How One Adult Gained Control Over His ADHD

Gaining a sense of control over your life

a man standing in a spare living room looking out of the sheer curtain-covered window
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After being diagnosed with ADHD at age 50 and receiving treatment for the past 10 years, Larry’s life has taken a tremendous turn for the better. “It hurts me every time I look back at the majority of my life and have to recount my experiences when I now know just how easy ADHD is to treat and how enjoyable and successful life can be.” Larry notes that ADHD’s impact is unique for each individual. His story may feel similar or it may feel very different, but either way his story may bring hope to those with ADHD.

“The list of things I had done as an undiagnosed individual goes on and on,” says Larry. “When I was young in the '50s, mother used to say to me ‘run around the house a couple of times so you can sit down and eat.' My school days were filled with fistfights and detentions. I dropped out of high school in the '60s. My young adult life in the '70s was drugs and alcohol. The list goes on and on until I was 50 years old.”

It was only after seeing firsthand the positive changes of diagnosis and treatment experienced by a family member that Larry began to understand more about ADHD—and realize that he might have it. He admits that he had many misconceptions and fears that the lack of information brings. “I resisted for many years,” explains Larry, but then he began to spend time educating himself about the condition and seeking treatment.

“I cannot stress enough the importance of early diagnosis and treatment. It is never too late to enter the better life that diagnosis and treatment can offer. Don’t wait,” urges Larry.

When asked about the life change he experienced after treatment, Larry likens it to asking a person who went for years without a diagnosis for eyeglasses to describe how their life since getting their glasses. “They see far, close, clearer, sharper, etc.,” explains Larry. “ADHD affects my life in so many ways and categories.” He says it could take a book to explain the remarkable impact treatment has had.

“The ability to get control over my emotions of rage and associated inappropriate responses were at first most obvious,” says Larry. “Then came an awareness of and sensitivity to other people’s feelings. I had heightened situational awareness to social cues.”

Larry tells of the time his wife returned home from work and he shocked her with a simple question: “So, how was your day?” His wife was shocked. “She said that it was the first time in her memory that I had taken ​the time to consider her feelings.”

Stressful situations also became much easier to handle. “Locking my keys in the car before diagnosis and treatment was, let me say, ‘something of an event.’ After treatment, my responses to various situations and events were more responsible and controlled.”

The quality of family life has also improved dramatically. “The benefits to the lives of my spouse and children cannot be put into words,” says Larry. As a person getting treatment for ADHD, Larry has a better sense of control, pays more attention to other peoples' feelings, is a better driver, and responds to situations more appropriately than he ever thought possible.

Why do so many adults like Larry go undiagnosed and untreated for so many years?

“I think fear, the lack of information and societal conditioning is the primary reason ADHD goes undiagnosed," explains Larry. "People need to get informed and educated about the condition. They need to read books, magazine articles, and now even the Web with sites like yours,, and, to name a few. As people, we need to change how we look at individuals with ADHD. Societally, there remains much left over uninformed attitudes and discrimination that those with the disorder just need to ‘pull yourself up by your bootstraps,’ ‘just try harder,’ ‘pay more attention.' These attitudes cause much pain and confusion because of the shame associated with the apparent defective nature of a person with ADHD. It is regrettable because, with accurate diagnosis and treatment, ADHD is one of the most easily treated disorders resulting in a beautiful and fulfilling life.”

A Word From Verywell

If you have questions about ADHD or think you may have the disorder, set up an appointment with a qualified medical professional who is experienced in diagnosing and treating adult ADHD. Larry sums it up nicely, “Do it, the sooner the better.” You’ll be glad you did!

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  • True, Elizabeth. “Re: Request for Quotes.” Email with Attached Web Interview from Larry through Elizabeth True to Keath Low. 20, Dec. 2007.