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When I was a kid (7ish) I was diagnosed with ADD and immediately put on Ritalin. I took Ritalin until I was 16ish when I refused to take it anymore.

I went through college and got into my early 20s without any major issues, thinking I was doing ok and handling my attention disorder (especially when studying and so forth). It was hard, but I was doing ok, I was getting decent grades, etc.

Sometime after college (and after a couple of severe experiences), I was diagnosed with Clinical Depression. So, now I was stuck with taking medication for the rest of my life (or be suicidal). I accepted the whole theory of my brain doesn't make a certain chemical, its similar to diabetes and insulin, blah blah blah. (And I read several papers/anecdotes that inferred that many times childhood ADD can morph into adult Depression.)

A few years ago, as I struggled to find my place in the world (which I was repeatedly failing at) I and my current psychiatrist re-looked at the ADD/ADHD diagnosis. Was it still vaild? The answer was most likely yes. This made me very frustrated. I was prescribed a couple different medications before settling on generic Adderall taken a couple times a day. I was not happy with taking a stimulant, but I did recognize the possible need.

Fast forward a couple of years. I hate Adderall. It made my heart go into palpitations and occasionally makes me shake significantly. I take it only when I absolutely have to at work.

I went to the psychiatrist yesterday. He recommended Welbutrin. *sigh* Just the idea that I have to take a medication to function at work correctly (did I mention my performance at work has been suffering lately?) makes me feel....pissed off at myself. I still feel as though the ADD is somehow my fault and that if I just did the right thing in the right way my brain would be normal. I hate always being scattered and distracted. But if this helps, then I guess thats good, right? right?

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( 12 Tummy Rubs — Pet Angela? )
cathalexp
Mar. 10th, 2009 04:26 pm (UTC)
I know how you feel. Sometimes I feel that if I could just snap myself out of depression I would not need my medication.

But it is nothing that you have done or haven't done. And there are parts of this that you have to look at as a gift rather than a curse. I don't think you could do your job if you did not have a little touch of the ADD. It makes you able to juggle several things at once.

Look at the ADD and the depression as just some of the side effects to some really amazing qualities you have, your compassion, your creativity, your lively spirit, all come from the same place as these things. They just manifest themselves in different ways.
jennielf
Mar. 10th, 2009 04:34 pm (UTC)
It's a curse. I am convinced.
Danny doesn't have it and look at how successful and put together he is.

So I started the meds and will post results in a week or three...
cathalexp
Mar. 10th, 2009 05:07 pm (UTC)
Yes, but there are also wonderful attributes that you have that he does not have (and that is not to say he isn't wonderful, I love him.) And there are also probably issues that he has that you don't have.

We all are dealt a different set of cards and we play the hand that we were dealt. Just know that you've got some truly amazing gifts in your hand that come along with these issues.

The important thing is that you are taking care of yourself and I am so proud of you for that.
jennielf
Mar. 10th, 2009 05:25 pm (UTC)
Thanks. :)

I love you. :)
(Anonymous)
Mar. 10th, 2009 04:54 pm (UTC)
here is a thought...
Maxx has a lot of 'symptoms' and I went digging further and found this:

http://salicylatesensitivity.com/info3

We have started cutting out key things (gum, fruit flavored everything) and he has shown immediate improvement.

Maybe you could have an allergist check for this and resolve it through diet rather than meds??

I miss you.

hugs!
jennielf
Mar. 10th, 2009 05:14 pm (UTC)
Re: here is a thought...
Its a good thought, however, I have cut out most of that between elementary school and now -gum, i stopped chewing years ago cause it hurt my jaw, fruit flavored stuff i dont like it unless it has REAL fruit in it...etc.

Should this have been done when I was in elem? Probably, but remember this was the mid 80's. No internet, and as an official diagnosis it was just recognized, etc.

Good luck with maxx. (ps - do you get ANY emails??)
czarzhan
Mar. 10th, 2009 05:03 pm (UTC)
Sweety, It is NOT your fault. (BTW, did you know we still love you?) :)

Fire-Eyes was feeding Esme as I read this to her. She asked me to relay that you are welcome to call if you want to talk. About anything. Email me for our new phone number.

FE also said I could tell you that she has been on Wellbutrin since she was pregnant with Esme.

I hope you are doing well.
jennielf
Mar. 10th, 2009 05:23 pm (UTC)
Thank you for your kind words. I would LOVE to see you again, I know I know, I keep saying that... *sigh*

I will email you. :)

lilmartha2
Mar. 11th, 2009 05:29 pm (UTC)
I hope you won't mine if I add a comment. I have two children born in the late 80s. Both have ADHD and currently use the time-release version of methylphenidate, Concerta. Find a psychiatrist who is willing to work with you to find the best medication. One son and his doctor tried several different meds in order to find the one that helped the most with the fewest side effects. It was a rocky time but worth going through, believe me.

--Martha, who started reading your blog after several helpful posts on the MacOSX community
jennielf
Mar. 11th, 2009 05:35 pm (UTC)
:) Nice to see you here! :)

I think I finally have a psychiatrist that doesnt like giving stimulants to ADHD. He said that yes, this is definetly something we can work on.

If I HAVE to take medication, then, yes, I absolutely believe I need to take the time and effort to find the best one. I usually have good luck with meds. I knew the Adderall was, at best. a stopgap measure...so I guess its a sign that I am maturing and becoming a responsible person if I am doing this. :)

Thanks for your comment. :)

Glad I can help the mac community too! :)
belecrivain
Mar. 12th, 2009 08:27 pm (UTC)
Two thoughts:

1) It is NOT your fault. Your brain is not "normal," because if it was you would not be anywhere near the Jennie that we know and love. :) But it is not as if you are somehow choosing to not flip some switch and be non-ADDish. It's not a "switch"; it's how your brain is wired.

2) If you have not encountered the book You Mean I'm Not Lazy, Stupid, or Crazy? yet, I highly recommend it. It's written by two adult ADD diagnosees, one of whom does life coaching specifically aimed at other ADD-ers. I picked it up out of curiosity and am glad I did. I've never been ADD-diagnosed and don't think I ever would be -- by which I mean I wouldn't claim the label when there are folks who have to deal with a lot more challenges than I do on a daily basis. But in terms of thinking of ADD-ish symptoms as something that can be worked with, rather than a failure of some sort, it's very empathetic and helpful.

Also, Listening to Prozac is written from the perspective of a doctor wrestling with transformations in his patients: if he puts a patient on Prozac and she's better than she's ever been, and she says, "I feel like myself," what does that mean? It's a different tone, but it might address some of the ambivalence you're feeling about functioning with or without drugs.
jennielf
Mar. 12th, 2009 09:36 pm (UTC)
I have heard of both books, the first one is one I have yet to find but want to read really badly.

*sigh* OK OK i will go get it off Amazon right now, sheesh. :)

Thanks for the kind words.
( 12 Tummy Rubs — Pet Angela? )