I see the term ADHD and ADD used on here... I was just wondering if anyone else has an ADHD diagnosis and what symptoms they experience. I sometimes feel nuts because I can't sit still, sometimes I feel manic and wondered if I was Bipolar or something but the doctor seems to feel it's just part of the ADHD. I don't know if it's connected to the hyperactivity but I am incredibly impulsive, partly because I have so many ideas and want to do so many things and while I have the energy I can't stay focused or get organized enough to finish anything. The upside is I can go to the gym and workout for 2hrs straight and love it because I love to move and expel energy. My son has ADHD and his hyperactivity is off the charts too, he can't even sit through class without a wiggle seat and that's on the meds he takes 3 times a day. I am on meds too, but they have a limited effect for me as well. Just curious if anyone else experience the hyperactivity too.

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Well, I may be completely wrong here...but from what I've read, ADD is an attention disorder. Then there's ADHD which adds the hyperactivity to it. And I think sometimes you my see AD/HD which I believe is supposed to mean that person is a combination. Depending on the website you go to, you can get a few different explanations. Most websites state that there are three main categories to ADD or ADHD - inattentive, hyperactive, and combination. And they mostly all say that the majority of people are placed in the combination category.

I am inattentive...extremely. And I am apparently very impulsive. I would have never thought that about myself, but I've taken the CPT test twice now at a psychologist's office (once on meds and once off meds). Regardless of being on or off meds, my results show very strong impulsiveness.

Have you gone to a psychologist yet? My insurance is awesome, but if it weren't for that, I wouldn't be able to...I know they're expensive. But I came across something in Walgreens the other day. It's called Calm's Forte. It's a sleeping pill kind of, but only has chamomile. It says it can be used in children and adults ages 6+. It's a pill, but you take three to go to sleep....or you can take just one to calm down during the day. So it can be used to help you relax. Maybe try that. I would take one the first time just to see how it affects you. But it could help to ease the restlessness feeling!

And I wouldn't worry about the Bipolar issue either! Seriously!! I actually had a friend take me to see the school psychologist when I was at LSU. She told the doctor I was possibly Bipolar!! Now, i did not talk to my friend for a while after that...LOL....mostly because my grandmother was schizophrenic...so I've always been scared I would be crazy one day. But...if you read about add and adhd....you'll read where there can be other disorders that accompany adhd - bipolar is one. But if you research adhd/bipolar specifically...you'll find info that says that there are MANY psychologists that believe the bipolar part is caused by the adhd and once the adhd is controlled...there's no more drastic UP/down episodes. So don't worry! I believe that is true!
Yes, Stephanie explained the types very well. My psychiatrist & most sites I've seen recently use the term ADHD & often ADD as a general term to include all types, Most diagnostic reports break it down as ADHD w/ hyperactivity, ADHD-I (inattentive) & ADHD - Combined. I'm throwing this out there off the cuff so I may have the terms a bit off. Anyway, I am extremely hyper to be an adult (I'm 35), meaning when I'm not on medication I CAN NOT sit still & like you, Bridget I can workout for 2 hours straight. However, my huge battery of tests consider me inattentive. My psychologist has a theory about this that made sense to me. Since it's only recently that docs are realizing that ADHD doesn't always go away once a person reaches adulthood as it was once believed, the diagnostic criteria is still primarily based on little boys but is used on everyone. In other words, I'm not hyper compared to a hyperactive 2nd grade boy, but compared to other females my age i'm off the charts. Apparently, the DSM is supposed to include a broader population in its next version. Also, I think I was a pro in school at pretending to pay attention. I could look like I knew exactly what was going on, head nods and all & but be in Hawaii in my head. So, in that way, i am inattentive. I could make it through class & stay still, but once I was released -- LOOK OUT!

As far as you saying you sometimes feel manic, i can relate to that as well. I have really severe mood swings at times, but in addition to ADHD, I also have some pretty bad anxiety and I believe OCD (that's my own diagnosis, though). I believe the anxiety for me anyway was a result of growing up w/ undiagnosed ADHD. I don't have the mental capacity at the moment to articulate everything I want to say, but you might try reading more indepth about bipolar. My undergrad is psychology & I started but haven't completed grad school in psychology as well & I've studied a good bit about diagnostic criteria for different disorders. I don't know if you're on medication for ADHD, but I know for me, that really stabilized my moods. However, I can't just take stimulants - they help me focus & allow me to sit still, but they send my anxiety & OCD tendencies through the roof. Currently, I take Strattera and Adderall. It's a pretty good combo for the most part, but during pms, my moods swing pretty bad.

What meds do you take? The meds help me, but sometimes I still feel like I have a high speed engine inside of me. Sorry for the ramble - hope some of it made sense.
Oh, Bridget, I meant to mention this in my above post, but when i was only taking Adderall, I had HORRIBLE mood swings. Once my doc added Strattera I became much more even - but I'm still working on that PMS week. The Strattera is great for my mood EXCEPT anywhere from 7 - 10 days before my period. I told my doc this & I really think he thinks it's my imagination, but i swear during that time I just want to claw anyone's eyeballs out if they cross me. It's crazy! i almost think the PMS moods are worse on the Strattera but the rest of the month is 100% better w/ the Strattera. Again, I'm rambling. Hope some of this helps. Good Luck!
Right now I am on Zoloft and Metadate-ER. I was diagnosed with OCD at 11 and Bulimia at 12 and by the time I was in 9th grade I had a homebound teacher coming to the house so I could be in intensive out-patient therapy 5 days a week due to "multiple psychiatric issues" (4hrs a day). I have been "diagnosed" with everything under the sun including Borderline Personality when I was 15, Oppositional Defiant Disorder (also at 15), OCD, Bulimia, and with my menstration they said I had Premenstral Dysphoric Disorder and I have been on every med for depression and anxiety you can think of and nothing really helped until they added a stimulant to the SSRI, I wasn't diagnosed ADHD until I was an adult. My PMDD is still bad, when I am about to start I have a hair trigger... I have really tried my best to control it now that I have kids but before they came I would punch walls, scream at people, throw things, and fly off the handle at any little thing. I have never run across a med that helps that feeling, but I work diligently at changing the behavior.
Gosh, it sounds like you've been through a lot. I'm so sorry you can't find some peace after all this time.

I looked up Metadate and I found a website that, at the bottom of the page, it says that anxiety, aggitation and tension can be intensified while on Metadate. http://www.drugs.com/pro/metadate-er.html that's the website where I found that information. I just wasn't sure if you had read anything like that or not. I've read many good things about Strattera but I'm like you...I need the stimulant. So, I'm wondering if Jen's combination of meds would be a good idea for you. I've been trying to tell my doctor that Adderall alone is not doing anything. I can suffer from agitated mood swings myself but I've noticed that once my doctor added an afternoon dosage and then increase that afternoon dosage, those mood swings have gone. I know everyone is different and we all just have to find our own combination through trial and error I guess. I just feel awful for you that you've been dealing with this for so long and have not found an answer yet. My psychologist told me to try something that, honestly...I've not been able to try yet. He told me I needed to do Yoga. I said, "YOGA??? Isn't that a little boring for me?" He started laughing and said, "That's precisely the point. Internally, your brain is on 'go mode' constantly and just spinning out of control. I think you really need to do SOME form of meditation." I probably gave him the biggest look of, "HUH?" But, I've thought about it and I think he's right. I tried to do it one day with my kids, but my 20mo old sat on my head and started hitting me with a toy....after that I figured that was something that needed to be done while he is asleep at some part of the day. But maybe you could try something like that too. He also told me that he thinks my agitation comes from not enough time alone. He said that I seem to be the kind of person that likes my privacy and time to myself and with three kids and a Husband that works a lot, I never get it anymore. Just throwing that out there in case it might help you out too. I had explained my agitation to my doctor like this: Every morning I start out with an empty bowl. As things begin to aggravate me, an 'angry ball' gets dropped in the bowl. Eventually, the bowl is full of 'angry balls' and I just explode!!!! But I have noticed...my afternoon dose of Adderall has helped my 'bowl' not get full!!

I wish there was a med for hypersensitivity. I HATE it...but I just cannot STAND for my kids OR my husband to touch me too much. I mean, there are times of the day that I'm in snuggle mode, but when I'm not....DO NOT TOUCH ME!!! That agitates me til no end!!! Does that sound horrible?

Anyway...I should get off the computer I suppose. I just wanted to offer up anything I could. It's not much. I hope you can find a better solution for yourself or a better doctor or something. Until then....we're always here for you!!! I might not have many words of wisdom for you, but I can listen! I know sometimes that's all we really need!
OH! I never thought I would say this, Stephanie, but I LOVE YOGA!! When I did it regularly, it did help my attention span. But, I feel I must provide full disclosure. The first time I went to a class, I felt like I was going to jump out of my skin & I felt totally out of place among all the other zen-like participants with all of their calmness. It wasn't until I hurt my knee skiing that I managed to do it regularly. My physical therapist suggested that I try it and it was then that I fell in love with it. It's good for ADHD because while it is meditative, you're still moving. My mind still wonders but it makes me feel calmer & more in tune with my body's needs. I think it should be a requirement for anyone struggling with an eating disorder. I can't say enough good things about, but it might take a few classes before you start to like it. I say give it a month. I haven't been to a class since before my oldest son was born (he's almost 3) but I still do DVDs at home when i have time. Rodney Yee has some really good ones that teach you the poses. You should definitely try it! I've even bought some kids yoga DVDs that my toddlers love - OK, love is a strong word, but they will atleast try the poses. I have better luck when they're asleep cause they want to sit on me & run wild - this cuts down on the calming effect. :-)

I understand needing alone time. I never feel like I get enough. Yoga helped me learn good breathing techniques & taught me to find a calm place inside, something I NEVER dreamed was possible before trying yoga. It sounds like you have a great doctor! I'm envious!

Stephanie Schornick said:
Gosh, it sounds like you've been through a lot. I'm so sorry you can't find some peace after all this time.

I looked up Metadate and I found a website that, at the bottom of the page, it says that anxiety, aggitation and tension can be intensified while on Metadate. http://www.drugs.com/pro/metadate-er.html that's the website where I found that information. I just wasn't sure if you had read anything like that or not. I've read many good things about Strattera but I'm like you...I need the stimulant. So, I'm wondering if Jen's combination of meds would be a good idea for you. I've been trying to tell my doctor that Adderall alone is not doing anything. I can suffer from agitated mood swings myself but I've noticed that once my doctor added an afternoon dosage and then increase that afternoon dosage, those mood swings have gone. I know everyone is different and we all just have to find our own combination through trial and error I guess. I just feel awful for you that you've been dealing with this for so long and have not found an answer yet. My psychologist told me to try something that, honestly...I've not been able to try yet. He told me I needed to do Yoga. I said, "YOGA??? Isn't that a little boring for me?" He started laughing and said, "That's precisely the point. Internally, your brain is on 'go mode' constantly and just spinning out of control. I think you really need to do SOME form of meditation." I probably gave him the biggest look of, "HUH?" But, I've thought about it and I think he's right. I tried to do it one day with my kids, but my 20mo old sat on my head and started hitting me with a toy....after that I figured that was something that needed to be done while he is asleep at some part of the day. But maybe you could try something like that too. He also told me that he thinks my agitation comes from not enough time alone. He said that I seem to be the kind of person that likes my privacy and time to myself and with three kids and a Husband that works a lot, I never get it anymore. Just throwing that out there in case it might help you out too. I had explained my agitation to my doctor like this: Every morning I start out with an empty bowl. As things begin to aggravate me, an 'angry ball' gets dropped in the bowl. Eventually, the bowl is full of 'angry balls' and I just explode!!!! But I have noticed...my afternoon dose of Adderall has helped my 'bowl' not get full!!

I wish there was a med for hypersensitivity. I HATE it...but I just cannot STAND for my kids OR my husband to touch me too much. I mean, there are times of the day that I'm in snuggle mode, but when I'm not....DO NOT TOUCH ME!!! That agitates me til no end!!! Does that sound horrible?

Anyway...I should get off the computer I suppose. I just wanted to offer up anything I could. It's not much. I hope you can find a better solution for yourself or a better doctor or something. Until then....we're always here for you!!! I might not have many words of wisdom for you, but I can listen! I know sometimes that's all we really need!
I couldn't do YOGA, I just don't have the balance for it... I can't even stand on one foot for very long. Vigorous activity has a calming effect on me, a strange as it sounds I love getting on the eliptical machine or the treadmill with my music and going and just get "in the zone" as they say. I even have to be careful on the treadmill though, I have lost my footing and fallen off more than once lol. I guess it isn't meditative but it burns off steam and energy. As for YOGA for eating disorders, I dunno... there is such a disconnect and even disdain for the body (more accuratley your perception of your body) getting "in-tune" with it is sort of like sleeping with the enemy lol... I have been in recovery from that for almost 10yrs.
Stephanie, you mentioned being hypersensitive to touch and I am too! My poor husband can't even lay his arm across me while we sleep. I love my children and I hug and cuddle them often but as terrible as it sounds I have to force myself to do it at times...sometimes I feel like contact just makes me want to shoot out of my skin! I also can't touch things like peaches, potatos, chalk, or unglazed pottery (like flower pots) it makes my skin crawl. I am hypersensitive to smells and light too. My Autistic son had an Occupational Therapist evaluate him and diagnosis him with Sensory Processing Disorder and when we went over the symptoms and alot of it sounds like the trouble I have. She told me it often is secondary to ADHD and Autism (both of which my son has) so it would make sense for adults with ADD/ADHD to suffer from some sensory issues as well.
I haven't really had any terrible problems with the meds I am on now. As many SSRIs as I have been on and the copious ammounts of Serotonin that have flooded my neurotransmitters I could probably eat a bowl of Zoloft for breakfast and not feel drugged.

Thanks for sharing and listening, it's really nice not to feel so alone in dealing with this stuff!
Bridget, you poor thing! You have been through so much. I get so frustrated when I hear stories like yours because it makes me wonder how many young girls are not receiving proper treatment & are given multiple incorrect diagnoses only to be labeled "treatment-resistent" when the reality is that very few docs are trained & have little experience treating just women & girls. Unfortunately, many times parents don't realize the complexity of the treatment process & just want the problem fixed. This leads to ineffective treatment & the girl becomes an adult, never having proper treatment and continues to struggle. OK, I'll get off my soapbox now, but I have personal experience with this AND I've witnessed it.

I feel like the ADHD diagnosis was the missing link for me & nothing really helped until I took a stimulant. I don't know if you feel this way, but when i read anything about ADHD it sounds just like me. I see some characteristics that I have in descriptions of other disorders, but not to the degree that I do w/ ADHD. I really had no luck changing behaviors until I took stimulants and educated myself on the condition. It sounds like you're doing that & you should be really proud of the progress you've made. That said, I know how frustrating the process can be, especially when you become a parent and are fearful of your issues negatively impacting your kids - but, for me anyway, it makes me prioritize my treatment so my motivation is better than when I was childless.

Zoloft did not work well for me. It helped some when I was 19 & my dad died, but I think I was truly depressed then. However, when I tried taking it again in my mid-twenties it made me feel like a zombie mentally, but I still felt physically hyper. I thought maybe the zoloft might work w/ the stimulant, but then I just felt drugged & checked out. Here's a link that I've found helpful - lots of info to sort through, but there's some stuff about SSRIs & stimulants that you might find helpful. http://www.corepsychblog.com/2009/04/adhd-medications-use-the-thera... I haven't read this specific part recently, but from what I remember, I don't think Dr. Charles Parker recommends mixing the two, but I could be remembering wrong.

I know what you mean about working hard to change your behaviors since having kids. I had a horrible temper before, but I've gotten a lot better. I work VERY hard at being calm & patient with them - not always easy. It sounds like you're doing a lot of things right. I bet everything you've been through has helped you better know how to help your kids. You sound like a great mom! :-)


Bridget Patterson said:
Right now I am on Zoloft and Metadate-ER. I was diagnosed with OCD at 11 and Bulimia at 12 and by the time I was in 9th grade I had a homebound teacher coming to the house so I could be in intensive out-patient therapy 5 days a week due to "multiple psychiatric issues" (4hrs a day). I have been "diagnosed" with everything under the sun including Borderline Personality when I was 15, Oppositional Defiant Disorder (also at 15), OCD, Bulimia, and with my menstration they said I had Premenstral Dysphoric Disorder and I have been on every med for depression and anxiety you can think of and nothing really helped until they added a stimulant to the SSRI, I wasn't diagnosed ADHD until I was an adult. My PMDD is still bad, when I am about to start I have a hair trigger... I have really tried my best to control it now that I have kids but before they came I would punch walls, scream at people, throw things, and fly off the handle at any little thing. I have never run across a med that helps that feeling, but I work diligently at changing the behavior.
OK, my computer just went nuts & somehow re-posted my last reply. Not sure what that's about. Anyway, I'm about to go to bed, but I had to respond to this. Bridget,I didn't mean to suggest that Zoloft is horrible or that you shouldn't take it. I hope my response didn't come across that way. ADHD treatment is such a process & it's ridiculously individual. I just relate to several things you said & felt that what I've discovered was worth mentioning. It's almost like we all have to figure out what's best & then convince the docs of what we need. That's been my experience anyway. I've taken Zoloft & Adderall together & like you said, it didn't do much for me until the stimulant was added. Every doc I've been to wanted to treat me w/ an SSRI plus the stimulant, and my results were fair, but things got much better once I started researching more on my own. That's when I found all the mixed reviews about mixing SSRIs w/ stimulants. It's still a very common treatment (I think). I can't find the book at the moment, so this is from memory, but it's fairly new & I think there's lots of good info about this topic, as well as lots of good info in general. It's by Gina Pera. Is It You, Me or Adult ADD? That's how I found the CorePsych Blog that I referenced earlier. Gosh, I'm digressing & what I'm trying to say is not in my head at the moment. It sounds like what you're doing is working well for you & you've obviously been through a lot of stuff not working, so it's great that you feel better. :-)

The other thing, I know I'm going on about how great yoga is, but I have to add that this is something I do in addition to hard core cardio. Bridget, I get the EXACT feeling you talked about from a strenuous workout on the elliptical machine. Vigorous exercise is completely calming for me, too. Sometimes I think if I could move all day long in one form or the other, I would be fine. Most of my friends think I'm nuts. I've struggled w/ eating issues since I was seventeen, but didn't really acknowledge that it was a problem until about 5 years ago. I was never bulimic, but I'm a hard core "restrictive eater" and pretty much an exercise addict. I was borderline anorexic at my worst - I'm 5'8' and at one time weighed about 100 lbs. Honestly, with all the therapy I've had, nothing worked for my eating problems until I did yoga (this was all pre-ADHD diagnosis). I would tell my therapists what I thought they wanted to hear and continue to starve myself. Deep down I wanted to stop the behavior, but it was the only thing I felt I could control in my chaotic life & honestly I couldn't let it go. Obviously mine wasn't as bad as others because I could stay within a weight range to avoid inpatient treatment, but it ruled my life for years. With most exercise I was always trying to go harder and push past the pain & get to that calm,peaceful place, but with yoga I was forced to tune in to the discomfort and breathe through it. It's almost like it gave me something to focus on. I'm not really explaining it well, but somewhere through it, something clicked for me & for the first time I made progress w/ my ED. Instead of the mind/body split that I experienced with other forms of exercise, with yoga my mind and body were integrated. I no longer felt that disdain for my body that I had previously. It was a process, but I developed an appreciation for my body that I'd never had before. It was not long after this that I was diagnosed w/ ADHD & that was the additional piece that I needed for this puzzle of a life I'd been living for so long. I'm still thin & especially with kids, I seriously get so busy that I sometimes forget to eat. Also, when I'm under a lot of stress, restricting my food is a behavior I tend to fall back on in order to cope, but my mindset is 100% different. I know that my results have been a combination of good therapy, education & awareness of the problem and a strong desire to improve, but discovering yoga was an integral part for me. It's so much more than exercise, and I am completely grateful that I was able to stick with it. I am SO hyper & never thought it was for me, but I really think hurting my knee was probably the best thing that ever happened to me because it forced me to do yoga. Oh - I also have TERRIBLE balance, but it has improved. I'll shut up now, but I just really felt I needed to share this experience. Thanks for listening, ladies. All the best! I learn so much everytime I read this site.

Bridget Patterson said:
I couldn't do YOGA, I just don't have the balance for it... I can't even stand on one foot for very long. Vigorous activity has a calming effect on me, a strange as it sounds I love getting on the eliptical machine or the treadmill with my music and going and just get "in the zone" as they say. I even have to be careful on the treadmill though, I have lost my footing and fallen off more than once lol. I guess it isn't meditative but it burns off steam and energy. As for YOGA for eating disorders, I dunno... there is such a disconnect and even disdain for the body (more accuratley your perception of your body) getting "in-tune" with it is sort of like sleeping with the enemy lol... I have been in recovery from that for almost 10yrs.
Stephanie, you mentioned being hypersensitive to touch and I am too! My poor husband can't even lay his arm across me while we sleep. I love my children and I hug and cuddle them often but as terrible as it sounds I have to force myself to do it at times...sometimes I feel like contact just makes me want to shoot out of my skin! I also can't touch things like peaches, potatos, chalk, or unglazed pottery (like flower pots) it makes my skin crawl. I am hypersensitive to smells and light too. My Autistic son had an Occupational Therapist evaluate him and diagnosis him with Sensory Processing Disorder and when we went over the symptoms and alot of it sounds like the trouble I have. She told me it often is secondary to ADHD and Autism (both of which my son has) so it would make sense for adults with ADD/ADHD to suffer from some sensory issues as well.
I haven't really had any terrible problems with the meds I am on now. As many SSRIs as I have been on and the copious ammounts of Serotonin that have flooded my neurotransmitters I could probably eat a bowl of Zoloft for breakfast and not feel drugged.

Thanks for sharing and listening, it's really nice not to feel so alone in dealing with this stuff!
Two great books that will give you both insight and concise strategies for positive methods for dealing with both ADD and ADHD, are "Delivered from Distraction", Getting the most out of life with Attention Deficit Disorder by Edward M. Hallowell, M.D., and Hohn J. Ratey, M.D (authors of Driven to Distraction) and
"Too Loud, Too bright, Too fast Too tight", What to do if you are sensory defensive in an overstimulating world, by Sharon Heller, Ph.D.
I personally got the most out of Dr. Heller's book simply because of the Sensory Sensitivity issues, that I and both of my children have on top of the ADD/ADHD, dyslexia, anxiety and what not. Both of these books very well could be the beginnings of heightened enlightenment that could possibly change the way diagnoses are considered in the DSM and psychiatry world.

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