Topic: Adult ADHD Questions and Answers
October 1st 2013 Meeting Notes for the Vancouver Adult ADD Support Group
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Adult ADHD Questions and Answers
Facilitator: Pete Quily
Thanks for Christopher Stanbury for taking notes.
Questions you've always wanted to ask about ADHD. Here are some of the questions and answers, sometimes the questions aren't written down but just the answers
How do you get diagnosis for ADHD? Do you see a psychiatrist?
You can get diagnosed by a psychiatrist, if you get a referral your GP or a drop-in clinic. You can also get diagnosed by a family doctor, walk in clinic
doctor, or a psychologist. But Psychologists can't prescribe medications and you have to pay extra or use extended medical
You can't book a psychiatrist directly, but you can, however, phone to ask the length of their waiting list.
Many doctors, psychologists and psychiatrists have little to no training on ADHD, so don't be afraid to politely ask them how many ADHD adults they've
diagnosed, what books they've read on ADHD etc.
You cannot trust in self-diagnosis. There may be other conditions that can look like ADHD such as depression, anxiety, stress, etc. AND ADHD rarely travels
alone so you can have ADHD AND those conditions
Check for co-morbid conditions, write down questions for doctor, so you don't waste half of your ten minutes just getting to the point
Read the CADDRA Canadian ADHD Physician Guidelines and if your medical professional doesn't know ADHD tell them about it
Not all doctors are familiar with or even aware of ADHD. Many have no training on ADHD. Even now at UBC medical school, medical students only get one hour
of training on ADHD, totally inadequate
Treatment generally starts on the first line treatment, stimulants, then Strattera, then other medications
ADHD stimulant meds have been around for 70+ years. They have had hundreds if not thousands of studies on them, they are some of the most studied
medications out there. They generally know how they work, what they do, what they don't do, and the side effects The CADDRA site has more info on meds
including how to manage side effects
There is no 'best' ADHD med. What the best ADHD medication is the one that works for you, we are all biochemically unique
Stimulants go in and out of your system quickly. 2-13 hours depending on the stimulant
Strattera, an SNRI needs to build up over a longer period of time one and a half to 2 months.
ADHD meds can be addictive for non ADDers. But we Adders often forget to take our ADHD meds. Know any drug addicts who forget to take their heroin?
ADHD medications have been shown to reduce illegal drug use among ADDers. Many adders use illegal drugs to self medicate and have very high rates of
addictions and alcoholism
ADHD medications reduce distraction, reduce impulsivity and help you focus. They put you in a better position to learn skills and self awareness but they
won't magically teach you them
Do an ADHD medication log - when you took it, when it kicked in, when it wore off, a couple positive effects that you're trying to track that ADHD meds help with,
a couple of side effects and rate them on a simple doable chart
Doing an ADHD med log helps you track how the ADHD meds are working and you give it to your doctor so he can easier and faster adjust your meds, no data?
Hard to adjust
BC ADHD Awareness Week:
We're doing ADHD book displays in lower mainland libraries and bookstores and having an information table at The West End Community Center, and The Richmond Brighouse Library Lobby.
People were give a list of libraries and asked for donations for printing posters and our Vancouver Adult ADD Support Group Brochure and CHADD Vancouver support group brochures and the Harvard Adult ADHD screener test. They were asked that if they see one of our ADHD Awareness
Week displays, to take a photo and e-mail it to Pete and he'll post it on BCAHD.com
UBC Parent Lab Research Study
1. Parents with an ADHD child have a 2 hour session at UBC.
2 .What do ADHD children think of themselves? I hour home visit, boys age 8-12.
People do not know what it is
People with ADHD do not usually challenge myths or educate people who are ignorant of ADHD and repeat said ignorance on what ADHD is.
There is a massive amount of ignorance and stigma on ADHD and hardly anyone is educating the public.
If you have ADHD you can 'go public' with it or stay in the ADHD closet. There are many pros and cons to both, chose carefully and non impulsively
On bcadhd.com you can learn more about what ADHD is and isn't and resources to share with others
Find ways of explaining to people, family and friends what ADHD is. It will make your life much easier, less stressed and irritated and will be good for
other people like you too, adults with ADHD
You need multiple ways of explaining ADHD
ADHD is the #2 genetically inherited condition in the world, 80%
Learn ways to explain specific ADHD problems -
We do not filter well, we often get overloaded and overwhelmed
We are often late, and we often get distracted
We need to take responsibility for our actions.
Partners of ADHD adults need to be less judgemental, and more willing to learn about ADHD. ADHD adults need to be less in denial and minimization of how
their ADHD effects their spouse and take responsibility to learn ways to reduce ADHD problem behaviours that effect others
totallyadd.com did a great video 'ADD & Loving it' buy the DVD for $25, starring Canadian comedian and actors Patrick McKenna & Rick Green
How do ADDers advise those with no real understanding of ADD to understand how and why ADDers behave the way they do?
You do not want your partner to become your counselor/coach and parent. This can kill a relationship.
adhdmarriage.com is a great website for people with ADHD and their spouses, check out the comments on the articles
What is reasonable to ask of non ADDer partners, employers, friends, etc.?
How can non ADDers accommodate such behaviours?
What is unreasonable to ask of non ADDers?
Lateness is a big problem - work on being early, bring something you enjoy to do or stimulating for while you wait so you don't get bored
We can be delusionally optimistic. Assume problems. Give yourself time buffers
Last minute panic - adrenaline kicks in, then cortisol kicks in, and you focus and get it done, but the cost is those stress hormones poisons you
physically, mentally and emotionally.
Yoga is good for ADHD
Exercise - need to go the one step further, keep a record.
Exercise boost dopamine, it's important to find a type of exercise YOU like, not everyone likes the gym
Meditation does reduce stress - do the active type, what does not work right at the beginning is to 'just empty your mind'. You can build up to that but
don't start there.
Active meditation involves using one or more of your five senses, to help ground your racing mind so it can focus. Some example are: yoga, tai chi, qigong,
breathing, watching a candle, chanting a mantra, visualizing, listening to audio mp3s like progressive relaxation, mindfulness activities etc.