Adult ADHD Questions And Answers

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Topic: Adult ADHD Questions and Answers. See the other Adult ADHD Issues.

Facilitator: Pete Quily

Thanks for Christopher Stanbury for taking notes.

October 1st 2013 Meeting Notes for the Vancouver Adult ADD Support Group

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

Update:  Check out my crowd sourced anti-stigma campaign. Explain Adult ADHD To Non-ADHD Adults. What’s the most important thing about adult ADHD that you want non-ADDers to know? Let them know here, first name or if you’re out of the ADHD closet, full name

How do you get diagnosis for ADHD? Do you see a psychiatrist?

You can get diagnosed by a psychiatrist if you get a referral from your GP or a drop-in clinic. You can also get diagnosed by a family doctor, a 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 at all on ADHD they tell me. 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 ADHD Guidelines has more info on meds including a chapter on 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. I sometimes have to coach my adult ADHD clients on how to remember to take their medication. 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, beside hallucinogins they all provide dopamine, 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 of 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

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.

ADHD Awareness

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 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

If you find people who don’t believe ADHD exist, I created a page just for them. It covers:

Sample Response to a Person with a General Lack of Knowledge of ADHD

Sample Response to a Person Who’s Strongly Denying ADHD Exists

Clinical Evidence of The Existence of ADHD as a Real Condition

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 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. 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.

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