January 5, 2011 at 3:27 am #88944
AnonymousInactiveJanuary 5, 2011 at 3:27 amPost count: 14413
i was diagnosed with ADHD (predominantly combined subtype) this summer, after seeking the support of a psychiatrist for major depressive disorder.
i’m 30, and have been medicated on and off for depression since i was 14- i just wanted to ask the doctor about the possibility of changing my meds a bit, and then kablam!- before i knew it a bevvy of social workers were swinging me into 6 different kinds of action, i’m somehow enrolled in group therapy, psychologists are pulling their hair out cos i won’t shut the hell up and let anyone else in the group get a word in edgeways cos i’m too busy helping them and explaining things and fiddling with the worksheets, they all conspire to attempt to sort me out a bit, the psychiatrist gets his questionaires and diagnostic bag of tricks out, and there you have it: turns out that i have ADHD.
i’m still relatively dubious (cos i long ago decided i was just an exceptionally defective slacker through my own fault) but it does make sense, as far as a diagnosis goes, especially now that i’ve educated myself a smidge by flipping through a stack of library books and websites on the subject. and i do quite like how i um (sounds weird to even see it written down)… laugh and smile at stuff… with the addition of wellbutrin to the effexor i was previously taking to avoid the compulsive urge to try jumping out of a 12th storey window every few hours, and that the straterra thats been added to the pile slows my brain down to about 3 thoughts at a time so i can actually hear myself thinking in a relatively straight line in there- unfamiliar as it all seems.
so- as a plus, i’m really not remotely depressed any more (which is really quite an odd experience after 16+ years of living under a big grey cloud of utter doom and gloom). but on the minus end of things, i’m still not getting anywhere practically. i still usually get out of bed at lunchtime, and by the time my partner gets home from work at 1am i’ve usually acheived the stunningly impressive feats of taking a shower, getting myself some kind of food, and accumulating several hours of hanging out in the internet.
sometimes i master writing a ‘to do’ list… nothing on it seems to get done though. i’ve cut my sleep down from 12 to 14 hours to 8 hours a night, and i’ve added a few days of voluntary work into my week (which i love, but they can’t pay me). with direction, prodding, and a set task to get going on i can get loads of stuff done, but left to my own devices i usually half-start about 15 different things, contemplate another 30, and acheive about… nil on a daily basis- or sometimes i have it pointed out to me at 2am that i’ve been sewing for 14 hours solid, and i should maybe get a drink and a snack.
basically, i’m still stuck. i need to get a job, or go back to college, or both- cos at some point in the future drawing a pension might be nice- but i’m scared of screwing it up yet again, and every time i try and get started… i don’t get very far. my work history is pretty dire- i’ve struggled to hold down work because i consistantly showed up 20 minutes late, and i got very bored after a few weeks or months of doing something (even things with a lot of rapidly changing, spontaniously occuring tasks going on that i generally enjoy doing- youth work, community work, classroom support for infants, fast paced retail, busy office based stuff, etc) and when monotony and futility set in i can’t be bothered to keep going with something.
i’m apparently great with people when working- chatty, helpful, brilliant at lateral thinking and problemsolving, i can motor on and work for 10 hours straight without blinking an eye… but when i got home after a day at work and stopped, i’d fall to pieces exhausted, and couldn’t think straight enough to make myself a bowl of cereal without crying. i frequently ended up off sick with stress.
it seems that i can’t maintain any sort of a manageable pace. i’ve dropped out of college several times in the past too- it sounds like a pathetic excuse- my grades were really great, but it just started to seem really pointless, my classes got boring (and they weren’t boring subjects like math! they were communication studies, sociology, art, design, etc), and i stopped attending.
realising that i actually had a choice whether or not to do things for myself was probably downfall number one (until i was 17 i was little miss star pupil, getting awards in exchange for liberal praise)… self medicating was downfall number two (i’ve long since stopped doing that as i unfortunately wasn’t a very good prescriber- nice as it was at the time).
…………….. i really don’t know what to do next or how to pry my arse off this computer chair and make it all happen, this ‘getting a life’ stuff. since forever i’ve heard people say “you’re so funny, you’re so smart, you have such a creative way of seeing things, you give such good advice….”… yeah, i don’t feel it, i’m not convinced, and i’m not managing to give it to myself.
oh look, i made an essay. whoops! that happens a lot.
ok, life story over. i think i wanted to ask:
-is there some kind of life coach/careers coach (preferably in ontario canada) for people who can’t quite get a life or a career on their own despite having a half decent IQ and loads of incentives- thats sort of rather free of charge or covered by OHIP?
am i maybe on the wrong drugs, or just not ADHD, but some kind of accidental psychosomatic quasi ADHD faker instead?
if i pretended to be 14 instead of 30 could i get an appointment to see Dr Jain or someone of the same level of specialism, and get a solid diagnosis plus a bit more indepth medical information and support than a couple of photocopied sheets on ADHD and an offer of some prescription stimulants of my choice?
why do i even need my hand held at 30 flipping years old with this basic basic stuff- shouldn’t i just be able to snap out of it and get on with it? all of my peers from school managed it very successfully….
*sigh* if you read this far, you earned a cookie.REPORT ABUSEJanuary 6, 2011 at 4:10 am #98925
AnonymousInactiveJanuary 6, 2011 at 4:10 amPost count: 14413
rambling jen + short attention spans = nobody read my post?REPORT ABUSEJanuary 6, 2011 at 6:22 am #98926January 6, 2011 at 8:29 pm #98927
turboMemberJanuary 6, 2011 at 8:29 pmPost count: 89
Thanks for sharing your story. The totallyadd.com WEBsite has LOTS of videos that I found helpful, both in learning about ADD, treatments, and dealing with it. Also the documentary “add and loving it” that has been shown on Global TV and now replaying on U.S. PBS stations is a good watch if you haven’t seen it.
If your doctor has diagnosed you as specifically as a “combined subtype” I would say they have some real in-depth knowledge of ADD as that is relatively recent terminology. Have you been able to follow up with them on how your treatment is progressing? They should be able to help determine if your meds are working well for you and may be able to introduce you to some support networks too.
In his lecture series Dr Jain did stress that finding the right job and right spouse are key ingredients for an ADDer to have a happy life. I wonder if there are career counselling services out there that can help us identify jobs we are interested in and would be good at?REPORT ABUSEJanuary 6, 2011 at 10:34 pm #98928
AnonymousInactiveJanuary 6, 2011 at 10:34 pmPost count: 14413
Buz- try looking under the couch.
turbo- thanks for reading . i’ve watched all the videos linked off the horizontal blue toolbar, (and they were good) plus the 2 ADDvanced info, and 5 or so sponsored ones about medication… and i’m working through the rest. i’ll have to see if i can find the documentary on canadian tv somewhere.
i’m not sure how savvy my doctor is, he’s young- so should have recent learning, but he’s really quiet, and doesn’t say much at all beyond ‘how is everything?’- which drives me nuts- it makes me go all blank, i say something semi-coherant, and then the room goes deathly silent, he hands me a prescription, and i scuttle off. he did have a nice questionnaire- i think his marking/scoring sheet told him the combined subtype bit.
i did follow up, he doubled the dose of the straterra- which is fine… its just.. i feel like i need more practical problemsolving type support … how to put it… um… my mother thinks i need a 12 step sponsor…i don’t feel ike i’m acheiving more than just numbercrunching pill-juggling stuff.
say i tell the doctor that i’m still having trouble getting things done and staying on target- that i’ve been trying different strategies and i’m feeling very exasperated because i keep realising at 1am that i didn’t get anything done that day, yet again… i get an insanely succinct response of ‘do you have a diary? planning your day and sticking to a routine is important’. and i’m thinking “yes, i KNOW that…. thats what i’m trying to do! argh!”. if i say i’m trying that and its not getting anywhere cos i forget to write in the diary and lose my list, get hypnotised by facebook for several hours, and then accidently wander off aimlessly to the mall, i get presnted with a bloody photocopied handout that uses several cartoon pictures and 5 paragraphs to effectively say that i should have a diary, cos planning your day and sticking to a routine is important when you have ADD. and i’m left thinking ‘no shit, sherlock- did we just have the same conversation?’.
careers councelling would be very handy. the place i went to for that recently just rewrote my resume, had me do fake interveiws, and got me to do an online careers programme, which says the same answers that they all say regarding my job suitability.
my partner is a good bloke really. he knows when to keep his mouth shut, and when to politely tell me that i’m being difficult. he just lets me get on with it (or not, as the case may be) though- and won’t drag me around or push or coax me, or try and keep me on target- because i just end up getting annoyed with him (even when i’ve asked him to do those things)- he says i’m sort it out when i’m ready. i feel ready- just bloody useless.
i probably just need a paid minion to dress me, drive me to some place of employment, and follow me around all day flicking me on the head repeatedly and yelling ‘pay attention! what are you doing? stop that!’. cos i’m apparently not managing to be proactive enough by myself to get anywhere. i feel like i’m inside an invisable dodecahedron and keep running at different walls, when in all actuality i’m probably just sitting in there looking at them, wearing myself out by thinking about banging my head against them.
thanks for your support.REPORT ABUSEJanuary 6, 2011 at 11:43 pm #98929
AnonymousInactiveJanuary 6, 2011 at 11:43 pmPost count: 14413
I love your posts! You are a wonderful, upbeat writer and you sound like you have ADHD I’m going to make a couple suggestions that you can take for whatever you think they are worth…
1) There is nothing worse than being ADHD and working with a dud doctor. Ask around and see if there is another doc who is more your style and seems to be the local ADHD expert. My son went through three until he found the right one. The interesting, “on top of things” doc will give you a comfort level that will help you take some of those monkeys off of your back and put them on his.
2) Our experience with Stratera was a bummer. With so many phamecutical (sk) options available just keep trying out different dosages and meds. Our current favorite is the Daytrana patch. Once you figure out how many mgs you need they last longer than the others with the best results–IMO. In our house one child uses a 30 mg patch, one teenager uses two 20 mg patches at once, and I use two 30 mg patches at once.
3) Your sleep and work schedule sounds like mine when I was your age. I excelled working nights in retail–we are all creative and talkative you know?! There IS something out there that you will love and take charge in an “out of the box” sort of way–I promise!
4) College is hard for us because a class has to hold our interest, sitting still is awful, and homework (especially those long 10 pages papers) suck. My brother had no college, opened his own sales-rep office, and with personality and doing things his way he ended up making the biggest salary of all his siblings. Being your own boss, with the help of a good accountant, is the best route for us.
5) Back to meds–once you get the meds figured out your life will improve dramatically. Chores get done, we complete the list we made, we don’t irritate others so much, we can hold onto jobs, and we can communicate better.
Good luck to you and relax. It all gets better eventually, I promise!REPORT ABUSEJanuary 7, 2011 at 1:33 am #98930
AnonymousInactiveJanuary 7, 2011 at 1:33 amPost count: 14413
stratera has been my first try at an ADD drug, so i suppose it shouldn’t be a suprise to me that i haven’t lucked out with a magic fix (awww, crap!). i instinctively went in that direction cos of the low abuse potential (i dabbled with assorted ‘stuff’ in my teens and have quite likely inherited a super-duper genetic pre-disposition to addiction) but maybe it is worth a re-think- if nothing else i could see about just trying something different- no commitment- and having the lovely bf supervise the drugs (he’s totally addiction-proofed, somehow- doesn’t even bother with beer). i think i’ll look some stuff up (those patches look cool- and not very snortable- which is a bonus!) talk to the doctor about it, and see if i can find out in a roundabout way if any of his collegues specialise in ADD.
my volunteer work right now is evening, retail-based, and i do really love it. i look after little rescued adoptable kitties in a petstore- get them their dinner and some attention, encourage nice customers to take them home forever, problem-solve peoples random cat-related issues, walk around with a kitten or two hanging off me- talking to strangers (just like my mummy taught me not too, hehehe), listening to lots of ‘awwwwww!’s, being petted by people (the cat, not me so much) etc.
my placement co-ordinator thinks i’m nuts- cos i’m always doing 3 things at once and frequently forget what i was doing 2 seconds ago if i’m interrupted (and do a lot of doubling back!), but at the same time says she doesn’t know what she’d do without me, cos i’m also awesome- keen as mustard, completely unflappable in a crisis, wicked at using my initiative, and great at talking to people. thats a good sign. i should try and focus on the good signs more. it is definately good for the sanity and self esteem to keep busy- hard to overthink when you’re tiring yourself out.
i bet in the right circumstances i could do some short evening courses, or even work based training- a careers advisor could help me with that, i hope. just getting a taster of what sort of options are out there might make me feel a bit less stumped and more like i’m headed somewhere- even though i’m not entirely sure where that is!
i feel a lot more relaxed now, thankyou. everyone around here keeps telling me to be as kind to myself as i am to everyone else, and to remember how far i’ve come- i might have to start trusting their judgement there, and work on being less critical of myself. i’m gonna start a new list and put that at the top of it.REPORT ABUSEJanuary 7, 2011 at 2:21 am #98931
turboMemberJanuary 7, 2011 at 2:21 amPost count: 89
Jen- May I ask what dosage you are currently at with Strattera? And do you take it once daily or twice? Any side effects?REPORT ABUSEJanuary 7, 2011 at 2:45 am #98932
AnonymousInactiveJanuary 7, 2011 at 2:45 amPost count: 14413
i’m on 60mg, i take it in the morning.
i had a bit of a dry mouth, slight dizziness maybe, and the odd headache for the first few days on it, but thats about usual for my experience with antidepressants, so it was no big deal, and it went away within a few days
the only current side effect is that my sleep time has dropped by a few hours- but thats a plus cos i was sleeping 12-14 hours a night, and now i’m fine on 7 or 8 hours.REPORT ABUSEJanuary 7, 2011 at 5:36 pm #98933
turboMemberJanuary 7, 2011 at 5:36 pmPost count: 89
Do you find you now get out of bed in the morning with a “bounce” in your step you didn’t have before? That was one of the first benefits I noticed while trying Strattera the first time. I’d wake up and couldn’t WAIT to get to work.
I’m starting to feel that again, but in a way it kind of sucks. I’d LIKE to start my day with a workout and breakfast, but instead end up throwing on my track pants and heading right down the hall into my office to get at the mountain of work and past-due files I have on my plate. Of course, I guess there’s always the argument that is what I should be doing anyway- lol.REPORT ABUSEJanuary 7, 2011 at 6:40 pm #98934
Curlymoe115MemberJanuary 7, 2011 at 6:40 pmPost count: 206
You say that you are in Ontario. If you go into Service Canada they have a computer test you can take called Choices that help you narrow down what you would be suited to do when you grow up. I’m 42 and still waiting. I had my own business for 2 years and established a Seniors Business. Not ideal for a workaholic but every day was different and I never got bored. I set my own hours and decided who to take as a client and what hours to work. The fact that I would leave the house at 6 am and return at 11 or 12 at night was my own fault. I did this job in London and there was lots of calls. When I moved back out west there was no way that in this much larger city I could do it. But I really enjoyed being the business owner but I could never find staff, most of my appointments were across the city from one another. So I just took on all the clients that called and set up as many appointments as I could fit in a day (more really but you see my point) and in the evenings I took my kids with me so that they had someone to watch them and I had some help. My husband worked 2 hours away and would only come home on weekends so that was when I would schedule the heavy jobs that he could help me with. So for 2 years our whole family life took place at the home of other people while we worked.
So if they won’t help you at Service Canada you could also try to community college where you are. They have guidance counselors who excel in helping people pinning down what to do. You probably need a job that is constantly changing. If you are a typical Combined then you need something that is going to keep you engaged for more then a few weeks. Or you could try to work through a temp agency so that you are always on the go. This way right around the time the job is starting to get boring you are on to the next opportunity. Also you may not be a morning person but perhaps your natural body rhythm may be for late day work. My husband really doesn’t get going for the first 2 hours he is up so he sets the alarm 2 hours before he needs to leave so that he has his “me” time. Maybe you need to find a job that is flexible about when you need to arrive and when you leave. I always leave half an hour early because I hate being late but for my hubby the only thing he has ever been early for was his birth. So I just tell him things are a half hour or more before they are so we arrive on time.
Also did you try the local chapter of Caddac for some low cost resources in the Brampton area. Maybe you can find a “buddy” that you can call when you feel like you are grinding your wheels and not getting anything done. And volunteer work is great that it can lead to a opportunity for employment. See if one of the larger pet centres in your area could use you on a part time basis to do what you are now doing for free. At this point you are probably better to start slow and build up some momentum when you find a good niche. This way you do not overwhelm yourself and further push yourself back to a feeling of despair.
Good Luck.REPORT ABUSEJanuary 8, 2011 at 3:26 am #98935
AnonymousInactiveJanuary 8, 2011 at 3:26 amPost count: 14413
turbo- i don’t know about the desperate urge to work (cos i’m a bit of a slacker on that front when left to my own devices ) but i am definately waking up fresh as a daisy and ready to get out of bed, which is a novel thing indeed. where previously there was much groaning, wailing, and repeated pleading for ‘just a few more hours’, when he tried to shake me awake at 2pm, now i’m up by myself at 9am, out of bed, and bugging the bf with ‘what are we gonna do today? can we hang doors today? we could rip out the basement insulation? you wanna take me to michaels for glittery acrylic paint? can i use the circular saw? i’m just gonna peel off this bit of wallpaper right here….’, etc (we’re renovating- well, technically i’m destroying and dismantling and he’s tearing his hair out trying to reassemble, but close enough!) before he knows whats hit him. poor lad. you should get one of those thigh-master thingies, plus a microwave and mini-fridge- or a toaster and breadbin- set up in your office- then you can multi-task!
thanks curlymoe! i’m not very clued in about ontario stuff yet- i’ve only been here ..ooooh… six years now. i just looked quickly and found a bunch of career quizzes on their jobbank site that are gonna be really helpful, for a start! is that choices thing at one of their ‘in person’ locations? you’re totally right about the career stuff too- i’m lousy for the first few hours after i wake up, i allow myself 3 hours to get ready but am still late (i asked the bf today to tell me he wants me ready an hour before he really does from now on- we’ll see how that goes!) and if there are jobs that are flexible like that, it’d be awesome.
i’m totally unfamiliar with caddac, so i’m gonna have to look them up and pick their brains about that mentoring stuff. unfortunately it’d be really tricky for me to get paid for what i’m doing without doing a 1 year vet-tech certificate, but i am trying to use the volunteer-work as (hopefully) a step into a retail position in an arts/crafts store or ‘creative activites with kids’ kinda job- my co-ordinator wrote me a really good reference- all i gotta do now is not screw up the online application forms (they have math tests and personality profiling stuff and the questions all seem sneakily tricky- like “would your friends describe you as someone who always keeps promises?” – i checked ‘not at all’ -but there is nowhere for me to explain that thats because my friends know that i don’t MAKE promises- i say that i intend to do something, and i’ll do my best- and i’m reliable, but i do not ever promise things- cos i can’t see the future, and shit happens sometimes. urgh!). the bf and my mum both insist that i start part-time with work stuff too, cos he doesn’t want me to have a meltdown either- it does make sense.
…. you ADHD people are all so smart and helpful! thank you!REPORT ABUSEJanuary 8, 2011 at 7:03 am #98936
turboMemberJanuary 8, 2011 at 7:03 amPost count: 89January 9, 2011 at 1:27 am #98937
AnonymousInactiveJanuary 9, 2011 at 1:27 amPost count: 14413
thanks turbo i’m reading!REPORT ABUSEJanuary 9, 2011 at 3:41 pm #98938
recently (and unexpectedly) diagnosed- and still floundering2011-01-05T03:27:25+00:00
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