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i had a HUGE post full of tips on living with ADD *and* ADHD, but the damned board wiped it all out. "invalid thread" - GRRR.

in short, don't fight your natures. there is nothing "unnatural" with ADD/ADHD and a lot to celebrate. ADD/ADHD ppl often have higher-than-average IQs, are often more creative, and are usually very fluent communicators. many of the top ppl in creative fields like music, art, dance, and chartered accountancy are totally ADD or ADHD. we have more time because we often sleep less than average (4 hours for me, 5 if i'm exhausted, of course longer - up to 14 if i'm exhausted and sick).

i'm ADHD/slightly OCD, my mom is ADD, my dad is ADD, both my sisters are ADD (one is also OCD), my older daughter ADHD with frills (tourette's, anorexia syndrome, sleep disorder, OCD, yadda-yadda), my younger daughter has verbal learning disorder, OCD, and the form of ADD that leaves her wandering around acting like a stunned mackerel. all of us have higher-than-average IQs, up to low-genius for my OCD sister and my younger daughter. my ex-boyfriend of ten years was normal, but his older son is ADHD in spades.

mom, i, and my older daughter, we all tried the meds, but they were horrible. the meds exacerbated my daughter's other conditions, requiring more meds (holdone, clonidine, and clomipramine among them) and left us feeling like jittery zombies. even worse, my older daughter could no longer create - she has tested exceptionally brilliant for the arts (performing, visual, and fine), but when she was on ritalin and then the other stuff when the ritalin sent her tics spiralling out of control, her creativity dried up completely. because of that, i haven't even considered putting my younger daughter on meds. the cause being worse than the cure, we flushed the pills and learned to work within our natures:

[list]
[*]mom and my ex hate the sight of dirty dishes in the sink, i don't care unless they stink. so mom now and my ex then do the dishes unless there's a smell in which case here i come with the bleach and baking soda. mom knows i don't care about dishes, but out of courtesy, i make sure to leave little or no dishes for her to do on the occasions i cook (usually enough to feed a small army of ectomorphs).
[*]there was no way in hell i could get my kids to do the "one hour study per evening" thing, so i kept it to ten or fifteen minutes blocks with a five or ten minute break or a switch in subjects between.
[*]a "Martha Stewart" home just wasn't happening without a lot of screaming and angst. the fourth time my ex and/or his son walked across the not-quite-dried, freshly-waxed floor with their boots on "just for a quick pee", i gave up. i made a note that white tile floors are for morons and left the mopping to saturdays before 8am.
[*]instead of nagging the kids for days on end to get their rooms cleaned, i kept the door closed and made new rules: no friends unless your room is clean; you don't have to clean it unless it stinks; you have 24hrs to get your room done after i tell you, or i'll do it myself - and that means i go into *everything little corner, drawer, and hidey-hole*. amazing how well that works with teens and preteens.
[*]in canada, the schools HAVE to work with your kids' exceptionalities - get your kids a psycho-educational assessment to identify their learning styles. if they do indeed test out as ADD/ADHD, you are NOT required to put them on meds for it. i got into a furious argument with my daughter's school when they basically ganged up on me (six of them called me into an "emergency" parent-teacher meeting with teachers, the principal, and the guidance counsellor). i told them we tried it for a week, i did NOT like the results, i was not willing to wait three months to "see" if it worked and end up with her physically dependant on them, and i was very sorry, but they were going to have to buckle down and do their job and teach my daughter without the use of crutches.

[/list]

i live with my mom and sister now and our house is one of barely-controlled chaos. ppl always tell us how much fun our house is - difficult when we actually don't like having company - and we are always pulling pranks on each other (like the time i finally got around to shaving my legs and announced it by arranging the hair into a happy face on the bottom of the bathtub, thus totally grossing my OCD sister out :D ).

my older daughter has been married now for nearly two years. her husband is ADHD and OCD :rolleyes:. she never graduated high school, but at the age of 19, she's working in a corporate IT/design position for a major canadian chain of auto dealers. she does their web design - she got that job after she fixed up the job they hired her for originally: inventory manager. she didn't like the system, tore it all down, then redesigned it so even a trained monkey can keep track. she is currently developing a system to keep track of the keys that keep mysteriously disappearing - she's thinking RFID or GPS, but can't decide.

my younger daughter will likely not finish high school - she simply can't stay "awake" or quit drawing long enough in class to figure out what's going on. she has verbal learning disorder, which means she needs movies, cartoons, diagrams, and hands-on demonstrations. a week of lecturing couldn't teach her basic trig; three different-coloured pieces of dry spaghetti did it in less than ten minutes. that's fine - i'm planning on enrolling her in an online university that will get her a BA with courses she can take at her own speed - lightning fast for art and communication courses, slow as molasses flowing uphill in january for math and science type courses.

whatever works.
whoops! Forgot about my post until I was reviewing my favorites - sound familiar to anyone? I do try to limit my computer time due to a tendency to be excessive with it!

Replies have been very interesting. . . hard to sort them out. . .but I will try!!

I am very much a reader of information - it tends to be my addiction - so I had read up on the drugs that I take as well as consulting with a couple of drs. and a pharmacist or two. The Klonipin is a drug that I take for the dysautonomia, which causes heart racing at times. The doctor who manages that part of me is a cardiologist and is also the one prescribing a beta blocker. Mitral valve prolapse is not considered a heart abnormality (don't ask me why) according to all the docs and doesn't qualify as a structural defect that prohibits use of amphetamines. It also helps me wind down and actually go to sleep, otherwise, I'm up all night and then the MVP effects kick in the next day, heart racing among them. My sleep doc also thought Klonipin was a good one to use. I think the worst part of Klonipin is that if I take it too late (2 a.m.-ish), I am a little druggy the next morning. But then, who isn't a little foggy on four hours of sleep? So many factors. . . I have not read about Klonipin clouding thinking, etc. Specifically, where would I read about that?

I did try Adderall and Adderall XR with some benefit, but then I built tolerance and was losing benefit. Plus, I got cranky and I personally feel I am cranky enough without any help propelling me toward being a full-fledged grouch. BUT, the great thing was anxiety was GONE, my thoughts were gentle suggestions instead of a dart game in my brain, and I could actually live outside of the current moment (like, planning lunch at about mid-morning, coordinating a day's obligations in my brain without coming apart emotionally). And the stream of music in my head was silenced. That was making me nuts. (No hallucinations, just an ADD thing). And we had dinner that I made and we knew where (most) all our stuff was - it was good for my kids. They were calmer. So I would say that there were definite benefits with Adderall. Oh, I forgot the best thing - my kids continued to act like kids and I didn't go ballistic on them. That was the best. It was good not to feel like the most reactive, highly strung mother on earth. And my heart rate was lower (yep, lower) when I took Adderall. Go figure. Probably less stress from all the mess I know I can't keep up with and chronically forget.

I have friends who have done the fish oil thing - they didn't see significant benefit with it. I am hesitant to try it with my son because of food allergies, fish (which ones, I've no idea) being one of them. I may give it a try for myself.

Order and structure. . .I have begged my parents to come help me organize (or just be present so I can stay on task), but I'm afraid they don't want to. I think they are perpetually frustrated with my inability to be on top of it all. You know, a nicely maintained yard, 5 fruit and veggies a day for the kids, etc. I know, I know - not my problem, but I still have to deal with it. My organized friends. . . hmmm, those are few are far between. Birds of a feather. . . I'll be on the lookout for a compassionate organizer! Sadly, no funds to pay a professional. :)

I am unsure about the "shock" therapy - I am sorry, I know that isn't what it was called, but for lack of a better word. . . I think my husband would have a meltdown if I even suggested it. He doesn't have a sense of humor about his own ADD and - well, too long an explanation - I just don't think he'd go for doing that with our six year old.

Thyroid. . .been checked and checked and checked. The dysautonomia looks like thyroid, but so far, normal, normal, normal. No kidding - I've had the full workup for thyroid, including thyroid antibodies (that is really outside of the normal workup, actually), at least one to two times a year for about 12 years now. I guess it is safe to say I've got good thyroid function.

Vitamins - I don't imagine the kid's Flinstones are considered a good vitamin :p I try. Really. I'll have to make a better vitamin investment, eh?

I think that acceptance of ADD is a big issue with our family right now. Our family and friends act like we've told them we are actually citizens of Mars. In other words - "uh. . .right" is really their response. They may all get a copy of Driven to Distraction for Christmas. I think that my husband and I will eventually be able to laugh about it, because we really do some outrageously funny ADD things and we are both creative types. We just have to stop listening to outside expectations. It is hard to break the cycle when you are approval-seeking non-conformists!!

Breathe. . .I'll check into it. I like breathing.

Thanks for the input everybody. :D





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