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I am a newbie. What do I do now after the diagnosis?

Anyone in downtown Toronto, Canada can help me? I was just diagnosed with ADD last year. But have not done anything. What do I do next step? Can not find a doctor that will take me in…

Replies

Welcome to the world of ADD. This website offers many discussions that you can join or just surf. I am not from Canada, but the chances are pretty good that somebody out there is. I do not know for sure what your next step should be. Since you do have a diagnoses I would tell you to educate yourself about ADD as much as you can. Having a better understanding of what you are battling will allow you to relax a little. My prayer for you is that someone in Canada that knows your health care system will be able to direct you to a Dr. that can lead you in the direction you need to go next. Maybe one of the ADHD coaches in this discussion can help you out. God bless you and I pray you will find the help you need.

Posted by Rancher John on Nov 02, 2013 at 7:51pm

rancher John gave you a good start.  Your health system is where you start for treatment.  Your next step is to understand your ADD/ADHD and to determine how it is affecting you.

Medication helps, but it does not solve the problems that resulted from not being treated and not knowing what to do.

You need to sit down and work out what your needs are and see how you can work out solutions for the biggest problems.  When you find a tool or method that works well for you, make it is “must” in your life.  Progress through your list of difficulties doing the same thing so that you can find ways to help yourself in addition to any medication that is prescribed.

I use a number of “tools”, but the best by far is that I have created a basic “plan” for how I want my days to go.  It is typed up as “routines” that keep me form not doing the other things that make my life liveable and bearable.  It was a period of “trial and error” getting to where I am, and things will never be perfect, but they are so much better now!

If possible, find a therapist or counselor who is experienced in working to ADD/ADHD clients and work with him/her to find out what is available to you and then what works or does not work.  In the end, you will develop a way to deal with your ADD/ADHD and you will be able to live well with this.

Posted by Dianne in the Desert on Nov 02, 2013 at 11:55pm

Mitzi, you have provided a great outline for how to live well with ADD/ADHD with or without medication.  Like you, I believe that a “whole” appraoch is the best, and is actually the simplest.

If I wee to add anything, it would be to add Vitamin D3.  It is the “Sunshine Vitamine” and is added to dairy, but even that does not provide enough.  The standard dose would be 1,000 IU.  I take 2,400 because I am always indoors and my Lupus is triggered by excess exposure to the sun.  Do not ask my why I live in the desert…  LOL.  I guess my arthritis likes it because I have so much less pain.

High protein is essential, but do no neglect fruiits and vebetablesd that are rich in other vitamins and minerals. 

Now that I have been at this for some years, meal planning, preparation, and shopping are so much easier.  I keep things pretty basic and that really helps.

I love entertaining, so I can very creative with my basic foods and I have not had a single complaint, but I have been asked for my recipes!  LOL

Deh-Deh, The fiest book I read about ADD/ADHD was *You Mean I’m Not Lazy, Crazy, or Stupid” (I forget the authors names) and it was so on target.  I also began reading about the Slob Sisters as “Sidetracked Home Executives” and then ran into Flylady. 

Were my eyes opened!  My self-esteem problems ended rather quickly and I began taking control of my life by finding out what worked for me and what did not.

If you do not already use one, get a PIM program for your computer that will allow you to print out a daily, weekly, or monthly schedule.  Mine is called DayTimer Organizer 2000 and is out of production, but can be obtained free from the Yahoo group of that name.  Outlook is another really good PIM, but some people find that it does more than what they need.  it depends on how you will use it.

I use my cell phone and the COZI app.  I have alarms for the things that I must do.  I set reminders for things that I wanted to do.  I use the PIM program to print out my calendar for the current month and the next month.  I do use a day planner, so when I am out and about, I can book appointments or lunch dates, etc. without worrying about conflicts in the schedule.

I can also block time on the schedule for other things that need to be done, such as big projects at home. 

I am “old school” and currently 67 years young.  I am busy even in retirement, so I still use my day planner, but I have added the convenince of my cell phone.

The advantage of using the COZI online calendar is that it can send text messages to my phone.

Life is complicated, so I do all that I can to keep things simple.

Posted by Dianne in the Desert on Nov 03, 2013 at 3:53am

Here’s a helpful outline for next steps after being diagnosed with ADHD as an adult from ADDitudeMag.com: http://www.additudemag.com/adhd/article/815.html.

As those commenting before me have said, knowledge is power. Learn all you can about ADHD.

Penny
ADDconnect Moderator & Mom to Tween Boy with ADHD and LDs

Posted by adhdmomma on Nov 04, 2013 at 7:07pm

Wow! I am overwhelmed with your loving responses! Thank you so much and God bless your heart,  Mitzi, Diane, Penny and Rancho John…

I definitely will take heart of all your advices… Thank you so much. I love you all!

Posted by Deh-Deh on Nov 05, 2013 at 11:42am

If you send me a PM I will give you the name of the doctor that I see in Toronto. He is an excellent psychiatrist (one of the best in the city) but unfortunately he is NOT accepting new patients. If you call and ask, he might be able to refer you to someone else or put you on a waiting list. He is brilliant when it comes to finding the right combination of meds that work best for ADHD. What have you got to lose anyway from calling?

Good luck to you! xo

Posted by spunkybird on Nov 05, 2013 at 11:36pm

I just posted this to the women’s group but Seier first post above and so wanted to post it also here.

I just joined this group so this is my first post.  I just diagnosed with adult ADD myself. I have known that I’ve had it for a long time however and have had read lots of things on it and have recently developed strategies to help me keep moving forward and get through my day instead of getting stuck.
One of the first things I learned recently that helps is to stay positive and give yourself praise for doing even anything even if it’s just one thing.
Starting to do this will help you continue to do more things. Don’t beat yourself up if all you can do is even one thing a day as it will prove as you start getting more things done and feel proud of even little accomplishments.
One thing I would bring up for a recommendation that i recently found if you have a smart phone is a new app c called “Daily Routine”.
You can enter the things that you want to do at certain times and/or a certain order at certain times of the day and you can set reminders for them. I don’t worry so much about the times that they take because that’s hard for me to plan but just the list of things to get done at certain times the day is very helpful.
It’s a very colorful app and is totally customizable and has icons for tons of categories.  I used to have a hard time figuring out what to do or what to start on in the morning and then would get lost in doing nothing other than watching TV or not knowing what to do next so would get stuck. Now, what I do is know that when I get up I just have to open the app and look at it then I just go line by line of things to do. It has been very helpful for me!  I’m excited to be involved in this group nice to meet you all.

Posted by treebera on Nov 05, 2013 at 11:52pm

I have learned that sometimes the diagnosis is a blessing and one has to look at the possitive aspects of being ADHD and believe me there are many.  Informing yourself regarding the ADHD diagnosis is important as there are many ADDers like us with fast experience and excellent tips to help one overcome and learn your own coping skills. the sad fact is that an ADHD diagnosis most off the time means stimulant drug treatment and you would find it more beneficial to do some research on products like Concerta & Ritalin (methylphenidate) because allthough the effect of the drug can not be disputed in masking ADHD symptoms like inattention, hyperactivity etc. these drugs also result in serious adverse reactions. people think that the drugs is the answer but often the drug becomes the problem as our family found out the hard way in October 2012 after using the Concerta for almost 5 years. tolerance builds - and the drug only works while you are “high” or if you are an ignorant ADHD patient ” focussed”. but once the “high” fades and the “focus” is gone the ADHD symptoms return more intensely with the start of adverse side effects - in the long run prescription stimulant drugs cause severe central nervous problems for both myself and our now 13 year old son who after a year is still battling to recover from an acquired balance disorder in which he has to re establish motor skills. there are a lot of other ways to learn to cope and overcome ADHD symptoms than psychiatric drugs classified with cocaine and morphone because it is just as addictive and long term use damage cannot not be repaired. a short message from a devastated mom who little over a year ago believed that prescription stimulant drugs were the answer but no have to look our son in they eye and although i did not know back then what i know today, how do you appologise or fix the damaged caused due to an ignorant uninformed decision you made on his behalf. you cant. think twice. as long as you use the drugs, tolerance builds, you become dependent and for those who dispute it both my son at age 11 and myself at age 41 lived going through the withdrawal of these dangerous drugs which include physical and psychological withdrawal.  think twice. you need to weigh the risk against the outcome.

Posted by Ronel on Nov 06, 2013 at 1:05pm

Hi Ronel,

You said, “there are a lot of other ways to learn to cope and overcome ADHD symptoms than psychiatric drugs classified with cocaine and morphone because it is just as addictive and long term use damage cannot not be repaired.”

ADHD medications are not addictive for individuals who actually have ADHD. Studies show they often keep individuals with ADHD from self-medicating in dangerous ways, like abusing alcohol and drugs. In addition, there are many individuals who cannot function successfully without the aid of medication. There’s an article on ADDitudeMag.com that outlines the results of several studies on addiction and ADHD medications called, “Does Stimulant Medication Cause Addiction?”: http://www.additudemag.com/adhd-web/article/2056.html.

As a parent whose son would not be able to find any success of happiness without medication, I ask that you don’t vilify the individual and very personal choice of making medication part of ADHD treatment. Parents who give their children stimulant medication wish there was another way to help our children with ADHD without it, most of us wish for that every day. And many, many of us have tried every alternative in the book and then some with little to no success.

It is heartbreaking that your family has endured severe side effects from stimulant medication, but that doesn’t happen to the majority of patients.

I wish you and your son nothing but grand success in the treatments you employ for ADHD in your family!

Penny
ADDconnect Moderator & Mom to Tween Boy with ADHD and LDs

Posted by adhdmomma on Nov 06, 2013 at 7:23pm

Dear Penny,
For 5 years of our life’s I would not have believed anything different. Do you think our family was just unlucky? I don’t, I believe we are living with the consequences of stimulant drug use and the fact that this risk was not disclosed to us by our medical practitioners in a vary unethical way.  The sad fact is that prescription stimulant effects in users ADHD or not is exactly the same. The presences of ADHD does not change the pharmacological action or the effects the product exert in the human brain. Tolerance is reached quickly that is why dosages are so quickly increased to the maximum legal dosage prescribed which is 54mg in children and 72mg in adults. If it does not create dependence why is it that one suffer both physical and psychological withdrawal even at therapeutic dosage in the same way a recreational user would similar to any stimulant drug? Are you aware that methylphenidate (Concerta/Ritalin) carries the US Drug Administrations black box warning because medical research has shown that it causes severe adverse reactions and can also cause addiction. even the manufacturer states that it is a drug of dependence in their package insert. Maybe it does reduce the risk of ADHD patients getting involved in other abusive substances in the short term, but what research does not say is that ADHD patients are kept on a “legal” high for a period off at least 12 hours a day - in the case of Concerta 54mg. Anyone that use the product is at risk.  At the end of the day parents who use the drug or administer the drug to their children will have to weight the risk against the outcome.

Posted by Ronel on Nov 07, 2013 at 11:36am

Penny, thank you for being the voice of reason here. The posts I’ve been reading tonight about the evils of medication are truly bugging the heck out of me.

I also, along with ADD, suffer from anxiety disorder (a gift that came from a concussion in a car accident I didn’t ask for).  I also have chronic migraines and fibromyalgia.

There’s more, but let’s leave it there for now. For years, family members and friends that see how many medications I’m on treat me like a junkie sometimes… at least with their words or their disapproving glances.

Study after study has shown that people who NEED various controlled substances almost never misuse or abuse them. We don’t doctor-shop and look for additional sources. We don’t constantly beg for higher doses or early refills. Why? Because we *NEED* those meds, and we suffer without them. There’s no motivation to abuse medication when you know how bad you’re going to feel if you run out early.

And I’m sorry… I didn’t address the person who asked the initial question, and I don’t really have much gas left in the tank tonight, but my answer is this: If the ADHD is negatively impacting your life, and doing so to the point that jobs or relationships (or your own sense of well-being) are going to be jeopardized, my quick and simple answer is: Find a psychiatrist, have the diagnosis verified, try out one of the various meds, then wait and see how things work out. BEWARE the medications (or doses of a given med) that can cause you to become hyper-focused, because that’s a lot scarier to me than ADD alone is. And do follow the practical advice some of the good folks above have offered, showing you ways of coping with ADD without meds. BUT… don’t let anyone here or anywhere else make you feel bad about using medication if it’s going to improve your quality of life. Keep in mind that you may initially feel uncomfortable with the stimulating effects of some ADD meds, but I’ve always acclimated quickly and got past the side-effects after a week or two. Best of luck!

Posted by Enterprizer on Nov 07, 2013 at 2:01pm

Dear Penny,
I will be the last to judge anyone’s decision to start using stimulants or other psychiatric drugs or continue using them. person health is every persons responsibility, it is also a responsibility to be informed. sometimes people do need medicine, it is not easy coping with life, it is more difficult when you have to cope with ADHD symptoms. If anything I believe people should be more informed so that they can make informed decisions. Knowing the risks could help users and parents monitor side effects so that they don’t turn into adverse reactions. I wish you and your family all the best. from someone who understand more than you will ever know.

Posted by Ronel on Nov 07, 2013 at 3:24pm

How to work out the problems?  Medications, when they are the correct medications for the person and the problems may still have negative aspects—that is a “given” when trying to find the right medication for any problem.  there simply is no “magic bullet” that solves all of the problems. 

Where ADD is concderned, timing can be everything.  When the correct medication is working as it should and the person with ADD is also working toward finding the tools and methods that work for them, the “whole” is together and the results are visible both to the ADDer and those asround him/her.

I have seen the wrong drugs used for teh wrong problems and the results are not pretty.  On the other hand, the “clinet” or “patient” is also a consumer, or those in charge the health care decisions are the consumers.  either way, there is also a responsibility on their part to observe and promptly notify the prescriber when something is not working or is working badly.

It is not only the doctors who must be held accountable.  It is often the client who has decided to make changes without notifying those who need to know.

Arguing baout this whole thing is really silly.  Getting"high” from ADD medications means that the dose is way too high to start with.  Not being able to focus at all means that the dose is too low or the wrong medication is being tried.

It is also mandatory that the person to whom the medications are prescribed understand that they cannot “mix” other things with their medications.  All stimulant drugs carry a warning about this and the use of alcohol. 

Stimulant drugs are not the only medications that work on ADD.  Talk to your practitioner and find out about those options, too.

Hope some of that is helpful.

Posted by Dianne in the Desert on Nov 07, 2013 at 9:29pm

Hi Ronel!

I feel like most parents of kids with ADHD are well-informed on the risks of stimulant medication. I have obsessively researched ADHD for five years now, since my son’s diagnosis. I’ve read every FDA insert with every medication he’s had. Research has revealed the instances (very rare) of cardiac arrest when taken with an unknown heart condition. I know of all common side effects and the rare ones. I never ran across the specific side effect your son experienced in all my research until I began reading your posts here. It is very rare as well obviously.

Most parents lay in bed awake at night or cry during private moments over the fact that their child with ADHD has to take a controlled substance, at least in the beginning. I second-guessed our decision for more than two years—it tormented me every day. But I realized that my son now has access to happiness, confidence, and a sense of accomplishment that were all void for him prior.

He is monitored every two months by his prescribing physician and I keep close tabs on him. He has had an EKG twice in 5 years as a precaution. My point is that many parents are well-informed about ADHD medication and many agonize over the decision, but choose what they feel is right for their child. ADDconnect.com is a place to vent, laugh, cry, connect and receive support from others with similar life experiences. It’s not a place to judge the decisions of others when it comes to treatment.

I want to answer to one other point you addressed to me as well: getting “high” on stimulants. Yes, it is a stimulant, just as it is named. For someone who’s brain is already stimulated enough, they will get high on a stimulant. But for someone who has a gap between natural stimulation and needed stimulation, the medication can try to fill some of that gap and bring them to a more “normal” point of stimulation. It’s for functioning, not for achieving a “high.” I feel like there’s a critical difference there. When you say someone is giving their kids meds to get them “high” that carries a very ugly societal connotation and, with that comes judgement, whether perceived or implied.

I love that you share your experience here. It is being read by many who care for someone with ADHD and could very well help someone catch a similar side effect when it starts. I’m only asking that you don’t state or imply that parents are giving stimulants nonchalantly or that we are getting our kids “high.”

Penny
ADDconnect Moderator & Mom to Tween Boy with ADHD and LDs

Posted by adhdmomma on Nov 07, 2013 at 9:33pm

Thank you for your words also.  As someone who just recently started medication and is feeling much better now, I was having bad feelings also after reading the previous post comments. Your post helps me feel better because I do realize that the medications make me feel normal for the first time in a long time.
- treebera

Posted by treebera on Nov 07, 2013 at 11:48pm

Ronel, you are absolutely correct, I couldn’t had said it better myself.  I was on Adderall for over a year and when I decided to try life again without it, Holy Meow!!!  I was so tired, like a zombie, it was full blown addiction.  I was so mad when I starting looking up sites about Adderall and addiction. I took 20mg twice a day and it didn’t feel like it worked at all but it sure worked when I stopped taking it, it took a few days before the withdrawal set in, I was starving, I gained about 40 pounds in over one month.  It took about 2 months before I was back to my normal silly adhd self, who by the way is pretty cool.

I also went off Wellbutrin, which also isn’t addicting. Well that was worse then the Adderall.  Felt like my head was in a vice so I started back on Wellbutrin (not generic) and then weaned myself off slowly. Even then it was torture, hell.  This is a pro medication site, which is fine, some people need medication

Thank you for being so honest, I really appreciate it, I needed to hear from someone else who went through what Ive been through

Posted by BexIssues on Nov 08, 2013 at 6:04am

I would never imply that parents are giving stimulants nonchalantly or that parents are getting kids “high”
The sad fact is that is how stimulants work. It cant be denied. more alarming is that parents in our country are very much uninformed about the “medicine” they hand their children. In 5 years of treatment, not once was the word “stimulant” used by any of the prescribing doctors.
As an uninformed ADHD patient myself   the “high” for me meant “focus”  and on the odd occasion that I by accident took a double doses “over-focus” - but when the “high” fades and the “focus” you crash leaving you exhausted. It was not my intention to intrude on a pro medication site -  it can not be denied that these medicines work to mask symptoms of ADHD. Use with caution though.

Posted by Ronel on Nov 08, 2013 at 12:43pm

I wouldn’t call ADDconnect.com or ADDitudeMag.com a “pro-medication” site. I think they consciously work to provide factual data on all types of treatment. There happens to be more studies on medication and behavioral therapy treatments than alternative treatments, so the data is more prevalent for those options. I’m sure everyone at ADDitude would agree that they support each individual deciding what works best for them.

Penny
ADDconnect Moderator & Mom to Tween Boy with ADHD and LDs

Posted by adhdmomma on Nov 08, 2013 at 6:15pm

Hi Deh Deh, I am 2 hours north west of toronto. I have had a very difficult time over the past 3 years and started seeing a therapist that has been dealing with add since 78. The biggest issue was my anger which came from my confusion of not being able to reach my goals. Since I have found what triggers my issues, I can actually take a step back and ask myself what is the cause for the problem….usually the answer is my add, and knowing that tends to settle me down a lot. With that said, I am going through the medication process to see what helps. So far, concerta was no use to me. The therapist has me on ritalin now. After 3 weeks of increased doses to 15mg 3 times daily, I was having negative effects. Knowing myself, I reduced back to 10mg 3 times daily. I met with my doctor and we agreed to try 10mg 4 times daily. At 10mg, I am able to go to work without having my mind wander out of control.

When you find a doctor to help you, it still comes down to being honest with yourself and knowing what you can do everyday consistantly to maintain your lifestyle. For me, I had to reduce all stress in my life.  I am working an easy mental job, which is extremely physically demanding.  No stress, and my bills are being paid. I live on less than 1k a month. Am I living? Not yet, but I am making headway everyday now.

I am adapting to my issues so I can get to a point where I can live versus just getting bills paid. This site with all the vast info available has helped me feel not alone in the world. Advice from people helps to make me feel better. Use the advice that helps your situation.  Not everything works for everyone. Learn from peoples posts, never disregard the info here. It just takes time to start figuring things out.

Posted by Newlife on Nov 10, 2013 at 11:56pm

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