Jordan’s Story

My name is Jordan and I am a 37-year-old male residing in Atlanta. I was diagnosed with ADHD in December 2006 and I have started taking Adderall. If you are so inclined, here is a little about me and my story.

I have always thought that I have a wondering mind and have always considered that I daydream too much. Additionally, in elementary school my report cards always indicated, Jordan does not apply himself to his full potential and does not use his time wisely. College was definitely a challenge for me, and my parents, as I changed my major 3 times, and finally after 7 years, I graduated with a Nursing degree. I started my Nursing career working in a busy Emergency Department that provided lots of stimuli and I excelled in that role. However, as you can imagine, I became very burned out and resented the horrible shifts that were always assigned to me.

The thought of returning to college haunted me as I struggled so much with undergraduate work. I started exploring different types of opportunities and a friend of a friend of a friend invited me to interview for a pharmaceutical research firm. The position required frequent travel in which I would be monitoring clinical trials and I jumped at the opportunity. The very beginning was exciting, but I found that I was extremely bored in meetings and the office days that required me to sit in front of my computer completing reports were almost unbearable and I started falling behind on turning in my reports on time. Somehow I was able to convince my company that if I had a laptop computer that I would be more productive on the road and thus be able to get my reports in on time.

The laptop was helpful and actually helped me become more organized and indeed, I was more productive. A couple of years later I interviewed with a pharmaceutical company for a similar position with much better benefits, opportunity, and salary. However, the position required little to no travel and my attendance in numerous meetings each week was also required.

The multiple meetings were killing me and I found that I would leave meetings and not really have a recollection or comprehension of the specific details of the meeting. I would be sitting in a meeting, is which I really needed to be paying attention, and would start having thoughts such as Is it time to have the oil changed in my car and Did I leave that load of clothes in the washer or did I put them in the dryerI cant remember or I would simply stare out the window and daydream. Needless to mention, it was also very difficult for me to sit through these meetings without fidgeting or getting up to go to the bathroom.

Additionally, I was very easily distracted if someone coughed or dropped something on the floor. At this point I began questioning my own intellect and I started beating myself up for not being able to pay attention like my colleagues. I also began wondering if my colleagues realized that I was so easily distracted or if I appeared uninterested. That was a very difficult pill to swallow and something that I pondered often and wondered if I was cut out for this more corporate type of environment or if maybe there was something else going on with me. I also considered returning to the profession of Nursing and back to the busy ER because it was something that I was good at, but I decided to stick it out for a while longer although I really didnt like my new career I did like the advantages it offered.

Within a few months after starting my new job, I was assigned a new boss whom was very much a micro manager, interrupting me several times a day by walking into my office with ad hoc requests and questions. Additionally, he was a stickler for strict timelines; Microsoft Project was his best friend and my worst enemy. I knew that I was done for as I would never be able to adhere to his management style.

I was in the process of exploring my options for leaving the company when a different type of position opened up within my company. The new position would allow me to be more autonomous, work from home, and would only require me to attend four meetings a month! I was somewhat desperate and accepting this position within the same company would keep me from having to contend with all the requirements of changing jobs. I accepted the new position.

Everything had been going well until I started taking on additional responsibilities, and again, I was assigned a new boss. My new director instituted a policy that we could no longer work from home, that I had to be in the office by 8:00 am each day and I was expected to remain in the office until 5:00 pm each day. In addition, my new boss was infamous for calling ad hoc meetings and instituting new changes.

Again, I became very frustrated with being in meetings and I had difficulty adhering to these new rules. Again, I started giving some serious thought as to why I was having such a difficult time paying attention. I questioned myself as to why I was so easily distracted and having a difficult time adhering to these schedules and timelines. I considered the possibility that I had mild OCD or that I was bipolar and perhaps my aptitude for distraction and boredom was due to mania or depression. I never even considered the diagnosis of ADHD; after all I was an adult and remembered being very well behaved as a child certainly not hyperactive.

In early 2006, my Mother was diagnosed with cancer, my career became more demanding, and my symptoms became progressively worse. I also began drinking more and my temper became very labile, not only at work, but in everyday situations and social settings. I chalked it all up to stress, but knew that I had to take action and thus I made an appointment with a psychiatrist for an evaluation.

At my initial evaluation with my psychiatrist we discussed my symptoms and I indicated that I felt that I was just totally stressed out due to all the events that transpired in 2006. I was completely surprised when he suggested that my symptoms appeared to be related to ADD/ADHD. After I completed additional testing, ADHD was my official diagnosis and I have to admit that I was relieved to know that I did not have OCD or that I was not bipolar.

I have read and researched everything that I have been able to on ADHD and I have been on Adderall for approximately 3 months now. The changes that I am experiencing are phenomenal, but I realize that the medication is not a cure and I have to make many changes in my life. I used to run when I was in college because it cleared my head and I have always been able to think more clearly after exercising. The research that I have conducted has reiterated to me how important physical exercise is for people with ADHD. I have recently started running again although I am not adapting as well as I had hoped, but I am trying to persevere.
Take care Everyone