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Old 02-25-2004, 08:52 PM   #1
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feeling defeated tonight - any inspiring stories about adult ADD out there?

i'm 28, in grad school, diagnosed with ADD several years ago but only really getting help now. i'm feeling very defeated tonight - i've spent most of my adult life trying to 'get it together' with varying degress of termporary success. i've read a huge amount in the past six months or so, and finally accepted my diagnosis, plus my coach is really good, but i'm just feeling disheartened. i suppose its because in the past i've tried to 'change' quite a bit without any real understanding of why i was struggling and why it felt so confusing and so difficult. i've had my share of successes and happy times, but i've struggled for so many years with periodic bouts of depression, pathologic procastination, failed relationships and friendships, many crises (financial and otherwise) and a couple of moments in which i just could not meet my responsibilities and my life just snowballed out of control for a few months as i withdrew more and more. i am slowly coming to feel good about the ADD diagnosis, as it also affirms some of the things i like most about myself (energy, creativity, etc) but i think this evening i am feeling terrified that i might not be able to learn to manage it - that i might repeat these mistakes for the rest of my life.

i thought there might be someone out there tonight who's been through a diagnosis that didn't happen until their 20's, and could offer some words of encouragement.

oh one random thing - as for all you 'add is a myth' types, i wish i hadn't listened to you for so long. i'm also suspect of the pharmaceutical industry and strongly think people should be encouraged to experiment with coaching, diet changes, exercise, meditation, etc., but i really think your agenda is doing a disservice to those of us who have ADD in a way that is un-ambiguously real.

Last edited by sodawater; 02-25-2004 at 08:55 PM.

 
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Old 02-26-2004, 01:41 AM   #2
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Re: feeling defeated tonight - any inspiring stories about adult ADD out there?

Well you've already taken the first step by getting accessed, diagnosed and recognizing this is a condition that is life-long. Now it's time to get help and treatment. Don't stop now! Force yourself to follow through with treatment, even if it is the AD/HD that is not allowing you to do so. Forcing yourself to do something physical, such as being physically present somewhere (such as the doctor's office), is much easier than forcing your brain (if possible) to cognitively work.

Many people have been diagnosed as an adult, began treatment and their lives have done a complete 180. Make an appointment with a qualified psychiatrist and psychologist who specializes in treating AD/HD in adults.

One part of the AD/HD process is being stubborn and trying to justify that "nothing is wrong", "everyone else is the problem", and that this disorder is just a huge 'myth'. Furthermore, thinking AD/HD damaging behavioral symptoms are 'normal' is completely wrong and taking the easy way out.

If you do follow that path, you will be chasing your tail forever and be completely miserable. It will only be a matter of time that you will realize that you're only cheating yourself out of the help you truly deserve. And hopefully this is that time!


Quote:
but i've struggled for so many years with periodic bouts of depression, pathologic procastination, failed relationships and friendships, many crises (financial and otherwise) and a couple of moments in which i just could not meet my responsibilities and my life just snowballed out of control for a few months as i withdrew more and more.
Every one of these symptoms are major symptoms of AD/HD, and due to the working nature of the frontal lobes. When you have true AD/HD your frontal lobes aren't working correctly, not metabolizing glucose properly, and ultimately have little activity. If you have poor functioning frontal lobes, you can also say hello to mood problems. The frontal lobes regulate the limbic system (the emotional center of the brain), so when the frontal lobes don't do their 'job' properly, the limbic system is unable to regulate your mood and you can have comorbid depression/anxiety disorders as well.

The best AD/HD treatment is not a pure "natural" or a pure "western medicine" type of treatment. It is an individual based multi-parameter treatment, which includes medication, meditation, diet, supplements, exercise, structure and education.

Learning how your brain operates is the absolute best thing you can do. Knowing when and what type of medication(s) to take, what foods will interact both positively and negatively with your cognitive abilities, how much exercise and what type of exercise you need, getting help from professionals that have been studying this disorder for a multitude of years, and various other strategies is the only way you can truly get this condition under control.

If you don't learn these valuable assets (which the majority of the population is able to take for granted), you will be a victim and slave to your brain for as long as you live.

Last edited by brainf0g; 02-26-2004 at 01:56 AM.

 
Old 02-26-2004, 02:51 AM   #3
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Re: feeling defeated tonight - any inspiring stories about adult ADD out there?

Brainfog -

Thanks so much for your response. I've found it very difficult to connect with people like yourself who holdsuch a reasonable and balanced view of ADD and its treatment, so I appreciate your comments quite a bit. Striking a balance between doctors that want to hand you pill samples off-the-bat and hardline naturopathic types who only support supplements, diet, etc, is tough, but I'm trying.

I'm currently mulling over a Wellbutrin/Stimulant combo, and I've begun to modify my diet towards more protein and less simple carbs. I'm taking Fish Oil but I noticed that in another post you recommended supplementation with L-tyrosine and DL-phenylalanine. Have you found this effective? Would you recommend Becalmd?

Thanks Again!

 
Old 02-26-2004, 05:07 AM   #4
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Re: feeling defeated tonight - any inspiring stories about adult ADD out there?

I understand alot of how you feel, sodawater. I'm 47 and have only been diagnosed in the last year.

As Dr. Phil would say, you can't change what you won't acknowledge. So, coming to accept that you have this diagnosis is a great first step. It's only once you name it and acknowledge it that you can begin to figure out how to work with it. You're obviously a very intelligent person. I have every confidence that you can learn to work with your ADD instead of it working against you.

You might read the "Coping in College" thread for some studying tips. You mentioned your coach - do you mean a therapist or a sports coach? If you're not in therapy, you might seriously consider it. I am seeing a therapist who specializes in ADD and she has given me tons of good information and support. One thing I'm learning is how we use those crises you describe to give ourselves adrenaline rushes to in order to stay awake and focused.

I'd also encourage you to do more reading on the subject. Look at accomodations that can be made for children with ADHD on the web and then see how you can structure your world in ways to help you be more successful.

You are very wise in considering all options of treatment. BrainfOg's suggestion of exercise, if you aren't already harnassing it to your benefit, is a good one. I would appreciate it if you'd let us know what you are finding to work for you, pharmaceutical and otherwise.

No, ADD is not a myth.

 
Old 02-26-2004, 03:13 PM   #5
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Re: feeling defeated tonight - any inspiring stories about adult ADD out there?

Quote:
I'm currently mulling over a Wellbutrin/Stimulant combo, and I've begun to modify my diet towards more protein and less simple carbs. I'm taking Fish Oil but I noticed that in another post you recommended supplementation with L-tyrosine and DL-phenylalanine. Have you found this effective? Would you recommend Becalmd?

All of your thoughts about what to take are the right ones.

The Wellbutrin/Stimulant combo has been shown to be excellent in many people with AD/HD, especially inattentive types. Discuss with your doctor about trying Wellbutrin SR or XL (the long acting version) first, then possibly adding in a small dose of a stimulant, such as Concerta, Adderall XR, etc. in the future.

Yes L-Tyrosine and DL-phenylalanine are good supplements to use as well. They can help the medications work better and in smaller doses.

Fish oil is another excellent supplement to add in, but remember for these supplements to work you have to take them religiously. I've taken 7 grams of pharmaceutical-grade fish oil per day now for around 4 years with great success.

I've never taken "Becalmd", "Focus Factor", or any other of these AD/HD specific supplements. IMO some of them are ridiculously over priced and you can probably get the same ingredients in a quality multi-vitamin.

Besides the ones mentioned above the supplements/vitamins I take are: Twinlab multivitamin, Twinlab grape seed extract, Sundown Gingko Biloba.

If you want to know specifically about "Becalmd", if I remember correctly, poster "Free Spirit" has had a lot of experience with it, so you may want to ask him/her.

 
Old 02-26-2004, 05:09 PM   #6
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Re: feeling defeated tonight - any inspiring stories about adult ADD out there?

Thanks again Brainfog.

Two quick questions -
1) Why Ginkgo Biloba? and
2) What brand of fish-oil do you find effective (and cost-effective)?

 
Old 02-26-2004, 10:02 PM   #7
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Re: feeling defeated tonight - any inspiring stories about adult ADD out there?

Quote:
Originally Posted by sodawater
Thanks again Brainfog.

Two quick questions -
1) Why Ginkgo Biloba? and
2) What brand of fish-oil do you find effective (and cost-effective)?

Gingko biloba because it increases blood flow in the brain and it's a good antioxidant.

I take PBL fish oil.

Supplements can help but won't make a dramatic difference unless you have an extremely mild case of AD/HD.

 
Old 02-26-2004, 10:08 PM   #8
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Re: feeling defeated tonight - any inspiring stories about adult ADD out there?

Actually the amount supplements help has little to do with the severity of a persons ADD. I was diagnosed with SEVERE ADHD and supplements have been more helpful to me than medications!
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Old 02-26-2004, 10:56 PM   #9
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Re: feeling defeated tonight - any inspiring stories about adult ADD out there?

As for the type of supplements I like -

I also recomend L-Tyrosine, DL-Phenylalanine, Omega3 to people starting supplements. (they are cheap and good starter supplements)

As for focus factor, well that is not an ADD product. It has very low amounts of necessary ingrediants. Its pretty much just an expensive multi vitamin.

BeCalmd is a great formulation. It has ingrediants that are helpful and they are all in safe amounts. It comes in chewable which is nice for kids. As previously mentioned though, it is expensive. I took it with great success but due to price could not continue. I now buy each ingrediant seperate and divide capsules/doses of each properly so that I am still taking the same formulation as what's in beCalmd. Its more work but its a lot cheaper. Still, if I had enough money I would be taking the beCalmd (just for the convinience of not having to calculate the amount of each ingrediant)
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Old 02-27-2004, 06:13 PM   #10
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Re: feeling defeated tonight - any inspiring stories about adult ADD out there?

Thanks FS and BF.

Some questions about the supplements.

Both are found in a variety of foods I know, but I'm curious about them as isolated amino acid supplements. My sister-in-law who is a fairly conservative MD says they're worthless, which I take with a grain of salt. She also tells me that one of the two has been related to muscle degeneration. Know anything about this?

My real question is this: is there any kind of biologic/chemical mechanism for how they work that is at all accepted by the medical establishment? Thanks in advance.

 
Old 02-28-2004, 09:56 AM   #11
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Re: feeling defeated tonight - any inspiring stories about adult ADD out there?

Quote:
Originally Posted by sodawater
I'm curious about them as isolated amino acid supplements. My sister-in-law who is a fairly conservative MD says they're worthless...
After tryptophan (an amino acid that we all thought was safe) wrecked its havoc, you aren't likely to find many physicians who are comfortable with isolated amino acid products.

Regards,
John

 
Old 02-29-2004, 06:06 PM   #12
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Re: feeling defeated tonight - any inspiring stories about adult ADD out there?

Doctors who have done their research are usually more than willing to supervise amino acid treatment.

The way it works is simple... DL-phenylalanine is used in the production of dopamine/norepinephrine, by providing the brain with this "brain food" it is able to create more of the 2 above mentioned neurotransmitters. Dopamine and norepinephrine are believed to play a role in ADD.

You should not take a single amino acid if you are having to take an extremely high dose. Instead you would want to combine small/average amounts of several ingediants that work well with each other. You would not be taking doses high enough to cause side effects like those your MD mentioned! When a high dose of a specific amino acid is needed supervision is recommended. There are some amino acids that can be taken in high doses, others cannot. Do your research and stick to average doses until you are positive higher doses are safe.

I take supplements daily that are equal to taking 3 beCalmd capsules (ingrediant/dosage wise).

I also take omega3

As for single amino acids, I am taking GABA, as a mood stabilizer. For it to work as well as a medication (such as depakote) I have to take an extremely high amount. This is all supervised by my doctor and pharmacist.

If you need whats considered a high dose of any supplement/amino acid you should be unter the care of a professional... a doctor, pharmacist, or nutritionalist. Of course, there arent many doctors who know about supplements, you are lucky if you find one! Seems like your doctor doesnt know much...
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Old 03-01-2004, 05:27 AM   #13
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Re: feeling defeated tonight - any inspiring stories about adult ADD out there?

Quote:
Originally Posted by * Free ~ Spirit *
You should not take a single amino acid if you are having to take an extremely high dose. Instead you would want to combine small/average amounts of several ingediants that work well with each other. You would not be taking doses high enough to cause side effects like those your MD mentioned! When a high dose of a specific amino acid is needed supervision is recommended. There are some amino acids that can be taken in high doses, others cannot. Do your research and stick to average doses until you are positive higher doses are safe.

I take supplements daily that are equal to taking 3 beCalmd capsules (ingrediant/dosage wise).

I also take omega3

As for single amino acids, I am taking GABA, as a mood stabilizer. For it to work as well as a medication (such as depakote) I have to take an extremely high amount. This is all supervised by my doctor and pharmacist.

If you need whats considered a high dose of any supplement/amino acid you should be unter the care of a professional... a doctor, pharmacist, or nutritionalist. Of course, there arent many doctors who know about supplements, you are lucky if you find one! Seems like your doctor doesnt know much...


Free Spirit:

One of my big questions regarding taking supplements, especially amino acids, is what is the correct dosage. What is considered high and what is considered low? And I know it will vary from person to person but I'm looking for a ball park. From reading my other posts, you know I'm beginning my daughter on becalm'd. According to the literature, she should take 6 capsules a day as she weighs over 100 lbs. I noticed you say that you take supplements equivalent to only 3. If you remember, she is the inattentive type ADD so should she take the 6 or would only 3 suffice? She tends to need higher doses of medication so I'm really thinking she needs the 6 capsules.

Also, for myself, I'm taking a product that is a Balanced Amino Acid forumula that includes 20 amino acids. The label indicates to take 3 a day but sometimes I'm leary of following the dosage directions on supplements as they're not regulated and of course, the more you take, the more you spend. At their indicated dosage, I would be taking a little over 300 mgs. of tyrosine and a little over 400 mg of phenylalanine just to give you an idea of strengths of dosage in this product. But then when my daughter takes becalm'd, she will be getting much high dosages of phenylalnine. What is a safe dosage amount?

I hope I'm making sense here but I just have had a hard time finding proper dosage amounts for supplements other than the dosing on the actual bottle. And I've already commented on how I feel about that. I don't want to end up doing more harm with supplements than I would with Adderall but on the other hand, I want both of us to take enough to do some good. HELP!

 
Old 03-01-2004, 06:02 AM   #14
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Re: feeling defeated tonight - any inspiring stories about adult ADD out there?

Quote:
Originally Posted by * Free ~ Spirit *
If you need whats considered a high dose of any supplement/amino acid you should be unter the care of a professional... a doctor, pharmacist, or nutritionalist....
This is my opinion as well.

I'm amazed when parents give their children anything based on the recommendations of someone 1) over the internet 2)they have never met 3) has no post-secondary education.

Regards,
John

Last edited by html; 03-01-2004 at 06:17 AM. Reason: clarity

 
Old 03-01-2004, 07:28 PM   #15
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Re: feeling defeated tonight - any inspiring stories about adult ADD out there?

When I took only beCalmd I was taking 6 caps. Right now as I mentioned, I'm taking other supplements as well.

The dose needed for beCalmd varies a lot person to person. Don't start your daughter on 6 per day!!!! Start with 2 per day.

As I've mentioned, it's best to take a combination of things to avoid taking too much of a single supplement.
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