Search

Hidden Epidemic of Adult ADHD over 50

The information you're about to read could be a total game changer for you or someone you love. It was for me. When I learned what I'm about to reveal, I wept for four days and sank into a deeply sad period of time. I am only now coming up for air. "If only I'd known!" I need to start at the beginning to have this all make sense...

I am the youngest of four girls, and I was always a 'pistol'. I never sat still, still don't. At eight my parents suspected I had an overactive thyroid, hyperactivity, so they sent me to my doctor to get it checked out. I remember his exact words when he looked at the test results, "No kiddo, I think you're just a real Go-getter!" So off I ran into life, going and getting until I finally crashed. Roberta and I are a year apart. We shared a bedroom. She too was a super distracted kid and would draw on her desk and was more interested in looking out the window than listening. She was sent to a child psychologist in the 4th grade for her behavior. Nothing came from it. We struggled so much with focus and "sub normal" behavior. We both hardly read. Dad had us go though Evelyn Wood Speed Reading course to try and help us focus and retain. I felt so dumb and embarrassed. I was clever enough to skim through a book and write a book report that sounded as though I read it. I knew I was not like others. Something was wrong with me. I couldn't understand algebra and it was a constant struggle try to invent ways to make them think I'm smart, when I knew I wasn't. Education was reinforced by my Father, who came from meager means and worked his way through medical school to became a prominent doctor in Monterey, California. I felt his disappointment in me. "Do you think you'll ever amount to anything? Imagine feeling so inferior because you can't comprehend what you read. You're only able to focus on things that you're interested in. "Sheila shows great potential but needs to put forth more effort...Talks too much and her work is messy". This was clearly a behavior problem and the consequence was punishment. It was a Friday night in 1964 when my parents were out that Roberta and I decided to try alcohol. We plugged our noses and chugged vodka out of the bottle and were high in seconds. I remember that instant, fantastic, warm glowing feeling. I thought I'd discovered the secret to life in this magical elixir that made me smart, funny and beautiful. We both loved it and on that day we began our alcoholic careers. But in those days an "alcoholic" was a skid row bum, not a doctors daughter from Monterey. I graduated high school in 1970 and got a summer job at Jack in the Box. That's when I got hepatitis really bad and spent a week in the hospital and lost ten pounds. Four months later my Dad suddenly died and my world was shattered. At first they said it was a heart attack but the true cause was from self-medicating. What?! He was the one who told us to stay away from drugs. My God, my foundation, gone! This was my initiation into adulthood. I had constant stomach aches and was filled with so much anxiety. I saw an internist and remember seeing only old people in the waiting room. I was 18. The doctor put me on tranquilizers 30mg. 3x a day. I took them for years. I knew I needed them because something about me is so very different. My twenties were like a train wreck unfolding in slo-mo. With no coping skills, my life finally spun out of control. In 1982 I went to an Alcoholics Anonymous meeting and from that day forward, I did not drink alcohol or use pills for 16 years. My story was, "I'm an alcoholic and my drinking is the root of all my problems." This statement will later prove to be false. My sobriety didn't last. It wasn't because I'm weak, lack will power or didn't go to enough meetings. I drank again because there was something underlying my drinking, deeper within me, that I never knew about, until now. Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorder Why do I interrupt people? Why am I so forgetful? Why am I so different?! Did you know ninety percent of adults with ADHD are undiagnosed? That means they don't even know they have it just as I did not know. My daughter sent me this 4 minute video. What ADHD feels like This began my intense search for what this is, and what it means. Everything that's occurred in my life now makes perfect sense. I am sharing some of the best information I found. If this is you, please talk to your doctor and please do your own research...there is so much to unravel. I learned ADHD is genetic and that our brains work differently than neural-typical brains. I also learned there are different degrees of ADHD and there is a simple test to determine if you have it. Do You Have ADHD? ADHD is not from too much sugar or bad parenting. I learned that amphetamine has the same chemical effect that we're missing in our brains that open up the dopamine receptors. Stimulants work opposite on our brains. Today ADHD is the most researched mental health issue, yet, there are few studies on people over 50. Only now, are Baby Boomers realizing that it is genetic and if we had symptoms in our childhood, we will still have them. If undiagnosed, many people turn to addictive behavior to self medicate using alcohol, food, drugs, shopping, gambling, etc.Think of our homeless, those institutionalized, suicides, dementia, recovery rooms, and prisons. Statistics show 85% of inmates have ADHD. First and foremost understand there's nothing wrong with you and there never was. The ramifications are astounding. If I'm just finding this out, I know there are many more who also have been mis-diagnosed, mis-prescribed and mis-understood. This can be a shocking experience when you realize this because you now see how and why you are the way you are. You literally will have to re-write your history. You'll weep for all the names you were called like..hyper..crazy...scattered..all over the place...manic..obnoxious...doesn't listen...always interrupts...show off and for all the times you said you're sorry when there was never anything wrong with you.

In my 50's I was diagnosed with depression, and probably ADHD. The only thing I knew about ADHD is that it meant I'm impulsive and can't focus well. That's it. Not one doctor, psychiatrist, or therapist ever explained to me what ADHD actually is. I was never told there is free online support available ADDA/Support that has been around for 30 years. My nurse practitioner told me they sometimes give Ambien to coma patients with my brain type and they wake up. (ever wondered about those Ambien patients who walk or drive in their sleep?) I have not been close with Roberta in many years. Her life has been very difficult and a constant struggle. I judged her as a victim and kept my distance, until now. I realized she is the way she is, and has lived the way she has, because of the debilitating effects of her misunderstood ADHD. My heart opened up and I reached out to her. We are now on this new journey together. We are both grateful to be sober. She has an appointment to see her doctor because she has never once been prescribed the one medication that can likely help her, amphetamine. Why are so many doctors and healthcare providers giving out so many different prescriptions in so many combinations that seem to not work or are making us worse? On ADD.org you'll see one after another people calling out for help because nothing seems to be working. They share a plethora of pharmaceutical cocktails with their awful side effects. I have not been able to sleep good in many years. I tried everything under the sun, natural and otherwise. I just discovered that because my brain isn't neural-typical, it works opposite. I was prescribed Adderall, a stimulant, at night and I slept. I couldn't believe it. You would be up for 2 days. I sleep and even remembered a dream recently. In the right low dosage, it keeps my brain regulated. It's been 2 months and I am taking my time. I am under good care and taking it really slow. I'm grateful that I have the time to nurture myself. I hope you nurture your precious self. They're studying natural ways to handle ADHD using herbs, coconut oil, etc. Wishing you a happy and healthy 4th of July! Wow...it was 4 years ago today that I left Monterey on an unknown adventure. I ended up here in Sedona with my sweetheart, Mike, and in the arms of Mother Nature where I found what I was looking for. I rediscovered Nature and found and fell in love with me for the 1st time ever. Not in an Ego way. We are all taught to look out there, love out there. I believe the most important relationship you will ever have is with yourself. Look at yourself as that small child of wonder and fall in love with that. Something happens where it allows you to love and appreciate others more. This has been very humbling for me. In my last newsletter I asked for your prayers or intentions for the highest and best outcome for the sale of my home. Thank you! The day after I sent out that request my Realtor called me and said, "Out of the Blue, we have 10 showings today!" I knew then, the power of prayer. We had multiple offers and in 2 weeks we were in escrow. The new owner wrote me a letter saying the moment she stepped on the property, she knew she wanted to be the steward of our old family home.Thank you again. If you need to talk to someone I will be available. This is not easy. Help is here. Stay informed, talk to your doctor and do your own research. I hope this information has been helpful. This is the most difficult message I have ever written. I hope your battles are few and that your life be full of joy and goodness.




27 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All