Tuesday, August 22, 2006


I've been struggling for a long time over whether or not I have ADD and what sort of medication I may or may not need. I haven't gone in to talk to anyone because my big fear is that the doctors will be like, oh, you don't have ADD, you're just lazy.

So I slog through my life having trouble focusing and avoiding things instead. Which is stupid.

Today I discovered that the writers of the book Driven to Distraction have a treatment center within a half hour's drive of my house. I also read this on their site:

"...procrastinating, start concentrating, sit still, finish what they started, get organized. But what appears to be a matter of self-discipline is actually, for many, a more complex challenge of coping with an inborn neurological problem: ADD, or Attention Deficit Disorder."

I have HUGE issues with procrastination, concentration, and sitting still. HUGE. I mean to the point where it's like it was when I was drinking -- I promise myself that this time I'm not going to take a nap before I get started, or call someone, or get up from my computer 15 times an hour, only to do it over and over and over again. It's maddening and then I beat myself up for being a lazy sloth.

To top it off, I've had issues with panic disorder and anxiety as well, something else the center treats.

So. I made the phone call just now and left a message. I'm really hoping to learn, honestly, that I do have ADD, and that there's something I can do to fix it, because I'm tired of all this.

And if it turns out I'm just lazy, well I guess I'll have to deal with that, too.


Blogger Regina said...

Good luck to you on your ADD journey. I was diagnosed this year (at 36!) and then got the hairy eyeball from my primary care doctor when I asked for the medication options. His response went something like this: "Hmmm. Well, you have been compensating all these years without med's... so it's not necessary at this point is it?"

I'm still wondering what I ever did to him that he'd want to doom me to a life of doing things the hard way when medicine may offer me a cure. Nothing like paying $1,400 for psychological tests only to find out that I don't have a math related learning disorder but instead have ADD, and then incurring another $158 to be given the pithy diagnosis of "suck it up."

11:21 PM, August 22, 2006

Anonymous Thursday said...

I have to say, I'm pretty sure that inability to concentrate, to finish things, being easily distracted and "I'll just do this before I start that" is an affliction of working from home - so, so many people I've spoken to who work at home have the same difficulty as I and obviously you. Do bear in mind that you also seem to be constantly battling with wondering whether you're doing the 'right thing' which doesn't exactly lend itself to relaxed concentration and getting on with it, does it? How on earth are you supposed to 'happily' get on with what you're doing when you have chattering monkeys in your head querying your decisions? I could, of course, be talking complete garbage and both you and I have ADD ... I await to hear the outcome with bated breath.

6:57 AM, August 23, 2006

Blogger McPolack said...

regina, I am SO sorry your doctor was such an ass. good lord. I hope you sent him packing. did you end up getting meds anyway?

thursday,I do definitely suffer from chattering monkeys and I know it would be easier if I didn't question myself constantly. I'm working on that. I think part of the issue might be that I do my questioning out loud a lot more than I do my other feelings, like when I'm happy and satisfied. the questioning and the bad stuff is just more chewy and interesting to me and for whatever reason it wants to be expressed more.

at the same time, I really do think there's something going on that could very well be ADD, and I've wondered about whether I've had it for awhile (and my mom has since I was a kid) and we both think Polackpappy has it as well.

I do appreciate your input and your feedback and I will definitely let you (and my other readers) know what I find out. It's also really good to know that you, a fellow work-from-homer, have a lot of the same feelings I do. THe problem with working from home is, ugh, I don't work with anyone else but my cat, and she only speaks in mews.

9:02 PM, August 23, 2006

Anonymous Thursday said...

Hmm, sounds like there could indeed be some ADD going on there if your mum's wondered about it since you were a child, etc. Working home alone with only cats for company can be pretty dreary can it not?

5:41 AM, August 24, 2006

Blogger McPolack said...

Yes, especially when the cats prefer to say hello with their rear ends rather than with their faces.

8:05 AM, August 24, 2006

Blogger Cuarentayuno said...

You have what we call an artistic temperament. All work and no play make Maggie a dull girl, no?

3:23 AM, August 25, 2006

Blogger nonsequitur said...

I try not to dispense unsolicited advice, but I've been where you are and I just wanted to tell you: Please please PLEASE!!!!.... Do some thorough research on ADD meds before you decide to take any. Keep in mind that most of them are just some sort of methamphetamine or buffered amphetamine/stimulant... many of which have not had thorough long-term studies performed on them. Preliminary evidence thus far has pointed to possible neurological damage down the road... on top of causing psychological and physical dependencies. If you've been going without them for this long, please reconsider the whole medication thingy. You're doctor may very well have been doing you a favor by directing you away from the easy fix. It isn't easy to hear something like that if you were seriously considering medication, but any medical professional worth his salt will tell his patients the truth instead of what they want to hear.

Try looking into more natural, lower-impact treatments for this disorder before putting yourself on meds. As a fellow adult-ADD case, here are some things that have given me varying degrees of success: Ginseng, Gingko Biloba, Lecithin (Supplements choline, a vital brain/nervous system nutrient, taken in 2 or 3 small doses throughout the day), frequent exercise, and green tea - several cups of it a day, sipped slowly over the course of an hour or two (it contains far less caffeine than coffee, is very good for you, high in antioxidants, and it also has a stimulating/detoxifying effect without causing heavy physical dependency). Also, diet and blood sugar can have a profound effect on your mental state... make sure that you are getting lots of protein, all the "good" types of fat (omega 3s, 6s, and 9s... etc.), and focus on complex carbs/whole grains instead of white, pasty carbs such as white bread or white rice.

Naturally, this doesn't work for everybody and some people really should be on meds for their ADD. However, all the natural treatments listed above have helped me A LOT and have improved my overall physical health as well. If you're serious about treating this problem naturally, it takes a bit of planning and life restructuring, but let me tell you that it is well worth the effort.

I noticed that you are into yoga, that can help as well, especially if you are feeling especially flustered and simply take a few minutes to do stretches and refocusing techniques. :)

Sorry if this was long-winded, I hope it helps you a bit. Good luck :)

8:54 AM, August 29, 2006


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