What we do for ourselves dies with us, but what we do for others and the world has an everlasting impact
A gifted writer, coach, and friend passed away recently. Kate Kelly, a pioneer in the field of ADHD and co-author of one of the most life altering books I’ve ever read, “You Mean I’m Not Lazy, Stupid or Crazy” gave so much to those of us touched with ADHD and the people we help.
Kate was a maverick. She was a thinker, a feeler, and forever curious. In her early career, she was a nurse. In her later career, she became a minister. In between, she wrote and coached and mentored people with ADHD. She was also the most generous and non-judgmental person I had ever met. She never turned a person in need away.
She was a dear friend. I remember how we’d met up in New York City a few years back, ducking into an art gallery in Chelsea, then hitching a ride crosstown in a pedicab (bicycle rickshaw). The driver weaved smack into Times Square- me, gasping in panic as taxis swayed within inches from us, all while Kate howled in relaxed pleasure at the insanity of it all.
In memory of Kate, a woman who gave so much to the ADD community, I’m sharing a transcript of an online conference she gave along with her friend and co-writer, Peggy Ramundo, here at ADD Consults back in 2004. Enjoy-
Terry Matlen- Moderator
Welcome to tonight’s special event! I am pleased and honored to have as our guests tonight, two of the pioneers in the field of AD/HD: Kate Kelly, RN, MSN and Peggy Ramundo, BS, ACT.
Terry Matlen- Moderator
Now to get started….I’d like to introduce our very special guests. I am so very thrilled to have these two ADD experts here tonight. Few books have touched me- or my clients- as much as theirs. For many, especially those of us who’ve been diagnosed a while ago now, “Crazy, Lazy” was the first book we ever read on adult ADD because there were virtually none available at that time. It is now considered to be one of the classics and I urge all of you to read it. Because of their ground breaking work back in the days when adult ADD was practically unheard of, I consider Kate and Peggy to be pioneers in the field.
Kate Kelly and Peggy Ramundo are co-authors of the best selling books, “You Mean I’m Not Lazy, Stupid or Crazy?!” and “The ADDed Dimension“. They are nationally known speakers and workshop leaders, offering topics related to AD/HD. Currently,
Kate, Peggy… thank you so much for being our guests tonight. I now open up the floor to questions.
This is the very first question that came- by email- and I thought it was a good one to open with: It’s from Kate’s dad who asks: “At what point in time are you going to start listening to your mom and dad?”
Kate, any comments? <g>
Kate : Thanks for the fine introduction Terry. I think I told him “what makes you think I don’t” Dear old dad is my supporter and cheerleader, even though he still pooh-poohs the ADD thing.
Q: How do you see the way the world now looks at AD/HD as compared when you two first wrote your book?
Kate : Uh oh……..did I fail 🙂
Peggy : Well, there is a lot more info out there about the disorder now.
And particularly re. ADDults. However, there continues to be a fair amount of disbelief that this is a real disorder and continues to be viewed by some as an “excuse:
Kate: Many more people are aware of ADD. when we first tried to sell the book to publishers, in 1991, they all said thanks, but no thanks. they thought there was not a big enough market for it.
Peggy :But all the attentiion to ADD has been a double-edged sword.
Kate : We now know that women with ADD have distinct issues from men.
Peggy : with people saying, “Give me a break. What, does everybody have ADD these days??
Kate :There is help available that wasn’t back then…..coaches, books, audiotapes, the internet- we know a whole lot more about what works now
Peggy: And, of course, there are a number of meds available now that weren’t around then
Kate: particularly the long acting stimulants
Peggy :Meds in combination is one thing that seems far more common than it used to be. Docs don’t seem quite so hesitant about prescribing two meds for a patient
Kate : when we wrote the book, we had to extrapolate from the child literature, our experiences and those of support group members. there was nothing else out there.
Q: Please elaborate on that last point, Kate, about the distinctions between female ADD vs. male ADD. Thankyou
Kate :Well, that is a big question. One of the most important differences is the effect of female hormones with ADD. another is the fact that we are socialized differently. Women in general are socialized to be pleasers…….so we work really hard to appear “normal”. Also, the job of homemaker is the “ADD job from hell” according to Sari Solden.
We tend to be put in roles where we are required to organize others ……our weakest skill, for most of us.
Men with ADD tend to gravitate toward externalizing behaviors…..anger, acting out (action oriented) while women have more problems with internal experience….anxiety, depression.
Question – I’m looking for suggestions on how to deal with sharing conversation time. Sometimes I feel very talkative and can ramble on for some time. Most of my close friends are understanding and will give me “ramble time” if I need it. However, I still have been told by others to “edit” and “cut it short”. Also, while my boyfriend can be good about giving me “chat” time, he can also be impatient at times when I do get “chatty”, even though he, himself, can go on and talk at me without interruption for a good half hour or longer, without giving me a chance to really talk WITH him and be part of the conversation. This is really frustrating for me because at some point, I’m just thinking about how I want a turn to talk. How can I tactfully resolve this situation so it’s more of a win-win?
Kate: have you tried setting a timer? Perhaps if you each have some ranting and rambling time (with a time limit) you can then both settle down into more of a dialogue.
Peggy: When you are involved in conversations, do you ask for help moderating your talking? Ie., “If I start talking too much, please give me a signal, etc. . .”You might suggest the same thing to your boyfriend. . .
Kate : Do you always need him to actually listen to all that you say…or do you sometimes need to verbal process. Talk something through for yourself?
Peggy: …that the two of you agree on some kind of signal that indicates, ‘I’d like to add something now’ And the signal is both of you. Not just you! Whoops- ‘for both of you’
Kate: Many of us are verbal processers….that is why the need to talk a lot. you talk in order to think. the way to get along with others when you have this need is to give yourself permission to talk…..even if no one is listening.
Q: Do you have an opinion about me telling my adult children that I have discovered that I have always had ADD?
Kate: What do you think their reaction might be?
Peggy: I can tell you that if if were me–and it is, of course–I would share it with them. I mean, talking about my ADD with my children, has been an important part of the journey for me, and for them. My 23 year old doesn’t want to hear about it now. . .denies he has ADD. . .
Kate :Sometimes it can help them discover their own ADD. It is highly genetic.
Peggy :…and tells me to stop using the ADD excuse. But, I’m relentless. I gently remind him from time to time that ADD definitely runs in the family–all four of us
Kate :My daughter, on the other hand, has lived and breathed ADD since she was 6 or 7. She doesn’t want to talk about it too much. What are you concerned about?
Q: My kids are 38 and 32
Peggy: My guess is that they have had concerns, complaints, etc. over the years. . .Perhaps it would be helful for them to have a name to put with their experiences.
Q (cont): I am divorced and it was difficult for them. I am slowly rebuilding with them. Now ADD has entered my life.
Peggy: Of course, only you can decide what the best course of action is. . . If you are feeling uncertain, then this may not be the right time. I would encourage you, however, to let the idea roll around and when you’re comfortable enough with the reality of your ADD and feel confident of the level of the relationship you’ve reestablished with your adult children. . .
Kate: Perhaps it would help them understand the divorce a little better. there is a high divorce rate among ADDers. the good news is that we live and learn. both of us are divorce and involved in much better relationships after learning more about ourselves and ADD.
Peggy:…then talk with them
Question: How does ADD affect and impact Peri-menopause/Menopause and vice versa? Is being ADD/HD an advantage or a disadvantage during this turbulent time of a woman’s life?
Kate: The research on this issue is still in its infancy. Of course, the interaction of hormonal changes and brain function is a very complex issue. What *is* known is that low estrogen levels are related to impaired cognitive functioning. This is true for women with or without ADD. Also, it is not just a matter of taking a blood test to determine some absolute low or high level of estrogen. The key factor is whether or not the usual level of estrogen FOR AN INDIVIDUAL has fallen…is low for her.
Many ADD women report a worsening of symptoms during low estrogen states, such as premenstrually or during menopause, perimenopause. Pat Quinn, MD., who is the foremost expert on ADD and female hormonal issues, recommends hormone replacement therapy for women who experience an increase of symptoms during monthly cycles or menopause. Low dose birth control pills are typically used for monthly cycle issues, while an estrogen patch or pills are recommended for perimenopause/menopause.
Q: In “Lazy, Crazy”, one of the exercises involves a time inventory. I tried this, but had a lot of trouble sticking with it. It only lasted about a day. Maybe I shouldn’t have tried to do it at work, I’m so busy and constantly going from task to task (I work in an ER). So, how detailed should I get? And should I log tasks and the time it takes to do them as I go or at the end of the day?
Peggy: It’s best to track the details as they happen, otherwise, you’re likely to foget. At least I do!! You may want to think about simplifying the form
Kate: You don’t have to do it perfectly…the main point is develop a general of how you use your time….and how long it takes to do various things.
Peggy: The objective is to raise your awareness of how you spend your time. . .how long things actually take. . .how muchh time you have left over for you. . .Perhaps a time log in 15 minute increments.
Kate: Did you learn anything from the attempt?
Peggy: You just jot a phrase or two to indicate what you’re doing at the time
Kate: I love ADD conferences…..nobody minds if you misspell 🙂
Peggy: And tracking meals is an important piece to include.
Kate : and sleep patterns.
Peggy: I often get to the end of my day felling crummy. . .only to realize that I haven’t eaten since the night before. Too busy, of course 😉
Kate: Dysregulation of eating, sleeping, exercise patterns are a challenge for many ADDers.
Peggy : The best use is to keep the log going over time, so you can see patterns, etc.
So, make it as simple as possible. . .keep at it. . .and remember to reward yourself for your effort, even if you don’t add every detail.
Q “At what age did you realize you had ADD?”
Kate: We were both 39..Peggy figured it out first, rather sheepishly told me her story and I realized it was me too.
Peggy: H-m-m. How time flies. Kate and I just celebrated our 54th b’days
Terry Matlen- Moderator
Happy Birthday! Ok, here’s one from email: Question: I have recently discovered (late in life – age 61) that I have ADD. I have always been told I am lazy, of weak character etc. etc. Now I find that instead of being relieved to have an explaination, I am instead depressed and grieving for not knowing all this time. I have plenty of regrets at my age. I cannot help wondering how things may have turned out different if I had known. Any tips on how to get over this and begin to integrate this new regret and ADD into my life going forward?
Peggy: “course, having ADD keeps our minds young.
Kate: Take heart! What you are going through is a normal stage in the process of integrating an ADD diagnosis later in life (in adulthood). You will move through this and reach a state of acceptance…..will feel better than you ever have in your life. Many people have an initial reaction of relief, that is usually followed by a time of grieving for the “lost” years of potential. Have you read our book (You Mean I’m Not Lazy, Stupid or Crazy?!)? There is a section on the grief process that may be helpful. Also…. have you allowed yourself to get really angry yet? As women, we often have trouble with that one. Give yourself permission to have several good ranting sessions. Be as mad and inappropriate as you please. Do it in private so you won’t be stopped by the reactions of others. One of the biggest stoppers to the process of integrating experience is our socialization. As adults, we are supposed to act in a certain mature fashion at all times……right? In reality, we all have little children sti
Q: Kate and Peggy: What has been your experience with clients and Strattera?
Peggy: One of my clients is taking Strattera and likes it. . .I started taking it myself (with ADDerall and Lexapro. . .Didn’t think it did much of anything initially, except make me REALLY sleepy.
Then a client told me her son’s doc has him taking it at night before bed. I started that routine. Without the terrible fatigue, I was able to better judge what the Strattera was doing.
Kate: I have one client with an excellent response….seems like it is equivalent to that with older stimulant medicine. In general, I have heard that it is not as powerful as the response with ADDerall, Dexadrine, Ritalin, etc. that information comes from my former husband who treats large numbers of ADDults at the specialty clinic he founded.
Peggy: … and decided it’s helpful–particularly for planning, staying with things longer. . .and cutting down on obsessionality.
Q: (Mar 25, 2004 9:53:01 PM)
Do you feel all ADD people should be on the meds? Or is there some that may want to try a more natural method?
Peggy: There’s no absolute re meds. Some ADDults take meds for awhile–as they acquire skills they missed, etc. and then stop later. I’ve been on meds since my diagnosis. . .Exercise seems particularly effective- strenuous exercise. . .with or in place of meds. And then, an opoosite tact is meditation. Quieting the brain. . .
Kate : I think that the optimal solution is to at least consider trying medication (unless there is intense fear or strong values against it). They are the most powerful treatment we have right now. Of course, meds along are never the answer…..they simply help us to be more available for the learning (not school necessarily, but life learning)
Peggy: there are a number of ways to do that I agree with Kate re. ‘trying meds is a good idea’
and have suggested to those who don’t want to try meds to take some time and do some research- talk to people who take meds. . .make an informed choice one way or the other.
Terry Matlen: Good suggestions.
Kate: I have not been on medication for almost a decade. I have worked with meditation and other strategies and my baseline functioning is vastly improved. Learning to stop the negative self-talk and decrease the anxiety has a powerful effect. My former husband has found (large clinic population) that people need less medicine as they progress in recovery.
Q: ADD can be so hard on self-image and self-esteem, esp for women. What are some ways we can “language” ADD to see it as a positive rather than a negative? What’s good about it ;^)
Peggy: Many good things!
Kate: Our thinking style has definate value.
Peggy: Some of my most favorite people have ADD. . .the interesting, unique way that we ADDers look at things (like from ten million different directions)
Kate: That free wheeling divergent thinking is the essence of creativity. We are all very creative….and often in wonderful off-beat ways.
Peggy: …things are rarely boring when ADDults are around. But you’re right, symptoms can be quite challenging. I think it’s essential to remember that. . .there is no such thing as a “perfect” brain. . .
Kate: We have created a subculture where oopses are not such a big deal or mortal sin or something. I think the way we are together is very healthy.
Peggy: …or a “perfect person”- everbody’s got something to deal with- some more difficult. . .some easier. And it’s also so very important to be kind to yourself.
Kate: Or maybe we are more perfect than we think. I have learned so much from the quirky ADDers I have met.
Question: I am ADHD and am on Adderall (regular) and Effexor. I am
constantly changing my thoughts and some behaviors as a result of
these medications (and have accepted they are not a cure all).
Needless to say I am very pleased with my progress.
But…………I’m in a relationship with a man who had no concept of ADHD until he
met me. He is willing to educate himself on this subject but I’m not
sure where to start with this “education”. He does make comments to
me (unbeknownst to him) that are detrimental to me continuing my
growth with managing my disorder. Where can I begin with him?
Kate: Has he read anything on the subject? For starters, I would
recommend our Lazy Crazy book and Sari Soldens book on Women and ADD.
Do you have an ADD coach? If you do, you could ask your man to come
to a coaching session or two. Do you tell him when he makes a comment
that doesn’t sit well with you? A coach could help you language your
concerns without making him wrong (and thus putting him on the
A lot of us have thoughts pop into our heads when others are talking, and can’t remember them until after the other person is done speaking. A person I know not only has this problem, but if he stops to say something like, “I need to say something” “Wait a just a second” or to jot the thought down (if he is lucky enough to have paper and pencil at the time), but he completely forgets his special thought if he does that. for him to try to say anything throws his concentration off. It’s as if he needs the others to read his mind that he needs to say something. What are your suggestions for how he can remember the thought long enough?
Peggy : It will be important for you. . .to be really honest with yourself regarding your man, ie. does his behavior match his words. . .if he ‘says’ he wants to learn about ADD, but doesn’t “walk the talk”, you may have an important decision to make regarding whether he will be able to ‘stand for you’ as you continue your ADD journey.
Q: How do I change always being late to just about everything? I know I need to stop what I’m doing and leave, but that seems to be impossible for me to do.
Peggy: I can really identify with the person looking for solutions to the “I’m always late” problem. Nearly ten years later, I still cringe at the memory of one very public embarassment of mine in this regard;the time I arrived nearly fifteen minutes late for the session I was presenting at an ADDA Conference. My topic? Time Management Strategies for ADDults!
Of course, in the years since, I have improved so dramatically in this regard that I feel completely confident in offering advice on the subject. So, here’s the solution: 1. Hire a personal fitness trainer 2. Hire a really good car mechanic OR alternately, if you have some extra money, purchase a 5-speed sports car. The rationale, of course, is that what you need is SPEED. You just have to learn to run and drive faster. . .
Kate :I would say that the important thing for this person is to recognize and manage his anxiety..
Peggy: Only kidding. The faster we go, the slower we get where we’re going. . .Slowing down is an imperative. Building in the pause to your day. Using a time log to document your time “behaviors”
Kate: …his anxiety about getting his point across interferes quite a bit with his cognitive function. As a coach, I would advise him to tell himself that he doesn’t have to find and express that thought in the moment. If he lets it go, he may find that the thought pops back up,
Q: My girl friend has ADD and i was in a position similar to the boy friend of the last questioner. my girlfriend highlighted sections of Sari’s book that are particularly pertinent to her. it was very helpful for me. i’m now reading the entire book, and participating in events like this conference
Peggy: Thanks for your comment. It’s wonnderful that you are working together Every relationship has challenges. If it’s going to work, both people have to be committed to each other and the health of the partnership.
Q: Do you tell an employer/a school that you have AD/HD? If so before you start or after?
Peggy: A tongue-in-cheek comment on my previous statment. . .yep, sometimes both people do need to be committed!!
You do not have to disclose during the interviewing process. . .After you are hired, the choice is your’s. IF you want to request workplace accomodations. . ..you MUST disclose. That is accomodations specific to your ADD
Kate : Do you want accommodations? If not, I would say keep a low profile at the beginning. Also, you can ask for accomodations *without* invocing the ADD word. Talk instead about needing quiet for concentrated work, for example. This is true for human beings in general. A lot of the things we need would work for everyone.
Peggy: Many people decide not to disclose, fearing that they will be seen as less than capable. I’d suggest that if you’re leaning toward disclosing. . .that you give yourself some time and space to check things out and get a sense about how managment will likely react. And then, by law, accomodations have to ‘reasonable and not cost the company a lot of $
Kate: I meant invoking
Peggy : Disclosing can be positive
Kate: most of them are very reasonable and cheap….not like wheelchair ramps.
Question: Dear Kate and Peggy,
What do you know about the results of using Neurobiofeedback for the treatment
of ADD?? What happens to your creativity? Is it affected?
Kate: I don’t have a simple answer to your question on creativity,
since I have no direct experience with neurofeedback and have not
found information on creativity in any literature or presentations on
the subject. I have known several people who were helped by
neurofeedback. My former husband is the founder of The Affinity
Center, a treatment center for ADD adults and children. His clinic
has treated thousands of ADDers. In his experience, neurofeedback
does improve the symptoms of ADD. He adds that neurofeedback is
expensive, and that the effects do not last once the sessions have
Back to the creativity issue……I can speak to creativity and
medication for ADD. The issues may or may not be similar for
neurofeedback. Some people have experienced a reduction in creativity
while on stimulant medication. In my experience, that effect may be
dose related. Not enough or too much medication (for you) can cause
undesirable cognitive changes. On low doses of Ritalin, for example,
I was more sleepy than I was before taking the medication. The
sleepiness disappeared when I was on a higher dose. Also, my level of
creativity was different at different doses. My clients have shared
similar experiences. Another thing that can impact creativity is not
related to a medication actually dampening it, but to the effect of
being more awake. When you are truly awake, for the first time in
your life, you start noticing things you never noticed before. You
start monitoring your behavior on a whole new level. It is common for
newly diagnosed and treated ADDers to watch themselves
Q: What sort work accomodations are typically requested?
Peggy: Things like using headphones to block noise, the right to hang a Do Not Disturb sign for certain period of time for concentrated work, taping instruction sheet to the fax and copier–expecailly re. which way to turn the paper when you print of the reverse side!
Tape recording meetings, requesting a check of notes you’ve taken during a meeting (by the boss).
Terry Matlen- Moderator: Those are all great!
Kate: I want to complete the question on creativity. The last sentence should read……it is common for newly diagnosed and treated ADDers to watch themselves very carefully and often inhibit their behavior as a result. The resulting decrease in sponteaity is temporary.
Peggy: white noise machines
Q: “pooh-poohing the ADD thing” seems to be a major issue – how do we do a better job of educating people of the reality of ADD and it’s effects?
Peggy: I believe we do it slowly, gently, gradually. . .sharing bits and pieces, starting with explaining some personal challenges without mention of the ADD words.
Kate: And it helps to drop the defensiveness and get very real.
Peggy: Unfortunately, there are those who will remain unconvinced. . .no matter how carefully we langauge it. . .
Kate: When we simply and humbly share our experiences without trying to “convert” anyone, the message has a better chance of getting through.
Peggy: So, sometimes, the job becomes giving yourself permission to stop explaining. . .to be who you are, without defense or explanation.
Kate: One of my biggest lessons was to learn to stop proselytizing about ADD…..especially with my family. The real challenge is to accept it ourselves.
Peggy: It’s very difficult to accept the refusal to believe that we encounter in others.
Kate: We need to support each other.
Peggy: Perhaps it would help to remeber. . .
Terry Matlen- Moderator: I like the point about giving yourself permission to stop explaining…
Peggy: …that the particular person doesn’t get it now; that’s just wherre s/he is. Maybe tomorrow.
Q: Earlier, Kate referred to combinations of medications. Did you mean ritalin and adderall? Or ons stim plus Straterra or Wellbutrin?? Do you have any reports which find rit and adderall as being at cross purposes and toxic at that?
Peggy: All kinds of combos. I have had clients who take both Ritalin and Adderall. Often, a sustained release of one med is combined with a short acting of another.
Kate: Actually, using both stimulants can be helpful. They have somewhat different chemical actions and can enhance each other.
Peggy: Two friends take Strattera and ADDerall and a previous client took Ritalin, Addrall, Strattera and an anti-depressant. . .
Kate: As with all medicines and med combinations, it needs to be approached in a trial and error fashion. Each individual is unique.
Peggy: Due to co-morbidity. . .lots of us ADDults present with more than just ADD. I see a lot of generalized anxiety in my female clients
Kate: The differences in stims mean that, if one doesn’t work for you, another one or a combination may do the trick.
Peggy: ..with a fair amounbt of obsessionality
Kate :Research has demonstrated that females with ADD tend to have more anxiety.
Peggy : Straterra, by the way, has an anti-depressant effect for me; milder than the Lexapro, but helpful.
Question: I was only recently diagnosed with ADHD (June 2002). At present, I am post menopausal. I am 48 years old. I began menopause somewhat prematurely following the death of my mom. I was 37 at the time. I have a family history of un-diagnosed ADD/ADHD. I have found that in some ways being ADHD has been the blessing that has made negotiating menopause issues less stressful then for women colleagues who are not ADD/AADHD…and yet from literature I have read via the internet and books/magazine articles..for other women, ADHD has only made menopause more traumatic… I would welcome your input and comments!
K: Were you or are you on hormone replacement therapy? That would make a big difference in your experience with perimenopause/menopause. Also, you probably taught yourself coping mechanisms in the course of a lifetime dealing with undiagnosed ADD. The woman who enters perimenopause/menopause cold (without a long history of working around the cognitive differences) is going to have a more difficult time in some ways.
When we were promoting the first edition (second is in progress) of You Mean I’m Not Lazy, Stupid or Crazy?!, we were doing radio and tv interviews all over the country. We did more than one book tour, due to promoting our self-published version as well as hard and soft cover for Simon & Schuster. During our second tour, we ended up being interviewed (radio) by a woman who had us on her show the year before. This time, before the show began, the woman shared that she had entered into perimenopause in the past year…..and that now she really “got” the ADD experience.
Q: What is the specific dilemnas for men? Is it common for men with ADD to have serial or many dangerous sexual liasons?
Peggy : You may want to check out the ADD Men’s Group sponsered by OFI-the Optimal Functioning Institute. It meets once a month. for info, go to ADDcoach.com.
Kate: it is common for both men and women to engage in risky business…..sexually and otherwise.
Peggy: It’s the impulsive. . .now is the only moment syndrome.
Kate: There is a need for high stimulation that drives this behavior. We are desperately trying to wake up a sleepy brain.
Peggy: Steven Ledingham, facilitator of. . .the Men’s Group, says that lots of the men…
Kate : Men tend to have a lot of issues with anger management.
Peggy: …have concerns about “Being the Man. . .taking care of everything. . .being strong, etc. when they feel anything but. . .
Kate :…and, of course, due to gender roles, men feel the career difficulties more acutely.
Peggy: …guess that’s it for two women answring the question about men . . .been trying to figure them out for years! 😉
Kate: but we both live with ADD men…..in our former married lives as well.
Q: Being late has trashed my self-esteem & ruined countless dreams, jobs, relationships, etc. I’ve tried everything conventional, short of hypnosis. I may need a “whacky” unorthodox solution, as “strange” or novel ideas seem to work best. Have you come across any outlandish solutions in your experince in the field of ADD? (I’ve cooperated with therapy and a dozen medicines for many years. Psychiatrist says being late is something “medicine can’t touch”). Sometimes, it seems like the more I want to arrive on time, the later I am! Please, please make a suggestion?
What’s so trickky about Time Mgmgt. .. .is that while the challenge is experienced by many ADDults, the “why” varies a lot from one person to the next.
Kate: About living with ADD men……even though we have made much progress in our own recovery, we still love those ADD men. They are terrific!
Peggy: Getting at the why is an essential part of beating down the Time tyrant
Q: What do you suggest to clients as a way to monitor the effectiveness of their meds. so that they can provide good feedback to their doc?
Peggy: A self-reporting form. . .
Kate : Working with a coach is very helpful when you are titrating medication.
Peggy: …that includes meals, hours of sleep, unsusual or stressful events, etc. Many of us use these with our clients. Compliance is probably the toughest part. . .Oh yes. . .
Kate :Compliance with the medication log? We ADDers really hate paperwork!
Peggy: Yep, medication log compliance. . .another really important thing to include is some measure of energy level and mood…
Kate: Also side effects.
Peggy: A simple 1-7 scale is a good way to go. Whoops. of course. forgot the side effects. Also cognitive functioning on a similar scale. Learned an interesting tidbit from a marketing guy recentely about scales…
Kate: One could be total bad brain day and seven is “really cooking’ you can devise your own scale
Peggy :…said the 1-10 rating scale used so often. . .isn’t effective because there’s too much room for vacillating.
Q; What is one to do if insurance will not cover needed treatment or medication?
Terry Matlen- Moderator:
Also, an interesting thought someone wants to share:
Q: For those that might be interested in an accommodation for noise – I’ve used a fairly inexpensive set of ear plugs – Air Soft by Howard Leight Hearing Protection, a Division of Bacou USA Safety, Inc. (approximately $3.00 per set from a distributor who will sell them individually rather than in quantities of 100 or more) that totally block out noise, or make it so muffled that specifics are indiscerible. I use them while taking tests at school, studying at school, and I’ve used them in the work place. People have never had a problem with me wearing them, and whenever a manager has asked why I wear them, I just tell him or her that I’m sensitive to noise, and if they can’t control the noise made in the work area, I can at least provide peace and quiet for myself that interfers with no one else’s activities. I’ve never had a problem using them. And, as I said, it’s a really cheap method to block out sound. The little plugs I used are rateed NRR 27, which is suitable for ear protection in a machine shop envi
Kate : There are programs for people with serious financial challenges….info on this can be found on the CHADD website. For less serious challenges you may need to budget it in or ask family for help.
Peggy: Most good ear plugs ar REALLY inexpensive. There are no easy answers re. the meds/ no insurance coverage.
Kate: The insurance issue is a tough one…..many do not cover ADD adequately.
Peggy: Getting meds in Canada has been a cheaper alternative for anit-depressants, no stims
Kate: Try Sams club for cheaper medicine prices.
Peggy: ..but the government’s trying to nix that route.
Kate : Sometimes you can reduce the price by getting your meds in a different strength
Peggy: Oh, yeah- glad Kate mentioned that. Reduced my ADDeral expense substantially by going to 30 mg. tabs. Script had been for 20’s. Saved somewhere between $50 and $60 a month.
Q: I know there are all sorts of tips, devices, software, etc. that can help
us better organize our lives, get things done, and get places on time (or
pretty darned close). Any advice about how to get and stay motivated to
conform with the demands of an alien world that operates on a different
sense of time? Yes, the bills must get paid and punctuality can represent
thoughtful and considerate behavior towards others (not making people wait
and not embarrassing one’s friends or family). But sometimes I get so down
and overwhelmed about being a square peg the world is trying to force into
a round hole. It hurts and it’s stressful. When do I get time to be me,
to let my mind wander, to empty out too much stimuli or fill up with the
kinds that interest me — all without living with the Fly Lady or someone
hammering at me to outline, itemize, and box up my life into parcels of
“free” time that I must earn by being a good conformist (a.k.a. pretender
at having a non-ADD mind)??????????
Peggy: First, congrats on recognizing how perfect you are just the way you are. . .and you’re right, if we lived in other countries…
Kate: I know exactly what you mean…..it is exhausting!
Peggy : …some other countries whose cultures have a very different take on time than we do here, life wouldn’t be so time-taxing.
Kate: The only solution I know to that problem is to be very careful about the committments in your life…..to allow for some down time.
PeggyL I’ve learned to be much more hinest about my challenges. I tell parents of students I tutor, that I’m a phenomenal teacher..
Kate::That is easier said than done….it takes time to de-stress and de-clutter your life.
Peggy : …and a terrible time-manager. So, I schedule a 12 noon session and then call the parent when I’m leaving. . .which is sometimes an hour later than planned.
Q: Any herbal remedies that you’ve heard of (that worked?)
Kate : I give all of my clients (as well as myself) a prescription to begin some kind of meditative activity. It is essential to our mental health to learn how to slow down and be less reactive to the demands coming at us.
Peggy: I successfully took Kava Kava for awhile–for generalized anxiety, but then it seemed to stop working. Think I’ve treid them all. . .
Kate: I know that some people have had a fair amount of success with Sam-e
Peggy: Yep, I did well, as did some clients on sam-E for mild depression
Kate: Also st johns wart for depression. in my experience, however, the herbal remedies are not as powerful. could be a good choice for someone who is very sensitive.
Peggy: And recently, St. John’s has come under scrutiny- some negative findings that got my attention as I did take it for awhile. I think we’re better off using brain quieting activities like yoga and meditation
Kate : interestingly, a client who had only been able to tolerate herbal remedies (due to sensitivity) had a good response after he calmed his mind and body through meditation.
Peggy: …and exercise to get the endorphins pumping.
Terry Matlen- Moderator :
Ok, our final question for this evening. Ladies, you’ve been WONDERFUL. This question is about your book…
Kate : We theorized that his earlier “side effects” when he first tried stims was due to becoming aware of just how jangled he had become in trying to cope with ADD.
Q: Hi Kate & Peggy – Saw you mentioned that you’re working on a second edition of “You Mean I’m Not Lazy, Stupid or Crazy”. Do you know yet when that will be coming out?
Peggy: Depends on how fast we can write!!
Kate: That depends…….on how dead the deadline really is.
Peggy: Yeah, there is that darned deadline.
Peggy: if it’s real, I foresee lots of sleepless nights
Kate : Seriously, the publisher has not shared that info yet. But I think it will be out in the late fall of 2004 or early 2005, but we are approaching it in a much more zen fashion than in the past.
Peggy: It’s been interesting reading about my daughter who was four at the time of the first, self-published book and now she’s 16. The great news, however, is that I haven’t aged a bit.
Kate: My then 10 year old daughter is now 21……..and doing well, by the way. struggled all through school, in college now at the art academy and getting 3.0 and above grades. it does get better.
Peggy : And amazingly, neither has the book. It’s still remarkably “current” though we are excited about the opportunity to share what we’ve learned these past years.
Kate: Much of our information in the book that was anecdotal is now backed up by research. it is great to be in the posittion to help others travel the same path we have.
Peggy: And I know that I for one, was considerably more talkative then than I am now 😉 So, I’ll be hard at work shortening some somewhat lengthy sentences. . .
Kate :We are including info on ADD and gender issues, the importance of meditation and coaching and much more. Also, we will be working on another book after the revision….this one on relationships.
Peggy: We’ve had lots of fun tonight. Hope guests have found the evening helpful
Kate: And I am more talkative…used to shut down a lot
Peggy: I could keep talking for hours yet.
Kate: ADD means never having to say you are sorry
Terry Matlen: Kate has to head out…
Peggy : Night everybody. have a great tomorrow
Terry Matlen :
Thanks, ladies. And thanks all for coming.
Peggy: Well, I’m gonna say bye for now. And bye from Kate, too.