As the site and documentary state, ADHD is a very treatable condition. But I wonder what “treatable” means.
Can someone with ADHD diagnosed as an adult turn their life around once beginning treatment? Can one become a more productive member of society and be able to lead a somewhat normal life?
Im trying to see life in a positive way but it’s a bit hard when everything is doomed to fail. I am trying to view things in a different light. As in ” Actually finishing the stuff I set out to finish whether it was started hours, days, months or years ago….”AnonymousInactive
Manny, I know you’re looking for an expert’s response, and I’m not that (yet) but I will say a resounding YES. I began talk therapy with a clinical psychologist who recognized untreated ADD and sent me to a psychiatrist. Hitting upon the right combination of antidepressant and stimulant has been a GODSEND. I am 10 classes from my Bachelors, 28 from dual MBA/MSSF, my marriage is finally strong and stable, I am a better, more effective parent, I’ve held a job at the same place for a year and a half (unheard of before treatment) with decent wage and benefits…YOU ARE NOT DOOMED TO FAIL. You just need the right scaffolding to help you decide where you want to go and give you thetools to get there.AnonymousInactive
Thank you this offers me more hope. I am without medication for anything right now though I have a long history of depression. I spend hours obsessing over never going to university or college. Letting all my dreams fall apart. Quitting everything I have ever started in the past 14 years. Each year I have given up on a different dream or aspiration or aspect of life. I actually stopped trying to work 2 years ago to save myself the anxiety and pain of failure.
Again your words give me a lot of hopepurlgurlMember
YESYESYESYESYESYESYES, my life has been completely changed by having the ADHD diagnosis.
Like you, I had had a very long history of depression (we think due to the fact that I finally “hit the wall” when I was 16 as far as coping with the symptoms of the then-undiagnosed ADHD). I have been in-and-out of so many college and university programs over the last 10 years. This summer, after a big blow-up with my husband (which resulted in me seeing a new therapist, and which triggered my thoughts about possibly having ADHD, which got this whole ball rolling), he (my husband) was even at the point where he was encouraging me to start looking for full-time jobs in fields like food services in hospitals (unionized, with benefits). Knowing what I know now, this probably would have been a *total* disaster.
Luckily, I did persevere through getting the diagnosis, and starting on medication. At first, he was skeptical (because so many depression treatments had seemed to work for a while, and then not), but we were able to pop some champagne last night because of my first completely successful post-secondary semester *ever* (I completed four courses, probably all with A/A+ final grades, and I really enjoy the program I’m in). The counsellor I’m working with at school says he never would have guessed that I had a history of depression, based on our sessions (I’m working with him now that I’m doing well to make sure that I stay that way). I actually feel honest-to-goodness HAPPY (I still have down days, just like anyone, but they’re not hide-under-the-blankets-can’t-even-take-a-shower-or-brush-my-teeth days anymore). I still have regrets, from the things that I messed up over the last decade, and we’re still plowing our way through a *mountain* of debt, more than half of which was accumulated by me. But I do not think, anymore, that I am doomed to failure, and neither does mr. purlgurl.
I am not an expert, but I would really encourage you to try to find someone to work with regarding your obsessive thoughts/ruminations – even starting with your family doctor. I’m sure you know this, but the thoughts are not accomplishing anything positive – in fact, they are almost definitely making things worse. Also, they are probably a symptom of depression, more than a part of *you*. Good luck with everything.AnonymousInactive
I just want to encourage manny to try out medications.
It is absolutely not “one size fits all”.
For me, when I know I have my medication right is when I don’t feel like I’m taking any. The catch is, when I actually am *not* taking any, I’m kind of a mess. So I see meds as chemicals that gently refine and support my brain function. I’m smart, and I know I’m smart, but I’ve been an underacheiver all of my adult life, and that really pisses me off. One of the results of being bright is that you compensate so well for your disability in many situations (especially school) that nobody ever notices just how totally scattered you really are. But getting help late in life is still better than never getting help at all.
I’m fortunate in that I don’t have to take anything super strong, but I’m on a medium dose of Ritalin (SR) and a LOW dose of an antidepressant (Effexor). I took Concerta for a year, and then wasn’t on medical benefits any longer, so I went on Ritalin. I was really worried that I wouldn’t do as well on the Ritalin, but I haven’t had any problem with the transition. Its exactly the same chemical, just released differently (for those of you on Concerta, try dropping a pill in a glass of water and watching what happens – but you’ll have to wait all day – it dissolves in gradual stages, until the plastic core is left – but I digress!!)
Awhile after I was diagnosed and started medication, I got upset that the medication didn’t “fix” me. Its taking a long time to scrape together the tools I need to make things better, but I think of the meds as a framework to build on, right, but the actually construction work is up to me.AnonymousInactive
Wow, great support! There are no quick fixes and lifestyle changes are the key which often includes meds to make it happen. This is a highly treatable condition. Here is an easy start- think about your strengths and know that the treatment agenda is to make these abilities stronger. Now think about your weakness and hey, we all have many. Try not to let yourself get overwhelmed by them. Treatment is designed to help you soften the weaknesses. But the key message in the world of ADHD is that your focus, pardon the pun, is often more on your weaknesses rather than your strengths. That is what has to change! That is really what treatment is all about. ADDers can do amazing things when they focus on what matters.
Doesn’t mean there aren’t solutions for many of the areas of disability. There are and this website, along with the support of members, will show you the way.
I believe the core treatment agenda is to build your self esteem. That is why we try to inject so much humor into this site. People need to laugh more and realize, hey, [ I ] can get through this. There is a reason why ADHD is often so intertwined with depression and anxiety.AnonymousInactive
……… So here I go people I just got my prescription and will be getting my meds tomorrow. I was prescribed adderall and I am a bit scared and somewhat skeptical.
I am happy to get medication first of all.
Here is the BIG BUT.
Adderall is not recommended for people with past drug and alcohol abuse history. I have been drug and alcohol free for 6+ years and the last thing I want to do is put something which can be habit forming into my body. I abused alcohol and other things for a few years almost daily. I don’t want to feel high or anything like that. I was once put on sleeping medication and found myself liking the feeling of elation before I slept amazing and started to take more than prescribed.
I had not seen my doctor for over a week, he simply called me and told me he’d be calling the prescription in to my pharmacy. I am starting to think the Doc forgot about my concerns.
I do respect all doctors but I can honestly say I know my body so I worry about any stimulant. I actually forgot that when first diagnosed I was put on ridallin for 2.5 weeks, it was so many month ago I had forgotten. I became very hyper focused and easily moody and could not sleep for days, high as a kite for hours, and found myself starting with one pill and then working my way up to 4, when I was only to take one. I got off it because I knew I was abusing. This is all information I told my doctor. I also don’t suffer from the hyper activity.
One last thing… it took 5 weeks of rehab and 12 step meetings to get clean ….. hence my worry.
So yeah I may just be worried but if I feel like I did with my last stimulant, I won’t be a happy camper, especially since it will make me sick and it cost a lot of money.AnonymousInactiveAnonymousInactive
mannyc79….if I may, because I think we’re all friends here and I certainly would want someone coming to my aid if I were suffering the same concerns you are: There are issues you are dealing with that go far deeper than ADHD I believe. Perhaps the ADHD is a manefestation of the deeper issues but they are there nonetheless and will continue to plague you if nothing is done to quell their voice. Their voice is the abuse of alcohol and drugs and it has obviously had an enormous impact on you throughout your life. It sounds to me as though you would benefit from seeing a psychotherapist so that you can address anything you may be harbouring emotionally that is causing you to turn to alcohol and drugs as a means to escape whatever it is that’s troubling you. I’m not a doctor by any stretch, but when someone says they’ve “abused alcohol and other things for a few years almost daily”, it doesn’t take a Phd to understand there are behavioural trends that need addressing and a soul that is gasping for breath.
Should you decide to go ahead with the prescription your doctor has given you, I would advise that you have another doctor keep a close eye on your progress. Not that your existing doctor is doing anything wrong, but I was recently told by my family doctor that he sees 40 people a day and due to this work load, how much ‘care’ can he possibly give? You have a very legitimate need for follow up and guidance during this tumultuous time and if your doctor is unable to give the kind of care you require, you need to make certain that you get it from somewhere. At the very least, someone that can give you professional feedback and that also posseses the means to prevent you from further abusing anything you’re on.
Again, I’m by no means a professional. I’m just someone that can empathize with your predicament. As always, I’m sure the community here can be of support to you should you need an ear to bend or a shoulder to cry on. Remember that you’re loved manny. And remember the incredible strength you already possess.
“In the midst of winter, I found there was within me an invincible summer.”
OK….my first post on any blog, anywhere. I’ve not been able to find something specific about who to go to for diagnosis in Vancouver, BC. Can anyone help me?AnonymousInactive
@ The Bishop
Yeah I spoke with my Doctor this morning and told me he felt confident I would be ok, since I have have a few years now of being clean and sober under my belt and also assured me that if it did not work we would keep trying until we got something that worked.
I never had intensions of not taking the meds, but I did have apprehensions about putting my soberiety at risk. With any addict or former addict all it takes is one time for life to spin out of control again. I am fortunate to have been involved in the 12 step process.
I will be getting a second opinion on the matter just for the sake of it but will start the meds as planned.
Ill post tomorrow to let you know how it feels.AnonymousInactive
Sounds great. Glad to hear you’re in a positive mindset about it!AnonymousInactive
AdamsMum, contact the office of Dr. Derryck Smith or Dr. Margaret Weiss for suggestions. They both treat and see adults with ADHD.AnonymousInactive
Here’s hoping for something positive. Remember, medications are there to facilitate your lifestyle change. Use the opportunity to make some differences in your life.AnonymousInactive
Hey Dr. J
I’m officially on the medication now and I can see how I can use it to focus. I have always been good at using tools and will do my best to make use of this one.
Thus far I find I’m bit irritable with a sensation of un natural tunnel vision, very jittery, and still no prioritizing but able to think slightly more clear. My dose is going to increase in a week, but I feel the symptoms will only get stronger on the side effect areas.
It reminds me of being over saturated with caffeine.
I have similar feelings I had with Ridallin. I had a feeling good and high feeling. The high feeling concerns me. The first 1 – 2 hours or so, and so far not liking how my body feels, since my chest feels strained like when I was on Ridallin. I know it won’t take a day to see results and I will do what I need to do tomorrow. But the discomfort my body feels is already apparent.
I am sure things will be ok in time, but I know the work is just beginning.
I have always tried to take and welcome all medications I am given but I never liked meds that make me not feel like me. Being someone who easily gets anxiety this may amplify this.
Either way I’m happy I took a step forward.
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