Nurses with ADD/ADHD? - page 8

by Metron 106,573 Views | 429 Comments

Hey all! I was wondering if there are any nurses with ADD/ADHD out there who want to comiserate and support each other? I know I need the help/advice. It might also be a place for "regular" people (I hate the word normal) to... Read More


  1. 2
    Quote from Hairstylingnurse
    .....have been diagnosed for ADHD. I have had this since I was a child, although I don't think they had a diagnosis for it then. I think it is getting worse as I'm getting older. Or maybe I'm just less able to deal with it since I'm getting older(I'm 36). I have always been loud, unable to sit still, classclown and life of the party. I only interrupt because if I don't I'll forgoet what my point was that I wanted to make and everyone (those unafflicted with adhd talk way too slow ). By the time they finsh what thier saying, I've already had 15 other thoughts and about 8 things I could be doing :chuckle .
    By definition, one must have had ADD or ADHD (or ADD-H as it is called now) prior to age 7 whether or not there has been a diagnosis made by that time.

    There was a name for it when you were a child, although I don't know what it may have been. There have been lots of names for it along the way.

    When I was a child (I'm 52) it was called "minimal brain dysfunction," which is a pretty accurate description, I think most would agree who have it. My mother, then an RN, thought that was pretty horrible, hated psych nursing in her training, and maintained a personal level of denial that kept me from being diagnosed. Personally, I have mixed feelings about that. If I had known I was disabled, I probably would not have achieved what I have achieved.

    I will say that there were many, many times when I was expected to know things I didn't know, be aware of stuff I was clueless about, and that I was a quiet, somewhat depressed child who never felt like I fit in. How much of that was the ADD-H and how much of it was other stuff, no one will ever know. (Which brings up another very valid point. It is probably not likely that all of anyone's problems or personality quirks can be blamed on any one factor, even if it is ADD.)

    I worked hard to get passed all that stuff. It still nips at me at times. I am triple, quadruple careful, for example, when doling out meds, and I am soooo grateful for the EMAR which keeps me from making errors. It may send me back to the pyxis at times, but I don't make med errors.

    Be that as it may.....

    I was not diagnosed until age 42.

    So my experience is both personal and professional.

    Before I was diagnosed, I graduated from college with tremendous grades, got my master's, was licensed as a therapist. I was a wife and a mother of two. I had friends, a crazy family of origin, was very active in my community, had strong feelings about what was right and how I wanted to live my life within the context of my family and community. I was (and am) a high achiever, and generally a very happy person.

    Different people react and respond to the condition in different ways.

    Medication can be helpful for those symptoms which are out of one's control. I have tried various and sundry medications and, when I can remember to take them, I have had mixed results. For me, the best combo has been purposeful awareness of those characteristics that are my ADD-H and working them so they don't work me; and Adderall (preferably generic) at those times when I know I am not well enough rested, not well enough centered, or going to be in a new, or overwhelming, or anxiety-producing situation, and I therefore know that parts of me will not be as easily managed/controlled.

    Counseling and behavior modification are the best thing generally, because they do not further screw with your body's (and your brain's) chemistry.

    As I wrote, let me reiterate, different people react and respond in different ways. And some of the ADD and ADD-H qualities actually enhance performance. I credit my "condition" with my ability to ram through my nursing program with incredible efficiency, not just speed.

    So just because you have it, doesn't mean you necessarily have to take meds, or even that your life will be better if you take meds.

    The only other thing I'd like to mention, which I have not seen here (might have missed it, and if so, apologies) is that whether or not a person has one condition or another, it is wrong (yes, wrong) to make assumptions about that person or their work habits or their personalities, based upon that diagnosis. We are all over other people for not labeling patients ("the appy in 401B") and then we do it to ourselves and each other.

    So let's not do that, okay?
    mstacer and NurseKitten like this.
  2. 0
    Hi,
    My case is way different than the above poster. I always thought that NOT being able to achieve higher grades was a definite component to ADD/ADHD no matter what. My case is the typical young little girl who went unoticed in elementary school. I was considered a "daydreamer" and a tad bit slower at reading and writing which led me into the reading and math "Vans" which were special areas for the "slower" kids. WHich was a pretty embarassing concept if you ask me....in 3rd through whatever grade, they would come to the class and call me and 3 others to go to this thing out in the play ground that looked like a trailer for one on one tutoring. I used to hate the feeling when they would come to my classroom and say my name to come to that van, along with about 4 others. I know that was long sorry, but I figured I'd get to the "root" of it because it only makes sense to start from the beginning. BY the way, nice thread, it's comforting to know that there are others who are successfully managing nursing school with this condition.

    I'm currently taking Ritalin right now and it has been a life saver. I started the meds in the middle of my first semester of nursing because the course facilitator would not allow anyone to tape record the classes, in which taping the "pre reqs" got me through all of those tough "biology's". I was in the failing zone during mid term with a D and was so upset that I said, "That's it!" I always suspected that I had add because I am 29 years old without a degree, who has attempted a degree over 4 or 5 times without success. I kept dropping out cause it was too overwhelming. So, I waitressed and bartendended for years, which I loved because your never bored. My symptoms?
    Well, nursing requires ALOT of long periods of concentration which is something I always stuggled with. After going on the meds, my grades went from a D to almost a B the first semester. And I just completed the second semester and ended with an 82%, and this semester was TOUGH! And believe me, I was evaluated by a psych and tested MYSELF and like another poster said if I don't have ADD, I don't know who has. I will admit I could be in denial about it sometimes, but I'm starting to accept it more and more as time goes on. So, yes I need meds, and no I don't want to have to take this stuff the rest of my life but If I have to I will. Good luck to all of you struggling with ADD(and those who aren't), I know it could bring you down at times (maybe not) because we have to resort to meds in order to funtion "normally" but I'm also very thankful that I don't need insulin or have any other problems.
    Other symptoms I forgot to mention,
    Blanking out on tests and forgetting everything
    Forgetting appointments
    Misplacing things
    Saying things that I don't mean on impulse
    Feel like I'm driven by a motor, etc etc.
    Here's the good part, when i'm under pressure, I function better, that's why I know I'll be a good nurse. I need to be busy. Plus, the meds help emensly!
    Last edit by CrystalClear75 on Dec 23, '05
  3. 0
    Hello, All

    TLC,
    A professor, instructor, assistant or anyone that is directing a class cannot deny a usage of a tape recorder. It is allow according to the ADA to enhance your learning. I use one in every class and it helps other students to use their tape recorder. I do utilize the ADA office or the Special learning needs department or what ever name they list for the learning and physical disability.
    Just go to the department, submit your paperwork and pick up the paperwork and issue to your professors.

    Buttons
  4. 0
    I just want to wish everyone on this forum/thread a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year I am proud of everyone. I am very glad to hear they have ADA learning needs department in the schools now. It gives me hope that it has improved since I left. Remember never give up. You will make it. Have fun opening all those presents. :-)))))
  5. 0
    Quote from teeituptom
    ADD and ADHD are widely abused diagnosis's

    now the Have also AAADD...Age Activated Attention Deficit Disorder, shuckins I just thought I was getting old.
    Your comment shows your ignorance.
  6. 0
    Quote from IWant2Believe
    Your comment shows your ignorance.
    first i want to say that i have add although i was never tested for it as a child. but i struggled in school, couldn't focus, easily distracted and rambunctious, unable to complete tasks and way too impulsive w/poor judgement and insight. i was tested a few yrs ago so the dx is now official. i just choose not to use ritalin, adderall or any other of the meds.

    but tom is right. add/adhd was the diagnosis of the 90's.
    and it was teachers who were diagnosing the less than perfect students.
    they would send home letters or call the house to share their concerns about the unruly child or the child who wasn't realizing their potential. there were many teachers that would suggest to the parents that their child had add/adhd.....then sadly, there were doctors who would prescribe the meds w/o having the child fully evaluated; they would go on the teacher's assessments. so if the child did not have add/adhd, these meds would only exacerbate the child's behavior(s), never mind the very dangerous se's of using these stimulants.

    i speak from experience because my dtr was dx'd when she was 4 yo. we had her on and off meds. when she was off meds, she was problematic and terribly stigmatized by the teachers. and these same teachers would comment on how most of the class had add/adhd. i was highly involved in the school system during my dtr's elementary yrs and met enough teachers to see their prejudices against children that acted anything less than the stepford child. now the millenium's latest dx is bipolar.....anyway, i can see where you would take offense at tom's comment for those who do have add/adhd; but it was an extremely casually, overused dx once upon a time.

    leslie
  7. 0
    I take Strattera and it has done wonders for me. Not only do I feel much calmer inside, my sleep is better. My dreams are not incredibly outrageous. It was interesting reading this thread. It's hard to believe that there are still people who believe that if you can't see the illness it must not be real.
  8. 0
    Quote from IWant2Believe
    Your comment shows your ignorance.
    Hear hear, yeah that! And all that stuff. Some folks just need to catch up on journals.
  9. 0
    Quote from earle58
    but tom is right. add/adhd was the diagnosis of the 90's.
    True yet not true.

    We are talking adult AD/HD. In kids this is over dx'ed but in adults it is under dx'ed.

    My S/O's brother in law is a dog. He's a ... I don't have the words. Supposedly he's a child psychiatrist. He hands out ritalin like candy and why? According to him parents demand it.

    What doc gives out what PARENTS demand?? What a piece of scum. He fully admits his patients are NOT AD/HD yet he hands out Rx's like they are candy on Halloween.

    But when it comes to adults this just isn't true. We are sersiously under dx'ed. It was my S/O that dxed me and that was only after many many verbal fights and confrontations. I still reject what he said.

    He claimed I was ADD. Bah!!!!! I'm ADHD! So there!
    Last edit by Bipley on Dec 28, '05
  10. 0
    Quote from earle58
    i speak from experience because my dtr was dx'd when she was 4 yo. we had her on and off meds. when she was off meds, she was problematic and terribly stigmatized by the teachers. and these same teachers would comment on how most of the class had add/adhd. i was highly involved in the school system during my dtr's elementary yrs and met enough teachers to see their prejudices against children that acted anything less than the stepford child. now the millenium's latest dx is bipolar.....anyway, i can see where you would take offense at tom's comment for those who do have add/adhd; but it was an extremely casually, overused dx once upon a time.
    Someone I respect a great deal is an elementary school teacher. Each year they are given some sort of file or document on each child with a history of each child. If the kid is AD/HD, or, they just plain don't want to learn, it's all in their "file". Well, Margaret refused to submit to such tactics. She absolutely refused to read each child's "file" (for lack of a better term) and she decided to make her own determinations.

    This taught me a great deal about the power of suggestion.

    Margaret was a childhood neighbor of mine. But she had a pool and I got to go swimming whenever I wanted. As a responsible adult she was always there when my friends and I went swimming, but she also gave me a great deal to think about, even if it wasn't until I was an adult.

    People that are older than me ALWAYS have something to teach me. People that are younger than me merely ALWAYS have something to teach me. :wink2:


Top