View Full Version : ADD in Japan


Uminchu
07-19-05, 09:02 PM
Hello, I am an American but I live in Japan (Okinawa). Any others living in Japan?

Unfortunately the awareness of ADD in Japan is very low, which makes forums like this one all the more valuable. I'm looking forward to participating.

crime_scene
07-19-05, 11:29 PM
I have an ADD friend who has been considering moving to Japan for career purposes, he is ADHD actually.

Do you have any idea how easy/hard it would be for him to work there?

What is the reception that you get from the Japanese in general, given ADD is not understood?

thanks

cs

herekittykitty
07-20-05, 11:07 AM
Hey Uminchu, I live here too (Tokyo). I've found very little in terms of awareness, but found it incredibly easy to get Ritalin. There are probably more resources (doctors, books etc.) up here, but given the major American presence in Okinawa with the military base and whatnot, might there be some resources (docs, that sort of thing, if you're looking for that) that non-military folks could use?

Having said that, though, folks here are pretty understanding. I don't trot out the ADD books, chomp my Ritalin in front of folks, or make a huge fuss about my ADD--I just bump and scrape along, and my friends/boss/co-workers see my shortcomings as part of who I am, and we all deal with it okay.

cs, as far as I've seen, the only acquaintance most people have with a formal ADD diagnosis is through TV segments that run every once in awhile about 'women who can't keep house.' They'll show some poor woman who lives in years' worth of clutter; they will 'diagnose' her as ADD, then have a doc come on for a sound bite to explain a bit. Then several burly young men will clean her house for her, marveling at the ancient ruins in her vegetable bin, that decade-old yellowing newspaper, clothing purchased years ago with the tags still on, etc. She'll come back to her beautifully clean apartment and promise that this time will be different. Then they go back and visit her 6 months later and--surprise surprise--her house is a mess again!

So it's heavy on the entertainment aspect--but nowadays I hear a LOT more people identifying themselves as 'like those women on TV' so the word is getting out. A fair amount of books written in English on ADD/ADHD have been translated, and there are a FEW docs (one with a 10-YEAR WAITING LIST!! Nope, no ADD here!) who understand, medicate and treat.

kitty

crime_scene
07-22-05, 09:20 AM
thank you kitty! Not sure the entertainment aspect was much better here in North America, we have tv shows called Clean Sweep which have a team of people going into couple's houses and cleaning up their immense clutter, and I just saw another show were this poor woman who I think was an undiagnosed ADD (she had other problems too) was on the verge of divorce and people were telling her she had to try harder to clean up her clutter.

Ichpuchtli
07-26-05, 02:37 AM
I found it also low knowlege when I went searching for pages on ADD in Japenese alot said that it was non-exsisntent (spelling?). That is was complete bogwash.

Uminchu
07-26-05, 04:54 AM
I have an ADD friend who has been considering moving to Japan for career purposes, he is ADHD actually.

Do you have any idea how easy/hard it would be for him to work there?

If your friend is a westerner, basically anything he does will be accepted. We westerners are all crazy and unpredictable anyway, you see :)

What is the reception that you get from the Japanese in general, given ADD is not understood?
I haven't told anyone I am ADD except my wife and a fellow foreigner who is also adult ADD. If I told a Japanese person the reaction would probably vary between blank stare and "oh, so you're retarded are you?" :)

Uminchu
07-26-05, 04:59 AM
Hey Uminchu, I live here too (Tokyo). I've found very little in terms of awareness, but found it incredibly easy to get Ritalin.
How did you get diagnosed etc., if you don't mind my asking? I would be willing to travel to Tokyo, but have heard of waiting lists of 6 months or more just to get seen by a specialist.

There are probably more resources (doctors, books etc.) up here, but given the major American presence in Okinawa with the military base and whatnot, might there be some resources (docs, that sort of thing, if you're looking for that) that non-military folks could use?
Unfortunately, without access to the bases those resources might as well be back in the US. Well, a learning specialist who works on base did an informal check of my son and agreed that he probably is ADD. I didn't ask about myself because I still had no idea. :)

So it's heavy on the entertainment aspect--but nowadays I hear a LOT more people identifying themselves as 'like those women on TV' so the word is getting out.
Wow -- I don't watch a lot of TV so this has escaped me. Also, my interest in ADD was pretty low until recently...

Thanks a lot for the reply!

Uminchu
07-26-05, 05:03 AM
I found it also low knowlege when I went searching for pages on ADD in Japenese alot said that it was non-exsisntent (spelling?). That is was complete bogwash.
I have been told by several Japanese that if you want to get treated, you've got to go to a specialist in adult ADD -- who have waiting lists of 6 months or more... According to them, even the child ADD specialists will tell you that it is a child-only condition, and likely give you a lecture on shaping up, you loser! :)

Down here in Okinawa, there may be a place to get my son diagnosed (I was given a referal to a govt.-run mental health clinic), but for me I will probably need to wait for my next trip to the US...

herekittykitty
07-26-05, 09:35 AM
Hi Uminchu,

There are a few Western therapists up here; the one I saw suggested Ritalin and Provigil to counteract the dumbing-down effects I was getting from Wellbutrin, which I was taking for depression. I don't see that therapist anymore, but the Japanese internist he sent me to listened to my symptoms and said, "oh, ok, sure, you probably have ADD..." No formal diagnosis. Kind of by luck, I've found that Ritalin helps with the ADD.

Then I tried another place called Tokyo Clinic, which purports to help adults with ADD, but while they 'agreed' with my suspicion that I had ADD and depression, they did no testing, and were more interested in whisking me out with my rather high-priced meds (for which they would provide no price details...hmmm) than learning much about my symptoms. Perhaps this is why this place has no waiting list? (g)

I'm still looking for a good doc; I'll let you know if/when I find one! I'm going to try TELL (Tokyo English Life Line) next. I'd like to see someone next time I'm home too; but CNS stimulants can only be prescribed one month at a time so will be hard to get regularly, and other longer-acting meds like Adderall aren't approved here yet.

Binro
07-28-05, 03:51 PM
I'm 17 and I live in Japan. I knew there wasn't much here was low but it sounds like things are even worse than I thought. I'm really anxious to see a doctor about ADD....does anyone know if there's anything in Kyushu? (specifically Fukuoka)

crime_scene
07-28-05, 11:30 PM
If your friend is a westerner, basically anything he does will be accepted. We westerners are all crazy and unpredictable anyway, you see :)

oh right, I do remember something about being...NON japanese :)


I haven't told anyone I am ADD except my wife and a fellow foreigner who is also adult ADD. If I told a Japanese person the reaction would probably vary between blank stare and "oh, so you're retarded are you?" :)
sorry this made me snort-laugh. thank you for that candid visual!! :D

I must pass that to my friend!

I did find the edison club in Japan have you heard of it? I got the impression it supported folks with ADD, but I can't read the site its all in Japanese characters, cept for "ADHD"

Uminchu
07-28-05, 11:47 PM
I did find the edison club in Japan have you heard of it? I got the impression it supported folks with ADD, but I can't read the site its all in Japanese characters, cept for "ADHD"
I did find that, yes. I emailed them, and they respoinded right away. They are a non-profit and they will give workshops on adult ADD if you can get enough people together. They also gave me some advice on getting a diagnosis, that basically went along the lines of "good luck" :)

crime_scene
07-29-05, 12:11 AM
I did find that, yes. I emailed them, and they respoinded right away. They are a non-profit and they will give workshops on adult ADD if you can get enough people together. They also gave me some advice on getting a diagnosis, that basically went along the lines of "good luck" :)
Well that isn't very encouraging...I was looking for some international connections...but there are really FEW with Japan or china for that matter. Two countries with TONS of people!!

I did find something on Japan with Kids...think it was called something like tokyowithkids

are you able to get to tokyo easily?? Or maybe contact one of the universities. I don't know Okinawa well enough to know if you have a local Uni.

Uminchu
07-29-05, 12:27 AM
I did find something on Japan with Kids...think it was called something like tokyowithkidsThat sounds like it might be of interest to Binro, although I think he said that his parents wouldn't shell out for him to go and get diagnosed.

It actually is not that hard to get a child (or young adult!) diagnosed. It's just that the prevailing wisdom says that adults don't get ADD.

But that's not the only crazy thing you will hear from Japanese doctors. I have heard actual MDs say things like Japanese have longer intestines than "westerners," and fewer teeth... :rolleyes:

are you able to get to tokyo easily?? Or maybe contact one of the universities. I don't know Okinawa well enough to know if you have a local Uni. I don't travel to Tokyo that often, but I will be up there in September and will likely try to get a diagnosis while I'm there.

Okinawa is not that tiny -- we have about 1.3 million people -- and we have a couple large and a few small universities. But as far as I have found, there is not a single specialist in adult ADD on the island...

crime_scene
07-29-05, 12:39 AM
Gee, adults don't get it in Japan eh? They are just a bit behind the rest of the world as the new day dawns and OMG, adults STILL have that darned ADHD they had when they were kids!

Oh is that fewer teeth the hard way?? (extractions?) :D

Not sure about the longer intestines. I thought the average Japanese diet (based on my limited knowledge!!) was rather simple compared with all the bad stuff and complicated molecules etc. westerners indulge in. Maybe that's changing though...

Okinawa is busier than I thought. I always have it in my head that there is a huge volcano/mountain, lots of green, some beaches and a few towns. I think I'm way outdated!!!

Maybe you will have to wait till your next trip stateside, unless the uni's have something to offer. You're fortunate if you can speak Japanese...or is Okinawan different?

coyote
07-29-05, 01:50 PM
Uminchu,

Just curious...what brought you to Okinawa?

I lived there from 1983-1984. US Marine Corps.

Uminchu
07-29-05, 07:18 PM
Just curious...what brought you to Okinawa? Due to the nature of my work, I can live anywhere I choose as long as I have telephone and Internet access. And this place suits me and my family better than any other.

Even before I knew anything about ADD, I knew that I needed to get my life simple. So I have a house here overlooking sugar-cane fields and the beautiful Okinawan ocean & coral reefs. I have even seen a whale jumping out there. There's a resort hotel down the hill, but also a kind of private beach only locals know about; my son and I will sometimes take a walk down there with the dogs and hang out...

And things are so laid back here. Here everybody is late for everything -- it's not just you. People don't sweat the small stuff. There is a local dialect word, "teigei" which means something like "take it easy" -- it could be the anthem around here :)... The external calm kind of helps with my inner calm, if that makes any sense.

We thought about living in Bali or Fiji or something, but when you have a family things like good hospitals, good infrastructure, and very low crime matter. We thought about living on a remote island of Okinawa, but here we have an American school and quick access to hospitals.

We could have lived in an even more rural area of the main island, but here we are close to his school, and within striking distance of great shopping (wife is happy) and restaurants, live music, etc. For a smallish island, Okinawa has so many different things to do. We see more live bands in a year here than we did in 5 years BI (before Island).

We also thought about Hawaii, but Hawaii is very expensive, and Oahu is so crowded...

... So this is just the best place that we could live right now. I kind of have a dream that when the kid goes off to college, we'll buy a sailboat and spend a couple years sailing around the Mediterranean... but who knows! :)

Uminchu
07-29-05, 07:28 PM
Oh is that fewer teeth the hard way?? (extractions?) :D No, apparently many Japanese think they are born with fewer (or was it more?) teeth than "westerners" :rolleyes:

Not sure about the longer intestines. I thought the average Japanese diet (based on my limited knowledge!!) was rather simple compared with all the bad stuff and complicated molecules etc. westerners indulge in. Maybe that's changing though... Supposedly it's because they eat more plants and less red meat, so their intestines are longer... But rice is pure carbs, and is digested right in the stomach -- no need for long intestines there. And besides, the Japanese have only been here for 2,000 years or so, and farming for less time than that. How could that be enough time to evolve such a different physiology??? Just plain quackery, but it's amazing how many (highly educated) Japanese will buy into that sort of thing.

You know, like how they blocked imports of Italian-made skis because "Japanese snow is different" ... :rolleyes:

Okinawa is busier than I thought. I always have it in my head that there is a huge volcano/mountain, lots of green, some beaches and a few towns. I think I'm way outdated!!! No volcanoes -- maybe you're thinking about Costa Rica? :) But beaches we still have, and aside from a couple largish (in the 100s of thousands) cities it's mostly pretty rural still. In WWII, there were 450,000 people on the island, a third of whom died in the invasion, and many people have left the islands over the years -- so they've made a pretty good comeback!

Maybe you will have to wait till your next trip stateside, unless the uni's have something to offer. You're fortunate if you can speak Japanese...or is Okinawan different? Yes, I've thought about getting a diagnosis in the US. But that's all I could do -- kind of hard to commute to the US for therapy, and any prescription I got for meds would be useless over here.

And yes they do speak Japanese here. There are local dialects that are like totally different languages, but nowadays fewer and fewer people speak them.

Ichpuchtli
07-29-05, 11:22 PM
Do you read Japanese? If so tell me and I will go searching around.

Uminchu
07-29-05, 11:26 PM
Do you read Japanese? If so tell me and I will go searching around. Yes I do read Japanese. Anything you could dig up would be appreciated, thanks.

Ichpuchtli
07-29-05, 11:27 PM
Ok shall get right on it, in the mean time have you looked at the ones provided by me. Sorry if they are no good I do not speak Japanese.

Ichpuchtli
07-29-05, 11:35 PM
http://www.yoake.777ch.org/
http://www.m3.com/adg1/index.html?pc=adg01 (Translations did not work n this eithere so I don't know if its any good.

crime_scene
07-29-05, 11:39 PM
Is there a software that translates japanese on your screen does anyone know?

Uminchu
07-29-05, 11:41 PM
http://www.yoake.777ch.org/
This one is good. It has a kind of FAQ with community members submitting answers, as well as a chatroom. The FAQ was a bit discouraging (talks about long waiting lists, lectures from doctors about being lazy when asking about ADD, etc.)


http://www.m3.com/adg1/index.html?pc=adg01 This is a member's only site for physicians only. It seems like a place for them to discuss various patient problems, treatments, etc.

Thanks for taking the trouble to look for these sites. It's very kind of you.

Uminchu
07-29-05, 11:43 PM
Is there a software that translates japanese on your screen does anyone know? You can try Babelfish (http://babelfish.altavista.com/). Just copy and paste in the Japanese, or enter the URL of the Japanese page.

The results usually look like gibberish, but it should at least tell you the general topic. :)

Ichpuchtli
07-29-05, 11:43 PM
Thats ok it is just hard when the online transltors decide to stuff you around and not do a damn thing.So you happy with the first one? Oh I did try bable fish that is what I was using as well as someothers but still no cigar.

Uminchu
07-29-05, 11:44 PM
Thats ok it is just hard when the online transltors decide to stuff you around and not do a damn thing.So you happy with the first one?
Yes, this one has lots of information, thanks!

Ichpuchtli
07-29-05, 11:46 PM
So by the sound off Japan all you can do is wait or head over to the US or here where the waiting lists arn't long or there are none at all.

crime_scene
07-29-05, 11:50 PM
No volcanoes -- maybe you're thinking about Costa Rica? :) But beaches we still have, and aside from a couple largish (in the 100s of thousands) cities it's mostly pretty rural still. In WWII, there were 450,000 people on the island, a third of whom died in the invasion, and many people have left the islands over the years -- so they've made a pretty good comeback!


Not costa Rica...maybe mainland Japan...big mountain in the back ground like Kilimanjaro in Africa.

Is there some site you know of that has some nice "real" pictures of Okinawa on it?

Gee, its sounds fabulous there...and I really dig that job you've got!!!! Live anywhere as long as you h ave a cell and laptop. YES!!!

crime_scene
07-29-05, 11:58 PM
You can try Babelfish (http://babelfish.altavista.com/). Just copy and paste in the Japanese, or enter the URL of the Japanese page.

The results usually look like gibberish, but it should at least tell you the general topic. :)
oh thanks I like that!

Uminchu
07-30-05, 12:03 AM
Not costa Rica...maybe mainland Japan...big mountain in the back ground like Kilimanjaro in Africa. Oh yeah that one -- I might have heard of it!:)

Is there some site you know of that has some nice "real" pictures of Okinawa on it?
This page is for the Nikko Alivila hotel -- the one down the hill from me.
http://www.alivila.co.jp/en/
It ought to give you an idea of my view :)
Although I'm up the hill so it's not quite so close up.

This one is dedicated to photos of Okinawan beaches:
http://community.webshots.com/album/13549344hNENaRMFIf

Gee, its sounds fabulous there...and I really dig that job you've got!!!! Live anywhere as long as you h ave a cell and laptop. YES!!! I do like it. Now I just need to keep from screwing everything up!

crime_scene
07-30-05, 12:22 AM
MY WORD!!!! those are absolutely gorgeous views!! That hotel is, is, is extraordinary. I want to do just like they say...settle in for a long stay!! :p :p :p :p

The water looks soo pure too. Man.

Oh yes, clearly, you want to keep this job for a while!! You HAVE to keep that view, you lucky dog!

herekittykitty
07-30-05, 03:06 PM
Hey Uminchu,

Some pals and I are heading to Okinawa next month...you don't hafta share your super-top-secret private beaches or anything (g), but can you recommend some nice places to visit? We'd like to check out the ocean, and then probably hit that gorgeous hotel you mentioned for some R&R.

Is Naha really the dump that folks say it is? If we want to head to Miyakojima or Ishigakijima, is it better to fly right in, or hit the main island first? There's no shortage of guidebooks, but a recent trip to Guam made it clear that what often appears appealing in those books is decidedly less so in reality. Any info or suggestions appreciated!

Also, if there's anything you can't get down there that we have up here (books etc.), let me know!

Uminchu
07-30-05, 08:16 PM
Some pals and I are heading to Okinawa next month
Great, I bet you'll love it.
If you come to the main island, feel free to PM me and I'll show you around a bit.

Is Naha really the dump that folks say it is?
It is not pretty. I try to avoid Naha as much as possible.

If we want to head to Miyakojima or Ishigakijima
It really depends on what you are after. If you want to do the eco-tourism thing, Ishigaki is the way to go. Around Iriomote is the clearest water I have ever seen -- clearer than a swimming pool. If the water is calm enough, you can see the shadow of your boat on the ocean floor in 30 feet of water. And snorkeling, it's like being in an aquarium. Plus all kinds of weird and cool critters.

Miyako is kind of Ishigaki light, but it's a bit quieter.

If you want to do some partying, the main island is cool. Go see a live music show, that sort of thing. Also if you're into the castle thing, or you want to check out a bit of WWII history, the main island is the place. Or check out the bat caves, do a bit of rock climbing... The north of the island still has some great nature, but in my opinion it doesn't hold a candle to ishigaki/iriomote. (my wife is from a small island off the coast of iriomote, so I'm a little biased...)

coyote
07-30-05, 08:30 PM
Yes, that's all well and good, but for those of us who can't make back to Okinawa, can you please post the recipe for a Purple Haze?

Seriously...I really enjoyed the year I spent there. Imagine: first time out of the country, 18 years old, no bills, pocketful of money....*sigh*

Has the island changed much in 20 years? I know I have.

Uminchu
07-30-05, 08:41 PM
Seriously...I really enjoyed the year I spent there. Imagine: first time out of the country, 18 years old, no bills, pocketful of money....*sigh* I did kind of the same thing, except it was Panama in my case. I loved it.

Has the island changed much in 20 years? I know I have. Much more urbanized now. People in Naha are starting to act like city people anywhere.

herekittykitty
07-30-05, 08:46 PM
Hiya Uminchu,

Thank you soooo much! Now I feel like I have a better idea of what to check out while I'm down there. Thanks again!!

PS. We're in the same line of work...

Coyote,
Something tells me we'll be seeing a LOT of guys like you down there! I don't know if Okinawa's changed, but somehow I don't think guys--on their first time out of the country, 18 years old, no bills, pocketfuls of money--have changed much at all! (g)

Uminchu
07-31-05, 10:31 AM
Thank you soooo much! Now I feel like I have a better idea of what to check out while I'm down there. Thanks again!!
No problem, we're here to help! :)

PS. We're in the same line of work...
Ah, a fellow ink-stained wretch.

I think that people with ADD are drawn to the translation profession. Have you seen any correlation?

herekittykitty
07-31-05, 12:44 PM
Lessee, in terms of unfortunate lack of social skills, yep!:foot:
I do simultaneous interpreting, which would seem like the very LAST thing an ADD person would do...but I think the adrenalin rush--the same thing that infuses those all-night-oh-no-it's-due-tomorrow translations--forces me to concentrate. I seem to remember you mentioning similar habits...

Also, maybe the fact that even if you specialize, and especially if you don't, every job being different keeps our attention...

Then there's the love of languages, and attention (if you will) to detail. After all, the "A" in ADD is for anal-retentive, isn't it? :D

Ichpuchtli
07-31-05, 05:08 PM
As a matter of interest Uminchu are you going to wait in the long line to get diagnosed or what have you decided to do?

Uminchu
07-31-05, 06:15 PM
I do simultaneous interpreting, which would seem like the very LAST thing an ADD person would do...but I think the adrenalin rush--the same thing that infuses those all-night-oh-no-it's-due-tomorrow translations--forces me to concentrate.
I have never done simultaneous interpreting, but when I lived in the mainland I did consecutive interpreting about 4 times a year. Also, my first "translation" job was as an in-house translator/intepreter at a car plant.

I hate interpreting; I hate being on the spot like that. With translation, I can take a break whenever I need to, but with interpreting you're on their schedule.

I certainly do remember that adrenalin rush, though, which is why I enjoyed doing it 4 times a year or so just for a change of pace.

I seem to remember you mentioning similar habits...

Yes, it's true. I'm horrible about waiting until the very last minute to do jobs. It usually works out somehow, but I have missed deadlines because of it, and as I'm sure you're aware keeping deadlines is the number-one thing in translation.

This, more than anything, is why I want to get diagnosed and possibly treated. All the other things I can deal with, but the chronic procrastination could lose me the good thing I've got going here...

Then there's the love of languages, and attention (if you will) to detail. After all, the "A" in ADD is for anal-retentive, isn't it? :D
Hallowell says that people with ADD are usually bad at languages, so I'm not sure where it all fits in, but I always did seem to have a knack with them. And yes, I can be very anal-retentive about some things -- although I like to think of it as "an insistence on quality" :D

Uminchu
07-31-05, 06:17 PM
Hi Ichpuchtli:

As a matter of interest Uminchu are you going to wait in the long line to get diagnosed or what have you decided to do?
Yes, thanks to your much-needed nudge I just emailed a clinic in Tokyo asking about getting a diagnosis in September. We'll see what they say!

mctavish23
07-31-05, 08:59 PM
If you're interested, I just posted some research figures on the prevalence of ADHD worlwide;including Japan.

I was going to post it here, however, I felt compelled to respond to a comment posed in the.... Should ADHD'ers be allowed to procreate? thread.

take care :)

Uminchu
07-31-05, 09:13 PM
If you're interested, I just posted some research figures on the prevalence of ADHD worlwide;including Japan.
Thanks, I saw it. Wow, 7.7%?

One thing about Japan, though: Japanese boys (4-8 yrs) are given so much leeway, that they all kind of seem ADD; I mean they're generally pretty wild, loud, don't listen, etc. The girls are usually little angels, though :)

Uminchu
07-31-05, 10:26 PM
I got a response from the Tokyo Clinic! They have a waiting list of only 2-3 days, they say.

They said that after a diagnosis, they can offer me telephone counseling/coaching, and mail me any medications. Would that even be legal in the US? Gotta love this country. :)

herekittykitty wasn't too impressed with them, but I'll take what I can get for now.

herekittykitty
08-01-05, 07:25 AM
Hi Uminchu!

I hope you have a great experience with them; I'll keep an open mind, and try again myself if you have better results than I did.

I hopped back on here tonight because it's gotten soooo tough to function at all lately, and will check out the links that Ichpuchtli has kindly posted. gahhhhhhh.

By the way, I found a Japanese therapist trained in the US who can prescribe medication. Her name is Ryuko Ishikawa. I haven't been able to get an appt yet, but I'll keep trying, and let you know what I find--if you'll be up this way anyway, it might not hurt to try to check out a few places. Here's her HP:

http://www.familycenterjapan.com/indexE.htm

Good luck to you!

By the way Uminchu, do you watch Japanese TV? I'm an addict myself (so obviously have no viewing standards whatsoever), and credit no small part of my Japanese ability to having left the TV on for years at a time. Lately I've gone cold turkey, and now find that when I turn it on it's waaaay to intense to watch. It's like TV on crack, kids! What have your experiences been w/ TV here? Do you let your son watch it?

Uminchu
08-01-05, 09:08 AM
By the way, I found a Japanese therapist trained in the US who can prescribe medication. Her name is Ryuko Ishikawa. I haven't been able to get an appt yet, but I'll keep trying, and let you know what I find
Thanks, please do keep me posted. I need someplace/someone flexible, who is willing to work from a distance. I may try her out as well.

It would be nice to find someone I can describe my feelings to in English. My Japanese isn't bad, but naturally I can be much more nuanced in English.

By the way Uminchu, do you watch Japanese TV? I'm an addict myself (so obviously have no viewing standards whatsoever), and credit no small part of my Japanese ability to having left the TV on for years at a time. Lately I've gone cold turkey, and now find that when I turn it on it's waaaay to intense to watch. It's like TV on crack, kids! What have your experiences been w/ TV here? Do you let your son watch it?
I mainly learned Japanese by having a Japanese wife :). When we lived in the United States, we used to rent Japanese dramas from the video shop, but since moving here I don't watch a lot of TV. But when I do I will find myself staring at that thing for a couple hours, going "man, this sucks." They are masters at getting eyeballs glued.

My son went to a Montessori preschool, and they are very strongy against showing TV to children 6 and younger. They recommend no fanstasy TV whatsoever, even Disney... We didn't get that strict, but we did curtail his TV quite a bit.

Now, he basically watches Nickelodeon or videos.

herekittykitty
08-03-05, 10:00 AM
Hey Uminchu,

Ishikawa-sensei returned my call today and I have an appt for next Monday! She speaks English well, btw, and I got an appt quickly. I'll let you know how it goes; she might be worth a visit when you head up this way.

Uminchu
08-05-05, 12:28 AM
Ishikawa-sensei returned my call today and I have an appt for next Monday!
That's great! I'm looking forward to hearing your experiences.

herekittykitty
08-16-05, 07:22 AM
Hi Uminchu,

I've met with Dr. Ishikawa twice. She has worked with ADD/ADHD kids in the US, but not adults. She's friendly and nice, and fees are high but she is willing to negotiate.

Unfortunately she seems to want to do psychotherapy (as in mother issues, childhood issues etc.) and I'm not sure how she wants to deal with ADD stuff. First she told me that I'm addicted to Ritalin. I told her I would stop if we could find something else/some other way to work around things, but then she said I'd have horrible withdrawal symptoms. Since Ritalin has a short half-life, and I don't take it constantly, I know this is not the case, but she disagreed.

As I told her about my chronic lateness, forgetting to eat/sleep, disorganization etc., she told me that I was much too harsh on myself and should accept the person I am. oookaaaay, so not eating/sleeping etc. is ok then? Then she kind of changed her mind and said I should check into a hospital...

For me, the bottom line is that she wants to do analysis, and I've had plenty. She hasn't treated ADD in adults, which is what I'm looking for.

Well, I don't have the best luck with therapists here (g), so your mileage may vary. Just wanted to get back to you. Hope your Tokyo visit goes/went well!

Uminchu
08-18-05, 07:35 AM
For me, the bottom line is that she wants to do analysis, and I've had plenty. She hasn't treated ADD in adults, which is what I'm looking for.
I'm sorry that didn't work out for you. I saw on her home page that she does "family systems theory" or somesuch -- what I know about psychotherapy would fit on a matchbook, but I think that is probably not what people like us need. I'm not lazy and shiftless because mommy didn't love me/loved me too much.

Good luck in your continuing search -- and wish me luck in mine!

herekittykitty
08-18-05, 08:40 AM
Ganbatte! Do let me know how Tokyo Clinic works for you. In the meantime, I plan on asking my internist for an anti-depressant or SSRI.

Uminchu
08-22-05, 10:19 PM
herekittykitty:

Have you heard of Sakurai Clinic (http://homepage2.nifty.com/ADD/) "Shinjuku Adult ADD Center"?

They seem promising; I'd be interested if you have any experience with them.

By the way, I have found a place in Okinawa that does diagnoses for children. I'm trying to schedule an appointment for my son on Sep. 5 -- that's a holiday for his school.

herekittykitty
08-23-05, 09:30 AM
Hey Uminchu.

Great, great, great news on finding a place that diagnoses kids! Many people end up finding out that they're ADD once their child has been diagnosed; maybe they'll take a quick look at your symptoms too?

Yeah, Sakurai's like the Holy Grail for ADD folks. Damn shame their waiting list is 10 years long, and they aren't taking any new patients now. Ten years? Yeesh, I could maybe go to school and become an ADD counselor by then! (g)

Got the name of another counselor here in Tokyo...Mr. Jim McRae. I don't know what he specializes in, but several people have recommended him as a good therapist, anyway. I'll report back once I have more info!

Uminchu
08-23-05, 08:03 PM
Great, great, great news on finding a place that diagnoses kids! Many people end up finding out that they're ADD once their child has been diagnosed; maybe they'll take a quick look at your symptoms too?
I do plan to slip in the "herm hum, do you think it's possible for adults to have ADD as well?" :)

It's at the medical school of a local university. I was a bit ambivalent about getting my son an "official" diagnosis (the educational specialist he is seeing already thinks so), for various reasons. Not least of which being I don't want to medicate him.

But I think I am going to need an official dx in order to help me battle his school. Long story but they are being a bunch of poo-poo heads.

Yeah, Sakurai's like the Holy Grail for ADD folks. Damn shame their waiting list is 10 years long, and they aren't taking any new patients now. Ten years? Yeesh, I could maybe go to school and become an ADD counselor by then! (g)

Ah, so they're the legendary place with the 10-year waiting list! Maybe I'll become a psychiatrist and undercut their business in the meantime. Must be nice having a guaranteed 10-year work backlog! :)

Got the name of another counselor here in Tokyo...Mr. Jim McRae. I don't know what he specializes in, but several people have recommended him as a good therapist, anyway. I'll report back once I have more info!
Yeah, let me know!

BTW, I found his profile online at International Mental Health Professionals Japan.

<table border="0" cellpadding="10" cellspacing="2" width="90%"> <tbody><tr><td bgcolor="#3366ff" width="10%">Services Offered</td> <td bgcolor="#bbbbff"> Individual Psychotherapy, Couple Therapy, Individual Counselling, Clinical Supervision, Consultation, Phone Counselling </td></tr> <tr> <td bgcolor="#6633ff" width="10%">Populations Served</td> <td bgcolor="#ccaaff"> Adults, Older Adults, Women, Men, Students, Gay/Lesbian, Returnees</td></tr></tbody> </table>
Keep in touch!

Ichpuchtli
08-27-05, 02:49 AM
There is no way to get diagnosed in China, Australia, South East Asia or the US is there? Japan just sounds terrible for getting diagnosed.

Uminchu
08-27-05, 03:07 AM
There is no way to get diagnosed in China, Australia, South East Asia or the US is there? Japan just sounds terrible for getting diagnosed.
The next time I go to the US, I could probably get diagnosed. The problem would be getting treatment after that. I mean, just knowing would be cool but I'd also like to get some help doing something about it if I do have it.

Ichpuchtli
08-28-05, 02:10 AM
So if you get diagnosed in the US they still consider you normal in Japan or something. I am still trying to get my head round all this but I think I got it. So what do you think you are going to do? Get yourself on the waiting list or the US?

herekittykitty
08-28-05, 09:12 AM
Hey Umi-man,

Are you talking about therapy or meds? ADD counseling might be tough to find here (as we're both finding out) but meds can be imported from the US. For meds not yet approved here--especially ADD faves like stimulants--reputable pharmacies require a prescription from a doc licensed to work in the US. And there are docs here with that qualification. So all's not lost. If you do go to the US for diagnosis at some point, you can explore this option (using one of these pharmacies to ship meds to you) with him/her too.

And it's all above-board. It has to be small, reasonable quantities, and say "for personal use" on the little green sticky customs tag.

Uminchu
08-28-05, 03:42 PM
Are you talking about therapy or meds? ADD counseling might be tough to find here (as we're both finding out) but meds can be imported from the US.
I didn't know that, thanks.

Yes, I am mostly thinking about therapy. Although come to think of it, even if I get therapy from Tokyo it will be over the phone -- perhaps the same or similar could be worked out with a US-based therapist?

At any rate, I've got an app for my son for Sep. 5 here in Okinawa, so I guess I will first see what they have to say.


And it's all above-board. It has to be small, reasonable quantities, and say "for personal use" on the little green sticky customs tag.
Very good information, thanks!

Ichpuchtli
08-30-05, 06:24 AM
That is good idea if it is leagel and if you don't have to diagnosed, but I am sure you have to be diagnosed first. Anyway I would deffently look into that. See what you come up with. :) :)


scan these sites, they looked ok from my scanning

http://www.ftf-tokyo.com/adhd/
just type in Japan in this site. (http://www.adders.org/)

Self-Help Groups for Japanese with Attention Deficit Disorders (Feb 2003)
By Yuka Shirai, Managing Director of Society of Adults with ADD/ADHD, translated by the Information Center of the Japanese Society for Rehabilitation of Persons with Disabilities (JSRPD).

Whenever I used a copier, crooked copies would come out of the machine. Whenever I tried to make tea, I always spilt it from my cup. Messy rooms had no space for hanging laundry. I was such a "hopeless" working woman; a "clumsy" housewife. Having failed in my career and marriage, I became a single mother suffering from depression and simply moped around all the time. It was only when I became diagnosed with "Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)" that I learned how to deal with, and was saved from, this situation.

Previously incapable of tidying up things and unable to complete tasks, I was forgetful and late for appointments. Frequently losing things, prone to mood swings, and a difficulty controlling impulsive behavior were further signs of this impairment.

These symptoms are, according to expert diagnosis, attributable not only to the person's character or mood, but to a neurochemical disorder caused by an unbalanced information delivery system in the brain. In simple terms: as the brain system becomes unbalanced, so the information filter inside stays permanently open, which easily causes confusion and exhaustion in the individual.

Why had I been sloppy and careless, lazy but restless? Why had I been spreading myself too thinly to accomplish anything properly? These symptoms appear to have been caused by a malfunction of the information delivery system in my brain. After the diagnosis was given, I felt relieved and relaxed, which brought me new hope and a different perspective.
Regaining Composure & Setting Up Website

In my case once the cause was identified removing the symptoms was simple. There was no need to make aggressive efforts in vain any more, and my depressing moods went away. I decided to deal with things that I had previously struggled with from the viewpoint of ADHD. As a result, my life began to go smoothly, and through a gradual process I regained composure.

Actually this experience was not mine alone. Following the diagnosis, I set up a website to help adults who are trying to confront ADHD, and found that many had been successful in facing the problem.

However, ADHD has received little recognition in Japan. The traits are generally dismissed as faults in the individual such as "laziness", "lack of motivation" or "lack of effort". This negative attitude is due in part to the fact that there are very few specialists in Japan qualified to make a diagnosis. (There has even been a case where a person who had made an initial appointment to see a certain specialist in Tokyo had to wait 5-6 years for his/her first visit.)

Many people have extraordinary difficulty at work, home or school because of the limits caused by their innate disability, but only a handful of specialists are available in Japan.
Mission: Enable People to Rediscover Potential

Our mission, although in its formative stages, is to enlighten people, and we are seeking recognition of ADHD from the government. I have set up an NGO to seek support for, and social recognition of, ADHD that is currently focusing on running self-help groups.

I have no intention of using ADHD as an excuse to avoid social responsibility. In fact, I want to contribute to society using ADHD as a springboard to enable people to rediscover their potential as individuals and regain self-esteem.

Through self-help activities such as meetings and social occasions, we have already helped each other improve a great deal. Actually, with each passing session, the effectiveness of these activities has been further substantiated and the positive response from participants has become greater. Although our activities are currently limited in scope, we are hoping for various groups to be established throughout Japan - groups of housewives, students, or elderly people, each with a dynamic and often varied set of aims. We hope that with continual support, people can form their own groups and that these, in turn, will grow.
Self-Help + Projects=Social Contribution

Developing self-help activities into projects organized by persons with ADHD can provide them with not only a chance to fully demonstrate their ability but an opportunity for social contribution and recognition from society.

With the ambitious objective of expanding these activities, I would like to create a society, in which persons with ADHD can live their own lives independently. As society becomes willing to change its position, disabilities can be turned into strengths.

gathered from this address. (http://http://www.dinf.ne.jp/doc/english/other/wz_add_e.htm)

I wish you all the best, from Aussie land. ( I just was looking at a map and relised my home city is directly below Japan. :eek: just something I noticed)

Keep us posted.

herekittykitty
08-30-05, 12:24 PM
Yes, of course it is legal. If I wanted to tempt Umi-man down the shady path, I'd contact him off-line! :D

Just like anywhere else, of course you need to be diagnosed to get a prescription.

I live in Japan.
I have been diagnosed.
So, I can get prescriptions.
Legally.

Thank you for the above info, by the way.

kitty

Ichpuchtli
09-26-05, 05:22 AM
Hey wheres Umi? I was hoping for an update or is he in the US somewhere. I am glad to hear about that and that it is legal.

Uminchu
09-26-05, 05:27 AM
Hi Ichpuchtli:

For some reason I think I missed that long post of yours at the end of August. Thanks a lot for that!

The timing of your post is pretty good, as my son was just diagnosed today with ADHD inattentive.

In addition, I have found a psychiatrist in Okinawa who does adult ADD! I have emailed him directly but did not receive a response (he is ADHD too, so I can kind of relate, I guess...).

Otherwise, I will be going to mainland Japan in a month, so I will go to one of the clinics then.

herekittykitty
10-01-05, 03:10 AM
Hey Umi-man,

Just stopping by to say hello, and update a bit.

My internist who prescribes Ritalin (monthly visits to say hello and get new 1-month prescription) doesn't do any kind of talk therapy, but when I told him my symptoms seemed to be worsening, he sent me to another internist. "Maybe she has more ADD experience."

Turns out that she didn't; she simply asked what meds I'd tried before, then gave me one that I had already tried (with no success) but forgot to mention to her (gah!) and charged 16,000yen for the 3-minute chat, 2-weeks' worth of pills, and bloodwork.

I also met a psychologist in a social setting. He's heard of ADD, and has some ADD patients, but while he offered to discount his office visit charges, he said he treats the same way--3 minutes of "how-are-you? meds-not-working? let's-increase-the-dosage-or-spin-the-wheel-and-try-something-else-instead."

As I mentioned to Ichpuchtli, I was diagnosed here, but only in the sense of a doctor listening to my symptoms, nodding sagely, and saying, "Yep, sounds like ADD to me!" I plan to go back to the US over Christmas and get some testing done.

If I can't hold on until Christmas, I plan to try that new doc listed in the mental health provider list (whatever it was called) who has ADD in her specialty list. I'll let you know how that goes.

Congratulations on finding an ADD doc down there! Please let us know how that works out! And good luck at the Tokyo clinic.

It looks like things are improving at your son's school, and for you too. That's great! I was wondering how your symptoms are these days, and how you're coping until you can get diagnosis/treatment?

kitty

Uminchu
10-01-05, 03:34 AM
Good to hear from you, kitty:

I have an appointment with our rather unique ADHD psychiatrist for Nov. 12 (my birthday -- hah!). You can check out his website here (http://www7.ocn.ne.jp/%7Ek-goto/).

Yes, things seem to be going well for my son. I know I'm just your typical oyabaka, but I am so proud of this kid.

As for me, the procrastination has subsided down to pre-meltdown levels. Things are getting done on time, I'm not cutting off relations with clients, haven't slept less than 3 hours working a deadline for about 2 weeks.

I don't know if getting decent drugs is the answer for me or what, but I would just like to cut down on the procrastination, spend less time putzing around, and get more organized. In short, just a few minor life adjustments. :)

herekittykitty
10-06-05, 09:52 AM
Hello,

Tried contacting the Dr. that listed ADD as a specialty on that board.

No reply. Bummer!!

But I really liked the doc's website that you posted above!! I like how he describes some of what we do, and some of the coping skills we come up with. Excellent!

Now tell me, did you deliberately set up the appt on your b-day? (g) Or is he so swamped that he has a waiting list?

Uminchu
10-06-05, 05:13 PM
It took him about a week to reply to me (Goto-sensei).

I think it's cool how he used to be a newspaper reporter, then quit and became a psychiatrist when he got a phobia about answering phones.

I would have liked to have been seen sooner (no good at waiting and all...), but he is swamped. I suppose that's a good thing.

I heard about him because he treats my neighbor's kid for Asperger's. The more I hear about him, he seems pretty cool. For instance, the daughter has a private blog (parents don't know where it is), where he comes on periodically and comments.

herekittykitty
10-10-05, 12:07 PM
Oooh, oooh! News!

I went to see another doc on that list, and have had only one session, but am much happier with this guy than the other people I've seen.

This doc doesn't specialize in ADD, but for me right now the depression is more of a pressing issue, so we're going to try behavior and perhaps depression meds (I'll stay on Ritalin for now) to work on my symptoms, rather than worrying about formally diagnosing ADD right now. This guy has a PhD, but can't prescribe meds, so works w/ a doc here who does. BUT! He also knows an American ADD specialist, and suggested I see her if/when we decide I need more ADD-focused help.

I know you're eager for a formal diagnosis, Umi-man, and this doc gave me the name of this specialist, who works with ADD kids. Most of the literature I've read (and I think your experience bears this out a bit) suggests that docs who are familiar with it and treat it in kids can be better at diagnosing it in adults.

In addition, he told me about a Dr. Masafumi Nakakuki. This doc studied and practiced in the US for years, and is now back in Tokyo. He's very familiar with therapeutic practices and meds in the US, and does counseling and prescribing.

I can't quite remember the American doc's name but can get it if you'd like.

I'm also wondering about posting a lot of doc names on the list like this. I wonder if people surfing the net could make their way to this list if they entered a doc's name into a search engine. Whadayathink?

Anyway, I know you're thinking of heading up to the big isle this month, so there are more options for you to try while you're here.

Uminchu
10-10-05, 09:49 PM
Hey Kitty:

It's great that you are finding more helpful head shrinkers.

The board meeting of my professional organization has been set, and I will be in Tokyo October 27 (Thu) and 28 (Fri). I may try to get a Tokyo Clinic or some other appointment then, or I might just wait until my November appointment here in Okinawa.

As for listing doctor names in the forums, I am only listing information freely available on the Internet, so I don't see much harm. Do you?

If so, perhaps you could PM me?

Ichpuchtli
10-11-05, 05:20 AM
Exelent (is that how you spell that?) to know that you guys are both having luck with the Japanese you know whats (sorry I am not having a good day in English) for adult AD/HD.

I wish you the best of luck and (theres a word but I can't remember). Anyway I am sticking to basic English. I think up above this post you have mentioned something liek a board meeting, is that for AD/HDers or is that something else, well if it is for ADDers good luck again.

Message sum up: Good Luck.

herekittykitty
11-07-05, 07:15 PM
Hey Umi-man,

Did you end up visiting Tokyo Clinic while you were up Tokyo way? Wait, wait...it's juuust about time for your b-day/Okinawa doc appt, isn't it?

Happy Birthday on Friday, and here's hoping the appointment goes well!

kitty

PS. There's an Okinawan restaurant in my neighborhood with the word 'uminchu' in the name. Just noticed it the other day!

Uminchu
11-07-05, 07:54 PM
Thanks for the kind words!

Did you end up visiting Tokyo Clinic while you were up Tokyo way? Wait, wait...it's juuust about time for your b-day/Okinawa doc appt, isn't it?
Didn't go to Tokyo Clinic; I decided to wait until my appointment this Saturday. I'm looking forward to it.

I figure if I don't like this place, I can always hit the Tokyo Clinic on my next visit to the big mikan.

Speaking of which, how's things in Tokyo?

PS. There's an Okinawan restaurant in my neighborhood with the word 'uminchu' in the name. Just noticed it the other day!
Copycats! ;)

So, did you try the goya chanpuru yet?

herekittykitty
11-08-05, 07:50 AM
Looooove goya chanpuru. That's one dish that a lot of places serve nowadays--with varying degrees of authenticity, I'm sure. Come to think of it, there's another Okinawan joint in my hood called 949 (kushikyu) with some interesting dishes.

I'm very happy with my new therapist. We're just doing talk therapy and behavior modification, but that's taken the edge of the depression, and is helping w/ ADD symptoms too. Off Ritalin, and gaining back a bit of the 10kg I lost. So far so good!

OK, looking forward to hearing how your appt with the cool Goto-sensei goes!

kitty

Uminchu
11-13-05, 10:26 PM
Goto-sensei was a trip. He's all about modifying your environment to suit you. For example, he chains his wallet and keys to his belt, and put shelves all around the walls of his home office, so everything is in sight at all times.

Some more of his theories on ADHD: He says ADDers don't attach to people. So most ADDers will answer yes when asked "Would you like to live on a desert island, alone or just with your close family?" (I answered yes...)

He also thinks that ADDers should be given minority status, and not classified as disabled. He was on a roll, so I didn't point out that no disability = no disorder = he's out of a job...

I feel sorry for his wife, though -- he says he's got like 12 unfinished projects at home, but he'll "get to them all eventually..."

Anyway, he likes my idea of getting an assistant. We are scheduled to meet again next month, and this time he wants me to bring my wife.

That's cool that you found a good therapist. I think you said you were dx'd here in Japan, right? Did you always know about the depression?

herekittykitty
11-14-05, 07:06 AM
hey,

Thanks for the Goto-sensei report! So what are you going to do from now til your next appt? Implement some modifications? I'm doing a lot of that now, btw, and it doesn't solve everything, but it's immensely helpful.

He sounds cool; and neat that he wants to involve your wife in therapy. Did he have any thoughts about your son?

No, didn't know about the depression. The interesting thing was back home in the US, I just went to therapy for years and years and worked through childhood stuff, but didn't get any happier. Then I saw an American therapist here who said, 'yeah, you're depressed. let's get rid of the depression first.' It was shocking to hear, but when the meds worked, it was literally like the skies opening up.

The best analogy I can think of is shoveling snow--w/o understanding the depression is there, and thinking that if I just analyze every single moment of my childhood, I'll become happy--it's like shoveling huge snow drifts, every step forward an effort. Looking at the depression as a separate entity is enormously liberating.

I hear ya on the desert island thing, btw! And it's cool that he has ADD, so he can really understand how our minds work (or don't)!

Uminchu
11-15-05, 06:57 PM
Between now and my next appointment, I want to find myself an assistant. That itself seems like a nontrivial task... I want to start at just 10 hours a week, preferably 4-5 times a week. Basically someone to hang around and say, "Hey, your schedule says you should be 50% through this job by now, but you're sitting around fiddling with php/."

By the way, took my son in for his ADHD checkup Monday. It's been ADHD week around the Uminchu household. They agree that the changes to his environment and extra tutoring we're implementing are enabling him to keep up with his peers in class, so barring some kind of change for the worse, we'll check in at the end of the school year in June.

Anyway, I am kind of dreading taking my wife in with me to my next appointment, because I sense he's going to lecture her on understanding my faults. I say I dread it because she should already be getting a medal, or whatever it is you give to saints, for all she's put up with -- not a lecture. But it might help if she understands [i]why I'm so lacking in certain areas.

herekittykitty
11-16-05, 12:02 PM
Let me see if I understand you correctly. Ten hours a week, 4-5 times...that's 2 hours at a time, right? So you'd only get that gentle nudging while they were there, no?

I have an idea. You know how ADDers are often better at helping others than they are themselves, right? If you want to exchange email addresses, we can send poking messages to each other that say, "hey! how's that big ol' translation job going?" or "hey! you're not sitting at the computer playing solitaire again, are you?"

I see what you mean about your wife getting lectured--so often folks don't get us, so it's easy to jump on the offensive. I have to explain to my fellow band members this weekend why I'm late all the time...it's really all in how Dr. Goto phrases things, though. It sounds like he also has a very understanding wife, so he might be better at this than you suspect!

kitty

Uminchu
11-18-05, 12:51 AM
Let me see if I understand you correctly. Ten hours a week, 4-5 times...that's 2 hours at a time, right? So you'd only get that gentle nudging while they were there, no?
That's right, but if I knew they were going to come in and check my schedule against my work, I think that would push me to get my alloted chunk of work done for that day.

Also, I do have some things that an assistant could do besides guilt me into working. For instance, have a bunch of invoices that are overdue. One of them is about 4 months late. I just can't seem to get myself motivated enough to do that kind of stuff. So I figure, why not just hire someone to do it for me?

Then there is lots of other stuff, that while not so important would be nice to have done, preferably by someone other than me. :)


I have an idea. You know how ADDers are often better at helping others than they are themselves, right? If you want to exchange email addresses, we can send poking messages to each other that say, "hey! how's that big ol' translation job going?" or "hey! you're not sitting at the computer playing solitaire again, are you?"
That is so nice of you, thanks. As I mentioned above, I think I would do better with somebody actually in my office to get me to work, but I think it would be great if we could kind of watch each other's back -- seeing as we are "nakama" and all. :)

I see what you mean about your wife getting lectured--so often folks don't get us, so it's easy to jump on the offensive. I have to explain to my fellow band members this weekend why I'm late all the time...it's really all in how Dr. Goto phrases things, though. It sounds like he also has a very understanding wife, so he might be better at this than you suspect!

Goto-sensei is a pretty astute guy, but I get my suspicions from my neighbor, who takes her daughter to see him for AS. He gave her the mega lecture, spanning 3 or 4 sessions... In her case, though, I can see how it would be necessary, since care for an AS kid seems to go against so much of what we consider "common sense" parenting.

Anyway, I just think my wife deserves a pat on the back for putting up with me all these years, not a lecture on writing me more post-it notes. ;)

herekittykitty
11-19-05, 11:57 AM
Interesting that you mention having an assistant do stuff like invoices...I have zero filing skills, and regularly annoy Finance folks because I can't bring myself to do my business trip expenses...I've also done freebie freelance jobs, since I never got around to invoicing people.

My therapist suggested just what you're doing--spend your time doing what you're good at, and find someone who's good at doing what you can't do! So I'm going to do the same--find someone in my company to help me with filing, in exchange for some translation work or something. Or maybe convince the boss to hire someone to come in just to set up a filing system so I can at least get a bit of a grip.

As an aside, I 'came out' to my fellow band members today. There was a huge fight about my chronic lateness because one member didn't know I was having problems (so she assumed I was lazy and inconsiderate). I briefly explained ADD, and told them I was working on things but having trouble, and asked for their help. There was a cacophony of warm aizuchi, and tons of reassurance that they'd do what they could to help (one girl came to my apt to pick me up this morning...felt stupid, but it helped immensely).

And you already have your wife's support. Maybe you can tell Goto-sensei to touch on the clinical aspects of ADD, and have him advise on how to help your son, too?

Anyway, congrats on all the progress you're making!

Uminchu
11-21-05, 09:18 PM
Interesting that you mention having an assistant do stuff like invoices...I have zero filing skills, and regularly annoy Finance folks because I can't bring myself to do my business trip expenses...I've also done freebie freelance jobs, since I never got around to invoicing people.
Yes! It must sound crazy to "normal" people, but while I don't mind doing the work, I would almost prefer not to get paid than to prepare an invoice.

However! I had a couple recent victories on this front. First, I cleared my invoice backlog up to September. Second, I got another of my clients to start doing invoices for me. Yeehaw!

My therapist suggested just what you're doing--spend your time doing what you're good at, and find someone who's good at doing what you can't do! So I'm going to do the same--find someone in my company to help me with filing, in exchange for some translation work or something. Or maybe convince the boss to hire someone to come in just to set up a filing system so I can at least get a bit of a grip.

I have been wanting to do this for a while, but my wife had been against it. She couldn't see how it was necessary. She was like, the money keeps coming in so it must be OK -- an illusion I fostered out of shame.

So I finally swallowed my pride and went into rather embarrassing detail about how hard that kind of stuff is for me (I left out some of the worst bits, though). So that appears to have convinced her

As an aside, I 'came out' to my fellow band members today. There was a huge fight about my chronic lateness because one member didn't know I was having problems (so she assumed I was lazy and inconsiderate).
That's cool that they were understanding. I haven't "come out" to anyone yet in the flesh, other than wife/son.

And you already have your wife's support. Maybe you can tell Goto-sensei to touch on the clinical aspects of ADD, and have him advise on how to help your son, too?

Yes, or help me to help him, or something. :)

Anyway, congrats on all the progress you're making!
Thanks! It does feel like progress. Slow and painful, but progress nonetheless!

Christiana
03-30-06, 03:56 AM
This thread is so interesting... I (in my own ADD fashion...) just read through the entire thing from page one! It's awesome that you've found such an awesome doctor Uminchu - I'm moving to Germany in 2 months, and I'm expecting to have similar difficulties. ADHD is becomeing more accepted there, but most of the people will still look at you like you're crazy if you tell them.

Anyways I wanted to say "I IDENTIFY WITH YOU!!!!" about the invoices thing!!! I am working a job that is only 1-3 hours a week through my university, but I can't even bring myself to turn in the freaking time sheet!!! It sounds so ridiculous, but I'd almost rather not get paid at all than fill that thing out and turn it in. (I have to take it to an office on the 7th floor, and it can only be BEFORE noon, and ifI wait too long during the week, then I might as well just put two weeks worth of hours onto the next week... and so it just rolls out for months at a time like that. And as if it werent' bad enough, I have to get my boss to sign the sheet first also, and he's hardly ever in his office.... ugh!!

Expense reports and other things have always been the same story for me. I can't think of how many times I've just paid for stuff out of my own pocket becuase I missed the deadlines with expense reports. (for various school projects)

Nice to know I'm not the only one with this problem!!

Uminchu
03-30-06, 05:11 AM
Hi Christiana: I'm glad that you can relate! Since being diagnosed with ADHD, I have embraced a lot of these things.

Like with the invoices: one of my clients that creates my invoices for me came to me and said "We need you to write your own invoices now. You are our only contractor who asks us to do this and it is too much trouble." At one time, I might have slunk away and started writing my own invoices, but I just responded "OK, I will write my own invoices. But as a result I will need to raise my rate on all future work by 25%."

They decided to keep writing my invoices. :)

When it comes down to it, my value to my clients is not my paperwork skills. They pay me lots of money to do things that not a lot of people can do. It is a waste of their resources to waste my precious time doing things that their lesser-paid employees can do instead. It's kind of like paying a heart surgeon to trim your toenails for you (or more relevantly -- to do paperwork!). :D

Once I stopped being ashamed, and stopped trying to hide these "humiliating" deficits, it got a lot better.

Christiana
04-05-06, 02:46 AM
Thanks Uminchu - you said it so well... I've started embracing these issues as well, but I'm not all the way there yet. Also it's pretty hard when you're still a student and at the bottom of the food chain. After posting last time I went and looked at my pile of "money stuff", and found a reimbursement form for my job (where I bought somthing like $50 of supplies for them), which I should have turned in last October. I don't know where any of the reciepts are anymore, not to mention that I'm scared of facing my boss since I haven't been keeping up on my work... (it's a 2 or 3 hour per week job, but I've been putting in about half an hour a week, and just avoiding talking to anybody since I know I'm so far behind) That $50 which I probably won't be able to get back makes it almost not worth even having the job in the first place. It's so ridiculous! I have another reimbursement form from a group project I bought supplies for last semester - I missed the deadline on it and that's somthing like $20. I really pay for my ADD in real quantities! I can't wait until I start my real job (in 2 months) and I'll probably have to deal with this stuff even more often. heh. ANyways I guess I'm way off topic, since this is actually the forum about Japan, lol (if you want to continue this thread we should start a new one)

Uminchu
04-05-06, 03:52 AM
Oh, yeah!

Being on the bottom of the totem pole really sucks for ADHDers. I have got this little problem with rules and authority :rolleyes:. I used to be a big-time loser, rebel without a clue type, but then I started working the system because I realized the best way out from under the machine was getting on top of it.

Funny you should mention the vouchers. I was going through my to do list yesterday, and finally deleted a task to write an invoice that's 4 months late. I figure if I let it go this long, I'll never get to it. I don't really remember the job, but the invoice probably would have been around $500. I had offered them a 10% discount if they would write my invoices, but they refused... I don't get a lot of work from that company, so I'll just put them on my "very busy whenever they call with work" list. :)

I currently have two other invoices to write, but neither of them is late yet, so who knows -- maybe I'll write them. It's important to be optimistic, I always say. :D

Mix6
05-06-06, 05:00 PM
hiya! I stumbled upon this thread when I typed a psychiatrist's name into google... Was looking for potential doctors in Tokyo that can speak both English and Japanese, are licensed to be able to prescribe medicine if need be, and hopefully have some experience in diagnosing/dealing with ADD in adults (in my 20s)... Thank you sooo much for starting this up!

While surfing the web (have pleeenty of other things that I desperately need to get done for work but somehow I find myself doing things like this at 5:30am on the last day of golden week..) for names of some doctors I could chat with about some of the frustrations I'm having -- and have basically had since... well since I can remember -- including inability to focus, manage my time effectively, meet deadlines, get the simplest things done, stop my mind from wandering off on tangents to the extent that I can't remember what I was focusing on to begin with... --> I haven't been diagnosed yet w/ ADD/ADHD, and I'm not sure if I even will be- but these problems that have been frustrating me my whole life are hitting that point at which it's truly effecting my work... etc. etc. --- but anyway, I really wasn't planning on turning this into a life story, so my point was:

I was looking into Dr. Masafumi Nakakuki of Tokyo Psychotherapy Center and Dr. Ryuko Ishikawa of The Family Center. So it seems that Ishikawa-sensei had no experience with adult ADD, but it also appears that my options are quite limited in terms of finding ANyone available to speak to me who hAS had experience (or so I gather from this thread)... Perhaps I should give Nakakuki-sensei a shot...?

Any thoughts? Impressions? Would be very much appreciated. What do I talk about in the first session? Just sorta say outta the blue-- pls help, i think I have ADD? Ah well, I suppose I'll figure that part out on my own.

(And to follow up on your most recent thread postings... oh dear don't get me started! My job requires me to amass large expense accounts on client lunches, meetings, taxis etc. -- I've already lost about 6 months' worth of these expenses bc I lose the receipts, or that pile of those I hAve kept just becomes so daunting I can't get myself to do what should be the simplest task of labelling them and turning them in. I reaaally need to work on that... it drives me insane how I can't do the simplest things but get engrossed in other things that require much more brainwork- somehow tHAT stuff is fascinating but... ugh anyway enough enough...)

I hope I hope I hope that whether I have ADD or not, one of these doctors can help get me on the right track to sort my life out. Oops- this ended up turning into an emotional outlet of sorts! Thanks :) ...was planning to save that for the doctor! Doumo domo- kiite kurete arigatou!

Uminchu
05-06-06, 11:15 PM
Hiya, Mix6: welcome to the forums!

I eventually found a local psychiatrist who semi-specializes in adult ADHD. Also, my son's psychiatrist is well known in the treatment of ADHD in children (at least, that's what my psych tells me :) ). I live in Okinawa.

The requirement of English ability probably makes your choices a lot more limited. With ~$500 round-trips to the US West Coast or other English-speaking countries, I wonder if you would consider a visit to an out-of-country psych for a prescription, then phone counseling?

Mix6
05-07-06, 06:53 AM
Thanks Uminchu- I'm actually going to the west coast (US) in early June for vacation -- perhaps I could consider that. (and sorry about the loong msg!) I'll try looking up some doctors to set up an appointment before I head out there.

It would be nice, though, to have a doctor nearby- plus my Japanese insurance would then cover it somewhat, no? So I might also consider letting go of the English requirement- I suppose I can deal with just Japanese if necessary. (btw I'm a half kid -- I just quickly skimmed other parts of this thread so I don't clearly remember if you mentioned your wife was Japanese, but is your son a halfy too? :) if so, nakama da!)

Do you/your son's local psychiatrists speak English? How often do you meet with your doctor? And does insurance cover this sort of thing? I suppose it won't stop me from checking it out, but it'd be nice if it does. (sorry so many questions!) There must be some in Tokyo who semi-specialize in adult ADD as well..

Will consider my options and also try calling a doctor or two in LA this week to see how the process could work. Phone consultations / medication / face-to-face appointment etc. Thanks again for your prompt response!

Uminchu
05-07-06, 09:54 AM
Hi, Mix6: Indeed, my wife is Japanese, and my son is thus half Japanese and half me. :)

If you are willing to seek treatment in Japanese, I think there are a lot more options. One that was mentioned earlier in this thread was Tokyo Clinic (http://www.tokyo-clinic.jp/index.html). I had been planning on traveling to Tokyo to see them, and had corresponded via email. They seem to know what they were doing, although HereKitty wasn't too impressed by them. Here is their page on ADHD (http://www.tokyo-clinic.jp/mental/mental16.html).

I found my psychiatrist purely by luck. My next-door neighbor's daughter has Asperger's Syndrome, and he treats her. The mother told me about him, that he has ADHD, and told me about his blog. From there, the rest is history.

My son's psychiatrist does not speak English fluently, but she reads the literature in English. For example, she knew what an "IEP" was. But although my son's education has been in English so far, he speaks Japanese well enough to take their tests and so forth.

One thing about getting treatment overseas is that you would have the option of getting certain drugs that are not yet approved in Japan (such as Straterra) prescribed to you, and then mailed to you in Japan. Just an option. I'm not on any meds, but if I do go on them I imagine Ritalin would be my first choice anyway.

X-Man
07-31-06, 12:53 AM
Hi Uminchu,

I have never been to your country, but I have studied a martial art from Okinawa. Have you ever been to a Kyokushin karate tournament? I have a video of a tournament in Japan called "Fighting Black Kings." The Master at the tournament is Masutatsu Oyama. He is the founder of Kyokushin Karate. I live in Texas, USA. I have a brown belt in this martial art. I would be interested in any information you might know about what is going on with this style in Okinawa today. Nice talking with you.
Thanks,
X-Man

X-Man
08-11-06, 10:59 PM
Anyone else in Okinawa?

Endymion
05-14-07, 05:28 AM
Hey, Herekittykitty.

In your post of Jan 2005, you never said the name of the Dr. you went to that seemed better!

Also, I've read through all of these posts, and while it ALMOST seems helpful, I can't quite understand what exactly all of you guys got out of anything. I was hoping to learn which doctors you've found in the Tokyo area that effectively can treat ADD or ADHD symptons.

There doesn't seem to be ANY clear-cut suggestion from all of these posts. I was hoping to hear about Dr. Jim McRae, Dr. Nakakuki and more feedback on Tokyo Clinic or Sakurai Clinic. I gathered that Dr. Ishikawa is not a specialist in adult ADD.

Do you guys have specific feedback on who you've found as a Dr. who can treat/diagnose or discuss (not just do a 3-minute conversation) about ADD or what problems might exist?

ravemirror
10-18-13, 11:17 PM
Is anyone from Japan still active?

I'm moving there this December and I would like to know how difficult it would be to acquire the medications I require. At the moment, this feels like the only drawback that I have regarding moving there after finally discovering something that has helped me so drastically.


Cheers,


-Ravemirror

tigered
04-29-14, 06:00 PM
My Story with ADD

I'm not sure if this forum is still active since it was started many years ago. I was diagnosed with ADD over 15 years ago while I was living in the US. Both my therapist and my psychiatrist were extremely helpful and very professional. They took their time and care to diagnose me and monitored the dosage of meds to make sure that I was getting just the right amount to treat my condition. Then I moved to Japan about 10 years ago.

I saw many therapists and psychiatrists, both English-speaking as well as Japanese. One of the Japanese psychiatrists who supposedly spoke English, ended up scolding me for having taken Ritalin and made certain that I wouldn't walk about with the meds. He made sure I understood that Ritalin was dangerous and nobody should be taking it. This happened after showing him letters from both my therapist and psychiatrist in the US.

Other therapists I saw didn't appear to be experienced enough to help me. The therapy sessions often felt like they were studying me, rather than using their professional experience working with adult ADD to help me. I eventually continued my therapy sessions with my therapist in the US over Skype and my psychiatrist sent me a letter+prescription for medication. I took the letters to a doctor in Shibuya who was educated in the US (he has retired and is no longer there). He did end up giving me the prescription, but the pharmacy gave me a lot of frowns and hesitance before finally giving me the medication. In addition, the pharmacy would not provide more than week's worth of medication. As you can imagine, it was too much hassle to have to do this on a weekly basis and I eventually gave up getting treatment.

My understanding is that Ritalin can only be prescribed in Japan to treat narcolepsy. Somebody mentioned that bringing Ritalin into the country is also illegal, but I haven't seen any documents specifically stating this.

My questions for those living with adult ADD/ADHD in Tokyo:


Do you or someone you know have a success story with getting help and support here?



Have you or someone you know been able to bring in Ritalin from abroad (with a proper signed prescription and letter from a doctor)? If so, was there a limit to quantity?



Have you found a great therapist and psychiatrist in Tokyo that have helped you or someone you know with ADD?



Is there a support group (English-speakers) for adult ADD in Japan?


If you read this far, I appreciate your attention. I'm struggling at the moment and would love to hear about any positive experiences in Japan. Thank you.