View Full Version : Adult women with ADD- recently re-diagnosed seeking advice, success stories.


Shantikvk
02-03-14, 11:31 AM
So I was diagnosed with ADD when I was 11, throughout high school I took Ritalin and concerta for it and honestly didn't think twice all the way until graduation.
I didn't even really feel anything, it was just a thing I did for a lot of years. I went to small, progressive international schools which were very competitive but also very attentive so I never experienced a hatred or unwillingness to go to school. I also never felt like a zombie, which I hear about- I always had my signature pep.

When i came to college my parents were living in India and I made no plans to stay on my concerta. I nearly flunked out my first year of college but I just thought it was normal and frankly I was happy so I didn't think twice about it.

Everything changed my sophomore year and I started feeling anxious and sad and unable to control my life. Long story short I was misdiagnosed with bipolar and treated for the most insane, turbulent and scary 2 years of my life.


I abandoned psychiatry for 2.5 years and quit my drugs cold turkey- I actually did ok, I just worked 48x harder to keep my schoolwork, social life and health in order.

Anyway I'm a recent grad working and living in a city and my anxiety started to return and just generally **** with my good life.
I became insecure and constantly, obsessively worrying about many different things, all at once, all the time.
I would mull over **** even when I tried to have sex with my (wonderful) boyfriend.

Anyway I decided to take a leap of faith and see he doctor that first misdiagnosed me 4+ years ago ( I didn't stay with her for long)

She looked at my history and my current symptoms and she suggested something i hadn't even considered- maybe my constant anxiety and uncontrollable rumination was a result of my ADD, after all I had no symptoms when it was being treated.

She told me that women, especially grown women have symptoms that are different from men and boys, and that my anxiety was coming from my attempt to overcome my racing brain with willpower and losing it when I failed to overcompensate for a brain that's just doing it's own thing.

She prescribed Adderrall .

I've been taking it for about a week, 10mg mid morning and 10mg in the afternoon depending on if I'm staying up late to hang out with my boyfriend who gets home at 10pm.

So far, it's been a total game changer. The focus it gives me is amazing, my mind feels so much calmer, I feel like at any given moment I can handle my thoughts or worries effectively since I don't obsess about them all the time.

The balance of eating, remembering to eat, accidentally eating too much eighth after my second dose and feeling ill has been hard but manageable.

I'm worried about my running schedule which is 4x a week when it's warmer out but I'm working more yoga into my routine to compensate.

I feel like a much more reliable, drama free, insecurity free girlfriend, which is important as my insecurity was making me so needy that it almost killed my relationship.

I'm reaching out first to women- what has helped you? Is there any advice you wish you'd had when you started to treat your ADD/ADHD?
How does medicine fit into your life? Is it a large or small part of the puzzle?

Also to anyone who can relate to the anxiety of trying to cope with an ADD brain, and how treatment has made your life better?


Xo

sarahsweets
02-03-14, 01:08 PM
Meds have been a life saver, seriously. The only other thing I can think of is your period. I swear, it seems like that time of the month my meds dont make a difference.

agirlandherdogs
02-03-14, 02:47 PM
So far, it's been a total game changer. The focus it gives me is amazing, my mind feels so much calmer, I feel like at any given moment I can handle my thoughts or worries effectively since I don't obsess about them all the time.




the benefits far outweigh the rest of the stuff you'll encounter... you wrote my story ... change a few variables ... the Ritalin, I started when I was 8, the school, I failed a private college .. I fluttered around in life ... I got re-diagnosed started Adderall and BOOM life was clear. I muddled through the bumps of the side effects because I knew where my life was going to go if I didn't stay on meds for ADHD ...

Feel free to ask away I've been at this battle for 31 years now!

Shantikvk
02-03-14, 10:09 PM
Thank you both so much!
Seriously, it's so hard to face this. Just today as I was coming off my morning dose of adderall I could feel my mind going back to its negative, obsessive place, which usually is my relationship only because its extremely challenging right now- he works or is in class 60 hours a week not counting all the time he studies or writes for this insanely competitive and prestigious grad program.

I want so badly to just jump to the place where I'll figure it out. I don't like having to explain a strange text with the answer "I wasn't thinking logically" and tonight to follow it up with "I'm just coming off my mess for the day.

I want to feel like I can control how I feel or a least control how I react. It doesn't matter if I spend all day focused on work or self care or what if there are seams where bad habits can come through , then what's the use?

I don't know..therapy in the morning, maybe that will help.

mischaelman
02-03-14, 11:21 PM
I can completely relate.

Like sarahsweets, my period does make me feel like I'm unmedicated for a for a few days each month. I know when it's coming. My attention span disappears terribly, then it comes back full force on the first day only to be inconsistent until the second or third day.

I'm currently switching from generic methylphenidate IR to Dexedrine. I'm hoping that it makes a huge difference. (I will start the Dexedrine on Saturday after I return home from an audition.) I've taken methylphenidate-based products since I was diagnosed in July 2001.

Although I'm currently medicated, your comments about anxiety and rumination are what part of the reason I requested a change in medication. The monthly drama of getting my prescription filled since July 2013 was the other part of my reason.

I've tried SSRIs for anxiety, but they just relaxed me to the point that I was not motivated to do anything. When I can't get anything done because of anxiety and rumination and my coping mechanisms and skills from CBT are failing me, it's time for a change.

Hopefully, as you get used to the medication and figure out how you typically react as your meds wear off you can figure out what to avoid at certain times of the day.

Meds were a major part of the puzzle for me. The hardest thing for me to learn has been how to develop self-awareness and self-monitoring skills so that I can figure out what's not working when there's a problem. ADD has a tendency to turn everything into a large ball of emotional goo that is difficult to sort out.

FroGpants
02-21-14, 04:22 PM
she suggested something i hadn't even considered- maybe my constant anxiety and uncontrollable rumination was a result of my ADD, after all I had no symptoms when it was being treated.

She told me that women, especially grown women have symptoms that are different from men and boys, and that my anxiety was coming from my attempt to overcome my racing brain with willpower and losing it when I failed to overcompensate for a brain that's just doing it's own thing.



Wow.... :thankyou: for posting this!

This may very well be one of the most important things I've read thus far. I just spent more than 20 years raising my two boys, being a wife and mom, running a household and of my two boys, one is spec needs and the other has adhd. And I was only diagnosed a few years ago.

ADDiAnni
02-25-14, 11:59 PM
I'm new here.

Do you mind revealing what your dose of adderall is? I take adderall but I can't take it too many days in a row because it makes me severely insomnic. In order for me to sleep I can only take one early A.M. Dose of Adderall which is super low (2.5 or 5) which doesn't seem to help my Distractibility and my doing 10 things at once at all! I do not have health benefits right now so I self pay out of pocket for my meds so the newer ADD meds are not affordable. Seriously I was in better functioning shape when I was on XR Wellbutrin and ADDerall. Wellbutrin is fortunately generic now but still it ads up.