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Boyfriend with possible ADD. Help w/o Meds?
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Ulaniad posted:
My boyfriend and I are both going into our senior year of high school next year. The only problem is that I am graduating and he is not. We have been dating since 8th grade and I had plans of going to prom and grad night with him but now this is all tossed out the window. It is sad to think of but it is fact I need to face.

My boyfriend (17) tried to his best ability to focus on his work in the past three years but no matter how much he tried, he would detail to me that he "got off track" or "distracted". I tried to help him out and tutor since I understand the material but he showed signs of distraction while I talked and he would never follow up with what I instructed him to do (write something or repeat), which would turn a study session into an argument. At the end of Junior year, my boyfriend was told that he was unable to graduate due to lack of credits (he failed some important classes). He was given the choice of taking classes over the summer and during school, but he opted out of them. I was livid when I heard that he denied, but he told me that he would never pass those classes either.

Now he feels as if there might be an underlying issue behind this school problem. He feels like something is really off, and I do not think I should push this feeling of his away. He feels like he has been living with ADD for some time now.
I personally feel that he does need some type of remedy. His self-esteem seems to hit the floor when he looks back on his study habits and he puts himself down about how "dumb he has been". I would ask his parents to take him to a doctor about this but they do not have insurance or the money to pay for anything like that (the doctor visit and the meds if needed). So, I wanted to ask the WedMD community for some help since I really do care about my boyfriend and it hurts me to see him like this.

Can he try anything to ease the troubles he faces without medicine?
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alicia_s17 responded:
soda, coffee, or tea can help a lil since they have caffeine in them which is a stimulant; while reading taking notes on each paragraph about the main points can help stay focused while reading; taking school work in small chunks really helps such as doin a bit of hw for 10mins then takin a small 5-10min break n then retackle hw doin this continuously; also havin like the tv on n music playing can help keep focused; usin ear plugs might help; white noise machines can help; going to sleep at a good time so u can get enough sleep definitely helps; talking to teachers and explaining to them that he believes he has ADD and see if he can take tests in a quiet room that can really help and if he can turn things in in chunks so that he can break them down in smaller pieces and it doesnt seem as daunting; exercising regularly can help wit feeling less restless all the time; ive heard that diet can sometimes help so eating healthy umm if i think of anything more ill definitely tell u
 
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alicia_s17 replied to alicia_s17's response:
would also check out this thread
http://forums.webmd.com/3/add-and-adhd-exchange/forum/1567?@guest@
 
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Boyzmomee responded:
I have problems with self diagnosis. Howver, your boyfriend is having problems and you are demonstrating that you care by tryng to help him.

If his family does not have medical insurance, he may qualify for medicaid. There are also community mental health clinics that provide evaluations, therapy and medication to people at no charge or sliding scale.

The first step should be to find out what is actually going on. Your boyfriend can speak to his school counselor as well or call the public health department to get a referral for some help.

Good luck!
 
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Ulaniad replied to alicia_s17's response:
Thank you very much! I read this over with my boyfriend and he seems motivated to help himself!
 
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Ulaniad replied to Boyzmomee's response:
Thank you! We will try and seek some type of doctor when school begins in a few weeks. I am fond of the counselors, so I can probably fix him up something. He is definitely happy about your post and the post previous to this!!

Thanks to all of you!!!
 
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Gina Pera replied to Ulaniad's response:
Hi Ulaniad,

Good for you both -- for applying reason to this situation and to seeking more information.

When you seek information locally, it will be best if you show you've done your homework. Let's hope you won't have to "prove the existence of ADHD" but many people are skeptical, even those who should know better.

Also, schools sometimes have a vested interest in NOT recognizing the ADHD, because then they have to to something about it, tricky in best of times but worse amidst the budget cuts happening these days.

Here is what I mean by homework:

1. Check out the official diagnostic criteria of Adult ADHD as well as childhood ADHD; since your boyfriend is a young adult, he might fit somewhere in the middle. Here is a blog post I wrote on Adult ADHD diagnosis:

http://adhdrollercoaster.org/the-basics/the-adult-adhd-diagnosis-how-is-it-made/

2. Know the importance of a history. Perhaps he has report cards or other corroborating evidence that his challenges in school or at home have been lifelong; perhaps there is medical evidence as well, such as premature birth or a difficult delivery. Write up some bullet points.

3. Find a good book or two. Chris Dendy is an expert on ADHD in teenagers. She's written a very helpful book: Teenagers with ADD and ADHD. Available here: http://www.chrisdendy.com/twadd2.htm

Best of luck!
Gina
 
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Gina Pera replied to Gina Pera's response:
P.S. In the meantime, here are steps he can take:

1. Regular exercise, preferably in the morning.
2. Healthy diet -- cutting out junk food, sodas, etc.
3. Protein in the morning -- will help promote brain function
4. Getting 8-9 hours sleep each evening -- a challenge for today's teens but recommended nonetheless.
 
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Ulaniad replied to Gina Pera's response:
Thank you so so much for your information! : )


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