11 Things You’re Forgetting to Do- Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder ADHD

ADHD is best treated with a combination of behavior therapy and medication. Good treatment plans will include close monitoring, follow-ups, and making changes, if needed, along the way.

Attention to deficts Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)

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15
Sep

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Before I was diagnosed with ADHD, these 11 items were things I constantly found myself struggling with. They impacted my everyday life and created a lot of unnecessary stress too.
1.
I was struggling with daily tasks like corresponding to paperwork, paying bills, and procrastination in general.
2. I was zoning out during conversations and missing key details and directions.
3. I was always coming up with a lot of good ideas and plans but struggling to execute them.
4. Difficulty maintaining friendships
5. I was feeling either incredibly anxious or sad all the time.
6. Hyperactivity and impulsivity.
7. Difficulty setting boundaries.
8. Low self-esteem
9. I was losing things like my Id and Car Keys.
10. Feeling like life is out of control and that it’s impossible to meet the demands.
11. Starting each day, trying to be as organized as possible but still ending it defeated.

To combat all the frustration and feeling of failure, beginning in my early teens, I often drank alcohol to blow off steam or to help me forget about all the stress I was experiencing due to my disorganization. When I was finally diagnosed with Attention Deficit Disorder as an adult and provided a prescription for Adderall, I noticed a significant improvement in my concentration. The pills helped me concentrate and gave me a ton of energy, and I even lost weight since they suppressed my appetite. I felt great, my relationships at work and outside of work had improved, my apartment was clean, and I finally felt ahead of the game. After a few months of taking Adderall, I wasn’t getting as much energy from the pills. My energy was lagging by 5 pm or 6 pm, and my concentration was also depleted. I went back to my doctor. He altered my prescription to the Adderall XR. This extended-release version gave me continued energy and attention throughout the day rather than the full efficacy of the pill immediately. With the new prescription, I did feel energy longer throughout the day; however, the energy never turned off, so I began having sleep problems. I was fully awake when it was time to go to bed. I became completely reliant on the Adderall XR to keep me awake during the day more than to improve my focus and attention level.

While Adderall does have benefits for those with ADHD when taken as prescribed, there are also side effects.

Side Effects of Adderall

Common side effects for adults are:

  • Agitation
  • Anxiety
  • Diarrhea
  • Dizziness
  • Dry mouth
  • Feeling weak
  • Headache
  • Insomnia
  • Loss of appetite
  • Nausea
  • Increased heart rate
  • Urinary tract infection
  • Weight loss
  • High blood pressure

To combat insomnia, I was feeling from the Adderall XR. My doctor prescribed Ambien. I took Ambien for about three months straight, alongside the Adderall XR, but I struggled when I tried to stop taking the Ambien. I began having panic attacks and felt overall unwell. Call your doctor if you start to handle any of the following symptoms.

Common Ambien side effects may include:

  • daytime drowsiness, dizziness, weakness, feeling “drugged” or light-headed;
  • tired feeling, loss of coordination;
  • stuffy nose, dry mouth, nose or throat irritation;
  • stomach issues like nausea, diarrhea, and vomiting
  • migraines
  • muscle weakness and pain

After months of only treating my ADHD and insomnia with medications and experiencing the withdrawal effects of Ambien, I decided it was time to try and combat some of my concentration and sleep issues without relying on drugs.

Some organization methods I found helpful were:

1. Setting up a weekly/monthly planner writing down appointments and when bills were due helped me be organized and not miss deadlines.

2. Making To-Do Lists Making a list of ideas and then ways to implement them helped me stay on task and focus on one idea at a time.

3. Getting a Keyholder I put up a shelf when you walk into my apartment with my ID, Lanyard, and car keys. I use this every day, so I always know where my items are.

4. Daily Exercise Exercising daily helps me release any stress I’m feeling, improves my self-esteem, and helps me focus.

5. Load Shedding I stopped agreeing to do multiple things in one day. I began making deadlines looser, saying no to engagements that I would feel more stress if I attended rather than not.

6. Throwing Away Garbage Immediately I went through my mail over the garbage and immediately threw away all unnecessary items. Taking things out of the bag or packaging immediately rather than having them linger around the house creates more clutter.

7. Goal Setting Accomplishing one goal regardless of how small it may seem each week.

8.Date with Friends Whether it be a phone call, meal, or movie date with a friend, I make sure I schedule it so I know I am working on strengthening friendships and maintaining the level of support that I need.

9. Therapy Meeting with a therapist and talking about areas I struggled with and ways to improve has been constructive.

10. Daily Routine Getting up at the same time each day and going to bed at the same time each night helps me get the rest I need and makes it easier to plan my days.

Attending therapy helped me realize that I had developed a dependency on the Adderall XR and Ambien due to my attention deficit disorder. Instead of addressing and treating the ADHD, I was self-medicating with substances like alcohol before my diagnosis and then with medications, even though prescribed by a doctor after my diagnosis but never really tackling the root of the issue by figuring out ways to combat the ADHD and improve my organization and overall quality of life. These frustrations in my life caused me to abuse alcohol or prescription drugs to relax, socialize, or slow down and escape my frustration. My therapist advised me to look into treatment programs that assisted individuals like me with dual diagnosis treatment. Dual diagnosis programs aid with managing the co-occurring symptoms of ADHD and modifying the individual’s responses and triggers while in recovery. A program like this was exactly what I was looking for to combat my challenges with ADHD and recent addictions to live a healthy and functional life without being dependent on any substance, regardless if it was prescribed or not.

If you or a loved one is struggling with ADHD and battling addiction issues, a dual diagnosis treatment center can help.

A Dual Diagnosis Addiction Treatment Centers assist with:

  • Changing destructive thoughts, patterns, and behaviors that trigger substance abuse
  • Educating adults with ADHD and partners, and family members about ADHD
  • Building self-esteem and encouraging internal motivation
  • Using behavioral therapy to control symptoms of ADHD
  • Managing impulsive behaviors and creating routine

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