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I just need to know that I'm not alone!

Hi, my name is Gareth. I am 23 years old and live in Southampton UK.

I was diagnosed with Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD) just over a year ago.

At first the diagnosis was a godsend. Finally my family and I had a name to put to the problems that had been haunting me my entire life!

At the time I was out of work and the medication I was prescribed, Concerta XL, made a difference but it was not immediately obvious as to how much. I fortunately I was able to get a job soon after which allowed me to better gauge the effectiveness of the medication.

Believing the dosage was correct I continued on with my job and even moved out of my parent €™s house to live with two of my best friends on our own. Unfortunately this appears to have been a grave mistake. While time keeping and organisation was always my main issues and the main areas that the ADD affected, I didn’t realise quite how badly it did affect it.

Whether due to my own poor sleeping habits, a side effect of the medication that I am taking, or other factors, I found myself being late for work repeatedly. Unfortunately this was not just by 5-10 minutes but also once up to an hour and a half late from sleeping through my alarm! At this point I would like to point out that I do not have just an ordinary alarm clock but one that has a vibrating attachment to shake the bed. It is normally very effective and I have absolutely no idea how I managed to sleep through it.

Unfortunately, despite my best efforts, I have now lost my job due to the lateness. Perhaps the most infuriating factor of this is that not only did I enjoy the job, the company and the people that I worked with, but I was good at my job too! Senior managers and clients often complimented me on my performance. I was set for a good career with a company that I truly enjoyed working for, and I ruined it because I couldn’t get out of bed!

The main thing that I wanted from this post is to know that I am not alone in this. I know that there are others that suffer from ADD/ADHD however I simply cannot see anything positive that I have achieved in my life! I look back at my school years and see the failures that I stacked upon myself, the grades that I could have achieved, the path my life should have taken, the careers that I have ruined and lost because of it, the relationships (both social and romantic) that I have missed or ruined because of the way that it makes me feel about myself and how I cannot function like a “normal” person. Everything that I touch seems to turn to disaster around me, and over the stupidest most infinitesimally small reasons.

At times I feel like there is no point in continuing with anything, that it would be better to end it simply to save myself and the others that I care about, the heartache that I know I am causing. Fortunately I do have a very supportive family and they are doing everything and anything that they can to help me get through this. A new view on the effects and the seriousness of my ADD also helps to ensure that I will force myself to get better at the things that I need to focus on.

However I need to know does anyone else live like this? My every decision seems to be a monumental battle with myself, to the point where I have to scream at myself in my head to finish a task as simple as unloading the dishwasher. Getting out of bed, putting a load of washing on, cooking a meal, cleaning my room you name it, is a war that I have to wage upon myself daily. I am sick of screaming at myself every waking moment of every day to try and do something that shouldn €™t take a moment’s thought.

If you have read this far I thank you sincerely and eagerly welcome any thoughts, stories, anecdotes, advise or even kind words to know that I am not alone in this. I simply can €™t take living like this.

Many thanks
Gareth

Replies

Hi Gareth - you’re definitely not alone.  My name is Amanda and I was diagnosed with A.D.D. while in high school.  Even after my diagnosis I had problems with organization and executive functioning.  Sometimes I have serious problems staying on task at work.  A few years ago,  it was so bad I lost my job.  I realized that I need a less structured work schedule which for some ADD people probably wouldn’t work but it works for me.  That’s really what it boils down to, you need to figure out what works best for you. Are you most alert at night? I worked for quite some time doing 2nd shift work 3 PM to 11 PM. That worked well for me and it was when I switched to 9 to 5 that I began having problems.

I would recommend talking to your doctor about the medication.  I took Concerta for a little less than a year. I found that the Concerta severely interrupted my sleep cycle. I had to switch back to generic ritalin and remember to take it but I was able to cut it off earlier and I slept better after that. 

As far as waking up in the morning, that’s hard. Thankfully,  I’ve always been a light sleeper.  Setting one regular alarm has always been sufficient. But at the same time, my friends I live with are like you.  They set multiple alarms on their phones and sleep through them all. It makes me crazy sometimes!  I’ve heard about alarms that are more effective, again,  you have to find what works best for you.

I wish you the best of luck and know you’re not alone. smile

Posted by LearntoADDAmanda on Jan 13, 2014 at 8:23pm

Hi Amanda,

Thank you so much for the reply and (as I’m sure may well have been the bigger issue!) taking the time to read the article!

I have an appointment booked with my specialist and will talk to her then about the medication and see if there are any tips or ideas that she can give me that will help.

Thank you again for your time it means a lot smile

Gareth

Posted by Pidge90 on Jan 15, 2014 at 9:34pm

Gareth,
I know how you feel. I got diagnosed with ADD three years ago and I can’t find myself to get motivated to do most things.

I agree with Amanda. Figure out when you are most productive and try to work during that time.

I take Vyvanse and fish oil everyday. It helps, but I still need help on organization.

What helps for me is setting many alarms and using a daily planner, where you can write down events in 30 minute intervals.

One more thing. Start meditating and doing breathing techniques. This has helped me a LOT in concentration and stress relief!

http://healthland.time.com/2012/10/08/6-breathing-exercises-to-relax-in-10-minutes-or-less/

Hope this helps,
Hilary

Posted by hildawg037 on Jan 17, 2014 at 3:47am

Hi!

I was diagnosed 3 years ago and definitely know what you’re going through. I have the same problems with school. I love to learn and have been proven to do so well, it’s just impossible for me to in that environment.

I know it’s difficult, but I’ve realised that although a lot of why I don’t like myself is caused by ADD, the same amount things I do like about myself are an effect of ADD as well.

Maybe the first step is to make peace with the fact that ADD does cause you to do a lot of things you don’t like, and realise what it does that you do like!

ADDers are said to be intuitive and intelligent. Creative and compassionate..Passionate in general, really. See, we’re full of usually joyful energy and have a fun way of seeing life. A lot of people try to fake these things, but we’re just lucky enough to have them as a definitive part of ourselves. I was always afraid that I was going to lose those traits as I got older, but it seems to just be more and more saturated with time!

You have a fast and diverse mind.
Embrace it!

Robyn

Posted by ConsistentInconsistency on Jul 26, 2014 at 5:39am

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