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  1. #1
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    Default ADD/ADHD

    Has anyone been tested as an adult, and started treatment and thought it was worthwhile? If so, what sort of treatment did you try, and what worked?

    The young lady that works for me at the barn is my BFF's daughter, and I've been very involved in her schoolwork. In teaching her barn chores, and in working with her on schoolwork, I became very suspicious that she might have an issue with processing directions and staying on track. Finally convinced her mom to have her evaluated and yep, I was right. She was strongly positive on the test that was administered to her. She was started on medication and it has been like dealing with a totally different child.

    She is much more task focused, grades came up to straight A's her junior year (with no hand holding from me or her mom) and she can pretty much run the whole barn now. Now, of course, she isn't perfect. She *is* still a teenager who has one ear listening to the buzz of her cell phone text alert at all times, so she still misses things on occasion, but truly, her on meds and off meds is like two different children.

    I've done a good bit of research in the last few months, looking for other things that will help her -- when she goes off to college in a year, I won't be there to make lists for her, and to ensure that any new directions are super clear, so I'm trying to help her build in those coping skills for herself.

    As I researched, I began to see - gulp - myself. Now, I know that it is quite common to read about any medical condition and to be able to convince yourself that you have it too -- I am certain most doctors just hate websites like WebMD. But, seriously, I've always been told that I have never "lived up to my potential" and I've assumed for almost 20 years that I've hated my choice of career, but have never found a replacement for it.

    What if I don't really hate my job, but my problems in focusing are something entirely different? I know that ADD/ADHD is under diagnosed in girls, and perhaps the truth is that I'm lazy and I just don't really want to do anything that really looks like work, but I don't think that is it.

    I am scheduled for a very extensive evaluation in August, but I'd love to hear any stories from you guys -- is it possible that I've gotten to my 40s, been moderately successful (though my dad was terribly disappointed in me, because "I could have really been somebody" when he died) and such an issue has just never been discovered?

    I've got lots of "tricks" that I use on a daily basis to remember to do things, and build routines for things like barn chores -- which has made me think I've come up with a lot of ways to compensate on my own over the years. I don't know if I'd be a candidate for meds, even if the evaluation suggests that they'd be helpful, as my doctor is worried about the cardiac risks, but I would really like to continue to work on being more efficient -- I hate the days I spend staring at the computer screen and not accomplishing a darn thing.

    Any stories y'all could share?

    thanks!
    *Proud member of the Hoof Fetish Clique*
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  2. #2
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    In your research on these conditions you may have come across that they are not always self standing, but co-morbid with other similar problems.

    Any time you can get to know yourself better and why you do what you do, knowledge alone is power to handle what is to come better.
    There are some forums for people with ADD/ADHD that may be interesting for you to read.
    Some may be under autism spectrum disorders, where that seems to be part of some autistic traits, although not necessarily so.

    The professional that examines and determines if you can be helped and why is who can help you best.

    Never too late to know more.
    Good luck!

    As for that young lady, there are special education protocols for all schools, including college, that can help her cope, have her check into them.
    The accommodations for such students in colleges can make the difference from being able to study there or dropping out, have helped many make it thru college.
    Have her check into that.
    it is so nice that you could help her.



  3. #3
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    My daughter has ADD with some autism spectrum traits, and has benefited greatly from treatment. We're still tweaking her meds as she doesn't have the hyperactivity component, and so doesn't do well on such traditional ADHD meds as ritalin and adderal (well, adderal is a possible one for when she is in school) but she did ok on strattera. It does make her very grumpy though when her dose wears off, so she only takes it during the school year. She takes an antidepressent the rest of the year and that seems to help with both focus and mood.

    She is a GREAT kid and I saw her grades improve significantly with medication and cognitive behavioral therapy. She already focuses well on the horses (and her barn chores are fine - I've never known her to be distracted at the barn - she has a laser-like focus when she LIKES something - that's another trait LOL). But her focus on stuff she doesn't like is improving quite a bit.



  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bluey View Post
    In your research on these conditions you may have come across that they are not always self standing, but co-morbid with other similar problems.

    Any time you can get to know yourself better and why you do what you do, knowledge alone is power to handle what is to come better.
    This above.

    I self-diagnosed myself in my late 20's back when it really wasn't popular, (now in my 50's - it's been around that long!) but I knew something wasn't working quite right, and sought out, and found, excellent counseling. Also formally diagnosed in late 30's, although we knew what the result would be. I don't think the "official diagnosis" made much of a difference, except one could get meds I suppose. Personally, I have a quirky system that is sensitive to many meds (let alone that I can't hold my liquor!) so meds never really helped that much. They did while in place, but there was always a depressive/irritable come down from them that really made them difficult to sustain, and I tried a few. So I rarely used them, except when I returned to college for a year about 5 years ago. They helped some in getting the big projects/studying for exams accomplished. But when hit with a timeline, without meds, I can almost accomplish the same thing.

    The best thing, IMO, about this diagnosis, is being armed with the knowledge of it.

    HOWEVER, I HATE the negative connotation that so many love to attach to it. That has originated with schools and teachers who are too put out to make small accommodations, and wish to have little dull soldiers in the classroom, plus the administrators who insist on meds. My son's best accommodation? Putting him in the front of the room. But I had teachers who would not do this, requiring full labeling, and written instructions and hearings to do so. Didn't happen - working on school work rather than jumping through hoops was what we did. I was in this battle with two of my son's schools, although he had several individual teachers who were wonderful, and really spring-boarded him into new and different interests. The others, who insisted on the militaristic/perfect child approach, had him wondering and questioning his own value. You know, the kind who glare at a 5 year old for looking out the window?!? I think as his advocate, he has grown into a very good person, rather than what could have been an angry kid. Kudos to you for recognizing the difference in your young charge. One common trait - we/they are very susceptible, and can tune in on, others feelings. If it's full of negativity, it can really make us/them want to hide under a rock.

    True, I now understand how different I am - why I am disappointed in others who are just not as intuitive, or sensitive as I am. I frankly think lots of others are, well, just boring! And I realize I'm sensitive, but it doesn't make it any easier.

    For me the most painful part was doing exceptionally well in school, then having an awful time in college, starting out in an Ivy League school, disappointing my parents, and being lambasted by my mother, who up until then, was my biggest cheerleader. Over the years, however, I also sadly realized she's a fair weather person, who if things don't go well for you, did not have the skills to help, only yell some more. Erggh. Guess so many of that generation couldn't anyway, but knowing the difference prompted me to read up, and learn as much as I could about ADD/ADHD.

    Bottom line is, I think it is truly a positive. That so many original ideas, and well driven individuals have this as a characteristic - this difference, as opposed to disability. Several books cite so many inventors/entrepreneurs/successes who are so "gifted". I truly think we wouldn't have arrived at this side of the pond without the explorers who were driven to find better lives elsewhere.

    For me, the best treatment is to become informed, and to be good to yourself. Find excellent counselors for the times you have it hard getting through. My ex was also ADD, and counseling helped me get through until it just wasn't doable. Have had others in my life that I can see are the same way. Really helps to be able to see the difference, and perhaps not take some things personally.

    But bottom line, the best part is knowing it about yourself, giving yourself a break when needed, and the pep talk needed to get yourself back on track.

    Good luck with your exploration of this new area. And by the way, my counselor observes that "if you've done this well so far, you probably have a pretty good brain (intelligence)".

    PS I've also found that a good heart pumping workout (which I haven't done enough of lately!) is a really good way for me to get moving and accomplish quite a bit! I'd better get going!
    Being right half the time beats being half-right all the time. Malcolm Forbes



  5. #5
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    Y'all might want to read up on the research done for Omega-3 deficiency and ADD/ADHD. Some studies have shown it more effective than the standard meds. It probably depends a lot on the individual, but it's worth a look.

    My stepson is an extremely hyper, disorganized child. We did the testing, and the counselor said he has ADHD. His teacher, however, knowing how uncomfortable DH and I are with the meds, suggested Omega 3. Change was slow, but it has had a huge effect.
    Jer 29: 11-13



  6. #6
    Bensmom is offline Grand Prix Premium Member
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    Wow! Lots of good information!

    It has been so interesting to watch the my Goddaughter deal with the diagnosis and how it has changed her outlook on life. On the one hand, she is so much more confident, because her grades reflect just how smart she is, and the constant refrain from teachers and her mother about her just "being lazy" has stopped.

    On the other hand, there are some aspects that make her feel like she has something "wrong" with her. She will skip her meds sometimes, and I know that is only because she has a lingering feeling that she has to be medicated because she is not "normal." She is fortunate in that Adderall has been a miracle drug for her and has no side effects, but still, sometimes I think she is embarrassed to need to take it and will skip it. It is so very, very obvious when she hasn't taken it. I have talked extensively with her about the fact that the diagnosis doesn't mean she is defective in any way, it just means her brain is wired differently.

    And she is fortunate too in that her creativity is not depressed by taking the meds -- I know that some people feel that when they take medication, it adversely affects the creative genius side of themselves.

    I'm also learning about how eating right, getting enough sleep and taking my vitamins can help! And sometimes on a bad day, where my brain is just foggy, I am better off to just stay home.

    I am looking forward to the evaluation though, as I am a junkie for learning more about myself and as Bluey said above, that is always a good thing!
    *Proud member of the Hoof Fetish Clique*
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    I have Higher Standards ...do you? Find us on FB!
    Higher Standards Custom Leather Care -- Handcrafted Saddle Soap



  7. #7
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    Definitely second the omega 3 connection - dd does take omega 3 supplements and we feel that they help a LOT. But in conjunction with meds, not in place of them, unfortunately.



  8. #8
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    My son was diagnosed ADD (no H) in 10th grade. He started taking ritalin and the change in his ability to focus was remarkable.

    Very long story short he was, with the help of counseling, meds, and some accommodations able to graduate from university with a degree in computer & electrical engineering.

    Today he has a job he loves, a lovely wife, and a new baby. The meds helped him develop the potential he has. I always treated the medication as a tool, like glasses or a hearing aid. Don't know if that's why he never felt less than normal taking it but he felt far more "normal" in school when he was able to focus and keep up than he did without it. Now, just short of his 29th birthday, he just doesn't give a flip what anyone thinks.

    As an adult, he still takes ritalin when he needs it and in almost 15 years has never had an adverse side effect from it.



  9. #9
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    I was on Celexa for anxiety/depression for years before i finally took myself to a therapist as well. Didn't take her long to suggest that ADHD non-hyperactive, primarily inattentive was my REAL issues. The anxiety over being 'low-performing' and the subsequent depression over being 'a failure' were secondary to the ADHD. She suggested the book "Driven to Distraction," which was written by a psychiatrist with ADHD. It was so spot on I cried.
    Life-long horse lover, dreaming of the day when I have one of my very own.



  10. #10
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    I was diagnosed with the "inattentive" type when I was 31, after reading a health newsletter about adults with ADD/ADHD from my employer's health insurance provider. I'd been struggling for years and everything listed as the symptoms seemed to "fit" what I was experiencing. I found a psychologist to do the testing and she said I was a "textbook case."

    I did not start on meds for the ADD right away, though my GP did start me off on Lexapro to treat the anxiety and severe depression. I didn't really care for the Lexapro so we tried Cymbalta and that helped a bit more. It wasn't until the following year that I decided to try meds for the ADD itself, and took Adderall XR for about a year with some good results. However, I also continued to see the psychologist to learn how to manage the ADHD and some of the ways it "complicates" things.

    Lost my job two months after the initial diagosis - I had a supervisor at work who was unwilling to comply with HR's instructions regarding accommodations, even though it was covered by the ADA. All for the best, though. The same supervisor had created such a hostile work environment for me that I was deeply depressed and went to bed every night hoping I just wouldn't wake up because I was so anxious about going to work again the next day. I barely slept, barely ate, lost a bunch of weight (but not in a "healthy" way), and was in pretty bad shape.

    The stereotypes about ADHD used to bother me a lot more. Either people would completely doubt its existence and say that ADHD is just an "excuse to be lazy," or they acted like they were some kind of expert on it because someone they knew had a kid with ADHD.

    I even lost a few friendships when I got my diagnosis; some people seem to think that ADHD = stupid. People who'd known me for years, and who I'd had fun, lively, intelligent conversations with, just stopped talking to me or they would speak to me like they were talking to a child who didn't understand "big words."

    Horses, as it turns out, have been my "therapy" for years even before I was diagnosed. They're the one thing that has kept me going when I hit my low points.
    Please copy and paste this to your signature if you know someone, or have been affected by someone who needs a smack upside the head. Lets raise awareness.



  11. #11
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    To start with: everyone with ADHD should read this. It's absolutely hilarious (it's from Hyperbole and a Half):

    A Detailed Analysis of What it’s Like Having Severe, Uncontrolled ADHD (and Probably Several Other Undiagnosed Psychological Issues) and Also Needing to Deposit Money in Your Bank Account so That You Can Afford to Purchase More ADHD Medication: A True Story

    I have ADHD-PI (predominantly inattentive... no hyperactivity).

    There is zero doubt about the diagnosis; I had a friend once tell me that I was like a puppy (if I'm not looking at someone, I'm not listening).

    I abandon tasks part of the way through without realizing it. To the point of, I will stop writing mid-word to do something else... and not even realize that's what happened until half an hour later when I try to re-focus.

    I always have 3 or 4 internet browser windows open, with 15+ tabs open in each.

    I'm terrible at doing math by hand because of a really annoying number transposing problem. Once in grad school, I was once our "secretary" in a stats study session. I moved a decimal point over a place at some point in the process, and it took our group about 10 minutes to figure out how we got a correlation of 12. I wasn't allowed to be secretary anymore. Oops.

    I don't read top-to-bottom or left-to-right. I sort of... skim and let my eyes jump all over the place. The middle, the top, the bottom. It works really well for things that only require you have the gist, like novels (I read those really fast!)... but terrible for reading academic things. It took me AGES to train myself to read like a "normal person" when I got to grad school

    Despite trying very, very hard... I'm perpetually running late.

    No matter how much time or physical space I am given, I will somehow manage to fill every last bit of it.

    I'm fortunate to be quite smart and to have adapted well to the issue. I've always been a good student, and am a fully funded PhD student in a top program now. From my senior year of college (diagnosis) to my third year of grad school, I was taking stimulants. Unfortunately I became sensitized to stimulants, and had to discontinue them. My resting heart rate stayed above 110 for about six months after discontinuance (and let me tell you- being unmedicated, in a PhD program, and experiencing the physiological effects of a panic attack 24 hours a day is ABSOLUTELY AWFUL). Strattera has the same effect on my HR as the stimulants, which is unfortunate.

    I really miss the medicine. Making progress on my dissertation without it is really, really difficult. I'm hopefully going to meet with a new psychiatrist soon, and am hopeful something like EmSam will be helpful.



  12. #12
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    poop. Not letting me post.
    But, I am a professional who diagnoses, treats and works with attention-impaired folks on a regular basis. For adults, or parents dealing with this, I recommend www.chadd.org, as a great source of information. For a good assessment, you need a professional trained in these issues, who is going to get a very detailed history from you and collateral sources, maybe do both an aptitude and achievement tests, possibly give you or your family checklists, to get as clear a picture as possible of what's going on.

    ADHD can be comorbid with other learning disorders, and the current thinking as to why (from guru Russell Barkeley) is that people with ADHD tend to hang with, marry and have children with people with learning disorders. Which is interesting and highlights the social impact of problems with self-regulation (which ADHD is). And highly genetic (up to 75% of cases are genetic), and if you have ADHD, there is a 35% or so chance your sib will as well, and a 40% change a parent does.

    What works, is medication (for many), behavioral modication and strategies and some cognitive therapy. What does not is diet (not related to sugar!), or vitamins and so forth. Not that those aren't helpful but have not shown to have any significant impact on ADHD sx. And yes, 2/3 or more of kids with ADHD will continue to be symptomatic into adulthood.

    Good luck with your evaluation.



  13. #13
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    Thank you so much for this thread!

    My son was just diagnosed ADHD. He's 9 and has had two nightmarish years of school. Unlike many, he is HYPER focused so he excells academically and is in the gifted program. But while he's getting all his test questions correctly he's also observing everthing else that is going on in the room, and due to a lack of impulse control, is verbalizing: "Jozlyn's shoe is untied. Michael is tipping his chair back. Nick has his pencil in his mouth." Oh and he's moving the whole time. Always, incessantly. He simply cannot be still.
    He's 98th percentile for hyperactivity.

    He runs 2 laps around our 5 acre pasture in the morning before school, which has helped significantly. He's in soccer, golf and baseball- the more physically worn out he is, the better he can control himself when he needs to sit (but he's still never still). We did start him on Omega 3/6/9 supplements but it's too soon to say anything.

    His psychologist is working up a cognative behavioral plan to help the school deal with his behavior. Since he is so successful academically we aren't looking at meds yet, but if I feel they would benefit him (not just make him more convenient) I am open to it in the future.
    Rhythm the perfect OTTB;Spock the will-be perfect OTTB;Mia the Arab/appendix COTH giveaway



  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by IveGotRhythm View Post
    Unlike many, he is HYPER focused so he excells academically and is in the gifted program. But while he's getting all his test questions correctly he's also observing everthing else that is going on in the room, and due to a lack of impulse control, is verbalizing: "Jozlyn's shoe is untied. Michael is tipping his chair back. Nick has his pencil in his mouth." Oh and he's moving the whole time. Always, incessantly. He simply cannot be still.
    That sounds like my stepson. He's a sweet, uber-enthusiastic, but BUSY child. Chatterbox in perpetual motion. Loves school and learning, but he practically bounces off the walls.

    We put him on a children's EFA blend, and although there wasn't a readily apparent change, it was very obvious when he ran out and someone (me ) dragged her feet buying more. The mindless chattering, squealing, and bouncing returned with a vengeance. He's still busy a boy with them, but he seems to string his thoughts together a lot better. We get intelligent questions as opposed to a bombardment of absurd "what ifs" that he repeats over and over having not paid attention to any answers. It's nice being able to have real conversations with the kid.

    Our biggest frustrations have been between the pediatrician and family counselor. Per family counselor, he neds meds yesterday. Per pediatrician - when questioned about fetal alcohol effect, his teeny-tiny size, and the ADHD symtoms - he probably just inherited mental deficiencies since the mom was an addict, and addicts all have problems with impulse control. No help there. His teachers speak well of him though, and he never ceases to be a source of random entertainment. Just have to work on keeping his butt in a chair, his desk materials in the desk (as opposed to a 5-ft radius around the desk), not speaking out of turn, and raising his hand as opposed to shouting out every answer.
    Jer 29: 11-13



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    Haven't read all the replies but wanted to mention that there is some research on how diet affects autism-spectrum disorders like ADD/ADHD and how some symptoms can be reversed. Check out some books like Dr. Natisha Campbell-McBride or anything dealing with Gut & Psychology Syndrome (often referred to as the GAPS diet). I don't know how peer reviewed the research and findings are BUT having watched a child between the ages of 3 and 8 grow up and at 5 was put on a very strict diet (more lenient now that the gut has "healed") and do a complete 180 from probably close to mild ausperger's.... it cannot hurt and is something you can do for yourself without medication. it's NOT a fast track, but IMHO worth exploring.
    ************
    "Of course it's hard. It's supposed to be hard. It's the Hard that makes it great."

    "Get up... Get out... Get Drunk. Repeat as needed." -- Spike



  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Aggie4Bar View Post
    That sounds like my stepson. He's a sweet, uber-enthusiastic, but BUSY child. Chatterbox in perpetual motion. Loves school and learning, but he practically bounces off the walls.

    Just have to work on keeping his butt in a chair, his desk materials in the desk (as opposed to a 5-ft radius around the desk), not speaking out of turn, and raising his hand as opposed to shouting out every answer.


    Oh, Lord yes. This. Exactly this. Thank you! I'm not alone!
    Rhythm the perfect OTTB;Spock the will-be perfect OTTB;Mia the Arab/appendix COTH giveaway



  17. #17
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    Ivegotryhythm -- man, if you channel all that energy and intelligence that kid is going to be an AMAZING adult!!

    tle, I have two sons with ADHD, and have never heard of ADD/ADHD being lumped in with autism spectrum disorders. In fact, as I think of it, I think that has to be wrong; both boys have excellent social skills and are very good at interpersonal relationships.



  18. #18
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    SMF11... even if my terminology is wrong, the GAPS diet does address ADD/ADHD
    ************
    "Of course it's hard. It's supposed to be hard. It's the Hard that makes it great."

    "Get up... Get out... Get Drunk. Repeat as needed." -- Spike



  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by SMF11 View Post
    Ivegotryhythm -- man, if you channel all that energy and intelligence that kid is going to be an AMAZING adult!!

    tle, I have two sons with ADHD, and have never heard of ADD/ADHD being lumped in with autism spectrum disorders. In fact, as I think of it, I think that has to be wrong; both boys have excellent social skills and are very good at interpersonal relationships.
    It's not, you're correct. Individuals with Autism/ASD often have symptoms associated with ADHD, and some people with ADHD, especially the impulsive/hyperactive type may have social difficulties, but they're separate.
    "I was walking through the woods, thinking about Christ. If He was a carpenter, I wondered what He charged for bookshelves."



  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by SMF11 View Post
    Ivegotryhythm -- man, if you channel all that energy and intelligence that kid is going to be an AMAZING adult!!
    Thanks! His psychologist said almost the exact same thing. "He has what it takes to be a brilliant adult. Unfortunately the qualities that make a brilliant adult don't really lend themselves to making a good student within the school system. So it's our job to get him through it in one piece."
    Rhythm the perfect OTTB;Spock the will-be perfect OTTB;Mia the Arab/appendix COTH giveaway



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