ADD / ADHD Community
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322138 tn?1306246734

Adult Add, what can I salvage still if I have it, pls help

I am 24 right now and after I came across the possiblity that I might have it, I read about it as much as I can on Wikipedia and everywhere on the Internet and I seem to have most of the symptoms associated with it. So many of teachers when I was young had commented that I had the brains n iq be doing much better but I always would just barely get passing marks every year in school, I myself realized that I had a somewhat better Grasping power for things from my peers, in school, in college or even in the jobs I have held, (not saying I was Einstein here but yes, I had a bit more brains than the average kid I grew up with)

While many of these completed college, got an MBA or whatever and then have by now started on nice very well paying white collar jobs, the friends and peers who did make it through this route in life weren't any smarter than or maybe they were in the departments which also matter a lot:

In getting their priorities right, time organization, being able to go through things which bore them etc, this really hurts now, But I'd like to salvage all that I can even now ...  for me, College was a complete disaster despite all the 'Potential' I had and have, I haven't become a college graduate despite wanting it quite bad. I have even had trouble with drugs/alcohol ever since I turned 18, I did go to a psychiatrist about 4 months back and told him I suspect I have ADD and he told me that there is every possiblity that I might have it, but the trouble is that I was at that point addicted to Pain Narcotic medication viz Codeine so we tried treating that first and then this psychiatrist went to Europe for lectures and other stuff for 3 weeks, he gave me 'Olanzapine' which I had taken 4 years back when I had truoble with pot and even Heroin and I hated 'Olanzapine' because of all it's side effects including "Apathy" , Weight gain and "Drowsiness" and told me to come back when he's back till that time I was supposed to get of off Codeine and I never made it back to his office after that and I am still addicted to Codeine and my life is a complete mess financially, I hate my self for not being able to control it but after reading about Ritalin and the exp's of many ppl here, may anybody who's gone through being diagnosed as having     Adult ADD and taking meds for it please give some advice on how do I really move forward from here and what it's like etc ... thanx a lot in advance ...
10 Responses
334998 tn?1197948353

I just saw this post. If you have the resources (access to insurance), go to another psychiatrist, preferably one who has experience diagnosing and treating ADD. If you prefer not to go to another psychiatrist, then see if your psychiatrist and/or one of his colleagues can give you a referral to an assessment center which can give you an official evaluation. Raj, it sounds like you need more consistent care and support:  If you aren't already, is it possible to see a therapist on a weekly basis, in addition to your relationship with your psychiatrist? If you can find a good one, therapists are excellent sources of support and they can work with a psychiatrist to really make sure you have a solid treatment plan; they can also tell you about other resources such as support groups which can kep you on track between appoinments and allow you to be in the company of peers who are struggling with the same thing. There is hope!  You are struggling mightily which means you are committed to pushing thru and that you will. Good luck.
Avatar universal
check out www.chadd.org for much information on ADD. Also, Sari Solden's book "Women With Attention Deficit Disorder" is a great book for women.  Your life is just beginning with the diagnosis. You must se a psychiatrist for proper medication treatment.
Stan Kapuchinski, M.D.
312330 tn?1245180352
I'd like to give you a bit of encouragement....you're looking out for yourself, not just your physical health, but your mental health....kudos for that!  I can relate with a lot of what you have said...I'm 26, and I have ADHD....I was diagnosed as a child and on medication till I turned 20 and lost health insurance, then off and on as I could....I am now taking Adderall, and doing great.  I'm in my second year in graduate school.....yes, the medications help, but there is so much more to it, learning to organize, follow through.....the medication just helps to focus in on that a bit more.....studying is so much more enjoyable when you actually make progress.....Don't give up, there's still hope!
Avatar universal
Dear Raj786,

I just had to respond to this posting as I can relate to exactly what are your going through. I was not diagnosed until 3 months ago, until my 39th year of life, if you can believe it.

I developed an extreme problem with alcohol as a result of going through life with a severe case of ADHD, especially as it relates to hyperactivity. I starting using alchol at around the age of 16 as it was the only thing I had to calm myself down. This continued through high school, college and law school, as my conditioin progressed and tolerance levels grew, my consumption of alcohol grew along with it-IT WAS ALL I HAD CONTOL THE SYMPTOMS.

Although I was successful in quitting drinking 2 years ago at the age of 37, it was only because my drinking placed my professional career in jeopardy.

The two-year window that existed between no-alcohol use, and no medication for the ADHD, was very, very difficult as I was for the first time living with this disorder completely naked and with no support either chemical or cognitive. VERY DIFFICULT INDEED. I was angry, resentful and ill-tempered all the time.

The good news Raj786 is that it can be done. Remember, your substance abuse issues is in all liklihood directly related to your ADD, which means that you have identified the cause of your problem, and THAT IS HUGE!!!! People sit around in AA meetings for years trying to figure out where and why it all went wrong, and they go to their deaths never having found the answers to this question.

The bad news is that you now have this substance abuse issue that must be delt with before you can begin on a remedial medication such as Adderall, or the like.

I would talk to your doctor ASAP and do whatever you can to get off the bad drugs and onto the ones that can help you live. Even more good news is that you are still young, only 24, I was 39 and am now a practicing attorney with a good future, at least as good as it can get for an old man like me . Hang in there!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

322138 tn?1306246734
Hey, I am happy for you jojo, you must be bitter about it all a bit still but hey, 39 is still not old age, it's the coolest part of life 'midlife' is many say, your 30's and 40's, so you make full use of it man.. best of luck!!
I guess I am lucky I found out ADD now while I am 24 as you say. It's just because the word on ADDHD has spread a lot more in the last few years and a lot more people know about it, I read about it's symptoms in Wikipedia and I knew I have this issue, then I read about Ritalin and other drugs to help with condition and it's really given me hope.

The way it get's u in the loop of substance abuse and keeps you there is monstrous indeed. As I said I had trouble with smoking marijuana and heroin way back and then I quit that with GOD's help. I did not take any NARCOTIC's after that but I did drink a fair amount regularly.

GOD! I am being very very honest here but in the last 2 years, there must have been at least a 100 or so entire nights boozing, There were quite a few of those classic episodes where you start drinking in a bar at around 12 in the noon and then you get out of the bar at around 10, party more, drink more, drink more and amidst all this, the morning sunlight breaks through the clouds, it's very very frustrating the next day when you r angry y u let urself do this n the loop continues. Then, I got this crush with a girl and I wanted to improve myself for it all :) of course and again, my inablity to get mylife in order again broke me completely this time. I mean I have been trying n trying trying n trying for many many years but never could push the right buttons. Then the opiates kicked in and ever since they have part of my life.

To be honest, I couldn't never cope with what Alcohol did to my body, this is what the opiates like codeine helped with and opiates are more my drugs of choice, but as you know they **** you very very rough faster than alocohol, so, you soon know you have a big problem soon enuf. Anyway, the good news is that my tappering program has been a success (with help from family n friends) and I am all but of off codeine, I only take enuf to keep away WD, never get high, only 3-4 days more now and I will be free and of course treatment for ADD is the first thing on my mind.

Interesting Part:-

Now, my dad has always had this thing about running a nice restaurant and he started one a couple of years back and now he says since I didn't do that well in my chosen career, (IT, Comps, Programing) I go to England in January and do a two year Hotel Management Course and take care of the restaurant and run it better, expand it etc etc. Now, I know that there ain't a shred of hope pulling it off unless I get help with ADD and so, I have been to this doctor who's diagnosed me as actually having the ADD disorder and the medication and therapy starts next week, when I am off the opiates. Hopefully things will work out well for me. Hey but, if it's working for so many then  there's no reason it shldn't work for me right? I knw it will n I am lukin frwrd to more meaningful, organized, focused life with the taste of success in my various endeavours or whatever ;) Cheers!!!
Avatar universal
You have every reason to be excited about the future, however, please practice cautious optimism.

I will leave you with this final piece of advice young jedi: The drugs that you may be prescribed to manage your ADD are very, very dangerous and highly addictive themselves (Adderall is a level 2 controlled amphetamine (same as cocaine) and is highly addictive and regularly abused. Be very wary of the cure becoming worse than the disease as you already have a history of drug abuse which places you in an extremely high risk category. Talk to your doctor about drug alternatives such as cognitive therapy and the like.

Remember, many people with this disorder think of themselves as having an excuse to get high, or think that because they have ADD/ADHD that people should make exceptions for them or extend them special treatment. BELIEVE ME THEY WON"T.

Part of the responsibility that comes with having ADD is accepting the fact that it cannot be cured by surgery or a magic pill. This disorder can only be managed, and part of responsible management includes quitting a medication as opposed to abusing it by constantly upping the dosage in a vain attempt to make you feel better.


Good Luck.
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