Bartelby Ain't Got Nothing On Me
December 20, 2010 7:25 PM Subscribe
I've been diagnosed as ADD/ADHD by 3 separate professionals through my life and on medication to treat it for nearly a year. The meds don't work, and I've been on a lot of them (i.e. Ritalin, Vyvanse, Strattera and now Adderall.) How can I give myself a swift kick in the butt to become a productive, organized individual?
I'm a woman of Midwestern extraction in her early 30's. I have always, ALWAYS had problems with time management, organization and procrastination. (In fact, I've wanted to write this question for months.) If you give me a "Could YOU have ADHD?" exam, I'd pass it. I can be inattentive, interrupting and impatient early and often.
Furthermore, these behaviors can be seen in most of my maternal relatives. My mom was medicated for ADHD for a while, but I think she stopped because she didn't want to become dependent on the medication?
These problems have manifested themselves in my surroundings, my relationships and my career. My house/dorm room/apartment/office/car has always been messy, I've been fired from a couple of jobs due to poor performance brought on by my problems, and my husband is at his wits' end with me because of what he sees as my lack of inaction.
I could write a novel about what I've given up and settled for due to the way I am. Most of the time, I feel like I've dug a big hole for myself that I can never escape.
This would be a convenient time to mention that I've been depressed and anxious for much of my life. The list of antidepressants I've been on is legion. In fact, when I was first diagnosed as ADHD at 21, I was prescribed Wellbutrin. The doctor felt that it would help my ADHD and depression. Instead, I went into an year-long episode (not helped by the removal of my thyroid and subsequent thyroid cancer treatment) that left me hospitalized one night and suicidal for much of that year.
A few years later, another psychatrist diagnosed me as Bipolar II based on my recounting of my behavior during that time.
But enough about that. What do I take today? Every day, I take 2.5 mgs of Abilify, 60 mgs of generic regular Adderall, and 200 mcgs of Levothyroxine. The last time I had my thyroid hormone levels checked was in September.
I started taking the ADD meds last January. Vyvanse didn't do anything except give me a dry mouth, Strattera gave me wicked insomnia, Ritalin did nothing. Adderall? It keeps me upbeat and works with the Abilify to make me think that I'm more than a burden to others.
None of these drugs gave me the life changing experience I've seen other MeFi users mention. None of these drugs make me want to do more than surf the web, stuff my face and sleep.
I recongize my problems need to be solved by me and not a pill I take daily. But where do I begin? I recently got out of therapy after a couple of years with the same therapist... we were doing CBT but I couldn't stay focused on the same issue for more than a few weeks at a time due to a flareup of something I'd see as a crisis. I've tried GTD and the various to do lists online. I've tried FlyLady. I've tried willpower. But I always fail.
I've talked to my current psychatrist about how the ADD meds aren't providing me with results. (I am satisfied with the Abilify; I wish I weren't on a antipsychotic, but there you go.) He said he didn't have much else for me. Have I not tried hard enough?
Has anyone out there been in the same boat? How did you change your course?
(tl;dr: I have ADHD or something closely resembling it. I also have had a bipolar II diagnosis and am hypothyroid. I've been medicated for ADHD consistently since last January. In that time, I've been on four medications with little success. I recongize that a pill isn't a panacea, but other methods I've tried to improve my procrastination and disorganization haven't worked. Have you been in my shoes? What's worked for you?)