ADD Forums - Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder Support and Information Resources Community  

Go Back   ADD Forums - Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder Support and Information Resources Community > ADDForums FRONT OFFICE > New Member Introductions
Register Blogs FAQ Chat Members List Calendar Donate Gallery Arcade Mark Forums Read

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #16  
Old 04-01-12, 02:04 AM
DegreeHunter DegreeHunter is offline
ADDvanced Member
 

Join Date: Dec 2011
Location: Toronto, Ontario
Posts: 122
Thanks: 7
Thanked 44 Times in 34 Posts
DegreeHunter is on a distinguished road
Re: In med school and no I didn't try to get diagnosed with ADHD just to help me stud

I'm a med student as well, about half way through the system.

The things you described are exactly what I experienced. The sound of my own feet shuffling against the library carpet were enough to distract me and make me look under the table. I could not study at the library because if anybody around me moved their arm to pickup a pencil my eyes would be drawn to stare at their arm. I would sit in a little cubicle in a corner and try to focus, but I always had difficulties.

It took me time to come to terms with having ADHD since I had always been "smart" so to speak. I always found a way to sneak by with last minute cramming or doctors notes etc... but med school slapped me straight within the first month. There was too much to balance and cramming wasn't working because in medicine you have to UNDERSTAND concepts not just memorize a bunch of crap last minute.

I went ahead and got re-diagnosed and began taking medication and I immediately saw improvements in ALL aspects of my life. Even things like my organization, driving habits, time management improved and I was able to wakeup and goto bed on time for the first time in my life.

Studying while not on meds is very difficult for me... I can't read textbooks... and when I say can't read I literally mean I can't even get through 2 pages in a day it just doesn't happen. I've had to use a similar approach like you mentioned earlier. I'll learn actively instead of passively reading... flashcards, practice questions, talking to other students to have them explain me concepts etc... However, nothing compares to being able to sit down with a clear mind and just read my damn textbooks for the first time in my life.
__________________
ADHD: 1 Medications: 0
Reply With Quote
  #17  
Old 04-01-12, 02:52 PM
ILoveChaos ILoveChaos is offline
Member
 

Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: Midwest
Posts: 82
Thanks: 15
Thanked 97 Times in 45 Posts
ILoveChaos is on a distinguished road
Re: In med school and no I didn't try to get diagnosed with ADHD just to help me stud

Haha! My old enemy math. I remember we had to take speed tests in middle school and I always dominated those but once I got into any class where I had to memorize formulas and tons of rules I started to falter. I took AP Calculus my senior year (AP= advanced placement where you took a national standardized test at the end for college credit). Besides missing over 35 days of school that year due to a different problem, I could never pay attention which ended with me receiving a 1 (lowest score possible).

I always made really dumb errors in math (usually addition or subtraction) just because I ran through it too quick

One of the really noticeable things after being on meds I've noticed is that I don't fill out the wrong answer on bubble sheets because of carelessness and I'm not always the first one out of the room. My errors weren't enough to cause me to fail but were still frustrating.
Reply With Quote
  #18  
Old 04-02-12, 11:44 AM
ILoveChaos ILoveChaos is offline
Member
 

Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: Midwest
Posts: 82
Thanks: 15
Thanked 97 Times in 45 Posts
ILoveChaos is on a distinguished road
Re: In med school and no I didn't try to get diagnosed with ADHD just to help me stud

Quote:
Originally Posted by DegreeHunter View Post
I'm a med student as well, about half way through the system.

The things you described are exactly what I experienced. The sound of my own feet shuffling against the library carpet were enough to distract me and make me look under the table. I could not study at the library because if anybody around me moved their arm to pickup a pencil my eyes would be drawn to stare at their arm. I would sit in a little cubicle in a corner and try to focus, but I always had difficulties.

It took me time to come to terms with having ADHD since I had always been "smart" so to speak. I always found a way to sneak by with last minute cramming or doctors notes etc... but med school slapped me straight within the first month. There was too much to balance and cramming wasn't working because in medicine you have to UNDERSTAND concepts not just memorize a bunch of crap last minute.

I went ahead and got re-diagnosed and began taking medication and I immediately saw improvements in ALL aspects of my life. Even things like my organization, driving habits, time management improved and I was able to wakeup and goto bed on time for the first time in my life.

Studying while not on meds is very difficult for me... I can't read textbooks... and when I say can't read I literally mean I can't even get through 2 pages in a day it just doesn't happen. I've had to use a similar approach like you mentioned earlier. I'll learn actively instead of passively reading... flashcards, practice questions, talking to other students to have them explain me concepts etc... However, nothing compares to being able to sit down with a clear mind and just read my damn textbooks for the first time in my life.
Being able to read definitely helps. I went through high school and college without having to buy any of the textbooks (probably because I realized they were useless). Med school is a completely different beast.
Reply With Quote
Sponsored Links
  #19  
Old 04-03-12, 11:21 AM
lingslp lingslp is offline
Member
 

Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: USA
Posts: 58
Thanks: 43
Thanked 31 Times in 25 Posts
lingslp is on a distinguished road
Re: In med school and no I didn't try to get diagnosed with ADHD just to help me stud

I didn't read all the responses, but I will say that I was in grad school for speech pathology for a year before I had to leave the program due to my unmedicated/undiagnosed ADHD. I previously had graduated college in 3 years, taking over 20 credits a semester. So, all this to say: if you are having trouble, running into a wall, etc, the best thing you can do for yourself is to see a specialist! (which it seems you are doing.) I wouldn't hesitate to get on meds, either, if you have even the inkling that they might help. My biggest regret in life is that I didn't get help for my ADHD until it was too late (for my slp program, that is).
Reply With Quote
  #20  
Old 04-05-12, 10:26 PM
ILoveChaos ILoveChaos is offline
Member
 

Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: Midwest
Posts: 82
Thanks: 15
Thanked 97 Times in 45 Posts
ILoveChaos is on a distinguished road
Re: In med school and no I didn't try to get diagnosed with ADHD just to help me stud

I'm lucky enough to go to a school where they were more than ready to help any of us having any kind of behavioral problems. We have lectures throughout the year on handling stress, coping, etc. I went through about 6 months of trying different techniques and finally when nothing else worked, we tried the meds. For me, it was almost immediate. Looking back I probably should have listened to old girlfriends, professors, and classmates. I just always thought people were kidding when they asked me why I was so ADD.
Reply With Quote
  #21  
Old 04-06-12, 01:12 AM
antheia's Avatar
antheia antheia is offline
Jr Member
 

Join Date: Mar 2012
Location: Arkansas
Posts: 17
Thanks: 19
Thanked 6 Times in 5 Posts
antheia is on a distinguished road
Re: In med school and no I didn't try to get diagnosed with ADHD just to help me stud

Quote:
Originally Posted by ILoveChaos View Post
I also wouldn't say I "overcame" ADD. I just never had to study in high school and barely had to study in college. The speed and depth of the content was enough that I could usually grasp all of the material I needed to for a test in a short period of time.
This is exactly the same situation I'm in. I've never had to put much effort into any coursework until now, my senior year in college. My upper division classes are orders of magnitude harder than ANYTHING I've done before. I actually had to start READING my textbooks, AND start studying BEFORE the day before the test! That was pretty much impossible until I started taking meds.

I'm still struggling though. The meds aren't magic pills, unfortunately. I still have a lot of work to do with my therapist. I just hope I can get through without burning up the last of my financial aid by taking every class twice. All my classes up to now have been memorization and regurgitation, but now it's all about synthesizing everything I've learned in previous classes and incorporating it in to the new material I'm being given AND applying it all to understand and explain novel problems. It's a WHOLE different ballgame!

It sounds like you've really worked hard to address issues that will effect lasting change and didn't just settle for symptomatic relief from the meds. Kudos!! I hope I can get to where you're at.
Reply With Quote
  #22  
Old 04-06-12, 01:15 PM
ILoveChaos ILoveChaos is offline
Member
 

Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: Midwest
Posts: 82
Thanks: 15
Thanked 97 Times in 45 Posts
ILoveChaos is on a distinguished road
Re: In med school and no I didn't try to get diagnosed with ADHD just to help me stud

Thanks!

Although I'm going into a field where we give out drugs like candy (in the US at least), I've always tried to find a non-medical way to solve my problems. Sometimes that isn't enough. I don't know what you're majoring in but drawing stuff out is about the only way I can get information into my head in order to apply it in a question. I'm a big advocate for diet and exercise in helping ADHD, it really helps with the jitters and makes your focus better.
Reply With Quote
  #23  
Old 04-06-12, 01:57 PM
sarahsweets's Avatar
sarahsweets sarahsweets is offline
ADDvanced Forum ADDvocate
 

Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: nj, usa
Posts: 13,954
Thanks: 3,834
Thanked 14,959 Times in 6,762 Posts
sarahsweets has a reputation beyond reputesarahsweets has a reputation beyond reputesarahsweets has a reputation beyond reputesarahsweets has a reputation beyond reputesarahsweets has a reputation beyond reputesarahsweets has a reputation beyond reputesarahsweets has a reputation beyond reputesarahsweets has a reputation beyond reputesarahsweets has a reputation beyond reputesarahsweets has a reputation beyond reputesarahsweets has a reputation beyond repute
Re: In med school and no I didn't try to get diagnosed with ADHD just to help me stud

Quote:
Originally Posted by ILoveChaos View Post
Thanks!

Although I'm going into a field where we give out drugs like candy (in the US at least), I've always tried to find a non-medical way to solve my problems. Sometimes that isn't enough. I don't know what you're majoring in but drawing stuff out is about the only way I can get information into my head in order to apply it in a question. I'm a big advocate for diet and exercise in helping ADHD, it really helps with the jitters and makes your focus better.


How can diet and exercise help your focus? Do you mean physically you just feel better?
__________________
Go **bleep** yourself**

AND **bleep off**

I carried a watermelon?
Reply With Quote
  #24  
Old 04-06-12, 04:00 PM
ILoveChaos ILoveChaos is offline
Member
 

Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: Midwest
Posts: 82
Thanks: 15
Thanked 97 Times in 45 Posts
ILoveChaos is on a distinguished road
Re: In med school and no I didn't try to get diagnosed with ADHD just to help me stud

Diet and exercise have been proven to improve academic performance. There are tons and tons of factors that play into this. Eating healthy usually means eating foods that have beneficial components such as Omega-3's and anti-oxidants. This can help the brain maintain better function.

Exercise (especially running) is also proven to help focus and improve learning. Without getting into too much detail, it basically helps to improve the connections between brain cells and promotes growth of new neurons.

http://www.hhmi.org/news/sejnowski.html

That's just one of the first articles that comes up on Google, but the evidence is also in the primary literature. If you've never sat down to study after a run or any kind of cardio then you are missing out. I get about an hour of clearer thinking even without meds.

Without thinking about all that molecular science stuff, it still makes sense. A healthy diet would keep you at a healthy weight and you'll avoid foods that make you feel lethargic (Good ole' Micky D's). If you exercise and keep good cardiovascular health then that means that you cardiovascular system will work efficiently and that includes in the brain. If you're skeptical, just think of the runner's high which is a product of endorphins released from the brain. That is easy to feel but there are lots of other things going on.

Exercise and diet have also been shown to help improve sleep. Better sleep = better focus.

I could go on, and on, and on, and on. I honestly don't know how people with ADHD don't exercise but I also sit in a room and study for at least 10 hours a day so I'm not moving around a lot. Hopefully this answers your question.
Reply With Quote
The Following User Says Thank You to ILoveChaos For This Useful Post:
Marla911 (04-07-12)
  #25  
Old 04-06-12, 10:36 PM
ana futura's Avatar
ana futura ana futura is offline
ADDvanced Forum ADDvocate
 

Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: Skaro
Posts: 4,801
Thanks: 6,167
Thanked 6,149 Times in 3,033 Posts
ana futura has a reputation beyond reputeana futura has a reputation beyond reputeana futura has a reputation beyond reputeana futura has a reputation beyond reputeana futura has a reputation beyond reputeana futura has a reputation beyond reputeana futura has a reputation beyond reputeana futura has a reputation beyond reputeana futura has a reputation beyond reputeana futura has a reputation beyond reputeana futura has a reputation beyond repute
Re: In med school and no I didn't try to get diagnosed with ADHD just to help me stud

Quote:
Originally Posted by ILoveChaos View Post
While the meds have definitely helped I have to say that the one thing that has been the most profound is this: The knowledge that my brain doesn't work the same way as most other people.
Yes! Me too! For me it's the amazing self awareness that meds bring that's more helpful than anything else. If they didn't do that, I don't think I'd take them.

Not that you need to defend yourself against a year old comment, but I've never heard someone who takes stimulants for other things say this. I've compared experiences with a couple friends who've been prescribed adderall for "difficulty focusing due to depression" and their response does seem a fair bit different than mine. They don't seem to get any of that self awareness that is so striking to me.
Reply With Quote
  #26  
Old 04-06-12, 11:16 PM
ILoveChaos ILoveChaos is offline
Member
 

Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: Midwest
Posts: 82
Thanks: 15
Thanked 97 Times in 45 Posts
ILoveChaos is on a distinguished road
Re: In med school and no I didn't try to get diagnosed with ADHD just to help me stud

Quote:
Originally Posted by ana futura View Post
Yes! Me too! For me it's the amazing self awareness that meds bring that's more helpful than anything else. If they didn't do that, I don't think I'd take them.

Not that you need to defend yourself against a year old comment, but I've never heard someone who takes stimulants for other things say this. I've compared experiences with a couple friends who've been prescribed adderall for "difficulty focusing due to depression" and their response does seem a fair bit different than mine. They don't seem to get any of that self awareness that is so striking to me.
Yeah! What I always try to tell my friends is that its the THX drug. You know, whenever a movie uses surround sound and it starts off with all the different sounds and they all converge into the same tone? They never really understand it though. I guess because they don't hear every little thing around them and haven't had to make sensory deprivation chambers just to study.
Reply With Quote
The Following User Says Thank You to ILoveChaos For This Useful Post:
ana futura (04-07-12)
  #27  
Old 04-07-12, 12:50 AM
ana futura's Avatar
ana futura ana futura is offline
ADDvanced Forum ADDvocate
 

Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: Skaro
Posts: 4,801
Thanks: 6,167
Thanked 6,149 Times in 3,033 Posts
ana futura has a reputation beyond reputeana futura has a reputation beyond reputeana futura has a reputation beyond reputeana futura has a reputation beyond reputeana futura has a reputation beyond reputeana futura has a reputation beyond reputeana futura has a reputation beyond reputeana futura has a reputation beyond reputeana futura has a reputation beyond reputeana futura has a reputation beyond reputeana futura has a reputation beyond repute
Re: In med school and no I didn't try to get diagnosed with ADHD just to help me stud

Quote:
Originally Posted by ILoveChaos View Post
Yeah! What I always try to tell my friends is that its the THX drug. You know, whenever a movie uses surround sound and it starts off with all the different sounds and they all converge into the same tone? They never really understand it though. I guess because they don't hear every little thing around them and haven't had to make sensory deprivation chambers just to study.
Ha, that's really perfect. I was amazed by how different my vision seems. I usually just see a wall of information, and if I focus on one thing in particular it's just whatever strikes my fancy. Medicated I actually process visual information differently, it's far less overwhelming.

I'm also no longer afraid of unruly groups of teenagers (this has been a huge problem for me, I am a super nerd). Instead of being transfixed/ horrified by their eratic behavior and shouting I realize that they're only teenagers, not a mob of wolverines, and I can choose to ignore them if I want. I never thought I had much choice in how I interacted with my surrounding environment before.
Reply With Quote
  #28  
Old 04-07-12, 01:02 PM
ILoveChaos ILoveChaos is offline
Member
 

Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: Midwest
Posts: 82
Thanks: 15
Thanked 97 Times in 45 Posts
ILoveChaos is on a distinguished road
Re: In med school and no I didn't try to get diagnosed with ADHD just to help me stud

I think the social aspect is shadowed by the focus aspect. I had quite a few conversations about how my social interactions were which is one of the main things that my psychiatrist used to diagnose me. He would ask questions like, "What are your social interactions like? Do you stay in one group of people or to you move around from group to group? How long do your conversations last?". I didn't know that was a factor but I constantly move from group to group and will just start wandering around the bar when I get bored. I was with two of my girl friends one time and they were sitting on either side of me. They were talking about something and I pulled my laptop out and started playing solitaire and they were really amused/offended that I had to do that.

The awareness that not everyone picks up everything that's going on in a room has been relieving. I wouldn't do much in public because I thought everyone could see, even if they were doing something else because that was how I was. Again, I try to explain this to my friends and it's just really hard to do. I can still be very observant but now it's more because I choose to and not because I have to.
Reply With Quote
  #29  
Old 04-11-12, 01:03 PM
UMDman UMDman is offline
Newbie
 

Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: Maryland
Posts: 4
Thanks: 0
Thanked 2 Times in 1 Post
UMDman is on a distinguished road
Re: In med school and no I didn't try to get diagnosed with ADHD just to help me stud

I know this is late, but I don't think many people can study straight for 40 minutes without at least a subconscious or mental break. In fact, I've heard it's closer to 20 minutes at a time.

Give anyone stimulants and it's going to make them more productive...and happier, at least for a while. Right?
Reply With Quote
  #30  
Old 04-11-12, 05:41 PM
ILoveChaos ILoveChaos is offline
Member
 

Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: Midwest
Posts: 82
Thanks: 15
Thanked 97 Times in 45 Posts
ILoveChaos is on a distinguished road
Re: In med school and no I didn't try to get diagnosed with ADHD just to help me stud

Quote:
Originally Posted by UMDman View Post
I know this is late, but I don't think many people can study straight for 40 minutes without at least a subconscious or mental break. In fact, I've heard it's closer to 20 minutes at a time.

Give anyone stimulants and it's going to make them more productive...and happier, at least for a while. Right?
You may be right that the average adult has an attention span of only 20 minutes. There are some people that are truly like lasers for an hour at a time because they've trained their brain to be that way through hours and hours of study time. Most medical students are more in the range of 40 minutes, minus small breaks in focus that can easily be restored. All students aren't like that coming in but you should be able to improve through practice and just the sheer amount of studying we have to do. What I experienced was a break in focus any time anything moved or I heard a sound and it was really hard to re-establish. Plus I couldn't read so my attention span in that regard was about 2 sentences of text. Switching every 40 minutes to an hour is just a strategy to use to minimize the monotony of study.

Secondly, you're right in saying that short term use of stimulants can increase productivity (thought his is debatable, as some think it creates the perception that you're being more productive due to the correction of your reward circuit) . Long-term use in someone who doesn't have ADHD can actually cause hallucinations and like caffeine can have the opposite of the desired effect. (when you OD on caffeine you're heart rate slows and you start to get lethargic). I'm on a decent dose of Adderall (60mg/day) so unless they're just lying about the side effects, they should have happened. With the happiness, I assume you're talking about the euphoria experienced with meds? Or the relief from being able to be more productive? I don't have the euphoria anymore, I probably only had it for the first 2 days or so and I was glad when it went away. I will say my anxiety was helped by the fact that I could read and sit still.

It's definitely not too late for any kind of question. If there were a definitive test for ADHD I would do it but there isn't (excluding the thousands of dollars I would have to spend to get an fmri). Psych disorders are really tricky beasts. You can really have all the signs of a "disorder" but unless there is impairment of some aspect of your life it isn't classified as a true disorder. I wouldn't be on stimulants unless I felt that it was necessary. I'm kind of a health nut and fact that my Heart rate and blood pressure are always elevated freaks me out.

All I know is that I can sit still, I can read my notes, I don't go off into space day-dreaming for 20 minutes at a time and I feel like I interact with people without being so scatter-brained.

*Phew* That was a long reply for a short post.
Reply With Quote
Reply

Bookmarks


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Forum Jump


All times are GMT -4. The time now is 07:22 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.7.4
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
(c) 2003 - 2014 ADD Forums