Post # 1
So I’ve been in therapy and seeing a psychiatrist for depression. Diagnosis was Major Depressive Disorder. It’s been a huge up and down rollercoaster for over a month now.
Today in therapy we started talking about my issues at work and discussed the likelihood that I have ADD. I looked around online at a few of the screenings for adult ADHD and I meet almost every single criteria! I procrastinate, don’t finish things, forget things, fidget a lot, cannot get organized at all, make stupid errors on work, waste a lot of time doing unimportant things at work or non-work related stuff, lose things, get distracted easily, am distracted by noise and activity around me, have trouble sitting still in meetings, among other things.
My therapist linked ADD to depression because constantly feeling like a failure or that you are always a step behind where you need to be/should be can really impact your self-esteem and lower your mood, making it even harder to get motivated and making you feel worse and worse about yourself.
I have an appointment with a new psychiatrist on the 19th, so I’m just waiting until then to discuss it more and if he agrees, to discuss a new approach to my treatment for both ADD and depression.
But in the meantime, I would love to hear from any bees out there who have ADD or who have a partner with ADD. What is it like for you? How did you get diagnosed, what did treatment look like, did you try any medications for it?
Post # 4
@wabisabi: I am self-diagnosed ADD. I fit ALL of the criteria as well. I am not really planning on taking any medication for it, but am trying to get more organized and work with my own awareness of my issues. I am fortunate that I have such a supportive husband. It has caused me a LOT of problems at work over the years because I can never get anything done on time and when I do, it’s often half-assed because I waited until the last minute. I also struggle with depression, and have been on a mild anti-depressant. Try reading as much as you can about the condition. I am reading right now a few books about “mindfulness” and ADD, which I think might help.
Post # 5
Another self-diagnosed ADD. I also fit all the criteria. I do not plan to take medication for it because I just don’t believe in medication and I figure that if I go to a doctor, they’ll immediately try to put me on something. The only thing I regret is that I could never focus in class, so college was extremely hard for me and I have yet to receive any type of degree. I was fine in elementary school, and even jr high and high school, so I think it’s just gotten worse as I’ve gotten older.
PS it took me about 5 minutes to write this short paragraph because I kept getting distracted!
Post # 6
I was diagnosed with ADHD when I was in the second grade. School was never easy for me and I never made good grades. I was put on medication in about 4th grade to help me concentrate but it still was a struggle. I am 26 years old now and do not take any medication for it because I think a lot of it I learnedly to cope with and keep myself focused.
Post # 7
I went for my testing when i was 19 (26 now). My family doctor found reccomendations from every teacher ive ever had in my file but my mom admitted she refused to have me tested because she didnt want me to have a stigma.
Well i started seeing a (head doctor) who would put me though a questoinarre and asks how my life is progressing every 2-6 weeks. He was able to “rate” my symtoms with the questionare and plot my success on a graph that we both watched. He also ran a group that would meet once a month and we would learn basic stuff that people with adhd wouldnt have the best way of handling. (paying bills, cleaning house, etc.) That combined with medication was an amazing experience. A year after seeing him we realised that i had also been dealing with depression for years so once we found an antidepressant that worked for me (because there are some that JUST WONT) i started to feel much better. Like i was actually turning my life around… growing up finally!
I was on the medication for many years before i decided i was capable of living without them so ive been off them for over a year now and I am glad my doctor approached treatment the way he did.
My son was also diagnosed with ADD and i refuse medicating him because of the way that some of the drugs made me feel. How is a child as young as 3 able to tell you when something doesnt feel right or that they are in a dark place? He went through some play groups and now shows almost no signs of the typical ADD child and im glad i was able to address it and deal with it for him so he didnt have to struggle his whole life like i did!
Were both happy and healthy now:)
Post # 8
I have ADD but it has gotten waaay better over the years. When I was little I couldn’t pay attention in class for anything. Now I’m able to manage it and I don’t have to be on any medication.
Post # 9
I was diagnosed with ADHD when I was 14 years old. Tried several medications and had side-effects with all of them, so I take none! Some aspects I have simply come to accept – like I will NEVER have a really tidy home, and that I have to work harder than others to remember things, etc. However, when I was young I had some great therapy sessions that helped me to view ADHD has an assest rather than a liability. People with ADD and ADHD can be extremely creative and are known for “thinking outside the box”. Did you know all the greatest inventors are believed to have had ADD or ADHD? Like Edison, Ben Franklin and Albert Enstein to name a few. I have earned several college and post-graduate degrees and I refuse to let it hold me back. I now teach at the college-level and every now and then I get a student that informs me that they have ADD or ADHD. I cheerfully reply “Hey! Me too! Now let’s get started!’.
Post # 10
Thanks for the responses. I’m looking for medication a this point for both ADHD and depression because things have gotten worse. I think I managed okay in school because I didn’t have a ton of other responsibilities and because I am smart. If I worked harder I would have been a better student, but I could skate by on my brains with some work and studying.
My brother was ADHD but I can’t remember if my parents tried medication. I think I would lot very hesitant to try medication if DS ends up exhibiting ADHD signs because of his age. But I know what I am getting into. It is frustrating though trying medications. I feel like a medical experiment sometimes.
It is great to see that so many of you are able to function and learn skills to manage the symptoms. I am hoping to get to that point at some time but right now it has been so hard And I’m not succeeding.
Post # 11
@wabisabi: Medication is unique for everyone. I was on wellbutrin 300 in the winters and 150 in the summers. I also took Concerta, Zyprexa and Olanzapine too.
I dont remember the names of the failed medications but i do suggest reading up on it at http://www.ADDitudemag.com
Post # 12
I was diagnosed with ADD earlier this year and started taking Vyvanse. The change has been incredible. I can focus so much better, I don’t procrastinate nearly as much and I have become so much more organized and less forgetful. It’s really a miracle – I feel like a functional adult for the first time in 31 years! I only wish I had been diagnosed sooner. I spent so much time beating myself up for being lazy, forgetful and absent minded…. Medication would have made a world of difference, I think.
Post # 13
@Jaxxmom: I’m going to check out that site!
@KatieBklyn: This is what I am hoping for. I constantly feel like a failure at work and literally cannot organize myself enough to do well. I put things off (like now, I should be writing some reports for work!) until things are late or not done as well as I could. I am hoping that medication might give me the help I need to start focusing and organizing my life.
Post # 14
I was first diagnosed with ADHD when I was 8, again at 15, and then just to be sure again at 19 🙂 I’ve also been diagnosed wtih depression (dysthymia) and bipolar II, and I guess that ADHD is often comorbid with both of those.
I haven’t taken anything for ADHD in 7 years, and nothing for depression or bipolar in 4. I can’t do pharmaceuticals anymore, so I try to control everything with diet and exercise and supplements, even acupuncture.
Honestly, it’s really hard. I know that I’m not normal and I do get really down on myself and I’m constantly frustrated because my thoughts are never organized. DH understands, but I know that he wishes I was more “with it” and that things like organizing, cleaning, time management were easier for me.
Get with a counselor, not just someone who will prescribe you something…I’ve been there/done that with Adderall, Concerta, and Strattera for ADHD and I’d rather be my frustrating self than deal with the side effects, so it’s important to me to have professional support that understands that I won’t be medicated. I want to try cognitive behavior therapy next year, too!
I know that medication works really well for a lot of people so I’m sorry if I sound all anti-meds 🙂 Good luck!! When you get treatment, it makes a BIG difference.
Post # 15
@Ellegee: I do see a therapist that I really like weekly. I wish he was a prescriber because it would make things a lot easier. Instead I’m working with him and my primary care doctor, and am waiting for an appointment with a 2nd psychiatrist.
I think it’s good to be apprehensive of medications. They aren’t always the answer and I definitely think ADHD meds are over-prescribed in kids especially. But I know they have their place too.