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My Struggle with ADHD

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What impact does ADHD have on learning?

I know that a lot of people will make light jokes about having ADD. You know, everyone saying they have ADD or OCD when they truly don't? Many don't even think it is a real, existing condition. Well, if you are someone who really does have this disorder, just know that there are so many out there who make these claims because they are not the ones living with it.

My Struggle with ADHD
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Hello again, all of my nursing and future-nursing friends!

I love that we have a place as great as allnurses.com to share our feelings, stories, and inspirations with each other. This is me, sharing my difficulties with day-to-day life having ADD.

I was diagnosed very young with attention deficit disorder.

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Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) is a chronic condition including attention difficulty, hyperactivity, and impulsiveness.

I am not even sure exactly what age. I struggled to learn how to tell time. My father, a great man by the way, had a problem with managing his temper. Whenever he helped me with homework, it was a nerve-wracking experience. I remember trying to learn how to tell time, and I would be so scared of getting the wrong answers, because I knew he would get upset. Stress, made it nearly impossible to come to the right answers. Eventually, I was put on a medication that many of you are probably familiar with, Ritalin.

Oh, how I hated that drug. That drug changed who I was, who I could have been. It made me never want to take another medication for my condition to this day. I felt like I was a malnourished zombie; I was lethargic, socially absent, and I was unhappy. Let's just say that until I met my husband, my social life was very grim.

I was taken off of Ritalin sometime during middle school. I was not eating so much that it was no longer of any benefit to me to continue the medication. By that time, I was not confident enough to put myself out there and become more social. I ate more, but never enough. I would snack when I was home, but rarely ate a wholesome meal, but would eat most of my happy meals, which didn't help with my ADD, but made it worse. To this day, I still don't eat when I am stressed, even if I have migraines.

I know that when I exercise, my stress level decreases, and my appetite improves. Once I started nursing school, I had zero time to work out and stay healthy. I am taking some time off from my studies to return to my program next fall. Now, I am going to integrate more time for family, exercise, and reading my materials ahead to lessen my stress when school starts.

I wrote another article about my experience in my nursing program, going with my gut instincts, and withdrawing. This article you are currently reading was inspired by my last one because I left this part of me out of it. One person posted that they noticed my lack in time-management skills and poor study habits. I am glad that I got that post, because it showed me that I needed to go into details about why I struggled in school. This is my background for that missing information in my previous article.

I see now how I was not taking care of myself, and that in turn reflected on my schooling and life in general. I was always stressed, my emotions were very much unstable because of my condition. I found this other article on facebook shortly before I chose to withdraw. It helped me realize I needed to reevaluate my choices and how I was living day by day. I will supply the link to this post below because 19 of the 20 things on this articles list about people with ADD or ADHD apply to myself. It gives a great amount of simple understanding about people with this disorder.

20 Things to Remember If You Love a Person with ADD

Thank you for reading and....

NURSE ON!

Hello everyone. I am NeoNatMom. I have a beautiful 3 year old boy and have been married to my wonderful husband for 5 years. We are both studying, working and trying to build a better future for ourselves and I hope you enjoy my posts. Feel free to ask any questions! I love helping any way I can :)

3 Articles; 23,165 Profile Views; 674 Posts

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ggoodman has 2 years experience and specializes in OR, Trauma, OH, Vasc., Ortho, Gen.

93 Posts; 3,584 Profile Views

I am right there with you from age of Diagnosis to Tx and meds used. NOw in my 30's I am in nursing school and can tell you from my previous experience as a Fire Fighter/EMT with a metro fire depart that ran the cities only EMS that this disorder can be a major asset.

An example: No matter how bad the scenario most new folks or those with little experience get sucked into what they see or hear making the most noice and cant look at everything else or the whole pt picture. As some one with ADD I can help but not look at everything from the PT to the nurses in the room, the doctor who just came in, or the mom whose stats are tanking as everyone else focuses on the Fetus...School sucks if you don't love the field and the people your serving.

Our condition(and I call it that as I don't see it as a disability) can be true assett in the clinical environment. TO ANYONE WITH ADD, do not let your Diagnosis hold you back. I can see no better field for some one with ADD than healthcare or nursing. It is fast paced, ever changing, and demands a brain that can multitask and think critically. Something you are more than well armed to do.

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54 Posts; 1,876 Profile Views

I have also struggled with ADHD my entire life. Right now I'm a pre-nursing student, but I have a BA in psychology, so I've worked really hard to overcome my ADHD in my schooling. I feel like it's a constant push-pull for me.. I push to keep myself together while my ADHD tries to pull me into disarray. My husband is an advocate of "ADHD doesn't really exist" until he witnesses the change in me first hand between when I take my medicine and when I don't!

Stress is a BIG trigger for ADHD symptoms. When I'm stressed out, my house is a mess, my school work is a mess, I have trouble focusing on one task at a time. What has helped for me is blocking out specific times of the day to do school work (this is easier now that I have kids than before I had them because the time I set aside for school work is when they are in school-- less distractions), keeping a calendar-- I actually have multiple calendars- one for school, one hanging in the kitchen for family & kids activities and schedules, and I keep one on my phone for doctors appointments because I can set a reminder to go off. The other big thing that helps control my ADHD is keeping a routine. This again, is much easier now that I have kids and now that they're school aged, because keeping their routine helps me keep my routine.

The road has been a long one with me vs. my ADHD. I feel like I had to learn/teach myself skills that most people are born with (time management, keeping things organized and clean, breaking large tasks down into steps, keeping routines and schedules, etc). But the fact that I've overcome so many obstacles just proves to me how diligent I am. And diligence is definitely an attribute that is beneficial in nursing! It is a constant uphill battle, and I always have to remind myself that I will never "beat" ADHD... I just have to learn to live with it and keep pushing!

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54 Posts; 1,876 Profile Views

I just sent the link you posted "20 things" to my husband and he told me that it fits me to a tee! Thanks for posting it, I think this has helped him understand how my brain works a little bit better.

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3 Articles; 674 Posts; 23,165 Profile Views

jhancock2 said:
I just sent the link you posted "20 things" to my husband and he told me that it fits me to a tee! Thanks for posting it, I think this has helped him understand how my brain works a little bit better.

Anytime! I'm glad it helped bring understanding for him. We are all guilty for underestimating what we don't go through ourselves.

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Glycerine82 has 4 years experience as a ASN, LPN and specializes in SNF/Rehab/Geri.

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Right on!

I see my ADHD as a superpower. Although I am hard as hell to live with or be friends with, those who know me well know that I am worth it.

I can think outside the box like nobody's business, I am a killer problem solver and I am AWESOME at multi-tasking. (Just don't expect all of them completed.....). My hyperfocus is annoying, but it comes in handy sometimes.

IF you counted up all the years I've been in school, I could be a doctor. Repeating classes, (gave up, withdrew, retook, repeat), finishing a program but never doing the clinical for it (Yep, I'm a medical assistant with no licence.....) The Bs and Cs I've received that should have been A's...... haha. It all just makes me more well rounded. I'm finally medicated, so I think we're getting somewhere this time. 😉

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3 Articles; 2,107 Posts; 35,611 Profile Views

Wow. That link might have changed my life.

Seriously.

Thank you!!!

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9 Posts; 1,109 Profile Views

I'm in my first semester of ns and have had o withdrawal from my clinical course because I wasn't passing any of my exams and wanted to save my GPA. Thanks so much for your post and the link. Both my husband and I are diagnosed ADD/ADHD and mine never really seemed to be too debilitating until I started nursing school. I'm hoping to find the right RX and methods to learn how to get through the academics of school. I too am really great with multi-tasking, problem solving and patient care. I haven't quite figured out a good system for studying in the most organized, time efficient and effective way yet.

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NurseBedi has 10 years experience and specializes in PICU, NICU, Acute Care Peds.

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I was undiagnosed until I flunked out of college... couldn't figure out why everyone else could do college but I couldn't... went into a deep depression and developed lasting anxiety from it. Once I was diagnosed with ADD and medicated I went from a semester of straight F's to straight A's. I'm working in a PICU now, and I LOVE it! The ICU provides structure and organization that my brain needs and I thrive there! Good luck on your journey! It took me 7 years to finally finish nursing school, but I did! You can do it too!!!!

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9 Posts; 1,109 Profile Views

Thanks for sharing about your struggles through school, I found it very encouraging. I will hopefully find the right meds that can help me finish school and pass my classes. It's helpful to know that I am not alone in this struggle and that there are treatments that can work.

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Yes I have ADD, now ADHD(DSM), diagnosed at a young age, I excelled in school, BSN. Being pregnant, the Dr. Advised and I agreed to discontinue medication. Since then, I decided I would not take the medication ever again.

that was 2004, I stopped working after giving birth. Then I pursued a MSN degree. I floundered and had many falls; raising a baby and deciding to pursue my degree, it became impossible to also work. I did keep my license active and submitted my CEU's. I am proud to add I worked hard and have my MSN, eleven years!

the number eleven is also sadly significant for the number of years, away from working as a Nurse.

I have done myself a terrible disservice. During those years, time was divided into two categories: child rearing and studies.

My personal revelations? Medication, no medication should be handled on an individual basis. I should of never discontinued with the psychotherapy, a component of receiving medication.

although a psychiatrist prescribed, my therapist, could of guided insight leading to a very different outcome.

currently, I see my therapist twice a week and taking medication. Lessons? Most important: I am an individual. My medication is a tool.

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54 Posts; 1,876 Profile Views

Yes cadee88! I did the same thing, stopped taking meds after having my kids for 4 years, I was a complete mess! I never got anything done, I was so frustrated with my inability to think and concentrate. I am back on now and it has helped so much.. I feel successful again, and like I can live up to my potential!

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