Thursday, September 23, 2010

An intro to finding information about ADHD and ADHD meds...

When I started on my-learning-about-ADHD journey, I found it difficult to find information about things like medication, that were written without a blatant "ANTI-MEDICATION BECAUSE IT IS THE DEVIL!" bias. I prefer my information rhetoric-free, thanks.

Here is a link to an introductory list of ADHD Meds by a fellow ADHDer.

I am NOT offering this as medical advice, or as a substitute for medical care from your own doctor, simply because I found it interesting and helpful. Concerta, the medication that I currently find most effective for my ADHD symptoms is not among the keep in mind that there may be further options, and that you should likely ask a doctor about them.

Here is another website that I found helpful in learning a bit more for myself about ADHD meds, it's Dr. Charles Parker's blog...he has a book about meds available for purchase, but the blog also contains useful information.

Again, not offered as medical advice. Even if he is a doctor, he's not YOUR doctor, and neither am I!

As for general ADHD information, I also got a lot of my information about ADHD from scholarly articles and journals. I was in grad school at the time, so I had free access to such things online through my school library. If you are a student at a college or university, YOU likely also have this kind of access, and you can and should ask a librarian to show you how to find this information. It is much more useful than the poo that is often published in "mainstream media" is generally the results of actual scientific studies about ADHD. One of the most interesting things I learned through reading scientific materials, was that women and girls are almost non-existent, until very recently, in the scientific studies. Yes, that's right...we don't exist! Well...we're STARTING to exist...but until recently many of us were diagnosed as bipolar, depressed, anxious...and some of us are also those things...but anyway...some of the language of these scholarly articles may be a little over the top (written in scholar-ese) but they're worth a look...even if it doesn't all make perfect sense, some of it will, and it gives you a starting point for a conversation with your doc, who may be able to translate. Yet others of these articles are perfectly readable by people with normal vocabularies who are not psychologists or psychiatrists.

Even if you are NOT a student, you can access some of that same information through your public library. If you do not know how, that's okay...again, go to the library and ask a librarian if they can access any studies on ADHD...or if they have access to scholarly articles on the subject. I know that through my local public library (and I do not live in a big city or otherwise fancy place) I have access to some of these articles and thanks to my library, I can do it right here on my couch with my ID number from my library card!

You can also ask a librarian for help in finding any books they may have about ADHD, or ask if they take requests from the public, for particular books about ADHD that you may be looking for.

Personally, I think Driven To Distraction is a classic of the genre (for adults, does not talk about kids with ADHD).

Delivered From Distraction is another good one for adults with ADHD.

Is It You, Me, or Adult ADHD is another highly recommended read and it deals with the effects of ADHD on adult relationships.

For perspective on women's issues and ADHD, you might like to try Women With Attention Deficit Disorder by Sari Solden.

And for an interesting personal story, written by someone with ADHD, try Bryan Hutchinson's One Boy's Struggle.

These books are all available for purchase online but remember, if you check at your public library first, they may have it available for FREE. If you're like me, and have a hard time remembering to return library books, find a way to remind yourself, or just read books at the library itself, in installments!

That should keep you busy for a while...happy information hunting! (And be sure to check out the blogs I've linked too, on the right-hand side of this page...they are informational, interesting, and chock full of stories about life with ADHD.)

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Is healthier better?

Sometimes I really don't know. I know that sounds a little questionable, but I bet yet others know exactly what I'm saying.

Health means having all kinds of realizations that require more work...and I'm all for more work...but what's worse is the emotional journeys required. Some days I'm up for it...some days I'm not. Some days I've just had a "realization" and it puts me into a space where I cannot tolerate that which "was". And yet in some areas of my life, that which "was" is ever present in, ahem, the present.

It's pure hell until you get to the place where you can have a new kind of relationship with the elements you are battling/choosing/avoiding.

There are things that were easier to deal with, when I was less healthy. Easier to tolerate.

I feel better. I have less anxiety. I have more tolerance for my own quirks.

But healthy, frequently, is not easy. Some elements get easier...but will forever be a test of my will.

Sigh. This is not a complaint. I do not need a time machine that runs backward. I'm just saying that sometimes choosing health is really much harder than choosing it's opposite, and it seems wrong that it should be so.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

This one goes to eleven...

Last night was so stressful I couldn't even really write about it. Which is, of course, why I determined to write about it when I was feeling better.

Last night, I felt like the world was screaming at me. Every sound, pounding like a hammer on my eardrums, even the sound of my own voice was nearly unbearable...but I felt so anxious that I couldn't stop talking.

Last night, music had to be eliminated from my ear-space.

Last night, tears came easily. And every other texture, sight and sensory input was just too much.

Every knob was turned to eleven. I tried to ignore it, but that's never the best option...the anxiety just increases and increases until I acknowledge it, so it's better to acknowledge it early and start the progress back down the hill. I sat in the car for half an hour while Sonny went into the bar to play a gig. I had to. I was just barely in control of the variables in the car; I was not ready for the next batch in the bar, a batch I would not be able to corral.

It's been a long time since I felt that way...and it was useful to remember that and note the progress. But in the moment that mental post-it delivered no comfort.