Saturday, May 14, 2005

adult adhd

i got an email this morning from a fellow blogger asking about my new diagnosis and this is what i wrote to her about it.

i started down this path because i saw so much of myself in my daughter, and i wanted to help her not have to go down the road i had to, feeling stupid, getting slighted by teachers, etc. we have a kind of adhd that has a 'halo effect' - we're not the hyper kid who can't sit still - it's just that our minds are racing in 12 different directions - and maintaining focus is so difficult.

we have a 'psychology and learning center' in a local town, and i know he really helped my girlfriend with her daughter's diagnosis, so i took the chance and got her diagnosed. saw that the process was really simple and that the doctor really heard me and treated me with respect. i am so sick of lame doctors lately, i'm so tired of them assuming they know what i'm saying. he didn't do that at all. he was just a psychologist who specialized in adhd and diagnosis. i'm sad because i thought he could treat me, but he doesn't do that...

i'm going back to my therapist hopefully this week, but i need a psychiatrist to prescribe meds. one of the things that i've found out through this process is that we lack what is called 'dopamine' - it's the neurotransmitter in the brain - things like ritalin and the newer drugs are actually stimulants, not depressivants as i had (and most of the misinformation 'out there' assumes) - they don't know why it works, but somehow it gives us the ability to have our brains function in ways that other people's do normally.

he said that meds should only affect the executive functions of the brain - not creativity, mood, affect, etc. just the stuff that we need to be like 'everybody else'.

i told him that i realized that this dance i've had to do to compensate has been exhausting. it's like that joke about fred astaire and ginger rogers - she did everything he did, but backwards and in high heels - that's been my life - trying to dance like everyone else, but backwards and with great difficulty - trying my damnest to keep up.

it's the 'affective spectrum disorder' that really is so shocking to me. i am angry about it because it seems like such a crappy lot in life that i had no control over and now have passed to my children and their children's children... but it has helped me understand my parents and heritage much better and information is power - so we will be able to help pink and buck in ways that we were never given access to ourselves.

liam and buck are next to be diagnosed - i truly think we all are struggling with this. it explains so much and i know there is a light at the end of the tunnel - but it is a tunnel, and i am a bit discouraged. the local shrink can't treat me (she hasn't taken new patients in years i guess...) so i've begun the research and i am doing all i can to get the best help i am able. i just feel so damn incompenent so very much of the time...

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