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ADD (Inattentive), BP, and treatment

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One pnurse went through my records, and based on his interactions with me and knowing me, along with my test scores on a diagnostic test, decided I have ADD. I agree with this assessment. However, his supervising dr. doesn't agree. he thinks the ADD is a part of the mania of bipolar disorder. It is funny that the ADD doesn't respond to my BP drugs, so i agree that it is its own disorder and not a symptom.

they're trying to get me to cope with non-medicinal interventions so they don't have to put a stim in my cocktail (already tried Strattera). What do you (in your non-medical opinions) think I can bring up to get some help? Pretty and shiny has gotten me bad grades, into car wrecks, injured, ect. I can't blame those incidents on mania, i think not!


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they're trying to get me to cope with non-medicinal interventions so they don't have to put a stim in my cocktail (already tried Strattera). What do you (in your non-medical opinions) think I can bring up to get some help? Pretty and shiny has gotten me bad grades, into car wrecks, injured, ect. I can't blame those incidents on mania, i think not!

Are you looking for pharmaceutical help or help in dealing w/o stims? I ask because one would think you'd be getting

some relief from the Wellbutrin.

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I think WB is good for the motivated part, not so good for the focus part. Or so it seems to me.

I hope that was "etc." and not "ect."

Well, you can get some help from being very good about sleep, always getting exercise, especially first thing in the morning, avoiding simple carbs, etc. But stimulants are pretty helpful.

I remember reading about old folks balancing better when they used those vibrating shoes (just below the level they could consciously detect). I wonder if some physical stim like that might be useful, tho I don't think spending the rest of your life with a rock in your shoe is a good idea, and mild discomfort often drives us nuts. (I used to have to go instantaneously from haircut to shower or I'd go nuts.)

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My mind jumps everywhere. I am listening to my head! I do have BP1/psychosis, but this isn't psychotic, it is ADD. The WB helps to an extent, but I'm on 450mg and am not better. I'd better consult my pdoc AGAIN. and make sure i get help. i'm too passive.

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I would stay away from the amphetamine-related stimulants considering your psychotic symptoms. That's what I have to do at least.

Check out the old coping mechanisms thread on this board. It's here somewhere, too lazy to find it. (Or is that too unfocused? ;) ) I've found the tips very helpful. Learning to live with it is at least as important as treating it with meds, IMO.

Good luck with everything and let us know how things go.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Helena- I looked through all the old threads, and unless it has a title that doesn't scream out what it contains, then we don't have one anymore.


How can I survive in this cruel world with ADD inattentive without meds? So far I am just very mindful, write lists, get to work early to organize and remember what i was doing, put out my clothes for the next day so i don't spend an hour trying on things the next morning...

any more good ideas? i tried strattera and it did nothing. the high dose of WB does nothing.

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Helena- I looked through all the old threads, and unless it has a title that doesn't scream out what it contains, then we don't have one anymore.

Pizza cake.

Noise reduction

Not telling off your cow-orkers

A website for those of us who don't remember

And there's probably tons of stuff in Dude...

well, somewhere.

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try this:


here's one of my entries in that thread:

Led a support group meeting this week, on the subject of getting things done. Started to type at 7:05 for 7:30 meeting! Arrived 20 minutes late feeling like Joseph Stalin giving a talk on how to preserve human rights. Anyway, here's what I went into the meeting with:


As usual on a topic like this, I feel a bit like a fraud. I am not about to admit how close to the meeting I am typing this. However, when I did a presentation on motivation, I had people I sent my notes to tell me it was quite useful. So there may be hope for (should have been: for you, if not for me) me, if not for you! I'd like to thank Ben for his help. Many of the ideas are his, and without our phone conversation to set the mental gears in motion, this presentation would be much worse than it is.

Being motivated and working hard actually seem to be the normal human condition, except maybe on stinking hot days like we've almost had lately. If you're not getting things done, don't say you're lazy or just try to force yourself to work harder. Find out what the obstacle is and either eliminate it, go around it, or at least reduce it. We don't get useful results for pain, we get rewards when we do what we need to do.Try not to do things the hard way unless that's the only and the best way.

As people with ADD, we have problems with "executive functioning". These can be things like:




-memory, especially remembering what we need to do when there is no external cue


-self inhibition (oh that siren call when you're doing something that's boring)

A secondary problem may be that we discount or forget what we actually accomplish so that we don't see how much we have done and think we can't do anything. Beware if you're saying to yourself something like "Yeah, well, that's nothing. I do that every day." If you do "that" every day, that's great! It will make the remaining tasks look more reasonably small. Make lists of what you've done somewhere. Perhaps, as I am experimenting with, keep a drymark board calendar up, in a visible place, to sum up what tasks are especially important to you.

Each of these can gang up with some of the others to make it very hard to get things done.

In the planning stage, since we tend to be lousy at estimating time, we may be tempted to pile on many more tasks than we have time for. Try to be realistic. A rule of thumb is to double how long you think something will take. It's relatively easy to envision how long something will take if everything goes just right, but how often does that happen? What if we've forgotten a step. Try to do the most important things first. You might have 3 lists: A need to do or are important B somewhat important but not vital C would be nice. Pick 3 or 4 things and ignore the others until you get the first few done. Use things like a daytimer or post it's so you don't get blindsided and have to drop everything to deal with emergencies that need doing. Before leaping into an appealing task, stop for a minute and think whether it's what you most need to be doing at the time. Sometimes it's good to get absorbed into the new project, but think what's being put aside. You may also find it useful to remember when faced with similar tasks in the future.

Another trap is perfectionism. It's best if you decide at the beginning of a project just what level of quality you need to sustain. If you know your materials are not the best, don't put on 15 layers of French polish as it still won't look good. You'll just lose time. If there's not much penalty to doing a merely adequate job, save your time and energy for what's important. Conversely, if you're trying to do a project to a high level, make sure you don't sabotage it by messing up the early steps. It's best if you do just enough to match the other steps. Wildly uneven levels of care just waste your time. This may require initial realism that is hard to attain. If, deep down, we know the project won't be perfect, it's best to acknowledge that at first rather than to procrastinate until, if all goes right when we panic, we'll get the level we are actually motivated to produce.

Another problem is that if we have some problem with an unknown solution, we may tend to see it as an insurmountable obstacle.It's important to remember when we've dealt with things like this in the past. Most likely, we will see a way to deal with the problem. Only panic if it looks like it really can't be done. When we're in a bad mood, even mopping the floor probably seems impossible. So, be aware of your mood when anticipating what to do.

Break up your tasks into discrete chunks. They will be less intimidating this way. If you can break it up so that some subset of tasks is useful before everything is done, so much the better. That way you will know that you have accomplished at least something useful. If you're feeling overwhelmed, just look to the next task. The one after probably won't seem any worse after this one is done.

Try to use visual reminders of both what you've accomplished and what you need to do. Don't put up a zillion little notes, just the important ones for today. You can look in your daytimer or calendar for tomorrow's.

Be kind to yourself. If you are wallowing in automatic negative thoughts, dispute them. Out loud. Tell yourself out loud what you are going to do, that you like yourself, that you've accomplished so and so already.

And try to start on things earlier than I do!

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  • 4 weeks later...

all good things to keep in mind and remember! i do practice several of these at work, especially lists and notes, and they help me to stay focused.

my job is IT help desk. sometimes i start daydreaming on the phone with people while i'm trying to help them with their tech problems, and then they're like "hello?", and i jump in there with an "oh, that's interesting, so..." and try to recap what i *think* i heard them say. i tend to be right usually. i've developed the ability to be able to hear but not process or understand until i say it or write it down. so there i am, madly typing out what they said so i understand it. i'll even put them on hold to ponder it. then i'll usually ask if i can take over their computer to see what they mean, because i'm very visual. i'll often fix it for them that way rather than explain to them how to do it, because i get lost in thought, and then explain using their mouse to guide them on the screen how to do what they want to do, or explain in simple terms how to do what i did to keep them from doing it again. they actually seem to like the visual demonstrations as well, even though the verbal ones are faster and i can handle more calls if i do it that way. my voice mail gets backed up but hey, i have to do what i have to do!

i'd like it if there was something i could take and be able to focus and at least hear and understand without daydreaming, having to ask again, and then madly typing while they're on hold so i can process the information. but there doesn't seem to be a way. wb and strattera haven't worked, and everyone is afraid to touch a stim. adderall has been tossed around but they're afraid to go there because of my conditions and my cocktail.

any further ideas? would adderall be so terrible in your opinion?

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