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Background to first post

My story does have a good ending, but if it sounds negative, that is not my intention. But, if a parent notices things through the beginning phase of treatment, then I want them to remember that they are not alone.

Also, I can be a long winded writer while I am rather succinct in life. I'll try to make this ADD friendly in format.

Post-hoc edit: I'm dividing this into two posts to break this up. I ended up typing more than I intended, but I don't want to delete. I'm just trying to make it easier on the eyes. My "advice" or insight will be primarily in the second post. So, you may want to read that first.

There is no way that I could talk about my entire youth without 3 pages. And, in ADD style, there would be dozens of tangents. If I start down a tangent, I have to complete it before getting back to the main point...kinda like "there goes a turkey," but then proceeding to begin a discussion about foal and the environment.

[B]PT 1[/B]
[B]How my eval process started[/B]
I was diagnosed almost 2 years ago when I was 31. By that time, I had finished grad school and was working in a line of work that suited me. I didn't perceive ADHD was having a huge effect at that time, but it had always been in the back of my mind. Looking back, ADHD was affecting me more than I thought, I attributed these factors to inherent flaws of me. I had the typical scatterbrained qualities of always forgetting things that went back to childhood. I'm not a psychologist, but my husband shows "OCD qualities" which made life stressful for both of us. I was terrible at remembering thing like rotation and balance and air filters...my husband just thought that I didn't care. On the good side of this, I always have a well maintained car and I try to remember that.

This began when my doctor had a discussion with my husband and directed him to an online screening. While his outcome wasn't significant, mine suggested "highly probable" in 3 of 6 and "probable" in 1 of 6 potential categories! While I didn't conclude that as fact, I thought it warranted a further look. Like I said, it had been in the back of my mind. I assumed that psycholgical testing would be expensive and I was not in a place to pursue it

[B]Current life[/B]
I am a fitness professional working at multiple places. As long as I had a palm pilot, I functioned rather well. Before my palm pilot, I had trouble with even a planner because I would walk off and forget it. If my palm is in my purse, I have a better chance of leaving with it. While this suited me, the very thing that I thrived is what would exhaust me. In addition, I did corporate wellness work with manufacturing plants, thus adjusting my schedule to accomodate shift work. This is where my previous cessation of caffeine started to fall through AND I was a compulsive exerciser--even if I don't always admit it.

[B]Youth-abridged version...or, factors as to why I thought that I was ADD[/B]
I never had the overt rebellious problems as a teenager. Granted, I did things that my mom would have been furious to find out...

In fact, my mom conveniently forgets how "bad" I was. I hardly acknowledges my ADD and won't discuss it. I brought her two books to read because that is a good medium for her. She says that she "doesn't understand," my intention was to give her resources. She is a retired elementary teacher as well, so her ignorance was rather surprising. I find For a longtime, I was angry over this. But, I've dealt with this with my therapist

[B]As a kid..[/B]
My mother, by programming, is inherently negative and strict. In some ways, I appreciate it because it has shaped many of my qualities; but, the nurturing aspect was at times overlooked. I was the daydreamer in dance class and the softball field around 4-5. On several occasions, I was spanked after dance, not for misbehaving, not "not doing good." I remember always asking "Did I do good?" but not knowing the criteria for "good". However, a few years later, I started gymnastics and had quite an aptitude.

My grades were good through elementary school. My mother had an influence. With junior high, I had difficulties and I responded by "giving up," under the guise of "smart people aren't cool." Ironically, my class was just the opposite in that thinking. By high school, I had mixed results. I did well in some areas, but my study skills were poor. Math and science was s struggle. My post-HS goal was to be a cheerleader at my college...and maybe get a degree while i was there.

My [B]social skills[/B] developed slowly. My perspective here is in hindsight. I feel alot of guilt over things from when I was younger, particularly with a friend that passed at age 24. I was very jealous and my self-image depended on the reactions of others. My mother acted as if every kid was good but her own. I developed resentment toward friends--but it wasn't their fault. When I was complemented, my mom would contradict or disagree with them in front of me. I don't know if it is ADD directly or just a symptom of low self-esteem. I was a bad mouther and felt more secure in my friendships when one person was mad at the other. I also had a "serious" boyfriend from age 14-16, I spend much of my time with him. I see those as critical years that girls make bonds. I had fallouts over things that could have been resolved with some "talks." I would hold onto my anger and in the end, I was the one that was hurt. At home, I was irritable. I guess some was a factor of the age. I was also a brooder and liked my space when I was upset--my mother took this personally. Also, my natural expression tends to look sullen, so I gave alot of unintentional body language. I recall being spanked for pouting and being like "what did I do"

[I]Note: I'm not trying to trash my mother. I have had some bitterness, but I've been working on it. I've learned more about my mother's childhood and see that she raised me in the way that she was raised. In fact, I have a disturbing that my experience was NOTHING compared to hers. Unfortunately, I'm seeing her masked pain that seemed to surface when my grandfather died. I feel sad for her as i have begun to resolve my issues[/I]
[B]College[/B]
Things began to turn in college. I made my school's cheer squad, but I made the reserve squad. This wasn't uncommon for a freshman, but I had a little big fish/small pond to small fish/big pond syndrome. This was unnerving when you experience this w/ what is your identity.

The small fish feeling made me realize that I wasn't going to be a cheerleader forever. I began to turn my focus to my academics. I saw college as a chance to "reinvent myself." My act worked because I have always been perceived as "smart" in college. That perception also helped my confidence I took advantage of free tutoring services and gradually developed study skills. It took alot of work and I experience alot of anxiety due to my inefficiency. I also had issues with confience which translated into anxiety. ADD'd people are very capable of focusing. Many times, the timing of the focus is inappropriate or our fixation leads to anxiety and worry.

[B]Career choices/wrong decisions[/B]
[B]1.[/B] I finished my undergrad with a degree in Biology. I applied to dental school during my senior year and made the alternate list. During the next year, I moved 5 miles south to KY to secure10 miles I took off a year. This was a great decision for me in developing independence. At age 22, i had never had a checking account.

Ironically, my dental career lasted lasted 5 weeks. I struggled, but it was to be expected. To go from relative academic success to one where they said that a "C" meant, "see you next year!" But I decided in the big picture, i was in the wrong place and I was right! Still, I was devestated and saw it as failure.

I left dental school having NO idea of what to do. I had two areas of interest that I couldn't get locally--I was getting married in December. Even more, I was in the beginning of an eating disorder; I had literally stopped eating. This took on a life of it's own after leaving.

Fast forward 2 years...I applied and was excepted to a clinical audiology program. I had done quiet bit of shadowing and it felt right. Honestly, i would have shoved anything to make it fit. In the back of my mind, I was terrified of repeating my experience with dental school.

When I got in, my mom and my husband were off my back.. I did great academically, but I struggled as I progressed to clinic. I had so much anxiety of failing that I increased a self-fulfilling prophecy. I had a negative experience with a notorious clinical instructor. However, my downfall was my response to the situation. I differ from many ADD people in that my strength is reading and hands on is a challenge. Despite having a 3.6, I received 2 C's in clinic which puts you iat risk for dismissal. Up until then, I refused to even consider the idea that I didn't like the clinical aspect. My last semester, so many people were saying "why didn't you get a PhD?" I wanted to cover my ears and say "lalalala." My classmates and faculty sensed that I was misplaced. When the talk came, they were truly concerned w/ my best interest. I agreed by then, but was terrified of my husband's response.

[B]Fast forward[/B], after much consideration, I made one more change to an MS Exercise Physiology program. I finished two years later, but this process was stressful and put strain on my marriage. ..........
Hello everyone,

I'm excited to have found this forum.
KJRunner, your life sounds very similar to mine. I am also a student at at a school in Florida. Actually I WAS a student but was kicked out due to receiving a D in one semester and a F the following semester. They kicked me out Fall 2006 and I've been out of school since, so I'm just working for my husband's family business for extra change. My diagnosis of ADD wasn't until recently, at 31 years old, a bit later in age, but realized I've been ADD for a very long time, but it never had such a negative impact until [removed] School. I was diagnosed after receiving the second failing grade. I was diagnosed both by a psychiatrist and neuropsychologist with ADD. I have to attend a 'hearing' and explain myself and present the condition I have, if I want to try to get back in school. I've also notified the disability center at the school and I hope they are able to advocate for me in the root of why I was not doing well. I studied all the time, but noticed my grades didn't add up to how much I was studying. My husband practically did all the house chores, paying bills on time etc in addition to working.

To make the long story short, I have no idea what to do either. I'm an emotional WRECKKKK and I feel like my hopes and dreams are down the drain. Although I'm verrryy down about this whole thing, I don't want to give up either, so I am considering to try to get back in school that kicked me out. I was just wondering if anyone has any ideas on how I can go about getting back in or how you (or anyone else) now that I have medical documentation of my condition...anything helps.

Thanks in advance,
Emotional-Wreck-Carrie1975





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