View Full Version : First time poster: What should I do about my ADD

12-17-14, 07:15 PM
I'm 17, not formally diagnosed but it's obvious, I've serious difficulty concentrating on things I dislike, I daydream, I go into hyper focus only to drop it hours/days later, I'm horribly unorganised and my writing is nothing short of horrible. It's all mental too I'm not hyperactive externally..

My major problem is I want to become a doctor, I constantly swap between career ideas but I always arrive back at the start which for me is being a surgeon.
I do ok in school Bs and Cs but I'm called an underachiever, supposedly I'm capable of high As not Bs..

How can I control my ADD? I need a formal diagnose first but after that, should I go on medication? Can I become a surgeon if I am on medication for ADD?
Are there any alternatives?
Does the medicine have any horrible side effects? Will it improve my ADD?

I've so many questions! I'd love some answers..

12-17-14, 08:28 PM
If you get your diagnosis, of course you could try medication. Most of your questions will be answered soon enough. Even if you would have horrible side-effects, which is not common (but not extremely rare either), it will eventually wear off. For me, methylphenidate worked the best, but the insomnia it gave me was intolerable. However, I regard myself as a minority when it comes to methylphenidate; a lot of people benefit from it. Currently I'm unmedicated; I have been practicing meditation twice a day for the last two weeks, hoping to strengthen my mind against distractions.

But I wouldn't set your expectations too high. Being able to sustain ourselves independently without going insane from time to time is already a great accomplishment for many of us with ADHD(-PI), even for those who are highly gifted. Cherish any slight improvement you might get from therapy or medication. I'm not saying you can't be a surgeon, just that you should prioritize your goals properly.

I don't know you, but when I was 17, my only goal was to excel in university, which everybody thought to be only a matter of time for me. I never finished university, I'm 25 now, and nowhere near leaving my parental home or having a consistent job and a structured life. As you can tell, excellence is not on my agenda for a long time. My life path doesn't have to be yours, but I'm only saying this to explain that at your age, there is a chance you don't know all the hardships of ADHD-PI yet (and since I'm still partially dependent on my parents, there is more in store for me as well).

12-17-14, 09:09 PM
You don't need to decide before entering college. Keep an open mind.
But I don't see why ADHD would prevent you from doing surgery.
Ask people who know what they're talking about - doctors or career councilors.

Next step - see a psychiatrist. Medication is the best place to start. Assuming you do have ADHD, learn everything you can about it. Learn what attention is - your attention. It is actually a fascinating subject. If you are a daydreamer, learn how to focus on the outside world.

No need to hurry. You have a whole lifetime to improve your attention skills. Good luck.

12-17-14, 09:55 PM
The first step as you know is to seek a diagnosis.
Have you talked to your parents about this?

If you are diagnosed with adhd than you can try meds and see if it helps.
There is no way you can tell if a med will work for you or what side effects you might have except to try the medication.

The only problem I see with bring adhd and a surgeon could be the medication. Idk what the rules and laws are regarding surgeons taking controlled substances.
You may want to look into this.

Everyone flip flops on what career they want to go into to. You can talk to the counselor sat your school about this and they might be able to help you.

Good luck!

12-18-14, 05:47 AM
We all have issues with stuff we don't like.

12-23-14, 07:24 AM
Learn as much as you can. It's worth it.

01-03-15, 07:16 AM
How can I control my ADD? I need a formal diagnose first but after that, should I go on medication?
Does the medicine have any horrible side effects? Will it improve my ADD?

First, welcome to the forum... you will find many people on here that "LIVE YOUR LIFE" and can offer you outside perspectives on experiences and struggles that we all share.

IMO: Definitely, start with getting formally diagnosed... and once it has been determined that you indeed have ADD, medication is truly the first step... keep in mind that finding the correct (and most effective) medication and dosage for you is a process... don't be discouraged if that you don't get the perfect result day one... I have yet to hear anyone that hasn't at least over the long term had to adjust their medication at one time or another...

Then comes the educating and support... whether through forums like this, reading materials, or counselling and coaching...

As my amazing wife, a non-ADDer, accurately describes... the education, resources, support groups, Cognitive behavioral therapy (which I hope to be starting myself shortly) are like having many arrows in a quiver... all can aid in developing work arounds to one's ADD... but won't be effective unless you first have a properly strung bow... which in this analogy is the medication.

good luck and best wishes :)

01-03-15, 07:59 AM
There are definitely ADHDers that have become drs so you could be too if your meds work well (which you don't know for sure until you try them so that is the first step). I'm not sure about whether stimulants can be taken during surgery either so check into that as someone else suggested earlier.

Also, even NTs have a hard time getting into med school. I'd go for your dream if your meds work but have a backup plan for just in case. What would your undergrad degree be in and what jobs can you get with that degree?

Back when my sister was in school (a long time ago), biology/chemistry/pre med majors made little money with little possibility for advancement if they didn't go on to get a masters/doctorate which my sister wouldn't have wanted to do if she didn't get into med school. So she decided to get a pharmacy degree first instead of other undergrad majors cause then she'd have a good job with just a bachelors degree even if she didn't get into med school. Note, I don't recommend this option for you as back then, pharmacy school was only 5 years long and I think it's either 6 or 7 now. But hopefully you get the picture - have a backup plan for just in case.

I'm not trying to discourage you here (like I said, I'd go for your dream if your meds work). But be realistic too and take precautions.