Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Diagnosis and Treatment

This morning a psychiatrist confirmed something I have been suspecting for a while.

As a kid I was often chided for having my head in the clouds, being distracted, being forgetful, procrastinating, not living up to my potential.  I forgot homework assignments at home, lunch boxes at school, forgot to get permission slips signed.  I lost my wallet, lost keys to my dorm room.  I had a terrible time learning to drive and had numerous fender benders, mostly when backing up.

I have trouble connecting socially and keeping up with multiple conversations in a large group.  I hyperfocus on things like reading and the computer.  I have trouble knowing where to start on a big project and get easily overwhelmed with too many choices and information.

Sometimes it feels like I'm just waiting for the next disaster that I will cause.  This year alone, I've washed my phone in my pocket, walked into a pool with the phone in the pocket of my swim shorts.  That's just the tip of iceberg of a list of the ways I've ruined things, damaged things, and cost myself and my family money.

Most recently, I locked my daughter in a hot car and had to call the fire department.  It was terrifying.

I started to get scared of what further problems I might cause for to myself, my belongings or my precious kids.  Someone could get seriously hurt.

And yet, though I suspected ADHD, it felt like I was making up an excuse to say it out loud.  Maybe I am just lazy, forgetful, anxious, depressed ... crazy?

Still, I decided to just go to my doctor.  Let her sort it out.

She referred me to a psychiatrist and after a month waiting for an appointment, I finally met with him this morning.  He diagnosed me with ADHD, said it was common for adults to seek treatment at my age because coping mechanisms start getting overwhelmed.

It's such a relief to have it be official.

As the book title says, "You mean I'm not stupid, lazy or crazy?"

After hearing that I'm gluten sensitive, the psych advised me to eliminate all grains from my diet, not just wheat/rye/barley group.  My kids and I already eat gluten and dairy free.  I used the Paleo version of eMeals earlier this year just for dinners, and since then I've been toying with the idea of going paleo for all meals, but wasn't quite ready to give up rice, corn and sugar.  I think this is the motivation I need to go for it.

The psych also prescribed bupropion (generic for Wellbutrin), an antidepressant and reuptake inhibitor that acts on dopamine and norepinephrine and thus is also used to treat ADHD.

However, when I asked about the possibility of MTHFR gene defects, he offered some samples of CerefolinNAC (active ingredients L-methylfolate and N-acetylcysteine) to try first.

I'm hopeful that the CerefolinNAC  will be effective on its own, because I'm still nursing my little Ziggy and hope to get pregnant some time this year, and it would be nice not to have to make a decision about whether it's more important to treat my symptoms or completely avoid any risk to my kids.

If I do have MTHFR gene defects, then me taking CerefolinNAC or another source of L-methylfolate could be an asset to any developing baby, since the gene defect means that the person who has it has trouble processing folic acid into a form the body can use, which can result in midline defects in the baby, such as the tongue and lip ties that Ziggy has.

I think I might also bring this up with C's pediatrician because sometimes I suspect she's not quite neurotypical either...


  1. This is wonderful news -- so helpful to know, I'm sure, and to have actions ready to take. I hope everything goes well with the new medication... is talk therapy ever helpful for ADHD, too?

  2. I think talk therapy specifically focused on establishing coping mechanisms and healthier self-talk can be appropriate. I've done group and individual talk therapy in the past and it as helpful. We'll see how it goes...

  3. It's so nice to have a diagnosis, isn't it? I feel that way about my MTHFR. I'm surprised he offered you supplements before getting tested. I've started the methylfolate and have noticed a remarkable difference, so I hope it helps you!


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