Nurses with Adult ADD - page 2

Hi all, As a prospective Nursing Student I am curious if there is anybody out there with Adult ADD (Adult Attention Deficit Disorder). I was diagnosed with ADD as a child and have also been... Read More

  1. by   shelleybelle
    Originally posted by lunakat
    I am just a little curious, just recently started hearing about ADD. A couple of years ago I was diagnosed w/depression. Inability to concentrate, extremely tired, bored easily fidget often and extremely short fuse. The depression meds help allot with my concentration and short temper. The problem is that when I stop taking them it all comes back. So should I be tested for ADD? Have any of you been diagnosed with depression first? I just don't want to jump on this wagon with my doctor with out a little background first.
    Hi Luna,

    I had a dx of depression, also. The S/S are basically the same. I found a website online (i dont remember it) that had a checklist of some sort and a guide to help you talk to your DR about ADD. Might wanna do a search on it.. that's how I found it
  2. by   glascow
    this post remove
    Last edit by glascow on Apr 23, '05
  3. by   Liddle Noodnik
    Originally posted by glascow
    because if you try to tell your MD he misdiagnosed you, well then your in denial--classic sign of mental disorder...
    LOL! How true!

    My doc kinda keeps me on Lithobid and Lamictal as a preventative. I had hypomanic reactions to: The Atkins Diet, Tylox, Desiryl (whatever that is, an old antidepressant), and Prozac. The rest of the time it is just fighting depression. I've been on almost every med known to man for depression. The last 4 years have been pretty good, only lost one week of work due to depression because I went to outpatient hospitalization and told them what to do to help me to do what I needed to do, LOL!

    I seem to be able to maintain on the current dosage of these meds so what the hey. But you're right, when you mention getting off the meds you get that "look", LOL!
  4. by   kids
    I had disabling headaches that from as young as I can remember. They had all of the hallmarks of migraine: light/sound/odor sensitivity and vomiting, everything except the aura. My Mom said that when I was a baby I would clutch my head and thrash around my crib and was totally inconsolabe. In my teens they did an EEG and said they were tension headaches. I did develope aura in my 20s (I get aphasic) when they escalated and were occuring every 3-4 weeks until they stopped abruptly. I have maybe 1 a year now and can keep it at a (barely) tolerable level with asprin, caffene and Benedryl.

    I was one of the few girls labled as hyperactive in the 70s and was on Ritalin from age 8 until I got my first period (because I was "old enough to not have it anymore"). I was never physically hyperactive, I just couldn't stay focused to save my life.

    I didn't realize I was doing it at the time, I self medicated with diet pills in my teens and crank in my 20s. I was re-diagnosed at 33 with ADD-inattentive type. I drink 4-5 pots (yes I said pots) of coffee a day and get by "OK" self medicating with it. I have Adderall that I take during "high demand" periods like orienting on a new job or working under a deadline.

    I came very close to being diagnosed as Bipolar, I am prone to (mild) manic like episodes. The episodes escalate over a periods of a few days to a week, I am fair at catching them (my husband is VERY good at spotting them early) and they respond to a few days of Adderall.

    I still hate school with all of its deadlines and scheduling with a passion. The last grade I actually completed was the 7th, after that they just shuffled me along until I got pregnant in the 9th grade and the expelled me. I got a GED. In nursing school (and the pre-reqs) I was a solid "C" student (other than clinicals), I could have gotten much better grades if I had put any effort into it. But I aced the boards (top 10% in the State).
  5. by   FutureRNMichael
    Here is a very good checklist I found:

    I plan on showing the results with my Doctor and seeing what he says.
  6. by   MaggieDRN
    Again, what excellent testamonials and insights.We(ADDers) are definitely not alone,are we?Take care,everyone, MaggieDRN
  7. by   nwstudent
    It was amazing to read all the posts about nurses with ADD! I also was diagnosed as an adult - I took my teenage son in and he was tested and in the process as I read the test questions I nearly freeked! It was me! I was then diagnosed as inattentive ADD. I saw my doctor a few days ago and he put me on Wellbutrin XL - I was taking the SR but that required 2 pills a day and I would always forget the second one!
    I kind of went into a tail spin the first 3 weeks of the term and couldn't finish a clinical rotation - I was skipping medication and being undermedicated and lots of stress just buried me - I couldn't remember things I knew - got mixed up about where things were. I already feel like a different person since taking the new form of wellbutrin. I have discovered I have a husband and that I enjoy being with him - the shell that encapsulated me and kept me from feeling anything but dread, panic and confusion, broke away. Depression and ADD do go together - it is so treatable! I hope and pray with all my heart I can get back into the nursing program.
  8. by   trvlnurs
    I was dx with ADD by a coworker 3 years ago, she came up to me and said I think you have ADD. I took it to heart and did some research. Sure enough, I had it. I had been suffering all this time with depression and feeling lost and missunderstood. I get bored easily and have difficulty concemtrating at times. Get overwhelmed easily with not being able to stay organized. I'm always trying new methods to stay focused. Bought an invisible clock to wear it vibrates every hour to remind me to check MAR's and do vitals on my patients, it has helped. I have now gotten in trouble due to being under alot of stress and now have to go before a peer review committee due to some incidents that have occurred. not fun in the least...:uhoh21:
  9. by   Rhon1991
    I think the top 3 dx that coinside with Adult ADD are:
    1) Depression
    2) OCD (its actually attepts to compensate for the ADD)
    3) Anxiety
    Cant remember which book I read that out of as I have read many ADD books. My fav authors are Thom Hartman & Ed Hallowell*. Ed is an MD who puts a postive spin on ADHD, relating his own life-Driven to Distraction then there is his Answers to Driven to Distraction. Thom compares ADDers as hunters to the 'normal' people as farmers, he has great things to say as well.. cant recall the title right off.

    I suspected my ADD in nursing school when I discovered an OTC diet pill did wonders for my attention in the classroom setting. (Didnt take on clinical days) Also required the caffeine and nicotine. Wasnt unusual for me to pull all nighters and be a hoot the next day. I made just as good grades as anyone else.

    I made an excellent ICU nurse as I was a bit on the OCD side. I think in healthcare, the good ones alway have a tad of OCD ;o) Anyway, thats all for now, just wanted to send some positive vibes your all's way... Feel free to pm me.
    PS I dont take any meds or smoke anymore, however I do require the coffee and Im struggling with household type stuff, grrr mundane tasks....
  10. by   shoelace
    Wow!!! What an excellent thread!!
    So much of what I've just read resonates very strongly with me.
    I was dx with depression in high school, was put on and off Prozac during first few years of college, then totally hit the bottom junior year and was started on Wellbutrin. While that helped, my grades were still awful (even though I am a smart gal!) and during one appt with the psych doc, he noticed that I simply did not stop fidgeting. He went through a checklist, and put me on Ritalin. I hated it; one pill did squat, but two pills zoned me out big time for a few hours, then wore off completely. There was no "medium" setting to it Tried Adderall and Dexadrine, and I could tell they helped on some level, but had too many weird side effects.
    Finally we tried Cylert, and that stuff has been amazing! By the next semester, I was on the Dean's list until I graduated.
    I, too, kept forgetting to take my 2nd Wellbutrin and recently switched to XL and it's working out better than I would have ever imagined it could!

    As for symptoms of ADD/ADHD, I am very fidgety, and if I forget to take the Cylert and go to work, I can pretty much guarantee a miserable day. Usually, I can't wait to go home. I can't concentrate, I can't sit still, I can't quiet my head. The auditory overstimulation is unbearable (for an ICU especially). When I take the Cylert, I can remain focused and I'm not so antsy to flit from one thing to the next. I also have trouble telling my right from my left (always thought that was due to having to chart according to the patient's right/left, so I get confused when it's MY right/left!) and my boredom level is extremely high. My brain constantly has to be working on something, thinking about something, but then again, I can easily spend HOURS playing stupid computer games that are practically mindless, but somehow they're enough to keep the background noise at bay.

    The auditory overstimulation is the worst, though. Before anti-d's, loud noises would send me into a rage. I remember in HS, I was in band, and before we started practicing, everyone would sort of play their instruments randomly. It would literally hurt. The drums were the worst for some reason. I would get so angry (but never show it of course; that would have been freakish). Now, with all the sirens/intercom announcements/alarms, etc in ICU, I make the perfect nurse... I simply canNOT let an alarm continue on without making it go AWAY. I can't understand for the life of me why someone can just stand at an IV pump while it's beeping and not want to silence it! I often go into rooms where a nurse is already fixing an alarm (but hasn't silenced it) to reach over and hit the "silence" button while he/she is working on it. It's intolerable. Not to the point of job dissatisfaction... more of an annoying quirk. Most nurses silence the alarms now :-)
  11. by   BRANDY LPN
    OMG i think ya'll are describing ME!! I tend to have alot of these traits/symptoms. Especially the noise thing, any repetive noise makes me crazy, and like shoelace ANGRY. I am also impulsive in the extreme LOL makes my loved ones nuts, and I can't stand tedious chores. But always did well in school without even trying, no test anxiety. I have no problem reading a novel, but generally cant put it down until It's ended (even if that takes 6-10 hours) but can't stand to read text book stuff (too tedious)my mind is constantly running. I can't beleive this. Will have to see the doc if ever I have insurance again LOL( my hubby is full time student and I work PRN)

    Well thanks for giving me something new for my mind to work on.

    Do any of you have trouble with feeling like everyone is "crowding" you or "touching you all the time" I do this and really have to control myself from pushing my kids and hubby away when they try to hug kiss me.
  12. by   sherichance
    I was wondering if someone could answer this for me. If you are diagnosed with ADD as an adult, what treatment options do they give you? I have looked at these other posts about this and feel relieved. For many years I have wondered what was wrong with me and then I seen a commercial on TV for adult ADD. I did some research and it all sounds like me.
    I have gone to the doctor a few times and tried to get into talking about it but then I feel kind of embarassed. I know I shouldnt be but I cannot help it.

    Can anyone tell me the treatment options and whom I should go to and discuss this with? My primary doctor or someone in counseling...........

    I would appreciate the help.
  13. by   Rhon1991
    What Brandy and Shoelace are describing is how for ADDers all the sensory systems are on hyperalert. Some cant stand strong odors either. Alarms? My husb forgetting to turn his car signal off drives me insane. If I say something it makes him mad so I sit there thinking in silence as one comedian put it 'dumb as hell... dumb as hell' so I can at least tolerate it. Sounds immature but these are the things in our minds that we dont admit to others openly.

    ICU alarms? Im usually the first to suggest to another nurse that if he/she is not going to treat/respond to her bp alarm >150 then to adjust the alarms. Its really a safety issue and alarms should not be ignored! So yes I have dog ears. I think it makes for a great nurse having hyperalert sensory because I can be in pts room not directly looking at them and know how they are breathing, ect... (I know others are going to say you dont have to be ADD to have that) but my point being, as Dr Hallowell said in his book, this disoder really shouldnt be called attn deficit because its not that we dont pay attn, its because we pay attn to EVERYTHING around us!!

    I personally thrive in the ICU because I need that stimulation to keep from getting bored. I cant imagine really doing anything outside of nursing unless it was also a high stimulating environment. I think I hyperfocus on critically-ill pts because I dont want to miss anything thats a sign to whats to come... I could go on and on...