PDA

View Full Version : Any experiences with dealing with adult ADD


w00tmaster
Jul 25, 2004, 08:21 PM
Hi all,
I was diagnosed as a child with ADD, but never did anything about it. I was able to get through high school/college usually on wits alone, as I found it really difficult to get any work done. However, recently it has really impeded my research. I show almost all the symptoms, restlessness, inattention to detail, rambling on when I talk, disorganization etc. so I made a doctor's appointment to see a doctor on Tuesday and was wondering if anyone on these forums has had problems with Adult ADD. If you did, how do you deal with it? Do you take any medications(Strattera is a non-stimulant based medication that looks promising)? What behavorial modifcations do you make? Are there alternative solutions?
Any insight would be greatly appreciated.

Chip NoVaMac
Jul 25, 2004, 10:15 PM
Until you talked of your "adult" life, never thought about it much. But some of what you talk about I can sincerely see in myself.

rainman::|:|
Jul 25, 2004, 10:31 PM
in terms of people i know with ADD, it seems like behavior modification is most helpful in combination with medication, on it's own it's not always that effective... it's best for particular situations that are troublesome, like meetings and traffic. Mostly it's an attempt to get you to have better habits in those cases. I wish you well on your way towards finding a medication, remember certain drugs work for certain people, and you may have to try a few before you find balance.

paul

bodyquake
Jul 26, 2004, 01:59 AM
Hi all,
I was diagnosed as a child with ADD, but never did anything about it. I was able to get through high school/college usually on wits alone, as I found it really difficult to get any work done. However, recently it has really impeded my research. I show almost all the symptoms, restlessness, inattention to detail, rambling on when I talk, disorganization etc. so I made a doctor's appointment to see a doctor on Tuesday and was wondering if anyone on these forums has had problems with Adult ADD. If you did, how do you deal with it? Do you take any medications(Strattera is a non-stimulant based medication that looks promising)? What behavorial modifcations do you make? Are there alternative solutions?
Any insight would be greatly appreciated. Hi W, See what Boston Uni found out about intracranial circulation in some ADD people. Then talk to a Chiropractor accredited for doing upper cervical work (I'm not one , by the way). If your atlas, upper back and pelvis are in alignment and your diet is sound without too much sugar and artificials, things should improve. Good luck!

sonofslim
Jul 26, 2004, 09:33 AM
i work for a magazine about family life and healthy living with ADD. it's aimed at both adult ADDers and parents of children with AD/HD, so the parenting stuff may not be too useful for you. but the adult-oriented content is a pretty good blend of medical advice, tips for social & business interactions, first-hand accounts by people who have learned (or are learning) to manage their ADD, etc.

if you PM me with your name & address i'll toss a sample copy in the mail for you.

Abstract
Jul 26, 2004, 10:42 AM
I have ADD. :)

I just take Ritalin when I have to do work or study, and I don't on other days. I feel good without ritalin, and also survived through highschool just fine, except in English class. It wasn't that I got bad grades, but I never managed to finish any of the exams because they always required you to write an essay or something, and I would only complete half. :( Anyway, I would have failed Uni if I didn't get diagnosed, so thank god I looked into it.

Actually, I've been in a bit of a bad situation recently because I'm in Australia for 1 year, and they won't give me ritalin unless I go through a psychologist first. Fair enough, but that costs way too much money, and on top of that, they said they may want me to take the test again. It costs a lot of money to take that darn test! So that's probably over $1000 to get more ritalin. I have around 35 tablets left until mid-November, and I would normally take 3 x 10mg tablets per day. Now I can't take any to class, to my research lab, or anywhere else. I take some when I study for tests and exams, and even then I have to seriously limit myself.

What are some behavioural alterations I can do to improve things? I've never really read up on it.

ExoticFish
Jul 26, 2004, 12:12 PM
i have ADD and depression (hurray!) so they put me on Welbutrin which they will perscribe for both things. it helps a lot but not 100% for the ADD. there are certain things that i do to help me concentrate. getting at least 8 hours of sleep a night helps a lot as does not waiting too late in the evening to start doing things that require concentration. every once in a while it helps a lot if i take a day off and just relax and do absolutely nothing. ;)

wdlove
Jul 26, 2004, 08:14 PM
I hope that you will get proper diagnosis and treatment w00tmaster. The important thing is that you realize that you need help. You are to be congratulated for seeking help. Will look forward to hear how your appointment on Tuesday turns out.

rhpenguin
Jul 27, 2004, 04:40 AM
I have ADD and have been living with it for many years now. In the past i have used ritalin, but found that it just drained me. The last few years i have been using marijuana to help keep myself in check (Im really not a fan of medications and want to go with a more natural approach). Usually a few times daily, i use my volcano vaporizer (http://shop.grasscity.com/shop/grasscity/vapormed.html) and it helps me keep on track. This is what i do, and it may be something that your totaly not comfortable with or want to even consider, but im just offering some input.

Hope that things do work out and you get the help required.

Abstract
Jul 27, 2004, 05:12 AM
WTF? You can get marijuana to treat ADD?!?

Is it an Ontario thing, or is this a London-only trial? I've never heard of such a thing. I haven't noticed that my symptoms waned when I smoked weed, but I've never done it sober. :p

Anyway, can someone tell me what behavioural alterations are, if they actually help (I can't believe they do), and whether or not they help for you or someone you know? I've heard of diet alterations, but I'm not really looking into that, although I don't drink coffee because of the caffeine. I know that some people say that caffeine helps, but it makes my head spin, like I'm drunk or something. :( A can of coke doesn't have as much of an effect.

w00tmaster
Jul 27, 2004, 07:56 AM
a good book on the subject(as well as treatment and behavioral modifications you can make) is Out of the Fog by Kevin Murphy, you can find it here: http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detail/-/0786880872/qid=1090932859/sr=8-1/ref=pd_ka_1/103-8059358-4919026?v=glance&s=books&n=507846

rhpenguin
Jul 27, 2004, 12:49 PM
WTF? You can get marijuana to treat ADD?!?

If your doctor gives you the green light and you meet Healh Canada's requirements (which was a gigantic pain in the ass), you most certantly can smoke legaly. But there has to be good reason... You cant just go in off the street and have them say "oh.... you can now smoke pot". This
article (http://www.cbc.ca/news/background/marijuana/medical_marijuana.html) may proide some insight for you.

Now I am not officially recognized as one who can legally smoke, but its already been discussed with my psychian and he will go to bat for me in the case that "johnny law" starts stickin his nose in my business. I have applied for legal status, but im just waiting to hear back.

winwintoo
Jul 27, 2004, 01:28 PM
Before I was dx'd with ADD (and other mental problems) I was a basket case. Couldn't concentrate, my mind was always flitting off in all directions etc. If you've got it, you know what I'm talking about.

Then I got a job as a telephone operator in the early days of computer driven telephone exchanges. Of course, just because they could, they kept track to the 1/100 th of a second how long it took us to do anything. My performance was dismal. One day I had a cold and my supervisor gave me some Sudafed (the active ingredient is psuedoephedrine) The effect was magic. My performance shot up. Within minutes of taking that first pill, my average time per call went from 27 seconds to 17 seconds - do the math, that's quite a jump.

I thought I had it made. From there I went on to launch my programming career and used Sudafed daily to help me concentrate and get any work done. Wonderful.

But all the people I worked with were a$$h0|$, my boss was an idiot, the company was unfair, the job was horrible, I hated everybody and everything, breaking a pencil lead would send me into a blind rage and by the end of the day, I couldn't see, but boy could I concentrate!!

Needless to say, I no longer have the job, and it's taken me years to recover from that abuse of my system.

Somewhere along there I was dx'd with ADD and tried Ritalin and several other meds but combined with the negative effects of the Sudafed, none worked. By the time I finally realized the problem with Sudafed I was also suffering from major depression and needed Prozac.

My experience is extreme, but there is some evidence that cold medication does settle the brain of an ADD sufferer and help them concentrate - in fact when I have a cold now with or without meds, I can concentrate better.

As far as behavior things, I read somewhere about a study where they gave ADDers a clicker to carry and the constant action of clicking the thing helped them settle - watch a kid with his Gemeboy. Also, they say that kids with ADD do well in activities like martial arts.

I know I've rambled on, but I know I'm not the first person to try this self-medication route and wanted to raise a red flag if I could.

Hope you find the help you need, M

MongoTheGeek
Jul 27, 2004, 03:58 PM
Then I got a job as a telephone operator in the early days of computer driven telephone exchanges. Of course, just because they could, they kept track to the 1/100 th of a second how long it took us to do anything. My performance was dismal. One day I had a cold and my supervisor gave me some Sudafed (the active ingredient is psuedoephedrine) The effect was magic. My performance shot up. Within minutes of taking that first pill, my average time per call went from 27 seconds to 17 seconds - do the math, that's quite a jump.

Not surprising Sudafed is Pseudephedrine. A kissing cousin of Benzadrine aka speed. This is what is used to treat ADD clinically.

I have been called by people with ADD the poster child for it. I have not been formally diagnosed(I have an intense dislike for pshrinks, I find them not only condescending but unworthy of being condescending.)

As for what I do... I keep notes to keep me on task, I watch for my mind wandering and try to force it back to the task at hand. A lot of mental discipline and practice allow you to succeed. I know that I can enter what for me is an almost zen state which I assume approaches normalcy for most people.

Practice is the big thing. Pick one topic or item and focus on it.

Abstract
Jul 27, 2004, 09:56 PM
As far as behavior things, I read somewhere about a study where they gave ADDers a clicker to carry and the constant action of clicking the thing helped them settle - watch a kid with his Gemeboy.

Ah, so that explains my love of clicking pens. If it doesn't click, I probably won't even use it. :p

Sometimes, I bring my pen around with me when there's no paper, and nothing to write down. It just sits in my fleece's pocket, there to click a few times whenever I get the urge.

MongoTheGeek
Jul 27, 2004, 11:02 PM
Ah, so that explains my love of clicking pens. If it doesn't click, I probably won't even use it. :p

Sometimes, I bring my pen around with me when there's no paper, and nothing to write down. It just sits in my fleece's pocket, there to click a few times whenever I get the urge.

Or try bouncing your legs. It can be murder on the ankles but it works fairly well.

I knew a woman once (a congressional aide actually) who got all 4 limbs twitching at different rates. She also knew over 100 digits of pi. Not many women like that out there.

winwintoo
Jul 27, 2004, 11:13 PM
My elderly Mom would ride in my car and fiddle with a plastic bag - the kind that makes lots of noise when you worry it in your hands. It would drive me nuts so I'd make her put all her packages in the trunk before she got in the car and she would get so mad at me. I just dawned on me that maybe the noise of the bag is like your clicking pen. Oops :o

You would think that as strangely wired as I am I would not be good at repetitive tasks. In fact, I would do real well on an assembly line where I could do the same thing over and over again for 8 hours without having to think about it. My mind would be somewhere else entirely, but they wouldn't be paying me for my mind.

I think that's why I managed so poorly as an employee in an IT sweatshop - they were paying me to bring my brain to work and my brain wanted to be somewhere else - it was a constant battle that I just couldn't win (the battle between me and my brain I mean)

Take care, M

w00tmaster
Jul 29, 2004, 11:58 AM
I went to the doctor's office, and there was no wait, amazing for a doctor. I sat down in the doctor's office and told him why I thought I had add(I was diagnosed as a child, trouble concentrating, talking too much/too fast, problems organizing stuff etc) and he gave me for free a 1 month supply of Wellbutrin. He said that it is almost identical to Strattera, but since you can get Wellbutrin generically, it's much cheaper. I have an appointment in a month, I mean it's too early to say if there is an effect, but it should be interesting.

winwintoo
Jul 29, 2004, 12:13 PM
Good luck. Half the battle is recognizing and accepting that you have this different ability in your life and harness it when it seems to be working in your favor.

I got a lot of comfort from reading a book called Driven to Distraction (http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detail/-/0684801280/ref=ase_newideasnet/002-4698961-6556053?v=glance&s=books) It's not a new book, but it sure opened my eyes to the fact that I was not alone. If you have anyone around you that's trying to understand what you're experiencing, it's a good book for them as well.

I hope the Wellbutrin works for you. It come in a variety of strengths and I found that sometimes less is more when it comes to dosage.

Take care, m