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.)

Obligatory disclaimer: We are not doctors of any kind.Please talk to your doctor about side effects, about your concerns, about taking supplements, about stopping medication, about taking breaks from medication, about anything to do with medication. We are not licensed medical professionals, and even if we were, it would be illegal for us to give medical advice over the internet. Your safety is important, so please look after yourself, do your research, and talk to your doctor about your medication.

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.

If you are writing a reply to a post and it is too long, please consider submitting as an ask or a submission instead. Multiple replies don't show up on posts and the new Activity Page makes posting them all together very difficult.

More details can be found on the About page.

Tags: Our Tags page is incomplete. If we have a tag for something and it is mentioned in the response to a question, it will be given in quotation marks to make it easier for you to find them. Simply type our URL into your browser and add "/tagged/TAG" (without the quotes and replacing TAG with the tag you're looking for). You should find what you're looking for.

Alternatively, look at the post here on the blog, and click on the tag there. That will take you to our tag and not the Tumblr-wide tag.

 

megenwinchester asked
I've never been disruptive during school but when I'm with friends I just talk and I can't really control it. This happens at church too during a youth lessons and I usually talk very loudly and fast even when they are close, I have trouble falling asleep because I'm just thinking 100 miles a hour. I can sit still for about 15 minuets or lay still but if its quiet (and I'm not Tired I make sounds w/ my mouth or start taping table/legs. I can listen but if I am bored I wander off. My I have ADHD?

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.

-J

Anonymous asked
I've just found out that waiting for an adult adhd assessment on the NHS will probably take about a year. I'm in my last year of A levels and I really can't mess this up or I can't get into the uni course I want - it's highly competitive. But I can't cope with A levels I messed up last year, nearly getting kicked out due to lack of attendance, and this is my final chance. I was relying on meds/ coaching to help me get through and salvage my grades. I'm so lost right now I don't know what to do.

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.

-J

Anonymous asked
I feel like my ADHD meds aren't working. I'm not sure how to tell my mum about this because I already take a 36mg tablet of methylphenidate and my psychologist already said that it was a high dose for my age. I'm 13? And my psychologist said my ADHD would subside in high school, but it's not : I still can't focus on simple things I stutter a lot more I just can't keep still to save my life. Is it normal to "grow" out of your prescription? How do I tell my mom that I might need a higher dose?

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.

-J

Followers, do you have any advice?

Anonymous asked
I'm starting school again on Wednesday, and as it's year 12 and we're doing A-Levels, we're expected to be quite indipendant (well a lot more compared to last year). I'm really unorganized and procrastinate a lot! Any organisational tips? Thanks :)

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.

-J

deadxlast asked
How do I explain ADHD to my friends who (for the most part) don't have any sort of .... Mental disabilities (?) They think it's a joke And some time they think I'm joking when I say I have ADHD- There like "OH I think I have that too- I'm SO random some times" and I get really mad And I want to tell then that "it's not cute My mental disability is not you're favorite hand bag - it doesn't go with your outfit " But they're my friends - so I can't get on my soap box -what do I say to them?

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.

-J

Followers, do you have any advice?

Anonymous asked
Understanding ADHD and figuring out how to deal with it is extremely important to me, but when I do research on it and recognize myself in the articles or whatever, I get extremely anxious and self conscious. Like, I have no problem with people knowing that I'm medicated, but it can be really embarrassing for me to realize that I'm so messed up and annoying and that so many adults feel the need to write articles talking about how annoying and naive their ADHD children are, because that's me.

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!

-J

Anonymous asked
I pick at my nails almost 24/7 to the point where they Do this fit under the fidgetiness that can come with ADHD, and if so, what are some good ways to deal with my need to pick at everything (my nails, dried glue, dried paint). Also, when it comes to fidget toys, I'm fifteen and I'm kind of self conscious of being seen playing with toys at my desk while I work. What else would work, or what would be a more subtle fidget toy for picking?

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.

-J

Followers, do you have any suggestions for ways to deal with the need to pick at things?

hoonding asked
Been on Prozac for ADHD after Adderall really wore me down. Think I may have adrenal fatigue (bad college experience, bad job afterward), people often say "maybe you have CFS" (I don't). 20 mg QD left me stupid, slow, tired. No creativity, cut me off from my subconscious, anxiety still happened under the surface. Very bad. Off of it now, but I notice 10mg QD seemed to work... well? Better than either? I'm trying to be cautious. Looking for advice, similar stories, experiences, comments, etc. <3

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. :)

-J

Anonymous asked
Could an untreated anxiety disorder cause ADHD symptoms? Would tests like the TOVA be able to tell the difference?

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.

-J

Anonymous asked
i'm a senior, and whenever i think about college or the long list of things i have to prepare i get really confused and i have to stop thinking about it bc there's just so much. i don know what colleges i want to go to or if i want to take a gap year or if i want to go to college at all. i guess this isnt strictly adhd related but that makes it harder to make this kind of decision and force myself to think about it and to plan. any advice?

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.

-J

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?