April 3, 2011 at 9:30 pm #89414
AnonymousInactiveApril 3, 2011 at 9:30 pmPost count: 14413
I went to a ADD center here in WA State a few weeks ago. I was just done. Everything in my life is so out of whack that I decided to try to get my ADHD treated, and if it didn’t work, I’d commit suicide. I’m just weary of being such a failure. This is very hard to type here, but I think it may be of use to someone out there.
When I called I was in tears and could hardly talk. When I was finally able to get in, I was even more of a mess. The person I saw and I spoke for almost 2 hours. She told me that there was hope, and that she was sure that I have Bi-Polar II, maybe not ADHD.
HUGE, BIG, SCARY thing to hear. It was like WTF? My prior diagnosis were wrong? You can tell that in less than 2 hours? But I have EVERY SYMPTOM of ADHD, and it is so rampant in my family, you can see the genetic distribution. I was scared.
I was diagnosed with Clinical Depression about 10 years ago, and had been on Effexor the entire time. She told me that I had been on the wrong medication this whole time. I even did a Double Blind study to be sure of this diagnosis. Then, after my son was diagnosed with ADHD at age 7, I began to think that maybe this was what was wrong with me. Sure enough, I was diagnosed with ADHD, by 2 different doctors a few years apart.
The diagnosis hurt me. All my life I thought that I just needed to try harder, and someday I’d get stuff done, or not talk so much, or learn to think things through before I made yet another mistake. Now, no matter how hard I tried I would never succeed because it was ADHD, and it was hard-wired into my brain.
I didn’t really pursue treatment. I didn’t think the pills would help me. I was older, and my son was more important.
So, back to the present. I had to wean myself off of the Effexor, and that was the worst emotional journey I have ever been on. I finished it about 3 weeks ago and I’m still crying and very down. They started me on something called Lamotrigine, and I was on 25mg, and just went to 50mg 2 days ago. A blood test revealed that my Thyroid was low, so I also started on a pill for that, The blood test also showed that my Vitamin D levels were at 11. The doctor said that the norm is between 44-100, and she likes to see women at a 50. Well, I do live in Seattle=no sun. So, I am taking 10,000 whatevers of Vitamin D every day, and 2 huge fish oil capsules.
Okay, that’s where I am right now. I am still emotionally down. I am very angry at the world. I have been eating incredible amounts of food all the time since October, and have gained at least 30 pounds. I have to be full all the time. I get nothing done. This Bi-Polar II diagnosis has me confused and distraught. I told the doctor that I will go through the motions, and take all the meds, and see what happens.
The problem is, I want my ADHD symptoms to go away so I can get something done, pick my clothes up off the floor, stop being an armchair quarterback for everyone and everything I see, put things away, stop talking so much and so loud, experience some calm in my head, maybe develop a self-esteem again.
But really, if this doesn’t work, I’m done. I just can’t live like this anymore.REPORT ABUSEApril 4, 2011 at 12:02 am #102935
AnonymousInactiveApril 4, 2011 at 12:02 amPost count: 14413
Take it slow try to work through one problem at a time try to find a good shrink and therapist to help you sort out all your problems.
Sometimes that takes some time, and don’t be so hard on yourself, I understand your frustration.
I get that way too.REPORT ABUSEApril 4, 2011 at 12:18 am #102936
AnonymousInactiveApril 4, 2011 at 12:18 amPost count: 14413
I am a mess too, My problems are more compulsion issues, I am a spender and a liar. I try so hard not to lie it is like my logic takes a back seat and I have no control. I have been in some REALLY dark places latley and am just hanging on by a thread. My husband is on Effxor for anexity issues and I wish he could whine off it but it seems that just as he is almost ready to get off something in our lives is messed up again. I have a daughter and I swear that she really is the only thing I hold on too, and it is exhusting to hold it to gether, I have been trying to do it for nearly 20 years by myself with no medication, when I was 18 they said I had ADD but also that I was Passive suicidal, NO DUH! it is REALLY hard not to be sucidial when you have such disguse with yourself. they put me on Prozac…. that was the wrong stuff if anything it made me worse! and then the tried Ritalin but I just felt numb tired. so I decided that I could do it on my own and for a while I did…. but I didn’t do it for long. I need help I need it now, I am holding on and I will hold on because I know deep down I am a good person and I am sure that if you dig down deep enough you will see that you are a good person, you’ve just been deal a crappy hand, but you can still play these cards, trust me you can play these card and still come out a winner!!REPORT ABUSEApril 4, 2011 at 1:09 am #102937
AnonymousInactiveApril 4, 2011 at 1:09 amPost count: 14413
I agree with Ed2020. Take it one thing at a time. But DO NOT be fooled that putting your son first is best. He needs the best mom he can get. I always equate comments like that to: if you are on an airplane and the oxygen level drops, they tell you to put the mask on yourself FIRST so you can begin helping others. You cannot help anyone else unless you are OK. By taking care of you, you take care of him.
You sound a lot like me … I’m “high functioning” yet my house is a mess, clothes all over the floor of my bedroom, I sometimes can’t get off the couch all weekend (and I’m 55 years old for crying out loud!). I hold a very successful, respectable professional job as long as there are no requirements to clean off my desk and back storage room. I never accomplish what I know I could do if I only “tried harder”. I have a high IQ, but feel like an idiot a lot of the time with all the “dumb” stuff I do, say or don’t do. I tried Adderall XR 2 years ago which changed my life for both the better and for the worse. I LOVED how Adderall worked. I was amazing! I was happy, focused and felt like an adult for the first time in my life. I wrote grants, cleaned, organized, almost leapt tall buildings in a single bound… till a side effect that could not be ignored brought it all to an end.
It’s been a year since then and until two weeks ago I was “trying it alone” with therapy only. It’s ok, but the disorganization came back along with some bouts of depression. I am now trying Intuniv which hasn’t technically been approved for adults, but I fought for it as did my NEW doctor and got it. It works a lot slower than the stimulants but I’m slowly starting to see a difference.
I’m not a doctor, but I’m not convinced your diagnosis of the bi-polar. My sister was diagnosed with Bi-Polar and ADHD. I’m not convinced after all she’s been through that she just wasn’t a severe ADHD… I was researching info for her and ended up reading about myself! When I first heard about adult ADHD, I thought “Great! Another excuse for adult bad behavior”… but when I EDUCATED myself about it, I ended up going to a doctor who belittled my suggestion that I might have ADHD. In fact, she said to me “I think you actually might be a little bi-polar.” Uh, duh! That’s like being a little pregnant. You either are or aren’t. I INSISTED and she sent me to a neurologist who administerd an 8 hour long test and lo and behold I was diagnosed at age 48 with ADHD. So I guess she was a little “right”….Cuz a “little bi-polar” is ADHD!!!! …. Same first 10 or so symptoms, but then it changes dramatically for bi-polar. Many of the symptoms cross over, such as anxiety and depression. I was also treated for depression but it didn’t get my house clean like being treated for ADHD did.
Insist on the best doctors you can find in WA State. Insist on a neurologist if your insurance will pay (ask if they specialize or know about ADHD … Proper diet can definitely help: fish oil, protein in the AM. Cut the carbs (I know that you love them and Exercise, exercise! Even if it’s just walking.
Go to Dr. Edward Hallowell’s website: http://www.drhallowell.com/ Get his book: Driven to Distraction AND Delivered from Distraction
ALSO: Google: Dr. Patricia Quinn from DC. She’s an expert on women with ADHD.
I’ve given you a lot of suggestions… just pick one. Try that for awhile then try another. I’d start with a second opinion from a reputable doctor. I’ll do some research in WA State and get back to you. I’m a librarian, I live to research!
Don’t give up. You sound like an amazingly gifted and talented person.REPORT ABUSEApril 4, 2011 at 2:26 am #102938
AnonymousInactiveApril 4, 2011 at 2:26 amPost count: 14413April 4, 2011 at 8:33 am #102939
AnonymousInactiveApril 4, 2011 at 8:33 amPost count: 14413
Thank you for your responses. I’ll try to take it slower and not be too hard on myself. I hope it gets better.REPORT ABUSEApril 4, 2011 at 7:36 pm #102940
AnonymousInactiveApril 4, 2011 at 7:36 pmPost count: 14413
Try writing things down in a note pad, set up what you want to get done that day, give yourself a star for ever task you complete.
At the beginning of the day, set up a goal of how many stars you want to archive that day.
Have the minimum number you want to reach and that maximum.
Try to get as close to you maximum as you can, everyday will be different its not about being perfect just getting something done.
Set up a reward each week for your self for so many stars.
Take care, EdREPORT ABUSEApril 4, 2011 at 7:46 pm #102941
AnonymousInactiveApril 4, 2011 at 7:46 pmPost count: 14413
Lamictal worked well for me mostlyREPORT ABUSEApril 4, 2011 at 9:53 pm #102942
AnonymousInactiveApril 4, 2011 at 9:53 pmPost count: 14413
Sandra, Yes, take it slower and don’t be too hard on yourself. Celebrate every achievment. I found a pair of scrapbooking scissors I’d lost months and months ago. I celebrated like I’d found $100.00!
I don’t want to sound mean… but someone once told me that “Hope is not a plan”. Make a plan. Ed’s idea is good, but don’t beat yourself up if you don’t make your minimum stars. Celebrate each star.
If you make a plan, get a good doc, maybe meds, it WILL get better. You won’t have to hope… it just WILL get better.REPORT ABUSEApril 4, 2011 at 10:38 pm #102943
texascannMemberApril 4, 2011 at 10:38 pmPost count: 3
You won’t believe this but I came online to see if I could read anything about the difference between ADHD and Bipolar because my md didn’t think I had ADHD. I know he became angry when I went to an ADHD doctor in a city aobut 1-1/2 hours away. We live in a small town and coming from a large city (Houston), I found that doctors here don’t even treat adult ADHD. I went 3-1/2 years before out of desperation I found an ADHD doctor. Since I had medication in Houston that controlled my ADHD, and had no medication here except the Effexor XR, I decided on my own to get off the Effexor XR. Bad plan! I almost had to check myself into the emergency room twice for feelings of suicide and anxiety. DON’T STOP THE EFFEXOR COLD TURKEY! You will end up with bigger problems. My MD explained to me that getting off Effexor or any other drug of its type is dangerous! I got back on the Effexor and the anxiety attacks and feelings of suicide went away. I missed my meds accidently for a day, and I was crying and upset again that fast. First, I will tell you not to give up and instead of feeling like you are the problem, see the problem for what it is. It is medical. To quote my ADHD doctor. It’s like wearing glasses. I might need glasses to see better but the glasses are not who I am. ADHD or Bipolar either one are not who you are; they are what you are dealing with. I’m sure you’ve heard the usual pep talk that we all give because it’s true, it does get better. Breathe deep; get help from a very reputable source, ask for testing. If you don’t feel comfortable with a doctor, see another. It’s your life and only you can take control of it. Suicide is not an option, though many people take that way out. From reading your story, I’d say that your a pretty intelligent person with a lot to give. Don’t let this get you down for long. Start working on getting what you need immediately. It may take a short time but I’m on that same journey again and though I get frustrated, I trust God and I know that He is working in my life and working this out for and me. Just remember though, God feeds even the smallest birds but He doesn’t pop the worm on top of the ground every time. Sometimes the bird must dig for his food. Consider this time a time of exploration for you to get to the bottom of this. Sandra, I know not everyone believes in God but I do and I know Christ as my personal saviour. I am not trying to preach to you, I’m just telling you what I feel. Bad things happen and it’s not what happens to us in life, it’s what we do or how we react to it that matters. I sincerely hope to talk with you again on ADHD vs. Bipolar from one woman to another. In the mean time, take care of yourself and know that God and a lot of other ADDer’s care for you too. You can email me at my texascann name at aol if you’d like and I will be glad to answer you. CharlotteREPORT ABUSEApril 4, 2011 at 11:01 pm #102944
AnonymousInactiveApril 4, 2011 at 11:01 pmPost count: 14413
About Drs. They can sometimes be WRONG, that is why it is called a “practice”. When was the last time you called a job a “practice”?
About meds. If you don’t feel normal and know it, you are on the wrong stuff, whatever you are taking, legal or not.
About people. If you are good inside, keep it in and that will help your control and impulsive stuff, but you actually have to think.
I have felt all of the described things on this site most of the time in my life.
I have now helped myself in many ways.
Last thing, Drs. are not superhuman, they are only human. Just like I am…….now!REPORT ABUSEApril 4, 2011 at 11:08 pm #102945
AnonymousInactiveApril 4, 2011 at 11:08 pmPost count: 14413
Had to also comment on trouble with vision and hearing.
Thought I was needing better glasses and a hearing aid for “directional” hearing.
Got tested on both. Great hearing and better than 20/20 vision but it still was bad on both counts. Once you get on the bandwagon, whatever that is, you will find it all comes back with gusto. Also seems as if God answers my prayers more often and clearer now. I can actually hear all of His yelling!REPORT ABUSEMay 21, 2011 at 3:03 am #102946
AnonymousInactiveMay 21, 2011 at 3:03 amPost count: 14413
Sandra, I’m with some of the others on making absolutely SURE that your doctor/doctors have the right diagnosis.
I ‘diagnosed’ my dad as ADHD after reading/learning about it at university while studying to be a teacher. Then I had my son. Yes, he had it too (a real diagnosis from a real doctor 😆 ) Did I see ADHD in myself? Well, maybe a teeny tiny bit but I had it well under control. Or so I thought.
Then came the depression. I was saddled with 3 kids, one of them a wild ADHD LD boy, no family closer than 1500 miles away, and a husband who was gone for weeks or months at a time. We all know that having just one wild ADHD kid means that my family was blacklisted by every babysitter in the entire country! I didn’t know how I’d manage. That’s when I was given the Bi-Polar 11 diagnosis.
I was the poster girl for Bi-Polar. I took the meds and wanted to feel better. The depression part went away but gee, I still had a lot of other stuff going on. The highs never left. I was an energizer bunny! Six years later, my psychiatrist tells me that she doesn’t think I need the meds anymore. I could go off them, at least for a while as long as I stayed ‘ok’. Hmmm, I wondered. Was I no longer bi-polar? I don’t need the meds anymore? Had I become ‘un’ bi-polar somehow or other? I really didn’t want to go off my meds because I was too afraid of depression happening again. (depression is NOT fun and I sure didn’t want that to come back again…..)
Eventually, I did go off the last of the drugs and lo and behold, I was fine. The depression was gone but all the other symptoms that had been the clincher for why I was supposed to be bi-polar were still there. (up all night, talk too fast, talk too much….) The psychiatrist had made her diagnosis based on those symptoms.
How did I discover that I was actually only ADHD? I became very ill but was not able to convey that message to my GP. I guess she could only see an unmedicated bi-polar patient who was describing imaginary symptoms. Her solution was always to suggest that I needed to go back on my meds. Talk about frustration!
Luckily for me, I developed gallstones/gallbladder attacks. This my GP would believe was REAL and not just vague ramblings from an unmedicated ‘head case’. The ultrasound confirmed the gallbladder issue but discovered the source of my ‘imaginary’ complaints.
Fortunately, I was promptly sent for a surgery sweep across my mid-section that removed my ‘lucky’ gallbladder, part of my pancreas with the TUMOR that had produced all my ‘imaginary’ symptoms, and my spleen. To say the least, I was a bit traumatized to l would have died if it had been ignored any longer.
What was it that really traumatized me? The fact that my doctor was unable to hear me as a patient because of the bi-polar ‘head case’ stigma. Any complaints about my health were answered with “you need to go back on meds”.
So the psycho trauma only fueled my ADHD issues. When I was finally able to go back to work, I was further upset by the mess I found when I returned. I was going in circles trying to fix things up (well, it was MY fault they were in such a mess because I had been away and they couldn’t find a proper replacement). The mess at work was my fault, at least in my mind.
So I came up with a plan. Frantic, upset people don’t work well or very efficiently. Frantic, upset ADHD people do an even worse job. What can I do so I can work more efficiently instead of doing circles and circles and more circles and still getting nothing done? Maybe meds would help my ADHD mind slow down a bit.
Problem: GP won’t give ADHD meds to crazy bi-polar lady. I kept insisting so she sent me to a new psychiatrist (old one retired) but this guy just said he was retiring in a month and he didn’t BOTHER with that ‘stuff’, meaning ADHD so he wouldn’t give me anything either. Harrumph! So I found a new psychiatrist on my own (GP wouldn’t give me another referral- she did threaten to sign me in to the psych ward if I kept up on this ADHD thing).
This wonderful doctor told me he hears that same story over and over. He specializes in ADHD. He says he get many patients who have been diagnosed as Bi-polar who are absolutely NOT BP- just Adult ADHD. He also said he gets patients sent to him who are supposed to be Adult ADHD and he has to say, “Actually, you are Bi-polar” and he get patients that he has to tell, “You are bi-polar and ADHD.”
Yes, apparently we can be one or the other or both. He says a lot of patients are misdiagnosed because of the similarities between the two conditions. He says no matter what, there is hope and there is treatment. Never give up.
Thank-you for sharing with us. I could sense your pain and frustration. Please keep us informed of how you are doing because we do care.REPORT ABUSEMay 21, 2011 at 4:41 pm #102947
BuxomDivaParticipantMay 21, 2011 at 4:41 pmPost count: 109
Sandra I second what zsazsa posted. You can have BPD AND ADHD. Ask me how I know this! After being on Effexor for quite some time it eventually triggered a manic episode. At first my specialist thought I was suggesting I had BPD instead of ADHD but it had become clear to me that I actually had BOTH. When I started reading up on the difference between unipolar and bipolar depression I realized the latter was actually a better fit. What I have never found anywhere is an explanation of the difference between being hyperactive and hypomanic. In my OWN case, the hyperactivity comes out as racing thoughts and talking non-stop at about a mile a minute. The hypomania came out as kinetic energy; I just HAD to clean my apartment at 2 AM. (I wish I had manic episodes more often, let me tell you!)
Don’t forget, my doctors STILL don’t believe that adults can have ADHD so they may look for something else that can explain at least some of our symptoms.
Good luck to you and your family.
Zsazsa where are you located? Your doc sounds like a gem and I need to find a new one.REPORT ABUSEMay 24, 2011 at 4:03 pm #102948
AnonymousInactiveMay 24, 2011 at 4:03 pmPost count: 14413
Sandra, I was diagnosed with Bipolar disorder in 2003, after seeing a counselor for what I initially believed was severe depression after losing my mom. When I was first diagnosed, my INSTANT response was “that’s what crazy people have.” I sought out a second and even third opinion and even ‘changed’ some of my answers to the testing that they give you. Result: Bipolar disorder. Bipolar Disorder. Bipolar Disorder. I’ve worked in the medical field for 13 years and was STRONGLY against medication, I felt that it would ‘numb’ me and not truly help my situation. Above all, I felt ‘weak’. I’m the only person in my family with a mental illness and not only did I get 1, but 2, I never ‘overachieve’ in anything in my life! I felt like my mom would be embarrassed or ashamed that I just couldn’t ‘handle’ my problems by myself. I hated the stigma that came with the diagnosis, and I had a father who, bless his heart, didn’t really understand the implications of my diagnosis. My denial led to me being non compliant with my medication for 5 years, which led to so many of the emotions that you describe. I am now seeing a psychiatrist who also has a background in nuerology and he was able to really explain to me why I needed medication to feel ‘normal’. Once he convinced me to stay compliant and get the bipolar disorder stabilized, he ‘conquered’ my symptoms of ADHD. Great, one more ‘thing’ for me, one more med, but I have to tell you, I feel so much better since I started really being compliant on my medications, it’s unbelievable. The meds didn’t make my problems ‘magically disappear’, but they made my mind and my body better at ‘handling’ what came my way. I dealt with ‘manic’ behavior my entire life and didn’t realize it. I had suicidal ideation multiple times, I even spent 2 years in my early teenage years never leaving the house, except to go to school. My diagnosis was bittersweet, I was glad to know that there was a reason for my behavior, but the problem with something being all in your head is that it’s ‘all in your head’, and explaining to some of my family and friends didn’t bring support and love, it brought questions and doubt.
My only advice to you is that you need to be your own best advocate for your well being. As women, we tend to ALWAYS put the needs of our family ahead of our own, but bipolar disorder is like a food allergy in that it gets worse with age, the episodes can increase, I’m not trying to scare you in any way, but clearly, you are in a place where you need all of the help that you can get. If you are in doubt aoubt ANY aspect of your diagnosis, seek out other opinions. This is your life and your health, you have every right to insist on top notch care and above all ANSWERS! Sites like this have been instrumental in my own experience because I’ve found such a community of support here and I’ve read so many stories similar to mine, it helps to know that you are not alone, that we all struggle with not just our symptoms, but even the diagnosis. Above all YOU CANNOT beat yourself up for anything. Our disease(s) are so controversial because there is no clearcut ‘proof’ of our illness. We take tests and answer questions, there is no diagnostic test like an MRI or EKG to say “Ta-dah, I’m sick. There’s your proof, jerks!” We can explain bio chemistry to people, but we don’t get to stick out finger and get a blood count to say “Ah my ADD/Bipolar disorder is ‘down’ today”.People still look at it like an ‘excuse’ or a ‘mood’, but I truly believe that this ignorance and the low self esteem it brings is so dangerous. You have to realize that you got to this point, you’ve made it through so much, but there was a REASON you sought out help. You feel like you’re at the end of your rope. I get that. I’m sure everyone on this site gets that. We’ve all made deals with destiny out of frustration and desperation, but just keep working your diagnosis. See your doc, take your meds, COMMUNICATE with people. For every reason you can list for wanting to ‘end it’ because you feel useless, there is someone out there, maybe even on this site, who can list 5 reasons why you need to ‘fight the good fight’. Be patient, just be patient. Progress comes with time. I got frustrated because I didn’t see ‘instant improvement’ but I realized that it was as unrealistic as hitting the gym 3 times and expecting to look like Halle Berry. We’ve had our ADD/ADHD/Bipolar disorder for a lifetime, we can’t expect the veil to completely lift in a matter of day. I was EXACTLY where you are 8 years ago and I’m telling you that it hasn’t been an easy road, I’ve had several ‘breakdowns’ and I’m sure that there’s more to come, but I’m heads and tails better than I was. I can’t promise you much, but I promise you this, you take care of yourself and you will start to see the little changes that make your life easier. When you feel your lowest TALK TO SOMEONE. Even if it’s a brief distraction from your pain, it will do wonders. I’m rooting for you!!!REPORT ABUSE
Bi-Polar II and not ADHD?2011-04-03T21:30:06+00:00
Viewing 0 posts
Viewing 15 posts - 1 through 15 (of 21 total)
Viewing 15 posts - 1 through 15 (of 21 total)