I’ve posted previously on midlife women with ADHD—see “Women and ADHD” as well as Zoë Kessler‘s ADHD According to Zoë. Another resource is Linda Roggli‘s website and book.
Midlife women with ADHD can find support at Roggli’s ADDiva.net. As she notes:
Each day, more and more women wake up to their own ADD-ish tendencies. Maybe it’s ADD, maybe not. But you don’t need to be ‘officially diagnosed’ to appreciate the relief at finding a network of women who ‘get it’ when you talk to fast or too much, when you forget appointments, when you lose your paycheck or get bored in the middle of once interesting projects.
Her 2011 Confessions of An ADDiva: Midlife in the Non-Linear Lane has been widely praised by those who can relate. The author describes her own book: “This is a no-holds-barred, brutally honest account of what it’s like to live with undiagnosed AD/HD for more than forty years and the startling changes that occurred after I discovered that I was an adult with AD/HD.”
A few brief quotes from “This Is My Brain on ADD”, a chapter found on her website:
The psychiatrist who specialized in adult ADD told me to come by at 3:00 p.m. I arrived at 3:14 p.m.
He wasn’t surprised.
I did try medication—several of them, in fact. Some of them made me sleepy, which piqued my interest. If my brain slowed down on stimulants, maybe it did have some wiring problems.
Ultimately, medications didn’t work for me (in part because I couldn’t remember to take them).
The following two guides are also from the chapter in question:
ADD clues you won’t find in the DSM-IV
• Illegible handwriting
• “I have to do it my way”
• Profound sense of failure
• Feeling like a fraud; hiding yourself
• Overcontrolling of self, others, events
• Interrupting yourself
• Easily frustrated; quick trigger to anger
• Very emotional; highest highs, lowest lows
• Obsessive tidiness
• Constantly reorganizing, creating a new “system”
• Making simple tasks complex
• Inability to stick with a diet, exercise; weight issues
• Many intimate partners; impromptu sex
• Difficulty with spatial tasks–puzzles, etc.
• A constant sense of being “swamped”
• Anxiety; a baseline of unease in the world
• Sensitive to labels in clothes, bright light, loud noises
The Truth About Diagnosis
• There is no absolute test for ADHD
• It’s OK to get a “second opinion”
• A “functional diagnosis” can be made via a thorough intake interview with an ADD-savvy physician or psychologist
• Expect to feel relief and grief after diagnosis
• Not everyone has ADD – despite what you may believe
• Having ADD does not mean you are brain damaged
• Medication helps some people; expect to try several of them
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