ADHD Diagnosis Later in Life

Are you an adult who recently received an ADHD diagnosis? You may be experiencing a wide range of emotions at this point, and understandably so.

Perhaps you are happy to finally have an understanding of who you are and why you do the things you do. It may be validating to understand your struggles have a reason behind it. 

You may be concerned about any stigma attached to a diagnosis. What if you need accommodations? How will it feel to ask for support? And what will happen if someone finds out you’re taking stimulant medication for ADHD?

Or you could be overwhelmed with the news. And overwhelm is a common emotion that goes along with ADHD. Maybe you have started to dive into the deep end to figure it all out and it’s become too much.

One of the less talked about feelings when you receive an ADHD diagnosis later in life that was missed when you were younger, is the feeling of grief. As a woman who had signs as a child that we now recognize as signs of ADHD, but not diagnosed until my early 40s, I understand the grief. We may believe there were missed opportunities along the way because we didn’t receive support and accommodations during key times. Allow yourself to grieve. It’s okay.

And then start to discover all of the positives that go along with ADHD. Hyperfocus is the first thing that always comes to mind for me. There are times, depending on the topic, time of day, activity level, etc., when I am in the flow and focused, sometimes unaware of how much time has passed.

People with ADHD tend to think outside the box and can be very creative. We’re also resilient and determined. We have to be! Give us a problem and we will find a way to solve it in our own unique way.

We are also spontaneous, high energy, and enjoy taking risks..all of which makes us a lot of fun to be around. This also makes us a great romantic partner!

Although you can take any of the above traits and see it as a downfall, I have found it much better to flip it and see what makes each trait a positive. We have the best years of our lives in front of us, so let’s have fun with our unique qualities!



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