Nurses with ADD/ADHD? - page 14

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... Read More

  1. by   pjanderson
    hello fellow adders!

    i am a nursing student in wyoming. i have one year left until i graduate! woo hoo! i was diagnosed with add in 2003 after failing pre-req's. i was 35 years old! my chemistry professor asked me one day if i had ever been tested for a learning disability. he recognized how hard i studied, how i never missed class, but still got d's and f's on tests. thirty five years old!!!! i have no idea how i got through elementary, jr. high and sr. high school. but i can remember all the way back to first grade, struggling. and even at the same time, i always new that i was bright, creative, different. at the time of my testing for add, i also found out i have a very high iq (141). go figure!

    i have an official add (inattentive type) diagnosis, which is required in order to get ada accomodations. i went on strattera and it changed everything! immediate straight a's. i also suffer from depression and have been on prozac for eight years. interesting and challenging combination......add and depression. which came first, the chicken or the egg? but thank the lord for medication and good doctors!

    i would like to put myself out there to anyone who has questions or needs encouragement. i am passionate about this subject! add/adhd does not have to hold you back! there is help out there. you can do it! if i can, anyone can. i was the "least likely to succeed" and am now a 4.0 student and am vice president of my nursing class. don't let anyone make you believe you can't do anything you want to! you can! i think those of us who have add and are being treated successfully are some of the brightest, most creative people in the world! we have so much to offer from a different perspective.

    let me also quickly say that life does hold challenges....everyday....even though i am successfully being treated with medication. there's a whole psychological side to it. i mean, i was the "dumb kid" my whole life, and at 35 everything changed after my diagnosis and treatment. there are still residual feelings of low self-esteem and times of lacking confidence. and there's a whole new feeling.....a tremendous fear of failing. so, i don't want to portray a perfect life just because i was diagnosed and am on meds. it's still a struggle, but in other ways.

    i have recently been asked to be a mentor at check this site out. it's about nurses with all different kinds of disabilities. also, check out a book called "nursing students with disabilities", by donna carol maheady. she runs the web site too. i hope to one day organize a national support group of nurses and nursing students with add. let's do it!!!

    i'm currently writing a research paper about nurses with add and adhd. let me know if anyone has any good resources. also, i need some actual professional quotes from actual nurses.

    good luck to all and my door is always open!

  2. by   jh479352
    I can relate to all the dissatisfaction with meds but I find my pharmarist is such a helpful resourse. I can tell you my experience and I have read this in many books: Menapause makes it worse. I can not keep my house straighten around especially my kitchen table. And I hate having to take sleeping meds. I feel like I'm losing it slowly. What does help is 8 hours of sleep, lots of protein, mainly eggs in the AM and no caffeine.
  3. by   luv2shopp85
    How do you guys stay organized while working? I'm a nursing student and having a lot of trouble with this while I'm at clinical. My instructors have even commented it. I'm thinking about getting a PDA because that might help. Does anyone here have a PDA and thinks it helps? Or has tried a PDA and found it didn't do any good?
  4. by   firstaiddave907
    Quote from Metron
    I started this thread because I wanted to talk to nurses with ADD. Please save the "overabused" or "it doesn't exist" argument for another thread. I deal with these myths enough in everyday life.
    I totally agree with you I am 20 years old and i am currently going to school to become a medical assistant then to go on for my LPN then my RN. I was diagnosed with ADD when I was 5 years old and i also have a learning disability. I hate when people say it is over abused or it doesn't exist I have heard it all and it makes me angry.
  5. by   chris_at_lucas_RN
    Quote from luv2shopp85
    How do you guys stay organized while working? I'm a nursing student and having a lot of trouble with this while I'm at clinical. My instructors have even commented it. I'm thinking about getting a PDA because that might help. Does anyone here have a PDA and thinks it helps? Or has tried a PDA and found it didn't do any good?
    I've never used a PDA, being of the "typewriter generation," but I can tell you that my first laptop changed my life. (In a good way!)
  6. by   Balder_LPN
    I think strattera is great, but if I go off of it I get stomach issues and it even makes me "high" the first 5-7 days I go back on. I really like my doc, but he doesnt believe me on the high part. So I have to take it before bed instead of in the morning the first week, even though it causes a bit of insomnia. It's not an amphetamine so you can get a 3 month scrip and you dont have to do any explaining if you have a UA.
  7. by   Chaya
    Quote from luv2shopp85
    How do you guys stay organized while working? I'm a nursing student and having a lot of trouble with this while I'm at clinical. My instructors have even commented it. I'm thinking about getting a PDA because that might help. Does anyone here have a PDA and thinks it helps? Or has tried a PDA and found it didn't do any good?
    This has always been my problem, in clinicals and now on the job. A big part of my problem is that I don't often "get" things the first time around. I know I do best in an environment where I can build on past experience and don't have to react to unique situations on the spur of the moment. Once I have seen a situation 2-3 times or worked with a patient before I am a champ at putting a lot of complex info together into the big picture.

    For me this involves writing lots of lists (I don't have a PDA as yet but am thinking about it). Something about physically recording info and seeing it in print makes it "click" for me. I also find I am immobilized until I have "sequenced" the steps I need to take in my mind: what I need to get or prepare, what I do first and in what order, etc. I know I need to allow extra time to get my thoughts together before I can be productive.
  8. by   Psychaprn
    I don't have it but wanted to lend my support. I treat people with it and have friends with ADD/ADHD. I really admire those of you with the dx. who are nurses-it must be really tough -nursing's hard enough without problems concentrating or focusing!
  9. by   FairyPrincess06
    I will be a frosh nursing major in the fall of '06 and have had ADHD since 4th/5th grade. It suprises me how far I have come even though I'm still not perfect like other ppl r but I got into a top nursing school (U-Mass Dartmouth) w/ average grades mostlys B's and A's a 1-2 c's but I feel other than the academics I have the skills to work w/ kids and I want to be a ped's nurse at the end of the road in 4yrs. Good Luck to all out there and I too will check this board often.
  10. by   FairyPrincess06
    Quote from tlcmel
    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!
    You sound just like I am but I'm only 18 and have been experiencing similar symptoms from 4th grade on especially through out middle school and high school. Good luck in nursing and if u have q's 4 me just ask but I am only a frosh so I dont have many nursing answers yet!
  11. by   HM2VikingRN
    I wasn't diagnosed until my mid 40's. I worked for a neuropsychologist who did not believe in adult ADD?ADHD or tolerate ADD/ADHD cognitive styles. I have been on ADDERALL for a year and I can tell the difference when I don't take it. I am starting nursing school in 6 weeks. I want to become a nurse practitioner just so I can be an advocate for people who experience ADD/ADHD. (FWIW I also struggle with organization and time blindness)

    In my reading about ADD/ADHD nursing and teaching are professions that are considered ADD/ADHD friendly. Anyway, I just wanted to say that ADD/ADHD is not a bad thing. It is just a different way of relating to the world.

    If you as a person have difficulty with relationships due to ADD/ADHD GET TREATED. Its not worth it to live with low grade depression or frustration. My life is better since I started treatment.
  12. by   HM2VikingRN
    Quote from rbs105
    Thank you all for your posts. I am going to see a therapist tomorrow and see what can be done. Just on the initial phone assessment she told me I am doing too much (mom, school, working, etc) and just hearing someone professional tell me that made me feel a little validated in all my frustration. I appreciate these posts because it helps me to know that I am not alone and you have put words to the madness that is going on inside my brain! Now, how do we get a permanent thread going for this topic....?!

    I just think it needs to be sent up to NRSKAREN for help....
  13. by   HM2VikingRN
    Quote from PsychNurseWannaBe
    BUT I do agree that one should possibly look into a different nursing field such as education, legal nursing, forensics, etc... IF that would make that person more comfortable as a nurse. Regarding special accommodations... well... it is a learning disability and is covered under the ADA. The point to accommodations are to put the afflicted person back onto a level playing field with his/her peers.

    All of the above again is meant in respect and I am open to hear thoughts/comments. :typing

    ~ Psych
    My mother is definitely ADD/ADHD. She was a very successful nursing educator for over 30 years. She was never diagnosed but she definitely was able to succeed as a nurse.

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