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    Your ADD/ADHD
    Chris_WebMD_Staff posted:
    How did you find out about your ADD/ADHD? Did you suspect you had it?

    How are you taking care of yourself and managing?

    He who has hope has everything.
         - Proverb
    zombieroses23 responded:
    I found out I had ADD in 3rd grade. My teacher was the one who suspected it because of my grades and bad behavior. I was diagnosed and put on Adderall. I am now about to begin my senior year in high school. I must stay on my medication year round to be able to do simple task. If I miss a dose, I cope by doing art projects to ease racing thoughts. I joke about my ADD with friends, but inside I despise it because of how it seems to control who I am sometimes.
    Chris_WebMD_Staff replied to zombieroses23's response:
    Hiya Zombieroses23,

    Thank you so much for sharing your experience with ADD. It's good to know you have it under control and coping skills set in place.
    Chrissy~ He who has hope has everything. - Proverb
    queentohisheart responded:
    I was 19 when I found out I had ADD. I noticed from a steady decline in grades from middle school to high school. I barley gratduated high school. College wasn't any better. It was awful, knowing something was wrong with me but not knowing what it was. Most of the time I thought I was just depressed, but I wasn't sad all the time and I didn't act like I had depression. I ended up going to therapy, and after a couple months I was diagnosed with ADD. I tried medication for a short time, but after a lot of thought and talking with my therapist, I decided instead of relying on meds, I was going to do my best to live with what I have and try to deal with it on my own. I know it will be a lot harder, but I would rather do it this way than having to rely on taking pills every single day for the rest of my life. I plan on finding different exercises to help focus my thoughts and keep myself on track. So far I think I am doing pretty well. I am taking it one day at a time, and hopefully sometime soon it will become easier and easier. I don't like having ADD. It definitely makes even the most simple of tasks as hard as trying to teach quantum physics to a two-year-old, but I am determined to let it be something I have, and not something that IS me.
    ChristophorM responded:
    A few years ago my nephew was diagnosed with ADHD. Followed by his mom, my other sister, my brother and my dad. I was the last one to be evaluated.

    I knew I was a bit different in 3rd grade. That year I started visiting the guidance councilor. She asked me a lot of questions, had me draw a lot and watch cartoons. She used a puppet named Do-So Dolphin to explain how to behave in class. I liked it because it was just more entertaining that whatever the 'normal kids' were doing. That year I did so well on the annual testing, that I was a candidate for the Gifted program. I qualified for that too, but my grades weren't up to par so it was over after the first quarter. It was also the first year I was held back a grade.

    I barely skinned by 4th and 5th. But 6th grade was the pinnacle of public school idiocy. As usual, I qualified for gifted but my grades weren't high enough. This time they had me take an extra test where I found out that I have a high IQ whatever that was. They said it means I'm a bit smarter than most people my age. I thought if I'm the smart one, the Earth is doomed. They also said I had trouble remembering things. I tried out for "6th Sense Team" and made it. We competed with other schools Jeopardy style. We finished that year in second for the county. I got a T-Shirt!!! Oh and I was held back that year, didn't pass summer school, repeated 6th grade,qualified for gifted, failed again, and finally passed summer school on my second try. I skinned by until 9th when I quit school.

    I took adult vocational classes to learn computers, got an a ward for scoring high on the GED and graduated on time. I joined the Army and got kicked out, married a lesbian and got divorced, beat up a gun toting mugger with a broom and spent one night in jail for fighting with my brother in my parents front yard. I had an interesting career most of it in computers and most of it in weird places. I've had a lot of personal conflict. I've always tried to fit in and failed. I've been angry at the school, my parents and the world for making "normal" seem like something real. What would my life have been like if they'd diagnosed me properly in 3rd grade? Who would I be? An A student? College Graduate? Insurance salesman or executive? Adventurer?

    I realize now, that I don't care. I am who I am because of my life. I had to forgive everyone I was angry at for all of these years including myself before I could relax. I've said that I feel more like my younger self now that I know why I had trouble. I think the reason for that is I haven't been myself since 3rd grade. Before that I didn't know I was different and didn't care. I'm in that place again except, I know I'm different, but I don't care. Nobody is normal anyway.

    The medicine helps, but it's not the reason I feel better about life. It's just that I'm finally free of imaginary limits and expectations.

    I'm not afraid anymore. I'm free.

    Chris M.
    BarelyPaula responded:
    I found out about it when I was in my early twenties, teaching elementary school. Amazingly it helped in some ways because I am able to think outside the box and was able to relate to students who also had been diagnosed. I also was chosen Teacher of the Year, not once but twice in two different schools--so having ADD (no hyperactivity with me) is not all bad. The problem areas for me in the classroom were mainly organizational and having lots of unfinished piles of paperwork.
    BarelyPaula replied to BarelyPaula's response:
    I forgot to mention how I cope. Now that I'm not teaching (I quit to become a stay at home parent) and have no insurance, I'm having an extremely difficult time because of the shortage of fast-acting Adderall. Adderall XR works very well but even the generic form is EXTREMELY expensive so I'm struggling.
    sammyscion responded:
    As a young child, I always knew there was something different about how I thought and processed information. Others saw it too, but it was easier to blame me for being lazy, stupid or rude. I knew I wasn't stupid, but the sense of feeling and thinking differntly and not being able to connect with others continued into adulthood. I even identified this with mental health professsionals several times with little sucess, since it had not been diagnosed as a child, they required collateral information from others who knew me as a child. In other words, my child hood memory and word was not valid on its own. Even though I continued to have active symptoms as an adult, that was not sufficient data because ADD diaganoses required being able to prove the condition exsisted as a child. It was not until I reached a level of stress and crisis that a mental health counselor (bless his heart) asked if ADD could be a factor. Now it seems I might be able to get some direction and help in being able to better manage the emotional distress on my own as I have for the last 40 years.
    Laurelli replied to queentohisheart's response:
    I believe something is different about me (I don't wan to use the word "wrong"). Mostly, it is my peers and sometimes my parents that say this. I'm personally just looking for answers. My mum is from the Caribbean and doesn't believe in medication unless it is truly serious. I'm not sure as to if it is or not, but I just want to find out. I didn't know they look at mental health surveys and I actually filled mine out honestly. My doctor recommended I see a therapist, but I never did. I still suffer from extreme highs and lows, but I'm not sure if it's a serious problem like add/adhd or bi polar disorder. Do you have any advice?
    Aspenita replied to BarelyPaula's response:
    Your message brought tears to my eyes. I'm up at 2am trying to finish end of term work for my first semester in my credential program. I've made friends and lost friends this semester when they thought I was lazy for falling behind in the readings. I had to ask for more time on a major project so there went the respect of my professors as well; and I just had to send out an email request tonight for another.

    What you said about understanding the kids is so true though! Thank you for sharing that you were teacher of the year. This is great inspiration for me at this moment.

    I have an appointment in a few days. I wanted to get tested in college but I guess at the time it wasn't covered by my insurance. I slipped back into trying to ignore it after that for over ten years now. But I'm finally going for it - and it's really, really scary.

    Thanks for being an open ear

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