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Qu Appelle
Nov 3, 2005

"If a COVID-19 pandemic occurs, public health officials may have additional instructions, such as avoiding close contact with others as much as possible, and staying home if someone in your household is sick." - Official insights from Public Health: Seattle & King County staff



I have ADHD; originally diagnosed when I was a child, and rediagnosed about 4 years ago, when I noticed that things started to fall apart at my old job. I also have Spastic Paraparesis, this comes into play. So, feel free to throw questions at me as well. Also, as a woman, I may have some other insight here.

Someone asked about drugs. Here's my latest result with Adderall:

I started having ADHD issues again when I stopped taking Wellbutrin, and I got a prescription for name brand Adderall. My dosage is 5mg a day.

What I noticed: with my attention span, it was really too small to make a sizeable dent in my ADHD. The one thing that it did do is make me notice when I was goofing off on the web instead of working, and it allowed me to get back on track easier. I could take a bigger dose but...

...it also affected the Spastic Paraparesis. Adderall inhibits the reabsorption of dopamine in the body. In my body, my SP is somehow related to dopamine - so while the drug was in my system, not only could I think clearer, but my spasticity went away, and I would walk and move better! Awesome, right? No. Because when that drug wears off, that spasticity came back with a vengeance, and by the time it's 8 pm, I'm nearly immobile with pain on the bed. Taking extra Baclofen helped, but the higher dose would just put me out - and not totally kill the pain and spasticity.

Also, Adderall made me *gain* weight, of all things, because I'd have a constant craving to chew on things. I hate gum, so I'd eat. all. the. time. Even low calorie foods and veggies didn't help quash this. So, this is all on the baby dose of 5mg. I'm not willing to see what happens if I take more.

I decided a couple of weeks ago to go off the Adderall again. I wanted my body back and pain free. At work, I've been doing the following:

a. I drink black and Oolong tea all the time. Gentler on my stomach than coffee, and drat I love tea.

b. Being more mindful of my behaviors. I've been meditating and studying Buddhism seriously for the past 4 months or so, so it fits along with that.

c. Telling coworkers that, when they tell me something, it needs to be broken down into manageable chunks. Just throwing a bunch of vague info and expecting me to get it? No. Not working. (It also helps that my boss is also ADD, and understands this.) If I feel like I'm heading into Neural Meltdown Territory, I go take a walk. One of the biggest problems with this is that my brain no longer processes words correctly, either in or out. So, I hear things but can't understand them, and I'm reduced to saying stuff like 'thing' when I'm referring to something specific. It's like the audio processing just breaks down. I actually find that more annoying than not having an attention span at times.


d. When I really need to concentrate, I listen to music or watch TV. (I work on TV as part of my job, so I'll let CNN ramble on in the background. Or, watch some Doctor Who reruns.)

However, if one feels that drugs will help, definitely give them a go. I have friends who also have Adult ADHD, and take meds for it, and it's made their lives a thousand times better. It just isn't looking like it's working out for me for now. (The other thing I want to do is talk to a job or ADHD counselor; I get laid off next June, and I'd like to transfer into a more ADHD friendly line of work. Software Engineering just isn't it.)

Qu Appelle fucked around with this message at 06:11 on Aug 22, 2009

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Qu Appelle
Nov 3, 2005

"If a COVID-19 pandemic occurs, public health officials may have additional instructions, such as avoiding close contact with others as much as possible, and staying home if someone in your household is sick." - Official insights from Public Health: Seattle & King County staff



Stofoleez posted:

I'm genuinely happy for you. Still, something tells me that either:

A) Like with a lot of people the disorder faded after adolescence.
B) You have amazing willpower and coping strategies.

Neither of these things can be taught, but option A) should give a little hope to any ADHD goons who are still in high school.

And/or C) They're in Software Engineering. If it's anything like my job, the boss won't care when you come in or leave as long as you make your deadlines, you have barely a dress code, they supply you with as much free soda and coffee as you could possibly drink, and you're allowed to do things like take a break or lunch or listen to music whenever the hell you want. Perhaps play some video games or pool if things get really stressful.

Seriously. The software field is very forgiving of people's foibles and ADHDisms. One of the reasons I succeed so well there is because I don't have to concern myself with things like a dress code or a time clock. Nor do they micromanage or get bogged down with endless process or rules. I've had other jobs where I could do the work just fine, but my brain couldn't keep track of all the little rules and regulations that they had, and I end up doing poorly overall as a result.

Qu Appelle
Nov 3, 2005

"If a COVID-19 pandemic occurs, public health officials may have additional instructions, such as avoiding close contact with others as much as possible, and staying home if someone in your household is sick." - Official insights from Public Health: Seattle & King County staff



opie posted:

I'm not blaming you or anything, it just seems that there's a thread every other week or so, and even if the topic is somewhat specific, like "ask me what it's like to raise a kid with ADD", people will start self-diagnosing or just telling stories about their adult ADD and all the meds they're on, which doesn't have much to do with the purpose of the thread. It's more what the thread turns into, I guess.

I feel bad because I was part of that derail.

Perhaps we can ask the Goon Doctor mods for a sticky thread on ADHD? I volunteer to PM them about this, if others think it'd be a good idea.

Qu Appelle
Nov 3, 2005

"If a COVID-19 pandemic occurs, public health officials may have additional instructions, such as avoiding close contact with others as much as possible, and staying home if someone in your household is sick." - Official insights from Public Health: Seattle & King County staff



linkdead posted:

If anyone wants, and if it's ok with the OP, I can help provide some insight in this thread from both someone diagnosed with ADD and also someone who treats people with ADD (ADHD for the sticklers in here - although we use the terms interchangeably - ADD is kind of the shorthand). Happy to answer anything without stepping on any toes.

I have a question:

What do you do for people whom pills aren't an option? What do you suggest?

Long story short, the low dose of Adderall (5mg) works a bit, but when it wore off, the physical effects were quite literally crippling. (I also have spasticity). I have the pills that I'll take once in a while if I want to get something done, but not everyday anymore.

Qu Appelle
Nov 3, 2005

"If a COVID-19 pandemic occurs, public health officials may have additional instructions, such as avoiding close contact with others as much as possible, and staying home if someone in your household is sick." - Official insights from Public Health: Seattle & King County staff



linkdead posted:

It sounds like your body may have a tough time tolerating stimulants, which happens in a small percentage of the population. Is adderall the first medication you've tried for managing your ADD? There is a number of non-stimulant based meds that might work instead. Strattera, a norepinephrine reuptake inhibitor, may get you better results. Wellbutrin, which is a norepinephrine and dopamine reuptake inhibitor (and nicotinic antagonist for the added benefit of smoking cessation) might also work. Both are non-stimulant based.

Yeah, I have a hard time with stimulants. With a lot of drugs, actually. Because I also have the Spastic Paraparesis, all of the ADHD drugs I've tried have made that a lot worse - either it makes the spasticity worse when it's in my system, or when it wears off. If it's a trade off between thinking or walking, I'll take walking.

It's funny that you mention Wellbutrin; I've been on that for nearly a decade. And it did help the ADHD, and also my depression. However, with my doctor's guidance, I finally stopped taking it earlier this year because my anxiety was ramped up to unacceptable levels (one should not get a panic attack going to a concert, for instance), and the Baclofen I'm taking for the spasticity also helps my depression . (Plus, my insurance balks at paying for the name brand version of the drug, and the generic version made me really ill).

Lists are a good suggestion, I need to do more of them. Google Calendar has been a lifesaver; I set appointments there then have them message my phone for reminders. So are the book recommendations. I've already read 'Driven to Distraction', and I'll check out the other one in a little bit.

Finally, the 'lifestyle' way to look at ADHD makes a lot of sense to me. As well as me, both my father and my cousin have ADHD, and it's interesting to see how both of them cope with it. My cousin is a lawyer, and relies on Strattera and lattes to function. My dad, however, merely works a job where he has to literally move around a lot. It ends up being a blessing in his case, because he has to shift gears quickly on the job, and he can.

I think my next step may be meeting with an ADHD coach for a few times. Luckily, I'm at a period in my life where I'm considering a career change out of computers, and it'd be good to move into a field where I don't need to be doped to the gills just to function.

Qu Appelle
Nov 3, 2005

"If a COVID-19 pandemic occurs, public health officials may have additional instructions, such as avoiding close contact with others as much as possible, and staying home if someone in your household is sick." - Official insights from Public Health: Seattle & King County staff



Collar Crazy posted:

I am one of the weird ADHD'ers that absolutely can't tolerate background noise. If I am doing something on my own, that's fine, but if anyone tries to say anything to me while music or a TV is on, or someone else is speaking, even quietly, my brain just short circuits. I can't listen to one person, no matter how hard I try to focus, with anything else going on. Sometimes even the flickering of florescent lights has the same affect on me, it just depends on the day.

I hope that made sense, can you tell my Adderall has worn off for the day?

That makes a lot of sense, actually. If I'm doing something analytical (which is most of my work), music or some other background noise helps a lot. It ends up being complimentary to the activity at hand.

However, if I'm reading or studying something nonanalytical, I have to have complete silence - otherwise my brain pays attention to the words I'm listening to instead of the words I'm reading, and the stuff on the page doesn't stick at all. It's like the words clash and have to fight for a slot to fit into the head.

Can we have a brainstorming session here, my fellow malcontents in attention span? I'd like to hear of ADHD-friendly occupations. Because my current stint isn't doing it, and I'm at a crossroads - I can continue on my path, where I'll have to be doped up in order to function at a higher level, with all the resultant badness of that. Or, I can start off on a new path.

My current job also ends in late June, 2010 (if not sooner), and my field (Software Testing) is also being adversely affected by robots and outsourcing. This means a. Unemployment Insurance, b. subsidized COBRA health insurance , and c. possible tapping into Worker Retraining funds. So, this would be the *perfect* time to switch gears.

So, ideas? I wanna hear them. I don't care how outlandish they are - if something looks like it might stick, I want to entertain it. Trial lawyer, EMT, avant garde dance artist, caribou herder, cartoonist, Tibetan Buddhist nun, gimme.

(Also, if anyone has names of good ADHD coaches in the Seattle area, also throw them at me. I have PMs.)

Qu Appelle
Nov 3, 2005

"If a COVID-19 pandemic occurs, public health officials may have additional instructions, such as avoiding close contact with others as much as possible, and staying home if someone in your household is sick." - Official insights from Public Health: Seattle & King County staff



Six AM posted:

Has anyone had any luck with non-medical treatments? I hear omega supplements, caffeine, and exercise are good. Any others?

I drink copious amounts of black tea throughout the day, and also practice Buddhist meditation.

Both work, sortof.

The caffeine is my self medicating crutch. I totally admit that it's a crutch, and my docs know that. However, it's what I have, as meds either make me ill or adversely affect other medical conditions I have. Basically, I have 4+ cups of black tea a day. Gentler on my stomach than coffee, and I like it better as well.

The meditation was something I started not as a tool to use for ADHD, but as an alternate spiritual path. However, a cool side effect of that is that I'm calmer in situations where normally I'd get agitated, it's easier for me to get back on task, etc. I've been meditating off and on for a couple years though, and seriously for a few months - so it's not a quick fix. And I'd be doing it even if I didn't have ADHD, because the Buddha is my Om Boy. I also do silent chanting with a mala, and I find it useful to finger through when distracted or in class.

(Once, I was in class, a classmate saw it, then bowed to me when we stood up )

Qu Appelle
Nov 3, 2005

"If a COVID-19 pandemic occurs, public health officials may have additional instructions, such as avoiding close contact with others as much as possible, and staying home if someone in your household is sick." - Official insights from Public Health: Seattle & King County staff



maznaz posted:

i tricked my doctor into giving me ritalin just because it juices you if you dont really have ADD. The downside now though is it's having the opposite effect. Before it used to let me work hard on a project or something for hours and be pretty happy doing it ... now ... i can't do anything on it.

I quit taking it about a week ago ... hoping my own motivation comes back.

LET THAT BE A WARNING TO YAS!

It also ruins it for the rest of us, who legitimately need the drugs.

Thanks for contributing to the image of ADD afflicted folks as drug seeking junkies or experimenters, instead of people with an actual brain disorder who need pharmaceutical treatment

Qu Appelle
Nov 3, 2005

"If a COVID-19 pandemic occurs, public health officials may have additional instructions, such as avoiding close contact with others as much as possible, and staying home if someone in your household is sick." - Official insights from Public Health: Seattle & King County staff



Kneel Before Zog posted:

Yep, Vyvanse. It hydrolyzes in the liver or whatever at a much slower rate and disperses itself into the blood stream much slower over time compared to other drugs meaning the chances of someone successfully abusing it is very slim. Now if someone could elaborate better than I could about the pharmacokinetics.

How does Vyvanese work for ADHD cases? Does it wear off after a 12 hour period? 24 hours? I'm hoping for an easier ramping up and comedown than Adderall XR. (Name brand, not the generic).

Qu Appelle
Nov 3, 2005

"If a COVID-19 pandemic occurs, public health officials may have additional instructions, such as avoiding close contact with others as much as possible, and staying home if someone in your household is sick." - Official insights from Public Health: Seattle & King County staff



ZORRO CRUMB SHOULDER posted:

Vyvanse suuuuuucks, it gave me wicked headaches and a feeling which I can only describe as "my eyeballs being willfully pushed out of my skull by a force with its pressure points somewhere on my optic nerves".

You know, if I can walk on it, I'll give it a shot. But the headaches are good to look out for.

I hate my Spastic Paraparesis so much right now you all don't even comprehend.

Qu Appelle
Nov 3, 2005

"If a COVID-19 pandemic occurs, public health officials may have additional instructions, such as avoiding close contact with others as much as possible, and staying home if someone in your household is sick." - Official insights from Public Health: Seattle & King County staff



Mirconium posted:

So, what are the tests for ADD exactly?

Is it just some thing where you lie down on a couch and tell the nice analyst that you can't concentrate, or do they do bloodwork, or what?

With me, it was talking to my Psychiatrist at a session, then I got re-diagnosed. Probably not the 'standard' way to test for it, but I had been seeing him for Depression for the past 6 years beforehand, he's an expert in Adult ADHD, and I was originally diagnosed as a child. And I didn't really consider it an issue because I thought it was all related with my Depression, and when that cleared up...why am I still distracted? Hrm. Oh! LET'S GO RIDE BIKES

I don't remember the childhood diagnosis at all, but I do remember periodically being pulled out of classes and given batteries of written puzzle tests given by nice looking yet concerned strangers.

Qu Appelle
Nov 3, 2005

"If a COVID-19 pandemic occurs, public health officials may have additional instructions, such as avoiding close contact with others as much as possible, and staying home if someone in your household is sick." - Official insights from Public Health: Seattle & King County staff



Danger Mahoney posted:

Supposedly, the instances of headache and rapid heartbeat are far less than with Adderall, but everyone is different I guess.

Hope you have insurance, though - the stuff is ungodly expensive.

I do - no idea if they'd cover it though. And I'm unwilling to pay for it if they don't. But before I try it, I'd like to hear how the comedown is. I see my doc in a couple of months anyways; I'll ask him about it.

In the meantime, I'll stock up on Murrough's Welsh tea; that poo poo brews up like mud and is the most heavenly stuff on Earth.

Qu Appelle fucked around with this message at 16:34 on Sep 5, 2009

Qu Appelle
Nov 3, 2005

"If a COVID-19 pandemic occurs, public health officials may have additional instructions, such as avoiding close contact with others as much as possible, and staying home if someone in your household is sick." - Official insights from Public Health: Seattle & King County staff



The little kid who gets frustrated, and thus just sits there and dreams of butterflies all day? They can be overlooked and easily missed in the schoolroom, thus not necessarily getting the help they need. The little kid who gets frustrated, and thus throws pencils at everyone? We...tend to show up on the radar a hell of a lot sooner. (But, wow do pencils really fly in the classroom! I loved flinging those things!)

One of the traditional diagnostic criteria is that the symptoms had to have been around since childhood. If it just suddenly developed last year, then something else is going on. Having that childhood diagnosis increases the chance that you are genuinely affected by ADHD, and not another condition that mimics the same symptoms, and you can then be treated appropriately.

Qu Appelle
Nov 3, 2005

"If a COVID-19 pandemic occurs, public health officials may have additional instructions, such as avoiding close contact with others as much as possible, and staying home if someone in your household is sick." - Official insights from Public Health: Seattle & King County staff



drumwolf posted:

My question to the OP (and to everyone else diagnosed with ADHD) is, who diagnosed you? Was this a specialist or a general practitioner? And I'm guessing it was someone in the private sector that you were able to see through an insurance plan - am I correct?


They set me up with a psych whose only job is to prescribe low-level SSRI antidepressants, and a therapist with no ability to diagnose and who tried to blame everything on the way my parents raised me. Basically, they weren't providing real treatment so much as they were going through a charade. Any time I would try to press them on what I was struggling with, their response was a self-serving, "that's just a label, why is it so important for you to have a label?" (Translation: "Why are you trying to force me to make an effort to figure out your issues? Why can't you just let me coast my way to an easy paycheck like I'm used to?")

I can't remember who diagnosed me as a child, but I was re-diagnosed as an adult by my Psychiatrist. I have insurance, but it doesn't cover this particular doctor, so I pay out of pocket for him. (I know this isn't a solution for everybody, but I had a couple of bizarro world physical and psych issues that he was able to help me with, and I'd rather pay the $$ to stay with him rather than try to break in a new doc. Nowadays, I only check in with him every 6 months or so.)

And, as for labels, sometimes they're necessary. If you want accommodations for the ADHD, either at work or at school? Well, you need a diagnosis first. Same with medications. A good therapist and doctor will treat ADHD as the legitimate disorder that it actually is, and won't try to brush you off. I finally dropped my GP because he didn't deem my ADHD an issue, because I'm employed, right?

Qu Appelle
Nov 3, 2005

"If a COVID-19 pandemic occurs, public health officials may have additional instructions, such as avoiding close contact with others as much as possible, and staying home if someone in your household is sick." - Official insights from Public Health: Seattle & King County staff



Welp,

I'm trying Adderall again. I actually forgot why I stopped taking it altogether last month, I think it was a combination of not wanting to deal with the spasticity as it wore off, and the thinking of 'I don't need this!'. I apparently do, as the minor tasks at work are unbearable, and the major are insurmountable - and I found myself drinking 2, 3, sometimes 4 cups of coffee just to keep focus. O HAI self medicating - and the coffee didn't work that well anyways. I'm just glad I didn't ditch the pills.

2nd day and I can already tell that it's working again like it's supposed to.

I have a followup appt. with my doc next month, and I'm going to try to take it for a whole month to see how I do. I know before I was skipping days, which I think also added to the weird effects of the drug.

Qu Appelle fucked around with this message at 20:18 on Oct 6, 2009

Qu Appelle
Nov 3, 2005

"If a COVID-19 pandemic occurs, public health officials may have additional instructions, such as avoiding close contact with others as much as possible, and staying home if someone in your household is sick." - Official insights from Public Health: Seattle & King County staff



Stofoleez posted:

skipping days is probably what messed you up

ALSO GRATS!

Yeah, that's what I'm thinking too. The skipping didn't help, and then I just stopped altogether. That was a month ago. I also want my body to adjust to it again, as I'm going to be taking a night class in a couple of months, on top of working full time. It'd be good to have the meds straightened out before that happens.

I'm also finding that, of all things, intense exercise helps with the spasticity. It's like the leg muscles forget how to work, and cramp up instead. I probably walked some 10 miles during my vacation this past weekend, and it felt fantastic.

Qu Appelle
Nov 3, 2005

"If a COVID-19 pandemic occurs, public health officials may have additional instructions, such as avoiding close contact with others as much as possible, and staying home if someone in your household is sick." - Official insights from Public Health: Seattle & King County staff



The spasticity actually comes from a separate condition, Spastic Paraparesis. It affects my legs and arms. Baclofen treats the symptoms and reduces the spasticity, but the stimulant drugs make it worse again. AFAIK, I have the non-hereditary version of it, though there are rare variants that only affect Norwegians ( ), and I am half Norwegian-American. ( - now the home of Black Metal AND rare progressive movement disorders!)

So, the puzzle is how to treat the ADHD with stimulants without pissing off the muscles. This has been a struggle for my docs for a while now.

I also know that the Adderall helps with my depression, which is also nudging back somewhat.

Qu Appelle fucked around with this message at 21:00 on Oct 6, 2009

Qu Appelle
Nov 3, 2005

"If a COVID-19 pandemic occurs, public health officials may have additional instructions, such as avoiding close contact with others as much as possible, and staying home if someone in your household is sick." - Official insights from Public Health: Seattle & King County staff



kimihia posted:

Psychiatrist, or psychologist?

I know someone who fits many of these traits indicated in this thread, but I want a professional's opinion on it. Why should I get in touch with?

What's the story with medical insurance and these professionals? Is it covered? If they once had a diagnosis for depression in the past does that mean ADD is a pre-existing condition and hence not covered? Any experience with this would be helpful.

I talked to my Psychiatrist, but I was already seeing him for Depression issues. For recommendations for a doctor to treat the ADHD, you mentioned Depression. Does that person still see that doctor? If not, can they go back to him/her? If not, perhaps a GP could recommend one.

AFAIK, Depression and ADHD are different diagnoses, so I would think that if one had not been diagnosed with ADHD in the past, they wouldn't hit the pre-existing clause. My Psychiatrist isn't covered by my plan, but he's so awesome that I just pay for his visits out of pocket. (I also only see him maybe 4 times a year at the most.) However, my insurance does cover my ADHD drug without question. It's the highest co-pay, but $40 a month for Adderall is a gently caress of a lot better than what it is at full price.

Qu Appelle
Nov 3, 2005

"If a COVID-19 pandemic occurs, public health officials may have additional instructions, such as avoiding close contact with others as much as possible, and staying home if someone in your household is sick." - Official insights from Public Health: Seattle & King County staff



Kneel Before Zog posted:

Unproductive thoughts means "jacking off and playing video games" right?

Not in my case. I don't even play video games.

Qu Appelle
Nov 3, 2005

"If a COVID-19 pandemic occurs, public health officials may have additional instructions, such as avoiding close contact with others as much as possible, and staying home if someone in your household is sick." - Official insights from Public Health: Seattle & King County staff



taylor posted:

As far as diagnostic criteria go it's a matter of the severity of symptoms. People with ADHD also often have dyslexia or hearing issues too...

I would love to see a cite on this, especially when it comes to hearing. I'm not questioning you, I just want to read more about it. Because I know my hearing and audio processing is 'off', and it's not just due to metal shows. It would explain a lot.

Qu Appelle
Nov 3, 2005

"If a COVID-19 pandemic occurs, public health officials may have additional instructions, such as avoiding close contact with others as much as possible, and staying home if someone in your household is sick." - Official insights from Public Health: Seattle & King County staff



Stofoleez posted:

Holy poo poo, you too? I as well would love to hear more on this.

This will be brief, because I'm about to run off for breakfast, but things sound distorted, particularly words. If it's perfectly quiet, I can hear someone just fine. But, if it's noisy, even just a very little bit, or I'm tired, or distracted, the words get distorted, and not processed - it's like the brain knows that Modern US English is being spoken, but the brain can't make sense of it, so I hear the discrete syllables instead, and they make no sense. It's like hearing a foreign language. One good side effect of this though, is that I've really learned to love music in foreign languages - I can concentrate on the tunes without trying to parse out the lyrics, because I don't know Swedish anyways. Thanks, Vintersorg!

Also, in a noisy place, I'll compensate by speaking REALLY LOUDLY without realizing it - on more than one occasion people have had to tell me to pipe down. (And that's always embarrassing). I'm also always saying "what?", etc. In one lab it was so bad that I made my coworkers talk to me on Communicator, even though they were a few meters away, because trying to hear over server farm white noise just didn't work.

Also, when I get flustered or stressed, I say the wrong thing, or the right term can't come to mind, or I'll mispronounce things, or my brain will just shut down. It's bizarre. I definitely have some sort of language processing thing going on here, and I don't know if it's related to the ADHD or not - but when I am on the Adderall, at least the flustering language thing goes away. I still have the hearing processing issues.

(And I always ALWAYS wear earplugs to shows, and have my iPod volume on low - I don't want to have my hearing any more messed up than it already is!)

Qu Appelle fucked around with this message at 18:13 on Oct 10, 2009

Qu Appelle
Nov 3, 2005

"If a COVID-19 pandemic occurs, public health officials may have additional instructions, such as avoiding close contact with others as much as possible, and staying home if someone in your household is sick." - Official insights from Public Health: Seattle & King County staff



cjksutherland posted:

I'm curious, with no disrespect intended, where you draw the line between someone that's just unmotivated and inattentive and someone that has ADHD. Surely not everyone that's a lazy slacker has ADHD, so what makes one different from the other?

I was thinking on how to answer this, and I think I figured it out.

ADHDers often have problems with what is called the 'Executive Function', e.g. the critical cognitive control.

"Components of Executive Function

Based upon material from Barkley and Brown, I have outlined five general components of executive function that impact school performance:

1. Working memory and recall (holding facts in mind while manipulating information; accessing facts stored in long-term memory.)
2. Activation, arousal, and effort (getting started; paying attention; finishing work)
3. Controlling emotions (ability to tolerate frustration; thinking before acting or speaking)
4. Internalizing language (using "self-talk" to control one's behavior and direct future actions)
5. Taking an issue apart, analyzing the pieces, reconstituting and organizing it into new ideas (complex problem solving)."

(From here: http://www.chrisdendy.com/executive.htm)

In me, I have a problem starting things. I try to do a task, and it's overwhelming, or I don't know where to begin, or I start it, just to give up when things don't go as planned. Or, I get distracted doing the task.

Then I started taking my Adderall again.

Over the weekend, I put together an IKEA table. It took me all evening, but I did it, all in one night. The table has been laying in various parts for the past month or so, and I've always been meaning to get to it, but I never did. I'd move the legs to a corner, then lose track of what I was doing. Or, I'd get distracted, and I'd forget to come back to it. However, last night, I just...put together a table. I put all the pieces in one place, got out the directions, read the pictures that were the directions, and started putting the table together. I took breaks when my arms got tired, but I was conscious of how long of a break I was taking, and I went back to the task after 10 minutes or so. Even when I realized that I put the legs on the frame the wrong way, I just dismantled it and restarted. I didn't blow a fuse, and I didn't give up and put the project in the corner, ignored for another month.

So, this may seem like a minor example, but this is one way in which ADHD can make things bad for the person affected. And how treatment can help.

Qu Appelle
Nov 3, 2005

"If a COVID-19 pandemic occurs, public health officials may have additional instructions, such as avoiding close contact with others as much as possible, and staying home if someone in your household is sick." - Official insights from Public Health: Seattle & King County staff



taylor posted:

Do you also not get the cocktail party effect? Anyways, I heard it from an ADHD specialist. A quick search pulled up the following.


Interestingly, I also noticed this study when scrolling through the search results.

Thank you!

I totally get the 'cocktail party deafness', and I hate it. I didn't mention it before because the vast majority of social events I go to are either very quiet, or very loud. Not a lot of actual cocktail parties in my life.

Qu Appelle
Nov 3, 2005

"If a COVID-19 pandemic occurs, public health officials may have additional instructions, such as avoiding close contact with others as much as possible, and staying home if someone in your household is sick." - Official insights from Public Health: Seattle & King County staff



g3k posted:

Meditating: I'll start meditating for a week, and then the cycle will continue again and I'll be back to my habit of picking up and dropping things.


What type of meditation do you do? Do you have a regular group or sangha that you meet up with?

I do Vipissana Buddhist meditation. I would do the same thing - meditate really fiercely for a few days, then forget about it for a month. Then feel guilty, and start it again. Eventually, when I moved to a larger city, I hooked up with a sangha, and that keeps me in line - I know that at least once a week I'll get some time in on the cushion, and I'll be doing it with a group of great people as well. Keeps me on track. If you need help finding a group, let me know.

Qu Appelle
Nov 3, 2005

"If a COVID-19 pandemic occurs, public health officials may have additional instructions, such as avoiding close contact with others as much as possible, and staying home if someone in your household is sick." - Official insights from Public Health: Seattle & King County staff



g3k posted:

I tried starting out Chakra. It's a good method and it can help me relax, but I'm very easily distracted. I try to do guided meditation while I'm trying to sleep, the basic stuff, start in your feet and move the energy up, etc, describe a serene place in your head and let it just flow. It kind of works and gets me to sleep sometimes, but my mind is alway so drat busy. Some days it feels like I'm hosting Ozzfest in my head. I'd find a group but the only real meditation type stuff is an hour and a half away. I'm stuck with Yoga classes with middle aged cougars, pretensious young girls and guys trying to score. I have a book by some Buddhist leader, started reading it and it sat on my nightstand. I think it's in a box somewhere.

I'd recommend trying to find a group. Sometimes it's hard to find one that you mesh with; all the ones I tried were either like jumping into the deep end, and/or were filled with yuppie sanctimonious NPR Buddhists who thought the way to Enlightenment needed a $85 meditation cushion and a subscription to Tricycle. Or, the meditation centers were also cultural centers for various groups (Tibetan, Vietnamese, Lao), and I'd feel like an interloper going there.

It may sound hokey, but you could try out a group called Dharma Punx. They have various peer-led meditation groups around the country, and it's often a very friendly environment. I sit with the Seattle group.

Qu Appelle fucked around with this message at 01:09 on Oct 15, 2009

Qu Appelle
Nov 3, 2005

"If a COVID-19 pandemic occurs, public health officials may have additional instructions, such as avoiding close contact with others as much as possible, and staying home if someone in your household is sick." - Official insights from Public Health: Seattle & King County staff



Oh, and back on topic - here is an answer to that ADHD and the Military question:

This is from the Air Force ROTC website:

"General Requirements:

The following credentials may preclude you from Air Force ROTC membership, but will not keep you from enrolling in an Aerospace Studies class:

* Those medically diagnosed with asthma or who have been prescribed Ritalin or any other medication for ADD and/or ADHD at any point in their life may be precluded from military service, but they may be waived depending on diagnosis and treatment"

Qu Appelle
Nov 3, 2005

"If a COVID-19 pandemic occurs, public health officials may have additional instructions, such as avoiding close contact with others as much as possible, and staying home if someone in your household is sick." - Official insights from Public Health: Seattle & King County staff



Oh, and can I add that Adderall is the biggest mindfuck in the world?

My depression is gone! I can focus again! I now have energy to do things like shop and cook! Food tastes incredibly good! I want to go to many places and have many various and wonderful things!

...and I lost my appetite. I think I'm eating maybe 1/2-2/3 of what I normally do in a day. Thanks, speed.

Qu Appelle
Nov 3, 2005

"If a COVID-19 pandemic occurs, public health officials may have additional instructions, such as avoiding close contact with others as much as possible, and staying home if someone in your household is sick." - Official insights from Public Health: Seattle & King County staff



drumwolf posted:

If that's the only major downside of Adderall, I'd love to have some. I could definitely lose a few pounds.

Oh, that's not my only downside. It still makes me spazzy when it wears off, I miss my morning coffees, and sometimes the insomnia I get is fierce, despite taking it at 9am and going to bed 14 hours later. I also get the dry mouth, but not badly. However, it's the most interesting - and unexpected - side effect. When I've had medications or illnesses in the past that reduced my appetite, it also reduced my desire, and I found food dull. So I'd ignore it all, and only eat for sustenance.

Not this time. Oh Gods no. In fact, my interest in food has increased. I'm even going to little regional foodie events. And, just today I just bought myself a small package of gourmet chocolates to look at and snack on at work.

Qu Appelle
Nov 3, 2005

"If a COVID-19 pandemic occurs, public health officials may have additional instructions, such as avoiding close contact with others as much as possible, and staying home if someone in your household is sick." - Official insights from Public Health: Seattle & King County staff



Apok posted:


The bad part is that many people don't understand what I have to do to concentrate. I HATE people that chat during lectures. HATE HATE HATE. Fuckers don't want to concentrate. I don't have a choice. I pay for my class go talk about bullshit in the hallway, not in the class I pay to take so I can get a degree.

I totally hear you.

I'm in the workforce, and I work in a cube farm. Boy howdy people can talk! When there's not a whole lot to do, it seems that everyone else takes that opportunity to turn the time into a massive gossip session, where there's a couple of us that are actually trying to work on individual projects. Annoys the everloving poo poo out of me, and unlike class, it's not exactly like I can move to another seat.

Luckily, there's music I can listen to. But wow. I get paid to break software and devise new lab layouts in Visio, not talk about your goddamned delinquent of a child or what your favorite teas are, Mr. Coworker X.

Qu Appelle fucked around with this message at 16:01 on Oct 17, 2009

Qu Appelle
Nov 3, 2005

"If a COVID-19 pandemic occurs, public health officials may have additional instructions, such as avoiding close contact with others as much as possible, and staying home if someone in your household is sick." - Official insights from Public Health: Seattle & King County staff



Put it in Your Mouf posted:

Stimulants make everyone better at tests. Don't do this.
http://cme.medscape.com/viewarticle/560074_8

Yes. Don't do this. Not only does it open you up to a possibility of addiction and liability for getting drugs using less than legal means, it makes it harder for us legitimate ADHDers to get our speed because it feeds into the 'ADHD=drugseeker' stereotype.

If you think you have ADHD, *get screened for ADHD by a competent professional* first. Then, if you *actually have* ADHD, get your hands on the happy speed and see how it works out for you.

Qu Appelle
Nov 3, 2005

"If a COVID-19 pandemic occurs, public health officials may have additional instructions, such as avoiding close contact with others as much as possible, and staying home if someone in your household is sick." - Official insights from Public Health: Seattle & King County staff



Good update. Too bad the Dexedrine doesn't seem to be working well for you, and hopefully the Adderall will work better.

My trip report: On the Adderall again, and this time I'm taking it every single day to help with both ADHD and depression. However, both are mild, so I only need 5 mg a day. The side effects are waning so I'm pretty much functional in the evenings again, and I don't have tons of trouble getting to sleep anymore unless I have caffeine in the evening.

And wow. Attention span. I sat through an avionics lecture that I went to with a friend, called "Airspace Restrictions for the 2010 Olympic Winter Games." Despite the facts that I don't fly, not really interested in planes, wasn't planning on going to the Olympics, and the presenters were all government head talking drones, I was RIVETED. Lines like 'All aircraft intending to operate within the Olympic Rings (CYR185) or OCAs (CYR186, CYR 187, and CYR188) will be required to be on an active IFR or VFR flight plan' were THE MOST FASCINATING TOPICS IN THE WORLD OH BLESSED JESUS I AM ACTUALLY PAYING ATTENTION I HAVE AN ATTENTION SPAN THIS IS SO GLORIOUS . Even though I actually didn't know what it all meant at times (ok, nearly all the time), by God I was listening to it!

However, there was also a map. I maps.

Qu Appelle
Nov 3, 2005

"If a COVID-19 pandemic occurs, public health officials may have additional instructions, such as avoiding close contact with others as much as possible, and staying home if someone in your household is sick." - Official insights from Public Health: Seattle & King County staff



Hobo Tickler posted:

TL, DR : ADHD case here, loved the meds till side effects caught up with me, went on to complete degree without any medication.

First of all : Hasn't anyone here had bad experiences using Adderall / whatever?

I have some side effects that get to me, but the good outweighs the bad.

However, here are the things that I just can't stand on Adderall:

1. I miss my appetite, and I'm eating so little that by the end of the day, I'm just wiped out. And while the weight loss is OK (yet not needed, 125 lbs on a late 30+ year old woman who is 5'0 isn't that bad and there's no way I could be considered 'fat'), the lack of energy? Bad. It also fucks up my other issues. Though, I have taken to eating a large-ish dinner on weeknights, and just made a huge pot of split-pea soup to eat this week.

The other thing I miss? Having a simple cup of coffee. Even the miniscule amount in decaf is enough to make my heart race after a couple of cups. It doesn't help that Seattle literally has a coffee shop on every corner, and that the coffee here is divine. For me, when I go to the local bakery, there's nothing more delicious than a stack of frosted sugar cookies and a nice mug of steaming coffee. Add some magazines to the mix, and it's a relaxing weekend morning for me.

But, you know, I'll take that. I like this entire wacky 'attention span' concept, and these are things I can work around and live with. So, the pluses outweigh the minuses for me.

Qu Appelle
Nov 3, 2005

"If a COVID-19 pandemic occurs, public health officials may have additional instructions, such as avoiding close contact with others as much as possible, and staying home if someone in your household is sick." - Official insights from Public Health: Seattle & King County staff



Philosopher King posted:

Does anyone else feel like there might be a glass ceiling that exists for people with ADD, or is it just my imagination?

It's not like its something you can keep from employers because you will always pop positive on drug tests.

Yes - but that's why drug testers (at least the good ones) ask what medications you're taking beforehand, so that when you do pop positive for speed, you can prove it's Ritalin, and not meth. They may need a doctor's note, but if the meds have been prescribed to you and you're using them in accordance with their orders, you should be fine. You'd have to ask for more details, but they have contingencies to plan for that sort of thing.

There are also many industries where drug testing is the exception, not the norm. I've been in Software Engineering for over a decade now, and I've only known of two companies to ever give their software folk drug tests - the military, and Boeing.

Qu Appelle
Nov 3, 2005

"If a COVID-19 pandemic occurs, public health officials may have additional instructions, such as avoiding close contact with others as much as possible, and staying home if someone in your household is sick." - Official insights from Public Health: Seattle & King County staff



TONY DANZAS HO posted:

Haha this is funny to me only because I too am an ADD-having-adult who likes to make art and I work in a law firm as well, good luck to you! It is not all that bad, besides, if you get a paralegal job you'll probably have very good coverage, I do. You don't have to tell anyone in a workplace that you're medicated, anyway...

Jesus, we should form a club.

I also do art (though not nearly as talented as you two) (I do watercolors and ink, and I'm working on a comic thingy), and I considered going into Law School until I realized that the logic portions of the LSAT turn my brain into spaghetti and that there are truly no jobs and I will die alone. So I'm still ensconced in software, and temporarily made peace with it.

Taking up the art has been a boon, it's one of the things that will calm my brain down and I can truly focus on. And I find it incredibly relaxing to boot. Something about sketching and painting just makes my brain feel like it's getting a wonderful massage.

Qu Appelle
Nov 3, 2005

"If a COVID-19 pandemic occurs, public health officials may have additional instructions, such as avoiding close contact with others as much as possible, and staying home if someone in your household is sick." - Official insights from Public Health: Seattle & King County staff



Mein Eyes! posted:

Monotasking is still very hard. I normally don't drink coffee or caffeine, but I can usually monofocus if I get myself high on the stuff. I imagine caffeine has a greater effect due to the methylphenidate already in my system, and I really don't like the interaction. I'll end up trembly and uncomfortable until things normalize. Still, whenever I have to get one thing completely done start to finish in one sitting, I'll have to get a coffee and point Pandora at some sort of awful club music and just power through.

I can monotask better on the Adderall, but yeah - sometimes I need some music to power me through a task. Luckily, I temporarily have an office at work in a hall with no other people, so no one complains when I play Týr and other metal on infinite repeat. And - own office means that no one can interrupt me, so I get a lot more done.

So, question - anyone have their emotional lability (sp?) go off the charts on Adderall? I'm normally really stoic, but for the past week or so, I've felt like I've been on the edge of tears, and weird little things trigger crying. Watching a documentary on Obama on TV? Tears. Playing with the cat? Tears. Getting flamed for something monumentally stupid on the Internets? Tears. Messing up something minor at work? Tears. No other emotion feels inflated or dampened.

It feels like my depression is under control, and I've had no stressful events happen. In fact, right now my life and health has been the best it's been in almost a decade. The only thing I can think of is that the drug is triggering it. But, it's stupid and annoying. I think that if I can tell myself that it's just my brain being wonky, that might short-circuit it. (I find that I can do that with depressive spells, particularly ones before my period.) But yeah.

Qu Appelle
Nov 3, 2005

"If a COVID-19 pandemic occurs, public health officials may have additional instructions, such as avoiding close contact with others as much as possible, and staying home if someone in your household is sick." - Official insights from Public Health: Seattle & King County staff



Paramemetic posted:

This is a well known side effect of amphetamines. When it doesn't happen regularly, it happens when the dose slopes off. Adderall XR was invented in part to help reduce these crashes, but it doesn't really do a great job.

You know, that makes sense. Because I take it in the morning, and the weepiness tends to come in the afternoon/evening.

I want to edit this to address something that Lioness said. Overall, I have to agree that my emotions are more in check. Something happens, and I'm able to sit back a minute and think it through, rather than fly off the handle or flip out or sulk. Which is one of the reasons I knew that my ADHD needed to be treated - the no attention span thing? OK, that sucks. Just losing it under stress? OK, that *really* sucks, and that was the symptom that bothered me the most by far. So, I'm happy that the Adderall is treating that aspect of the disorder.

I'm thinking the weepiness is coming directly from me coming down from the drug. And it's good to know that it's mostly the drug, and not the disorder

(oh great - I just took my speed, and I'm going to a metal show tonight - I'll probably start bawling when Ensiferum plays 'Into Battle' )

Qu Appelle fucked around with this message at 20:05 on Nov 21, 2009

Qu Appelle
Nov 3, 2005

"If a COVID-19 pandemic occurs, public health officials may have additional instructions, such as avoiding close contact with others as much as possible, and staying home if someone in your household is sick." - Official insights from Public Health: Seattle & King County staff



With me, it doesn't feel like depression however.

It's weird to describe. Most of the other side effects of the Adderall have settled down, and knowing that this is a physiological reaction to the drug is reassuring. Then I can know to expect it, and can handle it if/when it happens.

Qu Appelle
Nov 3, 2005

"If a COVID-19 pandemic occurs, public health officials may have additional instructions, such as avoiding close contact with others as much as possible, and staying home if someone in your household is sick." - Official insights from Public Health: Seattle & King County staff



Kneel Before Zog posted:

Have any of you noticed weight loss side-effects or are goons not affected by such things?

A tiny bit, but the Baclofen (which increases my appetite) and Adderall seem to cancel each other out. Turns out I've only lost a couple of pounds, but I'm also on a really low dose of the stuff.

One thing I did notice is that I stopped gaining weight, because I'm no longer eating when stressed and/or bored, because my thresholds for both have been significantly increased. But, no - I haven't had the stereotypical 'now I eat nothing but 1 strawberry a day so I have lost 3 belt sizes in two weeks' experience others seem to have had.

Qu Appelle
Nov 3, 2005

"If a COVID-19 pandemic occurs, public health officials may have additional instructions, such as avoiding close contact with others as much as possible, and staying home if someone in your household is sick." - Official insights from Public Health: Seattle & King County staff



Angela posted:

umm... does neurobiofeedback actually work for inattentive ADD? I was diagnosed recently (no, actually a few months ago but until now nothing's been done about it because everyone around me is a gigantic loving flake)

and since I'm 16 and my parents don't want me to be on medication because "there's nothing wrong with you you're just really lazy and don't put any effort into anything because kids are brats today", I feel kind of trapped in this haha.

Also I'm really tired, depressed and obsessive all the time, and I was wondering if that has anything to do with this? Or will I just have to live with that too, huh.

Even if it does work, it's taking way too long.

Wow - this attitude pisses me right the hell off. Not yours, but your parents. It is an actual, real condition.

Now, I don't know about neurobiofeedback, but I do have another suggestion, if you don't mind. If it is affecting your schoolwork (I'm assuming that you're in school), see if you can talk to your teachers and/or school counselors about it. Explain the diagnosis, how this condition is affecting your schoolwork, and your parent's attitudes towards it. And then, see if there's anything that can be done, such as extra time on exams, extra time for homework, different types of projects, and the like. ADD is a recognized disability, and the Americans with Disabilities Act says that accommodations should be made for it. Hopefully that'll help somewhat, at least through school.

(I nearly forgot to add my Inspirational High School Story: I had to take a Civics class. Which I adored, but was doing horribly in. See, timed tests are the bane of my existence, and despite me KNOWING the different branches of government, how a bill becomes law, etc, I couldn't get that down in 42 minutes because the brain was still grinding through reading the questions and processing the answers while everyone else was happily filling out the little bubble questions about James Madison. The teacher knew there was a massive disconnect here because I was also speaking in class because I knew the answers. So he had me write take home op-ed essays on topics he picked instead. One a week for the rest of the semester. That? That I could do. 50 hand written pages later, I got an A.)

Qu Appelle fucked around with this message at 05:11 on Nov 26, 2009

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Qu Appelle
Nov 3, 2005

"If a COVID-19 pandemic occurs, public health officials may have additional instructions, such as avoiding close contact with others as much as possible, and staying home if someone in your household is sick." - Official insights from Public Health: Seattle & King County staff



anonumos posted:

So where do I go for the best help? Psychologists, therapists, or what? How do I find any information about one doctor or another, or find good referrals?

I'd say a good Psychiatrist could help you. They can help you with therapy techniques, and/or prescribe drugs for you to help.

It took years for me to finally stumble upon the right dosage and medication to help me. But they finally found it. So, whole I know it's frustrating, it is possible.

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