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  • in reply to: The Judge and the jury #142185

    Hi Dave,

    I went through it the disability process. It wasn’t so much that the process made “me” feel one way or another; rather I walked away outraged and wondering how the judge got to be in a position of judging ADHD disability claims because she very clearly had a preconceived idea of what “disabled” looks like. And because I am tall, have all my limbs, was a single mother at the time and was buying my house, plus I was fairly attractive, I didn’t fit the “disabled “ mold.

    In her opinion, because I read geology books for pleasure, I wasn’t disabled. Because I did some remodeling work on my house that took me years to complete (when it would have taken a normal person a couple of weeks), I wasn’t disabled. Even though I had literally been fired from every job I ever had (over the course of almost 40 yrs), I wasn’t disabled. I had 3-4 letters from friends describing my inabilities to focus or complete daily tasks, but she opined that the letters didn’t deserve any credence because they were based on what she called “self-reporting”, I.e. my complaining rather than my friends’ observations (which was incorrect). She suggested I would benefit from vocational rehabilitation, but failed to comprehend the fact that there was a voc rehab report in my file and that I had already gone through their retraining program. But because I have an extremely high IQ, I couldn’t possibly be disabled.

    There was an occupational therapist at my hearing as well, but she said the jobs available to me were as a “garment sorter” or a worker at a cannery! Are you kidding me?!? I was a litigation paralegal for over 20 years and had trouble focusing, and she seriously thought I could maintain a job as garment sorter???

    It was very clear that her opinion was extremely prejudicial and she clearly didn’t understand the struggles of someone with ADHD, nor did she bother to learn.

    I sincerely hope that you have better luck than I did, and I strongly urge you to appeal any decision that is not in your favor.


    What experience do I have with ADD? Nothing more than living it for the past 60 years, and spending the last 20 years researching not only it’s affects on those who suffer from it, but also the scientific and biological causes resulting in the commonly known symptoms. How about you?

    And, no, I didn’t write my response with the sole intention of starting an argument, as you seem to imply. On the contrary, I specifically said what my intentions were in posting my response. That, however, seems to have been overlooked in favor of criticizing what I wrote. I’m sorry you chose to be defensive about what I said. As someone with ADD, I felt I had some insight to offer. Of course, it’s up to the reader to acknowledge and accept that insight.

    in reply to: Ritalin adult #113220

    I would assume that the doctor is trying to alleviate your afternoon sleepiness by “heading it off at the pass,” so to speak. It may be that he wants you to take another 10 mgs at noon because by the time 2-3 comes around, your meds have worn off. This way, you don’t have to suffer the lag associated with your meds wearing off all the way before taking more and having to wait even longer for it to kick in. Make sense? Also, if you take the second dose at 2 or 3, it may be late enough to adversely affect your sleep.

    in reply to: medication trouble #113219

    I have had similar issues with generic Adderall. I’m on 30 mgs three times a day and have been for close to 20 years. When the patent ran out on Adderall and I started getting whatever generic brand the pharmacy gave me, I noticed a difference between the generic medication manufactured by different companies. One worked better than the other. The non-active ingredients being used in the generic medication affected me differently and my body processed those ingredients differently.

    So, absolutely, take the medication back to the pharmacy and tell them to get what the doctor prescribed.

    Also, moving forward, if possible, you can ask your doctor to write on the prescription that it should be filled with the name brand medication. If your insurance won’t pay for it, you have the right to call them and explain the situation and see if you can get them to approve it. If not, my suggestion would be to make a note of the manufacturer of the generic that’s making you sick, then call around to the pharmacies in your area and ask them what manufacturer made their supply of generic Adderall to find one you can take. You might want to ask what their price is for the name brand too because prices vary greatly between pharmacies so f your insurance won’t cover the name brand, you may be able to afford it on your own.

    When I started taking Adderall, my lock pharmacy was charging $350 for a one month supply. I called Costco (you don’t have to be a member to get prescriptions filled there) and paid $67 for the same amount of name brand medicine.

    Good luck!

    in reply to: How do you deal with lack of follow through? #113217

    Put it in writing. Sit down together, talk about your plan and your agreements, who’s going to bo what, and especially the expected time lines. Ask him if he has any concerns about the plan or if there are aspects of it that he would like to change, if he could. In a roundabout way, what you’re getting at is to have him identify the reason he’s avoiding cooperating with you.
    After your discussion, write out what basically amounts to acontract between you. Have him thoroughly read and understand what his obligations are under the new agreement and both of you sign it. Then get a large wall calendar and note the deadlines you agreed to on the calendar in different colors – make all of his deadlines bright red or some other noticeable color and the same for your deadlines, although not so bright because you don’t want the deadlines visually competing with each other for his attention.

    As his deadlines approach, remind him of them by asking if he needs any help completing them or if there’s anything you can do to help him meet his goal (deadline). Make an effort not to nag him about his approaching deadline. It’s important to frame the reminder as an offer to help him succeed at that one goal.

    I’m not suggesting that anyone coddle their husbands or be supplicant. It’s a matter of understanding and working within the scope of partnerships, and the give and take that comes along with being married. Everybody has areas of strengths and weaknesses. In any good marriage, those strengths and weaknesses balance out between spouses, wherein one spouse is strong where the other is weak.

    Follow-thru is a well-known area of ADD/ADHD weakness. As such, marriages require a little more give and take, and an understanding of how best to help each other succeed.

    I’d be interested in hearing how things work out.


    I’m sure I won’t win friends and influence people with my response, but…it’s given in an attempt to help, not to be critical.

    I can only assume that people who marry someone with ADD/ADHD knew that person fairly well before marrying them. Consequently, unless that person is marrying the ADHD person with the idea that they can change them after the wedding, I have to assume they knew or should have known what they were getting into before the ceremony.

    Rather than complaining or punishing the ADHD person for behavior that they can’t help or that is a consequence of their ADHD, why not look for ways to help make that ADHD person more successful in getting tasks done?

    In every relationship, there is give and take, a balance that needs to be maintained. One spouse is good at things that the other spouse isn’t. And vice versa. Why should taking pets to the vet be one person’s job when the pets are owned and enjoyed by both parties? If one spouse can never remember birthdays or anniversaries, why should that spouses side of the family bear the brundt of that forgetfulness when the other spouse sees and recognizes that weakness? Why not accept that weakness with the knowledge that the ADHD spouse has strengths in other areas? Or, if the ADHD spouse wants to be better at remembering dates, why not look for ways to help make that happen?

    Rather than continuing to live without a bathroom sink, why not ask what roadblock the ADHD spouse came up against that made him stop? How about looking for ways to help him finish the project? Put on an old work shirt and jeans, grab a screwdriver and go ask him how you can help him be successful in completing the project.

    Marriage is about a partnership, about helping each other be and feel successful in their lives, finding out what issues are preventing that success and looking for solutions. This is especially important in an ADD/ADHD marriage because that person probably dealt with the same criticism and disapproval all of his life, and more than likely didn’t get married just to keep hearing it.

    Like I said, I’m trying to be respectful and respond with what I think is constructive advice, and I hope it’s taken in the same spirit.

    in reply to: Trigger words. #113215

    I also get “stop making excuses” but it comes from family members who should, but obviously don’t, comprehend the daily struggles for someone with ADD/ADHD. Consequently, when I try to explain how ADD affects my life, I hear “stop making excuses and just do it.” At some point or another, I’ve heard all of the other trigger phrases too because I try to educate those around me to the fact that ADD/ADHD is a REAL thing.

    This reminds me of a bumper sticker I saw on the back of a pretty, new Land Rover one day: “ADHD is just bad parenting.” Want to guess how hard it was to control the impulse to floor my truck and ram right into that woman?

    Luckily, I had taken my ADD medication that morning to control such urges…

    in reply to: my meds are ruining everything #113214

    Max, have you talked to your parents about any of what you have written here? If not, I beg you to do so. And sooner rather than later. Please. I have two kids that are both in their late 20’s and that we had to adjust medications for. It can be difficult to find the right one, but what you’ve explained shouldn’t be happening. Not if your prescribing doctor knows what the heck they’re doing.
    But let’s start at the top.
    You said you were diagnosed with “severe” ADHD and put on Concerta. The first question I would ask is, how were you diagnosed? By your family doctor or pediatrician? A medical diagnosis should be made by a qualified mental health professional with experience in diagnosing and treating ADHD. Otherwise, you run the risk of a general practitioner turning you into a guinea pig as he/she tries a bucketful of different meds at different strengths without knowing what they’re doing. Unfortunately, it sounds like that is what you’ve been going through. If that is the case, I would strongly urge you to find a mental health professional to be medically diagnosed the right way.
    Also, you hint that the 30 mgs in the morning, 20 mgs in the afternoon and another 20 mgs after that is a “tiny” dose, and I’m not sure where you got that idea, but taking 70 mg a day of dextroamphetamine is NOT a tiny amount, especially for someone your age, and while I’m not a physician, I would wager to say that the amount you’re taking can pretty much explain almost everything you’ve mentioned in your post. By the way, the FDA recommended daily dose for adults is only 60 mgs. And while you said you were diagnosed with “severe” ADHD, I would still question the dosage.
    (I hesitate to say though that, personally, I take 30 mgs three times a day, but I’ve been taking that amt for close to 20 years without needing to increase it because of any tolerance built up.)
    When my doctor first talked to me about the diagnosis and medication, he compared having ADD/ADHD with having diabetes and that withholding or “taking a break” from the medication is like withholding insulin. ADD/ADHD is a result of a chemical imbalance in your brain. It is a very physical condition that manifests itself by impairing what are called your “executive functioning skills.” I would suggest doing some research about these skills to better understand what’s going on in your brain.
    I understand, given the extreme problems that you’ve had with your medicine, about your wanting to take a break from your meds, but like I said, under normal circumstances, a person shouldn’t feel the need to do that.
    So, Max, I’m worried about you! Please, please, find a doctor that knows and understands the unique issues associated with having ADD/ADHD and that can help you better understand to what extent you are affected by this imbalance, and help you find the right medication.
    I hope you will come back and keep me updated so I know you’re alright.

    in reply to: ADD in Retirement! #113212

    Linda, I can sympathize with you about the RLS and how much it affects one’s life. Those that don’t suffer or have never suffered from it don’t know how lucky they are!

    I attended a series of group counseling sessions for adults with ADD/ADHD that targeted the same things that you talked about in your post (disorganization, almost hoarding, piles of stuff to get to, etc.). It was an eye opener. There were a couple of things that I put into practice, But the one that comes to mind is to make a list and force yourself to do at least one thing on that list every day but it’s important to break down your tasks into manageable bits and pieces. For instance, instead of writing “clean out the garage “, write “clean off shelf next to back door in garage.” It’s also important to keep adding tasks to the list until you’re done.

    By the way, I started working on my bachelors degree in 1981 and went back to school a few years ago. In 2016, I began taking online classes to finish my degree and will finally graduate this June!

    I think I was able to stick with it because I couldn’t let my two grown kids see me fail and because I’m a very competitive person and had to get A’s in all my classes! I did struggle with time management and getting assignments in on time but most instructors were pretty accommodating. The disability office of the college, however, was useless as the only accommodation they gave me was a quiet room for tests – as an online student that didn’t really help.

    My point is that not all online classes are undoable, and having ADD/ADHD isn’t an automatic disqualifier for success in online classes.

    in reply to: ADD research project #113211

    I’ll add my name here as well. Would love to be a part of your study.

    in reply to: Anyone else a terrible internet person? #113209

    I’m not sure if I’m actually a horrible internet person or what, but it doesn’t sound like you’re really asking that question. It sounds more like you’re asking if other people have interpersonal relationship issues attributed to their ADD/ADHD. While I certainly can’t speak for anyone else here, I will tell you that my friendships don’t last.
    I’ve always thought it was because I was a horrible person, or because I must have said something that was offensive or done something stupid, but other people say and do stupid and offensive stuff too and they all still have friends, right?
    I won’t discount that theory as to why my friendships don’t last, but after much thought, I’ve come to the conclusion that it’s simply because friendships take time and effort from both parties and I’ve never really been one to put in all that much effort, probably because of the socially awkward thing almost inherent in those of us with ADD/ADHD.
    At the same time, I hope your therapist has mentioned to you that Oppositional Defiant Disorder has the highest rate of co-morbidity with ADD/ADHD than any other mental disorder.

    in reply to: Need support: sad 8 year old daughter #113208

    I found that taking my daughter for a ride in the car, just the two of us, did wonders for her opening up and talking to me about things she wouldn’t normally have talked about at home.
    Just don’t push her to all of a sudden start talking. My daughter and I played silly games like making words out of the letters in license plates we saw, or picking a letter and coming up with words that begin with that letter. Eventually, I would bring up something that happened to me in my childhood and ask if she ever had something like that happen to her.
    Also, while I understand that the pressures of being a parent can be tiring and distracting (I was a single parent for 16 years) I do think it’s important to know and understand your daughter, and be cognizant of when she’s nearing the point of exploding. Pay attention to what is leading her in that direction, what behaviors she’s exhibiting beforehand and see if you can remove any of those triggers from her environment.
    Before you can help her, you have to understand what it is that’s influencing her or causing her to react. And in order to stop the explosive outbursts, she needs a safe outlet for those pent up emotions.

    in reply to: ELEMENTARY SCHOOL READING HELP SUGGESTIONS – please! #113207

    Without knowing the age of your son, it’s difficult to suggest solutions.
    However, when my son was in elementary school, him and I would sit on the couch together with one of his books. I would read a paragraph, then he would read the next paragraph. We would alternate reading paragraphs, although sometimes, if the next paragraph was too big, I would read it, then he would read the one after that.
    This worked because of two factors: 1) he had one-on-one time with my undivided attention, and 2) he wasn’t overwhelmed by the idea of having to tackle this book on his own. After a while, he read the big paragraphs and I read the small ones, then eventually, he read the whole book.
    ADD/ADHD kids can get easily overwhelmed by things they perceive as being too big or involved for them to do. When that happens, that task or book or assignment is just a big scary blob to them. They need help breaking it down into doable sections.
    This may be case with your son, in that he may see the books he is required to read as being big blobs and gets discouraged. It may help to ask him to read X number of pages each day or, better yet, make a photocopy of a small number of pages, staple them together and have him read those instead of reading from the book. A few pages are visually way less scary and intimidating than a whole book.


    I have two kids, both now in their late 20’s, who went through the same things, although my son much more than my daughter. We had an IEP, which was pretty useless as it made no demands on the school and required that my son do everything.
    Anyway, I researched the hell out of learning issues for kids with ADHD, especially when they wanted to put him in a 2nd grade reading level while he tested at an 8th grade level (he was in 4th grade). They (being the school) based this decision on his lack of ability to read out loud.
    What my research showed was that kids with ADD/ADHD when reading to themselves skip over the small, inconsequential words such as “the”, “of”, “to”, etc. so they can read quickly while still comprehending the material. When it came time for my son to read out loud, though, he stumbled and stuttered and barely got through a paragraph.
    Even though my son was in a “Talented and Gifted” (TAG) program, the teachers and administrators didn’t understand how his brain worked.
    There is a good book I found about teaching kids with ADD/ADHD that would probably benefit you to read because it will, in all likelihood, give you additional tools for being your son’s best advocate. I don’t remember the exact name of the book but it was something along the lines of “Teaching the ADD/ADHD Child(or teenager)”. It was an oversized, softcover book.
    Once we had the reading issue straightened out, we addressed his problems with taking tests/quizzes and his extreme avoidance to standing in front of his class to give a report.
    For both of these problems, we put in his IEP that he be allowed to 1) verbally respond to test questions asked by the teacher in a one-on-one after-school session, and 2) present his report to the teacher, again in a one-on-one session before or after school.
    One other thing I will say about your son’s diagnosis-according to every bit of information and every report I’ve read, a true medical diagnosis entails more than asking survey questions of his family and teachers; it should encompass a complete neuropsychological exam to determine the extent that ADHD affects the performance of everyday tasks and executive functioning. Based on that information, a determination should be made as to the correct medication and appropriate dosage. My suggestion would be to not rely on your pediatrician, but to find a children’s mental health or counseling program and have him evaluated there, and appropriate medications monitored by doctors who specialize in treating childhood ADD/ADHD.

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