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ADHD Adults

Too late for me?

I’m female, 59, and have struggled my whole life with organization, staying on task, mess etc.. I’ve managed to hold down jobs in engineering drafting anyway, but never really advanced much.

I fit the profile of female ADHD when I was in school, often being criticized for daydreaming. Back then almost nobody had ever heard of it, especially not for girls.

After watching a documentary on adult ADHD on a Canadian television show, I found this checklist and found myself saying “Yes, that’s me!” to almost all of the items described.

I got laid off three years ago, have only worked sporadically since, am now living on my savings and investments until I reach official retirement age. I’m wondering if there would be any point to pursuing a diagnosis at this stage of my life? Am I just too old to bother now? How does a person even start, anyway?


At the end of the day the decision is ultimately yours. I know that getting my own diagnosis at 42 was hard and I honestly thought it was the right thing to do. I had to convince my wife that it was the right thing too. I had the benefit of being a Special Ed teacher and so recognised a lot of my own symptoms. My ADHD was unknowingly the root of a great deal of the issues we were having. Things have become easier for us as she begins to understand more about how the ADHD affects me. I’ve also become more comfortable with the diagnosis and the combined meds and CBT treatments have made a difference. I know there is still a long way to go. If you live in Australia the best place to start is your GP and explain your concerns. Your GP will refer you to a psychiatrist for assessment. It took 12 months to get a confirmation and start on Ritalin. I don’t think you’re too old, nor that it would be a waste of time. Feeling better in yourself is just the start. Good luck.

Posted by Glenn T on Jun 03, 2017 at 7:03am

Not too late.  I was diagnosed at 57 years old.
A friend was telling me about her son being diagnosed and it seemed just like me.  I did a few online tests and scored 95% or more. 
I spoke to my family doctor then a specialist and was offered Dexamphetamine.
This helps me focus especially when at work doing mundane, routine tasks.

If the diagnosis confirms that you have ADD or ADHD, then at least you know what you are dealing with.

Then reading the articles on this website make a lot of sense to you.
Just do it.

Posted by Bob from Cootamundra on Jun 03, 2017 at 8:10am

It is not too late.
As I see it, it’s only the question if you will gather enough inner strength to make this change happen. I have a mother in law a bit older than you and she (with different problems) just want to live in peace as good as it is now. Even if it is quite bad for her and people around her. This will not be “live in peace” for her, it is just the she express the fact that she is not able to make a change in her life any more.
I hope you still have inner power to make a change.
I was diagnosed with ADHD few months ago at age of 48 and am a man. The main benefit until now was that I realized that it is not ME who is bad, lazy, underperforming, underachieving, a failure. It was not ME, it was something what HAPPENED to me. And it meant a whole world and more to me. What a burden taken off my shoulders….
So, it is not too late. It is never to late to be happier. Just find people who will understand you and support you on this path.
Wish you all the best.

Posted by toninowak on Jun 03, 2017 at 8:35am

I’m a woman who got “officially” diagnosed at 60 - i had only put the pieces together within a year of that previous - I struggled as to whether it would make a difference since i was pretty sure - but having that extra medical diagnosis from a professional set my mind at ease so that i didnt continually wonder (my issue ) I did get some training in CBT and DBT to help with personal relations and such - it has been a journey but i felt getting the real diagnosis was worth my peace of mind.

Posted by janeev on Jun 04, 2017 at 4:25pm

***I highly encourage you to post this question to ADDitude’s new discussion forums, as well. I think your question would get a lot of attention in the Symptoms, Diagnosis & Beyond forum:  ADDconnect is transitioning over to this new forum now.***

It’s never too late for a diagnosis and treatment. Things can get better, even now. Here are more insights:

ADDitude Community Moderator, Author & Mentor on Parenting ADHD, Mom to teen w/ ADHD, LDs, and autism

Posted by adhdmomma on Jun 05, 2017 at 12:26pm

absolutely not late!

a i m in late 40, and only now i finally uderstand it all.
a good start point at any age is to learn more what Execitive Function is, what EFD is, etc. it is the CORE of ADHD

Posted by ADDRussian on Jun 05, 2017 at 6:10pm

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