Top 10 myths about ADHD

Jul!a Jul!a
Ok, I'm not a doctor so obviously I'm not here to give you lots of advice, but I wanted to share this article I read on Yahoo about ADHD. Some of the things on there I already knew, like you can have ADHD as an adult and you can have the ability to focus very well on some things but not on others. I'm torn on the myth of it being overdiagnosed. While I do think that there are a lot of kids and adults who have ADHD but aren't diagnosed, I also think that a lot of parents see a hyper kid and assume ADHD.

If you or someone you know has ADHD, how do you cope? How do they cope? What medications do or don't work for you or them? Any little tips or tricks for the rest of us?
08/29/2011
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Jul!a Jul!a
This is something that I was diagnosed with young and tried different treatments for, but have yet to find something that seems to work well enough for me. My sister has the hyper part, while I don't. I mostly have a really hard time concentrating on things like lectures. Like, I love history and can watch the History Channel all day long, but don't test me on anything because I won't remember. This is also a huge part of why I picked Interior Design as a major. In part it was because there wasn't anything else I really wanted to do more, but also because it was mostly lab classes with a short lecture and the rest of the time was spent with me putting things into practice and it was a lot easier for me to focus.

It did take me a while to figure out how to try and shut out the rest of the world so I could get stuff done, and it's something I definitely struggle with day to day. I've tried medications in the past, but I haven't found anything that really works for me. Ritalin takes away my appetite, Concerta and Strattera both make me nauseous while taking away my appetite, on Adderall I had one of the more rare side effects with some major psychological issues. The one medication I did well on was Provigil, but it's not approved for treatment of ADHD and I eventually stopped taking it because my body got used to it and I didn't feel comfortable with how much I had to take each day to get the effects.

Now I leave myself notes and reminders and make to do lists. Shopping lists help a lot too if I'm grocery shopping. I try to look at it from the perspective of devoting my life to finding things I enjoy that hold my attention, because then I'm enjoying life.
08/29/2011
Dawn (Lilac Distraction) Dawn (Lilac Distraction)
I was originally unaware of the subtypes of ADHD. When you hear ADHD, you think of someone who is full of energy and all over the place. That's the Hyperactive type and it has a lot to do with impulsiveness.

I'm actually Inattentive type. This type is seen in people who neglect duties, easily get distracted, are often messy, forget or shirk responsibilities, and so on. It's the "relaxed" ADHD.

People with ADHD often have symptoms that look like other disorders. They may suffer from impulsive behavior, mood swings, irritability, and anger outbursts.

I was put on Adderall XR and it really worked for me. Why give speed to those who already seem sped up? How does it help to calm them down? These medications release dopamine, aka the pleasure chemical, into the brain which helps those with low dopamine levels focus better. It worked incredibly well for me, but it was expensive and made me lose too much weight.

I have to constantly remind myself to stay on top of things. You have to provide yourself with a lot of structure and self-discipline when you have ADHD.
08/29/2011
Jul!a Jul!a
Quote:
Originally posted by Dawn (Lilac Distraction)
I was originally unaware of the subtypes of ADHD. When you hear ADHD, you think of someone who is full of energy and all over the place. That's the Hyperactive type and it has a lot to do with impulsiveness.

I'm actually Inattentive ... More
This is so me. It's hard to keep on top of everything lol.
08/29/2011
Dawn (Lilac Distraction) Dawn (Lilac Distraction)
Quote:
Originally posted by Jul!a
This is so me. It's hard to keep on top of everything lol.
I know, right? I get focused on things other than what I need to be doing. My roommate's the same way. Needless to say, our apartment is a wreck. I try to clean, but staying on task is soooo hard.
08/29/2011
tooshy tooshy
I get sidetracked way too easy and can't seem to maintain order in my house. Also, paying attention and learning new things are a challenge. Thanks for sharing.
08/29/2011
Jul!a Jul!a
Quote:
Originally posted by Dawn (Lilac Distraction)
I know, right? I get focused on things other than what I need to be doing. My roommate's the same way. Needless to say, our apartment is a wreck. I try to clean, but staying on task is soooo hard.
Right?! I can get on a roll and get things cleaned, but I do get distracted from it fairly easily. Fortunately my husband is better about cleaning, even if he hates it and tries to avoid it too lol.
08/30/2011
P'Gell P'Gell
My oldest daughter has ADHD. She is very difficult to live with, she cannot concentrate, she flies into rages without warning. I don't know if she is expressing common behavior of most people with ADHD (which I DO think is over diagnosed, particularly over self diagnosed!) but she has actual, severe, hard to treat ADHD.

When she was on Adderall, she did VERY well. She could concentrate, she was better able to express herself without anger, she could sit still etc. When she was 21, her neurologist told her she was "too old" be be taking Adderall and took her off of it cold turkey. She was sick as a dog for weeks, she lost her job, she dropped out of school and I HATE that doctor who thinks that one suddenly can be "cured" of a serious neurological disease simply by turning a certain age. She has not functioned well since getting off the Adderall, and her life is miserable.

When she was a small child she would cry with frustration and say, "Mama, help me, I can't stop moving, I can't stop screaming, I can't stop thinking, I can't stop. MAKE IT STOP!" We took her back to the Pediatric Neurologist, who was treating her for Tourette Syndrome and he recommended Adderall (a different doctor than the evil woman doctor who she insisted on and who then yanked her off the meds that made functioning possible) My Man and I didn't want to "put our baby on speed." So we said no. We nearly lost our child to our neglect and our ridiculous ideals of "no drugs." She came close to harming herself, because she was so out of control. We allowed her to be put on the Adderall, and it saved her life!!!! She could suddenly think clearly, she could sit still, she started getting the grades that her IQ showed she was capable of getting, she went from a D student to nearly straight As. For 12 years, she was OK, well, close to OK. When she was taken off the Adderall, her life caved in.

Sorry, but this condition has made her life nearly unlivable. I do think children and adults with TRUE ADHD NEED treatment. We nearly destroyed our daughter by trying to be cool and "Organic" and refusing treatment. What if she had hurt herself simply because I was so "anti-drug" for kids? Jesus, I would have never forgiven myself. Self diagnosis is NOT recommended, IMO, as a nurse and a mother, only a good Pediatric Neurologist along with a Psychotherapist can diagnose and treat ADHD properly. Pediatricians don't know enough nor have the time to either diagnose or treat.

You don't have "a little ADHD" anymore than you have "a little OCD" or "a little diabetes" or "a little cancer." These are all serious illnesses and need proper diagnosis and treatment. I've lived through many of them and know.

I don't know if she will ever be the same now. I wish she would find a GOOD (hopefully male) Neurologist who will put her back on the medication so she can FUNCTION.
08/30/2011
Rachel K Rachel K
Quote:
Originally posted by Jul!a
Right?! I can get on a roll and get things cleaned, but I do get distracted from it fairly easily. Fortunately my husband is better about cleaning, even if he hates it and tries to avoid it too lol.
I also have ADHD.

I actually dated someone a while ago who monologued about how my condition was "fake". Very difficult to hear, being someone who's struggled/worked with it for so long. Needless to say, that whole relationship wrapped up shortly after.

Anyway, thanks for posting this!
08/30/2011
Ansley Ansley
I suspected I had ADD or ADHD when I was about 25 years old. So, I went to my doctor and I was like hey, got all these problems and can't focus for shit, so fix it. And he gave me Stratera. Three days into it, I locked myself into my bathroom and was throwing massive fits of rage and was starting to picture throwing myself off the balcony. I told him immediately about the reaction, he sent in an emergency script of two xanax pills to counter the effects of the Stratera. He called me in that Monday and was like "look, you're in a pretty crappy situation financially and emotionally so it's no surprise that you're all over the place. I gave you the meds to humor you and though I didn't expect this reaction it just proves to me that there is not a neurological disorder in effect here. Fix your life and you'll be able to focus on shit." So, I started making steps to fix said life and found that things became much easier when I wasn't worrying about who was doing what to whom and how I was going to afford the electricity bill. In my case, it was entirely situational.

While I do believe that ADHD is a real and valid disorder, I have to seriously wonder exactly what these people are making their diagnosis on---are we going off of what an average, normal human being experiences in life from the 1800's or are we evaluating this from the point of modern society. Ya know, the one that asks that we multi-task at every given second of every given day and the one that treats anything other than an expression of happiness on a daily basis as a mental disorder. With the added expectation of it being perfect every single time. Do you have any idea how relieved I was when I didn't get a tongue lashing because I left Kindred's name off the list? I was like wow...if it had been my actual job at any one of my previous employers I would have taken a boot in the ass over it.
08/30/2011
Jul!a Jul!a
Quote:
Originally posted by P'Gell
My oldest daughter has ADHD. She is very difficult to live with, she cannot concentrate, she flies into rages without warning. I don't know if she is expressing common behavior of most people with ADHD (which I DO think is over diagnosed, ... More
ADHD commonly goes hand in hand with depression or bipolar disorder as well, and it's usually one of those that causes the mood swings. I'm most definitely not saying anything about your daughter because I obviously don't know anything about the situation other than what you've just described, but it does sound a lot like my sister who has the ADHD with the hyperactivity and the bipolar. She's been on all sorts of medications and has had limited success unfortunately. Adderall seems to work wonders for some, but it failed spectacularly for me and since my sister has more of the psychological problems Adderall was one of the medications recommended that she doesn't try. In lieu of a neurologist, a psychiatrist might also be a good choice for your daughter (if one is available). They'll (at least in my experience with them) usually try to take the time to help work through any other issues that might be affecting the ADHD or any other conditions, in addition to being able to prescribe medication that will work. If your daughter were to go in to one and go through her first few sessions, explain everything and that Adderall was literally the difference between functioning and not functioning, I'd be willing to bet that the psychiatrist would listen.

In my opinion, and this is just my opinion, there are varying degrees of these disorders. I do believe that a person can have a more mild case where they do consistently exhibit some of the classic symptoms but can still function "properly" but that another person can also have a more severe case. It's all how the brain is wired. I will definitely agree that people overuse having ADHD or OCD, but I do also believe that there are cases that are not that severe and do not always require lots of treatment. The ones you've lived through and with have been severe and needed treatment and I do not believe are anything to joke about, but at the same time I've also been diagnosed with ADD (before it was lumped together with ADHD and that was the differentiator) and I've been able to function relatively well without treatment. That's most certainly not the case for everybody, but it is the case for me.
08/30/2011
emilia emilia
I had adhd for a very long time but I have found that if i write down a list of things to do I can stay more focus then if i do not have a note.
10/02/2011
P'Gell P'Gell
Quote:
Originally posted by Jul!a
ADHD commonly goes hand in hand with depression or bipolar disorder as well, and it's usually one of those that causes the mood swings. I'm most definitely not saying anything about your daughter because I obviously don't know anything ... More
Thank you. My daughter is legally an adult and no longer on our insurance plan. In fact, right now, she has no insurance at all, so even though she has seen psychiatrists in the past, she couldn't afford the visits right now. It also isn't up to me anymore, with her being an adult. It's frustrating, when you can't get help for your children's health problems, because some rich assholes don't want to pay their taxes and my kid can't go see a doctor.

So so sad about this. There's no way out, unless we get Universal health care. And in this job market, few places she qualifies to work for give benefits anymore. She also doesn't "qualify" for state insurance. She's basically screwed.
10/02/2011
Jul!a Jul!a
Quote:
Originally posted by P'Gell
Thank you. My daughter is legally an adult and no longer on our insurance plan. In fact, right now, she has no insurance at all, so even though she has seen psychiatrists in the past, she couldn't afford the visits right now. It also isn't ... More
I'm so sorry to hear that .
10/03/2011
Holly Hox Holly Hox
This is an interesting thread. In grad school I wrote my thesis on ADD/ADHD and behavior disorders. I came across alot of interesting research. I am a teacher by profession, and it was important for me to learn how to help children with these disorders. Being in a classroom and being told to be still and quiet for near 8 hours a day is so hard for any child, much less a child who has ADHD.

I had a teacher when I was in 4th grade that was HORRIBLE to me. She was so mean and treated me so badly. I hated school and her and I started acting out. She tried to tell my parents and the principal that I had ADHD and I was unmanageable and if I didn't get treatment she couldn't have me in her class anymore. Thankfully my mother and the principal were aware of the problems I was having and knew that she was overreacting and that is was ultimately her doing. Anyway, I did not have ADHD but for any child having the support and encouragement of a teacher is very important.
12/27/2011
CoffeeCup CoffeeCup
Not everyone with it is hyperactive.


I have Predominantly Inattentive ADD/ADHD. Which means I am not hyperactive. I did not grow out of being hyperactive. I was NEVER hyperactive.

As a child I was told I "wasn't applying myself". Which I always knew meant I wasn't trying. I cried over my homework most nights, just to be told I wasn't trying.

And I was just a kid, I didn't realize my brain wasn't working like other people's. After awhile, I just figured I didn't know HOW to try. And how worthless do you have to be not to even know how to try?

So that's what I thought of myself until I was 20. That's when a smart doctor suggest I try medication for ADD. I hated myself and didn't care what happened to me, so why not?

OH MY GOD! I felt normal for the first time in my life!!!

I remember thinking, "OH! THIS is how everyone else does it!"

As wonderful as it was to be able to really organize my thoughts, the best part was finding out all the problems I'd had in school weren't my fault.
12/27/2011
RAVEN 1826 RAVEN 1826
I think there are to many ways for Drug Companies to cash in on people who assume that they have an illness due to what others think. Because of a commercial, or they know someone ready to help them. I feel to often People become vulnerable getting taken by a swinging louder percent. Just cause of these great promises often are lead into danger like a fatted calf. Delusions are lies. Empty promises we can't see past. Painful too. I have to be very careful with my thought life. People are vulnerable, but don't allow others take advantage of you because of it. If I can prove you sick enough, I can remove your voice. Nothing less than a modern day Witch Hunt. We've heard what happens when on trial for being a Witch. Only now the shoe is on the other foot. ADHD? Does any one remember Theragram M from the 1980's? Almost anywhere then, during the 80's there use to be coin dispensers full of these little Vitamins. That little Theragram M pill was that popular. It made everything that much better? Careful of what others believe or not about their own abilities. The rich get rich from the poor. Better living through Chemistry...
12/27/2011
Chirple Chirple
*hugs everyone* I'm glad I read this thread.

I really need to set up an appointment and talk about medication.

I'm struggling so much in school and it feels so hopeless. I've been told by one doctor that I had ADD-SCT, but they wanted to do more tests - but then I was stuck without health insurance before that could happen.

I'm on medication for depression, but it's done nothing (I've been on over 90 days), and like my doctor suggested, the depression might be a symptom of the ADD's affect on my life, not the main problem.


I need to actually make that appointment before school starts again. :/
12/28/2011
Total posts: 18
Unique posters: 11