December 19, 2012 at 2:04 am #117807
AnonymousInactiveDecember 19, 2012 at 2:04 amPost count: 14413
Ok, here goes… Don’t know if anyone wants to read this, but maybe someone can skim through it and find something that helps. I’ll probably repeat it a thousand times in bits and pieces, but wanted to put it all in one place.
I’m 41 now, and just got a reliable diagnosis after over a year of trying to find the right doctor to help me, and after many, many years of struggling and failing.
I was diagnosed as “hyperactive” when I was 4, never received any treatment, guess they figured I’d grow out of it (didn’t!). In second grade, I took a bunch of tests and was put into a gifted program, which was great in elementary school. Been doing a lot of looking back lately to get a good history, it all screams at me now, but back then, especially out in the sticks where I grew up, ADD didn’t exist.
School was pretty much an agonizing blur for me, got 100’s in some subjects, failed a few. Every report card was full of comments like “doesn’t apply himself” or “could do better if he tried”. Yeah, thanks teachers! Had a few really great teachers, though, who encouraged my strengths. Never did homework, didn’t study, only reason I graduated was that I could pick up enough in class to pass. Usually.
Anyway, fast-forward through a tour in the army (which I enjoyed immensely), about 100 crappy jobs, some good ones that I quit when I got bored or frustrated, and through moving every 6 months or so. Finally got settled into a job that kind of fit me, but then I moved up a level and had more “administrative” work to do (didn’t do a lot). Somehow I stayed there for 10 years before I quit. Other than some odd/seasonal jobs, I’ve been unemployed for the last 4 years or so.
I had approached my doctor at one point for some help, after explaining to him what I was having trouble with, he said “oh, everyone has those problems” and gave me a script for Zoloft. Actually took it for 2 months before I decided that it wasn’t doing anything good for me, and quit. The Dr. had not explained anything about it, had a horrible withdrawl and lots more issues at home.
My mother passed away a year ago, during the process of cleaning out her house and settling her affairs, my brother saw how much I was struggling and getting frustrated and sat me down for a lecture. He and my niece had both been diagnosed with ADHD, and were doing great with treatment, and he strongly suggested that I see someone and get evaluated. Got tangled back up in the whole mess, kind of put it out of my mind and went on struggling.
This past Easter weekend, I was up late watching PBS and saw “ADD & Loving It”. I was in tears by the end. I got a lot of resistance from my wife (“you’re not taking any pills!”), but started looking for a doctor and doing more research. Finally found a Psychologist who would see me and made an appointment.
Always, always, research and quiz the doctor first, as Rick and most everyone here recommends. I had to find a doctor who took my insurance, and all of the psychiatrists that I called only did inpatient work. I was also under the impression that I could only see a doc in the state where my insurance comes from, not in the state where I live (live right on the border).
First appointment seemed to go well, discussed my history, had my school records, etc. there for reference. He told me (answered his own phone, can be a red flag and should have been) that he specialized in ADD in adults and kids, that the majority of his patients were ADD, etc. Everything ducky until he started into his explanation that he believes ADHD is caused by “negative stressors” in our lives, and if you remove them, you will get better. I swear my jaw was on the floor! As politely as I could, I thanked him for his time, and declined another appointment. So now I had a diagnosis from a “doctor” that I didn’t trust, and I was even more confused and demoralized than before.
Found the website here, and finally got a human on the phone at my ins. company who enlightened me that I could see ANY in-network doctor nationwide. She helped me find a doctor closer to home, called the first one and kind of grilled the receptionist about the doc’s experience, methods, everything but his shoe size! She humored me and assured me that they deal with all sorts of issues, but they see a lot of ADD adults and kids.
First appointment was great, but exhausting! Talked with the counselor and doc for almost 3 hours, gave them my pile of “documentation”. Had my second appt. today, the doc was laughing because he didn’t know how wound up I was, said he wasn’t trying to keep me in suspense, because I definitely have ADHD, and pretty much way up on the spectrum. Was kind of surprised about the hyperactivity, didn’t notice how much I move in my seat and fidget. My next appt. is in January, to discuss meds and a further treatment plan. He even gave me homework!
So after all that, here I am with a much more positive attitude than I’ve had in quite a few years and actually looking forward to the hard work of improving my life. At least now I know what I’m up against and have a direction.
If you made it this far, let me know, I owe you some cookies for persistence. Or at least some reading glasses!REPORT ABUSEDecember 19, 2012 at 2:42 am #117808
RobboMemberDecember 19, 2012 at 2:42 amPost count: 929
You sound a lil like me in that you’re a lil bit hard on yourself. I think your writing is easy to read and not long winded and annoying like some of my posts can be. (I’m less hard on myself these days, honest!) Also I think I’ve been doing a better job at editing my replies. (now that I’ve said that I’m afraid I’ll really screw one up…) We shall see. Or maybe skim through.
I too have have some disappointment with doctors. Many doctors. God bless em though. They really are doing their best n have good intentions, unfortunately sometimes they let idiots graduate from medical school because their mom or dad’s got tons of money. I hate when that happens! grrrr. can ya relate?.
Sorry to hear about your mother. I’m happy for you that you’ve got a family member who understands and will hopefully be a source of support for you. I’ll bet in the not too distant future you’ll be able to help them out too. It’s sorta a fun thing to have in common if you’ve got the clown around and behave in a childlike manner flavor of ADHD.
You’re doing great new friend, thanks for sharing.
I like peanut butter cookies K?. I’ve already got a bunch of reading glasses. I even know where almost half of them are too. Dat’s progress.
Hang loose bra.REPORT ABUSEDecember 19, 2012 at 3:02 am #117809
AnonymousInactiveDecember 19, 2012 at 3:02 amPost count: 14413
Thanks, yeah I am sometimes hard on myself, hopefully less of that in my future! After reading my own post, I saw what I left out or put completely out of order! Just the editor in me coming out.
I have to say that I really lucked out in the fact that I found such a great team so close to home on my second try. Both the psychiatrist and the therapist are great, and it’s all of a mile from my house.
I’ll be baking cookies later this week as soon as someone (cough, cough) fixes the oven! And as soon as I find MY glasses!REPORT ABUSEDecember 19, 2012 at 3:51 am #117811
Patte RosebankParticipantDecember 19, 2012 at 3:51 amPost count: 1517
Gardener, it’s always amazing how, as soon as you mention that you think you might have a mental issue, so many people immediately start telling you why you shouldn’t even THINK of taking meds to treat it.
But, if you were to mention that you think you might be diabetic, nobody in their right mind would tell you not to take meds to treat it.
It’s a huge double-standard, based on fear, whipped up by an almost total ignorance and disregard of the facts.
The right meds (properly prescribed and administered), psychotherapy, and ADD coaching, can work wonders, when all three are part of your treatment. Individually, none is as effective as they all are together.December 19, 2012 at 4:17 am #117812
AnonymousInactiveDecember 19, 2012 at 4:17 amPost count: 14413
@Larynxa Thanks to this site, I know how much a combined-approach treatment helps. Really never been good at listening when people tell me I can’t or shouldn’t do something. I’m not planning on telling anyone about my diagnosis, other than my wife. Well, anyone other than here on this site!REPORT ABUSEDecember 19, 2012 at 3:45 pm #117817
Patte RosebankParticipantDecember 19, 2012 at 3:45 pmPost count: 1517
Sure, WE know a combined-approach treatment is best, but it’s not much help when your province’s medicare system only pays for psychiatrists & meds, even though most people with mental issues are chronically unemployed or underemployed, so earn far less than people who don’t have those issues.
Grumpy Cat does not approve!December 19, 2012 at 7:15 pm #117824
sdwaParticipantDecember 19, 2012 at 7:15 pmPost count: 363
For what it’s worth, Gardener….
I got my diagnosis at 45, after decades of struggling with depression and being on anti-depressants. After I found out, I got coaching for about 9 months (expensive) and then participated in an ongoing, small support group of 8-10 people for a year + (also expensive). It was illuminating to hear the stories of others.
People who don’t have ADD don’t understand. I don’t talk to anyone about it for that reason. It’s nobody’s business, they can’t help, and there won’t be any validation from outside.
I appreciate your frustration with regard to finding an informed doctor or therapist. Before I knew what I was dealing with, I tried to fix the problem, but nothing helped. A lot of my efforts made it worse, because I didn’t know what I was trying to fix. Things got so bad that I finally cursed the heavens and said, hey Universe, put up or shut up, cuz I ain’t doin’ this any more. But it was pure chance that I stumbled upon a psychiatrist with a clue. Having a child with ADHD gave me my first inkling.
Last night I sat down and read, cover to cover, the “ADD Stole My Car Keys” book written by Dr. Jain and Rick Green. It was amazing. Almost every story was relatable. It hit me again just how serious this thing is, how it’s shaped my entire life. I’m the “inattentive” type. Quiet in person. Introverted. Space cadet. Think too much. Physically uncoordinated. Hypersensitive to noise, light, movement. Living on a heap of junk. Etc.
I don’t know why, but I seem to need to be reminded of how “real” it is over and over. I keep expecting myself to be able to do things differently. I keep expecting to be able to manage it using methods that didn’t work the first hundred, thousand, or ten thousand times. Like that definition of insanity – when you do the same thing over and over and expect a different result? Or as someone else put it, this time you tried again, only wearing a hat?
“Strategies” are probably unique to the individual. What you respond to, what gets you going, what you notice.
Right now I’m thinking about what they said about building habits, doing the same thing every day at the same time until it’s auto-pilot. Also analyzing my traffic patterns through my house – where do I usually go, first, second, etc. and where am I most likely to see what’s important (knowing that what I don’t see doesn’t exist.) And trying to find ways to build social reinforcement into what I need to get done. (I was hoping to create a group or groups around shared interests.) I have so much junk and extra stuff in my house, I don’t know how I will ever get rid of it, but my ideal would be a mostly empty space with a few real essentials.
We call our son, the one with ADHD, “Mr. Sonar,” because if something’s going on anywhere, he will be the first to detect it. He made me take down our wall clock because the ticking was driving him crazy.REPORT ABUSE
Finally moving forward!2012-12-19T02:04:49+00:00
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