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Old 07-04-08, 06:42 AM
ResilientFighter ResilientFighter is offline
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new to the forum - ADD has destroyed my life

Hi everyone - new to the forum...

I'm a fem, 30, single no kids. I'm the typical F-up that ADD produces. I've read several books on ADD, and I fit the description perfectly. It was scary reading some of the stories within the books, because I felt like I was reading about myself. It's amazing to me to find out that I had no real control over my life EVER, that there is no such thing as 'free will' which we are bombarded with by religions and their BS rhetoric. That my DNA or brain structure basically already plotted my demise from my birth. I am the poster child of ADD, and everything that was suppose to happen to me, happened to me like ADD clockwork. I even fit the age of the typical person who learns they have adult ADD. just like clock work.

When I was a teen I use to think it was weird that I couldn't stop daydreaming or 'living in my own world'. At one point I could not stop daydreaming and thought I was going crazy, but didn't want to say anything because I thought they would put me in a stray jacket for sure. While my friends were living life, I was living life in my head, at home.

I was terrible at school. I had a terrible attitude too, I disrespected all my teachers and always had the most off the wall comments. I was always 'thinking outside the box' never wanted to follow the crowd. Always wanted to go left, when everyone was going right. NOT to say that I was loud and defiant like a typical trouble-maker. I had ADD, not ADHD so I was more mellow than loud.

I had a terrible mouth though, I was always very abrupt, and too honest. I wore my heart on my sleeve, and if you looked ugly in an outfit, I would tell you. Needless to say, I couldn't keep many friendships going for long.

I never dated. I always seemed to have dated in my head... it sounds very weird even to me. but my imagination kept me satisfied I guess. I dated guys for very short periods of time, but then fantasized about our relationship for years after, what could have been, what should have been, what was, what never was, what would happen if, what would have happened if, etc etc etc

My mother had no education or common sense. She planted me in front of a TV from birth on... and the TV raised me. Mr. Rogers was my dad, Nina Peebles was my big sister, and I was a cast member on the TV show "Fame" who one day would become the next Mariah Carey. I lived in my own little world.

When I was teen I was terrified of getting a job. I didnt know why. All I knew is that if I got a job I would be fired. I just knew that something would go wrong. My best friend at the time worked at a local grocery store, and she got a job there through her sister. She told me she would train me, and I refused. I was terrified of the math involved, and was scared of giving people the wrong change and being too slow at the job. and I continued to be that way... I avoided working at all costs.

at 16 I dropped out of highschool (I just started the 9th grade) and I went for my GED a few times and failed. So I did nothing but stay home, had no friends or anything, just hung out at home.

At 18 I decided I wanted to learn to drive. So my brother decided he would teach me. I would get in the car and be completely overwhelmed. If he didn't tell me what to do and when to do it, forget it. I wasn't able to think for myself, and I would break for every little thing. and I would never know where I was going. Even though I lived in the area for years and years and years. I never knew the names of the local streets around my area, and I would get lost around the corner from my own house. The only way I would learn a street is if I made myself learn where a street was, or if a specific thing happened at a corner that made me remember, then I would remember. Or if there was a store that I went into, then I would remember the name.

I also tried working in my late teens and I was never good enough at anything... I would quit cuz I thought I was doing well, or because I knew I was going to get fired, or because the other workers were talking about me behind my back. cuz I knew something was off about me, but i didn't know exactly what..

In my early 20s I went to computer school for 6 months and once I got out I applied for a lot of secretarial jobs of course... I hopped from one job to another. I was terrible at multi-tasking and specially answering phones with multi lines. OMG, I was overwhelmed from phones with multi-lines. Till this day that's the first thing I ask, do I have to pick up phones? lol

Anyway by the time I was almost 26 I finally passed my GED. I tried again so I can go to college and I barely passed the math section. So I barely got my GED, but I did it. I was so happy to get my GED I applied to a college right away and got accepted. I got my bachelors in Television and Film in 3 years (it was a 4 year program). and my GPA was 3.4 when I graduated. However, this was achieved by not working, not dating, not socializing, and staying at the college till 11pm almost every day. What most people did while having a 'life' I had to give up in order to do well.

A few months before I graduated I did an internship. The worse working experience I ever had. I was slow at everything, I never got it anything right, I couldnt organize things, my common sense was out the door, my bosses all just looked at each other in silence when I did something wrong or couldn't get something. They were a bunch of gossiping horrible B#tcheZ

Anyway, because one of the horrible B*TcheZ suggested that I had ADHD (and I don't even want to go how she suggested it, it was THE MOST cruel way possible, you won't even believe me if I said so) - this was after I graduated, but I shrug it off, because I thought ADHD was something completely different to what I now it is. I thought it was like a mood disorder or something. So I shrugged it off.

Anyway, when I couldnt find work I moved back to NY and I started to search for somewhere to get tested for learning disabilities. So I finally found a place that waived their high fees for testing and they tested me for everything. it took them about 8 weeks of testing me - me coming in once a week for about 4 hour sessions every time. They got my entire life story and did all the tests possible that they could do. I kept asking my clinician during these weeks of testing what he was leaning toward as far as a diagnosis and I kept insisting and I flat out asked him if it was ADHD (even though I didnt know what it was, but I knew that the B!tch at the internship thought it was) and he said that YES he was leaning toward that. When it was all said and done

They found I only suffered from ADHD and of course depression (caused by the ADHD) I had no learning disabilities or any other disorder. So I bought like 6 books on it, and read them.... and there I was. a bit more informed, not wanting to take any meds though because of the gamble that, that is. Any way I guess I decided to try and manage it myself, by self educating...

months passed

I still couldn't find job so I enrolled at another film school to specialize on a particular area in film, and that's when I noticed how much of an ADDer I was. procrastinator, inattentive, mood swings, depression, but also the resilient nature that we all seem to have... no matter how much you get kicked in the face, eventually we just get up again to kicked again. shocking but true.

I just graduated again, and I'm looking for work again. But a lot of entry level positions ask for "coordinating" organizing positions and like most ADDers I'm a "big picture" person not details person. If I could go straight to a management position I know I would totally EXCEL. isn't that weird? I can't do the little things but I can totally manage and be head of a company.... so now I'm screwed. In my business you can't go from college to a boss/management position over night..... I dont' know what to do.

that's my story... I know that only the people that can total relate to my story will read this. dont worry most posts I skim too
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  #2  
Old 07-04-08, 07:25 AM
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Re: new to the forum - ADD has destroyed my life

OK, first things first:

(((((((((((((((((You))))))))))))))))))) <---cyberhug

Now breathe out. In.

Repeat after me: It's never too late.

Good. Say it again.

OK, now for the next part: what to do?

Meds are icky, I know, but if you're going to do without them, you'll need something or someone other than you yourself to help you function. I.e., find yourself a coach, preferably a professional one.

Embrace the way you are, rather than trying to function in ways you keep finding you can't. Find your own ways of doing what you know you can do, ways that work for you. If you can't get somewhere head-on, try and find and way to go round the back. It may take a while, but you'll get there.

And you shouldn't have to do it all on your own. It's OK that you need outside support. I do. Most people do, in some way or other.

Keep an eye on the chatroom. It's where people can give you real-time support.
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  #3  
Old 07-04-08, 08:45 AM
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Re: new to the forum - ADD has destroyed my life

ITA with Zerb, it's never too late.

I'm 41, back in college, and I'm either going to finish nursing school, or if after this first semester of clinicals I just find it too icky, end up going for my teaching certificate. Either way I've either got 5 or 6 semesters left.

I'm on meds, and they've helped me a lot. If you're not going to go that way, then you're going to have to learn to live with in your ADD (even with meds you have to, but they've made it easier for me).

Things that are my friends:

Timers- I have one upstairs and one downstairs, when I have a deadline, have to be somewhere, have to force my self to clean I set the timer.

Dymo labeler- I label everything, the kitchen cabinets, the drawers where my clothes are, there's a reminder labelled to the bathroom mirror to remind me to check the dog's water, and clean the litter pans, one on the front door "do you have cell phone, purse, keys, radio (hubby's work), lunch"

Cube storage: everything is out in the open, but it looks better in those 12 X 12 squares.
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Old 07-04-08, 12:00 PM
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Re: new to the forum - ADD has destroyed my life

That sounds awful. You may want to consider meds, however - you don't really have much to lose by trying. It's not a one-way street. Sorry I'm not contributing anything else, but I wish you the best.
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Old 07-06-08, 03:37 AM
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Re: new to the forum - ADD has destroyed my life

Quote:
Originally Posted by Zerbinetta View Post
OK, first things first:

(((((((((((((((((You))))))))))))))))))) <---cyberhug

Now breathe out. In.

Repeat after me: It's never too late.

Good. Say it again.

OK, now for the next part: what to do?

Meds are icky, I know, but if you're going to do without them, you'll need something or someone other than you yourself to help you function. I.e., find yourself a coach, preferably a professional one.

Embrace the way you are, rather than trying to function in ways you keep finding you can't. Find your own ways of doing what you know you can do, ways that work for you. If you can't get somewhere head-on, try and find and way to go round the back. It may take a while, but you'll get there.

And you shouldn't have to do it all on your own. It's OK that you need outside support. I do. Most people do, in some way or other.

Keep an eye on the chatroom. It's where people can give you real-time support.



this is the warning label for meds:

"Sudden deaths, stroke, and myocardial infarction have been reported in adults taking stimulant drugs at usual doses for ADHD. Although the role of stimulants in these adult cases is also unknown, adults have a greater likelihood than children of having serious structural cardiac abnormalities, cardiomyopathy, serious heart rhythm abnormalities, coronary artery disease, or other serious cardiac problems."


and I've also met people with face ticks and people who have no benefits from being medicated... it's very very very very very scary
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Old 07-06-08, 10:24 AM
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Re: new to the forum - ADD has destroyed my life

Quote:
Originally Posted by ADDfem2008 View Post
this is the warning label for meds:

"Sudden deaths, stroke, and myocardial infarction have been reported in adults taking stimulant drugs at usual doses for ADHD. Although the role of stimulants in these adult cases is also unknown, adults have a greater likelihood than children of having serious structural cardiac abnormalities, cardiomyopathy, serious heart rhythm abnormalities, coronary artery disease, or other serious cardiac problems."

and I've also met people with face ticks and people who have no benefits from being medicated... it's very very very very very scary
Yes, yes it is. However, if ADD has, as you say, actually destroyed your life, then strictly speaking you should have nothing to lose, right? Also, which "meds" are we talking about here? To me, saying "the warning label for meds" is like talking about "the boiling point of liquids." What, exactly, are you talking about, and where do you get your information?

I do wonder why, in reply to a post that mainly addresses coaching, peer support and self-acceptance, you've chosen to latch on to medication only.

Oh well.

I just started a slow process of titrating up on instant-release methylphenidate a little under two weeks ago. Why? Because as I see it, NOT taking stimulant drugs at usual doses is far more likely to lead to sudden death, be it at the hands of some drunken hooligan who doesn't like my big mouth, by my own hand when I decide I REALLY can't take it anymore this time round, or simply in traffic next time I fail to notice a car running a red light (it's happened before).

Thus far, the worst I've experienced in terms of side effects is an increased susceptibility to infection - cystitis, to be precise. And even there, the dry mouth that comes with my meds is actually making it easier for me to drink more and flush it all out.

Now, did you try getting some real-time chat room peer coaching yet?
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Old 07-06-08, 10:33 AM
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Re: new to the forum - ADD has destroyed my life

Quote:
Originally Posted by Zerbinetta View Post
Yes, yes it is. However, if ADD has, as you say, actually destroyed your life, then strictly speaking you should have nothing to lose, right?

I do wonder why, in reply to a post that mainly addresses coaching, peer support and self-acceptance, you've chosen to latch on to medication. Oh well.

I just started a slow process of titrating up on instant-release methylphenidate a little under two weeks ago. Why? Because as I see it, NOT taking stimulant drugs at usual doses is far more likely to lead to sudden death, be it at the hands of some drunken hooligan who doesn't like my big mouth, by my own hand when I decide I REALLY can't take it anymore this time round, or simply in traffic next time I fail to notice a car running a red light (it's happened before).

Thus far, the worst I've experienced in terms of side effects is an increased susceptibility to infection - cystitis, to be precise. And even there, the dry mouth that comes with my meds is actually making it easier for me to drink more and flush it all out.

Now, did you try getting some real-time chat room peer coaching yet?
I thought she might have intended to reply to my post... Adding on to what you said, however, I've had an absolute s**tload of rare, freaky reactions to (non-stimulant) medications, but stimulants really are quite safe as a medication class. The chances of any of those side effects are incredibly slim, and I believe the incidence in the stimulant-ingesting population is comparable if not statistically indistinguishable from the incidence in the general population. People taking stimulants will of course have heart problems, just like the rest of the non-medicated population, it's just that when someone on adderall has a stroke, they naturally attribute it to the foreign substance. I could well be wrong about this - I absolutely don't have the energy to dig up the research . In any case, though, from what I know, stimulants don't actually /cause/ these (rare) problems to develop, but /may/ exacerbate them, so unless you have a personal or family history of heart problems, you probably shouldn't worry. You could always get an EKG, just to be sure. And if you have no benefit from meds, you can simply stop taking them .

Medicating (or not) is very, very, very much a personal choice, and there are many reasons /pro/ and /con/, I just wanted to correct what I think is a misconception. When it comes to side effects, a good rule of thumb is: which sucks less - the disorder, or the treatment? In my case, it's by far the treatment. Without it, what I have could hardly be considered a life, anyway.
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Old 07-06-08, 12:40 PM
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Re: new to the forum - ADD has destroyed my life

I don't usually read other peoples posts, but you sound very much like me and somehow the title of your post struck me. I started taking stimulants in 10th grade, had I not, I probably would have gotten my GED too! Oh man I started out with getting D's and F's in algebra one in 9th grade, to getting straight A's in trigonometry at 12 grade, coincidence? I don't think so! It's amazing how much my grades changed just by being able to paying attention better, compared to always looking out the window!

The driving thing, experienced that too! Oh but I took an adderall when I took drivers ED, everything made sense to me and it was so easy to understand! When I first started driving, it was like I had no common sense to what I was doing! I would be too scared to turn onto another road the first couple of times and a bunch of other weird anxieties from not paying attention that I can't remember. If I don't know where I'm going- I don't want to drive, which is like everywhere. My GPS saves me from this. I can usually only remember streets that I've driven on countless times, usually by the landmarks really and the way the road looks.

When I went to work and didn't take my medication, ah, felt like I was running around in circles and couldn't remember anything! Math was a hard thing for me too with registers, thank god it did some of the math for me! The phone thing too, ah just so confusing! I was so slow and felt like I was getting yelled at about well, EVERYTHING I did. Ah but when I took medication, I didn't get yelled at as much, because well, I could remember things more, I wasn't dropping things, I could um HEAR people much better when they were talking to me. It was an amazing change!

You don't even realize how much you are missing around you and how much easier life could be, until medication is atleast tried. Not saying life will be easy and a medication will solve a lot of this, but I gaurantee,if you choose to try medication, it will lift some of that stress you experience.Imagine, so many things going wrong in one day over and over again, and then all of a sudden maybe like 75% doesn't really happen anymore. Imagine how good that would feel?

It looks like you're already way ahead of many others, by how far you have come just by trying so hard. I'm really impressed .

Side effects, side effects. It really all depends on YOUR body, this comes with any medication as Katja said. I'm on so many other medications now, I haven't experienced any of the side effects that my doctors have been SO paranoid about, in which made me more paranoid. The sudden death thing is so RARE (keyword), and that only happens really if you have something wrong with your heart. I read somewhere about the cases in which those happened, and there was the heart problems going wrong with the people who experienced that.There has been about 150 cases in which that happened.Comparing that to the entire population, it's really not that much.
Heres a good review of side effects and what you can do about them-----------http://www.ncpamd.com/Stimulant_Side_Effects.htm
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Old 07-06-08, 12:52 PM
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Re: new to the forum - ADD has destroyed my life

Quote:
Originally Posted by ADDfem2008 View Post
this is the warning label for meds:

"Sudden deaths, stroke, and myocardial infarction have been reported in adults taking stimulant drugs at usual doses for ADHD. Although the role of stimulants in these adult cases is also unknown, adults have a greater likelihood than children of having serious structural cardiac abnormalities, cardiomyopathy, serious heart rhythm abnormalities, coronary artery disease, or other serious cardiac problems."


and I've also met people with face ticks and people who have no benefits from being medicated... it's very very very very very scary
So this information is what is keeping you from something that may change your life in a very positive way? How's it working for you so far?

Your vent was very articulate so I was surprised to read these flaky reasons for choosing not to take medication. I think you can do better than this.
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Old 07-06-08, 01:16 PM
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Re: new to the forum - ADD has destroyed my life

Here's a BIG hug for you. I am new here, too, but I can relate to you. Except I have 2 kids and I know that ADHD has affected the way that I do everything, including parenting and marriage. I came very close to leaving earlier this year when things came to a head for me. Nothing wrong, I have a great life, husband, kids but just that ADHD ruling my life. I understand. I am glad I didn't make any drastic changes...it's JUST like me to do so AND even with EVERYTHING I could want, I still felt that same old f-up coming out.

I have been reluctant to try medication because I was heavily medicated (both rx and self) as a teenager and I think it did some damage to me back then. It's only after my daughter was diagnosed that I was willing to look at it for myself, and then I couldn't hide from it anymore. I also saw how the medication actually HELPED her so amazingly (went from having all Fs on her report card to nothing below a C, and mostly As and Bs by the next grading period) that I felt like there was hope for me.

I look forward to learning from each other in this forum.

I believe that it gets better when we acknowledge. We may have something that we did not create, did not ask for, but we have the means to DO something about it and TURN THE TRAIN AROUND!
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Old 07-06-08, 03:14 PM
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Re: new to the forum - ADD has destroyed my life

I was just wondering, do you have any other condition going on that would make the stimulants more likely to cause stroke, heart attack, etc.?? Like high blood pressure, a heart defect, clots in your blood, for example??

I sense that you are depressed from your post, and that bothers me. You might want to consider calling your doctor or counselor tomorrow(Monday).

I was just dx one month ago today. I'm 41, and I messed up my life by not knowing about the ADD. I can sit back in misery, blaming and wondering about what might have been "if only I'd known and been treated" or I can spend the next 30-35 years making my life the best it possibly can be. I choose the latter.
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Old 07-06-08, 03:17 PM
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Re: new to the forum - ADD has destroyed my life

You sound more ADHD than ADD, to be honest. [Your mouth's comments sound like a loose and active cannon. OMG]

LOL

DYK that You can have ADHD and not be PHYSICALLY 'hyper'.



That is how "hyperactivity" and "impulsivity" can manifest in females. e.g. talk too much, too fast, no filter...

Did you know that?
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Old 07-06-08, 03:34 PM
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Re: new to the forum - ADD has destroyed my life

Well my father died of a heart attack so it runs in my family, although he's the only one to die of a heart attack.

And yes I know that I have an impulsive mouth/no filter, and no I don't have any of the hyperactivity

and Kwalks post made me cry. I can't stop so I can't look at anyones posts anymore. I'll be back later!
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Old 07-06-08, 05:03 PM
amg7613 amg7613 is offline
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Re: new to the forum - ADD has destroyed my life

I had a very difficult time also...language-delayed (didn't talk until I was 4)...caught up in grade school, only to fall backwards in junior high and high school (switching classrooms, the organization, my constant daydreaming)...and did HORRIBLY! I did better in college because I made a conscious effort (but I didn't do ANYTHING because I was ALWAYS studying, or working).

Then, once I became a nurse it became glaringly obvious there was a problem...I wasn't sure what it was yet, I just knew there was something wrong...was diagnosed with ADHD in February. My coworkers made comments "Slow learner" etc. for my evaluation, and I thought, that's enough. I thought I just had anxiety. It isn't. All I have to say is that medication has changed my life...I am doing so much better. I lost some weight, my face broke out...but other than that, I find that I have a lot more free time because when I would ever get home from work I would still be freaking out from what happened there...it's ruined relationships...etc. For myself, I don't consider it an excuse, only an explanation...and now that I know what I have "against" me, I can take action to help fix it. Medication has side effects, but everything has it's ups and downs. The only way you know how medication will work for you is if you try...doesn't mean it will, doesn't mean it may be the best solution for you. It doesn't HAVE to destroy your life.
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Old 07-06-08, 05:08 PM
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Re: new to the forum - ADD has destroyed my life

On the internet and in person is a very different story, she had a lot to vent anyway!

AD/HD, ADD, ADHD-really it's all the same thing and same treatment anyways..
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