February 6, 2019 at 12:44 pm #108791
I’m upset just realizing how much this condition has held me back and how NO ONE when I was a little girl would have known since the diagnostic criteria used to be so male-focused. Even now, docs don’t inquire about ADHD with women…just depression or Bipolar. I’m 40. Furious at the fact that psych docs have treated my supposed bipolar disorder and substance misuse issues but never seem to put whether or not I thrive and achieve my potential on their list. Just one psych doc diagnosed me with ADHD, and the County of Los Angeles doesn’t even TREAT it. I can’t even tell you….not being able to focus to read, always getting the “doesn’t apply herself”, “when are you going to finish that book you’ve been talking about for years?” I’m a writer. I procrastinate on my fiction and can’t read and when I was on Adderall my mind worked. I can’t take it because it hops me up too much, I can’t sleep or eat and my anxiety gets worse. But the procrastination went away. I’m angry because our society touts discipline and hard work and self-regulation whilst never acknowledging that those who master such things aren’t necessarily exceptional individuals, they’ve just got great brain chemistry. Sure, we can FORCE ourselves to stay disciplined, but a neurotypical person with drive has a much easier time with it. We moralize discipline and success as though these are virtues. This is what makes me so angry. At any rate, there’s hope yet with some coping tools. I just wish I could focus while reading and writing. How can you be a writer if you can’t focus?
February 7, 2019 at 2:30 pm #108882
Have you tried a methylphenidate? There are two types of stimulants: amphetamine (Adderall, Vyvanse, Evekeo…) and methylphenidate (Ritalin, Concerta, Quillivant…). Almost everyone does well on one type or the other, but not both.You may not feel as “hopped up” on a methylphenidate.
ADDitude Community Moderator, Parenting ADHD Trainer & Author, Mom to teen w/ ADHD, LDs, and autism
February 9, 2019 at 5:45 am #108999
I’M ANGRY TOO…..
I was tossed around my people who had no idea what ADHD even was…they didnt even consider it. they told me i was bipolar and gave me
medication that made me slow….and i’m in medical school for GODS SAKE! after a lot of research and work. I realized i have adhd….
i talked to an actual professional instead of these quacks and turns out….they dont even have this medication in my country, i live in
Ethiopia by the way….and i’ve had to deal with being ridiculed by my family for doing everything wrong, lacking so much self esteem that i never
even tried making friends…..suffering through self doubt every single step of the way all the way to 4th year of medical school….(which by the way
is taking its toll on me…) Its not fair…and i’m just 21 now, and i’m at a crucial point in my life where focus and hardwork could take me places.
i just dont know what to do.
P.S. i want to be a writer too….someday…and i love to read but i find myself unable to finish a book..(.i understand your frustration)
DOES ANYONE HAVE ANY IDEA HOW I COULD GET THE MEDICATION?
keep in mind…
no credit cards
nothing with online delivery
nothing too expensive ( i live in ETHIOPIA!)
This is seen as a ridiculous ‘woman’ problem. here….no one takes me seriously. PLEASE HELP.
February 18, 2019 at 11:29 am #109481
I am so sorry to hear that you are struggling. As an Ethiopian, I too understand what you are going through. I was even surprised to see a post by an Ethiopian person here. Our country lacks the infrastructure for Mental health services. I think it is also hard to explain to family and friends what you are experiencing.
Well done for recognizing and researching the symptoms yourself though and not ignoring it. I am 29 female and it is just now that I am coming to terms with the possibility that I may have ADHD (I highly suspect it- I am waiting for an appointment). I have struggled through University and work. But I am trying to put in place strategies to help me focus and plan better now. It is taking time.. but it is worth it. Please know that 21 is a good age to learn about this now and you can find ways to help you reduce symptoms. I am less likely to take the medication route-so I am learning a lot about the behavioural strategies to help with the symptoms. I’m happy to chat if you want and I am happy reccomonde podcasts that i find useful.
February 18, 2019 at 6:24 pm #109537
February 18, 2019 at 9:06 am #109468
I am so angry. I am 62. Finally diagnosed by neurologist. My life is a train wreck. Years of misdiagnosis, horrible meds. I still have no help.
I truly wish i’d never been born and hope this misery ends soon.
February 18, 2019 at 10:11 am #109475
is_shepherd I get angry sometimes too. It can be so hard to do anything. My son has ADHD too, and I feel guilty that I gave it to him. To you and everyone else on here, please know we all care about you. I feel like we are all in this together. To help one another is a duty and privilege in my opinion for everyone. Never be afraid to ask for help, even if you’ve already asked so many times. You were born for a reason, and I sincerely hope and pray you are able to find what works for you.
February 18, 2019 at 4:43 pm #109532
@Smb – Don’t feel guilty for giving it to your son!
Yes, it can be difficult to live with. I’m still struggling, not gonna lie. But I also feel it’s a superpower too.
Our creative powers are better than most. A lot of entrepeneurs and people in various creative arts has ADHD. And frequent episodes of depression, anxiety and whatnot that comes with it.
It’s nothing to feel bad or ashamed of. We didn’t decide to get it, it’s not our fault, nor our parents. It’s just how it is, and we should all be grateful we didn’t grow up in the 1800’s where it didn’t exist. Then we’d all just be weirdoes. On the other hand, it might not have been a problem without all that stimuli we’re getting in the internet era.
Anyways. It’s a superpower if the context is right. And a dreaded handicap if we try to force ourselves into society’s box. It’s all just BS anyways.
“Do well in school. Get an education. Get a job. Get married, buy a house, and live happily ever after.”
None of it matters. And it doesn’t make most people happy.
Take the required, difficult steps, and carve the path of being true to yourself. And then make it work financially.
Find a job you want to get up for in the morning. Something fulfilling. Create something. Help people.
If you do what drives you from within, that is what you have the potential to get best at. Doing that, you will be your most productive, happy self.
I really believe this is the key for people with ADHD and ADD. Intrinsic motivation. Contemplate a bit, and set a goal for what you want to achieve this year. Break it down into months. Put it up on the fridge so you can see it and feel it every day.
If you do this right, it will excite you to make steps in the right direction more often than not. Because you want to.
Recent studies have even shown that “willpower is a myth” for a lot of people. Willpower means fighting your urges, which takes a lot of energy. Better to avoid it as much as you can and rather do something that doesn’t require that much willpower to succeed.
February 18, 2019 at 9:47 am #109473
It’s normal to feel angry about how you’ve been treated in the past. But you have a lot to be hopeful about — you have a condition that is VERY well studied and every day there is some new bit of information about how the ADHD brain works and how you can try to harness the good aspects of ADHD (creativity) and control the bad parts (inability to focus/follow through)
MrZebra, I agree with the other poster that you should at least try some of the other ADHD medications – Adderall isn’t for everyone. It increases dopamine but also norepinephrine and it’s possible you need one but not the other. That’s an easy first step. You should also be looking at the many natural things you can do also (listed below).
Dixie, it’s ok that you don’t have access to modern ADHD drugs, there are many people successfully treating ADHD with diet and lifestyle changes. It takes some trial and error to find out what works and doesn’t work for your particular chemical makeup but you can do it! Some things to try: Always make sure you get enough sleep every night (No TV or phone screens for an hour before bed). Exercise every day for 30min – 1hr to the point of fatigue & heavy sweating. Make sure you are getting enough sunshine for vitamin D, eat more fish (omega 3), try to cut back on grains/starch/refined carbs and have bean/lentils or brown rice instead. This helps with blood sugar levels and also your Glx/GABA balance. Your local Teff flour is gluten free so that’s fine to keep eating. Eat eggs every day for choline. Make sure you are getting enough magnesium in your diet. Eat a banana every day. You have good coffee in Ethiopia and that’s fine, the caffeine may really help you focus- just don’t have it too late in the day so your sleep is good quality. No alcohol – it increases choline deficiency and depletes B6 which your body needs to make SAMe. Find ways to add folate to your diet — folate deficiency is a major public health problem in Ethiopia especially among women — look this up! Some of the symptoms of folate deficiency can mimic ADHD. Get it from spinach/collard greens/leafy dark greens, lentils, eggs, beef liver. Good luck to you!
February 18, 2019 at 11:31 am #109483
Grew up in Rhode Island in the 1980’s and ’90’s, no one took add seriously.
I also want to be a writer.
Can’t seem to finish anything.
February 18, 2019 at 3:14 pm #109510
I understand this anger, I was only diagnosed with ADHD in my mid-40’s. I had traits all my life, but there just wasn’t an understanding of the condition and all the different ways it can manifest.
From my perspective a couple years down the road, I think it’s like the anger in the stages of grief – you know, denial, bargaining, anger, etc…
On the one hand, many of us have to grieve past mistreatment or losses (opportunities, relationships) that we could have avoided if we’d known. And the loss of years spent in struggle that didn’t have to be.
We also have to grieve the loss of our self-concept. Sometimes we have invested in an identity as a person who is just flaky, or eccentric, or “fun”, and shoved the difficult parts to the side. Or sometimes we have taken years of criticism to heart and have built an identity as broken, stupid, incompetent, less-than.
Either way, letting go of that identity is a loss. And replacing it with a more complex and realistic identity as a smart, capable person with a specific set of brain difficulties, is hard and time-consuming.
So feel the anger. Talk it out or write it out like you did here – that’s important! Let it motivate you and give you energy to seek help or appropriate treatments. Anger is a fantastic brain stimulant!
But don’t let it consume you. Be prepared to let it go when it’s served its purpose. Anger makes us feel powerful, so it can be addictive all by itself. But it’s not a “sustainable energy source.” It creates too much emotional “pollution” to rely on long-term.
FWIW, we all seek stimulation because that makes our brains feel right. But there are some kinds of stimulation that give us temporary focus at the price of mental peace (like OD’ing on caffeine). And others that bring focus and peace (like detoxing from electronics, learning meditation, sleeping more, and partnering with friends to work together.)
Look for the signs that you are ready to keep moving through grief stages. And look for a positive source of power. I know navigating the health system and finding the right treatment is hard, even when it’s available where you live. I wish you all the best.
February 18, 2019 at 3:26 pm #109513
So am I. At 42 I realize that hard work won’t get me anywhere. I work hard, 80% of my waking day, but I do it all wrong. I don’t work “smart” like the smart people do. I am constantly confused, options keep me pondering for minutes, every decision has a thousand possible outcomes and I alone am responsible to choose the right one. Every word has hidden meanings. I try to orden them. I try to get hold on a pattern ( for combining clothes the correct way or folding laundry or doing make up or my hair, but I can’t!) As a freelance designer I should be able to be a master of the trade but I forget the basic principles, I say yes to projects that pays too little or that I have no clue what to do. I have my lists. Every other day a new and better one! I read the articles and try very hard to DO IT RIGHT. I try not to get confused. I TRY TO start with one thing AND finnish it, all in one go! I stopped the medication for anxiety and focus because it made me feel like all-smiling-clown. Friends shake their heads and give good advice…just plan, just pray, don’t overreact, because if you REALLY had a ADHD problem you would have struggled at school…and I didnt…..( but but but studying and reading is MY THING, that is my HYPER FOCUS thing, the only thing that I can actually do for hours! But the rest is mess!) And I am TIRED to explain to people that I am exhausted at the end of the day trying to KEEP IT ALL together up there. I am also a single mom of a child on the Autism Spectrum and between me and him we have “an evening to do list”, a “morning to do list”, a “Staying over to do list”, and dosen reminders on my cellphone making sure we end up on time for school. I feel ashamed and ANGRY, I should have been so much further in life, and yet every morning feel like starting at kindergarten.
February 18, 2019 at 3:39 pm #109519
I can identify with every one of you. People tell me to just get over it and do the work, but they don’t understand I can’t just turn on my brain that way. A lot of the time others don’t think ADHD is real. They think it’s a motivation issue and that since I “lack the motivation” I’m lazy. I so desperately want to be organized in every facet of my life (and be able to maintain it) and know I just need to find what works. However, finding what works can take a lot of trial and error, and that is too overwhelming most of the time for me. It does help me relate to my son, who struggles with the same things as me. Praying all of you can find a path through the madness!
- This reply was modified 8 hours, 14 minutes ago by Smb.
February 18, 2019 at 5:13 pm #109534
You are not alone, my wife was treated for depression and generalized anxiety for years until it was discovered that she had ADHD. The issue is the system and its male centric diagnosis, and outwardly women tend to compensate much better than men. Nonetheless, things are changing but I feel your anger and disappointment. Her doctor recommended co-therapy of Adderall XR twice a day and Clonidine at night. That regiment has worked well for anxiety and ADHD conditions; perhaps you can talk about it with your provider.
February 18, 2019 at 9:03 pm #109540
Like you, I am a woman who was mis-diagnosed my whole life and only found out I had ADHD when I was 43 due to having my daughter diagnosed. When I was filling out her questionnaire all the “yes” answers for her were also “yes” answers for me. I got my own diagnosis and my daughter and I were on Adderall on and off as insurnace allowed.
Failed marriages, my kids hate me (they do not believe in ADHD and think it is an “excuse” for all of my failures. Lots of jobs. Deeply in debt. Depressed and overweight. And now completely alone at 62. No friends close enough to socialize with. No communication with family. I tried to find an adult ADHD group near me but they are only geared towards parents of ADHD kids
Now I am over 60 and the doctors will no longer prescribe Adderall saying it can cause heart problems in older people. I have been at my wit’s end without medication and recently started on Strattera (only one 10 mg tablet at bedtime because it KNOCKS ME OUT). I also take Buproprion (Wellbutrin) during the day.
I am doing better at work. Feeling hopeful. Actually doing some cleaning and organizing at home! I am supposed to increase the dose but I cannot afford it as it costs $200 (for 60 10 mg tablets) and I have horrible insurance where I have to completely satisfy the deductible before coverage kicks in.
Please try some different medicine. Adderall is not the only thing out there.
You must be logged in to reply to this topic. Login