October 16, 2013 at 5:46 pm #122524
nonniMemberOctober 16, 2013 at 5:46 pmPost count: 2
I always have had problems with depression and anxiety. I found out I had ADD a couple of years ago. I’m 53. This past summer I had psychological tests because I’ve been having increasingly difficult times at work. My working memory is practically nonexistent. I also have sleep apnea which contributes to the problems of attending and memory. I had the tests because I told work and they wanted proof from a doctor so they could give me accommodations. My meds aren’t working. I did very poor on the working memory part of the test. I can’t get organized. I took an online summer course and never finished because I always get distracted by everything. I am a high school art teacher and things are getting more and more demanding-not the teaching part-but the paperwork. I never get it in on time and I know it looks bad to my bosses. I keep up with all the teaching work but I just can’t get organized. We have meetings once a week and I can’t remember from one week to the next what we are working on with enough specifics-I’m always confused. I have no one at work I can talk to. I just feel like I can’t do it anymore. For the last couple of weeks I feel like crying all the time. I’d quit my job but I don’t know what I could do to support myself. I have too many bills-not for my current pay- but for what ever job I might be able to get with my dysfunctional brain. Does ADD sometimes get worse with time.? I didn’t have it this bad as a kid. I was a good student but it was hard for me. Now I have a lot of stress. All my work takes me way to much time. I’m up every night and only get about 5 hours because I’m trying to catch up with work. I always get distracted on the computer which I need to do my job. I have an adult daughter who has an eating disorder and just had her second child two months early and her first is only 15 months old. It is big worry. My life is falling apart and I don’t know what to do. I need practical solutions to getting organized and set up systems for myself. I’ve been flying by the seat of my pants for too long…REPORT ABUSEOctober 16, 2013 at 6:06 pm #122525
dithlParticipantOctober 16, 2013 at 6:06 pmPost count: 158
@nonni – HUGE hugs. You are an amazing person who is caught in a tough situation.
1. The amount of stress you are under can definitely make symptoms worse. So can lack of sleep. I was in a very similar situation a couple of years ago, and I know I spiralled downward because of the vicious cycle – get behind, steal from sleep time to catch up, which made me more dysfunctional, which made me fall more behind.
2. Are you part of a union? If so, they NEED to be part of the process of weekly meetings.
3. Accommodation #1 (or just plain common sense) — your meetings need a clear agenda, workable goals, and someone should be taking notes and giving you a copy or emailing them to you. Short term memory problems mean this: IF YOU CAN’T SEE IT, YOU WON’T REMEMBER IT!
That’s just a few things for starters. Hang in there, I know how tough it is. I will send you a private message with the contact info for the coach who got me through it. Re-post here if you don’t get it within 1/2 hour.REPORT ABUSEOctober 16, 2013 at 6:57 pm #122526
miguelangelMemberOctober 16, 2013 at 6:57 pmPost count: 16
To focus on meetings ritalin works great to me. I have the feeling that ADD effects get worse with age (I have 50), the brain loses the ability to compensate his deficiencies. I try to compensate it by increasing the medication, more in situations where it is needed the skills that ADD like me have notREPORT ABUSEOctober 16, 2013 at 8:22 pm #122527
blackdogMemberOctober 16, 2013 at 8:22 pmPost count: 906
Hey @nonni. The first thing I want you do is take a nice, long, deep breath. Close your eyes for a minute and just focus on releasing all the tension from your body. Keep breathing deeply.
As @dithl said, stress and lack of sleep are most likely what is making your symptoms worse. I don’t know if ADD gets worse with age, but other things change that could make it seem worse. Our brains automatically get slower with age. And we all become more forgetful.
I was going to suggest recording the meetings so that you can play it back later to remind yourself. I don’t know if that would be considered acceptable or not. I think dithl knows more about your particular work setting than I do.
I am possibly the most disorganized person in the world so I can’t really offer a lot there. One thing that helps a little is doing things immediately as soon as they need to be done. Try to minimize distractions. And try using a timer. I have been having some success with that strategy lately. I find that just the act of setting the timer helps me to focus and the constant tick tick tick in the background reminds me to stay focused.
For working memory, try to do lists. Break down what you need to do and write it out, step by step.
For example, when I was working in a fast food setting, I would write out a list before I went in:
1. turn on equipment 2. count cash and set up tills 3. turn on computer, check email, set up cash sheet for the day 4. check stock…..ending with open doors.
Then after all of that was done I would write out a new list for the next set of jobs I had to do over the first hour or two. Then another list after that one was finished. It was all routine stuff that I did every day but if I was stressed or tired or busier than usual I would often get confused and disorganized and end up forgetting even the routine things. So focusing on it a little at a time helped.
I hope some of that is helpful for you. And if it isn’t I am sure you will find something that is. Just try to relax and get as much sleep as you can. And believe in yourself. You can do it. 🙂REPORT ABUSEOctober 17, 2013 at 12:36 pm #122538
sdwaParticipantOctober 17, 2013 at 12:36 pmPost count: 363
Sleep is a big factor. People say menopause can also wreak havoc with ADHD brains, if that is an issue.
I have recurring episodes of major depression – which do eventually end. Anti-depressants can help. Also making sure to eat protein in the morning and throughout the day helps me, along with B-vitamins and Omega 3s, and exercise. Just taking a walk every day can help.
What I do with paperwork is stuff everything in one big file so I can find it. One place. It’s chaos, but at least I know where it is. I also keep lists of everything I need to do and check them off.
You like that job, the teaching part? That sounds awesome. Would there be a way to get support from a school administrative assistant or teacher’s aid or something on the paperwork part of it?REPORT ABUSEOctober 17, 2013 at 1:07 pm #122540
blackdogMemberOctober 17, 2013 at 1:07 pmPost count: 906
“What I do with paperwork is stuff everything in one big file so I can find it. One place. It’s chaos, but at least I know where it is.”
LOL I love it! 🙂
I have to give that a try. Because putting it “some place safe”, “somewhere I’ll remember”, never, ever works.REPORT ABUSEOctober 20, 2013 at 3:10 pm #122574
dithlParticipantOctober 20, 2013 at 3:10 pmPost count: 158October 31, 2013 at 8:20 am #122677
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