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Old 08-07-03, 03:49 PM
js_africanus js_africanus is offline
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js_africanus, rural Michigan

Howdy.

I was diagnosed with ADD--that's right, no H for me--when I was 23-ish. I've had more-or-less zero success in getting my act together since then.

I made it through college and ended up flunking out of a Ph.D. program, earning a terminal master's instead, because I had no idea how to study, or to motivate, yadda yadda.

The way that I was discovered was that my mom started working as a mental health nurse. After a year or so, she remarked that half the kids with ADD act identical to the way I was as a kid, and that perhaps it might be worth looking into. Evidently ADD was associated with hyperactivity and so I, a non-hyperactive kid, was never considered for any possible problem. I merely sat in the back of the class room and got by being able to retain things. In high school, the counselor would call me in once a semester to tell me that I wasn't living up to my potential (I always did well on the standardized tests) and then send me on my way.

Not much else to say. I floated aimlessly through college, unofficially dropping out right after getting diagnosed and starting Ritalin. Went back and finished as well as beginning Grad School For Beginners (I had to get my math skills up), and then went for the Ph.D. Although the Ritalin helped my focus, I never learned any ways to cope with the residual effects of ADD on my psyche & life skills set. I'm totally unequipped to exist in this society. It was in the Ph.D. program that I hit the limit of my ability to just retain information--even then I did pass one of my two qualifying exams, so it was still a close call.

From there I came home and have been sinking into deeper & deeper depression, trying things half-way and not being able to make anything good happen. Then my doc. suggested Strattera. I said, "Okay." About a week after starting that, I felt a significant jump in my mood. We upped the dose, and then about a week after that, there was another leap. At about the same time I saw on a Jeep at the bookstore a window sticker advertising a local dojo teaching Brazilian jiu jitsu. I had take judo in college and have wanted to try bjj for a few years now. Here was my chance. It's great therapy.

I have a job that doesn't make me suicidally bored. Hopefully it will turn into something I can actually live off of.

That's about it.
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Old 08-07-03, 11:57 PM
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Welcome to the ADD Forums, and thank you for the inspiring introduction
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Old 08-08-03, 12:19 AM
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Old 08-08-03, 10:12 AM
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Hi JS: Welcome to the Forums. It sounds like you're one of those people who has NEVER stopped trying....so good luck with the tools and strategies you have in place now..... Keep posting here and you will get lots of support.....
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Old 08-08-03, 11:03 AM
js_africanus js_africanus is offline
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Quote:
Originally posted by joanrdtobe
It sounds like you're one of those people who has NEVER stopped trying....
To be frank, I've never really tried. I've always followed the path of least resistance, for the most part, with the only exception being the Ph.D. thingie--and even that was to a significant extent motivated by the fact that a job would have been boring and school would be fun. C'est la guerre
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Old 08-08-03, 11:25 AM
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Quote:
Originally posted by js_africanus

To be frank, I've never really tried. I've always followed the path of least resistance, for the most part, with the only exception being the Ph.D. thingie--and even that was to a significant extent motivated by the fact that a job would have been boring and school would be fun. C'est la guerre

Just my opinion (and again just my opinion), but I think you give yourself FAR too little credit......you've come a lot further with your life than even a lot of non-ADD'ers....but actually that's not saying much either....so let's just say it doesn't sound like the path of least resistance to me....just sounds like a path.....and if what you've done doesn't qualify as trying, I'd be curious as heck to see where you would be right now if you HAD tried....
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Old 08-12-03, 03:48 PM
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Welcome to the forum . I enjoyed your story. Look forward to seeing you post more.

MightyMouse

P.S. Out of complete and total curiosity, what were you studying in your Ph.D. program?
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Old 08-12-03, 04:11 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by MightyMouse
...what were you studying in your Ph.D. program?
Economics.
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Old 08-12-03, 04:16 PM
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no wonder you quit!! My wife is an accountant and I fall asleep just thinking about that stuff! Now, Biochemistry and Neurophysiology!! That will get your motor running, put some hair on your chest , as the adage goes!!
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Old 08-12-03, 04:22 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by MightyMouse
...Neurophysiology....
That was the first specialization that I wanted to go into as an undergrad--well, neuralpsychology anyway. I didn't have the attention span, motivation, inter alia, required to watch rats for hours on end and ended up with an incomplete in my applied research class. Ugh.

Now I actually like econ more than psych, and I'm glad to see the two fields meshing in the form of behavioral economics. But once again, the path of least resistance: 20 hours brain damaged rats scampering around kept me from persuing that field. Don't get me started on what kept me out of cognitive psychology.
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Old 08-12-03, 04:34 PM
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I am the opposite. I tried accounting - not exactly economics, but at least similar - first and just could not stand the bordom of it all. I tried engineering after that, which was a complete failure and made me flunk out. When I finally went back, I was working in a Biochemistry lab and realized how much I loved the field, so I got a B.S. in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology. When I finished there I had taken so many elective in microbiolgy and neurophysiology/neuropsychology that I only lacked like 3 classes for a second Bachelors, so I went back and got it. A lot of good it has done me so far though. Now, I am a Masters student getting a masters in Divinity and one in Counseling. I have applied to Medical School, though and will find out about that later this year.
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Last edited by MightyMouse; 08-12-03 at 04:40 PM..
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Old 08-12-03, 04:51 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by js_africanus

Don't get me started on what kept me out of cognitive psychology.
JS~ Welcome!

You sound quite brilliant; I look forward to reading more of "your take on this world." I understand the muck we can get ourselves into by always opting for the path of least resistance.... I took one psych course, go totally bored with the "un-fun" aspects of earning a psych degree (statistics, etc., not to mention the teacher was such a WANK of a teacher) that I was turned off. It was actually during reading the textbook for this course (a totally a**blowing waste of paper) that I realized something must have been wrong with my learning abilities if I was highlighting the entire page for my "notes." Looking back, I realize now that was just my ADD being blitzed with every single thought and word on the page, not quite remembering the first part of the paragraph by the time I was at the end of it. I blamed the book and the teacher (OK, he REALLY sucked--the entire class voiced their disapproval while he was teaching!) and decided psych wasn't for me.

If only I had known then what I know now about myself.... I now want to go back to school for a MA in psych...even become a LPC--Licensed Professional Counselor and work with ADDults. In a perfect world, I'd work with ADDults and go to school, but those stinkin' bills and debts are in my way! zut alors!
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Old 08-13-03, 11:31 AM
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Quote:
Originally posted by smooch
...I realized something must have been wrong with my learning abilities if I was highlighting the entire page for my "notes."
Yeah, I can't highlight because I can't tell the important sentences & phrases from the trivial. I see one Very Important part, then another part that is only marginally less important, so I had better highlight that as well. Repeat until entire text is highlighted.
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Old 08-13-03, 11:44 AM
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js_africanus: I do the exact same thing! I thought I was the only one with that problem! If you ever get a chance read Mooney's book, Learning Outside the lines, they have a section about doing that and ways to pick out what is important. It helped me a little bit and I am not taking nearly as long to read and take notes anymore.

MM
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Old 08-13-03, 02:14 PM
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I taught note-taking strategies to my fourth graders and then later to sixth graders (and myself in the process!! )...pre-reading/looking through the boldfaced words, headings, section questions, etc. to get an overview of what you're about to read--draws upon any prior knowledge you have on the topic. Then reading the assigned text. Then going back and taking notes using various methods. It sounds like a l-o-o-o-o-ng and boring process, and true, most kids moaned and groaned about having to "read the SAME thing THREE times," but once they found that when they tailored it to their own styles and that the system actually worked, well...that was one of those really cool teaching moments. I told them that taking notes was like eating a bowl of Lucky Charms, and they totally understood--and loved-- the analogy.

Unfortunately, I still do get hi-lite happy from time to time, but it's a lot better than it used to be.
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