What Should I Do? Noah


Ok so where to begin? I’m a 20 year old college student, and I’m wondering what to do. I was diagnosed with ADHD when I was in elementary school, prescribed medicine and took it for years. I finally got sick of being on meds and stopped. I havent been on the medicine for some years now, but I’ve just recently started looking back on my performances in the past year or so. I have many friends and people say that I’m very smart and creative, with an exceptional ability to think outside the box. Unfortunately I have an extremely hard time keeping a job or a girlfriend, its almost always my choice to end either of the two, but I normally regret the desicion. I recently moved back into my moms house and I’m having a very hard time living with them. I’m a very reasonable person and really only get upset if someone starts yelling at me, but when my mom or sisters do yell at me I feel like a lot of my frustrations come out in response. I’m very unorganized, as my room is normally pretty messy (car also) and school supplies and binders. I withdrew from all my classes last semester because I fell too far behind in my work. I’m enrolled in school again this semester and find it very hard to stay on top of things. I often show up to class on the day something is due with out it because i didnt even know about it, and if I do know about an assignment then I wait until the night before or wake up really really early the morning of to get it done. I also really enjoy smoking weed, it calms me down, helps me focus and relax. I’ve been reading up on some facts about ADHD recently and I’m concerned I might need some help. ps- I’m sure there are more things that I do in my life that i think might be because of my potential adult ADHD, I just cant really remember all..thanks for reading

This Disclaimer applies to the Answer Below
  • Dr. Schwartz responds to questions about psychotherapy and mental health problems, from the perspective of his training in clinical psychology.
  • Dr. Schwartz intends his responses to provide general educational information to the readership of this website; answers should not be understood to be specific advice intended for any particular individual(s).
  • Questions submitted to this column are not guaranteed to receive responses.
  • No correspondence takes place.
  • No ongoing relationship of any sort (including but not limited to any form of professional relationship) is implied or offered by Dr. Schwartz to people submitting questions.
  • Dr. Schwartz, Mental Help Net and CenterSite, LLC make no warranties, express or implied, about the information presented in this column. Dr. Schwartz and Mental Help Net disclaim any and all merchantability or warranty of fitness for a particular purpose or liability in connection with the use or misuse of this service.
  • Always consult with your psychotherapist, physician, or psychiatrist first before changing any aspect of your treatment regimen. Do not stop your medication or change the dose of your medication without first consulting with your physician.

One of the many problems with ADHD is the fact that people do not seem to be aware that medicine alone cannot help those with this disorder. Either with medication or without it, the solution is ongoing. That solution involves learning the skills necessary to function successfully at home, socially and in the world of work. There are psychologists who specialize in cognitive behavioral therapy and in behavior modification that are targeted to learning necessary skills.

So, what I suggest is that you find the psychologists who are expert in ADHD and who can work with you. In conjunction with this, there are many self help books directed at ADHD people. The idea is to practice the exercises that are explained in these books. Some of the suggestions have to do with making lists and explaining how to use those lists. It also involves setting priorities, learning to listen to and hear what people are saying to you (girsl included) and learning how to complete tasks instead of leaving them undone.

When I say that this is an ongoing process, what I mean is that there is no "cure" for ADHD but people can and do learn to cope with it. The learlning and coping is an ongoing process.

I am interested that you say that you are creative. Many ADHD people are creative. The idea is to learn to utilize those abilities.

Definitely stop using pot as that will only make things worse. In fact, why take the "pot medicine" when you can take ADHD medicine? Drugs are drugs whatever we call them. You are better off without the pot because it interferes with your concentration.

Good Luck

More "Ask Dr. Schwartz" View Columnists