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|Thread : 41 and Dealing With it All|
|26 May 2009 @ 11:01 PM|
Tue 26th May 2009
Threads: 1 Posts: 2
41 and Dealing With it All
I remember 12 years ago rummaging through my wife's nightstand for fingernail clippers and finding some book about living with a spouse with ADD. I was furious that she would take what she didn't like about me and try to wrap it into some clinical diagnosis (my perception, not her words). In addition, a famous radio doctor was saying at the time that ADD was a made up disease to excuse bad parenting. So the topic was not brought up again for 12 years.
A few months ago I accepted the diagnosis and the meds. But besides dealing with the shame and embarrassment I feel (ADD is a regular, accepted joke throughout my company, and I've told no one.), I also feel like the symptoms are more pronounced now that I am treating my ADD.
I feel trapped in this ADD world that both explains and limits everything I am. Today was completely unproductive at work. I spent the day obsessed with thoughts like "Is my Adderall working?" "I'm I shaking my leg too much?" "Am I tapping the desk too loud?" "Do I need to see the doctor for an adjustment?" "Come on, you can concentrate. You did it before you knew you had ADD."
When my prescription ran out last month I went a week without refilling it. I couldn't function. I lived 41 years without Adderall, and now I can't go a week without it!
I feel like I've ruined my life by accepting this diagnosis.
|27 May 2009 @ 12:17 AM Reply # 1|
Sun 18th May 2008
Threads: 0 Posts: 9
dealing with it all..
I know exactly how you feel, especially right now, I found out that I had adhd about 4 years ago, after researching what in the heck was wrong with my son..why was he this motor that would never stop, never concentrate, never pay attention, etc...at first after realizing that all those years of low self esteem, needing that extra help but too embarrassed to ask agian, and again, until something would stick..always putting my foot in my mouth when I did say something, never being able to get he right words out, like a puzzle in my head that needs careful sorting..I;m still that way, it was a huge relief to me,."I am not stupid"!! there is a reason, an explanation, I loved it!
But right now I'm kind of pissed about it, I hate that it takes me longer to do anything, I multitask like nobodys business, but then forget to actually finish what I started.. I trained myself how to get things done back when I was undx'd, I kinda of felt a special feeling after completing a task, that took me sooo long, but I finished it.. the little things I appreciated, that nobody else could understand, "why do you get so excited about it"...well those mundane hings to them were triumphs for me, and it felt kinda nice... now, with meds, which somedays I'm glad I have them, other days, I too ask, is it working, my thoughts still race like crazy alot of the time, but not all the time, very intermittent outcomes, and it doesn't help having a chaotic house in which I live with my husband and 2 kids, it;s pretty hectic, he def has some bi-polar stuff going on, one day, he's supportive, the next day, he's like, stop saying you have something, get over it! he's a real ass! the more I read and learn about "me" in this DX, the more saddened I am, the older I get, I'm 39, the harder it is to deal wuth and maybe becasue my thinking is, I will never accomplish the things my kids need and deserve and the things I need in my liife, because of this stupid ADD thing. my optimism is fading, and I'm feelg depressed lately.. and it's getting harder to hide. So I know what your saying, sorry not much help, just wanted you to know, you are def not alone.
|27 May 2009 @ 11:51 AM Reply # 2|
Mon 12th Jan 2009
Threads: 2 Posts: 258
It is a shame that there is a stigma associated with ADHD.
You came to the right place to do some ADHD research. I suggest you start with this article about Adult ADHD Diagnosis. I think you will discover that an ADHD diagnosis isn't the end of your world.
Good luck, Dena
|28 May 2009 @ 10:55 AM Reply # 3|
Mon 27th Oct 2008
Threads: 1 Posts: 39
I can identify
It sounds like a light has been turned on and you're not accustomed to working in the light.
I can identify with your experience. While I knew I had ADHD for some time, it wasn't properly treated until I was 44 when my wife told me she just couldn't handle some of my behaviors. I got a coach, re-evaluated my medication, and am dealing with managing my behaviors. My treatment is helping a great deal.
However, being on the right treatment has meant an increased (and faster) recognition of my embarrassing behaviors and track record . It has really thrown a wrench in my confidence to evaluate and interpret people and situations as well as my own behaviors.
It has also revealed a problem with anxiety that I now have to deal with. At the same time, I've lost some of the hyper-focus abilities for which I learned to rely. I've also lost some the high-energy spikes and I've found it's not as easy to let go of my failures or shortcomings.
Accepting AD/HD and treatment has forced me to re-examine what I can expect from myself - not only because I recognize my behaviors, but because with proper medications and understanding, I am working under a completely new frame of reference. Not exactly ideal at 44, but I can't change that.
I have learned that support is critical. My wife is supportive, but she doesn't want to take on my ADHD, so I now see a coach twice/month. Having the right medication has also been critical. Without the proper medications, many behavior modifications would be impossible for me.
Finally, I've decided to give myself some time to work this out. I've been frustrated for twenty-plus years as I wrestled with ADHD without proper treatment. I am going to give myself some time to figure this out and learn to manage it. I have to believe that understanding and accepting it (in order to manage it) is better than ignoring or denying it - even if there is a level of embarrassment or frustration that comes with it.
Give yourself some time and don't limit your help to medications. If you can handle ADHD without even acknowledging it, who knows what's possible as you develop tools and awareness to manage it.
|28 May 2009 @ 12:35 PM Reply # 4|
Thu 23rd Oct 2008
Threads: 1 Posts: 10
can also relate...
Hi - I think I'm going through a lot of this right now, too. I'm 35 and feel like I'm going on 95.. I was only "diagnosed" last summer and the meds have been working for the mostpart. But lately I've been worried that I will never get better. I know "better" is kind of subjective. I also have a long history of depression, so I'm being medicated for that right now, too. I'm so angry and frustrated that I have to take pills just to be "normal." I do therapy, too but I don't know if it's helping. It seems like I take a few steps forward only to trip up and slide back down into the pit where I've always been.
Part of the problem is, my partner is also ADD and has lived with it for years. In the past, I've said that things have worked out great for us - and most of the time they do. I love him more than anything, but I can never seem to live up to his expectations. I hate cooking, but I try to cook every so often - but it's not enough. I do about 99% of the cleaning including laundry and he couldn't care less. He can't budget money to save his life, but I am being "stingy" whenever the issue of money comes up. I NEVER find fault with him, but he always seems to find something wrong with me.
I'm so tired of feeling dysfunctional. I've been going through life constantanty second-guessing myself and I just can't seem to develop any sense of self-esteem. I don't want this disorder. I think I was better off when I was just depressed. At least that comes and goes but I'm afraid it's too late to put the pieces of myself back together.
The worst part is, he's the only person I can talk to about this and he's not talking to me. I think he's fed up. I seemed to have backed myself into a corner.
Anyway, sorry to monopolize the conversation. I know this isn't much help.. I guess just hang in there. You'll have some bad days but probably more good days. We've all just hit a rough patch, I suppose. :)
|28 May 2009 @ 2:03 PM Reply # 5|
Wed 1st Apr 2009
ADD and the grief process
If the meds you're on aren't working, they may be wrong for you. People have different biochemistries and react differently to medications. I'll strongly suggest working with your psychiatrist (or a different one if needed) to find meds that help you. One source of info is "Healing ADD" by Dr. Amen, though there's a lot of controversy about his clinical approach, so actually going to his clinics may not be your best choice. If your reaction is emotional, if the issue is you judging yourself, seeing a counselor can help.
I understand where you're coming from. I'm 47 and was only diagnosed with ADD a few months ago, after spending 20+ years in counseling. Counseling helped a lot with my abuse and neglect issues but can't fix an ADD brain, and nobody thought about ADD!!! Until my wife, who's a teacher and sees all kinds of behavior problems in her students, suggested it. I've thanked her repeatedly. My whole life I've shown up late for school and work, lost jobs, flipped out and snapped at people (didn't mean to), been disorganized, and on and on. Looks like I've got some Aspergers' too. Aaaarrrgh!
So, I've recently been through the grief process. Expect to go through the shock, denial, anger, bargaining, and acceptance stages. For me, medication really helped. Seeing a counselor helped. Knowing this was the grief process (again!) helped. ADD and Aspergers' support groups helped -- I can talk openly there, and found friends and support. Reading "Healing ADD" by Dr. Amen helped; I'm working on "ADD-Friendly Ways to Organize Your Life". Or, at least it's on my shelf and I'm threatening to read it. ;-P I've also gotten a lot from the books-on-CD versions ($30-ish) of "Getting Unstuck" by Pema Chodron and "Non-Violent Communication" by Marshall B. Rosenberg, especially the parts about understanding and taking responsibility for my emotions, and how my needs drive my emotions.
On people joking at work: it's helped me to understand why they do that, and that it's not about me. It means they're having uncomfortable feelings and trying not to have them, trying to feel better.
Humans instinctively feel fear and anxiety about anyone who is different from them, anyone they don't understand, situations they can't control (when your car is in a skid, when someone you love is ill, ...). When they feel scared, this often turns to anger. One way this fear and anger can come out is in jokes. It's a way to help them feel better in a scary situation, or express (or act out) their anger, to feel like they have some control and can feel safer. And they don't understand ADD, and it's an invisible disease. The same thing shows up in Polish jokes, lawyer jokes, racism, homophobia, etc. So, it's not really about you and me having ADD. It means they're humans with some uncomfortable feelings that they're not managing very well. If they really knew us, if they knew more about what it's like to have ADD, you'd see more empathy. And of course some people would feel scared, angry because they're scared, be in denial, etc.. It helps me to know that these are THEIR issues, and not about me.
Best regards, Scott
|28 May 2009 @ 6:24 PM Reply # 6|
Thu 28th May 2009
Threads: 0 Posts: 3
Complete Agreement- Wrong Medication/Dose
Although I still fit the standard female with ADHD tendencies, I was highly successful and teased about being "brilliant but oblivious". I was finally diagnosed after a sudden drop in estrogen put me back to where I'd been in childhood- people would speak to me, but I couldn't seem to retain one word they'd just spoken- and it was starting to impact my daily life. The inability to concentrate long enough to tell what color the traffic light was when I was driving through the intersection was starting to become a bit of a concern as well!
I lucked out- I was diagnosed and put on Strattera and it was the right medication, right dose first time out. I've had incredible success with it, but I do know I tried 1/2 the dose I am on now for a bit and it was a terrible failure. I also knew what my son had gone through on all the different medications he tried until he found Vivance. The other medications would address a couple of his symptoms, but all the important ones that were impacting his life at school. It doesn't help if you are in a situation, either work or school that is not , what I like to call "ADHD Friendly". That second "D" in ADHD can be for disorder or dynamic- many times due to your environment, not medications. If you are surrounded by unsupportive people or are expected to perform tasks using processes that your symptoms leave you open to failure- you are going to fail!
I've worked very hard to ensure that I work in supportive, productive environments and that my family remains supportive and accepting.
I would recommend seeing your doctor again and trying out some of the other medications available. It's very surprising how similar the medications are and yet how different the effectiveness can be.
|28 May 2009 @ 8:03 PM Reply # 7|
Tue 26th May 2009
Threads: 1 Posts: 2
Some more thoughts
The fact is I'm angry.
In high school I was a horrible student. My mom had to force me to study. My grades were nominal. My impulsive behavior landed me in the principal's office more times than I can count. But I graduated from college with honors, and I'm almost done with a master's degree. Career-wise, I have been successful. I'm not rich, but I excel at what I do. My impulsive, creative personality is the reason I'm the first person coworkers come to when they need a creative out-of-the-box idea. I work best "unscripted."
But I look at all the crap that has occurred in my life because of impulsiveness. Good jobs I quit out of boredom. People I've offended (and still bear the brunt of it) because I spoke impulsively. Things I committed to, and then found I couldn't follow through on.
So for all these years that I've carried guilt for not being a better person. Now, suddenly, I'm suppose to accept it's because of some sort of condition? That my brain is wired this way? That a little pill is going to make me all "better?"
Maybe I don't WANT to be better! I'm seeing control over my impulses. I can concentrate better. But I'm noticing that the creative spark isn't so bright.
So what am I suppose to do? Just accept that in order to control the worst parts of me, I have to sacrifice the best? I am stuck between the options of being an creative, talented, impulsive scatter-brain or being a nominal, controlled, bore.
I'm sorry for the whining. I know in the end I'm going to have to get over my pity party and deal with the issue head on. But this is the only place I can go and vent. I just need to SCREAM this some place.
|1 Jun 2009 @ 12:24 PM Reply # 8|
Thu 23rd Oct 2008
Threads: 1 Posts: 10
Anger is good
I'm with you.. until now, I've had a fair bit of denial. I thought that if the drugs were helping, then I was getting better. However I cut back on the concerta and had a terrible backslide (see above :) So for now I'm doubling up on them..
In a way it was good this happened. I needed to get angry and disappointed and mourn the loss of what I thought was myself. I think this is a necessary part of treatment. You need to give yourself some slack - accept your strengths and weakness, and yes, I guess stumble now and then. I'm continuously learning to be patient with myself and others. I still have a way to go...
From what I can tell so far, the meds don't change who you are - but rather they allow you to think differently about your life, your environment, your coping methods, etc. Eventually, you'll begin to see this. It might take a while just to get the right combination of medication. I know the combination I'm on may not be the ideal one, but it's working somewhat - so it's better to stick with it and find some other strategies. For me, I need more support. I need to learn to ask for help and clearly state my needs. Maybe it's different for you.. Maybe you can do some soul searching and ask yourself what would help you the most right now.
But I don't think you're losing or sacrificing the good in you. Not as long as you are aware of it and are able to acknowledge it. Perhaps you will find yourself using it in different ways - I've found I've been using my creativity to find new ways to organize my life.. But anyway, I don't think your deepest, most unique attributes have gone anywhere for good. :)
And from my way of thinking, guilt isn't a very useful emotion. We've probably all lived with loads of guilt most of our adult lives and since you can't change the past, you can either choose to cling to it and continue to let it cause you grief - or you can just learn from it and let it go.
Well, I hope maybe some of that helps. Just letting you know that you're not alone in this...
|24 Aug 2009 @ 3:43 AM Reply # 9|
Mon 24th Aug 2009
Threads: 0 Posts: 1
Relieved, but now what?
|24 Aug 2009 @ 7:21 PM Reply # 10|
Tue 26th May 2009
Threads: 1 Posts: 2
Reply to JennyMar
Jenny, Carry a small notepad and pen with you at all times. Write down anything that needs to be remembered later. I daily go back through my notes, prioritize what needs to be done that day and transfer it to a "To Do List" for the day. It won't help with remembering to drop the kids off at school, but it can help with returning things to people.
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