Join ADHD Groups!

Click the arrows to expand each group category below

Parents of ADHD Children

ADD Adults

ADHD and Related Conditions

ADHD Professionals

ADHD Resources

Groups by Location

ADHD Adults

New member - Need to vent a bit

Hi everybody. I’m a new member here, and I’d like to unload a little bit of baggage that I’m lugging around… Long post incoming:

Little bit about me: I’m 30 years old, diagnosed about 4 years ago. I currently work full time, and I’ve been married for 7 years.

My issues: Ohhh boy, where do I start? I suspected I had “something else” wrong with me a few years back. My marriage has been a very happy one, spaced out with fights and arguments about the same things over and over again, happening about once or twice a year. I can’t organize things, I can’t remember to do things I need to do, I put things off to the last minute, I have no idea what my finances are, etc etc etc. I would always make my best effort to make things better, and I would always end up back-sliding. I would get frustrated because I didn’t understand why I couldn’t fix my issues when I really wanted to, and my wife got frustrated because it seemed like I really didn’t care enough to fix things, and she got tired of feeling like a mother instead of a wife.
After one big blow up, I thought about underlying issues, and I read up about ADHD. Everything I read about it felt like “Holy crap, are they writing about me?” I went to 2 different doctors and a specialist who all agreed I had textbook case of ADHD, and started me on medications.

I felt so optimistic at first because I had nailed down something that was holding me back from living up to my full potential. Then I went through several different medications, and was unable to find something that worked for me. I would see/feel a difference for the first little while, but then after a week or two, it felt like they stopped working. My doctor switched me around to several medications before I gave up and stopped trying them. So I went along for a couple years unmedicated, and trying to use reminders on my phone to keep me on track. The problem is when I forget to use my phone (ooops).

My wife is very sensitive to the fact that I have this problem, but we’re both reaching the end of our rope. Right now I’m waiting on a referral to another specialist and hopefully try another round of medications to see if something will click. In the meantime, I just feel frustrated with myself.

My main distraction is video games. I get bored watching TV, and if I have a choice of what to do when there’s downtime, on goes the Xbox. When I’m playing, I lose track of time, and I have a very tough time noticing what’s going on around me. I get in “the zone” and it’s tough to break out of it. I really wish I could get that kind of focus on the important things in my life, but I can’t seem to do it. I don’t have any other hobbies that grab my attention the same way. It’s gotten to the point where I have to actually put my console away during the week to try and keep the temptation out of my head.

My work life is ok for the most part, but I still have ADHD related issues. I work in the security field, so I have a lot of variety and stimulation, which keeps me interested in what I’m doing. The downside is, I very quickly forget people’s names or what somebody looks like. I also get severe anxiety when trying to do clerical tasks that require a lot of organization.

Where I’m at now: Feeling pretty hopeless and helpless. I’ve read some ADHD books that suggest finding what you’re good at, and focusing on those things. The problem I have is, I can’t find anything useful I’m good at. I’m waiting to see a specialist to try and get me on a medication that will help, but I don’t feel any optimism. I also worry about my marriage. My wife is my soul mate and we’ve gone through a lot together, but I worry about things falling apart if I can’t get my life together. I’m hoping that a combination of medication and support (Hi ADDConnect!) can help me get things on track, but I’m still feeling pretty pessimistic for the future.

I want things to get better, so here’s hoping.

Replies

It is great that you are working on ways to help with your ADHD. I would suggest that you and your wife go to counseling sometimes the counselor can help intervene to help each person see the others side. It would also be beneficial for her to read up on ADHD and how it affects people to understand how your brain functions. My husband has ADHD, and I do not, but it really helped me to understand the best ways to communicate with him in order to lessen the arguments due to misunderstandings. It is a two way street in order to make it work and defintely keep the communication open because what one person may be thinking is not really the case and that will just build resentment.

Posted by Ry'sMom on May 16, 2014 at 7:24pm

Hello.

The first thing that you should know is that you are not alone in this.  I’ve been married going on 17 years now and was recently diagnosed with ADD.  I’ve also been working in the security field for a long time so believe me I know what you are going through.

If you have to focus on anything, focus on the fact that this is not your fault.  Keep that in mind when you feel yourself slipping into your ‘dark place’.  Continue to search for something that works for you and keep at it until you do.  Above all else, continue to have hope that this will get better (This is what I have to tell myself everyday to keep going).

Posted by co4mac on May 16, 2014 at 7:26pm

You wrote that you would “see/feel a difference” for a while, but the med seemed to stop working after 1-2 weeks.  If that particular med at that particular dose seemed helpful for a bit & you weren’t having any unpleasant or intolerable side-effects, the next thing to do is to increase the dose of that medication and see what happens over the next 2 weeks or so.  If some benefit is noted (even if it’s only slight) then you keep on increasing the dose of that med and re-evaluating periodically.  You should stick with one med at ever increasing doses NOT just switch to a different med altogether. 

Some people will be very rapid metabolizers of a given drug so they will need the highest “maximum recommended doses” and sometimes even higher than that.  For all of those people each successive dosage increase will feel like things got a little better but not much, and over time—days or weeks—that little bit of better can start to seem hardly perceptible at all.

Posted by BC on May 16, 2014 at 7:47pm

Thanks for the replies folks.

Ry’sMom - My wife has been reading up on ADHD and is very understanding of what we’re both having to deal with. She’s been dealing with a lot of pressure having to handle our finances and keep us organized for as long as we’ve been together. I’m trying to take some of that load off her shoulders, so hopefully things will get better that way.

co4mac - I’m trying to keep positive. I’ve had a rough patch the last 3 months or so, and I’m in a bit of a bad place right now. I’m hoping things will turn around soon.

BC - My Dr switched me around pretty quickly from med to med. When I start the next round, I’d like to stick to one for at least 6 weeks to see what happens. I think seeing an ADHD specialist will make a difference vs my regular family doctor.

Posted by Solaire on May 16, 2014 at 8:12pm

You came to a place with good ventilation. I really do not have any advice or anything to add other than, Welcome. Here you are among people who understand venting, and helping if, where, and when we can.

Posted by Rancher John on May 16, 2014 at 8:13pm

First of all, there are some health aspects that might be making your ADD worse.

Food and chemical sensitivities, thyroid, adrenal and sex hormones imbalances—yes even young men can have sex hormone imbalances, glucose imbalances,  lack of exercise, exposure to toxins, genetic need for more of some nutrients like folate, B6, certain forms of B12, low blood pressure, and need for vitamin A—adrenaline.
Re meds, are you sure they stopped working or did it simply feel like the meds were not as noticeable?  Nootropics are supplements, herbs and some medications that boost brain function. This site longecity.org has some forums with in-depth discussions on some of the racetams and more being used for memory boosting and more. I use one called Noopept which boosts acetylcholine. It does not replace my Adderall but has a useful complimentary effect. But on these discussions of nootropics, there are some things people use to verify that indeed they are getting a boost so that they can determine which things do work or tweak dose, timing etc. http://www.cambridgebrainsciences.com/ http://www.quantified-mind.com/ are 2 sites people use to track their cognitive performance.
Subjective assessment of how well a med or supplement is working isn’t always reliable. Feedback from your spouse, and those who are around you most often may be more reliable.
For example, with the Noopept, I didn’t tell the 2 other women I play music with when I first started it. I’ve only been playing an instrument a few years, little formal training but with a hand drum that has tonal qualities, I can get by playing by ear. Playing in a jam compared to twice weekly practices quickly showed me that my ADD was a problem with rehearsing the same tune, my mind would wander especially if needing to hold the same pattern consistently. My speed would change or I’d be distracted by a bird at the feeder. Using the Noopept and the herb Olive leaf extract which boosts norepinephrine a bit helped noticeably. I didn’t mention either for 2 weeks and then asked if they had noticed a change, resounding yes and in the period I started. The same feedback when I started Adderall, didn’t mention it but I felt that I was doing better and asked for their feedback, yes, another boost. My partner is an excellent observer, his feedback most useful of all. My own observations are about things such as did I get up and make breakfast quickly? is the laundry done? what piles of stuff do I need to get to the bottom of and are they smaller than last time?
I’ve only been on Adderall about 2 months. It doesn’t ‘feel’ as different as it did at first, typical of many things as we habituate to them. Now I notice more when the dose wears off. I feel sluggish, more likely to get ‘caught’ in a computer game and such.
Good luck.

Posted by Gadfly on May 16, 2014 at 8:14pm

I hear you!  I was in 5th grade when anyone noticed that I had something going on with me that made me one “different” student.  The name given to it at the time was, “Minimal Brain Dysfunction”.  Today that means Attention Deficit Disorder”.  That is a totally misconstrued term.  ADDers do not lack attention.  They do lack focus. They are not lazy, but with their problems of attention “focus” they miss things and appear to be “off in another world”. 

You mentioned that you can get “stuck” when playing X-Box.  That is my husband’s pattern, too.  He has ADD, too, but has learned things to help him stay on task.  He did that in the US Navy.  I did not serve in the military, so I had to figure things out for myself.  His financial skills are “zip”.  Mine are quite good, but they were not good until I learned a few trick and found a few tools that work for me.  It was also a matter of adopting a few habits that serve me well rather than keep the habits that caused more problems.

Medication does not fix ADD.  It helps with the focus, but it does not take away ADD, which is why ADDers have to keep taking meds.  I wish medication had worked for me, sadly, they did not.  I “self-medicate” with coffee and I use my diet to help, too.  That is my “baseline” treatment regimen. 

For dealing with the “stuff of life” issues, I use tools and routines.  Nearly everything I do, or want to do, o dream of doing is written down In a planner (yes, I have multiple planners).  My everyday planner, the one that stays with me, is a leather ring binder.  I have my Household Organizer, a half sheet binder, recipes are in binders or computer files.  Our “What My Family Should Know” files are in a separate binder.  The “official” family address book is in a binder.  I have a shelf full of binders, clearly labeled, in my home office.

For finances, I use a combination of credit union and bank, both savings and checking//draft accounts at both.  Both of these have online banking features and I use them for bill paying and for planning.  I keep a small notebook to allocate what portion of our savings is earmarked for what purpose.

I use a smart phone so that I have audible alamrs for the things that I need to do.  I use PIM software on the computer to print out my daily, weekly, or monthly pages for the planner.  Mostly the PIM program is used for pre-planning in order to avoid conflicts with things that need doing. 

I follow Flylady to maintain my home, vehicles, and errands.  Doing so is less stressful and there is less risk for forgetting anything.

I do not strive for “perfect”.  I do strive for “well functioning home and life”.  I have that.  It took time.  It required patience.  I meant many “do overs” and “start again” attempts.  In the end, it was worth the effort to get where I am.  Life is good.  I am content.  I did not have to drive my husband nuts in the process, but I did have to involve him in the “how to” so that I could learn to do what he did so effortlessly. 

Nothing works perfectly the first time.  Expect to do some tweaking and give it time and practice so that you can refine it down the road. 

Come back here to ADD Connect if you hit any snags and the members will share their ideas on how to get things done effectively and on time.

Posted by Dianne in the Desert on May 16, 2014 at 8:33pm

Welcome aboard, Solaire,

You mention not finding anything your good at but there are at least three.

Notwithstanding the challenges, you show that you understand the give and take of relationships and you accept responsibility for your part. This is not small.

You are good at XBox and while it seems like an addiction you can concentrate of long periods of time.

And you are very good at clear, clean writing.

These are strengths and talents which can help point you toward the next career adventure.

Posted by John Tucker, PhD, ACG. ADHD Coach on May 16, 2014 at 8:51pm

Solaire,

It is understandable that you’d like to let go of the frustrations of ADHD and find behaviors that enable you to live a better life.

It takes work and commitment to making some changes that can improve those things you really do care about.

People without ADHD also struggle with a lot of issues, so it seem struggling is part of life.

What can you do to make things better?
1. Exercise
2. Eat well - healthy
3. Get enough sleep
4. Learn meditation (this can be just as simple as breathing with focus)

Exercise a few times a day even if it for a few minutes. Take a walk - just allow yourself some time to get away from it all.

Stay away from sugar.

Sleep is critical, getting enough of it 7-8 hours.

Meditation - is effective in managing emotions.

Be aware.  Self-awareness is often the starting point.  Just knowing what you are experiencing and what emotions are triggering anger or anxiety.  Understand the source of those emotions - that can help a lot.

Look at on-line programs at add.org for programs that can give you other alternatives to managing adhd.

Posted by coachwithheart on May 17, 2014 at 1:48am

My first time writing. First day here. Glad to have found other people who share in my struggles! Hope you find help

Posted by Clashfan on May 18, 2014 at 3:42am

Reply to this thread

You must be logged in to reply. To log in, click here.
Not a member? Join ADDConnect today. It's free and easy!

Not a member yet? Join here »


Important! User-Generated Content

The opinions expressed on ADDConnect are solely those of the user, who may or may not have medical training. These opinions do not represent the opinions of ADDConnect or ADDitude magazine. For more information, see our terms and conditions.