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ADD

ChlupululuuChlupululuu Registered User regular
edited December 2008 in Help / Advice Forum
I was diagnosed with ADD in kindergarten, and took ritalin three times a day through 8th grade. I am not sure why I stopped taking it in high school, but I did.

I am now a sophomore in college. I feel like I am completely unable to concentrate on anything (besides video games or somethings good books) for more than 1 or 2 minutes. Whenever I try to work, I find myself finding ways to get distracted. If I have my computer with me, I start looking at things online. If I don't have my computer, I just sort of zone out and start daydreaming, or thinking of random things. This has started seriously hurting my grades.

What I want to know is, do y'all think think I am just a standard lazy college student, or is there actually an issue (ADD) here? I don't feel like I am lazy... Its not like I am not taking the time to work and just sleeping all the time or something. I will go to the library with just my textbook with the intent to study, and after 3 hours I will only have read and absorbed a few pages. And its not because I have too much trouble with the material. It is just because after about 3 lines of reading I get distracted, and then I will think of something that happened that day, which will make me think of something else, which will make me wonder about something I read online, ect... Until about 2 or 3 minutes of random thoughts later I will force myself to focus, and the process will repeat itself. What do you think?

Also, should I look into getting my prescription for ritalin renewed? Does anybody have experience with that?

Chlupululuu on

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    ThanatosThanatos Registered User regular
    edited December 2008
    I'm guessing there were no serious side effects from the ritalin...? If not, there's no reason not to try to get it renewed. If it doesn't help, you can always stop taking it.

    Thanatos on
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    KyleWPetersonKyleWPeterson Registered User regular
    edited December 2008
    Ritalin is horrible, do not take it.

    KyleWPeterson on
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    ThanatosThanatos Registered User regular
    edited December 2008
    Ritalin is horrible, do not take it.
    Like any other psychiatric drug, Ritalin has different reactions with different people. I know several people who have ADD, and take it without a problem, because it helps them out a lot with no serious side effects. On the flip side, I know some people who have had really negative experiences with it, suffered from some pretty severe side effects, and have either decided not to take any medication at all, or have switched to something else (like Adderall) which doesn't give them side effects as severe. If you've already taken it, and haven't suffered from the side effects, there's even less reason to avoid it. This strain of "don't take psychiatric drugs no matter what, they're horrible" arguments that have come up lately really have no basis in rational thought whatsoever, and are rooted entirely in paranoia and anecdotal evidence.

    Thanatos on
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    zz_tophatzz_tophat Registered User regular
    edited December 2008
    I used to take Ritalin for my ADD. it works essentially as a stimulant like crystal meth and it is an amphetamine. It did work for me and made me far more productive but it had a side effect for me: explosive anger. Needless to say the second time i put a hole in the dry wall because my shoe was missing was when i decided to stop taking it.

    Side effects may vary.

    On an interesting side note you can get a very similar effect by drinking a ton of coffee and if that doesn't make you too jittery then it's a good substitute.


    The way i deal with my adult ADD? ...I don't really ...*cough*

    However despite getting most things done last minute i still get them done. And when i am free of distractions i do manage to concentrate extremely well, last time the cable and internet were down i cleaned the house and did a term paper.

    zz_tophat on
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    Sol InvictusSol Invictus Registered User regular
    edited December 2008
    I have to say that if you do decide to start taking the Ritalin (or similar drugs) again, and ever feel you need to stop, don't just stop taking it. You have to lower the dosage over a period of weeks before you completely stop or you'll risk adverse side effects.

    I have no personal experience with the drug (I have not been diagnosed with any psychiatric disorder) , but it's something my doctor told me when I made inquiries about it.

    Sol Invictus on
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    TehSpectreTehSpectre Registered User regular
    edited December 2008
    I used to take Ritalin and my hands tremble when I try to keep them still.

    I daresay I shall never be a surgeon.

    That being said, Ritalin seems to have all kinds of weird effects on people and other ADD meds are generally prescibed over it nowadays.

    If you didn't have any adverse reactions to the stuff, I don't see why you wouldn't give it another shot, now that it seems like your grades are taking a hit.

    TehSpectre on
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    TrippyDKTrippyDK Registered User regular
    edited December 2008
    There's a ton of A.D.D. related drugs out there. One of the more popular ones these days is one called Vyvanse. It metabolized in the stomach, and thus is more slowly and evenly released throughout the day, so in turn you only take on pill a day. It also can't be snorted. I take it, and it works wonders. I would go see a doc and talk about whats out there and what you should try.

    TrippyDK on
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    EriosErios Registered User regular
    edited December 2008
    TehSpectre wrote: »
    I used to take Ritalin and my hands tremble when I try to keep them still.

    I daresay I shall never be a surgeon.

    If you have ADHD, that's your impaired fine motor skills talking most likely. If anything, over time your brain chemistry was altered to be more close to normal (or some AD(H)D/Normal hybrid) by the continuous medication, if you started young.

    RE: ZZ Actually the closest analogue to Ritalin psychopharmacologically is cocaine :P!

    OP: If your ADD is back as adult ADD, several treatment options are available to you. There are ways you can modify your life structurally, but those may only be helpful after medication.

    Most people stuck with Ritalin in the 90s because it was demonstrated to work for them, not necessarily work best. Some personal experience: I have a mild case of ADHD now (growing up, more discipline and extraordinary amounts of medication over a long period of time likely made it mild) and I had similar issues in college. I got prescribed a reasonably hefty dose of Ritalin because it was demonstrated to work with me. Well, long story short, I remember my first dose was like drinking six pots of coffee and taking a hit of speed. However, other medications have been more successful.

    A colleague of mine who also has ADD (no h on him), swears by Strattera, a much more mild drug. Strattera works differently than Ritalin, but still affects one of the major neurotransporters (Norepinepherine). It's much closer pharmacologically to an anti-depressant than Ritalin. I had some success on it in high school, and considering my success, I'd say it worked reasonably well. I still had issues focusing though, so it is hardly perfect.

    Currently I'm on a 300mg dose of Bupropion somewhat coincidentally. Bupropion works similarly to Strattera, but it also affects reuptake of Dopamine. It's prescribed off label for a lot of things, since it's side effects are hilariously beneficial in many patients. Essentially, it's effects are the inverse of SSRI antidepressants. In tha case of an nDRI, instead of the two most common side effects being weight gain and sexual disfunction, the two most common side effects are about 7% total weight loss as fat and increased energy to the point of occasional anxiety, hypertension or insomnia. I'm a pretty big fan. I'm sure it's not for everyone and I doubt I would be taking it were I not also battling depression.

    Another thing to consider, are you sure that you're adjusting well to college? Some of us have issues adjusting to new "rulesets." This can take on the form of social isolation, depression and compulsive forum posting (I half-joke). All of these will dramatically reduce efficacy and focus, but fixing them may not solve your problem. Environmental factors definitely affect me more than I'd like to admit. If my room is clean (it never is) my ability to focus goes up by an order of magnitude. Normally this post would have taken me a long time to write unmedicated. I'm off wellbutrin for a while right now, but I am about to go get it renewed due to break being a good time to do so. I still found I wrote my post in about 1/4 the time I normally would have. Why? Because I'm in a room that's never been slept in before at my parents' house in San Francisco.

    I would talk to your doctor about a less powerful neurtransmitter-oriented drug, rather than immediately jumping on ritalin because, now that we're all on break, you have some low-risk time to try and acclimate yourself to something new. Either way, if you feel treatment is preferable (and talk to a psychiatrist in person for fuck's sake, my internet diagnoses can only be so effective :P), talk to a doctor right fucking now since winter break is the perfect time to test out a new treatment, as any adverse side effects won't damage your academic standing and you're in a more familiar environment. If you and your doctor consider Ritalin to be the appropriate solution, that might be fine, but it is a much stronger approach than was needed for me, but everyone is different. If, after starting on it for a bit, you find yourself feeling like you are a bit nauseous and have just slept for 10 hours and then drank fifteen bottles of Bawls, then odds are it may be a wee too strong.

    A word on psychiatry. Many shrinks like to play it safe when prescribing drugs for the brain. So if you mention (and you damn well should) your past experience with Ritalin, you will probably end up with a prescription for it unless you mention desires to the contrary. Ask your doctor about other options if you're curious, or just take the Ritalin, odds are in a low dose, it might still be very helpful.

    EDIT: Also, if you're on something besides Ritalin, people won't hit you up as much for "study aids." Fuck those people anyway, but at least now you won't have to pick potentially between a friend and the medically (and perhaps morally oh ho ho ho) responsible thing.

    Erios on
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    TehSpectreTehSpectre Registered User regular
    edited December 2008
    That's not fair though, I didn't shake before the Ritalin.

    Edit: I would prefer having a slight tremor in my hands to the zombification ADD meds do to me.

    TehSpectre on
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    EriosErios Registered User regular
    edited December 2008
    TehSpectre wrote: »
    That's not fair though, I didn't shake before the Ritalin.

    Edit: I would prefer having a slight tremor in my hands to the zombification ADD meds do to me.

    That's odd, most ADD meds are slight "uppers." Though I suppose the release of dopamine into your brain as a whole could cause a slight burnout or, more likely, compensation. I've always tremored and I have always had very poor writing due to nil fine motor control, but it's interesting you mention that. At least you know to not do coke!

    Erios on
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    Forbe!Forbe! Registered User regular
    edited December 2008
    I have to say that if you do decide to start taking the Ritalin (or similar drugs) again, and ever feel you need to stop, don't just stop taking it. You have to lower the dosage over a period of weeks before you completely stop or you'll risk adverse side effects.

    My room-mate has severe ADHD. He takes 30mg Adderall XR. He is meant to take it once a day every day, however, he takes it once every 3-7 days to pull all-nighters. He claims that it loses its initial potency after the first few days of taking it, so he has to stop once in a while. It has messed his sleep schedule so much, to the point where he will stay awake for 72 hours straight.

    So, though you may not be taking an amphetamine salt as potent as Adderall, it is still imperative that you follow the pharmacy instructions. My room-mate is a zombie, and we don't need any more of those walking around.

    Forbe! on
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    DixonDixon Screwed...possibly doomed CanadaRegistered User regular
    edited December 2008
    zz_tophat wrote: »
    I used to take Ritalin for my ADD. it works essentially as a stimulant like crystal meth and it is an amphetamine. It did work for me and made me far more productive but it had a side effect for me: explosive anger. Needless to say the second time i put a hole in the dry wall because my shoe was missing was when i decided to stop taking it.

    Side effects may vary.

    On an interesting side note you can get a very similar effect by drinking a ton of coffee and if that doesn't make you too jittery then it's a good substitute.


    The way i deal with my adult ADD? ...I don't really ...*cough*

    However despite getting most things done last minute i still get them done. And when i am free of distractions i do manage to concentrate extremely well, last time the cable and internet were down i cleaned the house and did a term paper.

    Yeah I tried something very similiar to ritalin when I started high school. My only side effect was the explosive anger. My poor ps2 controller just got destroyed, it was hard enough for me to keep a conversation without wanting to just punch the other person in the face.

    It was pretty odd because I'm a really easy going guy

    Dixon on
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    SentrySentry Registered User regular
    edited December 2008
    I think Adderall is preferred to Ritalin these days.

    Go see a professional at you school. Get re-diagnosed, then take what they suggest. You'll have to in order to get a prescription anyway. None of us here can diagnose you.

    Sentry on
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    supabeastsupabeast Registered User regular
    edited December 2008
    Try working out at least thirty minutes a day, six times a week, early in the day. Regular exercise does wonders for people with ADD. There are also some great books out there that will teach you how to organize your life and get through school just fine. If you can get through these books and just pick up half the techniques you’ll find that managing ADD to your advantage is a hell of a lot better than the drugs. You should also find out if the school has any ADD coaches on staff or nearby who can help you stay focused.

    supabeast on
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    edited December 2008
    Sentry wrote: »
    I think Adderall is preferred to Ritalin these days.

    As Thanatos said above, different psychiatric medications can have much different side effects for different people. Some people respond better to Adderall, some people respond better to Ritalin, and some people will respond better to one of the other drugs approved for ADD (like Strattera or Concerta.) I think I remember from my market research days that Adderall is prescribed a little bit more often than Ritalin, but there wasn't a huge difference as I recall. The point is: whatever works for the OP is what he should go with.
    What I want to know is, do y'all think think I am just a standard lazy college student, or is there actually an issue (ADD) here?

    If you start to wonder too much about the difference between "laziness" and ADD, you'll drive yourself insane. The difference between an unfortunate character flaw and a disease is discussion material for graduate medical ethics classes in universities worldwide.

    Instead, frame the question in a different light. Instead of asking yourself, "Am I just lazy or do I have ADD?" ask yourself instead, "Would I be better off seeking professional help for my attention problems?" I can pretty much guarantee that the answer to that question will be yes.

    Feral on
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    Capt HowdyCapt Howdy Registered User regular
    edited December 2008
    If you have any thoughts of joining the service, don't take any of these medications. It disquals you from military service.

    If not, then do what you think is best.

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    JaysonFourJaysonFour Classy Monster Kitteh Registered User regular
    edited December 2008
    Ritalin is essentially legalized 'something'. I forget what it is because I want to forget those times in my life when I was on it.

    Yes, I have Attention Defecit Disorder, more commonly called "ADD".

    Ritalin is scary. Doctors hand it out like fucking candy, and despite claims, what this medicine does is fuck with your brain chemistry- i.e., your mind. Inserting a pill of Ritalin into a child is like dropping a token into a slot machine and pulling the handle- because the outcome of both are truly random.

    Ritalin turned me into a goddamned zombie. I was doing well in school, but I never went out. I sat in my room and read oodles of books- read so much my eyes went bad. I once stayed up on a night before finals in seventh grade because the damn Ritalin wouldn't let me sleep and spent the night transcripting an RPG just because it was something to do. I stayed up late because I got another pill at 4 p.m., right after school, and I never really got to sleep until 2:30 a.m. most nights. Classes began about... oh yes, 7:05 a.m. and I needed forty-five minutes to shower and dress and eat before the bus showed up at 6:30. So I routinely fell asleep in homeroom, and I ended up failing a class because I couldn't stay awake. Anyways... just take anything but Ritalin- I'm on something else for it now, and I find that only using it when you need it- i.e., if you need to study, big test, project- take one. Otherwise, leave it in the cabinet and don't worry.

    Schools do not like kids with ADD- no, sir. Timed tests, the constant notes saying "JaysonFour was staring out the window daydreaming again during english class again", and the unwillingness to change for whatever reason.

    In my case, it was the timed tests and other things. I had to think each question out, and the time limit made it impossible. How can you do well when you get fifteen minutes for twenty short-answer questions and you're more worried about not finishing the test so you end up only doing those that you know off the top of your head and run out of time trying to puzzle the rest out? I came close to flunking three classes.

    But my mom, bless her heart, learned how to beat the absolute stuffing out of the school with something called a "504" plan. It's implemented under the ADA (Americans With Disabilities) Act. If a licensed psychologist diagnoses you or your kid to have ADD or ADHD, you can request the plan be implemented to get you or your kid an easier time. Stuff like no time limit on tests... it brought my grades up immediately. Unfortunately, schools don't advertise 504 plans because it jolts them out of their comfort zone of treating each student the same. So you might have to talk them into it while holding the threat of a lawsuit over their heads. Least I had to, anyways.

    I'll answer any questions you guys have to the best of my ability, but please remember that I'm not a lawyer/doctor/psychologist- just a guy who's been through it.

    JaysonFour on
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    PirateJonPirateJon Registered User regular
    edited December 2008
    I was diagnosed with ADD before it was cool and have taken ritalin for ~20 years because it works. I've taken doses up to 90MG a day for symptom relief. In the last year I switched to higher doses of adderal to take less pills. Stick with these two because they are the oldest, most tested, and since you can get generics, the cheapest.

    I have to say that if you do decide to start taking the Ritalin (or similar drugs) again, and ever feel you need to stop, don't just stop taking it. You have to lower the dosage over a period of weeks before you completely stop or you'll risk adverse side effects.

    I have no personal experience with the drug
    Obviously. Ritalin is out of your system in ~3 days. There is no come off or DTs. You are perfectly fine if you skip a few days or weeks. I typically stop on vacations and weekends unless I have serious business.


    I dunno where the guy got that cocaine is close to these drugs; they're legal speed. Ritalin = Methylphenidate ; Adderall = mixed amphetamine salts


    OP remember - ritalin is a tool to treat symptoms. If it doesn't treat them well, or it makes you feel off, then it isn't the right tool for you.
    specialists also stress the need for ADHD treatments not to rely solely on drugs like Adderall. They advise a comprehensive treatment plan that includes ADHD education, coaching and support groups; regular visits to your doctor; therapy or counseling regarding ADHD; involvement in recovery programs, and family and relationship counseling when appropriate.

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    GodfatherGodfather Registered User regular
    edited December 2008
    Although I didn't take Ritalin, I did take a drug known as Concerta.

    Let me strongly endorse going against this drug, because there is an hour/2 hour time period where you will feel like shit, as if you're the scum of the earth. It's depression amplified to a degree of ten, I don't know how else to describe it.

    It worked for a few hours, then when the drug was at its zenith my attitude just went down the tubes, for no good reason at all. What's worse is that you know it's the drugs, and that this will all go away in a matter of hours, but it doesn't even matter because there's nothing that can save you from that gut reaction. Until then you're stuck with the worst self-doubt feelings imaginable.

    Godfather on
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    DodgeBlanDodgeBlan PSN: dodgeblanRegistered User regular
    edited December 2008
    Maybe instead of going on ritalin you should think about why you are at uni, why you chose your degree and if you have any motivation to do it?

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    zz_tophatzz_tophat Registered User regular
    edited December 2008
    No offense DodgeBlan but "motivation" has nothing to do with it. When you have ADD you could be the most motivated guy in the world and still get nothing done, or even worse you could be the type that is so "motivated" that you start a bunch of things and lose interest before they are finished.



    I would like to point out that as far as Ritalin vs. Adderall goes the main difference between the two is that Ritalin is an amphetamine and Adderall is a meth amphetamine. they both have have the same effect but Adderall is much cheaper due to the manufacturing process.

    If you want to pay twice as much as you would for Ritalin you could use time release Ritalin. same thing as regular Ritalin but it lasts longer. Of course you could always just take Adderall twice a day for the same effect.

    zz_tophat on
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    edited December 2008
    zz_tophat wrote: »
    I would like to point out that as far as Ritalin vs. Adderall goes the main difference between the two is that Ritalin is an amphetamine and Adderall is a meth amphetamine.

    This is both mostly wrong and mostly irrelevant to the conversation.

    Feral on
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    zz_tophatzz_tophat Registered User regular
    edited December 2008
    Technically it's Methylphenidate made form amphetamine salts but it works the same just without the "high" of the stuff taken by itchy guy down the street.

    It is also very relevant because before someone looking for answers is told: "Youz wantz Teh Drugz" they should be told what they are.

    zz_tophat on
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    edited December 2008
    zz_tophat wrote: »
    Technically it's Methylphenidate made form amphetamine salts

    I think you should probably stop talking about pharmacology because it's entirely clear that you don't know anything about it. Methylphenidate is the generic name for Ritalin. Amphetamine mixed salts is the generic name for Adderall. The two drugs, while having similar physical effects, are not closely chemically related. Furthermore, the defining characteristic of meth-amphetamine is a methyl group substitution at the amine - that methyl group, which is responsible for much of the addictiveness and danger of methamphetamine, is not present in Adderall at all. You've managed to cram four or five different complete misconceptions into two posts.

    There's been a lot of good advice in this thread so far, particularly from Thanatos, Sol Invictus, supabeast, and PirateJon. You are really confusing the issue, largely because you are obviously confused yourself.

    Feral on
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    zz_tophatzz_tophat Registered User regular
    edited December 2008
    If you are right you're right, if I'm not then it is of not fault of mine, this is just what my doctor told me before i started taking the stuff.

    zz_tophat on
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    EriosErios Registered User regular
    edited December 2008
    JaysonFour, whoever gave you Ritalin at 4PM is bordering on the criminally negligent. That's like giving a kid 4 pots of coffee. Granted, the pots of coffee will actually have him study because his brain chemistry is probably more different from a normal person of his own sex than a man and a woman. But still. Any doctor prescribing anything to me in the past that has had any stimulant properties has told me not to take it after 12-2 PM.

    And no, it is not "pulling the lever on a slot machine." While there is randomness in any pharmacological process, the success rate for ritalin is quite good. Most people react in similar, if not identical way to any process. Though clearly, the treatment path you were given was pretty damn wrong, if I do say so myself.

    Erios on
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    BetelguesePDXBetelguesePDX Registered User regular
    edited December 2008
    I am now a sophomore in college. I feel like I am completely unable to concentrate on anything (besides video games or somethings good books) for more than 1 or 2 minutes.

    With that history I would doubt the diagnosis of ADD. The attention deficit of ADD is across the spectrum, not specific to certain stimuli. Having said that, stimulants like Ritalin may still help, but not because you necessarily have ADD.

    Do the ends justify the means? I don't know. But if someone is easily distracted while studying, but not easily distracted while playing video games, I don't think a pill will solve the problem.

    BetelguesePDX on
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    PheezerPheezer Registered User, ClubPA regular
    edited December 2008
    zz_tophat wrote: »
    If you are right you're right, if I'm not then it is of not fault of mine, this is just what my doctor told me before i started taking the stuff.

    Please just drop the issue.

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    AresProphetAresProphet Registered User regular
    edited December 2008
    zz_tophat wrote: »
    It is also very relevant because before someone looking for answers is told: "Youz wantz Teh Drugz" they should be told what they are.

    By a doctor, not internet strangers.

    AresProphet on
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    RUNN1NGMANRUNN1NGMAN Registered User regular
    edited December 2008
    I am now a sophomore in college. I feel like I am completely unable to concentrate on anything (besides video games or somethings good books) for more than 1 or 2 minutes.

    With that history I would doubt the diagnosis of ADD. The attention deficit of ADD is across the spectrum, not specific to certain stimuli. Having said that, stimulants like Ritalin may still help, but not because you necessarily have ADD.

    Do the ends justify the means? I don't know. But if someone is easily distracted while studying, but not easily distracted while playing video games, I don't think a pill will solve the problem.

    I'm no doctor, but this is exactly what jumped out at me. If you can focus to play video games or surf the internet, that doesn't sound like ADD to me either. Best to get diagnosed by a professional, either way.

    RUNN1NGMAN on
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    PirateJonPirateJon Registered User regular
    edited December 2008
    RUNN1NGMAN wrote: »
    I am now a sophomore in college. I feel like I am completely unable to concentrate on anything (besides video games or somethings good books) for more than 1 or 2 minutes.

    With that history I would doubt the diagnosis of ADD. The attention deficit of ADD is across the spectrum, not specific to certain stimuli. Having said that, stimulants like Ritalin may still help, but not because you necessarily have ADD.

    Do the ends justify the means? I don't know. But if someone is easily distracted while studying, but not easily distracted while playing video games, I don't think a pill will solve the problem.

    I'm no doctor, but this is exactly what jumped out at me. If you can focus to play video games or surf the internet, that doesn't sound like ADD to me either. Best to get diagnosed by a professional, either way.
    You don't know what you are talking about. That hyperfocus is very typical off ADD.

    PirateJon on
    all perfectionists are mediocre in their own eyes
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    EriosErios Registered User regular
    edited December 2008
    PirateJon wrote: »
    RUNN1NGMAN wrote: »
    I am now a sophomore in college. I feel like I am completely unable to concentrate on anything (besides video games or somethings good books) for more than 1 or 2 minutes.

    With that history I would doubt the diagnosis of ADD. The attention deficit of ADD is across the spectrum, not specific to certain stimuli. Having said that, stimulants like Ritalin may still help, but not because you necessarily have ADD.

    Do the ends justify the means? I don't know. But if someone is easily distracted while studying, but not easily distracted while playing video games, I don't think a pill will solve the problem.

    I'm no doctor, but this is exactly what jumped out at me. If you can focus to play video games or surf the internet, that doesn't sound like ADD to me either. Best to get diagnosed by a professional, either way.
    You don't know what you are talking about. That hyperfocus is very typical off ADD.

    Seriously, two quoted posters are simply WRONG. Obsessive focus is one of the hallmarks of an ADD personality. I will start arguing from massive authority if you two (not jon) want to continue this line of thinking. The problem with ADD is that some manifestations of the disease, such as the one carried by yours truly. Us at the extremely high functioning range tend to be intelligent and also tend to focus like a shark stirred by blood on something we find compelling or curious. However, if something is process-oriented or tedious, our ability to focus drops to nil. ADD people can also have a great deal of problems with transitions from one state to another. That said, the impulsive, disorganized nature of ADD can still show up even in hyperfocus states and activities. Also, ADD has a great deal of comorbidities which can lead to other behavioral oddities..

    An example of other diseases where similar things may happen with seemingly conflicting symptoms: depression. Depressed patients can exhibit hypersomnia or insomnia or both.

    I was diagnosed at 6 by a panel of specialists and I have been diagnosed by two different psychiatrists and an MD, so I'm a pretty safe "in." Also the drugs, ya know, work. Just in case anyone wants to doubt my ADD credentials.

    John, RE:
    I dunno where the guy got that cocaine is close to these drugs; they're legal speed. Ritalin = Methylphenidate ; Adderall = mixed amphetamine salts

    Cocaine and ritalin both stimulate a large release of dopamine into the system. Cocaine has an extra transport mechanism, hence "basically." What exactly do you think coke is? Well for starters, yes, cocaine is an alkaloid and Ritalin is derived (not literally manufactured this way anymore, I'm sure) from the Ephedrine parent compound. Pharmacology and Chemistry are two very different things. However, Cocaine is effectively a large scale dopamine reuptake inhibitor, which also has effects on serotonin and norepinepherine. Ritalin is quite similar in this regard. Ritalin and adderall are also more dissimilar than one would readily believe.

    There is a lot of misinformation out there and I'm trying to make sure I am presenting the most pharmacologically accurate information I can. And when I can't, I'm glad I know the people I do.

    Erios on
    Steam: erios23, Live: Coconut Flavor, Origin: erios2386.
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    FeralFeral MEMETICHARIZARD interior crocodile alligator ⇔ ǝɹʇɐǝɥʇ ǝᴉʌoɯ ʇǝloɹʌǝɥɔ ɐ ǝʌᴉɹp ᴉRegistered User regular
    edited December 2008
    Can I just say that I agree with everything Erios and PirateJon have been saying in this thread? They've been giving some really good info and advice.

    Feral on
    every person who doesn't like an acquired taste always seems to think everyone who likes it is faking it. it should be an official fallacy.

    the "no true scotch man" fallacy.
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    SakebombSakebomb Registered User regular
    edited December 2008
    I have ADD and keep it manageable with Ginko Biloba, Magnesium Malate and Omega-3

    Sakebomb on
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    SeptusSeptus Registered User regular
    edited December 2008
    I've never had any treatment or talked to any doctors, but for a long time now(as far back as highschool, not sure how much farther back) I've felt like I might have some form of adult ADD. I read passages over and over because I'm not paying attention to them, I'll consistently lose concentration at work and go look at something else (like these forums), but I never felt it was crippling.

    Am I right, that if I wanted any sort of real diagnosis, I'd pretty much have to drop several hundred dollars on a bunch of tests given by psychologists? I asked a friend if they could do a lower level introductory diagnosis of me to let me know if I had a strong likelihood of having ADD, without having to pay a bunch of money, and he didn't think so.

    Septus on
    PSN: Kurahoshi1
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    SamSam Registered User regular
    edited December 2008
    I was diagnosed with ADD in kindergarten, and took ritalin three times a day through 8th grade. I am not sure why I stopped taking it in high school, but I did.

    I am now a sophomore in college. I feel like I am completely unable to concentrate on anything (besides video games or somethings good books) for more than 1 or 2 minutes. Whenever I try to work, I find myself finding ways to get distracted. If I have my computer with me, I start looking at things online. If I don't have my computer, I just sort of zone out and start daydreaming, or thinking of random things. This has started seriously hurting my grades.

    What I want to know is, do y'all think think I am just a standard lazy college student, or is there actually an issue (ADD) here? I don't feel like I am lazy... Its not like I am not taking the time to work and just sleeping all the time or something. I will go to the library with just my textbook with the intent to study, and after 3 hours I will only have read and absorbed a few pages. And its not because I have too much trouble with the material. It is just because after about 3 lines of reading I get distracted, and then I will think of something that happened that day, which will make me think of something else, which will make me wonder about something I read online, ect... Until about 2 or 3 minutes of random thoughts later I will force myself to focus, and the process will repeat itself. What do you think?

    Also, should I look into getting my prescription for ritalin renewed? Does anybody have experience with that?

    One possibility is to commit yourself to half hour blocks of work. Honestly, the library may not actually be the best place to study for people with ADD, at least not the way most people go in there, get all their work done in 3 hours and get out.

    But more than chunking your time, you need to be chunking your tasks. Your average reading assignment is probably something like 30-40 textbook pages. So let's say you're done with class by 3. You come home, rest up a bit, then at 4 you commit to ten pages. Then take 45 minutes or so off, rinse, repeat. Give yourself something you really enjoy doing in-between.* Preferably something more actively engaging than the internet.

    The downside to this is you are essentially going to be working all day to get stuff done. But your performance is optimal in spurts, so you have to do the grind.



    Your time between classes is really well spent microtasking, just getting whatever done that you can. It doesn't matter if it's 2 pages in an hour, just make a habit of sitting with your textbooks and no internet.

    So in a nutshell- don't look at work in terms of time. Chunk your tasks into small bits, work this step, and it starts getting easier. A large part of ADD is how it fucks with your self esteem in terms of studying- the fear of getting distracted will distract you. What you want to do is minimize the time you spend ineffectively studying.

    *For this approach to be successful, you also need micro sessions inbetween your class meetings. Let's say you have an hour before your next class. Reading 3 pages in that hour is better than nothing at all. So set a goal for 3 pages if that's all you feel you can expect from yourself. Once you've read those 3 take it easy before your next class, and work your way up to more microtasks achieved throughout the day. Eventually once you're on this schedule, you find yourself getting more done during each little time block.

    Ritalin is of secondary importance here. Feel free to experiment, if you're going to do it, try it over break and then make yourself read a boring novel or something and see what it does. It makes some people calm, others hyper and euphoric (and then crash)

    Sam on
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    GihgehlsGihgehls Registered User regular
    edited December 2008
    I'm 26 and I take 5mg dexedrine as needed for my ADHD (or ADD, they are the same thing nowadays.) Side effects for me are occasional sweating while not doing anything, and loss of appetite. Dexedrine is one of the oldest prescription stimulants, so ask your doctor. Dex is also dirt cheap as all the patents have expired and there is no brand-name in production.

    Most ADD meds are slight variations on a basic amphetamine molecule, and it's all about finding the right kind and the right dose. I take my dex as needed, which is fine by my doctor. Ill take it if I know I'm going to be working on something that requires focus.

    EDIT: What sam says has a lot of value too. I find that I am best suited to working on several things at once in small spurts, switching between them regularly.

    Gihgehls on
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    EriosErios Registered User regular
    edited December 2008
    Septus wrote: »
    I've never had any treatment or talked to any doctors, but for a long time now(as far back as highschool, not sure how much farther back) I've felt like I might have some form of adult ADD. I read passages over and over because I'm not paying attention to them, I'll consistently lose concentration at work and go look at something else (like these forums), but I never felt it was crippling.

    Am I right, that if I wanted any sort of real diagnosis, I'd pretty much have to drop several hundred dollars on a bunch of tests given by psychologists? I asked a friend if they could do a lower level introductory diagnosis of me to let me know if I had a strong likelihood of having ADD, without having to pay a bunch of money, and he didn't think so.

    In New York City, a diagnosis of that magnitude will cost about 600-1300 dollars for the tests. Your mileage may vary.

    Erios on
    Steam: erios23, Live: Coconut Flavor, Origin: erios2386.
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    PirateJonPirateJon Registered User regular
    edited December 2008
    Septus wrote: »
    I've never had any treatment or talked to any doctors, but for a long time now(as far back as highschool, not sure how much farther back) I've felt like I might have some form of adult ADD. I read passages over and over because I'm not paying attention to them, I'll consistently lose concentration at work and go look at something else (like these forums), but I never felt it was crippling.
    Who knows? More to the point, if it's not impacting you that negatively, who cares?

    Like a lot of mental health stuff 'degree of impairment with normal life' is a big part of the diagnosis. having a problem paying attention to boring stuff like work is normal. Can't (not don't or won't) watch the road while driving? Not so much.

    Drugs would be the only treatment option you can't get without a diagnosis, and again, if you aren't bad off I would avoid taking them. A lot of it, like in sam's great post, is techniques and tricks to make it work for you rather than against you. So google those sites and see if the tips make a difference.

    Then you can better evaluate whether you should get an official diagnosis for drug therapy or not.

    PirateJon on
    all perfectionists are mediocre in their own eyes
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