A little insight would be wonderful. ... - CHADD's Adult ADH...

CHADD's Adult ADHD Support

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A little insight would be wonderful. I’m new here!

LoloBubbaMom profile image

I am 47 years old and was never formally diagnosed with ADHD. My brother was as a child and I always thought I was also. When I was 28 I entered nursing school and for the first time I couldn’t half-ass my way through school, I had to really study. I found it difficult to concentrate and take in all my reading so I went to the Doctor. I told him I thought I was ADD and that I had a family history of it and I needed something to help me study. He prescribed me Strattera and I graduated nursing school with a 4.0. For the first time in my life I truly felt smart and accomplished. I stopped taking it when I graduated. I still don’t have a formal diagnosis but I feel like I’m handling life without medication except for one thing. My 10 year old son is also ADHD hyperactive and I have chronic migraines/headaches. It makes it difficult to parent him effectively because when I have pain and he’s loud and active I get overstimulated, my pain gets worse and lose it with him. I haven’t found pain medication that works and I can’t take NSAIDS. I thoughts about noise cancelling headphones but I don’t think that helps him any when I can’t hear. I hoped maybe someone had some insights.


10 Replies

Hi and welcome. Have you ever tried magnesium? Most people don’t get enough in their diets, and magnesium deficiency is associated with migraines and ADHD. I used to get migraines pretty regularly, but I’ve barely had any since I started supplementing with magnesium glycinate about 18 months ago, at my doctor’s suggestion. I take 800mg per day, divided between morning and night, which is a pretty hefty dose (400mg is the standard recommended dose). Also, have you looked at cutting out things like wheat and dairy? This can also help with headaches. ADHD medication might also help you with maintaining your calm with your son. It does for me with my kids. Good luck, and I hope you find some relief for your headaches.

Sounds like good advise. 🤗

Thank you! I am on magnesium and it did make a huge difference. I’ve eliminated a lot of things to find my triggers. Right now stress and changes in weather are huge triggers.

Weather changes are a trigger for me, too. My doctor told me I could increase the magnesium as needed (weather changes, end of my cycle, etc.), which seems to help a little, when I actually remember to do it. For stress/overwhelm, I find that exercise, meditation, and talking to friends help the most, along with ADHD medication. Is there anyone who can help with your son when you have a migraine so you can take care of yourself? My kids are a little older, but I remember how hard that was when they were younger, especially when my husband was traveling.

Hi LoloBubbaMom -

I received first first formal diagnosis of A-ADHD (my abbreviation for Adult-ADHD) when I was 35. When I was a kid my teachers would tie me to my desk and when I tipped it over, they put me in the "special ed" class where-at that time, we just colored or looked at picture books all day. That went on until my father found out and raised holy he'll wit b the school about not doing their job. I started to see the school counselor, there was no medication involved, and we set up a system of talk therapy where I played games and built things in clay while we talked about breathing and focus and such. This was 2-3rd grade in the 60's, so I think the c I unsorted approach was way ahead of its time.

I went on to a successful career in the Army, a 3.84 GPA while I completed college in 2 1/2 years while working full-time and as a member of the National Guard and ROTC, and just last year I graduated with a masters in initial social work while working g 50-60 hours a week.

My opinion is, the disease does not disappear anymore than type I diabetes does, we either learn to live with it, find ways to work around it, or continue to struggle.

Your situation sounds like a combination of compassionate structure and skill-buulding for your child (not always have to go to Rx but so.etimes the right med combined with behavior modification and psychoeducation) can be useful, AND some stress and noise-induced anxiety relief skills for you - and maybe an official diagnosis of A-ADHD so you can get your insurance to pay the bills - could help.

Let us know how it goes.

RollingThunder profile image
RollingThunder in reply to MtMan

Well, said! 🤗

LoloBubbaMom profile image
LoloBubbaMom in reply to MtMan

Thank you

I started to get a lot of headaches 8 or so years ago and 2.5 years ago, after my son was born, they turned into migraines. I would get 1-2 a week. It was awful. I can take NSAIDS but 9/10 times it only took the edge off. My older sister gets chronic migraines as well. A few months ago I was diagnosis with ADHD I was prescribed Adderall. I haven’t had one migraine since. Not one! With my first dose of adderall, my entire body relaxed. My mind, my shoulders, my neck, my jaw, my back.... everything loosened. My anxiety plummeted. My stress plummeted. I felt a nice warmth as if blood was running to parts of my head and body that it never reached before. I’m still not exactly sure why but it seems as though my headaches and migraines were all tension related. I knew I was tense in my upper body but I had no idea to what extent because it was really normal for me. For decades I’ve carried a lot of tension in my body. Perhaps your ADHD symptoms have more of a physical effect on you than you think. That was definitely my case.

My medication also made my noise sensitivities ease up. My son was colic and it got to a point where pretty much any cry or even little whine from him made me want to off myself Godfather style. I was in a constant state of overwhelm and was barely hanging on. With the medication, some of my patient came back. I could handle more noise from him. My light and noise sensitivity decreased. My touch sensitivities decreased. I also started sleeping with ear plugs because I didn’t even realize until I started medication how much my sensory sensitivities were effecting me.

Perhaps it’s time to get diagnosed. I know for me, the Adderall wasn’t just a pill to help me focus. It was so much more! It’s my migraine medication, my muscle relaxer, my anti-anxiety pill, my antidepressant, my mood stabilizer, my sensory blunter, my mind quieter, my patience pill and so much more.

I hope something here helps.

Thank you!! You’ve convinced me to see my doctor because you pretty much described my life! My son cried constantly as a baby unless I was holding him, he slept his first 3 months on my chest in a recliner!! He’s 10 now and although he’s outburst are all excitement and happiness he is still one of my biggest triggers!! Thank you again!

I’m glad it resonated with you. Being diagnosed and medicated.... I can’t even describe how much of a game changer it was. I’m so grateful it was figured out because I’m a completely different mother now. Thank God too because I was failing miserably. Hahahaha. But somehow, even though I was failing miserably, I also knew that I didn’t have the capability to do better with my situation. I don’t know if that makes sense. I spent my whole life disappointed when I failed at something but in a weird way I wasn’t disappointed at how badly I was failing with my son because I instinctively knew that there was no possible way I could do better. I was utterly incapable with the tools I had.

I too spent months in a recliner. It was like a torture chamber! My son slept on me in the recliner with his soother (my breast) FOR 12 MONTHS!! I, like your son, am on the hyperactive side and my son would wake for any single noise! ANY tiny movement!! I had to sit there in complete silence and do everything in my power to stay completely still. Not a single fidget...afraid to move or have noise in fear of waking him and the crying starting all over again. This was where the torture feeling came in. To tell someone with undiagnosed, unmedicated ADHD, sleep deprived, surgical complications from delivery to not move a single, solitary muscle.... it was cognitive torture to me. To this day, I lost a TON of my fidgets! Now I mostly pace when standing or sway back and forth like I’m comforting a baby (even though I’m not holding a baby 🤦‍♀️).

Anyway, enough about me! My point is that it changed my life so much that I am so happy for you to experience it as well and I would gladly stand on a mountain and scream “I HAVE ADHD” if it could help one person, especially a mom, realize that her life could be so much different. I will say, for me personally, medication titration in the beginning was difficult. However, my family has sensitivities to a lot of medications and I was in ROUGH shape when I was diagnosed. My processing capability was down to almost zero. I could barley process English anymore. I thought I needed an MRI to check for MS or maybe I had dementia. Thank God that wasn’t the case. Hopefully that means it can be even easier for you.

Good luck my dear. I’d love an update at some point so see how you’re doing. All the best.

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