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My Story

#1

My story is...complicated, at best. While I have never been "officially" diagnosed with ADD/ADHD by a psychiatrist/psychologist, I have been self-diagnosed and diagnosed by a family Doctor. By self-diagnosed, I mean to say that I have friends that have ADD and have spoken at length about my symptoms. It was suggested that I take a few tests online. I completed around 20 different tests, and read a lot if literature which all pointed to ADD/ADHD. After which, I spoke with my family Dr. and he suggested that I try medication (I was completing my masters at the time - about a month ago).

Stop. Rewind....to the beginning.

- At the end of grade 1 my parents were told that I should be held back because I "wouldn't stop talking to other students." I was held back.

- My mother says that I have always been a little OCD. Always washing my hands and keeping my belongings in "mint" condition. (Ask me about taking my personal books to school).

- Throughout school I loved to read, write, and be generally creative. Although, it would often take me twice as long to read something.

- I have always been highly emotional and very hyper-active. Often running through the house singing and dancing (still do).

- At around 18 years old I became depressed. I was working nights, stocking shelves, and had just broken up with my girlfriend. She told me that I was depressed and should go see a doctor. I did, and have been on anti-depressants ever since. I am not sure that I ever needed to be on anti-depressants, but it has been so long, that I am afraid of coming off of them.

- Over the next decade, I would work too many jobs to count (never seem to find something that fits my personality), as well as, go to University for many different occupations (again, never finding anything that feels right).

- Throughout my life I have always been extremely creative, but never seem to be able to finish (or sometimes start) any of my writing projects.

- I eventually developed anxiety and IBS, while my depression and OCD worsened (including unwanted thoughts).

- I have been in the same relationship for 12 years (married for three), but it has always been a struggle. I am extremely undependable, forgetful, horrible with money, need my space, emotionally unstable, anxiety ridden, negative, always late, interrupt conversations, and struggle to find purpose. While I constantly work on each of these aspects, and some have greatly improved, I still struggle.

- Since I was diagnosed with ADD, I have spoken to my family and friends and many of them say, "well, duh!" But, I have also realized that my father is incapable of sitting still, and constantly looking for something to "do". I also seem to have slight dyslexia, have always been a horrible speller, and can't seem to process grammar. I love to write, and would be extremely happy pursuing a path towards becoming an author, however I struggle to stick with any one project.

Well, that is my life, in brief. I am now 31 and need to make a change. I am still depressed, anxious, ocd, and suffer from IBS. I still have trouble finding contentment in the workforce and, while I just completed my masters in cultural studies, I still struggle to find a purpose. Currently I am trying Lisdexamfetamine Dimes, and don't really know what to think about it. I seem to be able read considerable faster, and focus on tasks for longer periods of time. However, I am taking 60 mg and feel unsure about the repercussions of such a high dose.

If anyone can offer any sort of help, anything at all, it would be greatly appreciated.

Thank you all so very much,

Dustin

#2

Hey Dustin! Hang in there! My brother is an adult with ADHD and it is just hard to find a career that matches you passion and energy. My son has ADD too and I hope I can help him navigate some of the pitfalls.

First of all I would start with a clean slate and go to a doctor to get formally diagnosed for whatever you have. Some ADD meds make anxiety worse and some help with OCD as well as ADHD but you need someone who knows their meds. Or you may decide to forgo meds altogether, we have both medicated and unmedicated in our family. Find what works for you.

A couple of things that really work for my brother and his family (he is completely unmedicated)…

Sit on a stability ball when you have to do paperwork, homework, or any mundane task that requires you to focus. This works so well, the principal of our school put the entire 4th grade on them for state testing.

Set up a community calendar (either a physical calendar hung somewhere or a shared calendar app). The rule of the house is that if it isn’t on the calendar you can’t be held responsible for missing it and conversely if you forget to put something on the calendar, your family can’t be held responsible for not knowing about it. He syncs his calendar every morning and adds reminders in his BlackBerry.

You are your own best resource. You will find your way.
Keep seeking!

#3

I have adult ADHD. Its a struggle everyday. MOstly not for me, but for the people around me. I take Methylphenidate. Ive taken it since I was a kid. Maybe you can try that

#4

Hi Dustin!

Medications are trial and error. Almost everyone I know with ADHD has gone through more than one med trying to find the balance between effectiveness and side effects. I only have one adult friend with adult ADHD and it seems that there is much less follow up and monitoring of adults. I think doctors seem to think the patient can manage better since they are adults - even though it makes better sense to follow more closely with someone with adhd symptoms!

It is hard to find a job that you are passionate about regardless of diagnosis. Spelling and grammar can be edited. With your creativity, all you need to write is a boost in focus power.

Set yourself a reminder to follow up with your prescribing doctor regularly until you find a med that works for you. Good luck!

#5

Thank you so much for the reply. It's always nice to hear that people are succeeding on, and off, of medication. It's also nice to see family helping each other out.

Thank you, as well, for your suggestions. My wife and I just downloaded a shared schedule app and so far it is making our lives much easier. As for the stability ball, I recently started back at an extremely boring desk job, so perhaps I will try a ball at work.

Thanks again!!

kfwellman said:

Hey Dustin! Hang in there! My brother is an adult with ADHD and it is just hard to find a career that matches you passion and energy. My son has ADD too and I hope I can help him navigate some of the pitfalls.

First of all I would start with a clean slate and go to a doctor to get formally diagnosed for whatever you have. Some ADD meds make anxiety worse and some help with OCD as well as ADHD but you need someone who knows their meds. Or you may decide to forgo meds altogether, we have both medicated and unmedicated in our family. Find what works for you.

A couple of things that really work for my brother and his family (he is completely unmedicated)...

Sit on a stability ball when you have to do paperwork, homework, or any mundane task that requires you to focus. This works so well, the principal of our school put the entire 4th grade on them for state testing.

Set up a community calendar (either a physical calendar hung somewhere or a shared calendar app). The rule of the house is that if it isn't on the calendar you can't be held responsible for missing it and conversely if you forget to put something on the calendar, your family can't be held responsible for not knowing about it. He syncs his calendar every morning and adds reminders in his BlackBerry.

You are your own best resource. You will find your way.
Keep seeking!
#6

Thanks, I will look into your suggestion!

BSB4Jackie said:

I have adult ADHD. Its a struggle everyday. MOstly not for me, but for the people around me. I take Methylphenidate. Ive taken it since I was a kid. Maybe you can try thatThanks

#7

Thanks so much for the support and encouragement. I want to create so badly but, most days, it is such a struggle. I appreciate the kind words.

3Gkids said:

Hi Dustin!

Medications are trial and error. Almost everyone I know with ADHD has gone through more than one med trying to find the balance between effectiveness and side effects. I only have one adult friend with adult ADHD and it seems that there is much less follow up and monitoring of adults. I think doctors seem to think the patient can manage better since they are adults - even though it makes better sense to follow more closely with someone with adhd symptoms!

It is hard to find a job that you are passionate about regardless of diagnosis. Spelling and grammar can be edited. With your creativity, all you need to write is a boost in focus power.

Set yourself a reminder to follow up with your prescribing doctor regularly until you find a med that works for you. Good luck!

#8

Hello thank you for sharing! I am not diagnosed but my husband said yeah, duh you got it. I guess I am u medicated and I think that if you want to write, my hubby says just write what’s in your head. If you do you will revise south it won’t matter! Plus you can get a co author. Do what you love, maybe go holistic mess. I wish you all the best!

#9

You are real descriptive in your writing, I was captivated, it was interesting , I bet you could be a good writer & your creativity will flow. at least for a hobby, gotta try, never know until you try..they make spell checkers, & co-authors..go for it..sky is the limit, you may amaze yourself & find something you really like to do..maybe you would write a kid book or a song..who knows, maybe get published..find an interesting topic & captavate us..