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 Post subject: any ADD peeps here?
PostPosted: Sat Feb 09, 2013 6:07 am 
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Talk to me about coping with it!
Do you take pills? Are they vegan? My neurologist prescribed 10mg Ritalin and 30mg Ritalin LA, both contain gelatin and the first also has lactose. This sucks immensely, but not taking them isn't an option if I want to survive college :( Any other options? Also, what do you do to survive the mid-slow-release jitters? From the expected 8-hour effect I get maybe 4 productive ones, 2 at a time. The rest is like my brain was sucked out by aliens and replaced with a bunch of kittens (which could be awesome, but. finals.)

Tips? Tricks? Magic spells?


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 Post subject: Re: any ADD peeps here?
PostPosted: Sat Feb 09, 2013 8:16 am 
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I don't have it, but my 9yr old nephew has and the medication makes all the difference to his life. It took him about 3 weeks to adjust to the meds but his behaviour, social skills and education have all improved since he started them.

Don't beat yourself up about the gelatine, lots of us have to take non vegan meds, it's unavoidable. I've just been prescribed betablockers for chronic migraines and they're slow release gelatine capsules, the thought of it does gross me out but if it helps my health.

Good luck! xxx


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 Post subject: Re: any ADD peeps here?
PostPosted: Sat Feb 09, 2013 8:21 am 
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I have a mild ADD. I was prescribed medicine in high school but hated how it made me feel (I was not vegan then, just veggie and not cognizant of things like gelatin in medecine, however) so I stopped. It hasn't been an issue for me but I imagine it could be for many. I hope you find the best way for yourself soon!

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 Post subject: Re: any ADD peeps here?
PostPosted: Sat Feb 09, 2013 9:47 am 
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I was diagnosed as an adult. It was a big relief! Medication (adderall 10mg 2x/day) has improved my focus (and therefore my confidence!) and educating myself on ADD has explained a lot. I would REALLY recommend the books "Driven to Distraction: Recognizing and Coping with ADD from Childhood to Adulthood" and "ADD and the College Student".

Years ago I tried Straterra, which gave me bad side effects such as having to leave a crowded lecture to throw up my breakfast. After that happened a few times, it appeared to be counterintutive to take it: not learning anything if I'm spending the class period in the bathroom! Thankfully, Adderall hasn't caused any noticeable side effects. I am not on the extended release or whatever it's called, but perhaps you could try that?


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 Post subject: Re: any ADD peeps here?
PostPosted: Sat Feb 09, 2013 11:16 am 
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Dr Bronners, MD
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edgehog wrote:
Talk to me about coping with it!
Do you take pills? Are they vegan? My neurologist prescribed 10mg Ritalin and 30mg Ritalin LA, both contain gelatin and the first also has lactose. This sucks immensely, but not taking them isn't an option if I want to survive college :( Any other options? Also, what do you do to survive the mid-slow-release jitters? From the expected 8-hour effect I get maybe 4 productive ones, 2 at a time. The rest is like my brain was sucked out by aliens and replaced with a bunch of kittens (which could be awesome, but. finals.)


I do. I was undiagnosed until after I'd already dropped out of college (but managed to to get a good job anyway-- tech support and eventually system administration actually works well for ADD people). I've been medicated on and off. At this point I've managed to find ways to work without meds, but it has taken some hardcore life management and I wouldn't be where I am now if I hadn't had meds for a while. Don't use my example of how to do things. It's harder to get tech jobs without a degree than it was in 1994... 8)

You should talk to your doctor about how the meds are effecting you-- you shouldn't get a mid-release jittery thing. There are other medications that work pretty well and have different method of slow-release-- I took Focalin XR for a while, and it worked pretty well, without any dosage thing.

One thing I noticed, though, was that with the meds, I would forget to eat. Then when they started to wear off I'd be suddenly really really hungry-- like, shakes and brain turning to jelly and stuff and totally unable to function. So, make sure you get a good breakfast and don't forget to eat...

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 Post subject: Re: any ADD peeps here?
PostPosted: Sat Feb 09, 2013 11:17 am 
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Dr Bronners, MD
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Abelskiver wrote:
I would REALLY recommend the books "Driven to Distraction: Recognizing and Coping with ADD from Childhood to Adulthood" and "ADD and the College Student".



Yes, "Driven to Distraction" is a pretty fantastic book.

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 Post subject: Re: any ADD peeps here?
PostPosted: Sat Feb 09, 2013 11:20 am 
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I am diagnosed and on medication. Biggest realization for me has been the importance of regular sleep and eating habits. The medication is useless if I don't sleep and eat enough. I have to do some stuff to structure my week, like making meals on the weekend and going to bed early, so the medication can actually help me.


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 Post subject: Re: any ADD peeps here?
PostPosted: Sat Feb 09, 2013 11:39 am 
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I was diagnosed as an adult. Medication makes a world of difference to me, but I've been off it for several years now due to pregnancy and nursing. During this period, I've been just working a lot on the things I can control, like making schedules for myself and following them, lots of lists, etc. It's not great but I'm getting by and it's not forever.

For me, the benefit of the medication outweighed the non-vegan ingredients, as it would for any medication I needed to function.

ETA: and I wanted to +1 the sentiment of relief re: diagnosis. My whole life, I felt like the most genuinely stupid, lazy person. Like the problem was that I just wasn't trying hard enough to be organized/sit still/pay attention/etc etc. Medication was such a revelation for me the first time. I remember sitting there and thinking oh my god, so this is what it's like to just think one thing at one time! This is what it's like to complete a thought! Etc.

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 Post subject: Re: any ADD peeps here?
PostPosted: Sat Feb 09, 2013 11:56 am 
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SO TRUE. A giant relief. Especially after reading those books, because things that didn't seem related (like feeling sleepy in the afternoon, relationship problems) made much more sense.


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 Post subject: Re: any ADD peeps here?
PostPosted: Sat Feb 09, 2013 1:33 pm 
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Thanks guys! You're all wonderful. Definitely getting some reading done in spring break.

I felt so stupid getting diagnosed, I sort of figured no one ever concentrates on one thing really. But then meds! Jeez. Still playing with the dose, though it seems to take forever - clinic always has month-long waiting times and, well, semesters are only 14 weeks. Ritalin LA is supposedly extended release-ish... Are larger doses supposed to last longer than small ones?


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 Post subject: Re: any ADD peeps here?
PostPosted: Sun Feb 10, 2013 2:09 am 
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edgehog wrote:
. Ritalin LA is supposedly extended release-ish... Are larger doses supposed to last longer than small ones?


Not for straight-up Ritalin. (I don't know about the LA version.)

I like ritalin because it pretty much metabolizes and is out of your body in under 4 hours. In my case it was about 3 and a half, and it was a pretty quick switch. At 3:15 I'd be medicated, and by 3:20 I'd feel it going, and by 3:30 or 3:35 I'd be totally unmedicated. It was quite convenient for planning things like when I wanted to go to sleep. I could take some in the morning, it'd wear off in time to eat lunch, and then take it in the afternoon and it would be gone in time for me to go home and putz around spacily at night before bed.

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 Post subject: Re: any ADD peeps here?
PostPosted: Sun Feb 10, 2013 12:08 pm 
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My husband has pretty severe ADD and can not handle the medications. He was on them as a child and they made him in to a complete zombie. He has "self medicated" with marijuana since high school - that's probably the only way he got through high school and college. It also helps with his anxiety, but he takes actual medication for that.

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 Post subject: Re: any ADD peeps here?
PostPosted: Sun Feb 10, 2013 12:47 pm 
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solipsistnation wrote:
edgehog wrote:
. Ritalin LA is supposedly extended release-ish... Are larger doses supposed to last longer than small ones?


Not for straight-up Ritalin. (I don't know about the LA version.)

I like ritalin because it pretty much metabolizes and is out of your body in under 4 hours. In my case it was about 3 and a half, and it was a pretty quick switch. At 3:15 I'd be medicated, and by 3:20 I'd feel it going, and by 3:30 or 3:35 I'd be totally unmedicated. It was quite convenient for planning things like when I wanted to go to sleep. I could take some in the morning, it'd wear off in time to eat lunch, and then take it in the afternoon and it would be gone in time for me to go home and putz around spacily at night before bed.


The extended release is similar to the multi-dose one in that it lasts a certain amount of time regardless of dosage, but that amount of time will vary depending on your personal metabolism. I think the average is like 11 hours but I always found it to be shorter than that.

Personally, I hated the XR because it meant I had to have all my "good" hours in one block, rather than say, taking my meds before I needed to do my work study, then 5 or 6 hours later when I needed to go to a class, then 6 or 7 hours after that when I was home doing schoolwork, etc. I don't know if it would have mattered as much to me if I wasn't in school.

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 Post subject: Re: any ADD peeps here?
PostPosted: Sun Feb 10, 2013 3:37 pm 
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I still haven't figured out the right rhythm for me and the meds, but it's going okay. I have the regular Ritalin and take it three times a day. I was diagnosed as an adult and I second the relief that came with the diagnosis. I have a history of crazy perfectionism and procrastination and difficulty prioritizing that is explained in part by the ADD diagnosis. I also deal with depression and cycles of failure could trigger depressive episodes.

I'm not sure how genetic this whole thing is, but my brother and father are both diagnosed. They never pegged me as such growing up because I wasn't hyperactive like my brother and I had good grades. However, no one was around to see how long it took me to get started on school assignments or the many all-nighters I pulled as a result.

I self medicated for a long time, mostly through caffeine and other stimulants. Not surprisingly, I guess, this is what kept me away from seeking help for it. I was afraid that if I told doctors I was taking stimulants and guzzling caffeine in various forms that they would just think I was trying to "get drugs." It turns out, after talking with my psychologist while dealing with my depression, that this is important information for the doctor giving the diagnosis.

I still drink caffeine, but not in the huge quantities as before. I need to cut down on the tea I drink at school or at least replace it with herbal stuff, because I can tell it messes with my flow. Now I treat myself to a soda or a homemade latte once a week. Before I would drink 6-8 cups of coffee when I was really struggling to get work done.


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 Post subject: Re: any ADD peeps here?
PostPosted: Fri Feb 15, 2013 8:27 pm 
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I took concerta for awhile (I think its the super long release ritalin stuff) and I was just shaky tired by the end of the day. Now I take the shorter duration ritalin and it works so much better and overall its a smaller amount of meds in a day. it has helped, but sometimes it does seem to do that backfiring thing and make me more tired, so I don't understand that.

Its definitely helped with sleeping switching to the shorter term one too!

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 Post subject: Re: any ADD peeps here?
PostPosted: Fri Feb 15, 2013 10:30 pm 
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lycophyte wrote:
I took concerta for awhile (I think its the super long release ritalin stuff) and I was just shaky tired by the end of the day. Now I take the shorter duration ritalin and it works so much better and overall its a smaller amount of meds in a day. it has helped, but sometimes it does seem to do that backfiring thing and make me more tired, so I don't understand that.


Well, it's a stimulant. It runs you harder during the day-- your brain works a little better, but your body is also effected by the stimulant, so you burn more energy. Even if you kick up your food intake to match, you end up tired because you use more energy than you take in.

And in my experience, if I was all hopped up on the ritalin and forgot to eat (because it's a super appetite suppressant), I would crash HARD when it wore off.

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 Post subject: Re: any ADD peeps here?
PostPosted: Sat Feb 16, 2013 1:25 pm 
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Yes...eating is crucial. If you have to set a timer to remind yourself to eat, do that. I had to for a while. I had a bad habit of not eating anyway and then when I started on the medication, it got worse since I wasn't so hungry.

I'm still trying to figure out the best regimen for me. Right now I take the first pill whenever I wake up, which is usually somewhere around 7 or 8 a.m. Then I take the second around 12:15 and the third around 3:30, though I've taken it as late as 5 or 6. I have a hard time gauging how well I do or tracking how I feel.

Anyone have recommendations or a good way to figure this out? I started on this regimen because it was what the doctor recommended, but I'm not sure it's always best for me.


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 Post subject: Re: any ADD peeps here?
PostPosted: Thu May 22, 2014 3:38 pm 
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Hey, anyone have any suggestions for things like making schedules, getting organized, etc? Has anyone worked with a life coach or ADD coach and found it helpful? I feel like I need help with some life skills and creating structure for myself. Or maybe I should try adjusting my meds again ;)

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 Post subject: Re: any ADD peeps here?
PostPosted: Thu May 22, 2014 4:09 pm 
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Abelskiver wrote:
feeling sleepy in the afternoon


Is this one of the aspects of ADD?


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 Post subject: Re: any ADD peeps here?
PostPosted: Thu May 22, 2014 6:23 pm 
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8ball wrote:
Abelskiver wrote:
feeling sleepy in the afternoon


Is this one of the aspects of ADD?


It is for my husband when his meds start to crepe out.

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 Post subject: Re: any ADD peeps here?
PostPosted: Sat May 24, 2014 2:23 am 
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Kiddo wrote:
Hey, anyone have any suggestions for things like making schedules, getting organized, etc? Has anyone worked with a life coach or ADD coach and found it helpful? I feel like I need help with some life skills and creating structure for myself. Or maybe I should try adjusting my meds again ;)


I haven't worked with a coach or anything, but I have been seeing a therapist and we've talked about these things. It's hard. For someone diagnosed with ADHD as an adult, you don't realize how many unhealthy coping mechanisms you've developed to get by in the workplace and socially. For me those things are procrastinating, zoning out to avoid work, etc. The medicine doesn't make these things go away. In fact, it can make it worse if you choose to focus on the wrong things. For example, if I decide to zone out in my RSS feed or on social media, I'm super into it thanks to the medication. That doesn't help things!

I would try to work with the dose you have, but obviously talk to your health care provider (the one prescribing the meds) to see what you can do. Maybe you do need a dose adjustment. Everyone is different.

I work with a digital calendar and live by it. I only put "hard landscape" (a GTD term) on there, so nothing like "work on X project", because my mind knows that's a trick and that it's not really a hard date or deadline. I try to use some GTD elements in my work. It's not perfect - nowhere near it - but I try.

One thing my therapist pointed out is that there really are people who thrive on pressure and deadlines, regardless of being ADHD or not. I am coming to terms with the fact that I might be that type of person and that I may never be the organized, working on projects in pieces type of person. It's frustrating because I imagined myself in a certain way once I started the medication, but reality is quite different.

I can't emphasize the importance of a regular schedule, if possible. Regardless of what is on deck for work that day, try to get up at the same time and go to bed at the same time. Also, eat at regular intervals. If I get hungry my medication is useless and it usually screws me up for the rest of the day. I had a rough week and skipped a lot of meals and everything suffered for it.


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 Post subject: Re: any ADD peeps here?
PostPosted: Sat May 24, 2014 7:46 am 
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FWIW, I recently learned that "Delayed Sleep Phase Disorder" is correlated with ADD/ADHD. I thought I would mention it as I've Googled on it since discovering it and in comment section I've seen many "I wish I would have known about this years ago" comments.

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 Post subject: Re: any ADD peeps here?
PostPosted: Sun May 25, 2014 8:22 am 
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Kiddo wrote:
Hey, anyone have any suggestions for things like making schedules, getting organized, etc? Has anyone worked with a life coach or ADD coach and found it helpful? I feel like I need help with some life skills and creating structure for myself. Or maybe I should try adjusting my meds again ;)


i've worked with a coach. i'm pretty good at getting organized and setting up schedules, but appallingly bad at maintaining them and my coach was really helpful with that. she would help me make sure that my schedule was realistic (wait, you mean i can instantaneously teleport from one appointment to the next?) and i would check in with her about my progress on a project or goal.

my best suggestions for putting together schedules and getting organized and such are:
1. don't try to do everything at once: i have had more luck making one change at a time.

2. try to anticipate what will go wrong and pre-plan how you will deal with it. for example, i tend to overpack my schedule and then something will pop up/something takes longer than i thought/i procrastinate and then i'm totally doomed. so now when i'm structuring my schedule for the week, i try to allot some time wednesday and friday afternoons to be spillover time. thats when i finish up the tasks that didn't get done the when i thought they would. and on a really good week or a week when my supervisor is out of the office so no one is interrupting me with new work, i use that time to get a head start on something else or clean out my desk.

3. the only way i can keep organized is by not having much stuff. throwing stuff away is my hobby. i just don't have the energy (physical or mental) to move stuff around all the time.


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 Post subject: Re: any ADD peeps here?
PostPosted: Sun May 25, 2014 1:18 pm 
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I have some slight ADHD. Not diagnosed but I self medicate with my own amphetamines. It really helps.


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 Post subject: Re: any ADD peeps here?
PostPosted: Sun May 25, 2014 4:40 pm 
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Potato wrote:
I have some slight ADHD. Not diagnosed but I self medicate with my own amphetamines. It really helps.


This is not a good idea for all the reasons you already know. If you truly believe that you have ADHD and you're not just being sarcastic, it's worth doing whatever you can to actually get evaluated rather than self medicate.

Even though it's a known phenomenon that many people self medicate in different ways when they don't have access to appropriate medical care, a history of street drug use (or Rx drug abuse) will make it much less likely that a doctor will be willing to prescribe you the medication that works best for you when you do finally get in for an evaluation.


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