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|Thread : 49 Years Old and Struggling|
|13 Oct 2008 @ 12:34 PM|
Wed 9th Jul 2008
Threads: 1 Posts: 0
49 Years Old and Struggling
About 4 months ago doing research, again, into my symptoms, I stumbled onto possibly Adult ADD. I seem to fit many of the symptoms. I went to my family Doctor and he prescribed Concerta 18mg. That was about 1 week before I was moving half way across the country to start a new job. Anyway, I didn't think the Concerta was really helping much. I immediately found a family Doctor in my new location and talked to him about it all. Immediately before that appointment I tried doubling my dosage of Concerta. That was a mistake. I felt really out of sorts. I went home for the day, because I didn't want my new boss to see me like that. I told my new Doctor about that and he said he would have doubled my dosage, but now knew that wouldn't work. He like Adderall anyway and prescribed that. Started me on 10 mg of Adderall XR. Shortly after that went up to 20 mg. Last Sat I took a 20 and a 10. I started noticing a difference. Sunday I took 40mg and did notice a difference. I would say that my mind felt a little clearer. I guess my real question is since the drugs don't really seem to be doing too much, I'm wondering if I really have ADD at all. I have taken many online tests and they always come back yes I do. I am not hyper. This might be due to my age. I don't really remember my childhood, but my mom says that it was difficult for me to stay still for very long. That could just be normal for a child, I think. I don't think I'm impulsive, but I sometimes wonder if I've curbed this through the years at the risk of being embarressed or looking stupid. My self esteem is lower than the average person. I think I'm more the inattentive type. I wanted to talk about some of my symptoms and tell me what you think. --The thing that frustrates me a lot is not being able to listen to anybody. I continually zone out. I even consciously think to myself at the time "don't zone out, listen", but it happens anyway. I really hate talking to people because of that. I know my wife hates having conversations with me, because I'll change the subject even when she is talking. At first, I denied that I did that, but I think I do. I think that she is not talking when I start talking, but she probably is. My wife thinks that I act and talk rude to people sometimes, but I don't think I'm being rude. --I have difficulty in reading. I think emails are the worst. If it's more than one sentence long, I'll not remember huge parts of it. There has been instances where I have read it and then later talk to that person about the email they sent and mention something in it, and I'll swear they did not say that in the email. Later, I'll go look at the email and it was there, but I certainly don't remember it at all. Granted, it was probably an email that I was not interested in reading. About reading though, I completely surprised myself about a year ago when I read all the Harry Potter books. I really liked them, but before that I had probably read a total of 2 books since I was in High School. --I am terribly disorganized. To be honest, I don't see how people do it. I will have to admit that in my life, I have tried to make my life as simple as possible with little possessions and responsibilities. If not, I'll get frustrated and very irritable. The littlest things just seem to really piss me off. I know they shouldn't, but they do. --Another thing that drives me crazy. I seem to always, always, always have a song going around in my head. I'll be reading something, humming a tune and tapping my foot. It probably distracts my reading. It makes me wonder why I'm not "thinking" about something instead of just humming a tune. I get frustrated when trying to do something that takes a lot of mental power. I know it will be difficult. Having a conversation takes a lot of mental focus that I really have to work hard on. Sometimes I wonder how I ever got through college. --I seem to really miss the obvious sometimes. I can't think of a specific example right now, but there has been times when I'll find out something later about a situation and wonder to myself "how did I miss that?" --I am a huge procrastinator and I know people probably think I'm lazy, but sometimes the motivation for something just isn't there. I always like the line in Office Space where they guy says that he did nothing and it was everything he always dreamed it would be. Sometimes I think nothing would be great because there would be no frustrations and nothing to fail at. --Here's a burning question that I really need answered. In reading ADD symptoms, it says that people with ADD have quick minds and think fast on their feet. I don't think that is me at all. If anything, I think I'm slow in assimilating information into my brain. It seems to take a little time to put it all together. That makes listening to people a real chore. Also, I can't multitask. I only ever want just one thing to do at a time. Anything else would frustrate me. So lately I've been thinking that I have ADD and/or a Learning Disability. As for school work grades, if this means anything, I was always at the top of my class in math and science. It seemed easy for me to follow the steps needed to do math problems. But, I always did poor in English, Literature, History and the like. I remember one time in Grade School being in a remedial reading class. I don't remember much at all about Grade School, but I know I smarter than the other kids in that class. I often wondered why I was put in there. I guess the question I had is do I have ADD if my mind isn't quick and I can't multitask?
I look very much forward to hearing from anybody that might have similar symptoms to me and how have you dealt with it. Also, I tried the PDA thing for a while, but that just isn't good for making quick notes that need to be written down almost immediately or they will be gone forever. Maybe not forever, but if and when I do remember them, it will be too late. Or I'll remember it at a time when I'm driving and can't write it down, then it's gone. I'm using a little 3X5 daily planner with some success. I've thought about getting a pen that has a voice recorder in it, so I when I have to talk to my boss or someone important, I can discreetly record it and listen to it later to get the details that I didn't remember. I try to take notes in instances like that, but that doesn't always happen.
OK, I'm done now. I've got to stop rereading this and making changes or I'll never get it sent!
|14 Oct 2008 @ 12:57 PM Reply # 1|
Wed 10th Sep 2008
Threads: 3 Posts: 19
" In reading ADD symptoms, it says that people with ADD have quick minds and think fast on their feet. I don't think that is me at all. If anything, I think I'm slow in assimilating information into my brain. It seems to take a little time to put it all together. That makes listening to people a real chore. "
hmm. I think the problem is that people with ADD think quickly, but react slowly. There is a section in "You Mean I'm Not Lazy, Stupid or Crazy?!" by Kate Kelly and Peggy Ramundo that addresses this:
"Our discussion of the fast-thinking brain may seem puzzling. You may be thinking, 'That's crazy! My brain moves with the speed of a glacier and it makes me feel pretty stupid.' This is another of the ADD paradoxes. Your brain moves both very slowly and very rapidly, depending on the task.
". . . When he [the ADDer as the book calls us] has to fit into someone else's agenda either with words or actions, he finds it more difficult to function well. In other words, it's easier to act than react. Reacting depends on the problematic input and output functions of an ADD brain. . . . A person with the gift of gab who ignores you when you ask direct questions might not be rude or uninterested. He might simply have trouble retrieving things from memory in a demand situation."
I had highlighted that section because it fit me so well. You're not alone! I recommend geting a formal diagnosis. The relief that comes with knowing what the problem is helps so much.
|14 Oct 2008 @ 2:02 PM Reply # 2|
Thu 25th Oct 2007
Threads: 18 Posts: 416
First of all, no two cases of ADHD are ever alike - symptoms may range from severe disorganization to Type-A OCD, or quantitative genius to real math learning disabilities. The only one who can hand down a real ADHD diagnosis is a specialist who knows and understands ADHD symptoms in adults.
I would highly recommend finding an ADHD doctor in your area and getting a diagnosis. It could be that you have a related condition like anxiety that may be complicating your ADHD and making normal ADHD medication less effective.
I hope this helps!
|17 Oct 2008 @ 11:34 PM Reply # 3|
Thu 17th Apr 2008
Threads: 0 Posts: 30
50 and no longer struggling.
I've suspected for a few years that I had either ADD or ADHD. This year I had it confirmed with an assessment, and I'm now on concerta and the clarity that's come with the meds, really is startling.
I have to admit, I've had a lot of the symptoms you have had, though fidgiting wasn't one of them, nor was the lack of interest in reading.
I was also a risk taker, ending up in the hospital once from one of my escapades and nearly drowning another time (all before I was 10 yrs old.)
My mind raced, and I was and still am a restless sleeper (my memory foam topper moves about 3" every night... and I move it back every morning). As a teen in high school, I joked that my mind raced so fast it caught up with itself and passed... It wasn't unusual for written assignments to be missing parts of sentences or even paragraphs as I tried to keep up with my mind.
As for reading, I was fine readling by myself, but trying to read out loud, and I sounded and felt, dyslexic. I stumbled over words. It was painful for someone who loved to read. I've read a 1200 pg novel in one evening, and once considered speed reading, but they only guaranteed a speed of 250 wpm - I was already reading at 300 wpm at the time.
I also normally watched TV and read or did homework at the same time. My mind was constantly going and needed stimulation. I know that now, but didn't realize it then. Though I really did understand my brain was just "wired differently" than most people.
I had a low frustration point, low tolerance for the frustration, and a temper that sorta resembled krakatoa... As I grew older, some of these traits disappeared. Others emerged. And now others have reemerged, the temper most notably. It was that that made me seek assessment.
This added to the fact I have a cousin (and her son) who've been diagnosed with ADD, and a nephew with ADHD, I figured it was a good bet that I was one or the other. I also suspect the rest of my family is as well, knowing it can be a genetic as well as environmentally caused.
Remember one thing, no two people with ADD or ADHD will be exactly the same. There are a lot of symptoms, a lot of co-morbities and other disabilities that can go along with it, mimic it or even mask it. Just because you don't have two of the many symptoms, doesn't mean you're haven't got ADD or ADHD. And the reverse is also true, just because you do have a few symptoms doesn't mean you do have ADD or ADHD. A specialist in the field is the best person to assess that, and make sure that something else isn't being missed.
One thing that has been cautioned in most of the reading material on the subject, our own society pushes people to limits so they may display those "symptoms" but by and large, most people don't have ADD or ADHD. The expection is just there to be a multitasker, do things quickly, think quickly and be constantly on the go.
|20 Oct 2008 @ 5:58 PM Reply # 4|
Mon 20th Oct 2008
I feel your pain :)
OP-your symptoms sound a lot like mine. And like you, I've been suspecting ADD for a while now b/c I knew something was wrong. I was just recently diagnosed and am still getting used to the meds. I'm not quite sure if they're working or not, have the right dose yet, am on the right meds, etc. I'm also wondering if I really have ADD or not. I have all the symptoms, but it would be more comforting if docs could base their diagnosis on something more certain--like a blood test. So there's always that uncertainty.
Anyway, about the "quick mind" thing...I was surprised to read that. That's part of my problem. Because of my "racing mind"--sometimes described as channels constantly changing--I have a hard time tuning in and focusing which prevents me from thinking quickly. I feel confused a lot and then I finally figure it out. I have to work hard to "catch up." Could you have misinterpreted the "racing mind" problem? Good luck. :)
|6 Nov 2008 @ 9:22 PM Reply # 5|
Fri 31st Oct 2008
Threads: 0 Posts: 15
When the Drugs Work, I Might not Notice...
I can relate with the procrastinating, needing to write things down, and speaking out of turn. That's very much me as well!
In addition to possibly having an additional or even in the case of a different diagnosis altogether, I would keep track of what "working" means in terms of medication.
I've only tried Ritalin, and while it sometimes seemed to help me focus, the question was whether or not it helped on a day-to-day basis and/or helped in my encounters with others. In other words, at times I may not have noticed it working, but my girlfriend would.
In the same way that I may not realize I'm talking too much or that I'm interrupting conversations, the opposite may be true when on medication. That I may be "better," but perhaps I just don't feel or realize that I am without the feedback of others. Maybe ask your wife how you are on different medications in addition to relying on how you "feel."
|7 Nov 2008 @ 8:56 AM Reply # 6|
Thu 17th Apr 2008
Threads: 0 Posts: 30
Ritalin, when it works
Out of curiosity, are you getting enough sleep? I was recently told by a doctor (nutrition - to help me lose weight) that the first thing we needed to do was ensure I was getting enough sleep, because Concerta (extetended release ritalin) DOESN"T work if you're not getting enough sleep.
I like his approach to weight loss, because it isn't just cut back here, don't eat this - it's looking at me as an individual, and actually looking at factors in my life that contribute to the issue, deal with them first, then worry about the weight loss. which may happen just as a result of dealing with the other factors.
|13 Nov 2008 @ 10:07 PM Reply # 7|
Thu 13th Nov 2008
Threads: 0 Posts: 2
Here is my answer
Dear 49 and struggling,
I am 40 and struggling too. You absolutely have ADD. As one person replied, no two cases are the same. This is simply because there are so many different symptoms and because ADD presents itself in so many different ways. If you have a hard time listening, change subjects, leave things unfinished, and so forth, you have ADD.
As for finishing the Harry Potter books, that is because people with ADD ironically have the ability to "hyperfocus". This is a double-edged sword, because you can plow through something that may or may not be worth doing. If what you are doing is a priority, you can amaze yourself. So you need to train yourself to hyperfocus on the right things.
I wish I could give you more advice, but I strongly advise sticking to the basics:
1. Get plenty of sleep. ADD is really bad when you're tired or sleepy. 2. Related to sleep, avoid too much TV or internet. 3. I drink one medium cup of coffee per day. No more, no less. 4. Drink plenty of water. 5. Avoid sugar as much as possible. 6. Avoid heavy meals and alcohol. 7. Exercise daily. 8. Make out a relatively short to do list every moring for the day, like 5 or 10 items or less. 9. Control your allergies. I have a hypo-allergenic pillow case, do a sinus irrigation every morning and night, do one puff of Nasonex each morning and night, and take Loratadine in the morning. They say there is a strong correlation between allergies and ADD. 10. Stay organized and try to keep a daily or weekly routine.
I tried Adderal and Adderal XR. The first had too short of an effective window, and the second too long. XR seemed to help and gave me a calming effect, but I had a hard time falling to sleep at night. And if I combined it with too much coffee, it made my ADD much worse.
Best of luck and please make your ADD a priority. It is great that the Richard Bransons of the world have done so well, but I strongly feel that for the rest of us, ADD can be a real son-of-a-gun.
|4 Mar 2009 @ 5:00 AM Reply # 8|
Wed 4th Mar 2009
Threads: 0 Posts: 3
49 Years Old and Struggling
Hi, I realise it's been a few months now since you posted your message and you're probably a lot more wiser now but I would also like to assure you that each individual afflicted with ADHD is different and the more you read about other's experiences, the more you will realise this.
I used to work with kids diagnosed with ADHD and had read a great deal about the disorder well before I was diagnosed myself. I thought I was quite knowledgeable about it when I chose to foster a very challenging young adolescent with the "stereotypical" severe ADHD and ODD (Oppositional Defiiant Disorder) but since being diagnosed myself not long after he came into my life, followed by joining a number of support groups and reading about what other adults experience, I realise now that I knew only the very basics of ADHD and have discovered it to be an incredibly complex disorder.
After being pretty much obsessed with learning as much as I can about it for the past 6 years, I still find that I learn something new often and it's usually from another person with ADD/ADHD.
I am like you. I do multi-task but ONLY because I tend to forget what I'm doing or get bored with what I originally started on and go from task to task but I can't DO more than one thing at a time because when my attention is divided, I can't concentrate on doing anything properly.
If I'm on the phone, I can't have the tv or music on or other people around me, as I listen (unwillingly) to the tv or music, even if they're on in another room. I also watch what other people are doing and find I can't follow the conversation on the phone, let alone have any chance of remembering it later. When I am doing a task and focussed on it, I can't stand distractions at all and get very irritated by them.
I believe you managed to get through the Harry Potter books purely because you found them interesting enough to be able to concentrate on them. With ADD/ADHD, one of the most difficult things I have found is to develop an interest in something. If I'm really interested in something, I can do it for hours on end because it's easy to focus and concentrate then. In fact, that's what is described as "Hyperfocussing". We often focus too much and for too long on things that stimulate us and because we have such difficulty in finding those 'interesting' things to hold our attention, it's also a helluva lot harder to let it go when you should be doing other important but more more boring things.
Procrastination and finding motivation to do things that aren't as interesting or, even worse, I don't really like doing or want to do, is a huge problem that I've had to live with all my life. It's also become much worse over the past years since living on my own. I can fly around and do things fairly easily if I know someone is visiting or if I have people in the house but when I'm on my own, I continually put things off and I'm not just alking days or months here but sometimes years.
If I have something that MUST be done that I don't really like doing, I frequently amaze myself at how many other things I've put off before but manage to actually get done whilst in the process of avoiding doing what I HAVE to...lol... I either generally start doing when it's at the very last second or start when I should already be finished. It is an increditbly frustrating way to be and I HATE it with a passion!!!!!
I can relate to the song in your head. I frequently have a song or a tune as well and sometimes, if it's persistent, I'll even wake up with it going in the background. It's really wierd. I love silence but even when I manage to obtain it in the middle of the night, I'll imagine I can hear a song a few houses down, where I can only guess at the words or beat. It know it doesn't exist but my mind just does not like to SHUT UP! Sometimes, I've found I have a multitude of conversations going on inside my own head, as well as that damn song!!! (NO---I don't hear voices...I know it's my own thoughts...lol...).
I, like you, would think with all that's going on inside my head, I would be a quick thinker but I'm not usually. I often have to think about what I want or need to say, as I have trouble finding the words. They're in my head but getting them to my mouth is a different thing entirely. I have found that taking the stimulant medication helps with co-ordinating that problem and I don't have to search for the words I need, which can be a problem as I tend to look upwards when I'm trying to find the word instead of looking at people then and by the time I found it, they've gotten bored with waiting for my answer and moved on. I've also heard that it's a sign of lying and it worries me that people will think I'm trying to make things up. Very frustrating.
I also talk too much and am one of those that need to go into great detail, so it makes sense to me but other's get annoyed by this and want me to "get to the point". When they interrupt me, it makes me forget my point...lol..
I have lived by lists and reminders since my 20's (46 now) and always try to put reminders in my mobile. I have alarms going all the time to remind me of tasks needing done. The only problem is that I often ignore them and THINK I know what it is, when a number of times, I've missed something important because I DIDN'T know why the arlarm was going off and forgotten about it...DUH! Learning from past mistakes is few and far between...rarely happens with me.
Howvever I have learned even though I'm positive I WILL remember something and couldn't possibly forget, the risk is too great that i will and so make myself write things down as soon as I think of it. OUT OF SIGHT, OUT OF MIND is what happens with me and all too common.
As for being physically hyperactive, i'm more the 'hypoactive' type, except for what I've discovered as being called "rump hyperactivity". I fidget constantly, shake my legs, twitch my feet and toes, flex my leg muscles, move my tongue constantly, clench my jaw, squeeze my fingers together and when I was in high school, cracked all my knuckles right through every class, so now my joints are just mush and I have very bad arthritis in my hands. I WISHED I had the hyperactivity where I was on the move all the time, still do!!! At least I'd get more done, I'm sure.
Hyperactivity doesn't just mean physical movement, it also incorporates a hyperactive (racing) mind and many people don't take that into consideration when talking about "Hyperactivity" and are diagnosed with or class themselves as only ADD and not ADHD. There is no distinction between the 2.
I think people tend to dissociate themselves away from the label of ADHD because of common public perception about kids with ADHD, especially more like the stereotypical boys who can be aggressive and jump off the roof of houses, the more severely affected kids, which are generally the one's that the media focus on in their news reports.
I'm the opposite to you. I was always very good with English and History. I loved to read and could lose myself in a book. Maths, I couldn't understand and still can't. My father was brilliant with math and so is my brother. My mother was very good at it as well, so to be 'stupid' when it came to math was quite disheartening and I even did very poorly in "special maths class". I was lucky with my family as they never put me down about it. I was also hopeless in understanding science, geography or anything like that and honestly thought I was 'dumb' until I went to Uni to study Youth Work and Disability & Developmental Support. No math, except for research projects, which I partnered up with on that and my partner did the graph work, while I did all the writing.
I discovered I was actually very intelligent and obtained more 'high distinctions' for all my subjects than anyone else in both day and evening classes. What a boost to the self esteem it was. Now I know I'm not 'dumb' but just have weaknesses in a lot of areas but am very good at others. It makes a difference in how I see myself now and how I think others perceive me.
As for the medication, from what i've read, it takes a lot of fiddling with the dosages for it to work properly but by the sound of it, if you felt that it was starting to help, then it is working and would be even more helpful once you get the right dosage.
I live in Australia and unfortunately, adults only have the options of "Dexamphetamine" or "Ritalin", the short acting versions. Children upto 18 are now frequently prescribed the long acting dosages of Ritalin or Concerta but once they hit adulthood, it's no longer available to them. People in the U.S. and a few other countries are so lucky to have so many options available and Doctors are more aware of and BELIEVE in the fact that adults can and do suffer with ADD/ADHD.
Good luck with your journey in the discovery of how to manage your own individual ADD/ADHD
Local Time : 23 May 2013 9:37 AM
(Thu, 23 May 2013 13:37:47 GMT)