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Old 06-18-2007, 01:42 AM   #1
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espradley HB User
Memory/Concentration Issues

Hello,

I am writing this becuase I am in dyer need for help. I am 22 y/o and I have been diagnosed with ADD. I took a couple of tests that said that I was highly ADD and was immediately put on Ritalin. After being on Ritalin I found that it didn't really help that much. My performance was a little better at work and listening, but I feel the only reason it was better is because Ritalin made me anxious.
I think there may be a bigger problem but the symtoms do reflect possible ADD.
Here are my symptoms:
-I always feel like I am on Auto Pilot. I keep thinking that tomorrow I will wake up and it will be gone, but it hasn't. This has been going on for about 3 yrs.
-I have short term memory issues and cannot remember names very well. I will forget the simplest things very easily...even names of friends of years.. I will think about it for a few minutes then it will come to me...most of the time.
-I always feel tired. Like I could just lay down and go to sleep, no matter how much sleep I get the night before.
-I have a hard time focusing and picking up on details. This is not because I am distracted by other things, just feel like I am on auto-pilot.
-I cannot remember simple tasks that I am doing. I quite frequently walk in a room and forget why I am there...after a few seconds, I will remember.

If you have ever driven in a car and slipped into auto pilot where you don't rembember the whole trip, this is how I feel 100% of the time. There is no waking up and I feel like my life is passing me by in a blink of an eye. I cannot stand it anymore and I would LOVE TO get it fixed. I think my physician is stuck on the ADD though. I like my physician and I don't need a new one, just wish I had a more clear idea of what is going on in my head.

Thank you for your time.

 
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Old 06-18-2007, 04:02 AM   #2
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Re: Memory/Concentration Issues

espradley,

A few thoughts come to mind, to get the discussion rolling.

One, just because Ritalin didn't work for you doesn't mean that you don't have ADD. There are lots of other drugs to try. Each person reacts differently to different drugs. And we hear on this Board all the time from people who aren't helped by any of the usual ADD drugs. Having the brain wiring that makes up the spectrum of ADD symptoms is independent of how one's body reacts to the drugs.

Two, what is it about your doctor's diagnosis that doesn't feel right to you? It may be that indeed you DON'T have ADD, but it would be good to know why you feel that this is a wrong diagnosis.

Three, it is ok to disagree with your therapist, and you have the right to refuse to take medicines that either are not working or have too many side effects. I have to laugh at this point, because I went to a therapist for 4 years who refused to believe MY diagnosis that I DO have ADD. She wouldn't discuss it, and she definitely wouldn't prescribe Ritalin for me, which I knew from past experience works for me. I learned a lot about viewing the world differently after seeing her once a month for 4 years, but that time did absolutely nothing for my ADD. We just agreed to disagree. And here you have a therapist who insists against your judgement that you have ADD and insists that you take a drug that you don't want. If you like your therapist for other reasons, then you have the right to disagree about some things.

Four, there could be other reasons for your fogginess besides ADD brain wiring. There could be vitamin/mineral imbalances, hormone imbalances (thyroid, adrenals, etc), or other physical causes. Check out mkgbrook's thread on "Link between Sleep Disorders and ADD and ADHD":
[url]http://www.healthboards.com/boards/showthread.php?t=485553/[/url]
because insufficient or inadequate sleep can make anyone have problems that are masked as lots of other conditions.

I can appreciate your suffering -- I certainly recognize the symptoms that you describe, and it's no fun to live your life that way. I hope that we can explore some ideas with you and help you to find some possibilities to discuss with your therapist and/or family physician.

--Rheanna

 
Old 06-18-2007, 04:14 AM   #3
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Re: Memory/Concentration Issues

I have belived that I have had ADD for sometime now and I have researched it to the end of the internet. What I am finding is generally people who have ADD have a lack of concentration due to their inablility to focus because they are easily distracted. I am never distracted.

I litterly feel like I am asleep. I don't necessarily think my physican is absolutely wrong. I am just thinking that it could be something else. I feel that it was a quick judgment to say that I have it just because I wrote a few things on a piece of paper.

I recently found an article about sleep apnia (spelling). Where you constanly wake up in the middle of the night due to some breathing issues. I don't think I suffer from this, but something with my sleep may be causing the issue. Is it normal to be so tired all of the time due to ADD? Could a sleeping issue cause these down falls.

I was anemic as a kid from what I was told, so it very possibly cood be a vitamin issue with the fogginess. I would actually be okay living with what I have if I could just get rid of the fogginess.

I am interested in trying other drugs for the ADD to see if it helps, but I want to feel that it is an acurate diagnosis before I take more steps towards it. I was thinking about seeing a phsycologist actually.

 
Old 06-18-2007, 04:27 AM   #4
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Re: Memory/Concentration Issues

Okay, I just read the article that you provided. It just led me further into belief that I may have a sleeping issue. I have had problems with my ears since I can remember and have been through two surgeries. I was in the fourth grade for both of them, so it was some years ago.

I sleep on my stomach and have never been known as a big snorer, so I don't know if that has any relation. I belive that I may suffer from ADD but it would have been an adult onset thing as I have only been having this problem for about 3 years now. It would seem more feasible that I would have a sleeping disorder and a slight case of ADD.

 
Old 06-18-2007, 04:44 AM   #5
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Re: Memory/Concentration Issues

espradley,

ADD is not something that comes on as an adult. It is a difference in brain wiring from other people, and therefore it is present from birth. Some people are able to compensate in early childhood and therefore seem to be ok, but find that when they reach junior high or high school, the schoolwork that requires independent work causes them a great deal of problems because they have just run into their limits.

Physical tiredness is also something that has nothing to do with ADD. A feeling of spaciness that is associated with tiredness is coming from a physical cause, but not from the brain wiring of ADD.

Maybe we are getting closer to finding something that would be appropriate to discuss with your doctor. There are several threads by mkgbrook where she discusses sleep apnea. I have learned a lot from reading her posts. Sleep really is the great healer -- of both our minds and our bodies. And as she stresses, there might not be any obvious symptoms. You might want to talk with a sleep specialist and have one of those 24-hour tests to see just how refreshing your sleep actually is.

--Rheanna

 
Old 06-18-2007, 06:00 AM   #6
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Re: Memory/Concentration Issues

esp,

I read your posts and responses. The advise you received is profoundly accurate.

I'm underscoreing the validity of the advise you received so you don't inadvertently miss it. It is something I did oft times when I was the newbie a couple years back. Your replies to posts strongly indicate that is not the case in your case so my post is just in case. And, whether ADHD or something else, brain problems are no fun. Hope you get relief real soon.

Bob
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Old 06-18-2007, 02:43 PM   #7
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Re: Memory/Concentration Issues

I was fine in high school. It wasn't till I was out of high school that I had issues. I have thougt about going to see a sleep doctor but haven't got the first clue where to start. I unfortunately have an HMO and I am not sure what they will cover. I need to talk to my doctor about it anyways. I will also check out the forums from mkgbrook.
Thanks for the help...I am definently going to set an appointment up with my doctor to discuss this.

 
Old 06-19-2007, 08:15 AM   #8
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Re: Memory/Concentration Issues

I should have asked in my other reply..
Espradley, do you dream? DO you ever remember dreaming? If the answer is no you are not going into the third sleep phase and definitely have a sleep disorder. There are five stages of sleep and you regenerate your mind and body in the fourth and fifth stages.. if you do not hit the third then you are not seeing the benefit of the fourth and fifth sleep stages as well. My son and I were this way. Our were sleep apnea and a CPAP has been our salvation. Now we sleep and dream and are rested.

ADD/ADHD are as others have said present at birth.. unfortunately so can a sleep disorder. My biggest gripe is that people readily treat the symptoms before finding the source of the problems. Treating the symptoms of a cold or the flu is one thing. Any disorder should be triple check and verified before treated.

Best of luck.

MG
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Old 06-19-2007, 04:54 PM   #9
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Re: Memory/Concentration Issues

Yes, I do dream. They usually are not in depth like they used to. Is there any way to tell if you are getting to the fourth or fifth stage?

I was kinda upset after being diagnosed with ADD and acceped the diagnosis at first as that is what I thought it was. After really sitting down with myself and exploring how I was thinking and feeling, I found that I am upset because when I had this problem that feels huge to me, it was diagnosed with one little test. It seem like they are just like, concentration...oh you have ADD instead of researching and informing me of other things.

 
Old 06-20-2007, 07:34 AM   #10
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Re: Memory/Concentration Issues

Only by a sleep study for adults.. the fatigue and muscle and body aches is an indicator that it is not happening..

Children show this the most by failure to thrive periods.. they will not gain weight or grow.. be highly susceptable to injury and slow on the healing.

We just feel horrible and are more likely to get ill and stay ill. As far as looking beyond the symptoms.. most are only trained to treat the symptoms it takes a true blue healer to want more.. Also sleep disorders are the most highly over looked diseases out there.. and all but the ABSM (American Board of Sleep Medicine) certified physicians have only had limited exposure to them.. in many cases a 15 minute seminar.

Dr. Mull and Dr. Vernon did wonders for me and my son.. They are based in Chattanooga TN. I mention it because I noted you lived in GA.

Sincerely,
MG
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Last edited by mkgbrook; 06-20-2007 at 07:39 AM.

 
Old 06-20-2007, 06:35 PM   #11
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Re: Memory/Concentration Issues

Well, my brother has a friend who actually did a sleep study in the area. She was paid as it was a new type and she had to put alot of time into it, but they gave you the results. Aparently, over a 3 month period, you would sleep overnight in the hostpital twice a week. They learn by studying and I would learn by getting the results. He is looking into it for me right now to see if it is still available, but I definently think that I need a sleep doctor.

I just can't stand this anymore. There has to be better....the way I was.

 
Old 06-21-2007, 08:03 AM   #12
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Re: Memory/Concentration Issues

Make sure you check with local medical universities.. they are the ones that perform the sleep studies. If you mention that you sleep talk and perform sleep activities with no recollection you might be able to get in on something other than a sleep apnea study.. I am in a general health and fitness study now. And am glad I will be helping others with the little inconvienences.

Sincerely,
MG
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Old 06-21-2007, 06:51 PM   #13
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Re: Memory/Concentration Issues

Thank you for the advice. I actually feel better knowing I am not alone. I never did anything about it because I thought I wasn't normal or that people don't understand. Nobody around me understands...they all say that I am just not getting enough sleep a night and that everyone gos on auto pilot once in a while...geeze, if they only knew.

 
Old 06-22-2007, 07:24 AM   #14
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Re: Memory/Concentration Issues

In some regards they are right.. six out of ten people have periodic and random sleep disorders arise.. if it just occurs during illness or because of a medication and will be gone in a couple of days or week it is one thing if it is chronic it is very serious indeed.. but most as you say just live with it versus treating it.

Best of luck finding a solution. And you are not alone.. no one is.. in my house alone even my four year old can sympathize.. why he fights his nap is beyond me..

Sincerely,
MG
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Old 06-22-2007, 07:56 AM   #15
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Re: Memory/Concentration Issues

Espradley,

Can I ask a few questions? Are you on any medication (prescription, over-the-counter, other)? Could you be depressed?

 
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