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ADD / ADHD Message Board

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Welcome to the ADD club...not fun, is it? :( Yes, from what you've said, I think that you probably do have it. I hate having it; I feel like a total failure. I went to college to be a teacher, substitued off and on for awhile and found out I couldn't stand it and so have been drifting from job to job working in offices, which I also find hard to do. It seems like no matter what job I have it's so hard for me to concentrate and I make mistakes. The last job I had was for a temp agency working in a children and youth office. From that I found out that I can't multitask. I had to handle 3 phones lines, so I'd try to do something in the office and a couple minutes hardly ever went by without the phone ringing. Then I'd forget what I was doing before the phone rang. I got so overstressed doing that job that I ended up on anti-anxiety medication. I'd actually have mini panic attacks in the office where my face felt really hot and my hands started was awful. The only thing that kept me from quitting/losing that job was that it was only temporary until they found someone permanent.

I don't know what are all the symptoms you have, but I will tell you mine and you can see if you have any/many of them. I lose my keys a lot, forget things, forget what people tell me, have several projects going at once and have trouble finishing them, have trouble focusing (but hyper-focus on things I love to do like being on the computer), have a lot of clutter and I have a tendency to accumulate a lot of junk in my car, I tune out a lot when people are talking to me, I don't like being around a lot of people, I get distracted very easily, noises bother me like someone cracking his/her gum and hearing fluorescent lights buzz (I've been told that I hear high-pitched sounds that most people don't hear like that and bats squeaking), I'm very unorganized, have always made lots of mistakes in every job I've ever had, my clothes have to have a certain feel to them...I'm sure I have other symptoms of ADD that I'm forgetting just now, but I think you get the idea.

I've tried medication and none has helped me so far. I've tried Adderall, Dexadrine, and Ritalin. I couldn't see one bit of difference. I'm thinking that maybe I'm just one of the 20% of people who aren't helped with medication. If you think you have ADD, mention it to your doctor. Perhaps he can try you on some meds. Maybe he would refer to you someone first though to see what their opinion is. I was first diagnosed by a psychologist and then she recommended that I go on medication. I've been seeing her over the past 5 years off and on because I just get too overwhelmed with my problems at times and need to unload, but as far as medication helping me, I've more or less given up on that idea. That doesn't mean that it won't work for you though. I think it's certainly worth a try to see if that will make a difference in your life.

I've been reading books about ADD and realize that I'm one among the many with this disorder. Some books that I recommend on the subject are Driven to Distraction; You Mean I'm Not Lazy, Stupid or Crazy?!; and Women with Attention Deficit Disorder. I have other books on the subject too, but I just haven't gotten around to reading them yet...oh yeah, another thing about me is that I procrastinate a lot!

I believe you when you say you're bright. I've read that most people who have ADD are very intelligent. I was third in my high school class and voted most likely to succeed by my classmates. Nothing could be further from the truth though! My husband and I are in much credit card debt as a result of me not being able to hold down a job. I went a big part of my life not knowing what was wrong with me, although I always suspected that there was (I had trouble concentrating in school and used to hold my ears shut when I'd take tests to block out the little noises in the room). It wasn't until I was about 42 that I was diagnosed with ADD and then it was actually by accident (we were going to a psychologist for family counseling and she told me that she thought I have ADD....I couldn't pay attention to what she was saying while we were there).

I know exactly how you must feel when you goof up on a job. It's not like you intentionally do it or anything like that. You probably want to do your very best, but it seems like no matter what you do, you screw up anyway (at least that's the way it goes for me). When someone talks to me at work and tries to explain something to me, I think to myself, "I'll remember that," but later on I'm thinking, "Oh my god, what was that that he told me?!" It hardly ever fails. It's like a mute button goes on in my head and it turns on and off and I only hear parts of the conversation. No matter how hard I try to listen and understand everything, I don't know later what it is that I'm supposed to do! It's so darn frustrating!

Right now I'm not working because of my problems dealing with jobs. I worked the months of August, September, and October and told the temp lady that I wanted to take the month of November off to gather myself (while doing the last job I told her that I had ADD after the job was getting to me). I don't know if that's why she hasn't called me since, but it's not like I really care right now anyway. I don't know what I'd do if I wouldn't have my husband to pay the bills!

It's not like I don't want to make something of my life, but it's just so hard for me doing jobs! I guess because of our financial situation and because I'm afraid of failure, I've been steering away from going back to college because I'm just afraid that after all is said and done I'll fail at whatever career I pick out to do! Just yesterday I called the Office of Vocational Rehabilitation to see if they could possibly help me. They are going to send me paperwork to fill out and I'll see where it goes from there. Perhaps you could go that route also. I told them that I have ADD and want to see if they can help me figure out what career would be best for me, and then I might possibly consider going back to college even if I am 48 years old. I have to do something because if I don't we aren't going to be in one heck of a bad financial shape (it's already terrible) by the time my husband retires. We won't have any money saved up and have nothing but a ton of debt. It's a very bleak future for us right now unless I take the bull by the horns. I just have to figure out what is going to work for me. As it is now, I feel like an absolute failure.

Now about your questions (sorry I'm finally getting around to answering them just now). Concerning the coffee, I'm guessing that since stimulants are some of the medications given to help with ADD, I'd say that the coffee would be used to help you concentrate. I think it would help you rather than make your symptoms worse. I'm not sure if your ADD will get worse or not without medication. I'm on an antidepressant too (Wellbutrin) and am also on other meds, so I understand your not wanting to take yet another medication. I would, though, if I'd know that it would help me with the ADD. I have tried them to no avail. That's a personal choice to be on meds or not. I don't know, but I wouldn't think that you'd have to disclose that information to employers, what meds you are on or the fact that you have ADD. I would think that's a violation of privacy. As for myself, for any future jobs, I won't say anything in the interview but at some point later on if I need accomodations on the job, then I might consider telling the employer about the ADD. I'd really have to think about that one...I'm not sure. I know that employers must accommodate people with disabilities, and ADD is considered a disability. Maybe you would want to do a search on the net for the Americans with Disabilities Act.

I hope I've helped you. I know how frustrating the life of a person having ADD can be! Good luck to you. I hope we both resolve our problems soon. Sorry this got so long.

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