View Full Version : I just can't take a job where I'll need Adderall to perform.


notoutthewoods
04-17-17, 10:11 PM
I have ADD and a significant reading disability. With my solid IQ, good comprehension ability during lectures, and through sheer grit, I did pretty well through high school and earned a BA in psychology from a top 40 American university.

I did not begin taking Adderall until my senior year of college. When I began taking Adderall, it was like night and day, and I became a voracious reader. But there were always very debilitating side effects with Adderall for me, despite trying for years to tweak things. And now it is not quite as effective and consistently reliable as it used to be.

I am currently looking for work, and I feel like it would be not just unhealthy but potentially disastrous if I applied for and tried to perform another office desk job that involves heavy reading everyday throughout the day 9-5. In a perfect world, I would become a counselor or therapist or something in social work, where I could mostly interact face-to-face with clients instead of reading to understand what I was working with in order to help find solutions. But I simply can't afford to go to grad school at this moment.

Bottom line: what are some careers or jobs that do not involve reading, but still dynamic, challenging, social, interactive, and preferably a bit flexible with hours and keep me on my feet a bit. I've tried menial jobs but I get very depressed from sheer boredom and not having a fulfilling personal life right now to offset it.

I could really use some direction or creative outside-the-box solutions! Thanks

Johnny Slick
04-18-17, 12:58 AM
It really depends on the shop but IT and programming in particular fits a lot of those needs. There can be a *bit* of reading involved but it's not like law or anything where all you're doing is reading paragraphs and paragraphs of stuff and then trying to comprehend it all. Mostly even when you're learning, you're going to learn best by doing. It's a sedentary job, there's no getting around that, although at some places you can mitigate this a *little* bit by getting a standing desk or even work on a treadmill. And while programmers are notoriously antisocial, at most places you're going to work with people who aren't. In my department, for instance, yeah, there's the other dev, who fits that stereotype, but there's also the in-house designer and the testing crew. All those people are, like, perfectly normal.

I think the biggest thing for me and ADHD is that while I can work very, very fast when I'm going well, I'm also prone to making some kind of dumb mistakes. This is the thing about programming at even medium-sized houses though: that testing team I mentioned above, it's basically their *job* to find stuff that you missed. I will say that a lot of the time I get to the point where there are so many bugs reported that the higher-ups get nervous over the sheer number, but for me each one of them represents its own mini-deadline and my ADHD brain kicks into higher gear when fixing them, so that massive-looking pile suddenly turns into nothing.

I feel like programming, whether it started this way or not, has basidally turned into a job where there is a tacit, unstated assumption that everyone who does it has ADHD (or is on the spectrum, which still counts because if you have ASD you almost certainly also have the ADHD cluster of symptoms). It's also *waaaay* less hard than everyone thinks it is.

Jenn1202
04-30-17, 10:23 AM
It really depends on the shop but IT and programming in particular fits a lot of those needs. There can be a *bit* of reading involved but it's not like law or anything where all you're doing is reading paragraphs and paragraphs of stuff and then trying to comprehend it all. Mostly even when you're learning, you're going to learn best by doing. It's a sedentary job, there's no getting around that, although at some places you can mitigate this a *little* bit by getting a standing desk or even work on a treadmill. And while programmers are notoriously antisocial, at most places you're going to work with people who aren't. In my department, for instance, yeah, there's the other dev, who fits that stereotype, but there's also the in-house designer and the testing crew. All those people are, like, perfectly normal.

I think the biggest thing for me and ADHD is that while I can work very, very fast when I'm going well, I'm also prone to making some kind of dumb mistakes. This is the thing about programming at even medium-sized houses though: that testing team I mentioned above, it's basically their *job* to find stuff that you missed. I will say that a lot of the time I get to the point where there are so many bugs reported that the higher-ups get nervous over the sheer number, but for me each one of them represents its own mini-deadline and my ADHD brain kicks into higher gear when fixing them, so that massive-looking pile suddenly turns into nothing.

I feel like programming, whether it started this way or not, has basidally turned into a job where there is a tacit, unstated assumption that everyone who does it has ADHD (or is on the spectrum, which still counts because if you have ASD you almost certainly also have the ADHD cluster of symptoms). It's also *waaaay* less hard than everyone thinks it is.

Programming didn't work for me. I can't code without meds because I get internally distracted and forget what I was doing. This field works for some ADDers so you may want to give it a try, but it certainly doesn't work for all of us.

snjyds
05-02-17, 11:48 PM
Programming didn't work for me. I can't code without meds because I get internally distracted and forget what I was doing. This field works for some ADDers so you may want to give it a try, but it certainly doesn't work for all of us.
We ADDers are not short of attention, it is just oriented differently. In my honest opinion, the key to looking for a good, satisfying job is to find out what your hyperfocus is. I'm not a programmer, but when I start coding, I get so addicted to it, I am sometimes hooked onto it for the entire day!

finallyfound10
05-13-17, 12:56 PM
Social Workers don't make much money and now you have to have a Masters to do anything in the field.

InvitroCanibal
05-14-17, 05:02 AM
I was doing Peer Support and Mentoring. I still do actually, but I volunteer now instead of doing it as a paid position.

Peer Support involves meeting Clients/Patients in their home, or in the community and helping them build self reliance and confidence as they move forward through treatment.

I enjoyed the work, but the dysfunction of the healthcare system can be overwhelming.

Peer Support work pays up to 16 dollars an hour, so we aren't really talking about big money, but it changed the way I saw people in a positive way.

I moved on to building software that is designed to help people start a business and automatically manage all the administrative work for them. (Launching next month)

jkimbo
05-14-17, 06:07 AM
Forget about IT, you'd hate it. That's what I do and while I can keep up, it becomes so repetitive you will go out of your mind! And if you think we have issues, trust me, the so-called normal people on the other end of the phone can be as dumb as dirt. And there is a ton of reading over here too.

ou should pursue what you know you like, your still young don't get trapped in job you will end up hating. I prefer to work with my hands with as little interaction with other people as possible. You mentioned you like interaction with people so that should open up more possibilities for you!

acdc01
05-14-17, 01:37 PM
A friend of mine became a full-time teacher. She didn't have to get a teaching degree. Just had to pass an exam. But she had an engineering degree so I'm not sure if that makes her qualified to teach math.

Surprisingly substitute teachers in my state don't need teaching degrees, just a bachelors in something and pass a test. Think it's cause of the heavy demand. Perhaps you can be a substitute teacher and go to school at the same time.

Although I'm not sure social work is fantastic. We tend to burn out faster than others so I personally would try to find a career that pays well and that I love (cause you may have to retire early).

notoutthewoods
05-28-17, 08:05 AM
Thank you, everyone! I had not checked this thread in a while, but I appreciated all the replies that I just read right now. I feel like everyone had unique and valuable perspective! It was interesting. I appreciate it :-)

ItsaRose
05-28-17, 12:07 PM
A friend of mine became a full-time teacher. She didn't have to get a teaching degree. Just had to pass an exam. But she had an engineering degree so I'm not sure if that makes her qualified to teach math.

Surprisingly substitute teachers in my state don't need teaching degrees, just a bachelors in something and pass a test. Think it's cause of the heavy demand. Perhaps you can be a substitute teacher and go to school at the same time.

Although I'm not sure social work is fantastic. We tend to burn out faster than others so I personally would try to find a career that pays well and that I love (cause you may have to retire early).Thank you, this is good information. Can you elaborate on your comment regarding early retirement?

VoxPopuli
05-31-17, 03:55 PM
You will probably find that you will excel in a career that will allow you to work remotely, where you can have some control/flexibility in setting your own schedule/appointments.

A psychology degree will transfer well into a sales career, especially if you spend some additional time studying/learning a consultative sales system.

Just know, you don't take holidays from ADD - it's a handicap. You should probably deal with it. Your ADD is no different than any other handicap/disability, the world just doesn't have ANY compassion for one they can't see.

Additionally, it gets worse with age, so while you may think you're fine, what works for you today, won't always work. IQ does very little for you if you don't make it to work on time, forget a key part of a presentation you've delivered dozens of times, forget an appointment, or show up a day early...

My advice is - if you decide to transition from university where you needed ADD meds to get through, to beginning a career without ADD meds - at least dedicate yourself to a treatment plan with a professional ADD coach? If you contact one before you begin, your coach may be able to offer you some valuable insights.

kwalk
06-03-17, 02:38 AM
Design, something visual, photography, architect.

kwalk
06-03-17, 02:39 AM
Design, something visual, photography, architect.

.... I still needs meds tho but I have low energy.