Hi everyone!


I must do this breifly as I have an appoitment in 30 minutes!  First of all, I am so happy I found this site!  I find comfort in knowing that there are other people, especially women and mothers that I can relate too.  Especially because for a long part of my life, I thought I stood all alone in my crazy head!


I am in need of some help and would greatly appreciate any suggestions.  Maybe you've been there?  I grew up with a father who constantly put me down and never gave me the time of day.  He was heartless at times and an alchoholic. 


Anyways, I am in my late twenties and have a 4 y/o daughter.  I have recently been diagnosed with ADHD and am not receiving any treatment for it.  I was also diagnosed with Depression and Anxiety and was given medication for it which made me feel terrible.  My doc wanted me to continue with the meds because he wanted to treat the depression before treating the ADHD.  I felt like I wasn't depressed all the time so why should I take medication for depression  I stopped seeing the doctor and have yet to resolve or treat my ADHD. 


Moving on, I believe my daughter has ADHD as well and has a very hard time in concentrating on her studies.  She can go for days and days with playing with her toys.  I've tried to make learning fun and creative but her mind constantly wonders and it can take hours just to complete one or two things.  In turn I get so frustrated because my inability to focus factors in too.  It's like the blind leading the blind.  I hate even saying this but I know it's true.  When I get frustrated at my daughter, my father comes out.  I say and treat her in a way that sometimes isn't appropriate for a anyone, especially a child who I know isn't at fault.  It's like my father passed down his anger/problems to me and now i'm passing it on to my daughter.  I don't want to....I want it to stop at me. 


Is there any mechanism/advice that anyone has for me?  I get frustrated when I tell my daughter more than 3 times to do anything and she doesn't listen.  I get frustrated when she cannot focuss or pay attention.  I get frustrated at myself for not being more understanding because I of all people can relate to her.  I guess another part of it is growing up I hated my own ADD traits, and seeing it in my daughter brakes my heart.  Any advice.  I want to help her because even though she has not been clinically diagnosed, I know she has what I have.  And being someone who recongnizes that, and especially being her mother, I want to help her as much as I can but I don't know how.  I want to stop being my father and start being her mother who loves her unconditionally and is patient with her.


P.S. I'm late for my appointment! lol

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I started by accepting my ADHD and learning how to use my assets. There is a really awesome book called Delivered From Distraction, and its what helped me to look at my ADD positively! I also work with a psychiatrist and a therapist. There are numerous websites with knowledge on ADD, I like CHADD (http://www.chadd.org/), this is an author I believe of ADD books (http://www.addjourneys.com/members/sarisolden), this is a cool article (http://www.medicinenet.com/script/main/art.asp?articlekey=46270), this site has TONS of info and helpful tips (http://www.additudemag.com), this is cool tips for time management (http://www.time-management-use.com/advanced-time-management.html), help for managing ADD (http://www.helpguide.org/mental/adhd_add_adult_strategies.htm), health central has good info as well (http://www.healthcentral.com/adhd/h/daily-routine-attention-deficit...). That should at least get you started with instant info right away, I look up everything on the internet since there is such a wealth of knowledge and information. Just believe in yourself, if you are like me then I know you are smart and intelligent!! There is also lots of parenting websites like www.parenting.com or www.babycenter.com that have good info! I suggest Al-anon for dealing with past family member with addiction/alcoholism, there should be meetings in your area. I go and I love it since it deals with emotions and behaviors and building positive healthy relationships!! Hope this helps, best of luck to you and your daughter!
A couple of suggestions. 1) Make sure your daughter is looking at you when you want her to focus on something you are saying. Have her repeat it to you. 2) Keep your instructions short and to the point. 3) If you ask her to get you something and she can't remember what it is, hold her and say lets try again. 4) When she is old enough get her tested. Let her have help. I was a kid with these problems and my parents white knucked it with me. I wonder if I had had some medication if it would have been a lot easier on both of us through my school years. I was tested and found learning disabilities, but Mom & Dad never told me anything more specific then my IQ score as an adult. Not enough information. I found myself on this site and working to get retested. Alanon sounds like a very good suggestion as well.
I can definitely relate to your feelings and fears of being like your father rather than the loving mother you know you can be.

It's great that you recognize this and want to actively do something about it. It's also a good step to be thinking about how to help your daughter if she has ADD. Usually though, 4 year olds do not do a lot of "studying." Play IS the job of 4 year olds and you say she is very engaged in that. It may not be reasonable to expect more of her at this time. Even if she could do academic work, there are reasons why you may not want to push it. First of all, she may be more open to instruction from someone other than a parent and secondly, if she doesn't want to do it, resists and feels pressured, she is going to develop negative associations with school. That attitude, coupled with possible ADD, may set her off on the wrong path.

Is she in school? Surely they are not giving her homework yet. Why not enjoy her playtime with her? That would be one way to connect with her and show her you are interested in what she cares about. If she enjoys being read to, that is a great learning opportunity that is not putting pressure on her to perform. 4 year olds do not typically have long attention spans, so allowing her to go from one activity to another is natural and supportive of her developmental stage. Others on here may disagree but I'd suggest not worrying too much about her ADD now. There is time for a diagnosis when she starts school. You may even find that she outgrows some of what you see as symptoms.

Believe me, I don't have answers, I'm just tossing out some thoughts and ideas. I struggle with the same issues of anger and impatience and I also sometimes expect way too much maturity from my four year old.
I'd encourage you to get your ADHD treated, make it a serious priority, like the oxygen mask when you're on a plane. The best way you can parent is to get yourself feeling good, number one. find a doctor who truly understands women with ADHD, anxiety and depression. They often go together, and respond to hormonal changes. You've got some good insight, seriously, observing that you're not always depressed. And dealing with inattention and memory deficits is stressful which can exacerbate anxiety and depression, so it's important to get a doc who has experience separating out these pieces. It is possible, though. If you need help finding a provider ask Terry, you can write her directly here. There are national organizations that have referrals of experts in these issues, they can help you find help for yourself and your daughter.

I have "my angry father" inside me, too. The right medication makes parenting a whole different experience, and I've had two children with ADHD. You sound like a loving, insightful mother. Take good care and start with you~
God it just breaks my heart. A very good percentage of my life is me stressing about my daughter. Wierd that is was my angry father too, but I guess here I am also VERY upset that my mother never let me do anything for myself, simply because it was not done well enough. *sigh I guess we all have problems.
I'm trying to be proactive and start with her selfesteem. I'm going to ask her what she wants to do and actually let her do it. She needs to be happy and find what makes her happy. I think sometimes when there isn't so much pressure in what you want them to do, daily life things are easier. Whether they be studies or cleaning up after themselves. I dunno if it'll work. But that's where I'm starting :-)

Elle Lunette said:
I'd encourage you to get your ADHD treated, make it a serious priority, like the oxygen mask when you're on a plane. The best way you can parent is to get yourself feeling good, number one. find a doctor who truly understands women with ADHD, anxiety and depression. They often go together, and respond to hormonal changes. You've got some good insight, seriously, observing that you're not always depressed. And dealing with inattention and memory deficits is stressful which can exacerbate anxiety and depression, so it's important to get a doc who has experience separating out these pieces. It is possible, though. If you need help finding a provider ask Terry, you can write her directly here. There are national organizations that have referrals of experts in these issues, they can help you find help for yourself and your daughter.

I have "my angry father" inside me, too. The right medication makes parenting a whole different experience, and I've had two children with ADHD. You sound like a loving, insightful mother. Take good care and start with you~
Hi. I'm crying as I read this because you're not alone. I, like others, who have suffered at the hands of an alcoholic parent. My father was a very violent alcoholic so I know all too well what you're talking about. I also understand fully your frustration with both yourself and your daughter. I for many years struggled with the Dr. Jekel/Mr. Hyde syndrome (that's what I call it). For so long, and btw, I'm 43 years old now, with a son 19, who is ADHD and learning disabled and a daughter, 16, who just got diagnosed with LD this past March, I felt very angry with myself (I still get angry) for not being more understanding and or proactive instead of reactive with my children's issues.

I started Ritalin @ 36 years old. It helped for a long time until recently when for the first time since my diagnose I've increased my dosage. I started psycho-therapy about 6-9 months ago and they found that I was not clinically depressed but have a depression called "Dysthymic disorder, also called dysthymia, is characterized by long–term (two years or longer) but less severe symptoms that may not disable a person but can prevent one from functioning normally or feeling well. People with dysthymia may also experience one or more episodes of major depression during their lifetimes."

My therapist was explaining to me that many times when we suffer trauma as children it can cause ADHD like symptoms, that's why they treat the depression first in most cases and then the ADHD either along with the depression or after. It all depends on the type and level of depression the patients has.

I so get when you say, that you especially get upset with yourself when you find yourself reacting and acting like your father. We tend to channel that ugly side of us and I know for myself I absolutely HATE IT! Now, what I've learned to do is when I react like my dad in certain situations, I try to figure out what is triggering that emotion, what is truly pressing those buttons. I also take to writing in my journal right away, when I get like that. Strangely enough, @ first I thought that was stupid lol! How was writing how pissed off and angry I was @ my kid at that very moment going to help anyone. But I soon found out that it did help. It helped with releasing the anger to paper, it took it from my head to something that wasn't going to get hurt, a pad and paper. It's like a sifter for my brain. All those childhood memories of bad things get locked up in our minds and if they're never released, they will sneak out one way or another and most times its released with the people we most care about.

I would recommend if you can, to continue with the therapy. I can't comment on the depression medication, because that would not be appropriate, but don't give up on therapy. If this therapist isn't working for you, then find a psycho-therapist that does. It's like finding a GYN that you're comfortable with. Sometimes we have to go to several before we find that ONE that we feel comfortable with.

I wish you well. You have a lot to handle so keep reaching out and reading and educating yourself, and please, please keep reading this site, because when I've been down and out, this site has always lifted my spirits.
Hi and hugs! You so get what you say about the frustation I used to say why is my daughter ignoring me! As I grew to understand what she was going through her frustration and mine changed I had a Ah moment Taking her face in my hands or making her keep eye contact help lots. But when I found out that the brain is not recieving the impluses being sent i saw no matter how much i said she couldm't get it . It was like this something she has no control over. And the love I felt for her blossomed because now i could bond myself and my chilhood and hers. It clicked. we are who we are and have to understand what makes us special. And not let others take that away from us. I have gone through this for 23 years since my olderst and just within the last couple of years finnally understand. Lots of support from ones willing to understand helped. I hope this helps a bit . SMokeyD : )
Oh my, did you ever hit a button with me!! I came here tonight looking for advice for the exact same thing!! My daughter just had a meltdown about me being "mean"....ie....yelling. It makes me feel like I am spinning my wheels. I try different strategies, etc. They work for awhile and then GONE!! I don't try much educational things with my twins but more game stuff. I use cards for learning #'s and matching games for letters......hopscotch is a fun one, as well. For the most part, I try to get them to get along for more than 2 minutes.
Recently, my boy twin has gotten a lot worse. He has been physically abusive to his twin. She berates him constantly and it is very difficult to live around. My medication helped with the parenting...until the last month or so...as situations spiral!
I too had an alcoholic father suffer from PTSD as well. It is so hard to see and hear yourself become"that angry" person. I don't want to be "him". It is so hard when you know there is a calm, loving person underneath all the "stuff". I fear I am damaging them...that is my worst nightmare!!
I go to therapy and take meds....which usually helps wonderfully!! Now, I just started family therapy/play therapy. The goal is to improve communication and understanding between family members. I cannot wait to have a few sessions under my belt as it has been a long journey from diagnosis to now. I have been able to "attend" to the mess two ADHD parents have created. Wish us luck! I wish you all luck, as well. You are here and trying to make a difference in your lives....it doesn't get any better than that!!
HUgs! Everday is a challenge .But we are also gifted with great empathy . I look at life everday as what is this saying to me directing me. Took a long time to put my head around it , but it's a great ah moment when you do. ( I get the "your the meanest mom in the world at least once a day" I just say oh well and shrug my shoulders and walk away. They usually come 10 minutes later and say sorry. ) It those small sanity savers I life by. Peace and Love and Light! SmokeyD
Thank you all for your responses. All of you had great advice and I thank you for taking the time to read my long post and for replying back with your words of wisdom. Vera similitude, it really HIT me with your advice. I realize that she's just a kid and that I shouldn't put too much pressure on her to "study". Looking back, I do remember being her age or a little older, studying and having tons of road blocks in my head. It gave me an uneasy feeling and I associated bad thoughts to "studying" because of the way it would make me feel...(not good). Playing, however, did make me feel good so that's what I prefered to do, likewise my daughter. So, I am trying my hardest to really reach and grasp at that thought each time and understand her more.

I also had an epiphany reading your advice on enjoying more "playtime" with her. The truth is, I don't really participate in any playtime with her. I usually give her something that "distracts" her while I am cleaning the house, cooking, going on the computer, etc. It sounds horrible, I know. And when she asks me to "play" with her, 9 out of 10 times, I turn her down. I say, "mommy's busy doing...., next time", but it'll be days or weeks before there's a next time. When I do play with her, there's no enthusiasm on my part. The truth is, if i'm playing "dolls" with her for example, I honestly feel like i'm going to lose my mind because for some reason, it's so hard for me to just sit there and "play" while the the dishes are in the sink, laundry needs to be folded, etc. Also, I get angry that she's "playing" again when she should be learning something. I don't know...it's ALWAYS in the back of my mind that I'm not a good mommy but it's so far back in my mind in that moment that only sometimes do I actually take the time to "spend" time with her. And when I do, there always seems to be something she does that frustrates me and inturn I end up yelling at her.

I love my daughter, more than life itself. If a meteor would fall in our direction, I would sheild my body over hers...I would not let ANYTHING happen to her or let ANYONE hurt her, yet I know I am hurting her, even if it's indirectly. I've been trying so hard to forget about the whole "learning" thing and focus more on spending time on doing what she wants. I want her to be a solid person emotionally and grow up to be just...happy. Even if she ends up being diagnosed as ADHD it's fine with me. I don't want her to walk in my shoes as an unstable, depressed, anxiety filled human being who doesn't have a good self image. (She walking in my sandals as we speak...adorable!) I want her to grow up and become just...HAPPY. Who cares if she can't read her numbers past 10 or if she doesn't know all of her lower case letters, or if her mind drifts off, she's smiling all the time now and I want her to continue smiling for the rest of her life. I made the desision to go back into therapy and to fix me. I am also going to make a vow to "enjoy" playtime with my daughter and to be there for her as much as I can and give her the mommy, friend, role model, strength that she deserves. She is 4 and just a kid. She is entitiled to be one. Thanks Vera for your advice, I owe you! ;)
Hi! I was so happy to hear you want to go back for more Therapy. That would probably be a blessing for both you and your daughter. I don't know if you realize, but young children are learning when they play. It's part of a young childs "job" to play. She learned large and small motor skills that are critical to her overall school experience as she grows, and so much more. Your being a part of her play is actually educational to her. She learns how to interact with others if she has you or other the play with. She can also do little simple things to help you around the house which is play to her. For example, folding clean wash clothes and hand towels, or matching socks, dumping in ingredients and stiring batter when your making a recipe, etc. It's all play to her and it can include her in your adult world. You can do it faster, but some of these small things can pay huge dividends with your child.

I'm very new here and I know I'm chiming in late but I wanted to share with you. I agree with Elle, you need to get your ADHD treated and it really should be a priority. I know it's frustrating to sit and listen to a doctor who just does not seem to understand what you are going through. Having someone tell you that you need to be treated for depression is not the best feeling in the world.

Fourteen years ago I went to my general doctor and said that I was not feeling right, I find that I cry for no reason, can't sleep, can't seem to focus. My list went on and on. He treated me for depression. He's the doctor, so he should know . I took my pills and life went on but I knew there was something else wrong.

The years went by, I had 3 beautiful children but I knew I still should not feel this way. I figured the tiredness was because I 'm a mom of 3 lively children. As the kids got older, my temper (yelling) and shortness with my kids only increased. The demands of raising kids increased, and I was told by the same doctor, it's part of life. I just needed to deal with it. I begged to have my thyroid tested. I just knew that my issue was related to having a thyroid condition. He agreed to test my levels. My levels came back at 4.2 and was told there is nothing wrong with my thyroid since I was within the normal range. He told me I needed more God in my life and needed to seek help from a life coach who could mend my heart and head. Once that was fixed, I would be wonderful.

I lost faith in that doctor at that point and went and sought out a second opinion. I found a new doctor in 2006 who listened to me. He reviewed my lab work and informed me that the thyroid range is not a "one size" fits all. He felt my levels were high for my body and put me on medication to lower my levels. Over the next 3 years I went from doing fantastic to feeling like I was losing my mind and then back again. Loud sounds or a certain pitch would send me over the edge and I would have to stop what I was doing and go hide in my room so the "ugly mommy" could cool down. When my thyroid levels increased, we had to change the dose. When he increased my dose and nothing was improving, he finally referred me to an endocrinologist this year. After one blood test and 2 appointments, I was diagnosed with Hashimoto's disease (hypo and hyper).

Finally, someone knew what was wrong with me. It was like a weight was lifted and I could look forward to a better "ME". New medication and life would be grand! At least that is what I thought. The correct medication helped but I still could not focus. I still was having trouble sleeping. I still had the temper...aka "the ugly mommy". The tiredness was still there. I could not keep my thoughts together, I felt like my mind was racing all the time. I felt like I just could not get anything done. I dreaded each morning when I woke up because I thought there was so much I had to do. But I could not figure out what to do first. When I went back for my three month follow-up and told my endocrinologist I still could not focus and felt like the dog from the movie "Up". She laughed (in a good way) but I told her my life has become like Dougie the dog and everything was"Squirrel" to me. I was worn down and just could not focus and the "noise" in my head was pushing me to a brick wall, I just did not know what else I could do. I thought I was just starting to lose my mind and this was just how my life would always be. I was not happy and I just did not want my children to always remember the "ugly mommy" and how miserable and mean I was becoming.

She had an idea of what my problem has been all along but I needed to see one more doctor. When she told me I needed to be tested for ADHD, I thought she was the crazy. There is no way I have this. I did not have it as a child. There is just no possible way I could have adult ADHD. I put off making the appointment for about 3 weeks. I thought, what do I have to lose but a little time. So I made my appointment. It took 3 appointments along with a computer test, written "homework" for my husband and I to fill out to confirm I INDEED HAVE ADULT ADHD!! The doctor said mine was the kind I need to take medicine for.

I was near tears when she told me this. Not tears of sadness but tears of joy, tears of relief and tears of knowing I was not crazy. It took 14 years to finally get the correct diagnosis. I have thought over the last 14 years this was all in my head--at least that is what the first doctor pretty much told me for 10 years. It took me all these years to find out what the true issue has been. Adult ADHD looks like depression, it looks like thyroid problems, so most doctors never think to look for adult ADHD. Once I was able to get the depression and thyroid in check, the ADHD was able to show its true self.

I've been on my medication for 3 weeks now. Life has greatly improved!!!!! But I have to work at it. I'm reading all I can about it so I can learn to live with it and accept the disorder. Looking back over the my 30 plus years, it has always been there but it was masked so well. All through grade school, junior high, high school, college and the workforce it was there but because I had a set structure and deadlines, it rarely showed it's true colors. When it did surface, it was always chalked up to a hundred other things.

The main point of my story, please have your ADHD treated and make it a priority. I have suffered for 14 years in silence. The last 3 years have been the worse for me (and my family) and I had no idea what black demon was hiding inside of me. I can't go back and change things, I can only move forward and make my life ahead better for me and my family. I have focused on the negatives in me for way too long. But learning I have adult ADHD has opened a whole new bright and beautiful world to me. It's not all me, it's the disorder a great deal of the time. I'm going to have good days and I'm going to have bad days. My medication will need to be adjusted over time or changed to a new kind. I will always have to take medication. I'm learning I need to adjust how I look at things and how I handle things. I'm looking at taking control of my life and not letting the ADHD control me. For the first time in 14 years, I look forward to waking up and facing the day. The best part of this very long road I have to traveled; my husband and my 3 children have seen a change in me. I'm a nicer, more loving person.

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