Recently diagnosed? Struggling with your treatment? Have you had positive/negative experiences related to your diagnosis or treatment? Tell us about it!

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I know that many, if not most women I've talked to have been misdiagnosed with depression...or...have depression AND the ADHD but the ADHD is missed. Has that happened to you?

Terry
I'm so grateful to have been diagnosed. NOW I know how to address the chaos. Here's the problem: Adderall and that family are the meds which make life tolerable for me. I am a single Mom, student, working, and have 2 very active children, among other things going on at all times. When the meds are right, life can actually be SWEET. I find that the medical professionals are more often than not, reluctant to listen to what I've learned from the past several years, with other Dr.s and researching on my own (OCD, anyone?). In fact, I find that the majority of medical professionals are looking for a reason to label me as an addict, when I am simply trying to apply the PRESCRIBED medication, in the lowest dose that works. They scratch their heads and ask me what I want them to do? Well, for the past several years, I've found that a small dose of this works, and needs to be increased about every 3-4 months. Then we switch to the med that is almost the same thing, but start at the lowest dosage and work our way back up again. Then back to the first, and etc. I'm not looking to be up all night, superwoman. I just want to be functioning during the day; not spending 4 hours each and every day looking for---something, ANYTHING; and again, getting nothing done.

I feel like a criminal every time I tell my Dr/Med professional that I'm topping out of the dose, and it's time to adjust it again. When my meds were working the most effectively, the highest dosage EVER was 30 mg, twice a day. and then back to the 10 mg of the other drug. Maybe it's just me....
Hi and welcome, Abbiegrrl,

It's really a shame that many of us have to have that experience when working with docs in finding the "sweet spot" with meds. Some require a very small, teeny dose; others need a high dose. Others need all kinds of tweaking.

You shouldn't have to feel ashamed, because you are getting treatment for a MEDICAL condition. Just like diabetes, high blood pressure, etc. Does your doc see a lot of adults with ADHD? I find that those who don't, are more apt to make things difficult, ie being overly suspicious of potential abuse.
As a pharmacist, I was very reluctant to seek treatment because of not wanting to be labeled an "addict." I was fortunate enough to find a doctor who had a lot of experience with attention deficit. He is also a neurologist who deals with pain management. The first thing he said to me is, "I have NEVER had anyone come to my office seeking these medications. I do have people coming in all the time hoping to get pain meds who don't have real pain, but no one ever comes to my office looking for ADD medications." lol...I felt much better hearing that. :)

After the first visit he also told me that we now have to tweak the dosing to find the optimal dose. I started on Adderall XR 20mg and he asked me how I felt and if I needed to increase. I did think that a bit of an increase was necessary so I requested the XR 25mg which seems to be doing the trick (except during pms week where it's not quite as effective). I think I'll stay at this dose for a while and see how it goes, but it is good to have a doctor who is open to feedback.

Doctors, like any other profession, have varying levels of expertise. If you are not comfortable with your current situation I would seriously consider a second opinion. Especially this time of year with school starting, we see a huge increase in ADD meds being sold at the pharmacy. Why not ask the pharmacist about which doctor treats a lot of ADD in your area and find a doctor who is a little more receptive? Just a thought.

~Linda

abbiegrrl said:
I'm so grateful to have been diagnosed. NOW I know how to address the chaos. Here's the problem: Adderall and that family are the meds which make life tolerable for me. I am a single Mom, student, working, and have 2 very active children, among other things going on at all times. When the meds are right, life can actually be SWEET. I find that the medical professionals are more often than not, reluctant to listen to what I've learned from the past several years, with other Dr.s and researching on my own (OCD, anyone?). In fact, I find that the majority of medical professionals are looking for a reason to label me as an addict, when I am simply trying to apply the PRESCRIBED medication, in the lowest dose that works. They scratch their heads and ask me what I want them to do? Well, for the past several years, I've found that a small dose of this works, and needs to be increased about every 3-4 months. Then we switch to the med that is almost the same thing, but start at the lowest dosage and work our way back up again. Then back to the first, and etc. I'm not looking to be up all night, superwoman. I just want to be functioning during the day; not spending 4 hours each and every day looking for---something, ANYTHING; and again, getting nothing done.

I feel like a criminal every time I tell my Dr/Med professional that I'm topping out of the dose, and it's time to adjust it again. When my meds were working the most effectively, the highest dosage EVER was 30 mg, twice a day. and then back to the 10 mg of the other drug. Maybe it's just me....
Thanks for the suggestion. Problem is, I am a recovering (16 years of continuous clean time, but still RECOVERING) addict. I know this adds to my feelings of shame, but regardless of the reasons, I would rather deal with the symptoms than go to ANY medical professional at this point. IF that were an option. Problem is, it's not.
As a person who is studying to be an addictions counselor, myself, I know that being "overly emotional" can be a classic sign of drug-seeking behavior. I suspect you all ALSO know that it can be a sign of a person who is frustrated beyond belief by trying to simply get what makes life tolerable and helps them to function. Drastic difference between seeking to FUNCTION and seeking to get high.
I do not have any insurance, so it seems to be an impossibility to find a Dr. who will see me. It's a catch-22, isn't it? One more textbook I ought to be in. My condition makes it almsot impossible to get a job/function, and the ones who could help me to function, I can't see them because I can't afford them. Then, when I do get in to see them, they are reluctant to help me because they "THINK" I might be trying to decieve them.
I welcome anyone's input here.
Thanks.



Linda W said:
As a pharmacist, I was very reluctant to seek treatment because of not wanting to be labeled an "addict." I was fortunate enough to find a doctor who had a lot of experience with attention deficit. He is also a neurologist who deals with pain management. The first thing he said to me is, "I have NEVER had anyone come to my office seeking these medications. I do have people coming in all the time hoping to get pain meds who don't have real pain, but no one ever comes to my office looking for ADD medications." lol...I felt much better hearing that. :)

After the first visit he also told me that we now have to tweak the dosing to find the optimal dose. I started on Adderall XR 20mg and he asked me how I felt and if I needed to increase. I did think that a bit of an increase was necessary so I requested the XR 25mg which seems to be doing the trick (except during pms week where it's not quite as effective). I think I'll stay at this dose for a while and see how it goes, but it is good to have a doctor who is open to feedback.

Doctors, like any other profession, have varying levels of expertise. If you are not comfortable with your current situation I would seriously consider a second opinion. Especially this time of year with school starting, we see a huge increase in ADD meds being sold at the pharmacy. Why not ask the pharmacist about which doctor treats a lot of ADD in your area and find a doctor who is a little more receptive? Just a thought.

~Linda

abbiegrrl said:
I'm so grateful to have been diagnosed. NOW I know how to address the chaos. Here's the problem: Adderall and that family are the meds which make life tolerable for me. I am a single Mom, student, working, and have 2 very active children, among other things going on at all times. When the meds are right, life can actually be SWEET. I find that the medical professionals are more often than not, reluctant to listen to what I've learned from the past several years, with other Dr.s and researching on my own (OCD, anyone?). In fact, I find that the majority of medical professionals are looking for a reason to label me as an addict, when I am simply trying to apply the PRESCRIBED medication, in the lowest dose that works. They scratch their heads and ask me what I want them to do? Well, for the past several years, I've found that a small dose of this works, and needs to be increased about every 3-4 months. Then we switch to the med that is almost the same thing, but start at the lowest dosage and work our way back up again. Then back to the first, and etc. I'm not looking to be up all night, superwoman. I just want to be functioning during the day; not spending 4 hours each and every day looking for---something, ANYTHING; and again, getting nothing done.

I feel like a criminal every time I tell my Dr/Med professional that I'm topping out of the dose, and it's time to adjust it again. When my meds were working the most effectively, the highest dosage EVER was 30 mg, twice a day. and then back to the 10 mg of the other drug. Maybe it's just me....
AGGHH! I have been trying to get a solid DX at the suggestion of my coach. Yes, I have an ADD coach even though I haven't had a diagnosis yet. One psychiatrist pulled out her DSM-IV, handed it to me and said, "does this describe you?" I said yes and she handed me a prescription for an anti-depressant. Hmmm. Anyway, so now I have moved to a different state and went to a psychiatrist who said, "we don't diagnose ADD for adults here. There is no screening. Would you like some Wellbutrin?" Uh, ok so no history taken, no information gathered, and two docs willing to just hand me meds and probably not even the right king. This has been so frustrating. I even told the last doctor that the appointment was not going like I expected, and I explained why. She said, "Well, if you would like to talk to someone we can have you meet one of our psycologist." Ummm, ok but she didn't really address any of my concerns, etc. Ready to just quit. I also live in no-mans land Louisiana (we aren't near any cities), and I can't find any psychiatrist within a 1 hour drive except for the bozos I have already been to see above. AGGGHHHH! Again! ~Kateri
I was just diagnosed at 26 after my husband was diagnosed. We always joked about his ADD until the second child came and it was no longer a joke. I was crumbling. I have been on anti-depressants since 6th grade and after I quit my full-time job to stay home (2005), Anxiety was added. I never thought that I had anxiety. Inside I just had this feeling like I needed to do something all the time. It was hard to just sit and play with my kids because there is 'something to do' but I would never do anything constructive. I read 'Driven to Distraction' to try to understand my husband a little better but I ended up understanding myself! I am happy to have been diagnosed with ADD because I finally feel like I am on the right track but I am struggling with what to do now. It is like this new world that I am living in but I don't know how to live in it. I am upset that my whole life I have been 'depressed' and wondering why the anti-depressants aren't working. I feel like I need to learn everything all over again. Housekeeping, parenting, paying bills, how to be a friend and wife. It is very over whelming.
I totally understand samething happened to me...after doing all the research on my husband who i had been saying for 8 years to get tested he finally did and the more i read the more i found to be reading about myself...and let me tell you all of a sudden instead of feeling lost i actually felt relieved that I just wasn't crazy anymore. We also learned that since both me and my husband have add and adhd, our kids are more likely to..dont we just love genetics. But my middle boy is ADHD...we also think one of the twins that is only 4 may also be. But she is a girl so it manifest a bit different so we have read. Well good luck.

Julie Nelson said:
I was just diagnosed at 26 after my husband was diagnosed. We always joked about his ADD until the second child came and it was no longer a joke. I was crumbling. I have been on anti-depressants since 6th grade and after I quit my full-time job to stay home (2005), Anxiety was added. I never thought that I had anxiety. Inside I just had this feeling like I needed to do something all the time. It was hard to just sit and play with my kids because there is 'something to do' but I would never do anything constructive. I read 'Driven to Distraction' to try to understand my husband a little better but I ended up understanding myself! I am happy to have been diagnosed with ADD because I finally feel like I am on the right track but I am struggling with what to do now. It is like this new world that I am living in but I don't know how to live in it. I am upset that my whole life I have been 'depressed' and wondering why the anti-depressants aren't working. I feel like I need to learn everything all over again. Housekeeping, parenting, paying bills, how to be a friend and wife. It is very over whelming.
I have just been diadnosed with ADHD. It took me going to a phyciatrist and her randomlytrying adderall to help control my impulsuvness. That Perticular drug wasnt for me , so now i am on Vyvanse and it has worked wonders for me. I also found a book called " Understanding women with ADHD" The book is amazing. i can look back at myself starting at me adolesent years and understand my actions. My family does't want to understand as much. My 7yr old daughter is showing signs of having it. She is me all over again. Just thought I'd share my new findings
Hope I am putting this in the right place....I'll try to condense this as best I can. My mom was diagnosed with ADD around the age of 50, so I grew up in a home where we didn't have a clue why my mom was the way she was. My mom has the classic symptoms of ADD - house that is a mess, runs late for everything, constantly losing things like her keys, important paperwork, etc .....
Honestly, when she was diagnosed with ADD I thought what a joke it has to be something more than that....and then my dad passed away about 1 1/2 years ago. With the death of my dad, I finally took the time to learn more about ADD so I would know better how I could possibly help my mom. I read the Hallowell books and the book “You Mean I'm Not Lazy, Stupid or Crazy?!” Not only did I learn about my mom but discovered I too have some of the characteristics of ADD, just not to the degree my mother does.
There is what I think is a fairly strong family history of ADD, although my mother is the only one formally diagnosed. I suspect my maternal grandmother had ADD and I believe my brother also has ADD.
I am a mom of three kids, ages six and under. I have a graduate degree and work full-time. If I were to describe myself I guess I would say one way or another I hold things together but I will admit with the three kids and the demands at work it is getting harder and harder to do. I guess that is what brought me back to learning more about ADD.
Right now I am reading the Women with Attention Deficit Disorder book. The author comments “Almost all women find that life today is complex, upsetting or frustrating, but they are still able to meet most of these demands reasonably well….For the women with untreated ADD, however, the demands of daily life can be crippling.” This statement clearly describes my mother but it does not describe me as I do manage to get by one way or another.
Soon after I was married (before kids) I went in for a physical and my husband told me to ask the doctor if there was some reason I was tired all the time. I have had my thyroid checked multiple times and it always comes back normal. When I started learning about ADD, I wondered if ADD might be the reason. The other comment my husband has made over the years is “I don’t know why it takes you so long to get things done.” Both at home and work, I manage to get by, but it is not uncommon for me to get to the end of the day and wonder - why do I have all these loose ends to tie up. Why don’t I just do a better job of keeping up throughout the day? I guess that actually describes much of my life in a nutshell.
I often toy with cutting back my hours at work so I would have more time to get things done around the house. But I don’t because in reality I don’t know that I would get anything more accomplished at home and figure if that is the case I might as well keep working if that makes any sense.
There is so much more I could write….I guess I just wonder for someone who does manage to get by, is it crazy to even consider ADD? I also wonder about my 6 year old daughter. She is a bright girl. Did well in kindergarten last year with the exception of her teacher commenting she is very slow at getting things done. At home it is the very much the same. My daughter also has a “temper” which I am beginning to wonder isn’t possibly secondary to ADD? I also struggle with mood/PMS issues which I am reading can go hand in hand with ADD…..
Hi Alphabet and welcome to the site!

You raise some very interesting and important facts.
You are living quite a busy life and well...it's impossible to know if you do or do not have ADHD. You are obviously very bright and a high achiever. It's *possible* that you have compensated all these years in various ways. ADHD is on a continuum; some have severe symptoms; others have quite mild ones. Possibly, you fall in the latter category.

Or maybe you don't have ADHD at all!

I would suggest that you find someone who evaluates ADHD in adults- especially one who understands women with ADHD. Women with ADHD who are high achievers and/or have mild ADHD are often missed or misdiagnosed.

You can find a directory of ADHD specialists here on my site. Just click the tab titled ADD Directory, above.

Hope this helps- please let us know what you decide to do.

Terry
Hello, I have never written one of these before. Please excuse all of my writing errors. I am a 31 year old mother of 4.I have not been diagnosed yet, but I am seriously considering reaching out (today) for help. Let me explain. I am a stay at home mother. I have a wonderful husband who must really love me unconditionally. He seems confused with all of my stress.
I have 6 wonderful friends whom I meet with weekly for coffee. I attend an amazing church where I teach Sunday school. I attend softball games w/ my kids and it all should be great.

However I cannot keep it together. I am not keeping up! I want, no I crave organization and cleanliness and yet I no matter how I try, or plan it all falls apart quickly. When it comes to taking care of my house it ussually happends like this. I will super clean mabey stay up all night to do so. When I clean I am a perfectionist and it takes me forever. This summer when my family was comming to visit I spent 6 hours cleaning 1 small bathroom. Anyway I feel so good when it's all done. I am not frusterated with the kids, I cook, I bake, ect. But the problem is that for me to KEEP my house clean it takes ALL of my focas. If I slip and leave dishes over night, it's done. Before I know what happend I look around and I am overwelmed and miserable. My house is either spotless or discusting. There is no balance anywhere in my life. My home is only one example.What am I teaching my kids about how to be a responsibal adult? I don't even know how to be. I am thinking about going back to school, I really want to but I have this pattern of -give it my all- slow down -burn out- quit. I have already dropped out of college 2x. In the past year I have changed my mind atleast 4x about what I want to go to school for. I don't know how to find a middle gear. I am iether in 5th or stalled out. Even with my own family. I love my kids soooo much but somedays I just all feels like it's more than I can handle. I don't know how to enjoy just living life with my family. If any thing is on my mind it's consuming and the problem is that I always have a million things on my mind, like "Did I hurt thier feelings, I should have spent more times with the kids today, I have a meeting w/ Isaiah's teacher tommorrow, don't forget!!! I have got to wash cloths, look at this filthy house,I sure would like to sit and crochet a while, I am teaching missionetts in 2 hours I have'nt even looked at a lesson, Lily needs a bath, and so on" I do have a lot of fun with my kids sometimes but I have to drop EVERYTHING else and only focas on them. I love to do that but it's hard to enjoy if I am leaving 50 things undone. Sometimes I get mad and blame my husband for not helping me more and I yell at him and say really mean things and cry out my frusterations. But then I feel guilty because I know the truth of the matter is that he is pulling his weight and I am not. I feel so bad to realize that there is nothing that my husband can really reley on me for. I waste so much time, like right now on the computer.You know even praying and reading my bible seems like another chore sometimes. It feels like everyday I am choosing what to do and what to neglect.I want more than anything else to really enjoy my family and my relationship with God. I want to treat them the same wonderful way I feel about them on the inside instead of dealing with them out of frusteration. With my kids I ussually end up buying them something or doing something for them because I feel so bad for them. Anyway I am not sure that I am adhd but I am very sure that things are not right. I have gone to my pastor and some friends, other people from time to time but everyone just thinks that I am morbidly introspective or just not trying hard enouph to follow through. I sway back and forth between "I really can't help it, to being mad at myself for being so lazy. I am mentally tired!

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