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Hello,

I was just wondering if anyone could help me out. I have been diagnosed with ADHD for at least 18 months now. My parents and doctors have known since I was a young girl but it didn’t become a much bigger problem until began University. While I was studying full time I was also juggling 2 jobs too. The pro and cons before medication, I had more energy but felt I was constantly tired. Post medication, I have more quality in my work output but don’t seem to have the energy like I used to. I feel as if though it could be a personal issue of I take too much on at one time.

So I am wondering if anyone else has had a similar story or can help me understand what I am going through.

Other information you should know before answering:
1. I have received cognitive therapy for my condition since I was 17 and I am now at the age of 26
2. My biggest issues are staying focused on what I need to do, lack of social ability and sometimes having to not talk about what I am thinking, comprehension is the big one when it comes to reading, memory and constantly changing different paths (not much stability)
3. I started on Dexamphetamine (10mg) and now I am on Ritalin (20mg)

Replies

is your Therapist someone who knows how the ADHD mind works?  Mine is not and it is a struggle to make her understand.  If your’s is not, find one that is.  My issue is that there are none where I live (TX)

Also, who is prescribing your med’s?  One is not the same as the others etc.  the Dr needs to understand ADHD and how each med’s affects the patient.  I am taking Adderall along with an anti-depressant.

Yes, you do take on too much.  It is classic;  I have a dozen or so projects I am working on. most not even started, many more started, not finished. 

You need step back, go outside where it is quiet, no distractions and evaluate what is truly important to you and to your career path.  Set your limits. Me, I always have to be busy doing something, to stay focused and to quiet my mind I have found certain hobbies help. Photography and art (my own, I am not good and no formal training but it is my own).  I am happiest outside and the camera goes with me.  I look for the beauty in the everyday things that people ignore or overlook or only see the bad in. ADHD folks have a knack for seeing the world in a different light.

you are lucky, you are still very young. I was 50 when diagnosed, always single, no true friends, no one to open up to. Also, no social skills, yep age 50 plus and totally clueless.

you will have better success being young and knowing what is going on and more time to work it out.

Posted by TXDarlinLOL on Jan 18, 2014 at 2:06pm

Yes, like TXDalinLOL says - you take on too much. 

I complained to my psych nurse practitioner who prescribes my meds that I felt I “didn’t have the energy” anymore either. Our detailed discussion about that resulted in my understanding that I truly do have mixed type: Inattentive and Hyperactive. The meds were actually treating the hyper part, but I hadn’t known what not being hyper felt like. For me, I no longer was “running around taking care of a bunch of things at once” not because I didn’t have the energy; but because I was able to screen out the other things and stick more with the thing I was choosing to do first.

With ADHD, there are many complicating factors, one of which is our perception of how we are doing. It’s important to have a neutral experienced party be able to help us differentiate between a problem and and improvement (in my case I misinterpreted an improvement as a problem until I realized I was behaving more like neurotypical [NT] people for the first time and it felt so weird that I thought something was wrong). Another factor is that meds behave differently with everyone. If you are on 20 mg Ritalin, you are getting an immediate release drug. I haven’t taken any immediate release drugs. My provider chose an extended release drug for me to avoid a common problem with the immediate release drugs: “rebound”. From what I understand - this can feel like “crashing” and could also be the reason you feel you don’t have energy.  If you go to the drug websites you can look at the “curve” of the drug in your blood to see what the studies show about how long it takes to get into your blood, how long to get to peak levels, when it starts to decrease and what the half life is - how long before it’s completely gone.  You might want to see if your energy matches that curve.  Also, before you started taking meds, if you were drinking a lot of coffee, it might have been acting on some of the same neurotransmitters.  You were probably (correctly) told not to drink caffeine while on the stimulant meds. You might be feeling withdrawal from your caffeine habit - which can take some time to adjust to.

Social ability can be related to difficulty focusing on social cues because of not being able so screen out other things going on as well as our brains jumping to the next thing.

Having to not say what you are thinking can be partly because many of us to see things in a different light - we might extend the situation at hand into multiple possible outcomes that others don’t ever think about, and when we verbalize those things - especially in rapid-fire, it turns people off. I love to converse with ADDers because we can drag them rapidly through our thoughts and they’re capable of following us - and often jump in with interesting interjections of their own - that might not stop us in our tracks or be seen as rude like it does to NT people who need things all in turn. When I know I am going to be in a meeting where ideas will be tossed around and I know I’ll need to control my mouth, I’ll bring a lolly pop (and some to share - that nobody will take anyway, but offering makes what I am doing look more casual than it’s true purpose). I keep that sucker in there while other people are sharing their ideas. In order for me to talk, I have to reach up and take the lolly out. It reduces my interruptions of other people. I also take notes when I am on the phone with people at work. I work for a government office where occasionally I have to talk to people from companies or other government office a bunch of times for a short time, or maybe once ever couple of years. I write a little note about them while I’m on the phone if they tell me something personal - they train dogs, they fixed a big problem at their company - they broke their foot, their kid just started kindergarden- whatever. When I talk to them next time, my note will help me remember them so I can focus on what they are saying instead of trying to remember them.and if I slip in something from my note, they relax, making the conversation easier for me too.

Posted by Juggler on Jan 18, 2014 at 5:20pm

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