View Full Version : Feel like I've tried everything


lemming
03-10-12, 03:46 PM
Since diagnosis (and prior, when I was actively searching for answers), I've been working really hard to manage my daily life and function like an ordinary 20something adult. I feel like I've done everything possible, I've read almost every ADHD book there is, tried to find solutions, however at this point, all the different organizational, time management strategies I've incorporated- chunking, breaking things down into smaller manageable sections yadayada-- just everything I've been trying to make my life manageable- can really only go so far. I've made some progress, sure- such as having a routine I can follow so I don't completely blank out when I need to leave the house, for example, and get to work on time. But even then it's a constant struggle. The slightest thing can completely throw me off course- and it's really exhausting.

What's worrying is that my executive function problems when they come to daily activities, are so great that i have to go through simple multi-step tasks over, and over, and over- and if there's a slightest change-or even when there's not, all hell breaks loose. I need a lot of structure- any activity that isn't... I just blank out. My job is hands on and offers lot of external structure, and I love my job- but even then it's hard for me to do anything more than part-time work. And that's when I'm functioning at 100%.
I have a strict routine, I'm constantly watching and making sure that I get enough rest at the right time.... but even then, when I have to do a bit more than what I'm doing now I melt down or I literally fall sick. I'm constantly mentally exhausted, just from simple daily tasks. I'm trying to freelance on the side, but my problems with executing tasks are really getting in the way of that.
I'm really worried, because I've been trying to get help, I've sort of had a 'coach' by having sessions with a family friend who works with special needs kids, but really I can't function to the degree of independence someone my age is expected to have. I can't take meds, because I'm so med sensitive I get severe heart palpitations or other side effects from almost anything. I have no idea what kind of therapy would help me. I'm embarassed because I seem otherwise perfectly normal, intelligent and well spoken to everyone, and honestly even with ADHD, that's no explanation for the degree of problems I'm having functioning in everyday life. I can't explain it myself, the best I can describe it is its almost as if there's a major short circuit in my brain. I'm otherwise a happy person, but am getting extremely frustrated because no matter what I try or do... there's no breakthrough. Whether I put in every ounce of effort I have... whether I go easy on my self and give myself 'time outs'- it's still as bad.
Sorry for the rant guys... but any help or advice would be much appreciated. I really need help, but at this stage I have no idea where to turn or what treatment would be best for me.

Ravenstar
03-10-12, 04:37 PM
wow.. I can feel how frustrated you are.

Seriously... you should go see a therapist. They help you work from where you are, not where you 'should' be (and we are SO hard on ourselves), and help you to see options you might not even know about.

Omega 3's...exercise, diet, etc... and if you can't possibly take any meds then MAYBE look into neurofeedback.. it can't hurt and it is being used with children with ADHD.

I know I'll never be 'normal' - but it's taken a long time for me to come to terms with that. You are still young... I'm just finding this out at 46 *sigh*.

Be good to yourself above all. We may not be able to perform like 'regular' people but we have gifts and worth and important contributions to make anyway, we just need to find our niche within our abilities.

pechemignonne
03-10-12, 08:37 PM
Since diagnosis (and prior, when I was actively searching for answers), I've been working really hard to manage my daily life and function like an ordinary 20something adult. I feel like I've done everything possible, I've read almost every ADHD book there is, tried to find solutions, however at this point, all the different organizational, time management strategies I've incorporated- chunking, breaking things down into smaller manageable sections yadayada-- just everything I've been trying to make my life manageable- can really only go so far. I've made some progress, sure- such as having a routine I can follow so I don't completely blank out when I need to leave the house, for example, and get to work on time. But even then it's a constant struggle. The slightest thing can completely throw me off course- and it's really exhausting.

What's worrying is that my executive function problems when they come to daily activities, are so great that i have to go through simple multi-step tasks over, and over, and over- and if there's a slightest change-or even when there's not, all hell breaks loose. I need a lot of structure- any activity that isn't... I just blank out. My job is hands on and offers lot of external structure, and I love my job- but even then it's hard for me to do anything more than part-time work. And that's when I'm functioning at 100%.
I have a strict routine, I'm constantly watching and making sure that I get enough rest at the right time.... but even then, when I have to do a bit more than what I'm doing now I melt down or I literally fall sick. I'm constantly mentally exhausted, just from simple daily tasks. I'm trying to freelance on the side, but my problems with executing tasks are really getting in the way of that.
I'm really worried, because I've been trying to get help, I've sort of had a 'coach' by having sessions with a family friend who works with special needs kids, but really I can't function to the degree of independence someone my age is expected to have. I can't take meds, because I'm so med sensitive I get severe heart palpitations or other side effects from almost anything. I have no idea what kind of therapy would help me. I'm embarassed because I seem otherwise perfectly normal, intelligent and well spoken to everyone, and honestly even with ADHD, that's no explanation for the degree of problems I'm having functioning in everyday life. I can't explain it myself, the best I can describe it is its almost as if there's a major short circuit in my brain. I'm otherwise a happy person, but am getting extremely frustrated because no matter what I try or do... there's no breakthrough. Whether I put in every ounce of effort I have... whether I go easy on my self and give myself 'time outs'- it's still as bad.
Sorry for the rant guys... but any help or advice would be much appreciated. I really need help, but at this stage I have no idea where to turn or what treatment would be best for me.
Sorry to hear that you're so frustrated.

But even with meds, do you think that you would be a "normal 20-something adult"?

Because I'm taking meds, and I'm still just kind of functioning. I mean, the way that you describe yourself is pretty much exactly like how my life is.

So, yeah, it sucks that ADHD is invisible as a disability, because people have expectations that you will be able to just not be disabled by your ADHD just because they can't see it.

Doesn't change the situation, though.

I wish I could tell you that there was some magic thing that you could do to make your life easier.

But whether or not other people understand it, you have limitations.

Sounds to me like you have a job that you enjoy. So what if you work part-time?

Who says that you have to work full time? Is part time work enough money for you to live on?

How much do you think of your exhaustion is from putting pressure on yourself?

I mean, why is your bar of success "function(ing) to the degree of independence someone my age (who doesn't have ADHD) is expected to have"?

You aren't someone your age who doesn't have ADHD.

You are someone your age who has ADHD.

Do you think it would be possible to change your measure of how your life is going so that it was more along the lines of "how well am I able to function in order to get done what absolutely needs to get done for my basic health and safety"?

Then everything else is gravy. And you could maybe relax a little more?

lemming
03-11-12, 12:58 AM
Thanks heaps Ravenstar and pechemignonne..


Sounds to me like you have a job that you enjoy. So what if you work part-time?
Who says that you have to work full time? Is part time work enough money for you to live on?


I do love my job, but working part time means it's very difficult for me to pay for any kind of therapy. I guess that's what I mean by functioning to the degree of independence someone my age is expected to have. My parents have had to help me pay for a lot of my treatments and diagnosis- and none of the treatments have helped.



Do you think it would be possible to change your measure of how your life is going so that it was more along the lines of "how well am I able to function in order to get done what absolutely needs to get done for my basic health and safety"?

I've tried to lower the bar a lot for myself, but in the end that just means barely being able to make it through the day... to the point of being unable to enjoy or make use of the talents that I have, because my executive function problems directly interfere with them.

pechemignonne
03-11-12, 04:45 PM
I do love my job, but working part time means it's very difficult for me to pay for any kind of therapy. I guess that's what I mean by functioning to the degree of independence someone my age is expected to have. My parents have had to help me pay for a lot of my treatments and diagnosis- and none of the treatments have helped.
So, really the problem is more being able to afford therapy and treatment, then?

Are there local organizations that can help you?

Can your parents afford to continue to help fund your treatment? If they have trouble understanding the need for treatment, or why you can't pay for it yourself, could you invite them to come in and speak to your therapist?

I mean, if you were physically or intellectually disabled, do you think they would say "Well, you're in your twenties now, so I think you should either pay for your own cancer treatments/wheelchair/etc..."?

I've tried to lower the bar a lot for myself, but in the end that just means barely being able to make it through the day... to the point of being unable to enjoy or make use of the talents that I have, because my executive function problems directly interfere with them.
Yep. Same here. It sucks.

lemming
03-13-12, 12:48 AM
Thanks again for your kind words and insights pechemignonne!


So, really the problem is more being able to afford therapy and treatment, then?

Are there local organizations that can help you?

Can your parents afford to continue to help fund your treatment? If they have trouble understanding the need for treatment, or why you can't pay for it yourself, could you invite them to come in and speak to your therapist?

I mean, if you were physically or intellectually disabled, do you think they would say "Well, you're in your twenties now, so I think you should either pay for your own cancer treatments/wheelchair/etc..."?


My parents- my mum particularly, are actually very supportive and willing to help with any treatment I need. I guess I just feel bad about being so financially dependent, especially when there's no end in sight with getting the help I need.
What treatments have you found to be the most effective?

pechemignonne
03-13-12, 11:29 AM
Therapy/coaching has helped me the most. The stuff that you have been talking about.

I'm on medication as well, though. Is even guanfacine not an option for you?

Why do you feel guilty accepting help that you need from someone who loves you?

Do you not feel that you deserve it?

Do you feel like your ADHD is your fault?

Do you think that being "dependant" diminishes you in some way?

lemming
03-13-12, 12:25 PM
Therapy/coaching has helped me the most. The stuff that you have been talking about.

I'm on medication as well, though. Is even guanfacine not an option for you?

I've actually never heard of it- just googled it- maybe I'll give it a try.

Why do you feel guilty accepting help that you need from someone who loves you?

Do you not feel that you deserve it?

Do you feel like your ADHD is your fault?

Do you think that being "dependant" diminishes you in some way?

Wow- when you put it that way, it really does make sense. And I wonder, why indeed do so many of us feel ashamed of accepting what really is a gesture of love? Maybe it's that 'tough love'/'sink or swim' mantra that a lot of society holds over the heads of those who struggle to make us feel inadequate.

Thanks again pechemignonne- I really appreciate your thoughts.

chewy
03-23-12, 03:57 PM
Hi, I totally relate to your life, I feel overwhelmed if I have to do another thing more than what I had in mind, and simple tasks seem to take me forever even If I know exactly what needs to be done.

I also have problems affording treatment, just graduated from college, so I'm on alternative therapy because of it, at this point I cant really say if it works yet :scratch:

What I do know it has worked for me: Omega 3, Gingko Biloba and Ginseng... these probably help you to focus a little bit more...

I'm not really the person to give advice but those supplements have help me in a small degree but I have yet to try meds, which I imagine/hope will help even more.

What I have been thinking lately is that maybe making the investment for the medication would help you in your life and thus making it easier for you to eventually afford it. ;)

ConcertaParent
08-17-12, 04:42 PM
MAYBE look into neurofeedback.. it can't hurt and it is being used with children with ADHD. +1. I feel OP's frustration as I've already tried the following for my daughter with ADHD, SPD, CAPD, dyslexia, dysgraphia, dyscalculia, etc:

1) Vyvanse
2) Concerta
3) Biphentin
4) Summer therapeutic camp
5) After-school program in a children's mental health centre in the fall and winter sessions
6) AttenGo
7) Lumosity
8) Dual N Back
9) Omega-3: 1,000 mg of EPA + DHA daily
10) Teaching executive skills from the Smart But Scattered book using checklists, etc.
11) Read Attention Difference Disorder and other ADHD/SPD books
12) Individual Education Plan, school meetings with up to eight professionals trying to help my child
13) Exercise, including movement breaks at school and classes in dancing, gymnastics and swimming
14) Parental group
15) Read a neurofeedback book and research studies.
:
:

If she continues to have high ADHD symptoms when school starts in a few weeks, neurofeedback will be the next treatment for us to try. A neurofeedback headset can cost as little as $99 to see if it has the potential to help you with self-regulation.

Slo-mo a-go-go
08-17-12, 09:12 PM
sympuppies and empuppies to you-lem and others in the struggle to just accomplish the most basic elements of daily life!!!!

i really wish i had more ideas for you. but as you already know, executive function is the filter that everything trickles thru.

i really agree that therapy is a great option- just dealing with the emotional toll that adhd takes will frees up some executive function for me to apply in other ways.

a must for me is a daily mega dose of b-vit complex, it's irreplaceable for me in reducing my exec funct problemos

and on the non-stim med side- wellbutrin helped me a great deal with my executive functioning (but i was 1 of the very few that for who it caused seizures)

it's like the classic kitten poster says- hang in there baby!