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CHADD's Adult ADHD Support

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Skittlebrain profile image

I’ve posted on here before but I’m more desperate now than ever to at least improve my life somehow. I feel like a failure and I’m tired of it. I have negative thought patterns and low self esteem at times. I’m given to self doubt and convincing myself that people don’t really like me or if they do I convince myself that they are just pretending to like me but behind my back they think I don’t have anything together and think I’m a failure. I see slot of good qualities in myself and good intentions but many times they are overshadowed by my constant brain fog, inability to stay on task, inability to stay focused or pin my brain down long enough to make it function properly. I’m always late and I hate it. Time makes zero sense to me and I have no concept of it. I can’t get things done on time ever and I procrastinate. Most of the time I do my best work under pressure and when I procrastinate but it’s still no way to live because sometimes it costs me and makes me look like I don’t care when nothing could be further from the truth. It’s just that I don’t know any other way to be and can’t force myself to be different because this is biologically how I am wired. Most people don’t forget to fill their gas tank all the time and then run out or lose their keys constantly or continually put everything off until the last minute but here I am with no other way to be. Even my best intentions always make something go wrong which is what hurts the most!!!! I’ll give you an example- I cleaned my car out which is something I put off doing a lot which results in a car that’s always messy and disorganized and chaotic like my life is. Well when I finally decided it would be nice to get in a car for work in the morning that isn’t filled with clutter, I went out and cleaned it out and I was so proud of myself! Finally I’m doing something good to help myself feel better I thought, wow I’m doing what “normal” people do! And it felt good! My husband had a very important firefighting physical test the next day and if he missed it he would have lost out on this whole program that he has been working towards for months. Well, when I cleaned out my car, I had taken the garage keys out with me to grab something from in the garage like a rag or something I needed for cleaning. I then set the garage keys in my car and forgot about them during my cleaning. He needed them to get into the garage to have the car he needed to drive to the firefighting test. Also I had the stupid key fob that you need to start that car up as well. So he calls me in a panic the next day while I’m at work and flips out and is understandably upset, pissed off and disappointed at me. But all I wanted to do was clean out my car and try to feel not as scatterbrained for once. I didn’t want to cause my husband to miss out on a great opportunity for him, I didn’t want to look like a careless person who can’t think ahead to the little things like remembering he needs those keys. It ended up working out thank God because he was able to use our other car which is a little older and has some problems but he still made it on time and passed it with flying colors. Anyways my intentions are always good but the worst is what ends up showing even when I try my hardest so it feels like a losing game. In second grade my teacher always sent home notes that I couldn’t pay attention and it began to affect my self esteem then. She even got everyone nice candy at the end of the year for their personalities like “smarties” and told that child it was because they had done well academically that year, and laffy taffy and told that child it was because they always cracked jokes, etc. and then when my turn came to go up she said in front of everyone- you get the milky way bar because you’re always out in space and can’t pay attention. Yeah she was a terrible person and teacher and she is where I began to feel different from others.

I struggle with the thought of medication even though it might help me because I worry it will make me less creative and I won’t be “me” anymore. And it sucks to feel like you need medication to fit in to society. My mother had this too though, she was the same way as me. All I want is the good aspects of who I am to shine through and the bad to go away. Is there anyone who has struggled like me and found that natural remedies help you? I would love to find a natural route like supplements in combination with therapy. Also being on time and procrastination is the biggest thing, what has anyone done to conquer that aspect? Please help me 💕 thank you!

*I should add that ever since about 2013 I have eliminated anything with artificial flavors and colors from my diet and we eat really clean and organic but I still may be missing supplements that my brain needs and could probably still cut out more sugar and drink more water.

12 Replies

I have had to deal with almost all your concerns and yes is sucks! I am 68, and am still struggling to find out what's going on with me. Yes I have ADD and have been on adderal XR for a long time but it no longer works so I am exploring alternatives still. Recently I had some blood work done and have found some answers. First I have a problem utilizing tryptophan and it causes my brain to be inflamed due to high levels of Quinolinic Acid. This also keeps my brain from not producing dopamine, serotonin, epinephrine and nor epinephrine. Creating severe fatigue, major depression and more. Adderal was suppose to increase my serotonin and dopamine levels but obviously it doesn't work.Big problem, but now I know what to work on and I am just beginning to try different supplements to see what works. I went to Great Plains laboratories on line and the Organic acid test is what revealed this. I am increasing my magnesium supplement to help prevent more damage to my brain and a few others, it is a slow process and of course I want it fixed now.

I have learned that it doesn't matter what. other people think, it only matters how I feel about myself. I love my self, but I won't stop trying to feel better. Most doctors don't know how to help me and they don't really want to try, so it is up to me for now. I live in Hawaii and health care is not the best. So I am getting ready to move off Island where there are better alternatives, like functional medicine and internists who actually find out the problems and try to improve the root cause.

Another thing I discovered is that I have a very high level of Glyphosate (ROUND_UP) in my body along with a few other toxins. Now I live on my organic farm and I only buy only organic fruits and vegetables and if I can't find organic I buy Non-Gmo verified products. I am waiting on results of my tap water. I drink clean water and I have a shower filter. But my clothes are washed in tap water and our skin is great at absorbing anything that is put on it. I don't understand where I am getting Glyphosate and other pesticides from, but I am searching. Round-up is so toxic to our bodies along with all the other pesticides. I know it affects my digestive system causing leaky gut and more and screws with my brain too. I need to get it out of my body somehow.

So eat healthy organic food, drink lots of clean water, stop eating sugary foods and possibly/probably gluten free foods. Make sure to test for all your vitamin levels, so you buy what you need and not guess and make sure they are organic too. Excercise, meditation or something similar. Go outdoors in nature and soak up the sun for at least 30 min/day. Have fun and discover all the wonderful things about you. Don't dwell on the things you don't like because they will get worse if you do. You have control over your thoughts even if you have to work on it.

Bless you and good luck and think beyond the "box" we are all different. Do what you love and be damned what others think, it's not their life and not their business anyway. YOU are beautiful just the way you are but you can improve anything. Just make sure it's your choice and not someone else's.

hi,

Please try omad / some form of Intermittent Fasting. I know eating less in one day, gives me great energy. Protein seems to help me not get fuzzy brained. I think my body naturally likes beef jerky etc...

When I'm able, I will try to go for a clinic that's affordable and uses SPEC brain imagery to hone in on the areas of my brain that are not normal. It's expensive though, and I'm already considering ways to try to help everyone, including myself, have affordable, science-based help.

Your body + brain are unique, so without going to a clinic, you'll have to test and experiment. But I think intermittent fasting and omad really gives me good energy, focus and reading is still a BIG issue.

search amen clinic, he gives out very good advice, again you just have to try and see if your body responds. I've been trying omega 3, and I don't think it's helping that much. idk tbh because I've not measured anything before and after my intake of omega.

if anyone wants to connect with me and start a site to help ADHDers with affordable treatment, let me know...

I completely relate to everything! I had a first grade teacher who hated me because I was so disruptive. She would call my parents angrily and make me stay in for recesses. I randomly ended up regularly volunteering in her classroom a few years later, and we became a lot closer. She got cancer when I was in 5th grade and died shortly after. I like to think of that as some sign from the universe about making amends with our past. I’m still not sure how to interpret it. Still breaks my heart though.

Back to the original topic, I have read that magnesium and vitamin C are great for ADHD symptoms, I take them both as night since magnesium can make you sleepy and vitamin c makes stimulant medication less effective if taken within the same hour.

I know you said you don’t wish to use medication in fear that it could halter your creativity, which I was worried about at first too because I am a designer, however I found that the right medication changes very little. I take a fairly low dose of adderall, and I could probably take more but I like that it is more of a gentle push for me to be more productive, which is all I really wanted. It helps me to start projects easier and stick through projects for longer, and I can think through thoughts a little better, which in turn has actually given me a lot of help in my creative work! And of course its not a fix all, I am still really unproductive if I’m stubborn enough :) But it’s about training my mind to find the next step, next goal, etc. to focus on.

I also don’t take my medication on the weekends because I am doing less work that needs my full-attention, which helps both tolerance and also lets me still be my chaotic unproductive self :) But ideally when you begin medication, you are building habits that you can use to eventually stop using medication which is also great to think about because without using medication I would have never noticed how much of a difference it could make. Also trust me when I say when you actually need adderall, you cannot become addicted to it and it does not feel like an icky drug. My theory is because it actually makes people with ADHD less impulsive and more productive… it’s just not fun enough… or at least party level fun lol. The way I describe it is like an annoying mom thats nagging your brain to clean your room, but then she will take your hand and help you do it.

But of course this is not to pressure you at all, I just wanted to share my personal reflection with the creativity aspect you mentioned.

And there are definitely other ways to manage ADHD. I think the more you can learn about the science/traits behind ADHD, the easier it is to find hacks and shortcuts to help those specific symptoms too, and also be able to seperate yourself from your diagnosis. “It’s not me, its my low dopamine levels! Lets go hug someone” but like anything to do with executive function, emotional regulation, memory, RSD, sensitivity to external stuff, communication, time management, and so much more!

I know you said time / procrastination were your biggest ones- TBH I’m too lazy to think about it right now but anything to do with accountability/body doubling is GREAT for procrastination. Maybe you can talk to your husband about some kind of system that helps you keep yourself accountable. Or make the tasks into fun games that trigger the “reward receptor” that people with ADHD lack.

Therapy and specifically CBT are also great resources for practicing how to manage symptoms, and this will also help with your self-esteem and depressive thoughts. I am right here with you though, and I wish you the best of luck on this journey my friend ❤️ (apologizes for the long message)

Its taking me many years to realize that I am powerless against this. I always thought this was something that I could beat and if I just concentrated more and had more positive thoughts that I could get to the point where I don’t need to take medication. This kind of mindset not only made me suffer but the people in my life suffered as well. It’s just not fair to them. With all of my craziness they still love me and so when I take my medication it’s not only for me but it’s for them as well. If you don’t like stimulants then you can try non stimulants first. I’m on Wellbutrin because I can’t tolerate stimulants. Taking Wellbutrin with all of the other stuff like exercise, eating right, supplements helps greatly not only for me but also for the people that love me in my life.

Relatable... you can look on my page at what I posted recently which was somewhat similar to this, some of the comments were really helpful!

Sounds like therapy or an ADHD coach would be beneficial for you. Have you tried calling CHADD? 1-866-200-8098

Ask your Mom how she has handled life, she’s probably be able to give you great advice if she’s just like you.

I’ve been trying to work on my time management FOREVER. But when I started working as a teacher, I was magically on time because I knew I had to be there before the students and I had work I could get on with until they arrived. So I had a few strategies that helped: 1) being on time was getting there 15 minutes early, so I learnt to aim to arrive earlier than I need to (not that I’ve managed to stick to it when I don’t need to 😅, and 2) I had something to do once I arrived and my ADHD avoidance of being bored was satisfied, so I learnt that it’s okay to be early and bring something with to entertain myself, namely my phone but could be a book (again not that I’ve been able to do it when I don’t have to).

In terms of doing stuff before the last minute, again that’s a major struggle for me and I’m still learning myself. What helps is creating your own deadlines telling someone else to hold you accountable if needed, and if you’re self-disciplined enough (which I’m not!), you can plan rewards you give yourself once you’ve completed the task, eg a treat or an activity you enjoy doing.

I’d deffo recommend trying meds, it doesn’t stop you from being your amazing, creative self but it does reduce the brain fog which is incredible! You can always try it short term, it’s not a life sentence!

But natural remedies: exercise!!! Really helps to release all your energy and refocus the brain. And I’d deffo recommend a plant-based, sugar-free diet. See how it goes!

Good luck!

Skittlebrain profile image
Skittlebrain in reply to DW44

You have given me so much to ponder and great advice! Thank you for the tips! I think I may try a low dose of adderall and see if anything improves but what is really like to do is get a brain scan first and see if they can tell me anything about the areas of my brain which do not work properly. So that I’m not doing as much guesswork. I desperately wish I could ask my mother how she handled it, but sadly she passed away when I was 13 months old in a car accident :( the reason I know she was just like me is because my grandparents raised me and they told me all the stories about how she consistently ran out of gas and had a cluttered car and struggled with time management. My father on the other hand, I even wonder if he had it too because he spent his life in and out of jail and still is on the streets involved in drugs and crime to this day and I just wonder if he had it because he has never been able to stay committed to one woman or have good relationships with anyone but also a lot of that he put on himself too by making terrible choices but it wouldn’t surprise me one bit if this genetically came from not one but both parents. Thanks again for all your help!

DW44 profile image
DW44 in reply to Skittlebrain

Pleasure I’m glad it helped!

A brain scan is a great idea, but in the meantime, there’s still things you can do to help yourself.

Another suggestion is if you have an arrangement or appointment, plan backwards - how long is the drive? How long do you need to allow for traffic? How long does it take you to get ready? Add on 10 minutes and you know what time to start getting ready, and set multiple alarms! It annoyed my colleagues a bit last year haha but it worked! Also if you do have that time commitment, use it as a deadline to get something done beforehand which you would otherwise procrastinate or never get round to doing.

I’m sorry to hear you never really knew your mother, and to hear about your father. He could very well have ADHD for all you know 🤷🏻‍♀️

Hello, I just read your post and you could of been writing about me because I am the SAME.

This is the first time I have comprehended when someone who doesn't know you makes the statement "you're not alone with your struggles" because that's what I want you to know. Adults who have ADHD certainly have similar challenges trying to function 'normally' compared to neurotypical people that's for sure.

In fact right now I should be getting ready because someone is coming here and my house is a wreck. Instead I am writing to you, lol. DW44 is absolutely correct in encouraging exercise because exercise will boost dopamine. However when procrastination is a problem it's hard to get up and force yourself to do it properly. You can also look into taking the precurcer to Dopamine, l tyrosine (?). Best to check that out at a health shop.

I also have emotional trauma from the way I was treated at school. I am 61 years young and when I was at school there was no such thing as diagnosing a child with ADHD. We were treated very badly compared to what support is available for children now.

For StoneJewler and yourself if you're wanting to remove toxin from your body please look into Glutathione. I am sorry I do not have time to educate you myself right now but I assure you it will well worth your time investigating about this.

I was misdiagnosed for many years because I had severe depression. An hour after taking my first dose of a stimulant the depression lifted and my severe brain fog cleared. It was a life saver for me. Tolerance does happen but this can be avoided with drug free days when needed.

I wish I had more time to share with you some experiences and things that help like having a white board for writing reminders in BIG letters. I have trouble with my short term memory too. People often make suggestions like putting things back in the same place however they do not understand that I forget that I forget things! Therefore I forget to look at notes or put things back in the same place. Who can relate to that? It's so crazy it's a joke on all of us.

Sending you all my very best wishes. It's okay to not be okay so long as someone cares about you and I care about everyone of you.

Warm regards, Who am I? Michelle

PS. I only have 2 times - Day time and Night time, hahaha

Thank you, for right about glutathione and I have been taking it for 9 months, I checked my level and it is still on the low normal side. I know it is helping, but it is slow.

Thank you so much for sharing your true self; your current state of how you think about yourself and the world around you. That is truly a gift. I know there are many people in your community, friends and family who don't understand you and judge you for not seeing the world as they do. It certainly can be aggravating and lonely to feel like nobody understands you. But I'm here to tell you there are people out there that do, now, unfortunately, most are either feeling broken themselves or just that not commonplace to connect with. But I'm here to tell you that you have just connected with one of them; someone who has ADHD but has conquered life and truly loves themselves and life for everything that it holds.

There are so many people who struggle with their ADHD because they don't truly understand what it is. And that's compounded by neurotypicals who do not have it and therefore cannot relate and so when they don't understand something they usually have to fight against it; criticize and label as broken or flawed in some way. A message doesn't really do much justice, if you would be open to a private chat, I'd be more welcome to assist you.

Keep your head up high and don't let anyone tell you who you are. Only you know that and others that are like you. :)

Hello, I am not sure if your offer of private chat is open to me? I feel a bit embarrassed because this is not my post. Please accept my apologies if I have offended anyone.

How are you doing?

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