03-18-06, 02:20 AM
I have always told myself that I dont have ADD. Mainly because I am afraid of taking the Adderall and Ritalin because I dont want it to kill me or ruine my brain cells.
I also feel sometimes that I am taking the weak mans way out by taking medication, and not "dealing with it" or growing through it.
Can someone please tell me if this stuff is possible. I really feel anxious inside me, and feel like I cannot keep organized. I try to focus on things, but then 1000 other conditions must be met, and everything has to be just right.
Is ADD real? I looked at this symptom list, which was enlightening because I didnt know that Adult ADD, and ADHD had different symptoms. (List Here: http://www.mental-health-matters.com/articles/article.php?artID=463)
Anyhow, I have nearly every symptom on the list. I have taken Adderall and Ritalin. They both make me cold, and that scares me because I am in denial, and wonder if I really have ADD. They make me feel so much better.
I can focus, concentrate, and I am braver. Is it wrong to want to take medications? Should I be working through this by myself naturally? I feel like I am cheating when I take medications.
I feel like if I take Adderall, and then I am out going and make friends, focus and achieve success - I am then dependant on Adderall. And if it stops working, I will fail and lose everything.
03-18-06, 07:54 AM
Obviousely you must do what feels right, but my understanding is that medication does help some people. Others choose not to take it, but still aknowledge they have AD/HD. I personally do not take medication for my ADD.
Having the condition does not mean you MUST take medication, it just helps you identify what you are dealing with. How you choose to then cope with your symptoms is entirely your choice, and nobody can force you to take medication that you are not comfortable taking. And you shouldn't allow anybody to pressurise you.
03-18-06, 08:31 AM
It's not the "weak man's" way to take medication. You're not alone in feeling that way, though; quite a few guys with ADHD have trouble with that. More than women, I'm sure. Does that make sense, though? Why should a guy have to go it alone? Just because society decided men aren't allowed to ADMIT to having weaknesses? ADHD doesn't make you a bad or weak person; it's a neurobiological disorder.
I know there's a stigma there when it comes to dealing with the mind (rather than the body), but it's unfair. I know this analogy has been used many times before (so I apologize to those reading it again), but what if you had diabetes? Is taking insulin the weak man's way out? It's no different. You do not "grow through" ADHD, it's with you forever. (At least, if you have it as an adult.)
How you deal with it is pretty much up to you. There are valid concerns with the medications (having it fail is one I'm worried about, too), but I wouldn't decide against meds because you think you have to "tough it out."
To address your other points:
Yes, it's real. Unquestionably. Off-hand, I have no resources to point you to, but I'm sure someone else will post about the research that's been done on it. Off the top of my head, I remember that ADHD people differ from non-ADHD regarding: neurotransmitters, especially dopamine (something about reuptake being too fast? I'm really tired, so I don't remember), brain wave patterns, glucose metabolism in the brain (it's slower), less cerebral blood flow to certain areas (especially the frontal lobes), and some structural differences. We have more grey matter and less white matter than non-ADD people.
(If any of that is wrong, someone please correct me.)
The list of "symptoms" on that page are not formal. I'm not clear here...you've already been diagnosed? You should be evaluated using the symptom list in the DSM, if you aren't.
(By the way, "Adult ADD" is just ADD. It's a lifespan disorder; there's no separate disorder called "Adult ADD." If you have NOT had symptoms all your life, you do not have ADD, it's another issue. I'm guessing by what you've said that you have had symptoms all your life, though.)
However, that list covers many of the ways that the symptoms of distractability, poor focus, lack of organization, etc. impact ADULT life. A good psychologist in this field should be aware of what ADD looks like in adults, even if "traffic violations" is not in the diagnostic criteria.
Okay. I hope that helps. Now I am going on 20 hours no sleep, so please forgive me if I said anything that sounds rude, or if there are any errors! It wasn't intentional.
03-18-06, 09:22 AM
ADHD meds DO NOT kill or damage the brain.
The first study on the use of stimulants to treat behavior problems was in 1937.
Stimulants are the one of the most if not THE most widely studied meds in psychiatry and are often called the "most benign."
More importantly, there's a series of 3 research studies which were conducted over a 13 yr time span, that found the use of ANY stimulant decreases the likelihood of having a Substance Use Disorder (SUD) by up to 81 %.
03-19-06, 01:07 AM
I noticed I have NO enthusiasm about anything. I know what I like, but I cannot get excited. I am neutral about everything. Is this normal for ADDers?
How can you get enthusiastic about something?
04-25-06, 09:34 AM
Does a drop in enthusiasm go with ADHD, or is the HD part manic over a topic for a while then drops enthusiasm as one moves on?