Terminology: "ADD" became part of "ADHD" with the DSM-IV (we are now up to V).
What this is: If you have (or think you have) ADHD, this is a place for you to get support, to get your questions answered, and to share your stories.
There is no judgment here. We do not think that ADHD is a gift, we do think that it is a disability, though we also can see some positives to the condition. If you disagree with that you can share your opinion; we aren't only for people who agree with our view. We are working on a FAQ about the blog and about ADHD.
A quick note on pronouns, gender, etc. As much as possible, we use inclusive language. When it is not possible, we revert to gendered terms such as "girl," "woman," "boy," and "man." (Please see About page for more on this.)
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If you have any kind of medical emergency, this is not the place to ask for help. If you accidentally took too much of your medication, please call poison control, 911, your pharmacist, or your doctor, or go to the hospital.
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These could all be symptoms of ADHD. I recommend reading through our “personal stories” and “what it’s like” tags to see if you relate to the information there.
Ouch. Okay. Deep breath.
Are there guidance counselors at your school who you can enlist to help you figure out a plan of action? That’s first.
Look at our “organization” tag for information on how to use a planner and whatnot to keep your schoolwork under control.
Have a look at our list of treatment options, because there might be some other things that you can access without a diagnosis.
And if you need help with something specific, please do ask and we will do our best to get you sorted.
Okay, so first of all your psychologist is wrong about ADHD subsiding in high school. A lot of people find that their symptoms actually get worse as they get older and the demands placed on them change.
Age has nothing to do with what dose you take. Methylphenidate (well, Concerta) is dosed based on weight for people 17 and under and should not be given more than 2mg/kg (not pound), to a maximum of 72mg. After age 17 the dose can be raised (I’m not totally sure why, that’s just what the dosing chart says).
It is normal for tolerance to develop over time, especially if you are taking your medication every single day without any breaks. That’s part of why a lot of people take one or two days off each week, if they can: it can help slow tolerance.
However, it’s also possible that your meds are still working just fine but you can’t tell because you don’t feel the same way as you used to. Before you talk to your mom about this, try reading a news article when you don’t have your meds in your system (so after they’ve worn off in the evening) and then try it again when they’re active, and see if there’s a difference. You might find that they are actually working just fine!
If they really aren’t, tell your mom that you’re finding you have trouble with specific things again, even with your medication in your system. She might decide to talk to your doctor about what your options are.
Followers, do you have any advice?
Have a look at our “organization” and “school” tags.
Basically, you need a planner of some kind and you need to use it. There are a couple of posts (here and here) that explain how to do that. The first one I’ve linked also explains how to deal with assignments and the like.
The hardest part of all of this is following through and making it happen. If you miss a day, don’t give up! It takes time for these things to become routine. Just keep going and do your best; that’s all anyone can really ask or expect of you, after all.
If you can’t tell off your friends for being smartasses, who CAN you tell off? ;)
It’s okay to stand up for yourself and tell your friends that it’s not okay for them to joke about your ADHD. Tell them that it’s a serious disability that affects your life in a lot of negative ways, and that when they joke about it the way they do it’s hurtful and disrespectful.
They may not really know how to respond when you say that you have ADHD, so they’re joking as a way to cope; if that’s the case, they will hopefully apologize and you can have a proper conversation about just how ADHD affects you and what kinds of things you do need them to do or say.
Followers, do you have any advice?
I know how you feel. It’s so difficult as an adult ADHDer to look for information and only find stuff geared toward parents of children who have ADHD!
A good place to look online for adult-specific information is TotallyADD, which is just for adults. There are forums and a whole bunch of other resources, plus they offer free webinars all the time. The site is headed up by Rick Green, who is a Canadian comedian who is behind Red Green and History Bites (don’t worry if you haven’t heard of these shows, they are Canadian after all), and he tries to bring humour to his discussions of the issues that affect us. Also, since he has ADHD himself and isn’t a psychologist or psychiatrist, he’s speaking just from his personal experience, which is really refreshing!
I do wish those professionals (and parents, TBH) would realize that adult ADHDers not only exist, we read the stuff they write. So when they talk about how disruptive, annoying, and awful ADHD kids are, they’re talking about us, too. And then they wonder why ADHDers have poor self-esteem. Really? You’re still wondering that? Why? You’re part of the reason!
There are fidget rings that you can wear (the ones in that post are all plastic, but you can also get metal spinner rings that look like regular jewelry). I know someone who wears hair elastics (the big kind that are larger than usual but smaller than headbands) on her wrist and she picks at that instead of her skin.
Followers, do you have any suggestions for ways to deal with the need to pick at things?
I don’t know much about adrenal fatigue, but hopefully someone reading this will be able to offer some suggestions and other ways of connecting. I’ll tag this with “adrenal fatigue” as well so it will attract more attention than just ADHDers. :)
Yes, anxiety can cause ADHD symptoms. I don’t know if the TOVA can tell the difference, but I think an experienced clinician should be able to work it out through interviews and other types of testing. The psychologist who first diagnosed me was an expert in ADHD and OCD and she noted that I was well on my way to developing an anxiety disorder and that I probably would have developed one if I hadn’t been diagnosed with and treated for ADHD when I was.
It sounds like you might be doing what a lot of us do: trying to think about the whole thing all at once instead of just a bit at a time. That makes a lot of sense, because the ADHD brain seems to be wired more for taking in the whole picture than for focusing down on the details.
What I would recommend is starting a few lists in a notebook. Use the same notebook for all of the lists, and carry it with you. What you’re going to do is start with a page of pros and cons for taking a gap year and a page of pros and cons for going to college. Then do the same thing for what you would study if you did go to college. If you decide to go to college, you can’t choose where to go until you know what you want to study and which schools you can afford/get into will give you the best education in that field. If you have a notebook devoted to these lists, it will help because you will know where to look to see what you think, you will have a place to put information as you find it or think of it, and you will have concrete information to help you make your decision.
Followers who are in or have been in college, how did you decide whether to go to college and where to go if you did?