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I have ADHD and OCD, diagnosed earlier this year. I've had it for as long as I can remember. I first remember being tested in when I was about 10. I'm 33 now.

For solutions, I see a therapist to work through my OCD, and I take medication for my ADHD. It makes a difference. I notice it on days I happen to forget and don't have backup.

I never thought medication could make such a big difference, but it does. The idea of sitting down and just getting stuff done is amazing.

Anyways, the point of posting was to share. I was 33 when I got tested, and I wasn't get tested for ADHD! I'm not here to diagnose people, or to suggest you are doing things wrong. Rather, I just want to make it clear that you can get tested, and it might surprise you. It did for me. For far too long I saw all these posts on "how to get things done." I read GTD, followed all sorts of advice. Tried different strategies. Practiced pomodoro. Nothing worked.

I thought I was just lazy. Unmotivated. This resulted in a lot of repressed hatred for myself and my perceived failures. I still have a difficult time accepting success and compliments. I focus on the negative, and dismiss the positive as a fluke. Note, these are all relative to myself. In others, I see the best. When I congratulate someone, I really mean it. In myself? I was just lucky.

Anyways:

> I think I do exhibit ADHD symptoms, but I don't think I have it, or if I do, I don't have it bad.

I thought it was shameful that I was getting tested at all. I've lead a good life, I've been lucky, I've worked hard, and I've been successful. I thought I was being egotistical getting tested. Once I found out I had ADHD and OCD, and had to get over the idea that I was just a whining successful white guy. After all, who am I to complain about my situation when others have it so much worse off.

If you have it, you have it. Better to know about it and take the necessary steps to do something rather than dismiss it as a minor problem. Minor problems can add complexity, and they are still problems.




Do you find that your creativity is stifled, or that your personality is very subdued because of the meds? Do you take weekends off the meds to be yourself? Or maybe one or two workdays off for creative stuff, and three days on for "nose to the grindstone" type work?

I haven't been medicated for years, but I'm struggling and thinking about looking into it again. I remember feeling like on meds I was an alternate personality - a different version of myself that I never felt comfortable as.

I keep thinking some of the advantages of ADD will give me an edge if I can just buckle down and get some real work done, but this has been going on for a while with far too little progress.


> Do you find that your creativity is stifled, or that your personality is very subdued because of the meds?

Not at all. I am still me.

> Do you take weekends off the meds to be yourself?

No. I can be myself and still take the medication.

> I remember feeling like on meds I was an alternate personality - a different version of myself that I never felt comfortable as.

There are different types of medications. The only side effects I've experienced is less of an appetite and my mouth feels more dry than usual. I drink more water as a result. If the medication changes you, there are other kinds you can try. As I mentioned, I take medication that is not addictive (adderall is addictive, for example, and must be carefully monitored).

> if I can just buckle down and get some real work done

I remember that feeling before I knew what I had. I remember the drives into work, feeling excited about what I had waiting for me, and thinking over the problems. But when it came time to actually do it, I'd get easily distracted, and by the end of the day, have nothing to show for it.


Would you mind sharing the medication you're using? I've been prescribed various dosages/releases of both Ritalin and Adderall, and they both affected me in the same way.

By the way, thanks for your posts here - they've been helpful.


Sure. Strattera.

http://www.strattera.com

And yes, both Ritalin and Adderall both made me nervous because of what I'd heard.


If one exercises (treadmill) everyday intensely for 30 minutes. Do you think one can avoid medication?


I'm not qualified to answer that.


Can you tell me about your individual case. Does running help you if you don't use strattera?


Glad to hear you only have minimal side effects from the Strattera.

I tried it for a while several years ago, and, while it worked wonderfully (first period of my life where I actually had any reliable sense of time!), the side effects I had were unacceptable.

The mild dizziness, occasional headaches, and minor dry mouth were not a problem, but the main side effect was ... more troubling. Let's just say that, while the Strattera enhanced performance in some areas, it degraded performance in others.

Still, I heartily recommend those diagnosed with ADD or ADHD to give Strattera a try. Side effects went away within a week or so of discontinuing the drug, so no real risk.


How long did it take for you to notice the effect of Strattera on your sense of time? Did you notice it right away or should one wait a few weeks?

I have non existent concept of time, so this might help.


Luckily for me I have more than enough of that by the end of day nothing is going to stop me ;).

I take the 100mg dose.


I am going to go stoic on this and say that if you are successful despite ADHD, then that's you and you just need to accept it.

What troubles me the most is the future. What if this way of being comes up one day? What if people realize? To which, Seneca said: the past is certain, present is short an difficult to catch, the future is uncertain. So, focus on the present, if that's good, then don't worry about the future too much because that will kill your present.

I think Letters to Lucilius is a very good therapy book...


> I am going to go stoic on this and say that if you are successful despite ADHD, then that's you and you just need to accept it.

I do. It's just easier said than done.


True that. Part of the walk of life is learning dealing with ourselves.


It's been discussed before in my therapy sessions.

Which, if you'll forgive me, is odd to openly talk about therapy sessions. But honestly, the more I've thought about this, I've wished that others had been open about their conditions. It's nothing I should be ashamed of. There is a stigma about seeing a therapist, but their shouldn't be.

It's part of the reason I try to share my own stories about ADHD and OCD. I think it's something, especially in this industry, that people ignore or don't know about. ADHD is something for hyperactive kids, not adults! =)


Thank you for opening up - I just took an online ADD test after your comments, and while it does look like a broad diagnosis, if there are options beyond my own coping mechanisms I want to know!

As for therapy - don't worry, I go myself and as well as helping me look at how I got here, I am pretty sure it is a worthwhile career to take up after I retire - what started as a therapy session is looking like life coaching and business coaching. I think the stigma will die.

take care




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