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Disorganized and hating it
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An_253397 posted:
Hi; I am new here and a newly diagnosed 37yof. I am currently on Concerta 54mg as well as Wellbutrin 300mg. I still am a daydreamer, inattentive and so messy. I hate it. If you see me, I am always put together make up, every hair in place, so are my 4 and 5 yo children. However, my house is clean but always turned upside down. As well as my cabinets , drawers, etc. My ADD exacerbated when I was going through a separation, 10 mos ago. Around the time I was diagnosed. It explains a lot. With working full - time and having two smalls children, its hard to fit a therapist in , let alone see my psychiatrist every 4 weeks. I hate living like this. I never know where anything is , always late to where ever it is I have to be and am ashamed of the messy disorganized house. That in itself is making me depressed and feeling really down about myself. Has anyone else experienced this? How did you conquer or somewhat alleviate it? I work out an hour a day since I was 19, so thats not the answer but it does make me feel good! TIA
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ADDwarrior5 responded:
Well, if it helps at all you perfectly described me before I started treatment, except I'm 38, and male. I'm on Vyvanse now but, when I was on Concerta I had to take 72mg to see a difference in symptoms, maybe you can add 18mg? Stress definitely makes symptoms worse, so that separation didn't help, and having young kids of course is stressful...we have 5 year old twins and a 3 1/2 yr old. I know the symptoms are beyond frustrating, and can get depressing, but you've gotta keep searching for answers. Either more Concerta, or a different med.

There's a lot of evidence that says ADD is extremely treatable with meds. I think behavior modification is the "x factor" when it comes to really overcoming ADD. The most recent tool that's helped me is to use the alarm on my phone to remind me of things to do. I use to write a note, stick it in my pocket or leave it somewhere and forget it, but I always have the phone with me and I hear the alarm. I use it constantly and it helps. Setting aside 15 minutes a day to plan or organize the day really helps too. If you're really all over the place, like me, set aside 15 mins in the morning and at night. You can use your phone to remind yourself it's planning time too I haven't had a chance to look yet, but there's a website called additudemag.com that is supposed to be really good.

Diet might help too, Omega-3's seem to be a common suggestion. I see a therapist and they said some Dr's think providing your body with OMega-3's and protein may extend the effectiveness of your meds as well.

Good luck and keep working on it, hope you start feeling better soon. There's also plenty of resources available, ask someone on here for resources in your area and they will get you started. They did it for me!
 
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Ichabod10 responded:
I know your experience too although I am older (66). Like you I was diagnosed as adult and just a few years ago.



First, understand there is nothing wrong with you. We are wired differently, us ADD folks, and beating ourselves up is not helpful. As you'll read below, someone who is nearsighted can't see the blackboard. Someone with ADD can't get organized. No difference. People who are nearsighted don't get criticized for the way they are, nor should we. It's not a defect or a disease. It's just how we are.Read "You Mean I'm Not Lazy, Stupid or Crazy?!: The Classic Self-Help Book for Adults with Attention Deficit Disorder" by Kate Kelly and Peggy Ramundo.


Medication helps a lot of people, but there is no magic bullet, no pill, no therapy, no treatment that will "fix" what we have. It's critical to understand that we are not broken, just different, we don't need fixing. That's the wrong way to think about it.



So, having ADD involves learning about ADD and how it affects you specifically and then developing strategies to cope with your condition. Here's Russell Barkley first explaining ADD to a man and then talking about a woman in your situation in his book, "Taking Charge of Adult ADHD:"



1) "You see, it might be that you're not a screw-up or a loser at all, and that you don't have an unconscious wish to sabotage yourself. "026 [Y>ou have a neurological condition called attention deficit disorder. It's no more a thing to be ashamed of than being nearsighted. In fact, it's sort of like being nearsighted. You don't focus very well. You have to strain to see clearly. People with ADD have trouble attending to one task at a time. "026 The hallmark symptoms of ADD are easy distractibility, impulsivity and sometimes, but not always, hyperactivity. "026 They have lots of projects going simultaneously. They're always scrambling. They procrastinate a lot and they have trouble finishing things. Their moods can be quite unstable, going from high to low in the bat of an eye for no apparent reason. They can be irritable, even rageful, especially when interrupted or when making transitions. Their memories are porous. They daydream a lot. "026 Just as this kind of problem can get in the way at work, it can also interfere with close relationships. Your girlfriend can get the wrong impression if you're constantly tuning out."


2) "In the first phase of her treatment we focused on developing an understanding of ADD. "026 She was able to rethink many of her long-held views about herself: that she had a "screw loose," that she was not competent, that she was defective. "026 As "026 many of her problems related to her being unusually distractible, we began to set up ways of restructuring her time to help her focus."


So, don't despair. You're fine. Get started on learning about your condition - join CHADD, find a local support group, read books, get a coach, find what works for you - there's a lot you can do to learn how to manage who you are better.


 
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Gina Pera responded:
Actually, it sounds like you are doing a superlative job in difficult circumstances. I hope you can take some time to congratulate yourself and focus less on an upside-down house.

Still, it will probably help you to relax if you didn't have to deal with stress-inducing disorganization.

The way I see it, just based on a paragraph, you might be less in need of therapy than of a professional organizer. Someone sensitive to ADHD-friendly ways of organizing a home (visual systems, for example) who can work with you to set up easily maintained systems.

Truly, organization is one of the top challenges for people with ADHD. Going to a therapist when you don't have time to go to talk about disorganization might be only so helpful; you might learn new ways of viewing the situation. For example, you might be suffering from some typical ADHD issues with perfectionism. Does "every hair need to be in place"? Probably not. But folks with ADHD can have trouble finding the middle ground.

Honestly, though, we all do better with an organized home. We spend less time looking for stuff and getting frustrated. That frustration can feed anxiety, which then can feed perfectionism.

So, if I were you, I'd invest in some time with a good professional organizer. You can check the directory at the National Association of Professional Organizers for someone in your area; there is a menu that lets you select for various specialties. http://napo.net/

Good luck and keep up the success!

Gina Pera
 
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Gina Pera responded:
P.S. I would also revisit your medication choices and dosages. If you haven't tried another class of stimulant, such as Vyvanse (as mentioned by another commenter), that might be worth a try.

It could also be that your current choices are fueling anxiety.
 
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An_253520 responded:
After reading a medical letter from the Mayo Clinic six years ago, I diagnosed my problem as ADHD and my diagnosis was confirmed by a psychiatrist. I started out with ADDERALL(generic) twice a day; I then switched to ADDERALL XR 30 mg (generic) and the results were much better. I also see a therapist once a week and I have become much more aware of my counter- productive habits. ADDERALL has made my life a great deal better but I still have major problems with focusing, procrastination and goal setting. Although I have made improvements in most areas of my life, I have accepted that I will always have ADHD and that my thinking is different from most. I am most grateful to have finally discover what has a been my problem for all these years but I have also discovered that most people just are no interested. My major regret is that I was unable to see the many opportunities available to me in the past. I believe that ADHD effect us all differently and that we must individually seek out a path that is uniquely ours. To my knowledge, there is not therapy that will eliminate ADHD but the use of medication and therapy will enable us to enjoy and participate in life much better than in the past. We cannot give up the struggle to have a good and productive life. I am 81 yo.
 
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ADDwarrior5 replied to An_253520's response:
Well, hats off to you for sticking with it. From 81 on things can be better! Good luck!
 
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imaodd replied to An_253520's response:
Thanks you! I've read enough in the last few years to almost be certain I have ADD (husband agrees), although I've hesitated to see a psychiatrist about it because most of what I've read said that you had to have had it in childhood. Well, yes I was always late & have always procrastinated & had some focus issues, but I accomplished quite a bit as a young person. My disorganization & lack of focus have increased tremendously in the past several years especially since my last episode of depression when I was prescribed Sertraline (generic of Zoloft) around 9 years ago. I'm still on that. Now at 70 yo, I thought it was probably too late for help, but if your life has improved even though you didn't seek help until you were 75, you've given me hope!
 
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ADHD_Annimal responded:
I'm a 41 yo mom of 4. When I feel like I can't get it all together with my house, I seek help of a caregiver who lives to organize instead of paying a therapist. If u have young kids and work full time, someone or some business is caring for them. If you could have someone home with the kids cleaning and helping the kids learn good organizing habits for just a few hours of the day, it will be a huge help in the long run! Also, note that you wrote about the increase in symptoms correlating with your separation. Logic says treat the problem, not the symptom. Chances are that you are not sleeping well. This makes our issues worse. Instead of more adhd meds, consider following advice from your gen doc or a sleep doctor. In the meantime, don't focus on the crap we don't excel at. Ask for help in doing those things and delegate. Spend more time showing your kids and the world what your talents are! Best of wishes!


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