View Full Version : I need all the help I can get
02-07-05, 12:20 AM
Hi everybody, I'm new here to the forum, and I have so many questions. I am 20 and a college student. I have always felt different, but just assumed that it was me. Then I saw a symptom list for ADD in women in a magazine. Everyone of them was me. My mom thinks I just want to have ADD as a excuse although I make all A's and B's in college. I don't want to go on medication and I really don't want to be tested, I'm scared the doctor will think I convinced myself I have it too. Also, I've heard so many negative things about the medication I'd rather treat it without it. My friends who see me more than anyone agree with me. I've always had a tough time concentrating, always fidgited, always felt different, like everyone else has it together and is perfect, and here I am unable to get organized. I can't make myself do homework or study for tests if I even remember them. I was also always a major tomboy and still am. I am amazed that I even keep a boyfriend. I have huge problems making friends and socializing I am always afraid that everyone thinks I'm a loser. I feel like it imminates from me. Anyway, my questions are, should I go get tested, what can I do to treat the symptoms without the medication, how can I help myself become the organized, together person I want to be?
02-07-05, 02:03 AM
i am in the same boat as you are in. i told my mom i cant ever get anything done and she said just keep going. o.k.... and i will be depressed and never have time to do anything else. but, i found this website called flylady.net. its kinda cool. you might find it useful. she teaches routines and babysteps. and loving yourself for who you are.i learned that i am living in CHAOS. which stands for cant have anyone over syndrome. and my title is SHE. which stands for sidetracked home executive. i love those. anyway about the meds. ive tried some and didnt like the way they made me feel. i am still struggling with how to cope with everyday life, but i think, the more research i do and the more people i talk to on here the more i will learn.(without meds.) as far as being diagnosed.....in my opinion....i think you should, and then the doc can give you more information on how to cope and other resourses.
best of luck, STILL STRUGGLING
02-07-05, 02:12 AM
First of all, welcome! You've found the right place! Everyone here is very helpful!
Well, the way I see it, it sounds as if the diagnosis will only ease your curiosity of whether or not you have ADD. It doesn't sound as if it is really affecting your life in a major way. You are doing well in school, have friends as well as a boyfriend, etc. There are basic things you can do yourself for learning to organize.... Meds can help you to "get it together", like with the studying, orgainizing, etc... There are many benefits to taking the meds, most people usually only hear the negative stuff. It is not necessary though, many people with ADD don't take meds at all. They find other ways to get around these little "speed bumps" in life.
In order to get these meds, you need the diagnosis...
I'm sorry if this isn't helping, having a difficult time getting out what I want to say... (apparently my meds have worn off! :) ). Hopefully you get the idea... I'm sure someone else can do a better job clarifying here!
02-07-05, 09:30 AM
Thanks :) I guess I forgot some stuff in my original post so I'll add to it. Well, I have two friends and my boyfriend. He has ADD too but he sees it as a crutch people use as an excuse. My one best friend I have had since 2nd grade when my then stepdad made her carry my books one time when I was hurt, so it was kind of a forced friendship. My other best friend has ADHD so severe she can bearly think straight. She's the one who after I saw myself in the symptoms clarified that yes, although I have type 2 and she has type 1. We are both psych majors and thats her field of expertise. The only reason I can manage is that I have some natural ability in my majors. I never hear anything the professors say and my study time is negligable. I have only gotten all A's and B's since I got down to my majors classes. Before that I had several C's, D's, and even an F :(. My grades were lucky to be C's in high school. I managed some A's and B's in things that really interested me or I was naturally good at. My downfall was always doing my homework and remembering to do and bring stuff. Still is. Time management is another big thing. In fact, I should have left the house already this morning lol. I am always late and forget cleaning. I just can't make myself do it. I was always called lazy and other assorted not nice things growing up and thats probably why it took me so long to realize it might be something other than me just being a horrible person.
Thanks for listening to my whole life story lol I feel better
02-08-05, 08:52 PM
Welcome Diva:) As you navigate through here you will find that many of us have, are, and still do suffer from the exact same things as you. My parents called me stupid and lazy my whole life, and my friends have always come to me. I've never made any friends having reached out to them first. My grades were always average unless I was in a class that I really like the subject of, or the teacher was good. I, too, read a list and found almost all of them applied to me. I didn't want to go to a doctor either so I bought a couple of books because I wanted to know about this ADD thing so I could ask the doctor the right questions, and so that I'd be able to tell if I was being BSed. A really good one is "Women With Attention Deficit Disorder" by Sari Solden, MS, MFCC. Another one is "Healing ADD" by Thom Hartmann.
Because ADD/ADHD is a neurologic disorder, meds are something you may want to give further thought to. This website gives information about many meds for ADD/ADHD, and you can also find out a lot about the personal experiences of the people here. Not all medications are bad; the hard part is finding what works for you at the right doses. Your system will need to adjust, just as it does for vitamins and exercise, food, weather, work & social environment, etc.
Another book to try is "The ADD Nutrition Solution A Drug-Free 30-Day Plan" by Marcia Zimmerman, CN. It talks about the combinations of foods, the effect of sugar, has menus and recipes, food additives, metabolism, allergies, differences in boys and girls' developments, all kinds of things.
I've never taken an 'official' test, but I have ADD, no doubt about it. You don't need anyone's approval to find out for yourself what you may already suspect. There is plenty of support and information out there so go for it, girlfriend! Good luck!
02-08-05, 09:23 PM
Most of my sh*t gets blamed on me not just chilling out and stopping worrying about what's wrong, diagnosis-wise, esp. since I got on medicine that works a bit...they're like, "just be happy that your memory's better, and don't worry about what is wrong, 'cause whatever it is, it's getting better."
The only thing I'm doing that could be considered lazy is logging on here all the time and not doing my school stuff--bad, Chrystine! BAAAD!
02-08-05, 10:13 PM
Sounds like you've got some exploring to do, its a scary road to go down but at least you are not alone, this forum is a great help. My only suggestion is to keep an open mind, don't discount medication until you really understand how it can help, the side effects are not all that bad or none of us would be on them. There are many people on the other hand who choose not to use meds and thats okay too. Regardless of your choice, I think you need to know one way or another.
As someone who went for 49 years without knowing what was wrong, I can tell you that living your life undiagnosed can have devastating effects on your self-esteem. Even if you don't seek treatment, understanding the impact on your life is critical to going forward without the shame and guilt that many of us carry because of all the tasks we struggle to do that everyone else seems to manage with ease.
The greatest challenge is understanding that when you have ADD, you do not choose to not do all the things you are suppose to, you struggle with considerable effort to manage to do them sometimes and give up in exhaustion the rest of the time. Your brain is not capable of learning how to do these things the first time like other brains do, it has to re-learn each time you attempt that same task.
So many of us tend to approach our doctors very hesitantly with our feelings about maybe having ADHD, as if we don't have the right as intelligent human beings to draw a reasonable conclusion from what we have read, observed and experienced. I wish there was some black and white test for ADHD to make it simple. All you can do is put all the facts together, and if nothing else better explains all the symptoms put together, than very likely you have ADD.
02-09-05, 12:03 AM
Your thinking sounds just like mine a couple months ago before I got diagnosed. I suspect you are AD/HD just because of the way you talk about yourself and the things people have said to you; sounds like you have absorbed the same messages I internalized over the years... lazy, undisciplined, smart but not motivated, disorganized, etc.
When the Dr. diagnosed me, I was in total shock. I suspected he was going to say something like, "well, you've got some mild AD/HD aspects, but you really just need to learn to apply yourself," the same self-blame game over and over. It was partly a relief to realize that I have no self-control over some issues that are extremely frustrating to me, partly very sad to think of what my life could've been like if I'd known sooner, and partly excited to start trying to build up some self-esteem in light of my new understanding of myself. You'll probably experience many of the same mixed emotions.
I must warn you that if your boyfriend is so dismissive of the condition (buying into the self-blame game a bit too much), you are not going to get the support you need and deserve from him. I would talk with him about it, but not look to him for soul-searching, answers, or affirmation. This does NOT make him a bad person, he's just not at the same place yet and might make you doubt your intution and exploration. You should dedicate some alone time to think about what it all means and how you're going to handle this huge issue. Also, find a really good counselor you can talk completely freely to.
As for the meds, don't even worry about it right now. Meet the counselor, show them your elementary school teacher comments, take the personality test, have your parents and friends fill out their assesment of your behaviors and trust the counselor to know what to do. Good luck, hope to see you posting here and exploring this further.
02-09-05, 12:12 AM
Sorry, one more thing. In my last post I said, "spend some alone time and think about what this all means," but realize that might not be helpful to you. Before I started meds, "thinking something over" was a meaningless term b/c I would just go over the same things again and again and never come to any resolution. The meds allow my brain to slow down and be organized so I can make more logical decisions about where I want my life to be. Decision making is so much easier.
"Gee, I'm so excited and flattered that I was asked to apply for this manager position!... but wait a minute, check my impulses... what are the pros AND cons associated with this? Does this job work to my strengths?" etc.
An excellent example of the difference the right meds can make!