Sunday, July 11, 2010


After years of on again, off again depression, problems with anger management and lots of frustration, I underwent a thorough psychological evaluation this spring and was diagnosed with ADHD, inattentive type, and apparently I have a fairly severe case. This actually came as a surprise to me; I knew that I had issues with forgetfulness and organization but tended to think that these were simply because I was busy, or were character flaws. If I tried harder to organize my home and get cleaning done, then I could do it, right? The evidence from the evaluation was pretty clear, though, so I began taking ADHD medication. I was at a point where I knew that I needed to do *something* in order to continue functioning as a stay-at-home homeschooling mom. I couldn't keep doing what we'd been doing.

I have been on a starter dose of Vyvanse for a little over two weeks, and I've been surprised at the difference that it has made. It is far from perfect and my dose isn't quite right, the medication is wearing off in the early afternoon instead of working through the evening, but it has made some significant differences in my day to day functioning at home with my kids. I am spending far, far less time feeling flustered and overwhelmed. I am better able to respond to my kids in a positive manner, even when they interrupt me when I'm in the middle of doing something. When I do get interrupted, it is much easier for me to get back on task. I haven't been spending as much time getting sucked into the computer, mostly because it is now easier for me to think "I need to stop this and get something done" and then actually stop and do that thing. My house is cleaner than it has been, ever. Let's see if I can keep it up.

In the past I've tended to think something along the lines of "ADHD is just a brain difference, and most people with ADHD would be able to function just fine if schools and workplaces could better accommodate those differences. Medicating isn't usually the answer." I don't think that any longer. I wasn't obviously impaired by the ADHD problems, but after taking the medication and finding out what "normal" is, I definitely feel impaired when the medication wears off. I wondered why everything seemed more difficult for me then it looked like it was for other people, and the reason was because it WAS more difficult. There are still many bad habits that I need to be rid of and healthy habits that I need to practice in order to be functioning really well, but I think the medication will allow me to work on those and make real progress.