Patte Rosebank

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Patte Rosebank

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  • in reply to: Online Collaborative Problem Solving #92522

    Patte Rosebank
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    Post count: 1517

    Be careful if you Google “CBT” on its own. Besides being short for Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, “CBT” can also be short for a particularly painful sexual fetish.

    I’m just saying…

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    Patte Rosebank
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    I had a similar grocery-related disaster a few months ago. I was unpacking my bundle-buggy (which has a large drawstring pouch instead of the usual open rectangular basket), and I discovered a package of bacon from the previous week’s grocery shopping. There it was, in the very bottom of the pouch, festering away. Not only had I missed it the week before, but I’d also missed it when I was packing the current week’s groceries into the pouch. (Ewww…)

    It could be worse, though. My mom is a hoarder, stocking up on ridiculous quantities of food items just because they’re on sale. You wouldn’t believe the stuff in her larder, and she does like to share it with us. For example, she always gives me and my brother what we call “Merry Toilet Paper” for Christmas: those huge 24-roll packs—in addition to our other presents. One Christmas, she gave me a bottle of salad dressing with a Best Before date of 07/89. The trouble was, it was Christmas, 2005! (Ewwwwwwww!!!!!)

    But at least I got a good story out of it!

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    in reply to: The "fun" of Effexor withdrawal #93256

    Patte Rosebank
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    I expect I read in dreams, because I’ve been reading when I’m awake for as long as I can remember. In fact, I can’t even remember learning to read, which explains why I found it hard to be a tutor. If you’ve never had to struggle to learn something, then you don’t have any tricks to pass along, and what’s worse is that you can’t figure out why your students (or your classmates when you’re in elementary school) aren’t picking up on something that came as easily to you as breathing. (This is what happens when your mom was a teacher, and she started teaching you how to read soon after she brought you home from the hospital.) My math abilities, on the other hand…

    Effexor helped me a lot during some extremely unpleasant times, too. I just wish I’d at least gotten a heads-up about the likely difficulties in getting off it. Though, if I remember correctly, I was told that since I’d had depression pretty much since I was a kid, I’d probably have to be on Effexor for the rest of my life, so I guess any future withdrawal symptoms wouldn’t have been an issue.

    Carb-cravings? I wonder if that’s why I’ve been snarfing down oranges so much lately. 6 big, juicy navel oranges a day! I’ve also found a not-so-healthy thing that satisfies the cravings: Jiffy Corn Muffins (as seen on Food Network’s “Unwrapped”)! The mix is made in Chelsea, Michigan, and if you can’t find the stuff in your local stores (i.e. outside the USA), all you have to do is phone the company and you can buy a case of 24 boxes (each of which makes 6 muffins) directly from them and have it shipped to your door—though for us Canadians, the shipping costs twice as much as the product. Quick & easy to make, and positively delicious to eat when they’re hot from the oven, with a little pat of butter melting into their tender, yellow yumminess. And of course, quite unhealthy. Good thing I usually reach for an orange instead.

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    in reply to: conversations #93290

    Patte Rosebank
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    Sounds like you may have the inattentive subtype of ADD. Take the “Virtual Doctor” diagnostic test on this website. Then take the results with you when you go to see your doctor to discuss it, and ask for a referral to a psychiatrist WHO SPECIALIZES IN ADD. This is very important. If you just ask for a referral to a psychiatrist, you run the risk of being sent to a psychiatrist who doesn’t believe in ADD. Unfortunately, there are a lot of those around, as we can find out here: http://totallyadd.com/forum/topic.php?id=181

    As one specialist says in the film “ADD…and Loving It”, so much more is known about ADD today, that what they were teaching about it in medical schools even 10 years ago, would today be considered malpractice. When you think of how many doctors who graduated medical school back then, are practising now and may not have updated their knowledge on the subject, you can see why you need to request an ADD specialist.

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    in reply to: The jolt #93287

    Patte Rosebank
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    Did you take the Ritalin throughout the day, or all 4 at once?

    Dosing schedules are just as important as dosing amounts. There are some medications (not just the ones for ADD) which will safely do their job when taken at regular intervals during the day. But if you took a whole day’s medication all at once, it would be a major overdose that could land you in Emergency.

    I’m just saying…

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    in reply to: The "fun" of Effexor withdrawal #93254

    Patte Rosebank
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    I’ve always had really weird dreams. They’re responsible for some of the really weird sketches I’ve written, and really wild costumes I’ve designed. Over the past week or so, as I taper off the Effexor, they’ve gotten weirder, but nothing I’d really call nightmares. My brother once told me that some expert had said, “People can’t read in their dreams.” That’s funny, because I’m always reading books and letters and signage in my dreams. I wonder if this is a case of an expert being wrong, or just more proof that I’m a freak of nature.

    My psych and I decided it would be best if I were totally off the Effexor before starting anything else. In this case, that “anything else” is Ritalin, which is, I gather, the standard first drug you try in cases of ADHD.

    After reading all the horror stories, and discovering that around 79% of patients experience long and severe withdrawal symptoms when they try to get off Effexor (contrary to the 7% or so that Wyeth-Ayerst was claiming until the FDA ordered it to ‘fess up), I find it rather hilarious is that my psych’s plan for getting me off the Effexor was 10 days at 37.5 (that’s half of my regular dose), a few days at zero, then on to the Ritalin. Especially when so many people report that the withdrawal symptoms continue for months after they’ve been off the drug.

    Another funny thing: of the four women who were on duty last night, THREE of us have taken Effexor. So the other two (who are now off Effexor) were able to not only empathize with the brain zaps, wobbliness, and headache I had last night, but were able to tell me what else to expect, and what methods worked best to help them get off the stuff. One just tapered off over a long time. The other used the Prozac method, which she said pretty much eliminated all of the withdrawal symptoms. I must look into this further.

    As for me, this morning, I’m feeling a little better. Maybe my nightly dose of Seroquel helped a bit, or maybe I’m getting used to the lower dose I’d created by dumping out half the beads from my last 37.5mg. I still have about a month’s worth of the 75mgs, so I can dump most of the beads out of them, and extend the tapering-off process for myself.

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    in reply to: Managing Yourself #93248

    Patte Rosebank
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    The trouble with Shakespearean quotations is that the people who use them to demonstrate a point, generally fail to take into account the sort of character who speaks the line. Polonius is a meddling old idiot, who gets himself stabbed through the arras (so it really was curtains for him) while spying on Hamlet (because he knows that Hamlet is really unstable and prone to outbursts—something that would make a smart person choose to leave the room, instead of hiding behind a curtain and spying on them) in Gertrude’s bedroom. Knowing that Polonius is the same one who also says the much-quoted “Neither a borrower nor a lender be”, should make you think twice about that advice too.

    As for Drucker’s advice, it is definitely good advice, but in the hands of people who overly analyze everything to the point of getting stuck in “analysis-paralysis”, it can be kryptonite.

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    Patte Rosebank
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    @wolfshades, you must be in Canada. I was referred to an ophthalmologist, 3 months ago, and I’m still waiting to get an appointment. At least it won’t cost me a fortune, as it would in the States. My glasses, on the other hand…

    There is a way you could speed up the process, but it’s not for the faint of heart. If you were to experience a mental health crisis, the wheels would move considerably faster. You’d have to go to Emergency to be initially assessed, and if they thought it was really a crisis, you’d get to see an emergency psychiatrist (either at the hospital or at CAMH) within a few hours.

    But you’d really have to be freaking out for this to happen. While you’re waiting to see the psychiatrist, you’d be in a starkly institutional waiting room that has all the furniture bolted to the floor (so someone who’s violent can’t pick it up and throw it), metal grilles over the thick glass windows, doors that lock from the outside, and no reading materials. And, chances are, you’d be sharing that waiting room with some people who are truly, frighteningly, in the grip of madness. The room you’d get to see the psychiatrist in, would be the same, but much smaller. Essentially the same as the suspect interview rooms at a police station. It’s all guaranteed to make you feel really uneasy, if not downright scared. Even walking past those rooms is seriously unsettling. I don’t want to think about what it would be like to actually be in them, as a patient.

    Stick to calling about that appointment once a week. If you do it every day, you’ll just piss them off, and they can make you wait even longer as a result.

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    in reply to: Modern Family Got ADHD Right! #93239

    Patte Rosebank
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    If you’re in Toronto in the next couple of weeks, go and see “Art” at the St. Lawrence Centre. I swear, the character Yvan is an ADHD poster child. He says he “bummed around for 40 years”, but looks and acts like he’s in his 20s. He frantically searches for a lost pen-cap—which his friend finds immediately after Yvan leaves the room in search of something else. He’s always been the one who tries to smooth things over and make people feel better, usually by making them laugh. Because of this need to make everyone else feel better, he has no opinions of his own (which is why his friends call him an amoeba), and he allows others to essentially steamroll over him. His work history is one of little retail jobs, while his friends are a dermatologist and an engineer (the kind that builds things, not the kind that drives a train). At one point, he’s so overwhelmed by all the frustrations of planning his upcoming wedding, that he sets off on a show-stopping and hilarious three-and-a-half-minute stream-of-consciousness rant with nary a pause for breath.

    That sure sounds like a character with ADHD, doesn’t it? But don’t see the play because of that; see it because it’s so well written and acted, and because it’s truly funny.

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    in reply to: Finding direction sucks when you don't have a compass #92418

    Patte Rosebank
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    Rick, I remember what I got for Christmas when I was five: A Fisher-Price Castle and a Fisher-Price Farm, with the Little People that looked like wooden pegs with a ball on top for a head.

    I remembered this, because the other day, I read in the Toronto Star that Health Canada has issued a safety warning, urging everyone to dispose of all those old-style Little People, and not pass them on to children today, or resell them at yard sales or on Ebay. The warning was issued after a 10-month-old child choked on one of them. It seems the old-style Little People are the perfect size to lodge in a child’s throat. This is an unforgivable error in design from a company that was always known for the safety of its toys…until you consider how many millions of children played with those Little People over the decades, without choking on them. And that the Little People were never meant for 10-month-olds to play with. They were for ages 3 and up. Fisher-Price made other toys for infants and toddlers.

    In 1991, the toys were re-designed with larger Little People, after 8 choking incidents. And ever since then, there hasn’t been a single recall of Fisher-Price toys for safety…

    Except for all the recalls over the lead and cadmium paint on them…and the toxic chemicals used in making the plastics…and the bits that can break off and injure or choke a child…

    Frankly, I’d feel a lot safer letting my kids play with my old Fisher-Price toys, than with all those new “safe” ones that are being mass-produced in China, where companies are always cutting corners to increase profits, even if it means replacing the more expensive materials with cheaper-but-toxic ones.

    I wonder if that safety warning is just a ploy to get people to dump their old toys (which seem to have been built to last forever) and rush out to buy all that new made-in-China junk.

    I believe in doing everything possible to protect children and to prepare them to eventually go out into the world on their own. But I think we’ve taken things way too far when we’re flying into a tizzy over toys that were safe enough for generations of kids, and replacing them with junk.

    More proof we’ve gone too far with this mad desire to eliminate all possible risk: A couple of years ago, I saw a paper doll book that bore this ominous warning on the cover: “To avoid injury, remove staples before giving this book to a child.” Now, I don’t know about you, but I think that if little Johnny is unable to play with a book of paper dolls without impaling himself on a staple, then little Johnny isn’t going to last very long in this world.

    (Hey, that’s something else I’m good at: pointed satirical observation—AKA smart-aleck rants.)

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    in reply to: Inattentive…Hmm?…What? Did you say something? #92480

    Patte Rosebank
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    Post count: 1517

    Marg, do you live in a place where ADD is classed as a disability? If so, then your company could be on very shaky ground if you disclosed your disability and asked for accommodation for it (like, maybe assigning you an assistant to handle the paperwork, so you could focus on the part of the job that you can do), but the company responded by threatening termination—or went so far as to actually terminate your employment.

    In Canada, you wouldn’t need to hire a lawyer and sue the company; all you’d have to do is file a complaint with the Human Rights Commission, and prove that the company failed to act appropriately when you disclosed your disability and asked for accommodation. I had to do this, about 12 years ago, after I’d been diagnosed with clinical depression, and transferred to a real bully of a boss. My complaint dragged on for 3 years, but the Commission eventually persuaded my former employer that it would be in the employer’s best interests to settle, as the Commission wasn’t too happy with how the company had handled my situation.

    Since your job is causing you so much stress that it’s affecting your overall health (and anxiety-induced high blood pressure is very serious), you may want to request a medical leave of absence. You’ll need a letter from your doctor to prove that you need that leave. It will also make it easier for you to try different medications, to see which works for you. That’s stressful enough, but when you’re also struggling with a very high-pressure job at the same time, it can make things a lot more difficult for you.

    I strongly recommend that you take detailed notes (secretly, but as soon as possible after any unpleasant situations), and keep looking for a different job. There are organizations which help those with disabilities to find appropriate jobs. I’m not talking about basket-weaving or stringing beads. I’m talking about real jobs with a future.

    Usually, the non-profit sector is far more open to hiring people with disabilities, and making accommodations to help them. In Canada, there’s a website called Charity Village, which lists all sorts of jobs in the non-profit sector. These jobs generally pay less than private-sector jobs, but they’re generally much more satisfying jobs, because you’re not just collecting a paycheque; you’re helping to make the world a better place.

    Could it be that you’re using the extreme exercise as a form of self-medication? Exercise does clear the mind and give you a great shot of adrenaline, but if you take it to extremes, you may actually be harming yourself—especially if your heart is already pumping so hard that you have high blood pressure. You may find that, once you’re on the right medication, you won’t need to push yourself to the max.

    Finally, don’t discount the effectiveness of medications. Your questions and concerns about them are valid, but you mustn’t let those concerns prevent you from taking advantage of all that they can do to help you. Since your doctor has prescribed Concerta, take the prescription (and a list of your questions about it) to your pharmacy. Most pharmacies encourage you to sit down and discuss all your medications with them. They have the training (and the huge reference books) to give you the answers you need.

    Good luck!

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    in reply to: Any tips on finding a Doctor to prescribe meds? #93223

    Patte Rosebank
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    Post count: 1517

    Absolutely!

    And your doctor will probably appreciate your having done the work of finding the right specialist, so he doesn’t have to.

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    in reply to: Any tips on finding a Doctor to prescribe meds? #93221

    Patte Rosebank
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    This is where you need to advocate for yourself. Doctors are not gods, and they’re never always right. They’re your partners in health care, and you should work with them. Don’t be afraid to tell your doctor that the referral didn’t work out, and you need a new one.

    You need to explain to your doctor that the psychiatrist was completely inappropriate for you, and the reasons for this. Any mental health professional who takes such a confrontational position, and tries to manipulate your answers to fit his own foregone conclusion, is woefully behind the times. And, unfortunately, there are a lot of doctors out there who are the same way. As one specialist says in “ADD and Loving It”, “The way I was taught to treat ADHD when I was in medical school would today be considered malpractice.”

    Then you need to ask for a referral to a psychiatrist who specializes in ADD/ADHD. You might also want to repeat this post in the “Ask an Expert” part of the forum, and ask Dr. J. for a list of such specialists, so your doctor will know exactly which one(s) to refer you to.

    ADD/ADHD is a real disorder. It has real symptoms, which, unfortunately, can be mistaken for depression and/or bipolar. Sometimes, the frustration of trying to function with ADD/ADHD brings on depression, anxiety, and/or bipolar symptoms. In this case, you aren’t the one who has a problem with all that; the inappropriate psychiatrist you were referred to is the one with the problem. You’re not helpless in this. You have all the support and resources on this site, to help you get the help you need.

    Good luck!

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    in reply to: Another Step Down The Path #93219

    Patte Rosebank
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    Ah, the path…and it all starts with a single step.

    This afternoon, I heard something I never thought I would. My mom saying, “I think I have ADHD too.”

    It seems she was in charge of organizing the condiments and side dishes for a weekly “bring your own dinner” group, and she’d put such overwhelming pressure on herself to make a good impression, and had such overwhelming organizational and concentration issues on top of that, that she’d totally freaked out. Fortunately, the freak out happened in her own kitchen (and, I’m guessing, in the car when she and Dad were driving to the venue). In any case, Dad had been so concerned about it, that he’d discussed it with me and my brother. Especially since we all remembered her Christmas Dinner freak out last year.

    Now that she’s been scared into finally admitting she has this problem, I wonder if I can convince her to come to some of the workshops, and more importantly, to discuss it with her doctor and get a referral to an ADHD specialist who can help her. It would be wonderful if she could find the right medication and counselling so she could say what others have: “I didn’t feel any different, but everyone else was less of a jerk.”

    Now THAT’S something I really want to hear!

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    in reply to: Exercise and ADD: RUNNING FROM DISTRACTION #92879

    Patte Rosebank
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    Singing is a big help for me too. I just put a Broadway or comedy songs CD on the stereo, and sing along with it…or rather, perform the hell out of it. I lose myself in the music and the fun of being another character or characters, and the thrill of hitting and holding fantastically high or “belter” notes.

    I also love blending with beautiful harmonies. Strangely (and probably due to my concentration issues), although I can do this quite well when I just improvise the harmonies, I have a devil of a time actually hanging onto a formal harmony line. So I always have to sing soprano/lead, because that’s the only line I can easily pick out and follow…even though I have a 3-octave voice, and can always blend better when I use my alto range.

    Music has an amazing effect on the brain, that doctors and scientists are only beginning to understand. Sometimes, when I’m singing in a nursing home, there’ll be people who have such severe Alzheimer’s that they can’t even speak. But when I sing an old song they remember, they’ll start singing along with it.

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