Mom of 29 yr old ADD daughter needs advice!

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Mom of 29 yr old ADD daughter needs advice! 2014-07-11T08:58:25+00:00

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  • #125526
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    fromthisdayforward
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    Post count: 4

    Hi. I have come to the very sad realisation, after many years of  a constant rollercoaster ride, that I must accept the  fact my 29 year old daughter has ADD. She was diagnosed when she was little but I

    mistakenly thought that “she would grow out of it” . It has been a slow process after approx. 15 years of mentally exhaustive circumstances that now so clearly is a result of my daughter’s ADD. I am just coming to terms with this and would welcome any advice that other parents may have. So, from this day forward I am going to take care of myself. I have been on a long and crazy symbiotic existence with my daughter,crises after crises. In fact (ha ha) got to laugh at the irony, the phone just rang , it was her having another crises which could have easily been avoided . I told her “you are in boat and you need a paddle, take the paddle or you will be in the same boat going nowhere”   It is up to her to take the paddle (meds, councelling) . I hope that we can have better days ahead but it is up to her.

     

     

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    #125527
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    sarahwithadhd90
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    Hi Mom of 29 year old daughter,

    I just signed up for this website because I’m 24 and I just found out I have adhd. My best advice is exactly what your already doing now. That’s a great way of looking at it, the paddle and the boat. It’s very true I have recently started therapy, councelling and meds. It is already slowly starting to help. My parents are both in denial and its really hard that I don’t have support. It feels amazing when someone really wants to sit and listen. I’m not a parent of someone with ADHD or am I? I’ve been teaching myself to cope and ask for help..

    Sarah

    P.s. don’t hesitate to ask any questions, if I can help I will:):)

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    #125528
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    blackdog
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    Post count: 906

    @fromthisdayforward

    You are very right that your daughter must be responsible and take care of herself. And you can not take on all of her burdens.

    However, if she has not been dealing with her ADHD all this time, has not had counselling/coaching or medication and does not have any coping strategies, she will need help to get there. And she will likely always need some level of support from you and others. That “crisis that could have easily been avoided” may seem that way to you, but that is not necessarily true for her.  This is one of the things that causes people to discriminate against those with ADHD, because they do not understand that our reality is a little different from theirs. What seems simple and obvious to you may actually be very complicated and confusing to her. In order to avoid a crisis, you have to be able to see it coming, and people with ADHD often are not able to do that.

    My advice is that you read up on ADHD and learn about how it affects your daughter. You can find lots of information right here that will help with that, as well as other online resources, so it’s fairly easy to do without having to spend a whole lot of time reading books.  Identify what her issues are and then work with her to resolve them. You don’t have to get dragged into her crisis with her, but talk to her and say “okay, lets figure out how we can solve this problem and prevent it from happening again”. Help her but don’t do the work for her.  And try to be patient and positive and avoid  criticizing. Most of us don’t take criticism very well.

    Feel free to post any questions or comments you have here and ask for advice any time. 🙂

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    #125530
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    blackdog
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    Post count: 906

    Welcome @sarahwithadhd90. 🙂

    I think we have all had to deal with that denial from others at some point in time. It’s hard when you feel like they don’t support you. But they’ll probably come around and if they don’t, they don’t. You can’t change other people, but you can change yourself. And it sounds like you are on the right track.

    Also, since ADHD is almost always genetic, chances are either your mother or father (or both) has it too.

    Take a good look around the  site and get to know more about yourself and how ADHD affects your life and how to cope with it. And  answer questions and post your own tips about what has worked for you too. 🙂

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    #125532
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    makwa
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    Post count: 11

    Welcome to the site!, I’m kinda new still myself. I’m not a parent but my advice:
    Be patient. Acceptance has to happen before anything else, including accepting that medication, helps. I’m still having trouble grabbing that medication paddle myself, it’s really hard getting past the “you take meds because you’re crazy” stigma.

    Another great thing to remember is that not every person with ADHD is the same. So the meds that work for me may be different from the meds for your daughter. I do fully admit though, since I’ve started taking medication, my life has continually been improving.

    I have come to the very sad realisation, after many years of a constant rollercoaster ride, that I must accept the fact my 29 year old daughter has ADD.

    I think soon this sad feeling will turn into happiness, after of-course a wave of other feelings, which this website has plenty of good videos on!

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    #125608
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    Stash
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    Post count: 59

    @fromthisdayforward – I hope things are getting better for you and your daughter. I’ve been on meds for a few months now and on a recent visit with my doc I expressed disappointment that things weren’t as improved as I’d hoped. Then as we discussed how I’ve been spending my time, there were all kinds of little victories!
    Perhaps focussing on the successes, however small, can help change her trajectory. Rather than highlighting the screw-ups (trust me, we beat ourselves more than anyone, regardless of how unconcerned we may appear on the outside), maybe simply acknowledging her struggles (whether you understand them or not) and praising her achievements will make a difference for her.

    I know when my doctor pointed out that making hummus from scratch for my birthday party was actually a big deal, it put a smile on my face and gave me something to feel proud of. It’s a little thing, but having someone recognize that for me this was actually a big thing, well that was invaluable and gave me self-confidence boost that I really needed.

    It’s not an easy disorder to understand if you aren’t living it inside yourself, but just by being on this forum you are demonstrating that you have a desire to be a part of her solutions. I actually asked my dad to make doctors’ appointments for me and to help me get to them. I knew I needed the help, and he did it without judgment and without making me feel bad. We all need different tools to get through the day. You’ll just have to figure out what tools you might be able to offer that will help your daughter alter her path a little bit. Loving her unconditionally is the best help you can offer her.

    Best of luck to both of you!!

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    #125612
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    dithl
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    Post count: 158

    @blackdog, wise words about avoidable (or not so easily foreseen) crisis.
    @fromthisdayforward: “I have been on a long and crazy symbiotic existence with my daughter,crises after crises.” As a child/ teen / young adult, “crisis” was the glue that held my family together. Some were true crises (like hospital trips), some just ordinary problems blown up to IMAX proportions by my Dad’s baseline anxiety. Crises are so very riveting, not in a good way, but in a leap-into-action adrenaline fix kind of way. It took years for me to unlearn knee-jerk responses to other people’s problems. Or to unlearn some of it, anyway.

    Very cool that you are recognizing the symbiotic nature of the whole crisis cycle. I guess I would recommend thinking about how you want your role to change (setting boundaries?) and to be clear about that. “I won’t jump in and rescue every time you call, but I will _________”. Define what support you are able to give, explain why you need to change your own reactions.(And no, not just because you are a meany-head.)

    (Ironically, I suddenly realized that you are getting advice from someone who has been setting boundaries with her siblings for the last 6 months — with less than stellar results. Boundary setting tends to tick people off, and it can make the boundary setter feel very mean-spirited. Hopefully the dust will settle with the passage of time.)

    The other thing I wanted to mention — is there a way of spending positive time with her outside of crisis calls? Just calling to chat, or sending pictures, or doing insignificant little things together? Or maybe you already do that. It can just be overlooked when there is “a Problem”.

    Good luck, it is so very positive that you recognize your own process of acceptance and self-care. Lots of good knowledge on this site as you move forward.

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    #125620
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    Evelyn
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    Post count: 164

    All really good posts and answers to your question. These people saved my life after I found myself without a support system. I didn’t realize how much my family and my Mother in particular helped me until they weren’t there anymore.

    I took on the roll as caregiver in their declining years. Such a valuable time.

    The issues they helped me with daily seemed small seemed like just chit chat, but I later found out that they were my external regulators, because I couldn’t regulate myself. I used our conversations to try out ideas, get advice, and prioritize my actions. Without them I ran around like a chicken with my head cut off.

    They didn’t know what their role was, and worse I didn’t know what their role was at the time. But they knew how smart and talented I was, and always told me I could do anything I put my mind to. Be anything I wanted to be. That didn’t seem helpful, so open ended. Had they known what their role was I think it would have been more helpful. They might have known what I was best at and helped me find my path to get there. At the very least they could have helped me see where my strengths were and guide me into using those to come up with solutions to implement structure in a way that made sense to me.

    It is so good that you are checking out this website, you will see bits and pieces of your daughter in every story, video and chat. Encourage her to look through this website too. It might take her a while, it was six months to a year before I took this stuff seriously. I was in denial “Big Time” but the loss of my support system gave me no alternative. I was losing everything I had, on top of losing them.

    To say that she needs you is an understatement, if she has half the issues I had, and still have, her sanity depends on you.

    I am going to parrot the advice already given, but with a twist, watch the little victories she has, notice where she does well, (actually I think someone else did say this, sorta), and try to see her process, even if you are part of her process. then help her to see her own process. She won’t jump right in with recognition and take over her own life but she will begin to see how she can accomplish things more often, stay on track more, and possibly be overwhelmed for shorter and shorter lengths of time.

    I spent days and weeks in overwhelm, the whole year after my step dad passed away, the very last of my support system, I was overwhelmed 90% of the time. Lucky for me I found this website in the darkest part of that year. Slowly, I started having moments of clarity, this year I finally found the motivation to take care of myself. I held a job, paid my own bills, felt real confidence for the first time in my life.

    With your guidance, and foresight, she may get through to her own self confidence easier that I did. And the lovely thing is, is that you are still here to celebrate the discovery with her. I get giddy when I think about my Mom smiling with pride because she always knew I could do it. My Dad would just lean back in his chair, throw one leg over the arm an put one hand lazily on the back of his head and smile a sheepish, more like a “knowing” grin.

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    #125622
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    Evelyn
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    BTW I was diagnosed as a child, but that was ignored, my Dad said that no daughter of his was going to be put on speed. and that was the end of it. I didn’t even know. I always knew I was different, always on the sideline, the butt of jokes, suppressed and depressed. I could not keep friends.

    I was overwhelmed by the feelings of comradery, and friendship the first time I was touched by a friend. She was laughing and put her hand on my shoulder then leaned in putting her head on top of her hand in laughter. I don’t even remember the joke, only that very warm joyful experience… I was 25!

    I didn’t experience that again until I found this website and the people who understood what I was going through… I was 52!

    I was in my early 40’s when I had had enough and thought something was wrong with me strong enough to seek help. I spent $1,000.00 to go to New York back in February of 2002, to see a doctor about Dyslexia and ADHD. I had a list of supplements and medications he recommended… That didn’t last long. I thought I was more crazy to listen to him than I was “disordered” .

    Then finally in 2010, I was diagnosed again here, got the meds, but I still didn’t take it seriously until 2013, January. That was the darkest of the dark period I spoke of in the post above. I am doing better.

    I still backslide, still offend people, though less often, still disorganized (at the mercy of my own devices), but it is all changing, improving, like I’m finally waking up.

    I still love living in my head more than in reality, but I use a timer, (my oven timer) to pull me out about every 30, to 45 minutes. Just when I start to follow one of those sparkly trails, the timer goes off, and I take a reality break for about 10 min. then I set the timer again for about 30 to 45 minutes. It’s working!

    There is a PBS program that is supposed to be coming back out this year called “ADD and loving it” I highly recommend that you and your daughter watch it either together or separately, doesn’t matter. It was the same equivalent to my life, as my oven timer is to my day. A sort of wake-up call, but fun! It brought me to this website.

    God Bless PBS! And all the great people here at totallyADD. God Bless you too.

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    #125627
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    Jimi
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    Post count: 43

    Yes, great advice Evelyn,

    If you have anyone in your life that doesn’t believe in ADHD, get them to watch ADD & Loving It?!

    You can watch the trailer here:  http://totallyadd.com/totallyadd-loving-it-trailer/

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    #125631
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    nicknite
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    Hi, Thanks for your advice Jimi, about getting those who doubt to watch the prog. Firstly, I am from the UK and doubt I could get the programme, and secondly, my husband is rather suspicious of all things American (far too cheerful). So I am going to start a blog that may be more accessible to British folks. Hmm we’ll see.We are such a cynical lot!

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    #125636
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    blackdog
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    Post count: 906

    Ahhhh! She said “American”! 😯

    @nicknite For the record, it is Canadian, not American.

    I don’t know about it’s availability in the UK. Someone else will have to answer that. But there are lots of other videos and things available online, many of them free. So have a look around this site and check YouTube. where you’ll find videos from Doctors Parker, Barkley and Hallowell, all well known experts.  Unfortunately, also all American. We have a few other Brits around here who might know some British resources that would be more trustworthy. 😉

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    #125637
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    blackdog
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    Post count: 906

    @dithl “Crises are so very riveting, not in a good way, but in a leap-into-action adrenaline fix kind of way. It took years for me to unlearn knee-jerk responses to other people’s problems. Or to unlearn some of it, anyway.”

    LOL I still haven’t learned. I did it a few days ago when I followed a link on Facebook to the person’s website. And then took it upon myself to send her a message telling her what needed to be changed to make it work better, including changing some of her wording and moving some things to other pages etc. I really did not expect the the extremely negative response and name calling and being told to get lost that followed. I was only trying to help. 🙁

    (On a side note that particular person may be in need of psychiatric help. Which is another very good reason to not offer unsolicited advice to people on Facebook.)

    @Evelyn That is exactly what I have been going through, the loss of support. I never had any idea just how bad I am, how much ADHD has impacted my life, until suddenly I had to take care of things that I never did before. And with no one to turn to for advice, for those “external regulators”. I have been lost inside my own head so much lately. I like it in there, it’s comfy and familiar and everything is oh so shiny. Nothing so boring or mundane as washing dishes or paying bills. Not in my head.

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