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  #1  
Old 04-03-05, 08:47 PM
ADHDLawStudent ADHDLawStudent is offline
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Reaching My Potential: Meds, but What Else To Do?

I posted this in the new member forum, but it's really more applicable here, so sorry for the double.

Okay, so here's my basic story.

I'm 24, will be turning 25 in two weeks. Born and raised in an upper middle-class family in Toronto. Loving parents, oldest of three kids - sister is 22, brother is 17 and is autistic (technically diagnosed with PDD - Pervasive Development Disorder - but that's just a catch-all term).

I was something of a child prodigy (not like I'm trying to sound arrogant on a message board). I taught myself to read at age 2. My friends' parents still tell stories whenever they see me about how all the kids in nursery school would give me board games so I could read the instructions to explain how to play. I used to go see all sorts of learning consultants with my parents as they tried to assess what the best path of education for me would be.

I got into a very prestigious academic high school (UTS - University of Toronto Schools, for any who know it). About 7,000 students wrote for 78 spots. I was surrounded by smart kids who were all nerdy like me. I did decently - enough to get by but nothing special. My parents went to the school guidance counselor in grade 10 to see if maybe I wasn't cut out for the school. They were told that I had one of the three highest grades on the entire entrance exam, so that intelligence wasn't my problem. I started to motivate myself in grade 12 and started to do great, but by then I wasn't in the ballpark of getting into the schools my friends did - Harvard, Princeton, MIT, NYU, CalTech, etc. I went to U of T for a year, then to Queen's. Kept getting 78s and 80s. Again, for some people that would be an incredible feat but there was no reason I shouldn't have been able to get 90s.

Decided I wanted to get into law, needed to kick *** on the LSAT to get in with my marks. Wrote it once, finished in the 99th percentile, got into a bunch of schools in Canada (everyone except U of T) but again - "if only I'd done as well as I could in undergrad...could have had a shot at the big boys".

After one year in law, my marks were so-so. Above average but nothing special. My mother's friend suspected, based on what my mother told her, that maybe I had ADHD. I went to see the same child psychologist who assesses my autistic brother (who through his life has been on everything at one point or another - Wellbutrin, Paxil, Effexor, Adderall, Risperdal, Dexedrine, Ritalin, etc.) and after talking to him for about 2 hours, he basically told me that I had the attention span of a gnat and that he was confident that the proper medication could work miracles for me. He told me that from talking to me for a few hours he was stunned that I wasn't the valedictorian of every school I'd ever been to. He put me on (gradually, we worked up to these dosages) 300 mg Wellbutrin XR, 40 mg Adderall and 75 mg Effexor over the course of a day.

Another year...same basic results. Same basic marks. Now I'm really starting to worry that maybe there's nothing that can get me to reach my potential. Am I just lazy? I know I should be studying but can't get my *** up to go do it. Where does the ADHD stop and the lack of self-discipline kick in?

Switched from Adderall to Dexedrine about a month ago when Adderall came off the market here, but that hasn't seemed to help - in fact, it might be worse, I'm often feeling tired and lethargic.

I made myself a rigorous schedule to follow, in order to prep for exams. Haven't followed it whatsoever. Exercise, guitar lessons, study sessions - forget it. I go shopping or play XBox or anything else to avoid having to work.

My marks, for instance, weren't good enough to secure a summer job at one of the good Bay Street firms. I have tons of friends at law schools around the country mystified at how that happened (usually I get "dude, you're *way* smarter than me, I don't understand), and it's not that I'm a bad interview - on the contrary, unless I'm around hot women I'm usually really talkative and outgoing.

1st year, no meds: A-, A-, B, B, B, B-
2nd year, 1st semester, *with* meds: A-, A-, B-, B-

So they're actually WORSE with meds. Study habits probably about the same.

I am dying for help. I had a bit of a nervous breakdown in January over my inability to get where I want to go. I'm almost 25, and tired of feeling that I've missed opportunities. I have 2 weeks until exams and still feel like I haven't gotten my motor running yet. I'm scared that I'm going to fall into the same pattern unless I chain myself to a desk in the library, but even if I did I would just feel like I was trying to escape out of my skin.

For reference, my current meds are as follows:

Morning: 2 10 mg capsules Dexedrine, 150 mg tablet Wellbutrin XR, 37.5 mg capsule Effexor

Noon: 1/2 tablet (75 mg) Wellbutrin XR

Afternoon: 2 5 mg tablets Dexedrine, 150 mg tablet Wellbutrin XR, 37.5 mg capsule Effexor
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  #2  
Old 04-05-05, 11:25 AM
DYNE540 DYNE540 is offline
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Lightbulb lawstudent rec's/observations

hey lawstudent,

ok. so you did say that you have been diagn. w/ adhd & you have meds now. can a make a few observations & recommendations? ok here goes...

Observations:

1st. observation: you have all A's & B's the fact that you earned b-'s versus B's isn't that scientific. I noticed for myself that their was an acclimation period on ritalin or adderall when i took. my actually was adjusting to being able to focus. that took nearly 3 months to be able get used to retaining material. during that time grades did flucuate.

2nd observation: i never earned A's or B's or C's until a proper strategy and adhd/meds/treatment were squared away. in my collegiate career i now finally have all A-'s.
i won't quote any lame half empty anecdotes, but i will say you have very high goals that are attainable. however, how reasonable is this too beat yourself up over. i'm not saying your punishing yourself at all, but i am saying you made a's & B-'s and you sound dissappointed still. just my opinion.
for the standards that you have for yourself you still need a better study plan. i'll get to that in a minute.

3rd observation: if i hear you correctly about the jobs/opportunities thing. 1. don't worry about the past for tomorrow has it's own worries. 2. try not to look at another's accomplishments in referernce to your own. experiences and a person's opportunities are individual. you a unique individual who's opportunities and mind is not common. again no anecdotes about half full glasses, but you got into law school. for me when i got my 1st A- i said, "Wow only an A-...." i'm equally demanding of myself. finally i started saying, "Wow i got an A- i never had before & i the 2nd highest grade" =). i stopped looking around for comparison & lowered my expectations. but again i have g4.0 plan that really helps...almost their to tell you about it.

4th observation: you are a bright, unique, intelligent indiv. with massive potential just by reading your post. you are concerned about performance and that's awesome.

recommendations:

i did exactly what you did with adhd/meds, but i was missing something crucial. HOW TO REALLY STUDY! what is it? what's studying? quality vs. quantity studying is what i am talking about.

i believe no one thing can solve any 1 thing. a solution is like watching dominoes fall. 1 leads to another. but 1 doesn't affects another until the full effect is reached.
hope this analogy doesn't confuse you. in other words there is no miracle cure-all, however their is a study plan that i know works.
go and google this: guaranteed 4.0 learning system
i use this with meds for my adhd & take a balanced load of 12-13 units, which is 2 hard classes + 2 easy classes.
i am earning A-s' across the board.

the book really works. i have some friends who have adhd/add and they all crack up now laughing b/c we are the ones wrecking the curve and earning the highest grades.
g4.0 system teaches you timemanagement, about stress, and quality vs. quantity studying. it even has an FAQ section and organizing methods for you to use with a lot of detail on organizing. i bought the book w/the divider set.
it's the best $20 something bucks i have ever spent.
check it out. you can't lose.

Please don't take my post in a negative way. i mean no harm and only good. it took friends & a caring dean of my university to help me see things differently. as 1 adhd person to another my friend this is what i see. i hope this helps you. really i do. check out g4.0.

Victor

-we are just brothers from different mothers.

ps i hope things improve for you. =)
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Old 04-05-05, 03:24 PM
DYNE540 DYNE540 is offline
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Smile looking back....

i looked at some of your other posts and wanted to make sure i made something clear. the g4.0 book/method that i use isn't some abstract unclear way of learning that THINK i understand via the book.

the g4.0 book is very precise & clear. i've seen a lot of self-org and self-help staying on task books that are purely conversational-unhelpful. g4.0 isn't. the book was originally designed for math, science, & engineering majors. but it works across the board for other areas.

I also wanted to mention that it teaches you how to Read & retain material BPR, conceptual learning via BPC, notetaking BPN. plus it has a timemanagement list in it too.

i found that's it's the tool i've been looking for all my life.
if you do try to implement it. try to do it inbetween semesters or if you really want to get into immediately she has strategy under FAQ section in back that i REALLY liked.

I noticed that you are taking quite a few other drugs along with your aDD meds. how does that work out for you during the day?

thanks,
victor
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Old 04-07-05, 06:42 PM
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Gregster Gregster is offline
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You sound very much like myself - except I'm not quite as bright - 96th %ile on LSAT. I decided on business school instead of law. I've failed to really prosper however, despite lots of potential - jobs, personal life, relationships - all have suffered as a result of my ADHD. It can be a lot to live with - unfulfilled potential - I sometimes feel as if I have been given a huge gift and have pi$$ed it away - this feels so much worse than if I was simply born with a brain which wasn't as capable. I was only diagnosed a year ago, at age 39, so the underlying reason for my underacheivement is a recent revelation - I had previously thought of my limitations as character flaws. You can take some solice in the fact that you have discovered your ADHD while you were still in school - now it's just a matter of learning how to adapt more effectively - which, of course, is more easily said than done.
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Old 04-08-05, 07:54 PM
ADHDLawStudent ADHDLawStudent is offline
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The meds I take are all related to ADHD - the dexedrine to help focus, the Wellbutrin to help make smart choices, and the effexor to give me a little bit of confidence that I can beat this.




Quote:
Originally Posted by DYNE540
i looked at some of your other posts and wanted to make sure i made something clear. the g4.0 book/method that i use isn't some abstract unclear way of learning that THINK i understand via the book.

the g4.0 book is very precise & clear. i've seen a lot of self-org and self-help staying on task books that are purely conversational-unhelpful. g4.0 isn't. the book was originally designed for math, science, & engineering majors. but it works across the board for other areas.

I also wanted to mention that it teaches you how to Read & retain material BPR, conceptual learning via BPC, notetaking BPN. plus it has a timemanagement list in it too.

i found that's it's the tool i've been looking for all my life.
if you do try to implement it. try to do it inbetween semesters or if you really want to get into immediately she has strategy under FAQ section in back that i REALLY liked.

I noticed that you are taking quite a few other drugs along with your aDD meds. how does that work out for you during the day?

thanks,
victor
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Old 04-22-05, 06:57 PM
Way Too Flighty Way Too Flighty is offline
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Hi ADHD Law Student,

I posted a reply to this same thread over in the introduction forum. I put some analysis and suggestions in there. Take a look and let me know what you think.

Way Too Flighty
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Old 04-22-05, 11:14 PM
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Hey adhdlawstudent

This may be a little blunt and I could be way off the mark....but perhaps this is what you are looking for so I'll throw it out there on the chance that it may mean something to you.


"To thy own self be true".

I'm not saying that you were not meant to be a lawyer but from reading your post I did not read purpose. It sounded more like you were in a race looking over your shoulder. Speaking of races, the fastest man doesn't always win and the words "gifted" and "underachieving" should be married because they are always together.

Having said all that, figure out what drives you....why you exist. A lawyer can do many positive things in this world. When you see school as a means of helping you accomplish the things you want to see or do in this world, then maybe the grades may go up or at least the "self measuring" will not really be important to you.
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Old 04-24-05, 09:28 PM
QueensU_girl QueensU_girl is offline
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It's hard, particularly for the late-diagnosed, to get past the anger/depression/frustration/rage of this situation. One can really sense the opportunities lost.

Unfortunately, for Bright ADD/ADHD kids, their academic ability/Intelligence can hide the executive/memory deficits -- for quite some time.

By my current age (DOB is 1971), my own Father was a Surgeon, and a cult-like locally beloved Physician in his field.

I know -=just=- what you are talking about -- WRT aspirations, expectations, acheivement, etc.

Everyone in Canadian Law Schools is fixated on working for Bay Street Corporate Firms.

Hmmm.

Maybe this is a portent that you can do a career in Law that is more socially useful than Corporate Law?

There are many people in Canada who need a bright Lawyer, but have no hope in getting one.

It would be really different than your bkgrd of elite and private schools -- truly an immense life paradigm shift.

That's how i view myself and my Nursing degree. Okay, so i won't do a PhD in Nursing -- but I have a lot of aptitude, EQ and ability for caring for those who are abandoned behind by the System and Society.

Find the Mission in Life that is true to your heart, and therein may lie your answer.

Money & Fame aren't everything. You may be fortunate to discover this -- whereas your classmates were not.
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