My Forum Comments
Have you done anything to alter your diet and exercise routine? The crashes of adderal used to really destroy me. Even when unmedicated I have trouble with fatigue if I am not eating properly and getting in some exercise regularly.
The best thing you can probably do for yourself is cut out sugar and caffeine from your diet. Because both of these things give our brains quick dopamine hits, many ADHDers tend to use them as a crutch throughout the day (most Americans in general, really) but they can cause all kinds of disruption to your body’s hormones which can have massive negative impacts on your energy level because of the constant dips and spikes in insulin, blood sugar, cortisol, etc.
For me personally, switching to Paleo and supplementing with magnesium, b complex, and zinc and getting in lots of movement – I walk EVERYWHERE – makes such a difference for me that i become close to asymptomatic. Best of luck to you! Being tired makes adhd symptoms worse so I hope you find quick relief!
I take it to help with anxiety and with the sometimes jittery feeling I get from adderal (especially if I forget to eat lunch before my second dose). For me it helps a lot with the anxiety, racing thoughts, etc. better than Xanax, but it can make me sleepy if I take too much.
I agree with Tammy — see someone who specializes in ADHD. My last psychiatrist refused to believe I had ADHD in spite of 20 years of diagnosis and success being treated with Adderal. It was the most humiliating and invalidating experience I could go through at a time when I was desperate and struggling. The therapist she referred me to cancelled my appointment when he saw my ADHD dx because he refuses to treat ADHD patients.
My new doc specializes in executive function disorders and it has made a world of difference. I found him through the CHADD website. Perhaps you can find a supportive doctor there? I’m sorry you’re going through this and I empathize. Know that we are here to support you!
Ugh! I feel for you! I’m going through a relatable experience with my job. Have you considered waiting tables or bartending? I did that for a long time and I LOVE it, but like with you and the music, it wasn’t a “practica” long-term career.
You can make some really great money and the job is perfect for ADHD — constantly moving, talking, schmoozing, reprioritizing tasks in a fast-paced way. It’s a total rush if you’re at the right place. Plus most industry folks are this cool, offbeat, special brand of weird — much like musicians. I am both and I see a big crossover in personality types so you may find yourself feeling at home there.
Plus you may find a more flexible schedule that allows you time to focus on personal endeavors, you can do it anywhere in the world pretty much, and there are always jobs to be had in the industry if you ever would need/want to go back to it.
Tomhurting: you’re right on the money, actually. There is a HUGE emotional component to ADHD. unfortunately, it is not yet part of diagnostic criteria as the last DSM came out five years ago. This means many doctors (and even ADHDers) don’t know enough or understand enough about it.
What you are experiencing as you have described it sounds very much like rejection sensitivity dysphoria and emotional hyperarousal — extremely common with adhd. It’s a blessing and a curse that I know very well. When you feel emotions more deeply…significantly so…it’s very alienating, but it does not necessarily mean you are suffering from other mental illness. And in fact, medicating for other mental illness can make things WORSE.
When you deal with emotional hyperarousal, it’s important to know that what is happening in your brain is *very* similar to what happens in the brains of people with PTSD(studies are even showing that adhd stimulant meds can relieve some ptsd symptoms because they act on the same parts of your brain!)….which is why strong emotional events can feel so downright traumatic! You brain is responding like they are!
Don’t get discouraged; just because some people on this forum aren’t qualified to help you doesn’t mean we all are not! You’ll find that some of us are licensed and trained coaches, social workers, and outreach professionals so even if you run across an armchair psychiatrist or two who can’t help but project on you, some of us are armed with science, experience, and professional credentials.
It sounds like you know your intense feelings around this situation aren’t “normal” and you’re doing the right thing by trying to find out why this is plaguing you. It seems like the help you are getting now isn’t, well, helping…so I would look for a mental heath or medics professional who *specializes* in adhd and follows the latest research.
Don’t get discouraged! I know how crippling and alienating emotional hyperarousal is ( if that’s what you’re experiencing, which IMO it sounds like) and if you’re also suffering from rejection sensitivity dysphoria (which is EXTREMELY COMMON in adhd) then that would explain a lot. It sucks when you’re in so much emotional pain. I used to try and describe it as “if your ‘soul’ could bleed to death, it would feel like this” so others could attempt to understand the gravitas of it all. Don’t let the haters get you down! Everything you’ve described sounds exactly like my adhd experience and I have been diagnosed for over 20 years.
Silly me! I thought we could PM on here but I guess not. You can email me! Cdloves2sk8 at gmail!
You’re welcome! Feel free to PM me any time. I have tried time and again to change myself, too. It doesn’t work AND it just tanks my self esteem. IMO, in the long run it is better to change the systems we operate in so that they work with our brains, rather than to try and change ourselves to fit systems that don’t support how we naturally operate.
Hello! I am sorry to hear you’re hurting and I have been in similar situations. I know how hard it can be to find good help and I personally don’t believe in “only you can help yourself” because it really does take a village, not just to raise a child, but to uplift and support one another.
Have you been on the CHADD website? I found a great ADHD support group on there that meets once a month in my area. Maybe there is something near you where you can connect with others who have ADHD and those who provide support services.
As for your ex struggling with your ADHD, same here! My boyfriend has suspected Obsessive Compulsive Personality Disorder which is basically the antithesis of ADHD in a lot of ways. After 4.5 years together we finally moved in together about two months ago and we spent months planning, talking about one another’s needs and how we operate when it comes to chores and cleanliness, and coming up with a plan to have a functioning household. Even with all that, it is still stressful at times for both of us. What has helped the most so far is printing out articles from this site and discussing them together. Perhaps something like that will help you in future relationships, whether with your ex or with another person.
As for still feeling the intense pain of the breakup, I too have felt completely crippled by breakups, even when the relationship didn’t last all that long. If you’re not getting the support you need from friends, this is another. Thing where connecting with other ADHD adults may be the best help. It can build your confidence back up to know you’re not alone, there’s NOTHING wrong with you, and that your ADHD comes with a lot of talents and gifts that you bring to the table. But don’t forget that while you can learn tools to better manage the negative impacts of your ADHD to have more harmonious relationships, don’t allow someone to make you feel like you need to change who you fundamentally are as a person to be worthy of their love.
I find it helpful for me when I’m in a tailspin to write out the negative impacts ADHD has on my life and things I can do to improve them or how I feel about them, then also a list of the strengths I gain from my ADHD and how they make me special/better at a task or skill, or how they make me feel good about myself. It’s easier to develop improvement strategies for me that way.
I hope you find the help you need, you’re not alone and you CAN find solutions but it takes time …and it’s hard for ADHD brains to keep sight of intangible future things so remember that too if you feel hopeless or like progress isn’t moving quickly enough.
That’s a good suggestion — switching it up. The nature of what I do can change from day to day a little bit. My boss came back today after a long leave and we talked it over and she was really understanding and we will switch up some of my midweek tasks and I will attend more off-site meetings to get away from my desk!
SO GLAD to know it isn’t just me. I think my boyfriend thinks I’m exaggerating about how difficult it is to me and how my brain is basically mush on the weekends bc all I’m doing is processing and decompressing the qhole week for 48 hours.
I do always go for a walk during the day. I’m hoping she will understand and be flexible about my days when I ask her soon. She’s flexible about work hours — I have trouble being on time and taking public transit only makes it worse, so sometimes I will start my work day at home and come in around 10 instead of 9. Or she will let me leave a little early if I’m looking antsy.
What do you do when you take a half day? Do you make the hours up at home or on another day? How did you approach the subject with your boss?
It’s funny, I worked primarily in food service until my early 30s and also did freelance hair and makeup as I am a licensed cosmetologist. I loved the freedom when I was doing almost exclusively freelance work with hair/makeup and catering gigs, but I did find I had to work more to financially keep up and definitely felt behind my peers and friends in the job area for a long time.
But yeah I’m hoping my boss will be open to some compromise and I think she will be cool with it — it’s her boss that I think may not understand. I will find out soon as I want to talk to her about it this week.
Hello and welcome! So impressed that you are putting so much foresight into your career path! Have you considered being a museum or gallery curator or something along those lines? It may not be fast-paced but the right kind of place would give you an engaging subject matter, the positive pressure of deadlines for certain exhibits, a sometimes hands-on environment, and probably enough variability and flexibility to keep you interested. Perhaps a minor in art would give you more marketability for those kinds of jobs, too? It is ultimately up to you whether you take the “fun” route or the “safe” route, but if you are able to think long-term (even 10yrs out) about your lifestyle/career/financial goals, I think that will help inform your decision. The great thing about jobs is if you absolutely can’t make it work, you can usually quit 😉
For me, I meandered for a while with jobs — but I always loved working in hospitality and eventually tried every facet of it. Unfortunately, you rarely get decent benefits.
Fast forward to age 34 and I have an office job. I didn’t choose it so much as it seemed to choose me. I work with nightlife industries a lot so the content of my job is engaging, but desk work — and particularly working 5 days in a row, a surprising challenge — is very challenging for me and often leaves me exhausted, as you described. This is because it isn’t in my nature to work this way.
How do I balance that? I do a lot of art things in my free time, take an evening art class now and then at the community college, and I go for a lot of short walks at work. I have a sit-stand desk and a wobble board to stand on at work, plus puzzles and other tactile things to pacify my boredom. This helps keep me from feeling too stir crazy, while affording me the opportunity of a job with many great benefits.
It isn’t easy, and it doesn’t always feel ideal, but it is a good challenge for me because I have a supportive boss, a good psych who has helped me find the right meds and tools, and outside activities that allow me to hyperfocus and get in the flow. That said, I was not mature enough in my early and mid 20s to know how or be willing to work through my ADD challenges so the few times I tried jobs against my nature, I gave up quickly and quit. I know I won’t do this job forever because it feels so against my nature, but it is enabling me to save up a nest egg for when I’m ready to make another move.
Haha I know just what you mean! I like to think of it as a bit of clairvoyance. But also our brains take in so much around us, even subtleties, and process the info so quickly, that I think it really plays a big part. I’m also very sensitive to temperature and physics sensations. Princess and the pea syndrome.
That’s interesting what you said about the “static” …I think that’s really my biggest problem too. It’s not the conversation or confrontation itself, it’s the “crazy vibes” some people put off in those situations that makes me uncomfortable! My bf is great at not giving those off so it’s really easy for us to talk, even about hard stuff. My soon to be former roommate, however, is soooooo passive aggressive. She huffs and puffs and puts out the crazy vibes before she can have a conversation and it makes me feel physically sick to my stomach!
They make dry erase “sticky notes” that I use at home. One on the front door, one on my mirror. I’ve seen them on amazon but I got mine from Staples. They stay stuck and cut down on trash. If only I could remember to actually look AT them instead of letting them fade into the background!