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|Thread : My adhd story...|
|16 Mar 2008 @ 1:46 PM|
Sun 16th Mar 2008
Threads: 1 Posts: 0
My adhd story...
*This text ended up being longer than I expected… sorry for writing this long but I think this helps me as part of facing my issues with ADHD…*
I am a 28 years old man who was just diagnosed for ADHD. On one side I am very happy to finally find “what’s different” with me, but on the other side I have hard troubles finding an end to my struggles and problems.
I still have difficulties to believe I have ADHD, mainly because I don’t have many “negative” specifics symptoms, aside from sadness, anxiety, and depression.
I suffered one major depression which then turned into many highs & lows; I was diagnosed for Bi-polar disorder and took lithium. After a year and a half without result from the medication the doctor concluded to a false diagnostic as I was not having any major up & down any more. I blame this to a few positives externals factors (like getting a good job) but mostly to the work I did with my psychologist to understand how my self esteem & confidence (or lack of) affect me.
I knew there was something about me… I just didn’t know what and didn’t bother much finding it as long as I was feeling ok.
I always thought of myself as more intelligent that other people, I could do things that nobody can, I can “wow” people in many aspects of my life… but why I am still struggling to just keep it together if I am really that brilliant…
It has been a year that my psychologist is telling me that I might have ADD, I never really believed him because I just didn’t see myself as hyperactive /Ritalin kid. I didn’t fit the symptoms or least not anymore than a regular person; -I never really had trouble in school, -I can finish project as I own my business, -I have a phenomenal memory, -I am the most organised person I know (my agenda is following me everywhere), -I can learn/do things with an exceptional speed & talent and, -when I “want” to listen / have attention I believed I can…I was just “not interested” by some subject/people and that was why I would not listen or so I thought. Procrastination and lack of motivation have always been my biggest enemy but I thought I was just lazy and needed to work harder. I was seeing so many positive aspects about me to believe I was ADHD (from what I knew about the condition).
On a recent vacation trip I read an article in the Delta Airline magazine about the latest development on ADHD. http://www.delta-sky.com/2007_12/whatthedoctor/ My life has been changed since then! For the first time I learned that ADHD is not only about lacking attention, “harnessing the power of ADD” was the title of that article, “a gift that is hard to unwrap” mentioned Dr. Hallowell. I finally started to recognised traits of ADHD in myself and to understand what my psychologist was telling me for the last year.
I went online and did research to understand and learn about ADHD. The hyperfocus aspect of ADHD and how it affects me is really what convinced me. I realised that I am capable of hyperfocus but not on-demand which I was expecting from myself all the time. I also realised that I cannot sustained attention to a normal task / event unless it is of a high interest for me which now I know is not normal for other. I also realised that the symptom about not finishing projects is about not completing the last details of them as oppose to not doing the challenging part of them where I excel. My last minute intense study also compensated for the fact that I never listened in class, I also realised that the reason why I am that organised is to compensate for the fact that I forget stuff if I don’t write it down on the moment and that I am not really organised naturally… (If you take away my agenda I won’t be able to sleep). My passion for extreme sports, my crazy driving, my special way of eating food, my acting like a kid moments started making sense. I learn that hyperactivity can be express verbally; I am known as someone who talks all the time (if I have an interest in the conversion), interrupts people before they finish their sentences (because I just understood rapidly what they were saying or guessed their response halfway through…), I am impulsive and can change mood drastically rapidly (but for a reason… event or people cause me to react that way). I now understand that my reasons for not believing I have ADHD are caused by the effects of my hyperfocus and to adaptations I unconsciously developed for my weakness.
Where I am now? Well I know more about me and the condition but I am completely lost… There are still so many things I don’t understand about me or about ADHD. I now know the cause of my moods swings, my MANY anxieties moments /crisis but that doesn’t solve them…
My psychologist has a busy schedule and I can only have appointments every 2-3 weeks that is if he doesn’t cancel for personal reason… He’s telling me that I have to learn to do thing slowly and to stop rushing things in which I have a great interest, like finding out how ADHD affects me (I’m up to 100 pages printed and read from internet about this). I agree with him but I don’t feel well these days… it’s hard not to do anything when I am actually not doing anything… just procrastinating everyday… I want to get out of this vicious circle that keeps bringing me down.
I went to see my family doctor, the one who started me on lithium years ago in a major depress / low moment. He knows about ADHD and is treating adults and kids. I went to see him because I didn’t know what to do anymore… where to go… it was either him or the psychiatric hospital… it was that bad. I told him my story and couldn’t help crying… (Which I didn’t do in years) I just wanted to feel well… He gave me ritalin, 20mg doses. It’s had been 15 days and I don’t know if it’s working or not… I don’t know if I feel more relax/slow, I don’t know if I can concentrate more with or without, how can you test if the medication works? I know if I double the dosage I get very "high" for a few hours...I was desperate to try anything... It does make me feel a little less sad but is it the drug or a “placebo” effect because I’m taking something to help me? Receiving attention from others makes me very happy for some reason… writing this has a good effect on me, even more if people read it.
I think I need more psychologist help than medication but I am so tired of not felling good, my anxiety crisis and procrastination which I know are caused by the effects of ADHD but I see treatment as a long, too long path… I’m lost and don’t know what to do… I believe I have the right helps around me… maybe not the support. For some reason (probably linked to ADHD) I am not closed to my family, I stopped talking to my dad 8 years ago and I stopped sharing personals information with my brothers and mother years ago as they “don’t understand” me. I never was able to keep and have a fulfilling relationship with a girl, but I am an expert at having the best ever short passionate flings. I just started seeing a therapist on this and she’s helping me links my actions to ADHD.
I recently met an amazing girl, for a rare time in life I feel like this person understands me on a different level than other girls. When she told me she has ADD I guessed that is the reason why we get along so great… but might be mistaken. I want to open myself to her but all my past relationships didn’t last… I told her that I need to work on myself before I can engage into a relation with someone, she understood and respected that but I’m afraid I will let myself go into the relation with her too fast and end up hurting her and myself again.
How much do sports affect ADHD? Since my early age I have always practice sport on a regular basic (5-6 times a week). The only times in my life where I stop practicing sport for some reason coincide with major problems with my mood and happiness. Like now, I have damaged shoulders and I’m forced to take a year off my swimming team and competition. I’m trying other sports but am limited by my shoulders and a very bad knee… those problems are another cause to many downs….
Here I am, March 2008, newly diagnosed but lost about it. Believing in my potential / aptitudes like crazy but having so much troubles keeping it together and to find motivation. I have a great life, I own a successful business with amazing potential if I can manage it properly, I go out and meet gorgeous girls, I travel a lot, I have good friends, but I seem to always expect / want more out of life and not be happy inside. My happiness doesn’t rely on material things which is good I guess but I have troubles to have and keep my happiness.
I don’t know where to begin and what to do next… your help/ comment would be appreciated.
|17 Mar 2008 @ 8:57 AM Reply # 1|
Fri 25th Jan 2008
Threads: 1 Posts: 61
Jacob: As a mom of both ADD and ADHD sons, I firstly want to send a great big hug. I am sorry that your family wasn't--isn't able to understand you or your challenges thru life. It is good that you have found your way. Congrats.
Ask friends, co-workers, anyone you might be close to in your life, to 'grade' you while you are on any meds. You don't always see/feel the difference. First of all, you don't want your meds to make you really tired, logy, or just out of it. It doesn't have to be that way to work. If you can get someone not you to tell actually be honest (without the hurt) and serious about how you are (not that you are bad or anything else) just, let's see, like the H (hyperactivity: the sports thing, the constancy of rushing around, the procrastination thing, etc.). Do you look them in the eye when you feel like you want to jump out of your skin? Do you 'hyperfocus' on something you are really interested in and pay absolutely no attention to anything around you (including safety issues)? There are different types of forms Drs. have, you can find some types of forms online (sorry I forget where though); although if you want to e-mail me I can send you the one I use for my ADHD child for teachers, my parents, afterschool when he attended, and myself for Meds. on evaluation visits to dr. These help your dr. and you to see how things are working, perceptions of your symptoms, whether what you are doing is good, unsafe, thoughtout, just done.
Stay strong, as you seem to be. You are getting a handle on your symptoms now and can go a long way to help yourself. Read books, there are sooooooo many things out there that can help.
My son has touchy feely symptoms, the consistency and tastes of foods, sometimes certain noises, clothes, even too much sunlight bothers him. These are just symptoms and you can learn to adjust things to work with them. And so can the people around you. Don't be afraid to ask someone that is willing to share their ADD/ADHD with you. If they can say they are, they hopefully have learned to work with this challenge for a while and maybe have some suggestions too. Seek out your local chapter of CHADD or even see if there is a Learning Disabled Center located near and if they know of any Drs. or groups meeting in your area for ADD//AD(H)D persons.
Good luck. And prayers with you. e-mail me and I can send the form. It can be adjusted for you to ask specific questions, but has some good starting points. firstname.lastname@example.org
|19 Mar 2008 @ 2:17 PM Reply # 2|
Wed 19th Mar 2008
Threads: 0 Posts: 1
Don't give up!
I was diagnosed only in my mid 40's, but as to not detract from your question, here are some key points: 1. Not all physicians or phsychiatrists are trained or experienced in how to best treat adult ADHD. So you need to find somone who does have experience. 2. It usually takes a few days to a couple of weeks for medication to kick in, be patient. You may also need to experiment with diffrerentmedication (check in the ADDITUDE website for helpful links on medication) 3. Make sure your dose is adjusted for your body weight. An adult shoul not get a child's dose (unlsess thay are petite). 4. If you do not have prescription insurance you can take the inexpensive genric versions, but the long-lasting versions are more convenient. 5. Seeing a local counsleor or therapist with ADHD expereince is also very important, for validation and also to help work out how ADHD has impacted your life up to now.
|6 Apr 2008 @ 1:17 PM Reply # 3|
Sun 6th Apr 2008
Threads: 1 Posts: 1
I can relate...
Hello. I too was recently diagnosed, so while I have no real bits of advice I can tell you that while I was reading your story it hit home. Your reaction and situation is fairly similar to my own, and I too have a hard time figuring out what to do next. It is a tricky and difficult situation to suddenly realize your in. I just wanted to remind you that you are not alone in this new self discovery for there are people lost in there own right along with you.
Good luck and take care. I hope you find your way soon.
|25 May 2008 @ 10:54 PM Reply # 4|
Sun 25th May 2008
It takes time ......
Jacob, Make an appointment with a psychiatric provider, preferably a Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner, who has experience with the diagnosis and treatment of ADHD/ADD. Everyone has a little bit of ADD, anxiety, depression, obcesssive thoughts, paranoia ("I was treated different...."). You only need treatment for the things that interfere with your function and happiness. Don't think too much about the lable of ADD, anxiety, etc., because they all vary from one person to the next. Nurse practitioners usually take more time to listen to your or talk to you than physicians. Most people with a diagnosis of ADHD/ADD need therapy and medication. If ritalin didn't work for you there are other medications .... and they have to be at the right level for you. A good book to read is "You Mean I'm Not Lazy, Stupid or Crazy ?!" by Kate Kelly and Peggy Ramundo. They both have ADD and work to help others who do also.
|2 Jun 2008 @ 10:09 AM Reply # 5|
Sat 31st May 2008
Threads: 11 Posts: 38
Sounds all too familiar
I can totally relate to what you're saying (well, except the gorgeous girls part, as I am a girl and don't have quite the same luck w/guys, but that's a different story...). I'm 25 and only now realizing that I even have it and I should be getting the official diagnosis this week (I was also diagnosed as a kid three times, but that's yet another story, which I already went on about in another post...). So while I don't have any specific advice either (other than if your therapist doesn't seem right, RUN!!!), I did want to add my sympathy.
|18 Sep 2008 @ 1:03 AM Reply # 6|
Sun 14th Sep 2008
Threads: 1 Posts: 5
|7 Oct 2008 @ 3:55 AM Reply # 7|
Sun 5th Oct 2008
Threads: 1 Posts: 12
hang in there!
We are 4 ADD/ADHD'er under one roof here... Your okay, just know we are many whom have had similar experiences.. Just do your best and take one day at a time.. Most important go easy on yourself, we are our own worst critics.. This adhd sucks and my family and I feel like weeds, mow us over, chew us up but we will be back for another round lol..
|8 Oct 2008 @ 7:22 PM Reply # 8|
Thu 17th Apr 2008
Threads: 0 Posts: 30
also newly diagnosed
Jacob, you're on the right track. One of the books I found actually has helped me get over some of the procrastination. The biggest issue we face when it comes to procrastination is the fact we're overwhelmed. If there is some way for you to look at what needs to be done, in smaller increments (ie, instead of focusing on cleaning a whole room - choose one corner and work there. Once you finish with that task - reward yourself because you've gotten that far. The reward will help positively reinforce the accomplishment. If its an office (try the desktop first... then the next time, a drawer...
This is a tip from a great book, ADD Friendly Ways to Organize Your Life by Judith Kolberg M.D. and Kathleen Nadeau Ph.D. Another book I bought as a companion to that one was "ADD in the Workplace, Choices, Changes and Challenges" also by Kathleen Nadeau. Both books are layed out in such a manner you can find what you want to read (and trust me - they don't expect you to read everything in the order it appears in the book) and be able to work with the book easily. Of all the books I've read so far (I've got 8 so far) these two are the most ADHD friendly.
As for sports, physical activity is a positive thing and something we should all be doing - and not just because "its healthy". We need stimulation and physical activity gives us that stimulation. Your moods will be affected accordingly (the area of the brain that gets the stimulation is part of what keeps us happy). Just make sure its something you like and something you're comfortable with. Walk, run, play sports, whatever gets you going.
|16 Oct 2008 @ 5:33 AM Reply # 9|
Sat 3rd May 2008
Threads: 2 Posts: 15
I started on Adderall and the improvement was immediate. Although I was satisfied with it I wanted to see if Ritalin would be different/better. I just wanted to compare. I absolutely hated Ritalin; didn't even make it a month. I was back at the pdoc's by week 3 to switch back to Adderall.
Trying a different stimulant med may be useful.
|13 Oct 2009 @ 12:59 PM Reply # 10|
Tue 13th Oct 2009
Threads: 0 Posts: 1
Could it be Asperger's Syndrome?
I see this is an old thread, but I just read it for the first time. Jacob's story reminds me of a book that I just read called "Look Me in the Eye" by John Elder Robison. Asperger's Syndrome is just starting to be recognized and is frequently diagnosed in people who were previously diagnosed with inattentive type ADD. Asperger's Syndrome - AS - mimics ADD in many respects, and it can be difficult to distinguish from ADD, but people with AS usually have special talents or interests that set them apart. Extreme difficulties in the areas of social skills and relationships are also common and are probably the best indicator of AS. People affected by AS can have trouble making friends and are frequently bullied and/or excluded from cliques at school because of their trouble understanding the social milieu. Without support, they can become depressed and withdrawn. Interestingly, the same drugs that are prescribed for ADD are also prescribed for AS. Adderall helps with procrastination and inattention, and anxiolytics and antidepressants are prescribed if needed. The other part of treatment involves learning social skills that come naturally to those without AS. Executive functioning skills may also be lacking and need to be learned.
The best book I've found on Asperger's Syndrome is by Tony Attwood and is called "The Complete Guide to Asperger's Syndrome." Also worth reading are "Pretending to be Normal" by Liane Holliday-Willey, "Asperger's from the Inside Out" by Michael John Carley, and of course, "Look Me in the Eye" by John Elder Robison. There are many, many books out there on Asperger's Syndrome. Check your public library's database or Amazon.com.
People with AS are affectionately referred to as "Aspies," and many are proud of the moniker. When you understand AS, you'll know why. Aspies usually have very special talents (Albert Einstein and Isaac Newton are believed to have been Aspies), but without an early diagnosis and appropriate interventions, they suffer a lot of emotional pain growing up and trying to fit into the "neurotypical" world. They have an awareness of their differences, but without a diagnosis, they have no explanation for them. Their difficulties in relationships can lead to anxiety and depression and can keep them from realizing their potential.
Jacob was fortunate to be able to achieve career success. Now he has to work on his happiness. Self-understanding and a stable relationship with a partner who understands him may be the key to that happiness. As Asperger's Syndrome comes into the light and those affected are recognized and treated, all of society will benefit from the special gifts that Aspies have to share.
If ADD has been diagnosed but doesn't seem to fully explain it all, consider the possibility of Asperger's Syndrome. Don't dismiss it without a thorough investigation. Denial is counterproductive, and knowledge and understanding lead to progress and ultimately to happiness.
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