Tuesday, May 26, 2020

Comments by crazyhead

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  • I also disagree with the idea that there is no such thing as ADHD. I was labeled “hyper” as a child and drove my mother crazy as she reports that I rarely slept more than 4 hours a night, was constantly climbing things and taking risks such as climbing up onto the roof when I was three and dancing around. My mother was told that girls do not “get” ADHD and she was told to limit my sugar and red food coloring. Ha! Of course, the idea that sugar or food dyes make children more “hyper” has long been disbunked but I grew up deprived of Kool-Aid and popsicles and it did nothing to help. I also got straight A’s in school and was labeled gifted. However, once in high school, things began to get far more difficult for me as I had not developed any study skills (bs-ing their way through things is part of the magic of ADHD-we are great scanners and think best when under pressure). I had a horrible time sitting still and took to coming up with my own coping mechanisms that I had no idea were abnormal-I thought everyone had to chew an entire 24 pack of gum to sit still in algebra! I had to doodle in order to focus, or tap my fingers, shake my leg, sing songs in my head, and constantly sharpen pencils, make trips to the restroom and reorganize my bookbag to keep from literally crawling out of my skin trying to sit still. College was the same. Fast forward to my late thirties; I had a challenging job as a social worker, three children, a home, etc to manage…it all began to crumble as I could not stay organized or remain focused, I talked way too fast for most people and could never find anything I was looking for. My supervisor suggested I get evaluated. So, at 37, I was evaluated and diagnosed with ADHD and prescribed medicine. So many people on here have said that unless you’ve taken the drug, don’t give it to your children so here it is…the first time I took my Vyvanse, I actually called my mother to ask if I was talking really, really slow. She thought I was crazy but for the first time, I experienced what I think most people have as normal speed thoughts and processes. The whole world slowed down and I was able to listen to one song for the entire duration and not change the station 15 times, I could actually “listen” to what people were saying to me instead of pretending to listen while my brain was doing it’s “bullet train of thought on steroids” thing. I could remain calm in traffic instead of getting aggravated. What my doctor told me was that the medication doesn’t fix things but it slows your thoughts down enough for you to learn to be organized, learn social skills, learn life strategies that will carry over when you are not medicated and in my experience, this is very true. I still take my medication for work, but on the weekends I don’t (I like to eat and it does suppress my appetite some and dry my mouth out badly), but I can still follow routines and structure I put into place while medicated to ease frustration and stress. It’s real and medication has changed my life dramatically. And I was never in trouble in school, got good grades and was considered bright-but I couldn’t sit still to save myself and couldn’t organize myself out of a paper bag!