View Full Version : Blueguy - Southwestern Ontario
10-06-03, 10:26 PM
I'm a 42-year-old professional male, married with an eight-year-old daughter. I live in the Niagara region of southwestern Ontario and I work in downtown Toronto. I'm involved in marketing, communications, and I am also a writer/journalist.
I was formally diagnosed with ADD earlier this year and have been taking dexedrine for about a year now.
Some days I feel like I'm getting a grip on things and I'm generally optimistic about things. Many days I feel overwhelmed by work and my personal life. I used to consider myself a happy and confident person. Now I'm riddled with an utter lack of confidence. I have little self esteem and fear I am bordering on depression. (I can't believe that I would ever suspect this of myself - depression is for strung out Hollywood actors, right?) My relationship with my wife is at an all-time low. I don't know how to communicate with her anymore and all I can do is clam up and ignore the problem.
My wife is a doer. She's an amazing woman. Being with her is the best thing for me and to lose that relationship, and lose my family would be a terrible waste. I am a dreamer, prone to talking about all of my plans but never following through. Occasionally when I do kick it in gear, I'll hyperfocus to the exclusion of all else.
I don't know if I can salvage what I want and what I need. I don't know if I'll get many more chances to prove myself. I don't know if I'm wallowing in self-pity. Do you see the recurring theme here? "I don't know."
The local doctor who I have been seeing precribes my medication but does little else for me. I need to find someone who can do more for me, at least in terms of steering me in the right direction, and I think it would be best to find someone in the downtown Toronto area. I've spoken to my family doctor and he is willing to provide the necessary reference.
My wife has been with me for over 10 years and she is the one who originally suspected ADD was a factor in my life. She's done so much for me and I feel like nothing but a burden to her.
I've got to start somewhere and I've got to pull through this. I apologize for the downbeat introduction but my level of despair, as you can tell, is very high. Thanks for reading.
10-06-03, 10:34 PM
Welcome Blueguy....glad you're here at the Forums......It sounds like the "I don't knows"......are legitimate questions you're asking and with some legitimate confusion there as well......
Perhaps when you do find a therapist she/he will be able to help you sort out things....
Listen, we have a journalling thread here under creative endeavors.....Nobody responds.....It's ALL yours....Perhaps it might help for you to journal daily.....and perhaps some of the answers to your questions will come about through journalling.....
I'm sure you will get further ideas and suggestions from people here.....
Also I'm sure your wife does not think you are a burden to her as much as YOU might think you are a burden to her....but I certainly relate to feeling like a burden to people......
Please keep posting and you will get lots of support....
Welcome to ADD Forums!!!!
Welcome to the ADD Forums :)
10-07-03, 12:37 PM
Good to meet you, Blueguy. I hope that maybe after being here for a while we can make you feel better.... maybe you can become "Greenguy" or "Redguy" or "Mauveguy" instead... hehehe :D
10-07-03, 10:10 PM
I appreciate the welcomes and good wishes. I will try posting on a regular basis to the journal. I think I'd rather save my self-pity for there rather than subject others to it. Maybe that will get it out of my system and I can begin to move forward and become "green guy". I'll also be taking part in the relationships forum too. I just want to be honest with others as well as myself.
10-07-03, 10:26 PM
Self pity....ah yes.....I relate to that one....I have many many "pity parties"....myself....So feel free to invite us to your pity parties (in other threads besides your journal) if the need should arise, Blueguy.....:)
Welcome Blueguy. Know that you're not alone and all of us have felt this way at one time or another. Firstly, ask your doc to give you something for your blues - it's important that you get a handle on your downs as that will prevent you from tackling the rst of the issues. Secondly, poke around here and I'm sure you'll notice that most of us are fairly upbeat about this ADD thing. Oh sure it adds complexity to our lives but frankly once you learn some coping techniques (read around here you'll find lots of advice) perhaps, like me, you'll feel that being ADD is a blessing, not a curse. Stay positve, somehow life always finds a way.
10-08-03, 10:14 PM
Thank you Why and Joan.
First off, I don't have much respect for the doctor I'm seeing now. That's why I want to see a new one but I'm not sure how to make that happen. My current doctor also has ADD. He's a quirky individual who at times, as talked to me about his problems! When I asked him which way he would steer me for reference material or further assistance, he replied tersely "Why don't you get on the Internet?" Gee, thanks. Maybe he could have recommended the library too. I simply thought he would be plugged into some sort of ADD network that he could recommend and therefore, save me some time. Sort of like when you ask someone for directions when you are new to the area. I don't want anyone to hold my hand and take me there.
I know that ADD doesn't have to be a curse for me. It is, however, becoming a curse in my relationship with my wife. Yes, life always finds a way. I don't want it to be without her. But, I'm losing her anyway, maybe I've lost her already.
I'm already taking dexedrine. I don't know about more medication. It doesn't seem right. I can't believe I'm in this space right now.
10-08-03, 10:30 PM
Blueguy: I've had that happen on occasion too.....My counselor/therapist or WHOMEVER -- starts sharing their private life with me....What's WITH that stuff anyway??:(
Yes it certainly sounds like your doctor has a keen grasp of the obvious -- sending you to the Internet.....
Just to make you aware: Your wife might be interested in the "Support for the Non ADD Partner" threads located in Relationships and Social Issues forums here.....
Blue...if you have to, get to Emergency and ask for anti-depressants. I repeat I am very familliar with depression and I assure you that until you get a handle on your mood everything else will seem to be in the crapper and getting worse. If your doctor sucks, go to the hospital. Call Telehealth Ontario at 1-866-797-0000 or take a look below. I want to be as clear as possible - get treatment for the depression now - I assure you, once you're on the right meds things will seem easier.
Mental Health Program
5700 Yonge Street, 5th Floor
Tel : 416-327-7239
Fax : 416-327-7603
Call the ministry INFOline at 1-800-268-1154
(Toll-free in Ontario only)
In Toronto, call 416-314-5518
Hours of operation : 8:30am - 5:00pm
E-mail : firstname.lastname@example.org
10-09-03, 11:50 AM
Thanks again. Joan, my wife has already been to this section and she's very familiar with the circumstances. She has slowly evolved from care and compassion to intolerance and anger. I can't seem to do anything to break the cycle. Big things, small things, nothing is going right between us.
Why, I promise to follow up on your suggestions. I'll let you know how I make out. It's a big step and I've got 10 excuses to resist but I've got to do something. Anything.
10-09-03, 12:01 PM
I'm sorry about that Blueguy....I really am.....I wish there were something we could do....:(
But I'm glad you'll be following up with Why's suggestions.....because they're great ones.....and yes please let us know how you make out...
10-11-03, 01:43 PM
Just an update on my efforts. Boy, they don't make it easy. What complicates things is I have a long commute to work and my office isn't private. Finding a little private time during a busy day at the office so I can use my cel phone to get help is a challenge.
Why, you may want to take note. I began by phoning the Mental Health Program as you suggested but the phone number is either incorrect or has changed. So I called the Ministry INFOline and got the correct number. Instead of (416) 327-7239, the correct number for the Mental Health Program is (416) 327-8856.
When I called, they referred me to the Ontario Medical Association. When I called there, they referred me to the College of Physicians and Surgeons. When I called there, they referred me to something called the Doctor Search Service at (416) 967-2626. This Service is also available on a web site at www.cpso.on.ca. At this point, I was given the names of three different Toronto-area doctors who are accepting new patients. I was also told that finding a doctor to deal with depression is not very difficult. Finding someone who deals with depression as it pertains to someone with ADD is much more challenging.
As you can imagine, with all the calls and the waiting, that's as far as I could get so far. One good thing is I have already made arrangements with my family doctor to provide the necessary referral if I find a doctor who I feel can help. So now I'll try these three references on Tuesday. Needless to say, I'm not optimistic that I'll find the right doctor without a number of additional phone calls.
10-11-03, 04:38 PM
Yikes what a hunt to be sent on... I hope it gets resolved for you soon, Blueguy, and kudos and cheers for not giving up in the face of unsympathetic bureaucracy.
That stops me every time... :(
12-05-03, 05:47 PM
I found one place, the Bilkey Clinic in Barrie that seems to specialize in Adult ADD. They are covered by OHIP but the psychological testing that they use for their diagnosis cost $800 which is the sticking point for me - maybe after Christmas.
They have a web site, it's
I was hoping to find a good Toronto Dr. by asking in this forum, but clearly the question has been asked before.
By the way, what is the name of the fellow that is treating you now? I need to find someone to diagnose and start treatment and even a bad Dr. is better than no-one at all. I tried to get a diagnosis where I am living now (Huntsville, ON) but the guy I was refered to (only in town one day a week) didn't know much about ADD and he mentioned that adult ADD was not part of the DSM4 and suggested therapy and maybe an anti-depressant switch. Next time I want to see someone who actually beleaves adult ADD exists - then if HE tells me I'm just depressed, I'll be more likely to listen.
If you do find someone good, please let me know who it is.
Blueguy just read your posts. I can relate to what you are going through with your wife and your doctor. My wife is still going through a period where she is very angry and frustrated with my ADD behavior. She has threatened to leave a fair amount. We are both going to counseling and that is helping. I am also on Strattera and going to counsleing of my own to help with the behaviors. The 1st therapist i went to had ADD and thought I did too, but his only advice was to change my behavior.
I have also been reading as much as I can about ADD. People on this site of excellent info on books to read. I am sure there may be a local ADD chapter in Toronto that meets frequently.
Good luck to you and hang in there!
Blueguy.. I'm was little desperate myself. I came in here after my wife of 19 years said she just didn't feel like she wanted to be married any more. I agreed with her that there is no reasonable way I could expect her to continue living with me the way things have been, but it was insane to expect it to be different any time soon.. Then she reminded me of a long stretch of months when I had been seeing a "coach" on a regular basis and how much better almost everything in the household had become during that period. The folks here reminded me of who I am. Apparently the "buck" seems to have stopped here and I am pretty happy with the way that feels.
The forum here has helped confirm the need for contact with others like you and many others here, and not to be living with all this guilt, history and carnage by myself.
Easy does it bud... there is a lot of information here and many members with a great deal of wisdom. I hope these good things will come through to you like they did for me and lighten the load a little in knowing help is on the way.
I start seeing my coach again on Tuesday and I'm really beginning to look forward to it. I've been dreaming about goals again which feels really good.
I once thought it wasn't really necessary to attend to the symptoms of my adhd but over the several months now that I hadn't seen my coach it got mighty bleak around here.
I'm hoping you will help show me that there is hope for the likes of me and you. Frankly I'm beginning to wonder if change is a real option. However there are some infectiously positive people here that just don't know when to say "uncle"..hehh and I'm glad to have found them all.
If you haven't done so yet you might like to read this post I was introduced to yesterday, and then reposted to an inappropriate forum in my enthusiasm.. ;^( Impulsive?..heh possibly!
Thanks for speaking so openly. I feel the clock ticking.
Strength to you. Ian.
12-07-03, 10:32 PM
Thanks for your support guys. This isn't easy, but the anti-depressants are helping me cope. My attempts to deal with adhd in an objective fashion are being compromised by the deterioration of my marriage. My wife has come to the conclusion that we are not right for each other. This after 10 years of marriage and having an eight-year-old daughter. Her level of tolerance for me has diminished to an all-time low, and I suppose I have been the same. We have agreed to separate in the new year. I want to remain optimistic that I can turn a corner and get the assistance and direction I'm looking for. I want to think that all the things we have worked so hard to build together might possibly continue. I want to think that perhaps we can reconcile down the line, but if not, we will at least continue to be friendly and respect each other.
My lows are not nearly as low now because of the medication. But I am still experiencing anger and frustration. I don't break down and cry anymore. My impulses to just run away and disappear are gone. But, when my wife loses patience with me now, my thoughts are, "Why are you even bothering? I'm going to be out of here in a couple of months anyway so why don't you spare both of us the anguish and move ahead."
I've always said my wife is a terrific woman. I don't think I'll ever find anyone else like her. But maybe that's not so bad. She's brought me to the highest of the highs, but she's also played a major role in bringing me to the lowest of the lows. There are times I am honestly not sure whether she has crossed the line from trying to motivate me and help me understand her needs, to being emotionally abusive.
I wish I knew the answer because it's all taking a toll on my self-esteem and confidence, not to mention my happiness. And the guilt over having wasted 10 years of her life and destroying the "loving and secure" home that I always believed was so important for our daughter.
I don't know what the truth is, but I am better prepared to pursue it now as opposed to a month ago.
12-07-03, 11:52 PM
I think it is becomeing more and more obvious that ADHD is a developmental disorder... things (abiities) develop late, decades late... until the developmental staage has arrived, trying to "push things" makes no sense.
Drugs help some of the symptoms, but no one has suggested that they initiate or replace the development that hasn't happened yet.
www.samgoldstein.com has some information concerning this. there is a book he has written, mostly about what parents can do that make for better outcomes for their children with ADHD.
It seems to me that that promotes the idea that ADHD addults might provide themselves with those same things, by hook or by crook.
I interpret that to mean that the most efffective strategies are those that externalize the provision of those functions that the particular ADHDer is having trouble with, and support it with a human monitor. I'm not sure that a "coach" is the same.
i'm sorry to hear that reinstitution of the "coach" didn't fix things up for your marriage. I'm more resistant to the "let's separate" move, but no less distressed by the communication issues. For one, I can feel utterly ignored and marginalized. Who wants that? Not me!
My opinion stands as a minority opinion. so far, I'm the only one I know to hold it.
None-the-less, I am certain it is fundamentally correct. That and a dollar and I can beg change off people in line to pay for a coffee... < grin >
12-08-03, 12:37 AM
Finding help for this thing can be very difficult. There are lots of people making money off of this, with little solutions to those with the disorder. All those books about ADD do a good job of building up hopes, but then when you talk to someone locally about it, they have no specific answer of how to help your particular case. After talking to people on several different discussion forums, it is apparent that little is being done to help people. The children are put on medication too quickly and the adults are left to drift aimlessly in the wilderness. More needs to be done to help these people and those with other developmental disorders.
I can deffinatly(sp) relate to what you are going through with ADD and your marriage. I am lucky that we have no children to worry about. I am having the same toubles with my marriage although we have seperated and our now back together. It was only a 3 day separation. If you want to go into more detail you can email me or PM me. Hang in there
12-08-03, 11:00 PM
Wheel... I can't disagree that ADHD is a developmental disorder. What makes it so difficult to understand is how it manifests itself so inconsistently in my behavior. On one hand, I can be enormously confident and carry myself professionally. I've addressed crowds and made a number of radio and TV appearances and thrived on it. In more personal social situations though, I can turn into an insecure little weasel. Sometimes I wonder if I just need more experience in order to manage this.
Also, I understand that drugs are not the solution. I think they merely assist in creating conditions that are more conducive to solutions.
As far as a coach or "human monitor" goes, I've never actively enlisted one, and perhaps that has been a major stumbling block for me. Even friends can serve as coaches in an indirect manner and I've pretty much shut most of them out. Now is the time to change that.
I don't know if my marriage needs fixing. Perhaps I need fixing and that can make the marriage work. Perhaps we've been fooling ourselves and we were never right for each other. On the other hand, I haven't changed that much from who I was when we first were attracted to each other. If I was appealing to her then, why are my shortcomings so much more of an issue now? I've even gone so far as to question marriage as a rational institution given our physiology and the society we live in.
East Coast Guy... you are so right about the lineup of people willing to make money at this. I'm convinced as ADD becomes more common and widely accepted by both society and the medical community, there will be no shortage of people willing to "treat" it. However, I may have just found the doctor and a program that I can trust. Why? They are not asking for a bucket full of money. We'll see.
Yes, the books build up hopes but it's up to us to take it a step further and utilize the information to our advantage. Unfortunately, I think that can be one of the most difficult things for anyone with ADD to accomplish. The books aren't enough. Perhaps we need books plus seminars plus web sites plus a coach. Combined, perhaps they will create the necessary stimulus, or at least the establishment of some "habits" that constructively combat all the self-defeating tendencies we have come to rely on.
Yikes, does this make any sense or am I bordering on psycho-babble?
I really like your statement about the drugs making life a bit more conducive to solutions.. this is my experience so far.
Your last paragraph reminds me of how much I know and how little I practise. I finally saw this clearly a while ago and realised that if I never learnt another thing I didn't have life left enough to act on the things I already knew.
At that point I purposefully set out to do more things and stop trying to learn everything about those things before I acted. I really like the results. I'm still conscious that in order to feel good I need to keep moving on the things I know are suggested to work and worry less about "knowing" the reasons why or any of the other endless stream of curiosity that spews from my mind.
So tomorrow I go to see my coach.. I didn't know she was my coach until after we quit meeting. In a few short months my progress of two years was gone and I was back in the same misery I found myself before we began to meet.
We were meeting first over my behaviour with the kids. I tend to be negative and have a temper that qualifies as abusive. Once we were well on the way with that, we worked on a half dozen or so other goals..
The results of having someone to monitor my progress, celebrate the victories and remind me of my goals was amazing. Now I know that for my needs a coach is very very effective in managing my symptoms.
I hope you can find something to "do" that will begin the process of recovering your happiness.
My wife used to leave for work and curse me with the comment, "Do what you can" and walk out the door and off into her busy work life. I have taken that to heart and now even in my darkest times.. I say to myself.. "what can I do" and if I've only got the where withall to do the dishes then that's where I begin.
Easy does it.
12-10-03, 11:00 PM
Thanks for your feedback. I value your insight. I feel as if my ability to successfully live with ADD comes one small revelation at a time. Little things like understanding how medication is more of a tool than a cure.
And it's so true about acting on what you know. I think our quest for knowledge is innate. Couple that with the advice ADDers get about how beneficial it is to learn as much as possible about this condition. Before you know it, and in true ADD style, we are reading, listeng, talking, learning... everything but doing. So I guess one of the tricks is knowing when to stop taking in more knowledge and start using it to your advantage. Or even more basic, how to process that knowledge so you know how to use it.
That's where the coaching comes in - to provide an accurate interpretation and inspire you to get started taking real action. My wife has always encouraged me to find a coach. Problem is, I'm not sure how to go about finding one and there is little to draw on in the way of financial resources. That shouldn't be enough to stop anyone but it's enough to stop me.
I have found that once I develop a habit, I can run a long way with it. I guess I need to develop some positive habits that counter the negative effects of ADD. On my own, I have been unsuccessful.
I'm happy to see you are back with your coach and that your initial results were successful. Best of luck with that. I know that encouragement of any sort is truly revitalizing and that has often pulled me out of my negative frame of mind. Sustaining that excitement is a different story.
How did you find your coach? Are you in an urban or rural area?
I don't know if any of my reasoning sounds flawed. I always welcome comments. Just typing this out can also be helpful for me.
Blueguy.. below is a letter I wrote to another friend tonight. I hope it helps somehow.
I have no intention of stopping learning.. but I'm certainly concentrating on "doing" (what I can) as that's not my default setting.
If I wasn't "acting" my coach would be done like toast. That's the deal. I do and she agrees to coach. She's no baby sitter.. it's **** or get off the pot style, although nothing has been said like that. However this is what I want too with all my heart.
I am tight just now on money too so the local community health clinic was where I was lucky to find Hellen. Canada is a wonderful place to be sick. Our healthcare is quite remarkable and I wish more folks here apprciated it.
This friend I wrote the note to below I think will act as an online coach for me too. I'll be trying to work that out in the next week or so. He seems interested and he's in the phyc business.
Biting off small enough chunks of developement that I could succeed was a trick at first. It was amazing how small the chunks had to be. No grandious plans at that point I'll tell you. heh
Thanks for your well wishes. I too wish you to find your way to a beginning. It's the only path left for me. It seems like you are ripe for some change.... do what you can.. and ask yourself... "what can I do?" Then accept the smallest task you can see through.
It's just my little routine but it has worked like nothing ever has before so I'm going with it.
It doesn't get much more rural than where I am. Our enviroment is dominated by the ways of mother nature and mans impact expecially through bug season seems limited at best. ;^)
Flawed reasoning is sometimes just what the doctor ordered.. I'm trying not to take myself so seriously.. develop a thicker skin so to speak... relax some of the restrictions on my life and this includes reason.
I trust you to take what you want and leave what you don't. Easy does it friend. It has taken us years to dig this hole and it's not going to be repaired in any all fire hurry.
Compassion was not ever something I thought I would feel in any real way, but my short life on this board has shown me a bit even for myself. Today was a goodun'... Second mother board.. maybe this is now not going to require more long trips to the city!... wishing you one of those "gooduns" soon.
letter to a friend:
Did you read the files I sent? That explains much of what you are
asking, I think anyway. Especially the "what it's like" one.
I got connected with this local mental health nurse when asking for
some help in learning to be more positive around my teens. I wasn't
happy with them and not enjoying them. That encounter lead to other
things as her personality was right on for my needs. She was
knowledgeable in the practise of many of the universal principles of
There are organisations that designate you as a "coach" but from what I
can tell it's mostly bogus grabs for money. Doubtless there are some
skilled practitioners but it's a young science and the primary
requirements don't seem to me to demand a degree.
Hellen certainly is a phycologist type. Her role is one of meeting me
regularly which is at least once a month. I do better if it's every
two weeks but she has a heavy work load and I'm not in crisis anymore.
She keeps tabs on my short term goals and helps celebrate the victories
and pick up the pieces when a plan isn't paying off. It seems to me to
be something to do with accountability in my own mind. Please don't
ask me why it seems to be so effective but the article I sent you that
describes what it is like to have adhd should provide you with some
connections. Structure is everything good for me. She helps me to
break up my life into small structured parcels so I can better learn to
manage priorities and time lines in general.
When tested some of my function levels were in the third percentile..
some were very high.. but third percentile? whoa..
Time happens all at once. It's somewhat disorienting.
Right now my take on the Dexedrine is that it is providing me with a
window where solutions seem more accessible. I expect that if I take
the opportunity to heart I'll be able to establish some routines and
practise them long enough to have them embed themselves into my life to
the point where the meds won't be necessary.
This is how we have effected real change in the past. It's a bit like
the "fake it till you make it" type deal. It's been remarkable for
curbing carbo (sugar, bread, pasta, rice, potatoes etc.) abuse and all
sorts of self destructive behaviour. Now.. however we are getting down
to the root of the thing and I'm cautiously hopeful. I have changed my
diet to include much more fruits, vegetables, fibre and protein while
cutting a way back on the hot fuels like sugar and starches. I
initially did this to try and take some of the hills and valleys out of
my emotional roller coaster. I lost 15 pounds I didn't need in the
process and found that it helped more than my emotions. Normally if I
would mount some effort to look after myself I would find myself being
more abusive in some other aspect of my life. This pattern seems to be
One of the problems is that I prefer to "know" than to "do". But as a
juggling book once instructed me.. "there is nothing but the doing" and
that's what I'm after just now. Blocking my time into parcels I can
manage and then on to the next thing. Learning is something I'll
always enjoy. But the doing feeds my soul in all the right ways. As I
get out of this slump I'm beginning to dream a bit about goals..
The crashes are more like slow slides downward that aren't noticed
until I get to the bottom. It's clearly depression. Suicide is an
option at that point but I'm far enough along to know that the degree
of selfishness required to execute myself is too much about me and not
enough about those around me to carry it off. I went to my physician
to ask if there was a chemical intervention that might assist my adhd
The problem was that the previous two years had been the best of my
life. Hellen, was acting as a coach but we had not identified the
relationship like that before now. We ended our sessions in the late
spring and everything went downhill from there. The summer always is
unstructured and we had lots on the go with the new addition and a huge
round of swimming with Meite wanting to do two sessions to achieve her
bronze medallion. Once the crew all went back to school I had to deal
with some mistakes that were made in the construction and finally
firing the fellow who was heading the work. (not me! heh) I had
pinned a great deal of hope on seeing this project through promptly. I
had taken several weeks off work to help build and fix some problems.
We were all disappointed as the building progress slowed and finally
stopped as winter set in.
I stopped working in the shop and I stopped most everything else. It
was all I could do to help keep the food comming and the dishes going..
many jobs in the shop were 4 months behind and I could hardly face the
clients. I was having trouble with some mechanical aspects of the work
that went on and on and on.. until I just really gave up. By the
middle of October I was on my way to returning the unfinished work and
closing the doors. Feeling a lame burden to all who have to live with
me. Dark days.
That was then and this is now.. and I certainly would not discount the
use of meds for adhd. I expect it will be up to me and my coach to
implement any long term changes that will last and become ingrained,
but we have done just that in the past and I'm sure it can be repeated.
As usual it's very late and I'm going to struggle tomorrow with
fatigue.. I hope this answers some of you questions.
"Measure with a micrometer, mark with a chalk, cut with an axe"
As I am very lazy when it comes to typing so I have created a welcome page and ADDed a link here to get you there
My Welcome Page (http://www.addforums.com/forums/showthread.php?s=&threadid=3345)