View Full Version : Dx'd in childhood? I hope everyone responds!
04-27-03, 12:23 PM
I am curious. How many of you were diagnosed with ADD as children and were you put on medication then? How did the medication affect you? Your self-esteem? If put on medication, how many of you became addicted to drugs/alcohol too?
04-27-03, 08:12 PM
No, Misclee, I was not diagnosed as a child...there was no way I could have been...ADD was not heard of then...lol....it was known as a "reading comprehension problem"....if was known as "if only Joan would apply herself" problem....So for years I was tormented, embarrased, and troubled and really struggled with school and learning and had no clue why....and neither did anyone else....years later, as an adult, I was FINALLY diagnosed..and the light came on as they say....all the reasons for my struggles came to be known and understood and so treatment became possible as a name was given to my illness....This is the case with a lot of us.....
04-27-03, 08:26 PM
Yeah, that's just how it felt for me too. Thanks for the input. I'm still interested in people who have been on meds for a long time....I'm wondering what the long-term affects have been and if the medicine has been a deterrent to alcohol/drug abuse.
04-27-03, 08:34 PM
Yes....definitely a deterrant....I've been on meds psychotropically speaking for about 5 or so years now....first depression, then OCD, now ADD and with big time alchoholism in my family, I think they have been deterrant for me....and have definitely curbed my sugar/food cravings big time....In fact just since being on ADD meds, I've lost quite a bit of weight....(on purpose, yes)....Wellbutrin actually had taken away my appetite for awhile...and Strattera -- well that's been another story altogether......I think that treatment of ADD can have this affect that you mention in some people....may take away alchohol/drug cravings???? or lessen??? Depending on meds of course....
As I have stated in other discussions in the ADD Forums, I was diagnosed as a child, then forgotten. I discovered that I had ADD by accident when I was 24, and went to a few specialists to confirm my suspicions. Just thinking about all the years I lost because my parents "forgot" about my diagnosis drives me crazy.
I'm in the same league as BIG with the childhood diagnosis, then nothing after adolesence. I still remember taking my trips down to the school nurses office twice a day for "my pill". Occasionally a teacher would have to remind me to go since I often forgot. ADHD was not known about too much back then, and I think I was about the only student in my whole school who took meds for it. From what I hear nowadays, the schools are full of diagnosed pupils. So much that some folks are crying the disorder is overdiagnosed! My bet is it is still underdiagnosed.
Cant say taking meds or just having ADHD caused me to have drug/alcohol problems in themselves. But, I was not good at sports (hand/eye coordination thing). And I wasnt the brightest or smartest student either. That left me with limited choices for the clique I could hang out with and be accepted by. That turned out to be "The Heads". For those unfamiliar with the terminology, they are the pot smokers/beer drinkers/school skipping group. Thats who I wound up with being closely associated with. So experimentation became the norm. In college I perfectd binge drinking. But that was more due to lack of funds. Otherwise, I would have been on a perpetual 2-beer buzz the entire 4 years. (Yes, it only took me 4 years for a BS degree, nothing extra!)
04-28-03, 04:33 PM
Thanks so much. Were you still taking your ADHD meds during HS and college?
I stopped showing outward signs of hyperactivity around 3rd or 4th grade. So that is about when I stopped with the Ritalin.
No I found drugs long before i was DX
It was a great way to hide away from reallity with out knowing I was hiding
Was never physicaly addicted to anything but was mentally Had to smoke pot hash ect to feel what I thought was normal
to fit in to society
05-24-03, 03:08 PM
I just wonder if fewer ADDers ON meds have drug/alcohol problems, than those who were put on meds
05-24-03, 05:21 PM
I was DX'd when I was about 34. I'm pretty sure it wasn't called ADD when I ws a kid. I was labeled a day dreamer, a smart kid who didn't try hard enough. I've never used drugs or drank. Never had any interest in them.
05-26-03, 02:44 PM
Dx'd at 12
the meds did affect self-esteem...
Made me think too much about stupid stuff like peer pressure, always striving to make the best impression on everyone. Always thought to much of the "right" thing to say, which made me very anti-social and really quiet to people I didn't know. Of corse I would talk my head off to people I did know.
Talking to girls heh... little to none.
Needless to say I never had a relationship in highschool, nor a date for banquette's, prom, ect.
I can say it affected my social life quite
harshly, but thats a fare price to pay to be able to get my diploma.
Drugs, I looked down at. My opinion was that I liked to be in control of my mind and all drugs take that away from you so I've stayed away from them to this day. Have tried pot a few times and didn't like it, made me feel like I had ADD x10, not fun... :)
Alcohol I used quite often starting at age 19 during depressions and more so at 21. I self-medicated becasue I didn't have my med's I felt a slight ease to concentrate and be more social when I was drunk or buzzed.
05-26-03, 07:30 PM
Thanks for your input! Curious, why do you think the meds made you worry about those things? I only ask, because I wasn't on meds and worried about the same things.
The reason I am so interested in this is because my daughter is to start meds soon and I have a history of substance abuse, and I'm hoping the meds will not fuel, but help to fill that "void" that I used drugs/alcohol for. The feelings you mention are much of the reason I used them....so I am hoping that being on meds will help. For you, it sounds like maybe they didn't help in these ways? What do you think?
You do know that there's current research that indicates that youngsters with AD/HD who are treated with medication are LESS likely to get into substance abuse, right?
My own story -- I liked booze, it calmed my mind. I got into trouble with it and don't/can't drink anymore. Pot just makes me feel (to quote a previous poster) AD/HD times ten, so I don't really like it...
05-27-03, 12:45 AM
No, I didn't know that. Do you have any references? I would REALLY love to see that. Thank you so much.
I don't/can't drink anymore either. I think that is why I fear so much for my daughter.
05-27-03, 01:19 AM
Misclee -- let me ask you a question: Isn't it possible that genes are only part of the picture of whether alcoholism is passed down from generation to generation.....which I know it is.....How about consideration of the fact that perhaps just because you're a darn good mother who loves and cares about her daughter and raises her right...that perhaps THOSE facts will be a deterrant to her picking up alcohol...My sister and her husband are raising two kids and she has the same fears. But so far those kids are okay
(7 and 10 years old) and I think most of that has to do with the fact that my sister is a darn good mom...she overcame her issues with alcohol and God knows what else and became fit to be a good mom...I guess what I'm saying is that you can't really control what ultimately happens to your daughter regarding alcohol, drugs, etc..(although your fears are certainly understandable)... but you sure can influence the outcome somewhat based on nurturing, love, attention, validation, etc..answering her questions, etc. In other words focus on what you can do instead of what you can't...And I KNOW for a fact that you are a great mom...:)
05-27-03, 01:22 AM
My feeling from my daughter, who was dx'd in 2nd grade, and started meds in 3rd grade, is that she is one of the clearest thinking individuals I know, period. She is very well adjusted, and a great student. These things were made possible, in my opinion, by the medicine she takes. She changed dramatically for the positive with medicines, and it actually took very small doses for her to respond. I don't think the medicine will be the big factor in whether she does or does not do drugs. I do think her ability to gain self esteem from other areas of her life, like school, sports, friends, will help. I am very aware though that smart kids also do drugs, so I don't think peer pressure is going to be any less on her. I do think that my talks with her, honest, frank talks, about what has happened to many young people who did drugs for various reasons, but never expected it to affect their lives the way it did. One case is of a girl who did ectasy, but had a bad trip, and went into a coma. She came out of the coma 2 years later, but is a vegetable now. She was once a straight A student, She apparently got some bad variety of the drug, made in a lab with chemicals that didn't belong in it. That is one of the biggest risks, getting bad drugs. Anyhow, I have also shown her articles about kids that ended up in a lot of trouble doing drugs, talked about grades going down, etc. She is getting the message. And at her age, this message makes perfect sense. So I also gave her permission to do what she wants with drugs, including marijuana, once she is an adult and done with college. I told her at that time, she will be old enough to decide for herself. But until then, to realize drugs are even worse for kids than they are for adults, because children are still developing physically and mentally. I believe as a parent it is up to me to teach my children to respect the negative consequences of drug use, and to warn my kids how much peer pressure they might experience, and how hard it might seem sometimes to say "no, its not for me", when thier best friend has decided to try it. So I discussed that with her, the possibility that her good friends might choose to try drugs, and that she still will have a responsibility to say no, even in that difficult situation. I think honesty is important, and to give kids insight into the situations they will be in. We role play. At 12 yrs old, it won't be long before she gets offered drugs at school. I am hoping role playing will help her be better prepared to say no without second guessing herself into trouble, even if she may feel rejected or nerdy afterwards.
I have never raised kids before, so I don't know how well my plan will work, but I'm confident it will do as well as is possible in preventing drug experimentation too young or early in life.
05-27-03, 08:39 AM
Thanks Joan, I hope you're right!
Jon, thank you also. I do talk with my daughter about it, but I think role playing and showing her articles are great ideas that I will have to try too. I wish you all the luck in the world with your daughter as she enters the world of teenagers and hormones:)