Need some advice: I feel like I'm... - CHADD's Adult ADH...

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Need some advice

AvalinDragon profile image

I feel like I'm completely losing direction with my life. I hardly have any passion anymore, not to mention motivation. I love music, but I can't force myself to practice my fundamentals like scales, lip slurs, or long tones. Sure I have a good sound but I crack notes left and right even though I've been playing for 8ish years now because of this. I tried the stimulant medication and it worked absolute wonders, but I was forced to stop it due to a bad side-effect. The non-stimulant worked, but only the slightest bit to where it was hardly a difference.

I think patience is my complete enemy. Anyone have any strategies to combat this? I feel like I should have everything done and do it perfectly the first time, and I realize that is not a healthy mindset at all, but I can't help it. It doesn't help that I feel incredibly uncomfortable practicing when my parents are home. I know they support me but for a reason I cannot find, I absolutely hate practicing around my family. Just the knowledge that they are in the same building is enough to dissuade me and I'm really not sure why. Probably because I don't sound as good while practicing than I do in the concert lol

I would also love to do astronomy, space is something that has interested me ever since I was little, but no matter what I do I can't even do algebra, let alone calculus or physics. People keep saying that "there are only bad teachers, not students" but somehow I doubt that all 14-15 of my math teachers were absolutely horrible. Now I can hardly multiply double digit numbers without a calculator. It would not surprise me if I had a disability of some sort related to math.

Ive seen that ADHD has a large problem with memory recall, but is it connected to misremembering things? For example, I have a small concert May 6 but I was adamant that the concert was on May 9 for the longest time. I was completely sure I was told May 9, if it hadn't been for me writing down on a paper (which I forgot i did) that it was May 6. This happens with a lot of different things and it is driving me nuts, while making me look and feel like a complete idiot. The problem is, I was sure I was paying attention when the information was given. Is this normal for ADHD? I haven't really seen anything on it. I'm usually more on the hyperactive side of it and can pay attention fairly well, or at least I thought I did. I actually pay attention to something, and it still vanishes into thin air.

Now a days i'm doing photography, but it's not really something I'm particularly interested in. I'm only doing it because it's the one thing I'm semi-good at now. My parents are trying to get me to get a job, but no one wants to hire a 21-year-old with absolutely no work experience. I just don't want to take a retail job and that just be it for the rest of my life. If anyone has any useful advice, I'd love to hear it. all I've been seeing are empty words like "it will get better, just wait" and "you're not alone". Yes, but I want to get better, not be comforted. Waiting has done nothing but make things worse.

8 Replies

I hear what you are spilling and hurts me to see you in this pain. You have to accept failure embrace it. Are you worried what others think of you? Are you conscious of that everything you have accomplished was through your work and dedication? Motivation can be lost through the perception. You have to see the lift it brings you and guide yourself. Space is empty alone without others. Don’t rely on others and there perspective they can be dual edged. You will have to pick up where you left off with your music and pretend your in space without anyone open, free of criticism you create your music no one else does it for you. You are unique don’t compare yourself to others believe in yourself forget others. Perfection is unattainable and quitting is not in your blood. Parents are not always going to be there with you in life and you will find solace that your music is your creation, a reflection of yourself if someone doesn’t like it that’s there problem not yours.

AvalinDragon profile image
AvalinDragon in reply to VegasB

Always easier said than done unfortunately.

AvalonDragon, Hi. I am sorry you are going through this. First off, Yes, poor memory can be a symptom of ADHD. I have always had it. It is something that has caused me a lot of anxiety over the years. My kids grew up using it against me. I would write things down then forget where I wrote them down. I loved to play the flute, and I also played the trombone when in high school. Now I am super self conscious because I need to work on my tone and breath control and practice and do my scales, though it seems like my fingers remember them. My youngest kids were both in band in high school. I would feel insecure playing around them. I think this is something you can overcome with the right counselor. I am sorry you can't take stimulants. I can't anymore, either, and the med I am taking is not as good. Either a counselor or career coach or adhd coach should be able to help you map out a plan for a job and also a career path. They might be able to help you get tested for learning disabilities in math, which would mean that you could qualify for assistance to go to college. But another thing they can help you with is tools and skills to help you deal with the adhd in some of these situations. Take care!

I don't usually have a problem with muscle memory either, though I'm not sure if ADHD affects that or not generally. I am looking to get a counselor in the future, but probably only when things settle down a bit because money. Thanks for the advice!

Hi AvalinDragon ,Your post raises a question for me that I don't know the answer to offhand: How similar are the stimulant medications to each other? If you have a certain experience with one (re: effectiveness, side effects, etc.), how certain can you be that will also be your experience with another one? I'm thinking that there are a lot of ADHD medications on the market, so there are probably plenty more you could try and see if they work as well as your old medication did, but without the side effects. See's list of ADHD medications here for one's you may not have tried yet:

Additionally, there's a new non-stimulant approved this month called Qelbree that's currently approved for kids, but is supposed to also be approved for adults later this year:

Have you talked to your doctor about exploring other medication options? If so, what did he or she say?

My doctor said that stimulants usually have the same effect across the board, if you have one symptom with one, then it's very likely to have it with the others. Then again her ways seem to be very traditionallist and conservative, saying that the only thing going on with adhd is an inability to pay attention to anything, so I am thinking of switching doctors.

That medication looks interesting, i'll ask about it once it's approved.

I got curious enough to look into this, and it appears that behind all the different stimulant medications are two basic types (see chart below). And if you react poorly to one, it's still worth trying a stimulant from the other category.

Source: :

"Behind the varied release mechanisms that set these products apart, there are essentially only two medications within them: Methylphenidate and amphetamine. In the largest meta-analysis to date, methylphenidate had a slight edge in tolerability, particularly in children, while amphetamine was a little more effective.1 In practice, some patients respond better to one and some to the other, so both are often tried in a course of treatment."

Psychiatric Times chart of the 2 stimulant drug types

If you're thinking of switching doctors, I highly recommend scheduling an appointment with someone new! When I was being treated by the doctor who originally diagnosed me, we did not click at all. It set me up for a really long road of thinking I was doing everything I could and not realizing what else was out there that could help me. A while later I switched to a new doctor, and it's been so helpful! You might not get it right on your first try with a new doctor, but eventually you'll find someone who is right for you.

Alternatively, you can tell your current provider that you need a change, and maybe they'll be able to meet your needs better or recommend someone new. I told my therapist during one appointment that I wanted a different approach. I thought she was going to recommend someone new, but instead she was able to adjust our sessions to better meet my needs.

Your doctors and healthcare providers really want what's best for you! Let them know what you need out of the relationship with them, and they'll either try to accommodate or try to recommend someone who fits your needs better. You can be real with them without offending them (you don't have to be overly apologetic or pretend like they're the best fit for you). For me, this was the best starting place, but it might not be for everyone. I hope you find what works for you!

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