Monday, September 13, 2010

You owe it to your future self...

...if you do a bit of reading ADHD, you may run into tidbits about how people with untreated ADHD may develop further issues as they age. I'm not a doctor and I'm not a psychologist, so I'm not going to get into the specifics of what these are, or why, or how. You can do your own research there.

But I do want to just throw this little bone out there into the blogosphere: knowing that fact...even in vague terms...why would a person NOT seek evaluation and treatment, if needed?

I'm sure there's a million "reasons", but I'm here to give you my opinion, because this is MY blog and my opinion is that there is no good excuse. Especially since untreated ADHD often leads to consequences that other people experience, not just the untreated ADHDer.

You owe it to your health. You owe it to your professional life. You owe it to your personal relationships.

(Steps off of soapbox to return to ADHD life in progress...)


  1. You obviously live in a big city or metro area where decent doctors and treatments are available. Nobody where I live seems to know anything about adult ADHD. Rather than waste time in a dr's office to be humiliated, people don't go.

    Also, the drugs are EXPENSIVE if you don't have insurance.

  2. While I absolutely hear what you are saying:

    1) I don't live in a big city (I'm an hour from the nearest) and had to do a little research to find specialists. Happily (perhaps luckily), I found them at my local community mental health center, where they are available on a sliding scale basis. If you have community health or mental health clinics within a reasonable distance, this is a good place to start looking. I know it's not always easy, but that doesn't mean you should not keep trying...and if nobody will listen, you can pursue other avenues. Maybe CHADD has contacts in your area that could refer you to someone?

    2) Many ADHD drugs are available in generic forms. Granted, not all of the generics work perfectly for everyone, but currently, both of the drugs I take are available as $10 prescriptions through my insurance...and while I'm not sure of this, aren't there pharmacies, like Walmart, at which you can get generics at reduced rates?

    I'm absolutely not arguing with you, simply highlighting that may need to do some looking around, but there may be options available to you that you are not yet aware of.

    Also: it's important to remember that what other people say to us, or about us, doesn't have to define who we are. (I don't even always agree with my specialists.) Don't let other people tell you that you don't exist...if one person doesn't listen, try another one. And another one. It can make you feel nuts, but when you find the ear that will listen, it will be worth it...

  3. probably no "good" excuses (if we're going to assume that we all agree treatment for ADD makes life less frenetic-feeling, anxiety-ridden for the ADD sufferer and those whose lives intersect with them regularly), Buuuuuut, there are lots of "understandable" reasons people may not seek treatment. They may honestly not have had the realization that they have this "disorder", and that there are treatments (ranging from meds to life-skills and back) that may allow them greater feelings of "normalcy" and less opportunity to feel like a stuck screw-up. They may be in denial that they are in this catagory. They may feel they have the issue (ADD), but not believe that treatment can actually work, or can actually work for THEM. They may have other, grinding head-case-stuff that complicates their work on ADD (for years, the downward cycles of my Bipolar II were doing battle w/my ADD symptoms, and to make things worse, the "coping mechanism" of staying up all night for a day or two, or hyperfocusing to catch up would often kick my Bipolar side into manias or disallow me to realize I was experiencing one and take care of Bipolar me). If you've got kids and you are overworked and underpaid, you may keep telling yourself you'll do it tomorrow (as in, get a doc appt for yourself) and then constantly reprioritize to put the kids/work/spouse first. I see moms neglect themselves all the time, and these are so-called "healthy" moms, w/out brain-chemistry issues.

    and I could go on and on. Nope, they're not "good" reasons, but there are lots of reasons we don't help ourselves sometimes like we should. Still, I really like your Dy-no-mite, Action packed, hold-myself accountable style here... The reminders of "the obvious", that we are all responsible for our little corner (of our brains!) and that if we want different circumstances, it is our own perspectives, choices, and actions that will ultimately create them.

    Hugs to all those feeling wiped out from the struggle today. as always - great posts! They are always interesting/thought-provoking/great fun to read!

  4. I totally hear what you are saying. I think you touch on many reasons that indeed, people may experience when not seeking treatment. Lots of good points.

    For me too, it took a long time to seek treatment. Nearly ten years ago a friend of mine literally handed me a copy of Driven to Distraction and said to me "I think you need to read this...". And I read it...and a lot of it made sense but I wasn't ready for it yet. I haven't always been so "clear" in my opinions about these things...but about 9 years ago I started to notice something...that I was the only one who could make the choices I needed to make to feel better.

    I started with addressing my hypoglycemia, because for me, that was a huge issue. And I felt better but I still didn't feel quite right, and it was a constant struggle, and it still is (as I sit here avoiding eating because of anxiety) and probably always will be (because of the anxiety I live with on a fairly regular basis) but I still work at it. I went through a lot of rounds of "what can I try". I went through a lot of rounds of "I don't have time/energy for this". I went through a lot of feeling really badly because I knew I was doing things that were negatively affecting people around me...and I knew I was spending a lot of time blaming everyone but myself, and I finally figured out that was extremely wrong, and wasn't helping me...and I had a few therapists along the way, which helped, but didn't fix me all at once any more than anything else...

    And I still don't know all of the answers...but the only thing I know for sure, is that we as individuals are the only ones who have the power to change ourselves. It's not easy, it's not fun, it's a process...

    So...I don't mean to sounds like life is just a breeze, and I know everything for everyone...I don't think that people who are at different places in their lives are bad people...on the contrary, I know exactly how easy it is to avoid dealing with stuff, especially when a chemical imbalance may be in play. I write these things for myself as much as anyone else. I just know that for me, until I was able to accept and work constantly, at taking responsibility for my own "stuff", I created my own obstacles.