View Full Version : I'm not sure where to post this...


Aspie101
11-21-10, 02:37 PM
Ok I'm here because I need some help, some advise, etc. I'm a senior in highschool, I'm 17 and I have aspergers syndrome. My parents have worked very hard with various psychologists, speech therapists you name it to get me to be socially normal and it's worked. I'm confident, very active and most don't know I even autistic, I got pretty good swag too ;) but my main problem is school, I'm not failing never have but school work is hell for me, I can not focus and I NEED to! I want to be a medical doctor and I need good grades for that for the next 8 years. I recently started taking focalin XR again for focus but it's made it worse and has basically turned me manic depressive; please don't throw the "if your feeling suicidal call 911" because I'm not, never have and dont think I will I'm just frustrated because I feel like nothing helps.

I took my focalin this morning as usual and was extremely agitated because I was out of the house not working on anything productive and my siblings were wasting my time, now I'm home laying in bed and despite all my efforts for trying to work on school work all I can do is focus on my hyper focuses. This sucks! I've been on every ADD medication known to man besides desoxyn (straight methamphetamine) and they work for a short time and then my mind takes over and basically says "DONT focus on anything else but your hyper focus" i fight it so hard everyday but it's like an uphill battle! I take prozac 50mg, Ativan, Xanax, focalin, etc. The focalin reinforces my hyper focuses, the Prozac relieves my anxiety and the Xanax and Ativan shut my head up so I can sleep. It's so frustrating sitting in class for an hour wanting to learn the content of economics but my mind desides it has to think about pharmacology half life elimination and metabolism charts. Wtf.. My doctors are too conventional, my internist teaches psychology but has conventional remedies that fail to work for me. I need to see the very best psychiatrist specializing in aspergers, does anyone have any advise? What good is this intelligence if I can't put it towards my school work...I'm sick of pills and people who think they know my problems when they don't.... Sorry for the rant but for once in my life I have no clue how to handle these issues

Possum
11-21-10, 04:48 PM
Hmm... There seems to be a plethora of 17 year-olds lately who have aspergers and don't know where their posts belong...

I'll assume is just the latest conjunction of the planets.

Do you get your "prozac 50mg, Ativan, Xanax, focalin, etc." all from the same doctor? It sounds like a strange therapeutic combination to me, but I haven't been to medical school, so what do I know? Why do you continue to take focalin when you say it only makes your hyperfocus worse?

There is no magic bullet for ADD. Some people here report excellent results from one med or another, but I think I can safely generalize that for most of us, the meds lessen our symptoms, but the symptoms never completely go away. Pharmacology can only do so much.

If you want the very best psychiatrist and can afford to travel, you can check out on Medline who's doing leading edge research on aspergers. Start with the National Library of Medicine's site. http://www.nlm.nih.gov/index.html Do a keyword search on aspergers. Notice how recent the publications are and who was the lead author. If you find a physician is constantly named as the first author and has a lot of pubs under his belt, s/he is probably a good bet. The papers will list which outfits the authors are affiliated with and then you can contact them and ask about setting up an appointment.

This is a lot of work, and you would probably be as well off with a referral from one of your current doctors. No good physcian is going to object to you getting a second opinion.

Good luck!

Aspie101
11-21-10, 05:27 PM
Hmm... There seems to be a plethora of 17 year-olds lately who have aspergers and don't know where their posts belong...

I'll assume is just the latest conjunction of the planets.

Do you get your "prozac 50mg, Ativan, Xanax, focalin, etc." all from the same doctor? It sounds like a strange therapeutic combination to me, but I haven't been to medical school, so what do I know?
Yes at the moment I am prescribed all that from the same doctor after a year of evaluation, she's not your typical pill pusher.
Why do you continue to take focalin when you say it only makes your hyperfocus worse?
Because it's the only hope I have for focus on school work. It sucks but if I can manage to fight off the hyperfocuses it helps a bit. I seriously hate stimulants with a passion
There is no magic bullet for ADD. Some people here report excellent results from one med or another, but I think I can safely generalize that for most of us, the meds lessen our symptoms, but the symptoms never completely go away. Pharmacology can only do so much.
Yes I'm trying to find the magic bullet or something as close to it as possible :/
If you want the very best psychiatrist and can afford to travel, you can check out on Medline who's doing leading edge research on aspergers. Start with the National Library of Medicine's site. http://www.nlm.nih.gov/index.html Do a keyword search on aspergers. Notice how recent the publications are and who was the lead author. If you find a physician is constantly named as the first author and has a lot of pubs under his belt, s/he is probably a good bet. The papers will list which outfits the authors are affiliated with and then you can contact them and ask about setting up an appointment.

This is a lot of work, and you would probably be as well off with a referral from one of your current doctors. No good physcian is going to object to you getting a second opinion.

Good luck!
Yes money is not an issue. I have access to a private plane if needed...I'm trying to get in with a pediatric psychiatrist asap but there's like one in this area and he's slammed with probably every autistic kid in the area. Just curious are you an MD or autistic?

Comments in bold

schleppenheimer
11-21-10, 07:42 PM
I don't blame you for being frustrated. It seems as if you spend your whole school life trying one med after another, waiting for the perfect "fit".

We have a 14 year old who, although he's very bright and does great schoolwork, has inattentive ADD, so all schoolwork takes FOREVER. In the last year and a half, it seems that he has tried every drug. Most didn't work, but for the few that did, he quickly reached the FDA recommended "limit" and his psychiatrist wouldn't go above that limit.

You probably don't have the inattentive issues, but you still have the same focus problems that he has (and he is on the spectrum too).

We have just now begun going to an ADD specialist who does what no other doctor would do -- he is trying higher doses, which is great, but what's even better is that he is very pragmatic about his approach to meds. My son takes the new dosage on a particular morning, and then after 1-1/2 hours, when the med has taken effect, we take him to the doctor's office where they take his blood pressure and have him do some cognitive testing to see IF THE DRUG IS ACTUALLY WORKING. No other doctor has done this before. It makes so much sense, and yet nobody does it! This way, you don't wait a month or two to see if the drug is working (and thereby waste lots of time). You try a dosage for a day or two, and if there are no side effects, but there are also not quite enough benefits, you up the dosage. Or if the side effects are too strong, but the benefits are good, you lower the dosage. Not a whole lot of waiting involved, and it makes MUCH MORE SENSE.

Possum gave you some good advice about finding an Asperger's specialist -- and that may be the best way to go. BUT, are your most severe challenges Asperger related? Or are they ADD related? Answering that question may help you make a decision as to what type of doctor to look for.

Currently, my son's Asperger's issues are the least of his problems. The FOCUS, or lack of it, is what is making life difficult for him. That's why this ADD specialist would seem to be the way to go. I'll let you know if it's actually beneficial or not (we just started with him last week).

Aspie101
11-21-10, 08:25 PM
I don't blame you for being frustrated. It seems as if you spend your whole school life trying one med after another, waiting for the perfect "fit".

We have a 14 year old who, although he's very bright and does great schoolwork, has inattentive ADD, so all schoolwork takes FOREVER. In the last year and a half, it seems that he has tried every drug. Most didn't work, but for the few that did, he quickly reached the FDA recommended "limit" and his psychiatrist wouldn't go above that limit.

You probably don't have the inattentive issues, but you still have the same focus problems that he has (and he is on the spectrum too).

We have just now begun going to an ADD specialist who does what no other doctor would do -- he is trying higher doses, which is great, but what's even better is that he is very pragmatic about his approach to meds. My son takes the new dosage on a particular morning, and then after 1-1/2 hours, when the med has taken effect, we take him to the doctor's office where they take his blood pressure and have him do some cognitive testing to see IF THE DRUG IS ACTUALLY WORKING. No other doctor has done this before. It makes so much sense, and yet nobody does it! This way, you don't wait a month or two to see if the drug is working (and thereby waste lots of time). You try a dosage for a day or two, and if there are no side effects, but there are also not quite enough benefits, you up the dosage. Or if the side effects are too strong, but the benefits are good, you lower the dosage. Not a whole lot of waiting involved, and it makes MUCH MORE SENSE.

Possum gave you some good advice about finding an Asperger's specialist -- and that may be the best way to go. BUT, are your most severe challenges Asperger related? Or are they ADD related? Answering that question may help you make a decision as to what type of doctor to look for.

Currently, my son's Asperger's issues are the least of his problems. The FOCUS, or lack of it, is what is making life difficult for him. That's why this ADD specialist would seem to be the way to go. I'll let you know if it's actually beneficial or not (we just started with him last week).

Well i what I get from my primary doctors, psychologists and psychiatrists that I've seen is that I have aspergers with ADD like symptoms but none would put an official ADD diagnoses since they think it's two intwined with the aspergers. I don't have social issues so I guess that wouldn't warrant an aspergers specialist but allot of the psychiatrists who I've seen both pediatric and add specialists seam to just not get it, no offense to them but I'm a bit more complicated then there everyday cases I feel. I act completely "normal" too so it's hard for some of my newer doctors to understand that I seriously have an autistic brain...I emailed the pediatric psychiatrist in my area that evaluated me a few years back a giant 4 page paper explaining my troubles, my mother used to work with him but again his work load is Slammed so all I can do is wait. Ugh..thanks for the reply though it's comforting knowing someone else has similar issues.

Possum
11-21-10, 09:24 PM
Yes money is not an issue. I have access to a private plane if needed...I'm trying to get in with a pediatric psychiatrist asap but there's like one in this area and he's slammed with probably every autistic kid in the area. Just curious are you an MD or autistic?

You are very fortunate then. I hope you are able to get an appointment with the ped psychiatrist soon. I live literally in the middle of nowhere and have been fighting tooth and claw to get a referral to the nearest neuropsychologist 400 miles away. Once I get the referral (probably just in time for my 90th birthday), I'll have to apply to one of those outfits that provide medical transport for us low income folk. So as bad as you may feel, it could be worse. And the focalin sounds like torture to me. Hope you can get a prescription for something more helpful.

I am neither an MD or autistic (as far as I know). I was once diagnosed with neurotypical blue-eyed disorder, but that diagnosis proved to be grossly in error. More about THAT condition can be found here
http://www.addforums.com/forums/showthread.php?t=69098&highlight=neurotypical+blue+eyed<!-- / message -->

Aspie101
11-21-10, 11:06 PM
You are very fortunate then. I hope you are able to get an appointment with the ped psychiatrist soon. I live literally in the middle of nowhere and have been fighting tooth and claw to get a referral to the nearest neuropsychologist 400 miles away. Once I get the referral (probably just in time for my 90th birthday), I'll have to apply to one of those outfits that provide medical transport for us low income folk. So as bad as you may feel, it could be worse. And the focalin sounds like torture to me. Hope you can get a prescription for something more helpful.

I am neither an MD or autistic (as far as I know). I was once diagnosed with neurotypical blue-eyed disorder, but that diagnosis proved to be grossly in error. More about THAT condition can be found here
http://www.addforums.com/forums/showthread.php?t=69098&highlight=neurotypical+blue+eyed<!-- / message -->
I hope the best for you as well. 90th birthday? Wow I respect your wisdom....I understand it could be worse that's what I've lived by my whole life, I volunteer allot just to keep that in my mind. Work ethic/humbleness is important and there are some seriously wealthier people than me that don't get that.

βĩο₱Ħعℓĩᶏ
11-22-10, 12:03 AM
Well holy crappy stress. Man, that's an awful anxiety loop that you are in. I've been there--feeling the limits that the ADD imposes, resulting in performance anxiety (for lack of better words). What's more crappy is that the rampant anxiety reinforces itself and the obsession regarding the reason for anxiety grows to take up more of brain power and actually makes doing the tasks to aleviate the anxiety all the more difficult. Sometimes at the 11th hour, the anxiety seems to pull me through--perhaps a cramming session resulting in a good grade or speaking well at a meeting or giving a good presentation But, then once the situation is over, I fall low off the anxiety high and remember nothing of whatever it was that I pulled together for. Leaving the loop to start over, except with an ever higher anxiety start point and ever lower ending points. After many bouts with it, the low and the high isnt distinct,and it feels like despair.

The anxiety needs to be dealt with. Things that have helped me were learning when and how to take a break, what activity or inactivity constitutes a beneficial break, how to move on from feelings (positive or negative, they are bad as long a they inhibit performance). Then, making sure necessities are met--sleep, food, water, exercise (definitely the hardest for me...). I am not a master by any means--I just know that in my battle if I do those things...Everything else is easier, the heart feels lighter.

Aspie101
11-22-10, 03:37 PM
Well holy crappy stress. Man, that's an awful anxiety loop that you are in. I've been there--feeling the limits that the ADD imposes, resulting in performance anxiety (for lack of better words). What's more crappy is that the rampant anxiety reinforces itself and the obsession regarding the reason for anxiety grows to take up more of brain power and actually makes doing the tasks to aleviate the anxiety all the more difficult. Sometimes at the 11th hour, the anxiety seems to pull me through--perhaps a cramming session resulting in a good grade or speaking well at a meeting or giving a good presentation But, then once the situation is over, I fall low off the anxiety high and remember nothing of whatever it was that I pulled together for. Leaving the loop to start over, except with an ever higher anxiety start point and ever lower ending points. After many bouts with it, the low and the high isnt distinct,and it feels like despair.

The anxiety needs to be dealt with. Things that have helped me were learning when and how to take a break, what activity or inactivity constitutes a beneficial break, how to move on from feelings (positive or negative, they are bad as long a they inhibit performance). Then, making sure necessities are met--sleep, food, water, exercise (definitely the hardest for me...). I am not a master by any means--I just know that in my battle if I do those things...Everything else is easier, the heart feels lighter.

The thing is I do all that stuff! I'm an athlete too. I learned all those things years ago but it's not holding together now! Last year I never did a single day of my homework at home nor did I study! I did it all in school when I wasn't supposed too...I was still on honor role with like a 3.5 but I certainly could have done way better, besides I doubt that will work in college...I had to go home early today because I literally didn't listen to a thing the teachers said today, I just dazed off into lala land. Ugh...I control my anxiety decently I guess...the benzos are new and mostly for sleep not panic attacks like there often prescribed.

nova2012
11-22-10, 05:09 PM
I'm not sure I understand how you're Asperger's when you're socially normal. I do know that a lot of people with Asperger's regard themselves as socially normal because they have no other model by which to compare their social behavior. How do you know you're socially normal? Have you asked other students or teachers (parents don't really count, because they're heavily biased and blinded by their unconditional love for you)? Psychologists and psychiatrists can't access your internal cognition or your processing style; they can only diagnose based on external symptoms and a history (as well as a description by you). If you're truly Asperger's, it's probably somewhat obvious to anyone experienced with people who have the disorder. If you just think you have it, you could instead be just ADHD, or you could have what's called the "autistic phenotype" but not the actual disorder--that is, some traits of it. I think a lot of ADHDers have some traits of Asperger's because they're quite closely connected.

Aspie101
11-22-10, 05:21 PM
I'm not sure I understand how you're Asperger's when you're socially normal. I do know that a lot of people with Asperger's regard themselves as socially normal because they have no other model by which to compare their social behavior. How do you know you're socially normal? Have you asked other students or teachers (parents don't really count, because they're heavily biased and blinded by their unconditional love for you)? Psychologists and psychiatrists can't access your internal cognition or your processing style; they can only diagnose based on external symptoms and a history (as well as a description by you). If you're truly Asperger's, it's probably somewhat obvious to anyone experienced with people who have the disorder. If you just think you have it, you could instead be just ADHD, or you could have what's called the "autistic phenotype" but not the actual disorder--that is, some traits of it. I think a lot of ADHDers have some traits of Asperger's because they're quite closely connected.

Uh I'm not sure you read my first post through completely. I've been through lots of therapy aimed at acting normal since I was 3(when I just started talking). I used to display the obvious symptoms (i still have snesory issues but i hide them well) but like i said lots of therapy and hyper anylasis of social interaction....i take it kind of offensive that you would assume i just "think i have aspergers", my mom is basically a psychologist and has worked with autistic kids for years and her and her various other associates which included speech pathologists, PTs/OTs, psychiatrists, psychologists, medical doctors all were in agreement; in fact they would use me as a guinea pig at there office to test out various things regarding me and aspergers as a whole, i was offered an interview in some magazine and some talk show but declined then because the diagnoses at the time was a bit more personal...so yes im sure i know whats wrong with me because ive been down this road millions of times. when I tell people they think I'm trying to make fun of autistic people or that I'm lying or they just drop there jaw.

nova2012
11-22-10, 06:02 PM
Uh I'm not sure you read my first post through completely. I've been through lots of therapy aimed at acting normal since I was 3(when I just started talking). I used to display the obvious symptoms (i still have snesory issues but i hide them well) but like i said lots of therapy and hyper anylasis of social interaction....i take it kind of offensive that you would assume i just "think i have aspergers", my mom is basically a psychologist and has worked with autistic kids for years and her and her various other associates which included speech pathologists, PTs/OTs, psychiatrists, psychologists, medical doctors all were in agreement; in fact they would use me as a guinea pig at there office to test out various things regarding me and aspergers as a whole, i was offered an interview in some magazine and some talk show but declined then because the diagnoses at the time was a bit more personal...so yes im sure i know whats wrong with me because ive been down this road millions of times. when I tell people they think I'm trying to make fun of autistic people or that I'm lying or they just drop there jaw.

I'm sorry if I offended you, as that was definitely not my intention. I was questioning this because I've read and participated in Asperger's forums and read lots about it, and I've seen some of what you're describing as a common theme. It wasn't really necessary of me to point out that people with AS often think they're socially normal, except in the course of my questioning the diagnosis. Also, I've noticed that people with Asperger's rarely get offended (or express their taking offense) by Internet posts (they often don't understand that someone else is trying to make fun of them), so I'm also intrigued by that. But if you've had all these tests and evaluations, I'm not going to question that; you must really be an unusual case, as you stated--perhaps quite mild. Or perhaps you have something like NVLD?

I was convinced for a while I had Asperger's, but everyone I talked to dismissed that suggestion handily (actually, almost all of them have laughed it off, literally). I no longer think I do, but there is a surprising amount of overlap between ADHD and Asperger's. It's also worth noting that a lot of people with ADHD have sensory issues, are easily overstimulated, and have a lot of social issues (and probably tend to think a little differently, too).

Aspie101
11-22-10, 09:00 PM
I'm sorry if I offended you, as that was definitely not my intention. I was questioning this because I've read and participated in Asperger's forums and read lots about it, and I've seen some of what you're describing as a common theme. It wasn't really necessary of me to point out that people with AS often think they're socially normal, except in the course of my questioning the diagnosis. Also, I've noticed that people with Asperger's rarely get offended (or express their taking offense) by Internet posts (they often don't understand that someone else is trying to make fun of them), so I'm also intrigued by that. But if you've had all these tests and evaluations, I'm not going to question that; you must really be an unusual case, as you stated--perhaps quite mild. Or perhaps you have something like NVLD?

I was convinced for a while I had Asperger's, but everyone I talked to dismissed that suggestion handily (actually, almost all of them have laughed it off, literally). I no longer think I do, but there is a surprising amount of overlap between ADHD and Asperger's. It's also worth noting that a lot of people with ADHD have sensory issues, are easily overstimulated, and have a lot of social issues (and probably tend to think a little differently, too).

I'm not really offended I'm just saying I wouldn't post I had something unless I was sure. If your interested in the ADHD and autism overlap check out the ADHD autism connection by diane m Kennedy, i haven't read the whole thing yet but I've skimmed over it, notably the parts about the neurotransmitters to see what I can do pharmacologically to deal with this.