. :+1:

You sound like classic ADHD. I have all of these except the addictions and driving issues since I don’t drive. In fact, I’m typing this to you instead of starting my workout.

I’m curious to see how the meds help. Know that if those don’t work you may have other options like Adderall and Vyvanse. Don’t give up - Ritalin and concerta did NOT work for me. but they work for my husband who also has ADHD.

Keep going! You’ll do great!

Welcome to the HowToADHD forums @StephanieJane !

Well, I’d say the second statement definitely disproves the first.

Aside from the addictions, your story sounds a lot like mine. I would certainly say that you belong here. What you describe sounds like ADHD to me. :slightly_smiling_face:

  • I’ll admit that I was addicted to TV for decades (only quit that about 9 years ago, after my third child and first grandchild were born…I was so busy helping with babies, it totally distracted me from the TV), but I’ve never been addicted to any substance.
  • I’ll drink alcohol on occasion, but never regularly.
  • I’ve only had one puff on a cigarette my entire life…my mom knew me so well, I like to say she “inoculated” me against smoking. She had me take a puff off my uncle’s cigarette right in front of her when I was about 10. I choked on the smoke, and it tasted so bad to me that I decided never to put another cigarette in my mouth again after that! “One puff, cured for life!!!”

I have also spent much of my life, since about age 16, trying to improve myself. (It started with a study skills cassette tape and workbook course my dad bought, called “Where There’s a Will, There’s an A”.)

Over the last three decades, I’ve tried many different time management and productivity systems, books, videos, and trainings, even Bullet Journaling (a system developed by an ADHD brain :brain:) … And none of them helped me improve as much as getting on an effective ADHD medication. (Adderall was half-effective for me; while atomoxetine/Strattera is fully effective.)

  • What’s the point in knowing how to be better at getting things done, if my brain can’t focus long enough to actually get things done!
  • Now that I can focus, I’ll need to revisit the time management and productivity systems that I tried before. I keep meaning to find an ADHD coach, too.