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I am 72 now and 2 years ago i was diagnosed with ADHD. I was told
From the age of 2-3 my father would pour coffee into my silver christening cup and add lots of milk . Dad worked on the railway and some of the trains he worked on went through town in the middle of the night. Hence he would come home and an early breakfast snack. I remember it from a year or so later but I have always drank coffee and cola and for most of the years to excess. A cup or two at breakfast and then cokes all day long became coffee and hot chocolate then just coffee and coke 6 or 7 a day. Oh yes Tea for supper. For many years coffee and cereal were my only source of milk. At age 8 nestles provided Quick a sweetened chocolate powder you could add to form instant chocolate milk. Good thing as you could never get chocolate milk at school any more.
As an older adult i incresed the coffee consumption to a litre (6-8 cups) a day then as i was the founding owner of the business it increased to two litres a day and finally in my fifties to 3 litres a day. It slowed some when I retired at age 60 and decreased to 1 litre . It also changed to 2/3 decaffe. In the last few years 2 or 3 large mugs a day.
The noticeable effects have been on my teeth. Which no ammount of brushing and chlorine rinsing and flossing seems to eradicate. As to sleep that started to bother me after retirement waking after a few hours and not being able to go back to sleep hense the decaffe. Tha coffee did help me focus on the work and probably helped me excel at it. I did however have all the symptoms from the age of 3 based on the stories i was told by 8 older siblings and the teachers and all my old report cards which my mother saved. My schoolwork was poor in the early grades and i received some voice coaching. I could never do homework but finished most of my work in class particularly if i had detention. Grades improved in middle school as numerical and other memory skills improved tremendously. I also became a prodigous reader and found virtually all books interesting. Unfortunately television came to our home about this time and this mesmerized me. This, no homework didnt catch up to me until grade 11 but resulted in my banishment from school on my 16 th birthday. I managed to get a job in a few weeks and a drivers license and bought a brand new car the following May. However i quickly realized the only way to pay for the car, and Board at home was to get a decent job and that required an education. The only way to do that and go to school was to join the armed forces which i did in Sept before my 17 th birthday.
A genius level IQ helped and an almost complete HS education, 4years armed forces resulted in a job in accounting for a major Life Insurance Company in senior analytical and computer work. A brief job in corporate Group Sales into a consulting career and VP with the worlds largest Brokerage to president of my own consulting company.
At age 60 after 44 years of working I retired .
Unfortunately this does not include the three divorces and all the downside of living with caffeine only treated ADHD . My first marriage lasted 26 years our youngest was 18 had been diagnosed ADHD at age 5 and had finished high school with a trade, our second was a registered nurse soon to become a graduate nurse. Our oldest was married. My first wife who had survived those 26 years with me and the outbursts that were part of what i assummed was normal.
As you can see there are ups and downs to the caffeine treatment. They definitely did nothing for my self control particularly vocal outbursts, for Timeliness and for my memory for the names and faces of people i just met. As to hyperfocus that was definitely a big part of me and my success. I have always been a talkaholic especially noticable during phonecalls. I should also mention Music has also been part of my life from age 11 on learning to play the violin Singing in church and school and community choirs and is something i increased in my retirement. Free Dopamine I call it and it is. My mother and Older sister played the Piano. My oldest brother did as well learning to play by ear as the beer flowed freely to the piano player in the pubs during the second world war. My next oldest played the accordion and sang in school operettas. My oldest sister worked at the only wholesaler of records in our city so we had all the Cds of the era (45s 78s and 33s (LPs)
A mixed bag if you ask me. I have always had difficulty picking up social cues but i suspect that would still have been difficult with or without meds. It was made somewhat easier by being the youngest in a very large family. Teasing was especially virulent by my older brother in laws until they were looking for work or asking about our vacation cruises and family visits that we would try to work into a brief visit with them.
In total we were very reluctant to turn to meds for my son but limited them to the school year and in some weeks to the school week. Today i would choose to have made them part of his everyday life.
As to me yes definitely i would have preferred to have been on medication at least through university.
So as an Adder looking back. Coffee was not the answer.
As a parent i definitely would choose meds and Cognitive training and skills assistance My son is in his mid 40s now and is no longer taking meds age 13 stopped
Has anger issues and definite social issues as well. We talk about it and he is looking for some help but hasnt “found exactly what he is looking for.In talking with my son just now he reminded me that he began drinking coffeehighly diluted with milk at age 5. That definitely didnt help him. And he is still looking for anger assistance. He lives and works in his dream job over 1000 miles away. We talk three or four times a week.
PS as to risk taking lighting fires next to garages at age 5 caught, shoplifting 6 to 10 never caught, bike riding on dangerous highways 40 miles to the lake at age 11 running away from home from age 3 to 6 as many as 3 miles in the city when i was picked up by railway police. Part of a group of inner city 8 to 10 year olds who would do anything including robbing policemans wallet at pool caught, shooting a BB gun pistol from third floor balcony at other kids walking to school, My family especially brothers and sisters introduced me to the YMCA and their programs which derailed this juvenile delinquent and turned him into A State Champion swimmer at age 11 and 13 a violin student and a delegate to out of town activities of the Ymca. A high school freshman state champion basketball player and a church youth programs and choir member. The oldest brothers provided me with jobs that occupied all of my energy and time over the summers from grade7 to grade 10. Not to mention these were paying jobs Started at 2$ a day then .45an hour working 14 hour days. Thelast two summers at 150$ / month less $50 board in a city 800 miles away.
In the army i was trained 1300 miles away in a major metropolitan midwestern city. During my first year I went AWOL to New York city for the John Glenn Parade in 1962 and apparently started a mutiny as literally dozens of other recruits were gone by the time i turned myself in. You can imagine the punishment. A few years later i took Airborne parachuting training in order to get a posting near my then girlfriend who became my first wife.
Please excuse the typos but this is an Ipad done by an impatient ADDer Although I can still see the result barely, the finger doing this is old arthritic and lazy..