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ADD / ADHD Message Board

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Board Index > ADD / ADHD | 0-9 A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

First of all, I would like to relate my story because we have a lot in common. I went to college to be an elementary teacher but decided after substituting for awhile that I had simply chosen the wrong career (never have figured out what career IS right for me!) I'm an only child and was wondering if you are too...just curious. I never even knew of such a thing as ADD until about 6 or so years ago. I always did feel different but didn't know what was wrong with me, not until the four of us (hubby, me, and our son and daughter) went to a psychologist for family therapy. It didn't take long at all and she said that she thought I have Attention Deficit Disorder. I was mostly the only one who went back to her after that, since I guess I'm the big problem. I had felt like a zombie for a long time, but once she put me on Wellbutrin, it really helped a lot. I have yet to find a medication that will help me concentrate, though. I've tried Ritalin, Dexadrine, and Adderall, and still have yet to see a difference. Right now I'm taking Adderall, and despite my mentioning to the psychologist and my doctor that I fail to see an improvement, they think I should continue taking it. I've been on it for about two years now, and I would that by now I'd notice a change.

Although I had no idea what was wrong with me as I was growing up, I now know it was the ADD all along. Thinking back, that would explain my being so easily distracted all the time. While taking a test, I'd be bothered by any little noise, so I would discretely put my fingers in my ears to block out the noise so I could think. When we'd take turns reading out loud in class, I'd lose my place all the time when I was trying to follow along with them and then practically panic when I'd see it was getting close to being my turn to read. We did SRA in reading class and I'd always be way behind most other people. I graduated third in my high school class, but all I did when I got home every night was study; I had no social life. I really had to work for my grades. I still remember taking the SAT test; it was given in another area school and it was the first time I was ever in the school. There was a phone closeby the classroom that my group was in and it rang so much while I was taking the test and I was really thrown off by it. I didn't do that great on the test, and I'm sure that was a big part of it. I didn't like college at all because I lived in a dorm and things were so distracting. It was too noisy there, so I'd walk to the campus library every night to study, and even there I'd be bothered by people talking around me.

After I graduated, I tried substituting for awhile and found out that I made a huge mistake getting a degree in teaching. I know exactly what you mean by what you describe when being in class with the students. I don't know what ages yours are, but I taught grades K-6; all of them were hard for me to deal with. I'd come home with a huge headache from trying to keep myself together and dealing with all that activity. It was so hard for me to concentrate on things, so hard to be organized. I just couldn't stand all that hustle bustle. It was like a bunch of flies or bees buzzing in my ears or something...I really couldn't wait to get out of there! Whereas it seemed as though the other teachers enjoyed what they were doing, I dreaded each day I was in there! I can honestly say that I ended up hated teaching and won't go back to it. I certainly know you're saying where you say that your mind feels like it's about to explode! I always felt that way, but there are also other situations in which I feel that way too, depending on what is going on around me. I do know that me and teaching don't mix though definitely.
You say about your husband getting worried about you. Well, mine is/was the same way because the way you describe yourself is me to a tee. When he talks to me (actually, it happens with me and other people too), it's like somebody is turning a switch off in my head and then turning it back on. I know I don't process what's said to me the same way other people process things. It takes awhile for it to sink in. Watching a movie where the voice and motions are out of sync is what my listening and processing reminds me of...there's a delay there. Not only do I have trouble processing what's said to me, but I also feel tongue-tied when trying to explain something to someone.

Here are some more of my symptoms: I lose things a lot, especially my keys; I feel like I spend most of my life looking for things; I am very unorganized and have clutter in the house; I have lots of projects started and have trouble finishing them; I worry a lot; I'm not good with small talk; no matter what job I have I feel exhausted at the end of the day; I'm not very active; I feel like I'll never find a job that I can deal with; I have a short fuse; I get upset when someone tries to straighten up my stuff because then I really can't find anything; I'm a compulsive spender; I feel like my mind never is quiet and even have trouble getting to sleep at night because of my racing thoughts...I'm sure I could think of more things to describe myself, but those are the ones that come to me at the moment. I am presently in the middle of reading a book I bought called Women with "Attention Deficit Disorder"; it sounds like I wrote the book and am describing myself. It's really strange reading about something, not realizing that others are actually going through this same hell that I'm dealing with! I'm hoping that as I get further along in the book, I can get some resolution on this. It's nice reading that there are actually other people who experience the same things as what I do, but I also want solutions to my problems. I want to know where to go from here.

Now, to get to the questions that you asked, to get evaluated, I would think that you should go to a psychologist and have him/her diagnose you; at least, that's the way it worked for me. Did you mention any of your concerns to that new doctor that you said you were just to see? Maybe you would want to mention those things to him and see what he has to say about it. I don't know if he would refer you to a psychologist who would diagnose your ADD? I wouldn't wait to see him again; I'd go back right away to try to get answers. If something is bothering me and I want a solution, I don't like waiting around. Oh, whoever you do go to see, what I suggest you do before you go there is to write out a list ahead of time of all of the symptoms that you have, why you think you might have ADD. Write yourself a note to call the doctor, but don't lose your note. Put it on the frig or right by the phone, wherever you think you will easily see it and be reminded to make an appointment. I wish you the best of luck and hope to hear how you made out. Sorry this got so long.

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