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    Old 08-02-2003, 10:23 PM   #1
    strattercaster
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    Post Middle Age ADD

    As a newbie who stumbled onto the strattera links - I'm wondering if there are any other men/women out there who were initially diagnosed, or became aware of (or acknowledged) having ADD once they were well into adulthood. (lets say 35+) How did you first become aware of having ADD? What types of symptoms? If you started taking meds (as I have) did you notice any profound changes in your life? Has this newfound knowledge caused you to think about yourself, or your life in any new or different ways?

     
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    Old 08-03-2003, 08:31 AM   #2
    rainonwindow
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    I was diagnosed with ADD in my early 40s after I took my daughter to the psychologist saying that I could relate because I was the same way as a child.

    Being diagnosed ADD (well actually ADHD) helped to explain a great deal about me, my children and my siblings. My brain fogs up when I try to use it. It's like trying to think through mud. (I was going to say more but just don't feel like making a list of symptoms right now) My son and I as well as a brother got SPECT scans at the Amen clinic about 5 years ago and all showed that our brains become less active when we try to concentrate.

    I tried ritalin which was amazingly beneficial. The effects on my daughter were dramatic as well. Unfortunately both of us rapidly develop a tolerance for any dosage we are on so neither of us are taking any medication at this time.

    I had siblings diagnosed after I was diagnosed. The diagnoses have benefited the family. I find it easier to be gentle with myself. Before I would get greatly frustrated and figure that everything should just be a matter of trying harder - but trying harder wasn't enough. I am more able to accept myself now and to appreciate what I do accomplish. My family who has always been very caring with each other now has an even greater compassion for those who are more symptomatic.

    A few years after my ADD diagnosis, I was also diagnosed by neurolgists with temporal lobe epilepsy based on symptoms which never quite fit the ADD diagnosis.

    The psychiatrist I am seeing now suspects that there is some sort of neurological problems going through my family which causes the ADD as a symptom and that when the dysfunction is great enough - seizures can result.

    I am still trying to find more answers for myself and for the severe ADD and ADHD that runs through my family. I guess that for myself the diagnosis of ADD was not an end point as it first seemed but rather the first successful step on a long road of trying to figure out what the heck is going on. It's a road I am still traveling on but now it is with a measure of peace and self-acceptance that I never had before.


     
    Old 08-03-2003, 01:08 PM   #3
    Jennita
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    Ritalin and any stimulant is the worst thing they could have prescribed for anyone with seizure family history. Sometimes stimulants themselves will cause seizure conditions even without prior history.

    Anyway, good for you on the self acceptance! We all can't be rocket scientists and rock stars. Life has to have a balance.

     
    Old 08-05-2003, 06:46 PM   #4
    rainonwindow
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    It is not unheard of for a person with seizures to be prescribed both an antiseizure medication and a stimulant. It's not the worst thing at all. It can be quite benficial.

     
    Old 08-05-2003, 10:19 PM   #5
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    I had problems all my life. When I was a kid they put me on Dilantin thinking that would help my outbursts. THAT was a mistake.

    I work for a high tech firm. I was on the verge of getting fired and was recommended by a frind with a ADHD kid to get tested. This was when I was in my late twenties. Low and behold, I had ADHD. I began taking Dexedrine and my life turned around. My relationships are healthy and I'm doing well in my job (until recently, but that's another medication story). I still had to learn all the appropriate behaviors but with the Dex I was able to do it.

    Good luck.

     
    Old 08-05-2003, 11:27 PM   #6
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    Yes, not unheard of but not necessarily right. For example, they prescribe antidepressants to people and benzodiazepines to calm the adverse/side effects.....but it's well-known benzos cause depression...the wheel keeps turning round and round...

     
    Old 08-06-2003, 07:11 AM   #7
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    Long and rambling -
    I am 31 and just was diagnosed early this year. I have spent the last 3 years caring for my father who has Alzheimers. ~1.5 years ago I went to a Psychaitrist because the pressure of work and caring for my father left me in a constant panic attack. It literally lasted all day long and in the evening. He gave me Paxil, which helped the attacks a lot but I still was not 100%. I still had trouble sleeping so the Dr put me on Trozadone. That helped my sleep but the tingling effect of trozadone made it uncomfortble until my body got used to it. Then I was groggy in the morning and unable to focus all day. I am a programmer so groggy=losing your job soon.

    A year ago this month I put my dad in a care home and my whole life fell apart. I had been running my life on pure fear for months(even with the paxil) and was juggling lots of very responsible material that could not be ignored. My psychaitrist had been telling me to get counseling from a psychologist for over a year but I thought the medicine was all I needed. The 2 months after I put my father in the home I was able to let go of my responsibility to him and the source of my fear disappeared. I fell into a severe depression. Did not mow the lawn for 7 months, the dishes have been in the sink for over 12 months now without being cleaned. I live alone. Since no one was there to see my mess I just left it.
    So I see a psychopharmocologist. I tell him that I am always frustrated and aggrivated. I get furious for the smallest thing and always think people are criticizing me when they make comments. I get defensive and always end up looking immature to my co-workers. After 7 weeks of 1 hour tests he determines that I have adult ADD. All my extended family said that it has always been obvious to them but they never could connect the dots. He put me on Adderall 30mg XR and increased my Paxil to 40mg(this is hard to wean off at this dosage). I was fine for 3 months except for severe sweating and some weight gain. Then I noticed that my personality had changed. I no longer cared what other people thought about me and I became a bit more crass and was really being an ***. I almost got in a fist fight for making an inappropriate comment to a woman about how much she looked like a ***** while her boyfriend was there. Not good!!! That is not me.
    So a few months later the Adderall is not working as well and my Dr increases my dosage to 2x20mg XR in the morning. This worked fine for about 6 weeks then I was fuzzy headed again and gained 40 lbs(depression). I go back to my DR and complain. He puts me on Welbutrin 150mg 2x daily. It kills my hunger but doesnt do much for my depression and my panic attacks came back. Then I dropped adderall and have been on strattera 60mg and welbutrin 200mg 2x daily for a week now.
    I am still not sure my diagnosis is 100%. All they have told me is that I have ADD. Seems weird, but I think that I have something else going on too. I did fine for 30 years, graduated college in 7 years but with honors. It seems like my life has been unnecessariy hard because I waited so long. It interfered with my relationships too. I have not dated anyone in 5 years due to all this and I hope that sometime soon I will be able to live a normal lfe again. If I had not run into some extreme stress I would never have found out what was wrong. I don't tell anyone I have ADD unless they are close. No one believes that it is a real illness and think you are just using it as an excuse to be lazy.

     
    Old 08-06-2003, 09:35 AM   #8
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    Dear Apa6:

    Wow, sounds like you have had a lot of stress in your life for quite some time. How is your diet? Do you, can you exercise? I think all you have been through should definitly be taken into account before being diagnosed with anything. Life has a way of affecting us if there is no balance. Finding and figuring out the balance is not always easy but to be put on meds for disorders without taking into consideration all the outside influences is a bad deal.

    I suggest you evaluate where you are at, emotionally, physically, diet, exercise, sleep, job, family, look at everything before you decide or let a doctor decide there is something "wrong" with you.

    I wish you the best
    g

     
    Old 08-06-2003, 12:06 PM   #9
    Jennita
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    Apa6,

    Your instinct is right; something else is going on but your doctor won't tell you it could most likely be his medication...

    Was your life pretty good intil your father's illness? I mean, did you have alot of panic and depression earlier in life....I don't mean stuff caused by outside stresses, just you and your health in general? If it all started with your father's illness, perhaps that's really was the source of your problem and not some psychiatric label of behavior.

    Even if you had previous emotional/stress problems before meds, there are professionals I have heard who have stated that original problems sometimes fade with time, but if drugs are allowed to "handle" things, then they later become the problem! They change brain chemicals in an adverse way, disabling the brain's natural chemical production and also causing the brain to set up opposing neurotransmitters to "combat" the synthetic intrusion which causes eventual tolerances and a true chemical imbalance. It makes sense, because unlike other organs, the brain "thinks" and commands alot in itself and the body, so it would strive to set up balances and defend it...

    But sometimes life causes alot of turmoil, which can effect the brain's efficiancy and function. After the turmoil is removed, it can bounce back, but sometimes it can take awhile....seems nobody really waits it out before getting to some meds, mainly because doctors think they can control this stuff. Obviously from your story, they only ended up making things worse and I've heard your story from countless others.

    Maybe a good place to start is a complete physical to rule out any disease. Then perhaps slow-weaning (no cold turkey) off your meds one at a time. This might be hard but I have heard many success stories of people who got off their psych drugs. Good diet, exercise, adequate vitamin supplements, hopefully your can recover from all this. It's really your decision to make, not even a doctor's, when it comes to your health and well-being. Good luck whatever you decide to do....

    [This message has been edited by Jennita (edited 08-06-2003).]

     
    Old 08-12-2003, 12:49 PM   #10
    Markie Mark
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    I was 38 when I was diagnosed. It was my sister that helped me. Her son was being treated for ADD and they said he was just like me. Also she had seen Dr. Halowell (get any of his books you can, he is a psychrist with ADD) on TV and he had said something that really hit home.
    "Telling someone with ADD if they just buckle down and try harder does as much good as telling a near sighted person that if they squint hard enough they will see just fine"
    I happen to have an extreme case of ADD the person who tested me, and she had been doing for years, said I tested higher than anyone she had tested. They started me on Ritalin. Was on that for 2 years then they changed me to Dexidrine tablets, have been on them for 7 years now. Doing good.
    About 2 years ago I started taking Fish oil and over time have been able to reduce my meds by 30%. So fish oil also helps. It is a good fat we do not get enough of to begin with.

     
    Old 08-13-2003, 09:49 PM   #11
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    I was diagnosed at the age of 4 with Add. I was on meds for about 6 months. My mother took me off of them because she didn't want to be giving her kid "drugs". I went through the next 33 years not being able to focus and concentrate and was constantly tired. 2 months ago I went to the Dr. and he put me on Adderall. What a big difference that made on my life. I have my focus and concentration back plus I have more energy than I think I ever had. I take 20mg XR and 5mg Reg. Addreall first thing in the morning. The reg. helps me get going first thing. I have a difficult time functioning first thing in the morning. Then around 4:00pm I take one more dose of the 5mg to help me until bedtime. This works very well. I also have a better nights sleep. Must slow my brain down to help me relax. Hope this helps you.

     
    Old 08-25-2003, 07:25 AM   #12
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    Strattercaster--
    In response to your reply to me on 8/21, YES, it feels great to now have a title for what's been plaguing me all my life. I celebrated my 50th birthday last week and now feel like I actually have a new lease on life. My entire life has been a drama, as I shared on my very first post as a newbie, and since that day 6 days ago have been reading up on ADD. It's so comforting and amazing at the same time--to read about ME. I purchased the book "Driven to Distraction" By Dr. Hallowell and am actually reading it with minimal distractibility!! I've not been able to read anything without starting/stopping multiple times, as my brain always changes channels and I become so frustrated. But his book describes ME and it's blowing my mind. I feel so much hope for the first time in my life. I'd accepted that I was just a loser and that I would never stick to anything,and even at times wondered if I had something severely wrong, and have gone into deep depressions from the results of the ADD...not being able to focus has caused many problems not only through childhood, but in my adult life. Reading Dr. Hallowell's list of criteria for ADD, I could relate to every single one and kept saying, YES!!. I feel like I have come so far, just reading 100 pgs of this book, and I plan today on getting a psychiatric appointment and then go from there. I have been told by a therapist that I also have PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder) that has been untreated also, so at times I feel so very overwhelmed, not knowing just what to do. In 1981 my 2nd husband committed suicide in front of me,after years of abuse and ultimately with stalking me with intent of committing murder/suicide... and I never really had any counseling after that...that was coupled with the "fog" in my head already...let's just say it hasn't been easy. I now feel so much hope and am so very excited I feel like telling the world.
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    I'm thankful for seeing the 30-second Ad on TV stating, "Does your brain change channels and you cannot find the remote?" That exact statement is how I have been describing myself for years. I went from there to this webside and am so thankful people are out there like yourself...who RELATE...and won't treat me like a ditzie dumb Blonde...I am MUCH MORE THAN THAT and have so much to contribute!!! Thank you!!!

     
    Old 10-10-2003, 12:51 AM   #13
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    Strattercaster..I was newly diagnosed with ADD this past summer and am now on Strattera. Your post made me really stop for a second. About 18 years ago, I had around three episodes of seizures. I went through every head test they could possibly throw at me with no conclusions. I was on Phenobarb...but eventually I took myself off of it when I felt brave enough to do it. Since then I have had no seizures (and I'm knocking on wood right now!!) What correlation can temporal lobe seizures have with ADD? All I remember from the "aura" before the seizure was confusion. Also, I used to have moments when I would "see" like a face on an object but then it would go away...like a hallucination or something. I never knew what this was about and I never asked because it seemed so stupid! I haven't had that for a long time either. Does any of this make sense to anybody?

     
    Old 10-10-2003, 12:56 AM   #14
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    Rainonwindow...I meant you, not Strattercaster

     
    Old 10-10-2003, 01:55 AM   #15
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    Christine777,

    Temporal lobes problems (where seizures typically occur) can be in comorbid with AD/HD or be a 'subtype' of AD/HD. Look up "brainplace" online to find out more about it and you may want to have a SPECT scan done to see what is going on with metabolic activity while your brain is functioning. One popular clinic that does this type of functional imaging is the "Amen Clinic", although there are others around. Look them up online for more info.

     
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