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Attempting to open doors for people with hidden voices.

 

I have suspected I had ADD for most of my life.

 by Courtenay Miller, age 26

 

 Photo of Courtenay Miller

 

I have suspected I had ADD for most of my life.
by Courtenay Miller, age 26

 
In January of this 2012 I was diagnosed with ADD. I am 26 and I have suspected I had ADD for most of my life. My parents never believed that ADD was real and convinced me that it was my fault that I couldn't focus. My parents then told me that people who were on ADD medications were only using them to lose weight. I have struggled with weight my entire life, so I did not want that associated with any weight loss successes i may have had. Essentially, there was a huge negative stigmata associated with treatment for ADD.  I had convinced myself that doctors would see me seeking medication to lose weight. I am not gonna lie, I bought ADD meds from friends to get me through school. I found it helpful, but knew I couldn't get it long term because of what "people would think." I struggled through college and graduate school. Throughout graduate school, I was taking Adipex to lose weight, but it also worked as a stimulant. People didn't believe me when I told them I believe I had ADD because they couldn't see my struggles. I google EVERYTHING, so I knew that I had symptoms of ADD. My younger sister was diagnosed a few years ago and finally convinced me that it was something I should look into.

 

Initially, I was prescribed Adderall. My doctor and I adjusted dosages until we found one that was right.  Everything in my life changed and I questioned how I got this far in life without any medication. I also wondered how different my life would be had my parents believed in the diagnosis.  My issues falling and staying asleep finally dissolved, and I was beginning to actually complete tasks I started. At some point, I felt myself seemingly building up a tolerance. In addition, no matter what I did, I could not wake up in the mornings. The side effects were starting to get worse and I was wanting more and more and more. I ended up getting this unbelievable skin rash that I thought was contact dermatitis from the medication, so I stopped taking it. That was when I realized how addicted I was to the Adderall and how in the long run, it was hurting more than helping. Suddenly, I was able to wake up in the mornings.

 

I went back to my doctor and was prescribed Vyvance. Before taking Vyvance, I googled everything about Vyvance so that I would be comfortable taking it and aware of potential side effects. I noticed immediately that I wasn't able to fall asleep at a normal time and even with Benadryl or Ambien, I was still not able to fall asleep. This would have been a disaster for me, but I woke up feeling wonderfully refreshed, so it wasn't a huge issue to me. I liked that Vyvance made me focus on something and essentially tune everything else out. This turned bad quickly because it made my OCD tendencies come out in full force. I am a picker naturally; I pick at everything. I am aware of this, so I usually can control myself. Well, I ended up picking at my tattoo on my wrist until it was half gone. I didn't bleed and it wasn't painful, so the recognition that I was doing something somewhat insane didn't occur to me. I called my doctor the next day and was switched to Ritalin.

 

I just started taking Ritalin and there are so many questions I have and information I want. After searching for a while, I finally stumbled upon your website and I wish that I would have found it sooner. The information on your Ritalin experience was extremely helpful. Not to mention, the wealth of information about ADHD on your site. Again, I wish that I would have found your site sooner. Thank you so much for sharing your experiences. I was so relieved and excited when I read your story about Ritalin because it answered every question I had. I have shared your website to many people in the last hour and I cannot thank you enough for developing something that is extremely wonderful. Ritalin has changed my life in a positive way, but not to the same degree adderall did. Adderall made me want to do anything and everything all the time. Ritalin keeps me focused on the attainable goals and I still have the ability to tell myself no I don't feel like tackling this today, whereas with adderall, I didn't have that choice. I have been on Ritalin since October of 2012 and it is now January 2013. I got a new job and loved it, but realized that it wasn't the right fit for me immediately. I also thank Ritalin for that. Before I started taking any meds for ADD, every day was a chore. With the Ritalin, I was able to recognize that the job was not a chore, but it was more of something that I was not cut out to do. Don't get me wrong, I COULD have done it, but I was able to recognize early that it wasn't a good fit. I am glad that I took my life into my hands and went to get tested for ADD. There is no telling where I would be today if I hadn't. 

 

Courtenay Miller
This article was received on 4th January, 2013

 

 Links to other pages on this site.

ADHD Pages.
This page has information that will enable you to learn more about attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. There are links to articles regarding ADHD.

How Ritalin Works For Me !
Andy, an adult who is diagnosed with ADHD, explains both the positive and negative experiences he has when using Ritalin medication.

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