April 14, 2019 at 3:26 pm #113959
Full disclosure: 51-year-old woman in a 20-year IT career, and post-30-year returning college student, working on a BS in Mathematics.
The past two semesters have been excruciating. I was diagnosed (2 years ago) with ADHD (inattentive), when I couldn’t figure out why I could no longer focus on my coursework, even though I really, really wanted to, and the subject matter is fascinating to me. I was first prescribed generic Adderall, which worked great for about six months, and then stopped working last summer (which, by the way, was incredibly stressful). My pyschiatrist and I have been experimenting with dosages since last September (went up to 30mg quick release, and nada), she put me on 5mg of generic Ritalin for two months, and then upped it this week, to 20 mg.
My therapist tells me this is normal for people who process the world the way that I do, and that I should also go easier on myself, considering that I’m working a full-time job, and taking two independent-study courses (Differential Equations and Abstract Algebra), and calling myself “lazy” doesn’t really apply here (I am super productive at work, by the way, and I never miss a deadline). On an intellectual level, I believe her, but I’ve always been hard on myself.
I cannot get motivated, I waste lots of time playing games on my phone, and I miss the burst of productivity I got when I first took the Adderall and could study for four hours straight. My doctor is great, and she’s very conservative about switching up meds and dosages. I’m at my wit’s end, and the semester’s almost over. I do have accommodations, which pretty much is giving me even more time to procrastinate. Productivity hacks (the Pomodoro technique, self rewards, etc.) don’t work, because if they did, I wouldn’t need meds.
Besides that, life is great, I’m more content with my social life, than I’ve ever been, and my day job doesn’t stress me out (but that’s because my boss is the best). I’d love to just enjoy the summer, instead of spending it working on incompletes.
I’m really at a loss here.
April 14, 2019 at 3:45 pm #113960
I understand how you feel. You have high expectations of yourself—I do too.
I work two days a week & go to school—so I’m not working as hard as it sounds you do at your job. I have taken both ritalin and adderall—they both seemed to work, but adderall I prefer more. I have a window in which to concentrate on school from when I wake to about 3/5pm. I don’t know if you’re this way, but if I have to go do something first, it almost “sucks out” all my concentration power, not to mention the full effects of my stimulant. Even adderall XR…really only works on me for about 4hrs and the little bit of half-life helps—but it’s not an “all day” adhd treatment–at least not for me.
There is Mydayis—the new adderall XR. Shire has a “shire cares” patient assistance program–bc I bet it’s hella expensive. But, they claim it works 16hrs in their studies.
You’re doing alot and I go through periods too—like with my last class: Business Law, where it literally feels like “pulling teeth” to wrap up the class. Motivation for me, is weird like that. I know it’s not easy to cut yourself some slack–but you should. You’re taking on quite a bit & you’ll find a way to motivate yourself. I’m impressed that you’re going back to college. I’m 33 & it’s always been a dream of mine to have my Bachelor’s degree.
We support you here!!
April 14, 2019 at 4:16 pm #113961
Thank you, Skypark962! You really do understand. I’m working on going easy on myself, but I’m also paying for school, and cannot afford to repeat a class if I fail. I’ll definitely mention Mydayis to my psychiatrist. I have insurance, but I’ll check out the patience assistance program, just in case my provider refuses to cover it.
Good luck to you, as well! In hindsight, ADHD (and an expensive private college) was probably the primary reason I didn’t do as well in college when I was 18, but I have a hard time accepting the diagnosis at my current age, because it’s something I can’t “feel.”
April 14, 2019 at 6:28 pm #113962
I totally get it. I’m going to a competency-based university called WGU. I’ve finished the normal 4 classes and just finished my 5th yesterday. Ever class I finish within the 6month semester is included in the $3375 tuition.
I DEF feel like I’m better at college now, than when I gave it 20% in my early 20’s lol
BUT I’m so glad you wrote this post, bc I TOO hit a wall. I had to really force myself to just take the assesment.
I REALLY like WGU-online bc I get paired with a mentor who is like a “cheerleader” and keeps me accountable.
I think I’m gunna take a few days off to help me re-focus on the next subject. I found out also through this school that I’m quite good at Math–which all other schools put me in developmental (I’d miss the math assessment by like ONE question!).
You’re GUNNA feel so good when you finish!
What is your plan after you get your degree & what % are you done with?
April 14, 2019 at 6:30 pm #113963
I’m super curious about the MYDAYIS—cost & if it really works like they say. If you’re in the states, lemme know what you find out. Go online & type ShireCares program bc there’s paperwork the dr fills out & I think has to send in.
April 14, 2019 at 6:44 pm #113966
Thanks, I’ll definitely look up the paperwork. I am in the States.
I don’t have any definite plans, except to go to grad school. Like I said, I’m already in a career; I just wanna finish what I started.
April 14, 2019 at 7:01 pm #113967
That’s awesome. I’m currently a haircolorist & although I make sometime $130/hr….the toll it’s taking on my body.
So, as soon as I finish my BS in HR, I plan to start looking to get back into corp & finish my MBA while working.
April 20, 2019 at 12:27 am #114467
I was tormented by doses that were just to low. I’m 53. Conservative and take it easy equals massive anxiety as I feel my life slip away. I finally got a doctor that explained and increased my dose. I hated it. But it worked. Regular old Ritalin extended release works best for me. Concerts with 5 mg methylphenidate in the morning or I would never get out of the circles. I don’t do anything until I know it’s kicked in because it’s so painful to know I just stumbled around and get frustrated. I’ve seen other people struggling with low doses as well. My body hurt, my self esteem suffered. I was stuck. The right dose makes depression and physical pain go away. I’m still swallowing hard as a person that didn’t want any chemicals in my body. But it works.
April 20, 2019 at 12:34 am #114468
Thanks for that. Since I’m so new at all this, I have no idea what’s considered a low dose. I’m now taking 20mg methylphenidate, and I still don’t notice any difference. I was also strictly against chemicals, but nothing else seemed to work, and I had work to do.
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