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To ask for advice from anyone who has ADHD please?

(39 Posts)
Celestia26 Sat 11-Aug-18 19:55:09

Hi, posting for traffic really.

I am hoping to have advice from anyone who has ADHD or has children with the condition please?

I have for many years been diagnosed with General Anxiety Disorder, panic attacks and depression. I have been on and off medication and have generally found antidepressants unhelpful and have dealt with the symptoms myself, and am 'coping' with my conditions.

Recently my nephew was diagnosed with ADHD and I read up about the condition in order to help my sister. However I was alarmed at the number of traits I exhibit which I always have put down to anxiety.

- Inability to concentrate.
- Lack of motivation.
- Difficulty sleeping.
- Inable to concentrate on a task for more than a few minutes without moving onto another usually halfway through.
- Not listening to people when they speak as my brain is trying to work out what they will say next, or thinking about something else entirely.
- I have many projects in the home I have started and never finished, after a burst of motivation the urge fizzles out and they just get left.
- My brain NEVER stops. In fact meditation and trying to practice mindfulness is actually 'painful' for me.
- The only thing that stops my brain from endlessly looping is either reading or watching television and this is usually how I am able to fall asleep.
- Poor time management and always rushing and running behind.
- I was 3 months premature and apparently premature birth is found in alot of people with ADHD.

I did speak to my doctor who generally shrugged it all off. I think with such a long history and diagnosis of anxiety and depression they are unwilling to consider anything else at this late stage.

I don't think I would want to go on medication for it anyway if I was diagnosed, but I was wondering if there are any useful techniques people have found useful in increasing focus and concentration? This is the thing that bothers me the most.

It may be that actually this doesn't sound like ADHD at all? I'm just a bit confused as to whether it could be?


Pippylou Sat 11-Aug-18 20:01:47

Yeah, it's often misdiagnosed as something else, apparently.

Have you had a look at the updated NICE guidelines?

Additude magazine has really good articles and I'm in a good Facebook group, Adult ADHD UK (AADD-UK). It helps to find people in the same situation, it really does...

There are also various support groups throughout the UK, they are usually happy for undiagnosed people to go along and chat. I went to Ladders of Life in Liverpool, excellent group and they also run a course on managing ADHD.

I've changed things since DX and now I write everything down, take my time more and am generally trying to manage better.

Celestia26 Sat 11-Aug-18 20:04:39

Can I please ask Pippylou, do you manage without medication? And thanks for your response, I'll look into this, that's very helpful!

Celestia26 Sat 11-Aug-18 20:07:17

And I will join the FB group thank you!

AdventuresRUs Sat 11-Aug-18 20:09:01

Im in a similar position...

TheMotherofBears Sat 11-Aug-18 20:12:56

I skimmed your post OP but think I caught the gist. I can't diagnose you but it does sound similar to my situation which went undiagnosed for years. I prefer life with meds but have been off them for a while as they're not recommended for TTC, pregnancy and breastfeeding. To me the difference between meds and no meds is like swimming in a clear water pool and swimming through treacle. As for dealing with no meds, I did some kind of life skills course years ago which was useful. I bet similar ones are available online now.

Celestia26 Sat 11-Aug-18 20:15:12

Thank you for your post MotherOfBears I may have to go back to the doctor and push a bit for a discussion of diagnosis and possible medication.

eco1636 Sat 11-Aug-18 20:19:20

I have a very dark sense of humour.
But the responses are making me giggle.

Celestia26 Sat 11-Aug-18 20:25:25

Why is that Eco1636??

Pippylou Sat 11-Aug-18 20:27:02

No meds for me but I wouldn't mind giving them a go sometime. Living in treacle is a very apt description.

How to ADHD on Youtube and Russell Barkley's videos, also Faster than Normal are good. I also liked Sari Solden's book for women with ADHD.

ADHD folk can be very sensitive to rejection too.

Theweasleytwins Sat 11-Aug-18 20:40:31

Dh was diagnosed with adhd as a child, we both found this out 2 weeks ago when fil causally deopped it into conversation😮aparently he just needs to stay away from e numbers😑

Would love some advice on how to deal with him i guess🤔

OhTheRoses Sat 11-Aug-18 20:41:33

DD started cutting at 15, diagnosed with anxiety and depression. Therapy, fluoxetine, still cutting, feeling stressed and worthless. Had to repeat y12 because she became so unwell. More therapy. She felt she wasn't achieving. Assessed for ASD and ADHD. She had a consultant psychiatrist. Also small OD's.

Diagnosed with ADHD/ADD. Major turning point. Anxiety and depression are often comorbidities. No teacher ever raised the slightest concern - she was bright and well behaved and always appeared above average.

Started ritalin at end of Y12. A complete turnaround. She will probably always be anxious but has the right ad at the right dose now. She aced her A'Levels and is going to a v prestigious Oxbridge College in about six weeks. She's had a great gap year and we have back our happy girl.

What makes me very very angry is that there is no NHS CAMHS support for this. She was diagnosed and recovered because we could pay. Overall about £5-£6k.

The difference is amazing. Go for it OP.

Good luck.

Celestia26 Sat 11-Aug-18 22:01:06

Thank you Pippylou, I'll check that out.

OhTheRoses I'm so pleased to hear your daughter is better on meds, you must be so proud of her doing so well. Thanks for sharing your story. Certainly I will consider meds in the future, if a doctor can diagnose me and it's necessary.

OhTheRoses Sat 11-Aug-18 22:11:52

Should have said, we hadn't a clue but as soon as the diagnosis was made so many things made sense. It was such a relief for her. She says the "blur" went and focus came.

IfyouseeRitaMoreno Sat 11-Aug-18 22:35:51

The YouTube channel “How to ADHD” has helped me a lot.

It’s all about recognising the chaos in your head and managing it, not getting rid of it. Setting up routines to cope with the organisation of everyday life helps and that channel is great for that.

I think part of the anxiety you experience comes from the overactive brain. It can’t shut off so turns to catastrophic thinking. I know this sounds a bit bonkers but have you tried learning to code? It really helped me because instead of turning to the negative your brain always has a mini puzzle to work out. Hope that makes sense!

NotSoThinLizzy Sat 11-Aug-18 23:20:12

My DD has ADHD and she supposed to be on meds but I don't give them every day. She's not herself like she's lost a sparkle. She never eats when on them. But they do help her concentrate which is good for school but while it's the holiday I just leave her to it 😊 she's 8

newcastlefcsuperfan Sun 12-Aug-18 01:04:43

I'm on the waiting list for an ADHD assessment. Have been on it since the end of May, and will probably be seen in the new year, so I've been told sad. Luckily, my GP referred me when I asked him to. I explained my issues, and the NHS /NICE guidelines I'd read on the condition.
I'm in my mid forties and have never had a handle on life. All the things on your list, I struggle with. I was fine at school but started to fall apart at uni (though I did graduate). I've have always underachieved at work, 20yrs on and I still don't feel competent at my job.
I have two kids, and the responsibility of managing their stuff as well as mine leads to mental overload all the time. It's bloody hard.
It's only this year that I looked into ADHD, I couldn't believe how accurately it was describing my life! I don't know if it will get a diagnosis. The issues have to be prevalent from childhood, and I managed fine until I was 16. But, I know I'm bright so before then life was manageable.
I'm going to look into private assessment, as I need to get some support at work, which won't happen without a diagnosis, and I don't think I'll last in my job until Feb, the way things are going.
Persist with your GP, OP. Good luck.

imnotreally Sun 12-Aug-18 01:25:59

Yeah they don't like diagnosing it in adults. Apparently if you've been relatively successful in life what are you moaning about?! Coffee calms me down/sends me to sleep. I agree with the previous pp who recommended the YouTube channel how to adhd. If you don't want meds not much point getting dxd anyway tho meds have really helped my kids.

Celestia26 Sun 12-Aug-18 08:08:56

Thanks for all your comments, I really appreciate the advice and will look into the resources suggested.

Regarding medication, I'm not really against it as such, but I'm nervous and cautious. When the doctors were trying to get my anxiety and depression under control after my son was born, they changed me onto a new medication, but the side effects were so bad I tried to commit suicide. So I'm very very careful about taking medication, and generally try not to if I can help it.

I'm going to visit my GP again and push for an ADD referral (I don't appear to have the hyperactivity component which seems normal for adults). From what every else has said, it's starting to make sense. All the things I previously put down to anxiety may actually not be. It's been a bit of a lightbulb moment for me. It also explains why antidepressants never really worked, they just numbed me and made me not care.

Thanks for all the advice x

Celestia26 Sun 12-Aug-18 08:11:36

IfYouSeeRitaMoreno I will also look into coding thanks!

imnotreally Sun 12-Aug-18 09:13:27

From my experience with my kids meds can be a bit of a minefield but it's worth trying different ones to find the right one. My daughter went through 4 before we found the right one - they can affect your appetite and on one she ended up looking anorexic. In trying to get my sons right he got very aggressive on one type til we found he right meds and dose.

KathyBeale Sun 12-Aug-18 09:18:23

My son is 8 and has ADHD, i’m convinced my brother and my dad have it too (they’re not diagnosed obviously). And when I stumbled on an article about ADHD presenting differently in women and girls I began to think I have it as well. It’s changed the way I think about myself actually. It has made things make more sense. I am 45 and won’t do anything to find out for sure, but it makes me feel better!

dangerrabbit Sun 12-Aug-18 09:19:13

Check out this website

Iknowwhoyouare123 Sun 12-Aug-18 09:25:10

Have you been like this since childhood? You need to have had pervasive symptoms prior to the age of 12. If it's a more recent thing for you, it's not ADHD.

Celestia26 Sun 12-Aug-18 09:43:10

Yes I have always been this way even as a child, but it was treated as anxiety, panic attacks and depression since the age of about 10. However I remember having symptoms as long as I can remember, as young as 4-5 years old, I just never told anyone.

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