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hiya-

i was DXed with ADD (inattentive) about a year ago after a lot of analysis by my treatment team. they tried to treat it with strattera, and now i take 30mg adderall xr.

i've been on ssdi since september for my MI issues. while i don't believe that i'm very much better and i don't know how brittle i am, i'm eager to work again. i can't live on the ssdi money i get.

even with adderall, my attention/focus issues still remain. i couldn't learn the register well enough at my part time gas station job i just had, so i got fired after 3 weeks there (it could also have been that i needed accommodations though).

i feel like i'm stupid. i feel like i'll never be able to learn anything, even something as stupid as a cash register (it was touch screen with functions hidden in different menus, but still). the high schoolers i worked with understood the register and i didn't. i have a college degree and i couldn't operate a cash register.

i've signed up for the orientation to go to vocational school to brush up on skills in my field (IT help desk) and do my trial work period. that is, if i can keep a job for longer than 3 weeks.

do you think it is too soon, or that i'm probably operating at my maximum and may be like this forever? i am MI and i do take a lot of meds. is this maybe the best i'll ever be? is it maybe not that the adderall isn't working, but that i'll just never be able to be what i want to be? i don't know if i need an adderall increase, if i need a different medication, if i'm naturally stupid, or if it is just the way things will be because of my MI (which would kinda fall under naturally stupid)?

i'm asking you guys because you're in the same boat and know what has and hasn't worked out for you. whether you're on disability or holding down a job, you know something about what it is like to try to learn in a work environment.

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i'm asking you guys because you're in the same boat and know what has and hasn't worked out for you. whether you're on disability or holding down a job,

you know something about what it is like to try to learn in a work environment.

I think it will also depend on whether you're taught appropriately for your learning styles. For example, verbal-only instruction doesn't work well for

people who need to visualize process or who require a tactile/manual component. What other people canNOT "get" is that showing me once and

walking away isn't going to do me much good, whether I took good notes or not. Also, don't bother trying to "teach" me if I'm not going to use it or

do something based/related to it, because I will not remember.

While at work or trying to figure something out - hovering over me or interrupting/expecting to have a discussion are the best way to guarantee

mistakes. i.e., environment management is very much an issue.

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While at work or trying to figure something out - hovering over me or interrupting/expecting to have a discussion are the best way to guarantee

mistakes. i.e., environment management is very much an issue.

*nods* one of the reasons i quit the morning prep was that the managers who were there most often when i was prep hovered and hassled. i can't work like that. i can't think with that going on.

however, when people back off, let me learn at my own rate, come to them with questions... i learn very quickly.

abi

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it's hard with learning on the job, because they assume that if they "teach" you something once, and as null said, you take good notes, that you've obviously "got it". well, what if it doesn't work that way?

so are you saying that ADD is something i need to look at as something i need to make accommodations to MYSELF for moreso than anything else? by that i mean that i need to know what it is that i can and can't do so i can take it into account when i'm getting myself into situations at work?

i don't think i understood the register because i never had quiet time to sit and play with it. it was always live and "in a fast paced work environment". show me something in that kind of circus 20 times and i still won't know what you mean. if i'm nervous because i don't know how to do something and there's a customer standing there, i'm still not going to be able to remember how to do the function i'm "taught". i think that's how i work anyway. i think i just need the time and space to learn my way.

i also like pictures with descriptions rather than large blocks of text, like screen shots. at my last "real" job my trainer could have shown me 20 times how to do something, or given me one screenshot of it, and the latter would have actually worked.

so this is across the board in the world and not just my stupidity? that's good to hear! i've been beating myself about it since it happened.

maybe 30 minutes alone with the register, and a book of screen shots and a scenerios worksheet would have been all it would have taken to teach me the register. instead they tried and tried to teach me in a way that just wasn't going to work no matter what.

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so are you saying that ADD is something i need to look at as something i need to make accommodations to MYSELF for moreso than anything else? by that i mean that i need to know what it is that i can and can't do so i can take it into account when i'm getting myself into situations at work?

absolutely! there are certain jobs that i have learned to just not apply for. most of them are really simply things but i know i can't do it. anything requiring taking phone calls for accounts, for example. in this town, that is the loser job. everyone can at least answer a damned phone and enter the info onto the account in the computer. not me! i tried it ;)

maybe 30 minutes alone with the register, and a book of screen shots and a scenerios worksheet would have been all it would have taken to teach me the register. instead they tried and tried to teach me in a way that just wasn't going to work no matter what.

*nods* my first job, that's how we learned the register. you got a book, a register in the corner, and you spent a couple days going through the book on the register (practicing scanning, entering different things...) i've never learned so fast!! i was taking customers by the end of that first day lol.

this job, you get three days training: day one, you watch someone else at register, day two, you are on register with the person right there for questions, day three, you are on your own but the person is there if you get stuck. after that, you are totally solo. luckily, we have really good managers and kids working who are willing to help people out who've been there a year and can't remember how to do something. but it is really scary that first day!!!

i didn't learn nearly as quickly, either.

abi

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absolutely! there are certain jobs that i have learned to just not apply for. most of them are really simply things but i know i can't do it. anything requiring taking phone calls for accounts, for example. in this town, that is the loser job. everyone can at least answer a damned phone and enter the info onto the account in the computer. not me! i tried it :)

*nods* my first job, that's how we learned the register. you got a book, a register in the corner, and you spent a couple days going through the book on the register (practicing scanning, entering different things...) i've never learned so fast!! i was taking customers by the end of that first day lol.

this job, you get three days training: day one, you watch someone else at register, day two, you are on register with the person right there for questions, day three, you are on your own but the person is there if you get stuck. after that, you are totally solo. luckily, we have really good managers and kids working who are willing to help people out who've been there a year and can't remember how to do something. but it is really scary that first day!!!

i didn't learn nearly as quickly, either.

abi

yeah, in other cashiering jobs i've had, i've had even computerized lessons and simulations of the register, so i was ready for it when i had actual customers. and i had to pass the "test". i was ready in about 2 hours. but they were trying to train me for about 20 hours a week for 3 weeks, and granted this thing was more complicated, but still, they were trying to "train" me that whole time and got pretty much nowhere.

i guess i know that i can't have that kind of job, like you can't have the accounts job! ;) i guess it really isn't something i can help or feel like a bad person about. that's just not for me. if i was trying to do the accounts job, my mind would probably get bored and slip into outer space, and i wouldn't get anywhere with it either. it wouldn't be my career of choice.

i guess it is, as i said, like making accommodations for yourself. i expect companies to make them for me, why not me for myself? why put myself in situations where i know i'm going to fuck up? well, this time i didn't know i would. ok learning experience. next! i can't let that make me feel stupid.

as null said, with add we have certain strengths, we just need to know how to take advantage of them.

i wonder if my tdoc would have any idea of books or maybe coaches for this kind of problem.

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i wonder if my tdoc would have any idea of books or maybe coaches for this kind of problem.

i keep thinking there's other stuff i'm able to do, but for the life me, i don't know what. without more school which i can't afford.

so i'm kind of in a rut. i've got my job which pays the bills but i want to be doing... i don't know... something i like, i guess.

but i don't know how to even go about it :/

abi

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At all my former jobs they had something called CBLs. Which stood for: Computer Based Learning.

I never learned jobs so fast in all my life. I learned everything from driving a scissor lift and forklift (and got my license too) to handling hazmat materials. I'm licensed too. I learned all kinds of things and I had the ability to learn in between doing other things in my spare time and on my free time. I learned telecom engineering. ATM, FRAME, SS7, hell everything. I learned more in 4 weeks than most do in 2 years. I was able to train other people in less than than two months.

My mind was literally a sponge and this was all BEFORE I started on add meds.

So I definately think it has to do with learning styles. They put me in a "regular" class for some of the ATM stuff and I was completely LOST. Mainly because some of the students were just so stupid they really didn't belong there. I was getting so distracted that I couldn't focus on the material. I honestly think they were only there to get away from their terminals.

Now though, I doubt that I could pick up anything for any length of time. Some of it has to do with the stress I'm under. Some of it has to do with kindling, I'm pretty sure. Some of it is age. (I'm 33) Some of it is my meds, some of it is brain damage and I have the CT scans, MRIs and PET scans to prove that.

Loon, keep in mind you may be expecting too much too soon. You aren't completely stable, at least that's what I'm gathering from what you've been posting. You still seem to be having some issues with cycling and other issues. Take care of those things first.

I realize that in our society and with money being a constant issue it's hard, but if you don't then you may just find yourself in this same situation a few more years down the road. Take time to heal. Take time to get your head together. ($DEITY I "sound" like such a hippie, where's my patchouli, DAMMIT!?!?) Now is not the time to try for the quick fix and just throw a band-aid on and go about business as usual. I've been there. I've done that. Now I'm 33 and I'm fucked for it. I'm not much older than you, I just feel that way.

**<OT Straterra rant>**

Keep in mind Straterra isn't a good med to go on if your moods aren't stablized to begin with. I found that out the hard way. IT WILL MAKE YOU CYCLE SOMETHING FIERCE IF YOU ARE ALREADY. And apparently a lot of pdocs don't realize that or they just don't fucking care. Once your moods have stabilized, it may be the add med for you. But ONLY once your moods have stabilized.

Or you get the paradoxical reaction to Straterra that my nephew got where it slows down the hyperactivity of his body, but it doesn't slow down the hyperactive thought process in his mind. Which only increased the depression he was going through. Imagine what level of hell THAT was.

Imagine getting REAMED for leaving out things like milk and letting it spoil AND the bowl of cereal that you were going to eat because you forgot why you were in the kitchen in the first place, because you had something else to do in the living room. Then you end up in the living room to do something but you don't know why, so you just go to your bedroom and start hitting the wall and screaming.

Yeah, big fun for my adhd bipolar aspie nephew on Straterra.

**</OT Straterra rant>**

Sorry this post is so long and rambling. I'm still trying to get used to being back on my Adderall.

Sorry. Hope at least some of this helped. If not, then please ignore.

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i've had a lot of success with computer based learning in the past.

my jobs are usually help desk jobs. it's hard to train someone for all the strange things that could go wrong in a system that is completely new to them, and most help desks aren't big enough that they would have a CBL tool to train with. at my last job, i sat with one of the people (who i ended up dating) and we took turns taking calls while the other was listening on the headset, and that's how i learned that job. when i left, and that was when SSA told me that they were giving me SSDI, i had just mastered what i needed to know in order to operate free of my mentor. that took me about a month. i think with better learning tools, i could have done it in a week.

it's hard to sit back and relax when you can't pay the bills. i tried to make ends meet by working at the gas station and got fired because i didn't know how to operate the cash register (it was complicated, in my defense). i'm trying to find a new part time job, but it is hard to find employers who will work with people who need accommodations. i keep looking at the classifieds for my area and don't see any possibilities. there is the possibility of some success with the online business with my mom, and there is the possibility that it won't work. who knows? i know that i can't financially make it on $877/month, with my rent being $525. my credit is too terrible to move anywhere else besides a ghetto, so all my ideas of getting a cheaper place are out the window. i'm stuck here with my rent.

so, i need to work. but doing what? i hope the online business works out, and could give me a couple hundred a month.

i want to do what i've been doing. it is hard to accept that i can't do what i want to do. we've been told our whole lives that we can do anything if we believe in ourselves, and now i'm faced with the reality that i have some MI issues and this "believing in yourself" idea doesn't necessarily apply?

i think i'll know more about how i'm doing when i start going to school. that will put some pressure on me and i'll see how it goes. if i can't handle school then i know i won't be able to handle work.

it is hard sitting on the sidelines when i feel my life is passing me by.

strattera rant-

i hate strattera too. my pdoc thought it was the best thing since sliced bread and gave it to me and insisted that i take it. it just made me depressed. i tried to tell him it was the strattera and he thought i was just cycling, so he increased my lamictal. now, a lamictal increase wasn't a bad thing, but the strattera needed to go.

finally i just flat-out refused to take it anymore. we went through a period of blaming my ADD on bipolar disorder before i laid down the law and told him that it is a seperate issue and that we have to deal with it. he doesn't like giving me stimulants on top of my bp meds, but that's the way it has to be. no strattera for me!

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I realize that in our society and with money being a constant issue it's hard, but if you don't then you may just find yourself in this same situation a few more years down the road. Take time to heal. Take time to get your head together. ($DEITY I "sound" like such a hippie, where's my patchouli, DAMMIT!?!?) Now is not the time to try for the quick fix and just throw a band-aid on and go about business as usual. I've been there. I've done that. Now I'm 33 and I'm fucked for it. I'm not much older than you, I just feel that way.

Multiple translations in NT-speak:

1. You want it bad; you'll get it bad.

2. Quick, Cheap, Good. Pick any two.

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well, quick, cheap, and good are all good things! why wouldn't any combination of the two be good? how about quick and good? i guess all 3 being good depends on your definition of "cheap". does it mean inexpensive or crappy? then we'd have 2 out of 3 possibilities being good choices.

i take it just to mean that i need to give myself time, regardless of how i have to come up with the "how", to actually heal from my disorders and get back on my feet before i try to go out potentially make it worse in the long run.

that's my attempt at NT translation ;)

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well, quick, cheap, and good are all good things! why wouldn't any combination of the two be good? how about quick and good? i guess all 3 being good depends on your definition of "cheap". does it mean inexpensive or crappy? then we'd have 2 out of 3 possibilities being good choices.

oh! i know this one ;) i asked my best friend about it once.

it means if it is any two, it is NOT the third.

quick and good, won't be cheap.

cheap and quick, won't be good.

cheap and good, won't be quick.

*bows*

abi, who rarely gets these things

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Multiple translations in NT-speak:

1. You want it bad; you'll get it bad.

2. Quick, Cheap, Good. Pick any two.

and what is "bad"? does it mean desperately? or like crap? or other?

and abi- fabulous translation! i get it now! thanks!

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  • 3 weeks later...

I got a pretty good job back at the end of September. I'm finding that I'm gradually getting better and better at the kind of thinking I need. But I'll never be like the other guy here who can keep five or ten things he's just heard in his head without taking any notes until he gets back to his desk. At first I coulnd't remember even with my crappy notes, but now I can probably keep one or two things in my head for a while even if not taking notes. And, I couldn't do it a couple of months ago but now that I'm a bit more practiced and have learned some of our projects I could probably tell you half the part numbers or more of the stuff I'm working on. And most of the tasks I ought to do when I get in tomorrow.

On the ADD side, I went back to work at 10:30 PM tonight after a hobby club meeting and stayed until 1:20 or so. Kind of weird but fun to be the only person in the building. Walking around in the lab barefoot because my feet were sweating, shirt unbuttoned because they overheat the place, but getting work done. I hope they're happy enough with the work to forgive me when I show up kinda late. Hopefully bearing parts from a vendor that we'd really been worrying about.

The other guy at the company who does what I do agitated for my arrival because he was overloaded and we'd worked together before. Maybe also because he knew how broke I was. So I feel like I ought to sweat a bit, even if I don't have much time for a weekday life. He wanted me to work there even though at one point I'd told him about the ADD diagnosis. I don't think he entirely agrees with it, tho certainly he's willing to send me written notes and remind me of stuff. I think work is the best ADD treatment for me, tho Adderall is probably a close second.

I think we all learn things different ways. There are some lecturers who can pour information directly into my brain. One in college was so good that I found I didn't have to do my homework to do well on the tests. Other people thought he was very difficult. Unfortunately I don't really know what the difference was. Maybe because since he taught us how to derive things I could recreate what I couldnt' remember. I know that in most cases just speaking isn't going to cut it. And if you want me to remember computer tricks, let me drive. If you want me to remember how to get someplace, make me navigate. If I drive but you tell me where to turn, I won't remember anything. Written stuff and precise drawing work very well for me, too.

My s.o. treats (what a space shot, I meant teaches) kids with LD's and is very aware of these differences. You don't have to be nuts to understand things a bit differently.

Anyway, try to play to your strengths and to pick things up in ways that work for you. Try to stay on a job for a while as your brain may rewire a bit and it'll become easier. I know that's not easy.

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Multiple translations in NT-speak:

1. You want it bad; you'll get it bad.

2. Quick, Cheap, Good. Pick any two.

and what is "bad"? does it mean desperately? or like crap? or other?

Yes.

If you don't care about the quality of X so long as you get X, RIGHT NOW!, you deserve getting the crap you got.

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modifying null's statement into that seen in my field (academic research)--

1) Cheap. 2) Gets a publication. ---- Pick two.

...and yes, I know how much ADD sucks on the job... that's how I got, to say the least, acrimoniously, fired from my last one.

Most of us ADDers can't do the "simple simple" (quoting a co-worker of mine from India; unfortunately, he was talking about me) things in life, even though we can do a lot more of the complicated stuff.

We have a top and no bottom. or something like that.

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i like simulations. there are computers that can do them, and i consider homework to be a kind of simulation. i can make my mistakes and they don't count, and can do it again and again until i'm comfortable and it is automatic.

people can stand there and tell me something until they're blue in the face and i'll look at them like "duh". if they are telling me something, i need some sort of visual to back it up. i never had a problem in college because i picked classes according to my strengths. my major, international economics and management, was so interdisciplinary (the only commonality in my courses was the international theme) because i couldn't pay attention to even one academic topic long enough to excel at it.

work is a different story. on ssdi, i've had a lot of time to think about if i want to go into vocational school and continue my career in IT, or grad school to become a nurse. i don't know.

i know that adderall xr is helping me a lot. maybe i'll be able to do better with the different styles employers like to use with me and not fail to learn.

on a happy note, i got word from the guy who trained me at my last job (the one i actually quit when i found out i was approved for ssdi) that after over 3 months they got a replacement for me, and he's learning at the same pace i was. my boss thought i wasn't learning quickly enough, however this guy is "normal" and proving that i was learning just fine. so maybe i'm harder on myself than i should be.

but i still got fired from a gas station. that's just sad ;)

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