Wondering what adults do to deal with it in themselves?

by stacey
(Barto, PA, USA)

Hi, I am new to this site. I also experience SPD. I am 38 years old, and have had it my entire life. It was always in different degrees though, due to different circumstances. I actually contacted my psychiatrist about this after seeing this site and he said that it is a common disorder for someone who also has ADD/ADHD, which I also have.

Being a girl and growing up with a very controlling mother, I managed to get by for a very long time. Eventually I did fail every english subject in school and Social Studies. I always remember getting made fun of in elementary school because while chewing on a pen, it would explode in my mouth and on my face. And the pencil chewing!

I sucked my fingers until I started to smoke at the young age of 14. I don't smoke any more. I stopped that in 1996 to have kids. Who knew how much that would change things for a person who has SPD and ADD, plus PTSD. And no clue how to run a household properly. Not to mention raise your children with love and tenderness. I think I managed okay so far.

The last 11 years have been some of the toughest times ever, which if you knew the rest of my background you would be surprised. After having my first son, and my body went through so much shock, I think I suffered from PPD, but when I went to a male psychiatrist, the label of the later 90's was Bipolar. Then I was labeled that, despite never having had depression or mania my entire life, even with all of the various traumatic events I had been through.

That basically started the snowball of misdiagnosis, a million drug trials, and finally, 2 years ago I landed a "good" psychiatrist. One that actually looked at my ADD/ADHD tests from about 5 years before seeing him, and listened to what was going on with me, and how I felt, and believing the bizarre responses I seemed to have to darn near every drug they all tried on me.

He started me on Adderall, and it was the first time in all of the past 9 years that I felt fully functional. It wasn't all glory, but it was actual living, dare I say thriving. Now I am up a creek I am afraid. With the stimulant meds, I metabolize them fast, extended release means nothing to my body for some reason, and then there is the "rebound effect", different degrees, depending on the type of stimulant. We just started Vyvanse over a week ago, but just like the Adderall, it only lasts about 4 hours, then it takes and hour for the next dose to work. Its much weaker, dosage wise, compared to Adderall, than my doctor was lead to believe, so that is another problem. He did recognize that the 12hr thing wouldn't happen though, so I give him a thumbs up on that.

Believe it or not I do have a question. What do adults that have SPD do to cope? This morning, I woke up just because my DH ate spaghetti for supper, and was breathing in my direction. I have severe problems with Noises, Smells, and Touches. Its horrible. I think that the rebound from the stimulants even make it worse. I dont know if I am the only person that cant listen to "relaxation music/noises" and be utterly going insane because of the noise.

Lately I have invested in ear plugs, which are a beautiful thing, if you can tolerate them in your ears for a while.

I for many years have taken Clonazepam, to dull my senses a bit, I have never abused it, or become dependent on it though, thankfully. I also do like to drink, it certainly helps to dull the senses. I have on occasions indulged far to much. I acknowledge that, and barely drink at all nowadays. Luckily I have been able to stop that on a dime if I want to too.

What is a person expected to do, when they have SPD, PTSD, and ADD? 2 young boys, a dog, 2 cats, neighbor children over often, a DH who works 24/7 and no real support system?

Believe it or not the stimulant drugs work wonders, as long as they keep working, or you can judge the dosing well. I wish that you could be put on a lifetime supply of the stimulant that calms you down, focuses you, gives you clarity, clears your depression and never wears off, not to be high, just like a normal human being, without rebound effects. I was hoping vyvanse was my answer, but it isn't. What is? I have a long way to go, and don't really enjoy the suffering end of things.

The noises, bizarre. The smells, intolerable.

The touches, maddening.

I mean I have to be around people, and things. That's a fact I cannot escape it.

How do you do it??

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Apr 21, 2010
Great Advice
by: Anonymous

This is such great advice!

The poster of this question has a lot in common with me except that I am not comfortable with drugs or really much alcohol at all. A big challenge is finishing tasks at home in order to "free up" time for exercise... or on the flip side, being too overwhelmed and exhausted after fighting off the day's distractions. The jobs then pile up even more, making one feel even less at liberty to go for a walk or workout.

It is a helpful reminder that exercise is not just a good thing, it is an essential part of treatment. It should come first.
So thanks very much.

Apr 18, 2009
living for a healthy brain
by: Cheryl, WA

Thank you for your question. I have only recently become aware of SPD. Others pointed out that my daughter seemed to have sensory problems. As I looked through the checklist provided on this site I was disturbed to find that I had far more of the issues mentioned then my daughter. Needless to say I will be talking to my Dr.!

Many of the experiences you shared sound so familiar. I was diagnosed with ADD as a teenager and have gone through different stages of acceptance and treatment. I recently came across the work of Dr. Daniel Amen. Which helped me to get past the labels and all the things that can make these types of problems so hard to overcome. His work made me realize that I can be better, that there are simply parts of my brain that are not doing their job. I don?t think it matters what it is labeled.

I am now taking the position that just like any other part of my body that isn?t working at its optimum, I will find ways to live that will make them work better. I am not going to worry about what it might be called. Understanding the basics of how the brain works will give a new understanding of treatment.

You spoke of wishing for a drug that would cure it all. Well there is, unfortunately it is not as easy as a pill!(don?t I wish. You can actually think of food, exercise, learning and other things as drugs. Anything that changes the chemistry in your body is in essence a drug!
And think about it drugs are just artificial versions of what is already out there. All we have to do is find the real source!

I have lately found that exercise is a most powerful drug. I began exercising on an elliptical 1/2 hr to 45 min a day. (Which having a 2 yr old is no easy task!) I have found that if I miss more than 1 day in a row of exercise It feels as though my world is falling apart. It has had a bigger difference then vyvanse, adderall and all the other drugs I have tried. And the great thing is the side effects are good for you! I have lost nearly 20lbs! Unfortunately no one thing works for all the problems. And before it becomes a habit it takes allot of effort. I need to make more changes to my diet and my lifestyle. It is not easy and is slow going but if I can make these a way of life they will have a much better result then the drugs ever have.

I too am sensitive to smells. You can make it work for you instead of against you. I have a pillow filled with dried lavender that I have trained my body to respond to by getting sleepy. When I know I will be exposed to a particularly nasty smell I sometimes dab some perfume or essential oil on a handkerchief or just under my nose which sometimes helps. Sometimes the way you look at it is more helpful then any amount of drugs out there. I hope others will share what works for them, as I too am eager to find new ways to make my brain work better.

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