I've Been Labelled As Adhd, Highly Intelligent, Under-achiever...

The worst is that I do meditation since I was about 8 in order to conquer my lifetime focus problem, because I do not think that my soul is fickle in nature... In fact, I would very much like to fulfill my innate potentials even just in one area...

I can get inspired about an area and want to learn everything about it, purchase all the necessary equipments and books, start the lessons. But it's so hard to stick through. I think it's also the side effects of having so many interests: I speak three languages fluently, play the piano since age 5, play the tabla, percussion instruments, do photography, do yoga, study the occult (astrology, I-Ching, pendulum...), am a professional artist (although I haven't gotten around to doing a new body of work since 2009 and my gallerists and publisher are waiting!), have had exhibitions in Europe, Japan, USA, have a published art monography. I alternate between having full confidence that I will eventually get around to becoming focused and bouts of pretty low self-esteem due to all the unfinished (and un-started) projects.

Starting from my conservatory years, all my teachers always said that I was the biggest under-achiever because I was capable of so much more. In fact, my piano professor referred me to an ADHD specialist, and I was diagnosed and put on Ritalin, which I took for about a semester and straight A's that year, while giving a solo recital at the same time. After that, the effect of Ritalin started waning and I stopped taking it as regularly. After college, I realized that I would never have enough focus to become a concert pianist, and decided to move to Europe and become an artist... I was so motivated because it all seemed to new and challenging. I got into one of the top art schools, hit on a project that got a lot of interest from galleries and even a boo publisher. The problem is: since having some success, I've lost interest and do not want to repeat myself. In fact, recently, I've re-ignited my interest in piano and want to learn jazz, funk, Logic Pro composition, and you name it... I was really excited about a project submission on a sound art project, thinking that I could finally put music and art together. But I just wish that I had a bit of stick-to-it-ness.

Sometimes I wonder if it's because I'm too serious about everything and do not allow myself to have fun?? Because of guilt, I easily turn down free travel opportunities and only allow myself to travel for professional purposes. I read the following article that seemed to point myself to some of my problems, that perhaps I dream too big?

Study results support the idea that "we label tasks as boring when they require a great deal of focused effort to hold our attention.In the 1970s, psychologist Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, who is now at the Claremont Graduate University in Claremont, Calif., coined the term "flow psychology"—the idea that great absorption, focus and enjoyment of work results from a balance between our skills and the challenge of the tasks we face. "

That's it for today. This is my first Experience Project post, and this actually feels strangely therapeutic, and I will have another go at my composition…

queerdoll queerdoll
8 Responses Sep 3, 2012

Me too and cannot find a new doctor in this town

Thanks 4 your response (An EP User) The full name of my med is Vyvanse Lisdexamfetamine. I just assumed that other ADHD folk would know of it. My new doc said it's a newer med that is quickly replacing the others like Ritalin. So like you my body may change or become semi immuned to this med then I will have 2 try others or increase the dosage 4 it 2 work. I tried playing the drums last night & today singing & playing guitar but I didn't sound the same as before. My timing was slightly off & I couldn't put the same feel & energy into it like I normally would. It felt kind of lifeless like I was just going through the motions, & lacking confidence. I hope that it's just temporary. I hope I'll get back my usual groove when my body gets use to this drug. Has that ever happened 2 U ?
I have never heard of Bach flower remedies, but I'm a fan of Nutraceuticals, a portmanteau of the words “nutrition” and “pharmaceutical”, which I'm sure u already know. I'm somewhat embarrassed about admitting that I have a mental illness & still struggling with that. I would have rather like 2 think that I had a special ability instead of a problem. Except for the depression, outbursts of anger & insomnia of course. I am thankful that those negatives seem 2 be dissipating already though. I think I might let some of my family know about my condition tomorrow. I just hope they won't act or think any different of or around me. Like, 'Oh the poor mental case'. I know my kids will understand. But I've literally heard things like, "don't you ever shut up u F-ing mental case" from my siblings many times growing up. I can also hear my X saying "I knew it, I told u he had mental problems. I'm probably overreacting, They might not even care.

Hi bow7. Thanks for your story. As far as the meds go, I have only tried variants of Ritalin and Concerta, and have never heard of Vyvanse/Lisdex. At the time, I had very few side effects except the possibility of rapid heartbeat (very seldom). Ritalin (a formula lasting four hours) worked for me the best. I usually only took one a day, when I really need to concentrate, and it helped me tremendously!

I don't have anxiety or sleeplessness right now, although I have had in the past. I feel that I go through periods where my body changes completely. For example, I used to be a night owl, but now work with the sun... So anything can be changed, but not always according to my conscious will. If you have insurance, do not hesitate to experiment with several different types of ADD medicine to see which one fits you the best. I don't think that Ritalin slows me down; I would say that it has a grounding effect and I could follow through a thought to the end of that thought. For example, if I practice 4 hours of piano, it would be very focused effort, instead of it being dispersive like before.

I make it sound like a miracle drug, which it really was. Even my GPA was a perfect 4. Unfortunately, it only lasted for a semester, and I stopped taking it. When I re-took it years later, after a second diagnosis, things didn't work the same way. I couldn't get it to work.

A friend recommended Bach flower remedies for ADHD. Does anyone have experience with that? Thanks!

I just got diagnosed today and took my first vyvanse/Lisdex. You were the 1st that came up when I googled. I am impressed with your pursuits & education, except for the occult thing. I have studied bible numerology and biblical astronomy. It was very exciting to find that Sir Issac Newton did the same and wrote numerous volumes on the subject which is still suppressed. A Doc suggested that I was probably manic depressive about 20 yrs ago. I was afraid to be diagnosed for fear of loosing my 2 kids whom my x wife gave me custody of when we split. My kids are now grown & the last just left last week. I have been going through hell in the past yr inc. loosing my job. I sank into a depression which I couldn't snap out of for 6 mns. I could hardly sleep even when completely exhausted. My Doc gave me Quetiapine for anxiety & sleeplessness. He recommended me to a specialist who diagnosed me today as having Adult ADHD. The med has slowed down my hyper agitation & myriads of thoughts & questions that usually flood my mind. I'm not sure how I feel about that as "speed thinking" has served me well so often, except for shutting down to sleep. I also am an artist, unaccomplished that is. Other people have always seemed to think & act in a slower motion than myself. So I have used my ability to think, & react fast to my advantage all of my life. So what happens now? Will I lose that ability? The side effect also have me concerned. Have u experienced any? I have an unfinished album of almost complete songs & several books, none of which r more than 1/3 fin, as well as many other projects. Hopefully these meds will help me with that. Thanks for your story, I feel less alone. p.s. Can we comun. bk & forth in this forum?

Despite of being diagnosed with ADHD, you must be proud of yourself instead because you can do a lot of things. This is very normal for people with ADHD. They say that persons with ADHD can do various things but is only good at the beginning and gets tired of doing the same things over and over. However, there are many famous successful individuals with ADHD who followed their dreams and interest. This was in the aid of Music Therapy where brain wave patterns are conditioned in such a way that patients can improve their attention and focus on what they are passionate about. Read more in this article I have researched: [http://music.sound-add-adhd-treatment.com/brainwaves-music-adhd/]

I think you've forefilled a tremendous amount of dreams already! You have done so well! I have just been diagnosed with adhd and explains why I am so talented but under achieve also. I can totally empathise with the whole thing of getting excited about new projects and then getting bored. I am on duloxetine which is just an anti depressant and went on it before I had been diagnosed for adhd. I am endeavouring to change meds to something that will help me focus alot better however I may be able to skip meds altogether because I have been having a treatment called neurofeedback which helps adhd. I am beginning to feel alot more calm and focussed only after three sessions and am endeavouring to reduce my meds as I feel I may not need them. I hope this helps a bit. Take every day at a time and google mindfullness. It helps too :-)
have a nice day :-)

Thank you for your response.<br />
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I was re-diagnosed in Europe, and used Concerta. I may have tried Dexadrine (?) and not liked the response. Also tried a generic Ritalin which I also didn't like. The doctor was very patient with me, but I now have moved to another country and currently do not have medical insurance (I need to take care of that!!) <br />
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The truth of the matter is that I probably am medication-averse as I do meditation and yoga, and would prefer holistic treatments instead of depending on meds. Yes I was diagnosed in the US, where I went for college on a music scholarship.<br />
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It's amazing that you went back to school in your mid-thirties. That gives some hope that all is possible. I don't have the hyper-focus that you mentioned except in short spurts of inspiration, usually at the inception of an idea. The implementation is all drudgery and I have to do many mini-sessions, etc. It kills me to have people tell me I'm not hard-working, because I consistently aimed for high goals. Now I'm just about fed up trying.<br />
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I also have a tendency to want to do something totally new and unfamiliar and wreck my brains out trying to figure out how to accomplish the basics and the technicality of it. I think this is what wears me out. But I also get bored easily doing any type of routine work...and neglect things like bills, taxes, insurance, paperwork, you name it. At least, I managed to find a cleaner to keep my apartment reasonably organized, and I really recommend this for ADHD people. At times when nothing else works, at least you don't have to wake up to a shipwreck.

I too have ADHD, a high intelligence level & was labelled as a SERIOUS underachiever at school; my school reports contained comments such as "How a boy of Xxx's ability can be satisfied with work like this is beyond my comprehension" as well as "Xxx could really achieve some great results if only he would apply himself" and "Xxx is a dreamer."<br />
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Because of my high IQ, I was able to get by, but ended up doing a really boring job....badly. Then, in my mid-twenties I found my passion - fitness & exercise and began reading up in this area, which led to me not only going to uni in my mid-thirties, but performing so well that I was invited to stay on for a further a year to do an Honours thesis!<br />
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I was diagnosed with ADHD in my late forties and went onto Dexamphetamine Sulphate, which felt like a veil had been lifted from my eyes. I was able to function at a "normal" level; however, the other side of ADHD is Hyperfocus and high energy levels, which is what got me through my assignments at Uni - I was able, because of my passion for the subject, to work for hours on end without taking breaks to complete these. <br />
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After the first 2 years of following my doctor's presc<x>ription, I now regulate my use Dex according to my need to function on different levels. Dex is a short-acting drug, with a functional window of around 4 hours and, once you've used it for a while, you learn to recognise the signs when it's wearing off; thus, I can either take another full dose, half-dose, or none at all, depending on how I need to function over the following few hours. <br />
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Ritalin is dispensed in slow-release capsules, which allow for a controlled flow of Methylphenidate into the system throughout the day. I belong to a local adult ADHD support group and, whilst some members function well on Ritalin/Concerta, there are others who have tried it and switched to Dexamphetamine, along with those who have followed the reverse course. <br />
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Talk to your doctor about trying Dex and see how well you go on that. Reading between the lines of your post, I think you may originate from the US, where it seems Ritalin and Concerta are the most commonly prescribed medications, with Dex being seen very much as a "poor cousin" - possibly due to the aggressive marketing the former get from drug companies/reps.<br />
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Give it a go, you really do have nothing to lose.<br />
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