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Nurse with ADD :(

WheresMyPen WheresMyPen (Member)

This is a touchy subject but I need to talk so if you are reading thanks for reading this.

i was diagnosed with ADHD when I was a little kid. I was put on stimulants and they worked well my grades improved but my parents took me off cuz of s/e (lost too much weight, couldn't sleep etc)

After being off Meds grades dropped and I was put back into special Ed classes, was always getting in trouble for stupid stuff all the time, notes sent home to my parents, parent teacher meetings etc. Grew depressed by 4th grade.

Was off medications until I was in my teens, got put into an entirely different school for kids with learning disabilities and behavioral problems. I was more and more depressed, had anxiety, was bright when it came to science and English but terrible with social/behavioral skills and math. Always was good at basic math in my everyday life but in school just terrible.

Went back to a psychiatrist when I was 16 and got diagnosed again with ADD. Was put on straterra but I don't think it did much so I eventually stopped taking it.

Went years without meds again. Entered college and did pre-reqs for nursing. I did really well with all my other prereqs but failed remedial math 3 times and somehow still made it into nursing program. I always had trouble in school on tests. Careless mistakes, etc,

I did well in nursing school but had to stop working just to get through and forced myself to study long and hard and it was such a challenge I became greatly depressed but made it through.

Now I have been a nurse for a year and a half and I love it so much but was always making careless mistakes...NOT with patients safety or medications, mostly with charting, being disorganized with simple tasks, not being able to establish a routine because I was all over the place and would jump from one thing to the next before finishing.! I became extremely scared that I would eventually make a serious mistake and put a pt safety at risk! I had been lucky that I hadn't already! My home life had also always been overwhelming and disorganized too, I seem to lack something.

I became very frustrated and depressed again and went to back to another psychiatrist. I was diagnosed again with ADD and put on stimulants. This is the first time I agreed to take them as an adult and I hate to say it but after some trial and error trying a few doses, different ones, I found one that works! But I hate having to take a controlled drug just to feel normal! Just to function at a "normal" level like other people! I feel stupid, not good enough, that I have to take a drug like this just to achieve what someone else can achieve without this! I have to take it every time I am working now or else my symptoms come back and it really stinks. Now I wonder will I need this forever? My doctor said most likely. I can take breaks from it and I don't take it all the time when I am off unless I have to get things done, but when I don't take it I am back to my normal ways and very fatigued, out of it, messy, anxious, etc.

I was always a little bit in denial about my ADHD but I was dx 3 times at 3 different phases of my life by 3 different docs, and now the meds are working. Im still in denial deep down I guess because I just want to be normal. Thanks for letting me vent.

WanderingWilder specializes in Med-Surg.

What is normal anyway? You have a problem and you have a solution. I get the stigma of needing meds but you need to do what's best for you and what helps you. Why in the world would you make yourself suffer by not taking the meds.

What is normal anyway? You have a problem and you have a solution. I get the stigma of needing meds but you need to do what's best for you and what helps you. Why in the world would you make yourself suffer by not taking the meds.

i am going to keep taking the Meds. I trust my doctor. I just have been in denial about ADD for so long.

Wile E Coyote specializes in Critical care.

The down sides are no joke, as you just laid out for us. Please try to embrace the 'other side' of being wired dfferently... ya know, the creativeness, the hyper-focus, novel problem-solving etc.

ADD isn't ALL bad.

BeachsideRN specializes in NICU.

This is a touchy subject but I need to talk so if you are reading thanks for reading this.

i was diagnosed with ADHD when I was a little kid. I was put on stimulants and they worked well my grades improved but my parents took me off cuz of s/e (lost too much weight, couldn't sleep etc)

After being off Meds grades dropped and I was put back into special Ed classes, was always getting in trouble for stupid stuff all the time, notes sent home to my parents, parent teacher meetings etc. Grew depressed by 4th grade.

Was off medications until I was in my teens, got put into an entirely different school for kids with learning disabilities and behavioral problems. I was more and more depressed, had anxiety, was bright when it came to science and English but terrible with social/behavioral skills and math. Always was good at basic math in my everyday life but in school just terrible.

Went back to a psychiatrist when I was 16 and got diagnosed again with ADD. Was put on straterra but I don't think it did much so I eventually stopped taking it.

Went years without meds again. Entered college and did pre-reqs for nursing. I did really well with all my other prereqs but failed remedial math 3 times and somehow still made it into nursing program. I always had trouble in school on tests. Careless mistakes, etc,

I did well in nursing school but had to stop working just to get through and forced myself to study long and hard and it was such a challenge I became greatly depressed but made it through.

Now I have been a nurse for a year and a half and I love it so much but was always making careless mistakes...NOT with patients safety or medications, mostly with charting, being disorganized with simple tasks, not being able to establish a routine because I was all over the place and would jump from one thing to the next before finishing.! I became extremely scared that I would eventually make a serious mistake and put a pt safety at risk! I had been lucky that I hadn't already! My home life had also always been overwhelming and disorganized too, I seem to lack something.

I became very frustrated and depressed again and went to back to another psychiatrist. I was diagnosed again with ADD and put on stimulants. This is the first time I agreed to take them as an adult and I hate to say it but after some trial and error trying a few doses, different ones, I found one that works! But I hate having to take a controlled drug just to feel normal! Just to function at a "normal" level like other people! I feel stupid, not good enough, that I have to take a drug like this just to achieve what someone else can achieve without this! I have to take it every time I am working now or else my symptoms come back and it really stinks. Now I wonder will I need this forever? My doctor said most likely. I can take breaks from it and I don't take it all the time when I am off unless I have to get things done, but when I don't take it I am back to my normal ways and very fatigued, out of it, messy, anxious, etc.

I was always a little bit in denial about my ADHD but I was dx 3 times at 3 different phases of my life by 3 different docs, and now the meds are working. Im still in denial deep down I guess because I just want to be normal. Thanks for letting me vent.

I totally understand. I am currently managing my ADHD without meds but some days I know I would likely benefit from going back to stimulant meds as needed. When I was in my first grad program and working I would take a stimulant but only as needed and rarely more than 4 days in a row because my body needed a break. My psychiatrist supported this method and it worked. I am now in nursing school, a mom, a wife, and a nurse tech. I embrace some of my ADHD because I have to multi task. But I've also found other ways to manage my not so good symptoms. I write everything down. Everything. I try not to commit anything purely to memory when I'm in clinical. I also have numerical dyslexia so I have to write down all lab values in real time. I evaluate what works and what doesn't. It's a learning curve to go sans meds. Good luck!

BeachsideRN specializes in NICU.

The down sides are no joke, as you just laid out for us. Please try to embrace the 'other side' of being wired dfferently... ya know, the creativeness, the hyper-focus, novel problem-solving etc.

ADD isn't ALL bad.

Yes! This. Use the positive attributes to your advantage. They can easily be incorporated into practice. It takes work though

Kitiger specializes in Private Duty Pediatrics.

I wouldn't expect a diabetic to feel "stupid, not good enough" because they couldn't control diabetes by diet alone.

Please don't feel bad that you need meds. You have a challenge that many others don't have, and you have to work harder to do regular things. I respect a person like you who meets her challenges.

Edited by Kitiger
spelling

Nonyvole specializes in Emergency.

All the mental illnesses and learning disabilities fall under that umbrella of "something doesn't meet what is considered 'normal.'"

Just like diabetes, HTN, seizures, the list goes on, science has discovered things that help. Fix it? No.

It's a shame, though, that needing to take psych meds for things like depression and anxiety or stimulants for ADD/ADHD have become signs that a person is "weak" and "hasn't tried the non-medicine route." That "positive thoughts lead to positive results, so just choose to be happy and able to focus." "You need to try X, since that's all a person needs."

The stigma is changing, slowly, but needing medicine is never a sign of weakness. (This from a woman whose marriage fell apart partially because of the mental health views of her then husband...he saw me as not trying. I saw him as refusing to even try to understand.)

I've been through similar problems. I was actually put in speech therapy a few years because of it. The wonderful thing is that you succeeded despite it all and are now a nurse. And true to nursing, you wish to protect and care for your patients. If that means taking meds to help center and focus your mind, so be it! Kudos to you for facing the stigma and taking care of YOU and your PATIENTS!

Maevish specializes in ICU, Postpartum, Onc, PACU.

This is a touchy subject but I need to talk so if you are reading thanks for reading this.

i was diagnosed with ADHD when I was a little kid. I was put on stimulants and they worked well my grades improved but my parents took me off cuz of s/e (lost too much weight, couldn't sleep etc)

After being off Meds grades dropped and I was put back into special Ed classes, was always getting in trouble for stupid stuff all the time, notes sent home to my parents, parent teacher meetings etc. Grew depressed by 4th grade.

Was off medications until I was in my teens, got put into an entirely different school for kids with learning disabilities and behavioral problems. I was more and more depressed, had anxiety, was bright when it came to science and English but terrible with social/behavioral skills and math. Always was good at basic math in my everyday life but in school just terrible.

Went back to a psychiatrist when I was 16 and got diagnosed again with ADD. Was put on straterra but I don't think it did much so I eventually stopped taking it.

Went years without meds again. Entered college and did pre-reqs for nursing. I did really well with all my other prereqs but failed remedial math 3 times and somehow still made it into nursing program. I always had trouble in school on tests. Careless mistakes, etc,

I did well in nursing school but had to stop working just to get through and forced myself to study long and hard and it was such a challenge I became greatly depressed but made it through.

Now I have been a nurse for a year and a half and I love it so much but was always making careless mistakes...NOT with patients safety or medications, mostly with charting, being disorganized with simple tasks, not being able to establish a routine because I was all over the place and would jump from one thing to the next before finishing.! I became extremely scared that I would eventually make a serious mistake and put a pt safety at risk! I had been lucky that I hadn't already! My home life had also always been overwhelming and disorganized too, I seem to lack something.

I became very frustrated and depressed again and went to back to another psychiatrist. I was diagnosed again with ADD and put on stimulants. This is the first time I agreed to take them as an adult and I hate to say it but after some trial and error trying a few doses, different ones, I found one that works! But I hate having to take a controlled drug just to feel normal! Just to function at a "normal" level like other people! I feel stupid, not good enough, that I have to take a drug like this just to achieve what someone else can achieve without this! I have to take it every time I am working now or else my symptoms come back and it really stinks. Now I wonder will I need this forever? My doctor said most likely. I can take breaks from it and I don't take it all the time when I am off unless I have to get things done, but when I don't take it I am back to my normal ways and very fatigued, out of it, messy, anxious, etc.

I was always a little bit in denial about my ADHD but I was dx 3 times at 3 different phases of my life by 3 different docs, and now the meds are working. Im still in denial deep down I guess because I just want to be normal. Thanks for letting me vent.

Maybe I'm just an idiot, but I don't see a problem here except that (excuse my wording because I DO empathize) you can't get over yourself. Literally! :cheeky: If you want to take meds, then take them if you feel like they help you with work. If, like you said, you can manage pretty well in your every day life without them, though, I get what you mean when you say you don't want to take them at work. Seems logical and doable to me.

I've got news for you too, my young padawan (and don't you dare freak out on me! lol): You're going to make a mistake eventually, meds or no meds, so stop stressing about the idea that the ADD might "make you do it" if you do eventually taper down on them. I don't react well to any of the ADD medications I've had to try (they make me extremely nauseous and/or too sleepy!) so I've had to deal with my bad ADD without any meds except for Kratom and/or Valerian root capsules.

When I made my first (and only) mistake at work, I was on medication for my ADD (and "doing well" except for the horrid nausea) so that doesn't fix everything. You're still human and it happens to everyone eventually, no matter if it's a serious mistake or not.

Also, it's pretty simple: Take the meds or don't take them. It doesn't need to matter to anyone else but you. If you have a problem with how others might react if they find out you take medication, then maybe some soul searching (or perhaps a counseling session or two?) is in order to help you figure out why you care so much about what other people think.:inlove:

I hope you came to some resolution on this and welcome, for the third time, to The ADD Club (I want to say, "The first rule of The ADD Club is: You do not talk about The ADD Club...":roflmao:).

Have a great rest-of-the-week and sending lots of luv

xo

I don't have experience with ADD but I think what matters here is that your experience with the world is greatly improved with rx treatment.

Forget about labeling yourself or comparing yourself to others, if it's safe and you go from struggling to thriving, embrace the treatment.

madricka specializes in Oncology, critical care.

I have ADHD and only took meds during school, not after starting work as an RN (I hate the side effects and don't like to take pills unless it's 100% necessary). Instead I created my own little workarounds. When starting my shift, I would make a detailed sheet of checklists for each patient with times that I had to complete tasks (meds, dressings, charting, whatever) and I would look at that sheet of paper CONSTANTLY. It absolutely helped to keep me on track. For a while I found myself getting distracted easily (eg. talking to patients or family members) so I kept a watch in my pocket set to beep twice at 20 min intervals -- it reminded me to keep moving! There are always little ways you can tweak your behaviour/environment to help you stay focused and get things done (without making yourself stressed). Figure out which areas cause you trouble and get creative. I do the same thing at home, everyday I have a checklist of stuff I have to do and keep looking at that list, otherwise nothing will get done. You have to work with what you have.

Having ADHD doesn't mean you aren't "normal", it just means you are a bit more distracted/excitable, not a big deal. Why do you have to be like everyone else anyway? The more you fight against it, the more anxious you will get and the harder it will be. Embrace the way your brain works and learn to work with it, instead of against it. There is nothing wrong with you, you are not stupid or bad or broken or wrong. The meds aren't a cure-all, they just make some things more manageable. But you're a smart lady, you might be able to figure this out on your own. Something to consider anyway (and absolutely no judgment if you feel that you need the meds, it's really your decision).

Everyone has something wrong that's an issue for them, this is just your issue. Don't dwell on the concept of "normal", it's an artificial construct that has no bearing on what exists in real life.

When I made my first (and only) mistake at work, I was on medication for my ADD (and "doing well" except for the horrid nausea) so that doesn't fix everything. You're still human and it happens to everyone eventually, no matter if it's a serious mistake or not.

You've only made ONE mistake at work in 9 years of nursing?

Thank you all for your thoughtful comments. I guess I am feeling like I have come to a big realization about myself that I do have this condition and its a lot to handle. I always thought I had the wrong diagnosis, because I always thought adhd was over diagnosed, or that it's too "easy" for docs to dx it, and wanna throw me on meds. But I'm realizing now that I might actually have this. I'll Adjust to it, just gonna take time. I just needed to vent. Thank you all

Fellow ADHD'er here. I grew up in the 70's and 80's, when it was common that females were misdiagnosed or were skipped over and not diagnosed at all.

I didn't get diagnosed until I was 33. My misdiagnoses were over a BROAD spectrum. At first, they called it an emotional disturbance. Then, it was a hearing problem. Then I was gifted and was too bored in class. Then they thought I was bipolar. Then they thought I was depressed. Then I gave up and quit going to the doctor. Finally, when I went back to nursing school, one of the nurses on here told me that it was possible I had ADHD and to talk to my doctor. It was a life changer!

Now, in large part because of the missed and mis- diagnoses, I have anxiety, poor self esteem, and depression.

None of this is my fault, it's just what I have to deal with.

Same goes for you. Your ADD isn't your fault, it's just what you have to deal with. Like being poor, or a member of a certain race, or not being a citizen.

Luckily, you have found meds that work for you. That doesn't mean you're a bad person because of the meds. On the contrary, you're doing a great thing by taking care of yourself. You wouldn't begrudge yourself a cardiac med, would you?

I hope you can learn to accept who you are and that you're different. Not inferior, not broken, just different.

CryandNurseOn specializes in NICU, Newborn and Maternal Health.

My daughter was diagnosed this year and it's made me think a lot. Given the genetic propensity, there is a good chance I am too.

I feel the same as you I really struggle with organization and mundane tasks especially charting. I'm seriously considering getting tested because I wonder if meds would help me a bit with the overwhelm.

However, I have developed a lot of little routines to keep me on track. I'm excellent at multi-tasking and being flexible. I just need to be really careful to not get distracted.

When I worked nights it was easy. Now I work evenings and I have to be careful that I don't get busy chatting with parents and totally lose track of time!

Pixie.RN specializes in EMS, ED, Trauma, CNE, CEN, CPEN, TCRN.

There is a really great book for adults with ADD called "You Mean I'm Not Lazy, Stupid or Crazy?!" that you might find helpful. One of my ex-husbands (gosh, that sounds bad, "one of," lol) had ADD and that book was very helpful in helping him overcome some self-esteem issues related to the ADD.

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