March 19, 2011 at 9:58 pm #89337
AnonymousInactiveMarch 19, 2011 at 9:58 pmPost count: 14413
I am a 40 year old woman. I didn’t realize I have ADD until I researched to try to figure out what was wrong with my son. Then I realized that I passed this on to him, and possibly my daughter. I am self diagnosed (wish someone would have taken the time to diagnose me when in school), and have not gone in for an official diagnoses because I am not sure I want to get on medication, and if I am not going to get on medication, then why get an official diagnoses? My big hesitation in getting on medication, is that I have heard that once you are past a certian age, there is a health risk to the heart. Is this true? And do you think that at this point in my life medication would be helpful?
Thank you!REPORT ABUSEMarch 20, 2011 at 2:56 am #102355
AnonymousInactiveMarch 20, 2011 at 2:56 amPost count: 14413
I’m not a doctor, but I am over 40 and recently diagnosed. I have been on medication for high blood pressure for almost ten years. When I was given Ritalin, I was told that it *could* raise my blood pressure. So far though, it hasn’t. I’ve been monitoring it almost daily since I started and the numbers are always between 117-109 over 68-82; very normal, in other words. I am still taking my blood pressure meds (I also take Advair, which can also raise BP slightly) and everything is working as it should.
The good thing about ADHD (versus, say, diabetes or heart disease) is that medication is really optional. Medication for ADHD will not save or prolong your life the way those other meds do; it’s just to help you if you feel that you need it. A lot of people on here seem to be managing just fine without the meds.
As far as getting a diagnosis is concerned, the only real reason I can see for getting it at this point in your life is if it’s going to make you feel better about yourself. In my case, having the diagnosis gave me validation. It allowed me to believe that I am not just a lazy underachiever.
I chose to take the medication for the same reason I sought a diagnosis: I was having great difficulty concentrating at work and I was getting really nervous that I was going to be fired. Once I started the Ritalin, it was like someone flipped a switch and I was suddenly able to focus on the task at hand. The first two days I took it were the most productive work days I had had in a very, very long time.
Because of the nature of the way ADHD meds work, it’s not like an antidepressant that you have to be on for months. If you get the right one, the effects are immediate and dramatic. I can foresee myself stopping the meds at some point, but for now, I’m enjoying the creative beast that has been unleashed.
You can get the diagnosis (if you want it) and not have to take medication; no one can or will force you to. Good luck!
PS Sorry if this post jumps around a little–can you tell that the meds have worn off?REPORT ABUSEMarch 20, 2011 at 9:20 am #102356
AnonymousInactiveMarch 20, 2011 at 9:20 amPost count: 14413
Thanks for your honest personal assessments. I am 48 and I am looking forward to all the physical/mental benefits that ADHD medications may offer. I had these grandiose expectations about them but they have been suppressed by all the great posts here. Now I have more of a realistic hope. Based upon the shared experiences by so many I am not predicting this instant 180 degree turn around in myself but at least a different path with some clarity without all the fuzziness that is in it now.
The “validation” you speak of I never thought was important but as I become more aware and knowledgeable about my ADHD symptoms (that others and I share) their substantiation has become more significant to me. I have had some great successes in my life but even greater failures because of my ADHD symptoms and inability to reign in myself. If the meds help me with some of my symptoms, “Yeah” for me and those around me. With Meds a piece of the foundation in my life will have been set but it will still be my responsibility to finish constructing the project and with some of the tools afforded by venues such as this totallyadd site the odds are more in my favor than not having them.
As far as the medication safety and use i agree with you to a point. If it does not work for me i have choices. change brands, types. etc. and even stop taking them. I get that. My concern is are there any studies or research that indicate there may or may not be some health issues/risks that may be created by the use of ADHD Meds in an older person. If there are risks I would like to know what they are so I may make a educated decisions as to go the Med route or not. I can drown in a pool of water but that is not going to prevent me from drinking it, The benefits far outweigh the risks. I am looking for a fair and unbiased study with information that has some validity to it that’s all.
Thanks all for the great posts and I can’t wait to share my experiences. Hopefully they will offer insight to others so they have information they can use to create a plan for a more clear life.REPORT ABUSEMarch 20, 2011 at 2:05 pm #102357
AnonymousInactiveMarch 20, 2011 at 2:05 pmPost count: 14413
Thank you brentitude for your input! I am really glad the meds are helping you! My son is in high school and is an honor student if he takes his strattera like he is supposed to, but when he doesn’t, struggles to get c’s. As it has been talked about in some of the videos, I have learned to adapt and develop skills, mostly at work (many things around home are still very unorganized ), especially once I realized the demon I had been struggling with since grade school. I realize now that I am very smart and talented, and that it has just all been trapped in there in all the jumbled up static.
njadd, looks like you and I are kinda in the same boat here, waiting to find out if we should jump in and try to swim, or just stay in the boat we have always been familiar with. Good luck to you!REPORT ABUSEMarch 20, 2011 at 6:20 pm #102358
AnonymousInactiveMarch 20, 2011 at 6:20 pmPost count: 14413
I am going to test the water. Normally i would have jumped right in without even putting my toes in first but because of this site and other support i am going in the water by the stairs………..REPORT ABUSEMarch 20, 2011 at 9:00 pm #102359
Patte RosebankParticipantMarch 20, 2011 at 9:00 pmPost count: 1517
If the medicine you need to treat your ADHD happens to raise your blood pressure, it’s a very simple matter to take blood pressure medication. All of my doctors (including the diabetes specialist) have emphasized that blood pressure medication is so commonly used now, that it’s really not a big deal if you need to add it in order to keep taking the ADHD medication.
It really bothers me that so many people’s first reaction is always a firm, “I don’t want to even consider medication”. Especially when that statement is based on a hysterical reaction to all the lies out there (usually from people trying to sell you their snake-oil “alternative therapies”), rather than on actual medical facts.
Your brain is not working properly. Just as, if you’re diabetic, your pancreas isn’t working properly. And no amount of “alternative therapies” will make it work properly, without the help of medication to fix the problem, at least at first. Eventually, with the help of the medication, you may be able to implement strategies that will enable you to reduce or possibly even eliminate the need for medication. But that will take time.
As for the argument that ADHD isn’t a sufficiently life-threatening condition to require medication, you really need to consider what defines “life”. If you think “life” is always having to struggle (often unsuccessfully) to do the most basic organizational tasks, always getting in trouble for screwing up or being late, always failing to live up to your potential, and always being anxious and depressed about it, then no, ADHD isn’t “life-threatening”. However, considering that distractability makes you way more likely to have a car accident, and that a lifetime of all that struggling can drive a person to suicide, then I’d say ADHD is very “life-threatening”.
Don’t rule anything out until you have learned all the facts. Then, discuss everything with your doctors. Only then, can you make an informed decision, together.REPORT ABUSEMarch 21, 2011 at 12:23 am #102360
AnonymousInactiveMarch 21, 2011 at 12:23 amPost count: 14413
Hey, calm down, I wasn’t saying that complications of having ADHD couldn’t possibly be life threatening. The point of what I was saying is that people with ADHD have a choice of how they choose to treat their own symptoms–people with diabetes or emphysema (to name a couple) do not have that choice. Everyone has to find what’s right for them; for some, it may not be medication. There are alternatives, like CBT, for example. If they work for someone, that’s terrific. I know it wouldn’t work for me, just as I know toughing it out without medication doesn’t work for me either.
Let me try another example: If I lost one of my legs, I would be able to decide for myself if I wanted to:
a. Use a wheelchair
b. Get a prosthetic
c. Use crutches
d. Combination of the above
Do you see what I’m trying to say? If PrettyInPink;s symptoms are not bothering her or interfering with her living her life, then why should she take medication for it?REPORT ABUSEMarch 21, 2011 at 1:18 am #102361
HansMemberMarch 21, 2011 at 1:18 amPost count: 51
There are lots of people who self diagnose. I do believe you are putting the cart before the horse. A skilled professional should make the diagnosis. He should be able to identify if you have ADHD and in what areas.
To be diagnosed with ADHD it has to be an “impairment” in your life. Its like the young student who cannot pay attention in class because his mind races. On medication he gets “A”‘s off medication he gets “C”s if he’s lucky.
ADHD medication helps with the passage of information. It changes the brain pathways from bumpy roads to highways.
If you do not have the bumpy road then the medicine will probably do very little for you. Also if you do not have ADHD there is a greater risk of SIDE EFFECTS because you are overstimulating “NORMAL” areas of your brain.
There are lots of people who are affected but not to the level of impairment. I am 67 years old and was recently diagnosed. It has been an impairment in my life. Its affected my work, my social interaction with my kids and others, my ability to take tests, remember conversations, details….on and on and on Oh did I mention the daily anxiety and the drinking to relieve the stress….That just poped in from nowhere..I take my extended realease in the morning. it must be just about gone right now.
I did not self diagnose my self. It was my wife who said I should go and get checked. I have responded well to medication and all my wif’e’s headaches, back problems etc have disappeared. I’m so much easyer to live with.
ADHD affects the whole family. In many ways like an alchoholic or drug addict in the family. The person who has it is can be unaware of the problem since he has lived with it his/her whole life. The Dr. who does the diagnosis usually wants the immediate family for input. to help with the diagnosis.
I hope I have not offended anyone on this forum. ADHD is too serious a impairment to be taken lightly.REPORT ABUSEMarch 21, 2011 at 2:20 am #102362
AnonymousInactiveMarch 21, 2011 at 2:20 amPost count: 14413
“To be diagnosed with ADHD it has to be an “impairment” in your life.”
Hans, I respectfully disagree with this, to an extent. Given the difficulties we’ve all had growing up as undiagnosed ADDers, and the long-term negative impact that our disability has had on us (even if we’ve taught ourselves to overcome them and work around them), getting a diagnosis can be a wonderful thing–even if our ADHD symptoms are not causing primary impairment and we require no immediate treatment*. Getting a diagnosis can work wonders on the secondary impairments, like low self-esteem and how we perceive ourselves.
* I use the word “immediate” because I think that any of us could have an increase in our symptoms at some point in our lives; all it takes is an emotional reaction to some event or other that causes a slight change in our brain chemistry, and having a diagnosis officially recorded in your med recs could help prevent unnecessary delays between onset and treatment.
We will always have ADHD–it may check out, but it can never leave (like Hotel California).REPORT ABUSEMarch 21, 2011 at 2:26 am #102363
AnonymousInactiveMarch 21, 2011 at 2:26 amPost count: 14413
I really appreciate all of the feedback! My husband would agree that I need to go in and get diagnosed, and probably some medication. He just made the comment that if I got on medication, I may no longer want him around…silly man (he was kidding)! Maybe I am worse than I thought…hmmmm. I agree, that it does affect the whole family. Everyone in the family is touched by it even if they don’t have it themselves.
Good for you njadd, please let us know how it all turns out for you!REPORT ABUSEMarch 21, 2011 at 1:13 pm #102364
HansMemberMarch 21, 2011 at 1:13 pmPost count: 51
My wife and I had a long discussion about our marraige and possible personality changesdue to the medication. We came to a conclusion that if the change was drastic I could always stop taking the medication.
My wife was very happy about the positive changes. My wife had severe migraine headaches, tight shoulders,back pain. All this disapeared with my personality changes. My medication reduced my quick impulses and seemingly lack of social interaction. I was able to listen to social conversations, ask questions and not interupt.
Some times it is hard to see the forest due to all the trees. Some of my friend finally admitted that I could come across as very intense. Funny how I never saw that??????? My daughter has problems also. Her children walk on eggshell. The children issue hit a little to close to home…REPORT ABUSEMarch 22, 2011 at 9:45 pm #102365
AnonymousInactiveMarch 22, 2011 at 9:45 pmPost count: 14413
Hans, I have also had a hard time socially. Kinda feeling like I am on the outside, not able to completely connect alot of times. It is really hard for me to stay focused when someone is very long winded, my mind really wanders and gets very tired (doesn’t make for such a great friend). My husband and some friends would definately agree that I can come across as intense! I am finding out currently, that the age I am at, brings changes that seem to be magnifying the ADD symptoms and unraveling any coping skills that I might have devoloped over the years. I have been feeling like that lost little girl sitting in the classroom looking around wondering why everyone else understood what we were supposed to be doing except me. Just makes me wonder if I need some help with medication.REPORT ABUSEMarch 31, 2011 at 12:42 am #102366
AnonymousInactiveMarch 31, 2011 at 12:42 amPost count: 14413
Ok…I have the name of a psychiatrist (from my son’s Dr and probably soon to be my daughter’s). I really want to call him…but I am so apprehensive…isn’t a psychiatrist someone who deals with crazy people? I know that if I don’t like the meds and they aren’t helping I can stop them, but once I am diagnosed…it stays on my medical record forever. None the less…I guess if the outcome is helpful…it will be worth it. Is anyone else out there as scared to get an official diagnoses as me?REPORT ABUSEMarch 31, 2011 at 10:46 am #102367
trashmanMemberMarch 31, 2011 at 10:46 amPost count: 546
hi,need to chime in here. pip sounds like we grew up in the same place. i to thought that psychiatrist were just for crazy people. so now let me share something i have learned,if you see them in time then they can help you from becoming a crazy person. the best thing i did was to go see my shrink . i finitely have a handle on my depression and my meds for my adhd helps me to keep my big mouth shut. now thats great for me and my family . so still hoping to keep my new job and with my meds all in order i think i can do it. hope this helps.REPORT ABUSEMarch 31, 2011 at 2:44 pm #102368
AnonymousInactiveMarch 31, 2011 at 2:44 pmPost count: 14413
Trashman…….. luv ur advice
PIP If I may chime in one more time I have read all your posts all of them here. 3 times and even once out loud. In my honest opinion go see the psychiatrist. Just make sure he is educated about ADHD and current on all the information regarding it. I might suggest a therapist as well as you might need to discuss and address some of the social and etc issues you fell innocent victim to because of your ADHD.
Best of luckREPORT ABUSE
Is there an age when medication becomes dangerous to health?2011-03-19T21:58:36+00:00
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