Depression ADHD My Case Study
The purpose of this page is to share some of my experiences with depression and how a diagnoses and treatment for Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). resulted in a significant break through.
Although numerous IQ tests showed results in the range of 135 to 143, I was a poor student from kindergarten thru high school. Despite excellent reading and vocabulary I eked thru grade school with t D+ to C grades.
I stared high school in the late 60s at the height of the Vietnam War. I was expelled from my first high school for disciplinary infractions.
My remaining high school years were earmarked with drug use, truancy suspensions, and poor grades with few exceptions. I was part of what would now be called a gang and engaged in activities that if I explained in detail would result in self incrimination. I did not gain enough credits to graduate with my class.
By being born in December I was generally a year older than my classmates and during the summer after my fourth year the draft lottery selected my birthday as #1. Not being enthused about being an infantry soldier in the jungles I explored options and after being tested by the Navy was informed that I was qualified for their elite Nuclear Power program but first had to complete high school. By signing up for a delayed enlistment program I was able to avoid being drafted. My parents enrolled me in a private school for a fifth year which I completed and graduated.
Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) is one of the most well-recognized childhood developmental problems. This condition is characterized by inattention, hyperactivity and impulsiveness. It is now known that these symptoms continue into adulthood for about 60% of children with ADHD.
Examining my school performance subjectively and thru evaluation by a psychiatrist it was apparent that I was undiagnosed with ADHD as a child. (In those days it appears few people were aware of this condition.)
US Navy Summary
Enlisting in the Navy put me in an environment with well defined rules and expectations. Due to the low tolerance of infractions and significant consequences (brig time) I was able to complete boot camp with no significant problems.
I was than transferred to a specialty school (Machinist Mate for those familiar with the navy) and found that because this school was focused on only one area I had few distractions and was able to complete the schooling the upper 95% of the class. In retrospect I see now that by only having this one topic I was able to do well as there were no other distractions.
At this time I had very poor math skills and after completing Machinist Mate school I was sent to a pre-school for the Nuclear Power Program. This school was devoted only to math and again I did well.
Now after the passage of the years I see that I developed enough coping skills to perform in that type of environment (well defined rules and expectations). However the following symptoms were still with me
Low frustration tolerance.
I had poor social skills and only developed friendships with a few people.
I completed Nuclear Power School in the top 30 of 250 students, and was assigned to complete my training at a land based reactor located in the tobacco fields of northern Connecticut. Again I did well enough to be selected to be retained as an instructor at this reactor. Again the environment was one of well defined rules and expectations
I was then transferred to a submarine and things started to go south. There were many distractions and unrelated activities required of me. I married but divorced three months later. Although I qualified quickly I started to make mistakes up to the point of draining a steam generator (a capital sin in nuclear power). However I received an honorable discharge at the completion of my enlistment.
I married again and over the next few years had five children.
I obtained employment in the commercial nuclear field as a technician. Again this position was focused and I was able to do well. Perhaps if I remained a technician the subsequent events would not have happened.
However due to the many changes resulting from the Three Mile Island accident I was promoted to supervisor. I never felt comfortable in this position with the many distractions, administrative duties and personnel issues. Despite this I was selected as an instructor and quickly moved up to being a training manager responsible for a multi million budget and a staff of 30. This really got to me with the added responsibilities and politics and depression took hold although I continued to function. During this period I began to drink excessively/
Due to the economics I was offered a buy out with a significant severance package which I took.
I then took contract employment as a Lead Quality Assurance Auditor. I did well as this position was focused on only one thing at a time. However these contracts required a great deal of travel all over the country and I continued to drink heavily and the depression worsened/ I was unable to spend much time with my family which no doubt contributed to the worsening depression.
about 6 years ago the contracts dried up and I returned home. Without the structured environment I increased my drinking leading to attempts and was hospitalized on two occasions.
I started seeing a psychiatrist on an out patent basis and over the next few years many medications were prescribed for the depression. These included
Others which I don’t remember
Even with therapy these drugs were ineffective and in fact worsened the depression and I became almost catatonic, although I stopped drinking. My wife now describes me during this period as sitting with my head down, uninterested in any thing, and sleeping much of the time. My movements were slow my conversations were at times unintelligible. I was getting worse.
After doing some research my wife found similarities with my history and ADHD. She relayed this to the psychiatrist who performed an evaluation and concluded that I did have ADHD.
He prescribed Concerta and almost overnight my life turned around and I realized that I wasn’t alone in the black hole that I had been for many years. I noticed wife again.. My interests came back. I was able to focus on routine asks and chores and regained contact with my family. I replumbed the house bringing all pipes inside to prevent freezing. I built kitchen cabinets. I am working on learning electronic design to complete envisioned projects. My close family says it is almost miraculous.
My depression is gone and I have hope for the first time in years.
I realize that this is not applicable to all types of depression but if your meds are not working this may help some.
If this helps one person getting out of that dark hole and and finding relief than my years of suffering would have been for something.
I thank God for his wisdom in leading my wife and doctor with his wisdom
Post Edited By Moderator (getting by) : 3/13/2009 9:17:00 PM (GMT-6)