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Author Topic: Adult ADDers on Ornery?
jedilaw
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Not meaning to get overly personal about people's medical issues, but I'm curious: how many adults on this board are currently being treated for ADD/ADHD? I'm asking only because the prior conventional wisdom was that kids and adolescents had ADD, but grew out of it as adults. I personally was 31 before I ever got diagnosed, so I obviously never outgrew it. I think adults dealing with ADD may give some insight into the whole under-diagnosed v. over-diagnosed debate, which begs another question: for those with ADD, how many were diagnosed as kids and continued treatment as adults?

My answer:

ADD diagnosis last spring at age 31, apparently a mix of inattention and impulse-control ADD. I take Adderall and Welbutrin to control it, and they work pretty well as long as I get my sleep.

Anyone else willing to share some insights?

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ben5
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what is ADD?
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musket
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I got it (and a bunch of other pain in the ass weird wiring too). I take Strattera, does help. Probably always had it, judging by the way I was as a kid, but never got treatement for it. Going on 55 now and I still have it.

[ April 06, 2004, 11:19 AM: Message edited by: musket ]

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Everard
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Saw a study recently that suggests watching television as a young child can cause ADD. For every hour per day children under three watch, they have a 10% increased chance of showing symptoms of ADD by age 7.

No results for post age 7 in that study.

I just have chronic depression, or a long cycle form of bipolar disorder. Probably the former.

[ April 06, 2004, 11:18 AM: Message edited by: Everard ]

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msquared
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Ben
What rock have you been under? [Smile]

ADD/ADHD is Attention Deficit Disorder/Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorder.

I was diagnosed 35 years ago. I spent all of my school years. I took Ritilan every school day, in the morning and at noon. I did not take it in the evenings or on weekends.

I went off of it during college and probably should not have.

I went back on it about 8 years ago when I was in an office area with no walls or doors. I found it almost impossible to stay on task. I now have a small office and it is much easier to stay on task, except for this damn site. [Smile]

My twin brother also has ADD.

msquared

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jedilaw
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I think there's a compelling argument to be made that ADD is less a defect/syndrome than it is a particular set of evolutionary wiring more applicable to rapid-response situations like hunting, et cetera than to the sedentary life of an industrialized society. It's also interesting to note that quite a few majorly important scientists appear to have had it, particularly Edison, Marconi, and Einstein.

Does anyone have any personal anecdotal evidence to suggest that for some folks it is outgrown, but not for others?

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Ray Bingham
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Ev: It's probably depression, though lows and highs in regular cycle are actually a normal part of being alive and human. Bipolars usually flipflop from extreme joys/highs to lows multiple times a week, often the same in a day, or even within an hour. (Many bipolars also don't like any form of medication, because it levels them out, and they don't want to be level, cuz they miss the highs...)

I don't know what I have... but I'm fairly certain I'm a freak.

--Ray

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Everard
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Ray-
Bipolar isn't necessarily a short-cycle, though thats the common perception. There are definetely cases of people with 2 year cycles who have bipolar disorder.
While I agree I most likely ahve chronic depression, bipolar disorder is what runs in the family, so I try to keep an open mind on it being possible

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pickled shuttlecock
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Mild to moderate ADHD here, never medicated. My mother refused when I was in elementary school, and instead watched my sleep and sugar intake. There was also this red dye that set me off...

I cope just fine, for the most part. My wife helps a lot by arranging my school schedule for me. [Smile]

I'm with jedilaw on this one. I don't think it's an illness, but a positively-selected behavior. It just happens to be a detriment at the majority of jobs available nowadays, so it's not really appreciated. My best advice for someone with it: find something you love to do that doesn't require you to concentrate on a single thing all day.

Like any other genetic behavior, it has an environmental component. I'd guess that's where the television watching-ADD/ADHD correlation comes from.

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jedilaw
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I'd say television trains the mind to expect information in certain very very short intervals, which over time would tend to shorten one's effective attention span.
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simplybiological
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i'd hesistate to say it's a positively-selected behavior, not anymore. if anything, it would be an artifact of previous selection, it certainly isn't under selection now (unless you ADD boys are better at gettin' ladies?).

i really don't think there's enough known about it to say much of anything. i have no problem with the assertion that it's probably both genetic and environmental (as are so many things), but to say that it evolved for an adaptive reason is more than a little premature given what is known.

i get bored easily, but i'd say that's everyone else's problem and not mine. [Wink]

does anyone know (i'm too lazy to look) if ADD is diagnosed equally among men and women? when i was a camp counselor i had WAY more boys on ritalin than girls, and i always wondered if that was representative of a real difference. i haven't met many (any?) adult females who still take medication for ADD, though i'm sure there are some.

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pickled shuttlecock
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From what I've read (no links, sorry), it's much more prevalent in boys and men than girls and women. Boys are also more likely to be diagnosed with ADHD (with Hyperactivity) than girls.

It's difficult to say, though, whether this is due to our de-facto rejection of objective differences between men and women, and the subsequent redefinition of "normal range of behavior." It could be that, or that it's actually linked to gender.

I go with the former, but I have nothing to back me up. [Smile]

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jedilaw
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SB, it's mroe involved than easily getting bored. If I don't have the Adderall, at the right dosage, I tend to find my mind "switching channels" constantly, sometimes 3-4 times per minute. If I have multiple tasks in progress the problem gets much worse. Simple boredome I could take care of by reading or something.
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pickled shuttlecock
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I don't think SB was equating ADD/ADHD with boredom. Probably just trying to be part of the "in" crowd, by finding a common trait... [Big Grin]
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Omega M.
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You know, my father always says that "people only know what you tell them."
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Ilmari
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Heh, I originally though this thread was about 'Advanced Dungeons & Dragons'.

Anyway, I wanted to ask the people on this board - is ADD something that's mostly an American thing or something, as I've never heard of such a thing in Finland. I supposed it may have something to do with Americans watching more TV, if the recent study is correct, but I would imagine that that would cause the Japanese to get a lot of it too, since they are (at least they were a few years back) the number one TV watching nation in the world.

- Ilmari

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simplybiological
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yeah, i wasn't implying that it was boredom, i was just making a joke.

i DO think that some kids who are bored in school are misdiagnosed as ADD, though.

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jedilaw
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Yeah, there's misdiagnosis going on, just as there is frequent misapplication of the term "gifted." Basically, anyone with a kid who can get high grades wants to have that kid classed as gifted, when the truth is high academic achievement isn't at all what the "gifted" label is meant to signify.

Bottom line, we spend too much time labeling kids officially nowadays.

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Anglachel
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I've forgotten what it was I was going to write.
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drewmie
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LOL. Good one. I'm ADD, and my 4 year-old daughter is SERIOUSLY ADHD, though she's too young for us to know yet whether it's Asberger Syndrome or other similar things. Whenever we read parenting horror stories, we look at each other like, "They don't even KNOW what tough kids are like."

My daughter is also extremely intelligent, which often seems to go hand-in-hand with ADHD. She picks up on things that I didn't get until I was a teenager. When she was 2, she would explain all about her unborn younger sister in my wife's uterus (and yes, she used that word). And she asks so many follow-up questions! Going from "Where do babies come from?" to "How does Daddy put the baby in you zackly?" took about 2 seconds. (P.S.- That's how she says "exactly.")

It constantly amazes us how such an intelligent girl can miss the most obvious things because of her hyperactive brain. It's like she's a brilliant moron. And it can be very taxing on us as parents.

P.S.- My daughter's excuse for never wanting to go to bed at night? "I'm nocturnal."

[ April 06, 2004, 11:58 PM: Message edited by: drewmie ]

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jedilaw
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...very taxing on spouses of brilliant morons, too. Ask my wife (if I may presume to add "brilliant" in front of my moron status).
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Mr Xin Ku
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ADD is one of the most commonly overdiagnosed and underdiagnosed syndromes. The most common scenario is that a kid is difficult in class, a frustrated teacher tells the parents that they believe the child is ADHD, the parent takes the kid to the doctor and the doctor says, "okay, lets try them on Ritalin."

I figured out that I was ADD in graduate school. If I had the choice whether or not to retain my ADD tendencies I would keep them. I just wish I had figured out better coping strategies earlier. I was two courses and a dissertation short of a Ph.D., and fell short in large part due to an inability to manage my symtoms. (I'm getting by fine with a master's in my field).

Nobody picked up on my ADD because I was one of the "ADHD without the H" kids, which it sounds like a lot of you were. I think Ornery has the right kind of reinforcement schedule to keep ADD folks tuned in (I had been wondering how people had so much time to post on Ornery -- now I realize many of you are probably like me: "Hey, this boring task can wait until I quickly check the Ornery forum."

There are oceans of literature out there, with some better than others. I will check my books when I get back to my office and post what I believe are the most helpful. I would love to hear from you about what you feel like have the most valuable resources/books in regard to understanding and managing ADD. E.g., "You Mean I'm not Lazy, Stupid, or Crazy?" "Driven to Distraction"

I keep thinking I should specialize in treating adult ADD, but since I can barely manage my own life I'll hold off til I figure it out.

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pseudoCode
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I was "suspeceted" to have it by a therapist about a year ago, but dismissed any form of treatment.

And, yes, simplybiological, I have been extremely succesful with the ladies [Wink]

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Anglachel
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Just in case anybody is interested. There is a book I've encountered that offers very compelling observations about ADD. Its called, "Healing ADD" by Daniel G. Amen, a doctor specializing in it.

Basically what’s interesting is that they injected patients with radioactive isotopes (about an x-ray's worth), and scanned blood distribution within the brain. What it showed was a strong correlation between ADD patients and certain abnormal distributions of blood; there being different distributions for the different types, like ADD and ADHD.

For example (doing this from memory so don't beat me over the head with this if I screw up); Type 2 ADD (non hyperactive) shows that under stress (when concentration is necessary), blood flow decreases to a frontal region of the brain rather than increases (which is the normal response). This is significant as (according to the author) this part of the brain is key to focusing. So a decrease in blood flow causes a lack of concentration, and thus the attention deficit symptom. Also this suggests why a stimulant like Ritalin would have a calming effect, because it increases blood flow to that area of the brain, increasing concentration under stress, and the Ritalin taker shows symptoms of calm.

I don't know how respected this author is, but his evidence is compelling in and of itself. I'd suggest it for those who are dubious of the existence of the disorder.

[ April 09, 2004, 01:36 PM: Message edited by: Anglachel ]

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Gary
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I can tell you one thing for certain about ADD is ... hey, look at that ...

[Big Grin]

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Pete at Home
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I have ADD (not ADHD), and was diagnosed with it when I was 23. I wish I'd been diagnosed earlier, since Adderol made concentration so much easier. I botched all my math classes in college, and I think that if I'd had Adderol I'd have been able to do them well.

We are home schooling our 3 sons. Boys generally get screwed by the school system, and ADD boys doubly so. [Frown]

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msquared
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I don't know. I turned out pretty well. [Smile]

Of course I was medicated through all of my schooling, but I never seemed that bothered by it. At the time we did not have to go the the school nurse to take our meds. ( I say we as I am a twin and I always seem to fall into the we mode when talking about my childhood).

I had a small metal pill container and I would take my pills when our schedule required it. Not a really bid deal.

msquared

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0Megabyte
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Well, my younger step-brother has been diagnosed with ADHD, so I know a good deal about it. We tried Ridilin on him, and though it worked, the negative effects on him were too great, so we are now using Straterra, which is apparently not causing him any real negative effects. I must say, though, this kid REALLY has it... he's completely hyperactive without it, bouncing off the walls, literally, etcetra... and though the meds calm him down, he's still quite a... rambunctious... little kid, even WITH meds.
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