Found my way from Youtube

Hi, I’m Sel. I’ve been following the YouTube channel on and off for weeks now, wondering if I have ADHD. It’s been such a relief to watch the videos and think ‘other people do that too’. I’ve been talking to my father about it (since we do so many similar things and think in similar ways) and we think that we’re both ADHD. I talked my therapist into testing me for ADHD and got the results today

Basically, her verdict was that I’m not struggling enough to be ADHD. I was gifted in school, and I’m not failing at my job, so I can’t be ADHD. A friend linked me to articles about ADHD and gifted diagnosis and it rings true for me. She read it over too as a teacher and friend and said ‘That’s you. That’s how you’ve been struggling.’ I agree.

I’m in my 40s so I’ve basically learned to adapt to most of the behaviors that I answered questions about for the test. I’ve worked hard to do well at work, and I’ve been working on my personal relationships so that I can be improve that aspect of my life.

I feel like because my struggles aren’t as obvious, that means I can’t have a problem. Logically I know this isn’t true, but it still feels like I’m being dismissed because things aren’t ‘bad enough’ or I’m being penalized for being able to adapt to certain situations. My therapist also said that because I can focus (extreme focus for things that interest me and forced focus on things that bore me) I can’t be ADHD.

I guess I joined the forum to see if other people relate to this or to being 40 something and suddenly what was working isn’t quite as helpful as it used to be.


there are lots of sucessful people with adhd it doesn’t have to be a disadvantage, and there are lots of people that don’t get diagnosed until later life, me included, but it’s only when it causes difficulties like it sounds you are having, that you need help.

have you tried doing the self assessments online? they can be a good indicator of whether or not a full assessment is worthwhile and can be used as evidence to give to your therapist.

sadly adhd is commonly misunderstood even by many therapists, so you are best off finding a therapist who specialises in adhd if you can.

but as far as this forum goes, you can get lots of support on here, you don’t need a diagnosis, you share some of the same difficulties as many of is on here, so welcome, i look forward to reading more of your posts.

@SelinaM , welcome here to the HowToADHD forums!

Sounds like you are “twice exceptional”, or “2e” for short. There are a number of us on this forum who did well in K-12 school, even labelled as “gifted”, including me. In elementary school, I did my homework on the bus, because I never remembered to do it at home. (In Jr High and High School, I did most of my homework in class or the passing period between classes, because it could never remember to do it at home.)

In college, I struggled more, because I had never developed the habit of studying at home. I was too easily distracted. In my career, I have only excelled at jobs that required short interactions with people (retail sales, math tutoring, computer tech support), but struggled with anything requiring self-directed work or anything that required maintaining attention for long periods of time (management, system administrator).

“Hyperfocus” is a common trait among people with ADHD. I don’t know about anyone else, but definitely cannot control hyperfocus. Either it occurs, or it doesn’t, I can’t use it at will. By the time I got my ADHD assessment, I had learned enough about ADHD that when I mentioned hyperfocus, I was specific about not being able to control it. I could completely lose track of time and miss important events because of it, if I didn’t set alarms or calendar alerts.

Many people with ADHD find innovative ways to deal with their ADHD traits, in order to get by in the world. Too often, if we’re successful at anything, then we’re told we must not have ADHD. Creativity and innovation are common among people with ADHD, often as a means of compensating for our particular areas of struggle.

My parents accepted my diagnosis readily enough, especially once I described the three presentations (I’m clearly Predominantly Inattentive, ADHD-PI). My wife of 20 years (who’s known me since 8th grade) didn’t believe it at first, because she worked at a school for almost a decade, and all of the kids she knew there with an ADHD diagnosis were: ADHD Combined presentation, and otherwise learning disabled.

Thank you for the warm welcome. :smile:

The more I’ve thought about what the therapist said, the angrier I get. Not for myself, but for her other patients. Being successful on the outside doesn’t mean you aren’t struggling on the inside. During the past few years, I’ve been working hard to improve my reactions to some situations and learning how to adapt to situations that would have been awful when I was younger.

I’ve taken a few of the quizzes and I seem to be borderline on them. I think some of that is because I have learned to adapt. Like one question was ‘do you walk out of meetings?’ No, but do I fidget and doodle through the whole thing? Yes. I’ve also been reading a book on teens with ADHD and I took a quiz there for adults and I had a high level of ADHD traits.

I did my homework early because I knew that if I didn’t, I’d forget to do it. My parents also thought up ways to help me with what I struggled with in school. I wanted to do well for myself and for them so I had that keeping me going. Usually in college I was doing three things at once when I was studying or I’d get bored. I think since in school and at work I’ve mostly been left to figure out the best systems for completing a job, I do well. Now those things would be considered accommodations, but I never really thought of them until I started thinking about ADHD.

That friend who linked the articles thought I might be 2e. She explained it to me, then paused and was like ‘oh now things make sense’. Since then she’s been encouraging me to get diagnosed, but I’m not sure what that would mean after the initial announcement. I’ve worked with students who were ADHD and have a basic idea what happens when you’re school age. But no one’s really been able to tell me what happens after the diagnosis for someone my age.

Ooh, those online tests… I did one, too, when I first considered ADHD as my “deviation of choice”. I answered about two questions, went to the kitchen to make some tea, did some other things, came back and the test was still waiting there, so I guess I passed?

My therapist wasn’t convinced I had ADHD either – she said if anything I’d be an unusual case – but she referred me to a diagnosis center anyway. She’s been very supportive since.

In Germany, you don’t get diagnosed just for having ADHD, only for suffering from it. I was on welfare at the time, so I guess I didn’t have to convince anybody I was riding below my possibilities. I was pretty good at school and actually thrived in college (except that it took me twice as long to get through it as everybody else), so at other times, I’d probably had a hard time getting diagnosed, too.

It’s easy for ADHD to be mistaken for … I don’t know, ennui? … if it doesn’t fit the disruptive-in-class mould. If you’re successful on the outside, it’s hard to see the struggle on the inside. But don’t let anybody tell you it isn’t there when you can clearly see it is. And even without a diagnosis, you can still get a lot out of sticking around in this forum - if a strategy you’re picking up here works for you, it works. Take the win!

Also, I should have thought of doing the homework on the way from school. Al those afternoons I wasted trying to wade through that stuff…

I think I’ll have to find a new therapist since she has basically only one solution for my struggling and it’s not working. I’ve been told to just try harder and to focus more… Er, isn’t that a sign that I could be ADHD?

Ooh, those online tests… I did one, too, when I first considered ADHD as my “deviation of choice”. I answered about two questions, went to the kitchen to make some tea, did some other things, came back and the test was still waiting there, so I guess I passed?

I lost my tests before I could send them in. I looked all over the house. My father (who also might be ADHD) looked. We gave up and redid them and sent them in as soon as we finished.

I’m glad that I found the forum and the youtube channel because I was beginning to really wonder about myself. I thought I was making progress, and in some areas, I am, but others are kind of held together with duct tape and bailing wire. I want to hold things together with something a little more stable so I can try to accomplish some of my life goals. :grinning:

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