I'm 40 something, I was looking at a website to see what the latest info is on learning disabilities (I have that too)..
On the website they said... and people with learning disabilities are more likely to have ADD, click here for more info...
So I did, and I started reading... It was the first time that I had really learned anything about it. Oh sure, I had seen the sterotype stuff on tv of kids going bonkers in a grocery market, and I did not identify with that at all...
But then I went to this website and started reading and it was almost like dejavu ... I just kept saying, oh my god, thats me...
And so I did more and more reading and eveything I was finding just kept confirming it. So then I decided to see a doctor.
And that was the really hard part... there are not many doctors out there for adults with ADD (just for children), until fairly recently it was believed that everyone outgrew it... Well it just is not so, I am proof of that.
So finally after more than a month of search I found a clinic (a referal from a Psyc). I made an appointment and when I arrieved discovered that I was there on the first day of the clinic being open... that's how new it was...
Anyway, I have been getting treatment for about 4 months now and it has helped. I am doing a lot better. I am making a lot of progress in putting the pices of my life together and actually starting to have a life. I will tell you, that for me it has been and endless nightmare and without ever knowing why I was so incapable of doing what was expected of me, or even what I wanted to do... This was especially puzzeling because I have a very high IQ and am pretty energetic. but somehow have a real problem staying focused on what needs to be done.
my doctor is always pointing out that the meds are not a mgic bullet, they won't turn you into superman overnight. but it will assist you, just like glasses help you to see better.
As far as meds go... well, ritilian has been around for a long time and so out of habit that it what doctors who do not know much about the field are going to feel comfortable with. But there is newer and better stuff available. If you are feeling shaky at times then you are on the wrong meds... everybodies metabolism is different. you need to find what will work for you. there are no magic formulas for this, that also goes for finding the right doseage level.
Choice of meds is also a fairly controversial subject, there is potential for side effects ect. From my standpoint I decided that it was a calculated risk worth taking. the benifit outwheighed the risk. but you might decide otherwise.
Anyway there have been a lot of negative things said about ADD and about meds, but these things are all being said by people who have never had to deal with it in a real way. On the other hand, I can tell you the huge negative impact it has had on my life and how things could have been so much different if only somebody had diagnosed it instead of blaming it on dicipline or emotional problems...
As far as meds, from the reading I had done, it seemed like dexadrine was a better choice than ritilian, but my doctor suggested I try adderal which I did, and it seems to be working pretty well for me. for one thing, it is a combination of a fast acting and a slow acting drug so you get a faster start and smoother sustained effect.
As far as addicition, goes. well some people have addictive personalities, it is possible to become additiecd to just about anything. But, speaking for myself, I do not have any craving etc for the meds. in fact I would prefer not to be taking them, but I do it because it does help and taking them is better than not taking them.
One thing though, when the meds wear off there is often a kick back, and effect in which you feel worse than if you were not taking the drug. but this is considerd normal and they try to pace the dose so that it wears off while you are asleep. so you don't notice the kickback.
the other thing I find is that sometimes I think, "I feel fine, there is nothing wrong with me, why should I be taking these meds". So then I "forget" to take them for a couple of days and reality sets in. gee, I forgot how bad it was, how difficult it was before I started taking the meds....
Sometimes I need that contrast, jsut to remind myself of how much the meds are helping. because when you are on the meds you really dont notice so much, how much better you are actually functioning. But when the meds wear off thats when you really can notice the difference in how hard it is to function without it. So, no, it is not an addiction in the usual sense of feeling compelled to take the meds. but it is a high motivation to not have to revert to the state where everything is such a hard struggle.
actually, the worst thing about the meds is that when I sweat i really small bad... can't stand the smell so i take lots of showers and use extra deoderant.
As for what to do next... the very best thing that you can do is to read some books. There was still a question mark in me even after reading tons of stuff on the web, about how real it was. perhaps it was just denial... but I really wanted to be certain.. the ADD clinic gave me a list of books to read prior to the appointment.
After reading daredevils and daydreamers there was no longer any doubt in my mind, I knew whith absolute certainty that I was ADD. But I still had some concersn about some of the things that I had experienced, things that I was somewhat afraid to ask about... so then I read another book
You mean Im not lazy stuipd or crazy?
And that book was astonishing, it described and explained everything that I'd experienced, it was such a huge relief.
Driven to Distraction is also an excellent book
one of the hardest parts of course is the cost... the doctors are very expensive and so are the meds. (FredMyer seems cheapest). I'm having a real hard time paying for all of this stuff... I dont have any answers for that one yet...
You need to find a really good doctor, it makes a huge difference...
Well, anyway, good luck,
Here are some links that I found to be helpful.