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#16124 - 10/30/02 02:22 AM Re: What's This
Roy Offline
Member

Registered: 08/02/02
Posts: 184
Loc: Los Angeles
Thank you, "new to this", for saying you miss my input. It's nice to be missed. I don't think anyone has missed me in quite a while. I have been very busy the last few days, mostly seeing friends and having fun, which I think means I am actually recovering and becoming stronger. Went hiking in the desert yesterday, something I haven't done in years.

One of the things that has kept me busy recently is being evaluated for and diagnosed with Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD), something which appears to be affecting several of us here. As far as I know, there is no connection between ADD and sexual abuse. Who knows what will be learned in the future. It is important to note that dissociation and ADD are two distinctly different phenomena, unique in origin. Dissociation, which The Dean is describing in the originating post on this thread, is a psychological defense commonly associated with sexual abuse. It is where one sort of "checks out" mentally and emotionally while experiencing trauma. There is a disconnection between body and mind, with some reporting a perspective of observing the event from somewhere above their physical body. This is not exclusive to sexual abuse survivors, but common among them. It is a way of surviving and enduring the unfathomable. Since it is effective, it often becomes a defense used unconcsiously in later years during times of stress, strong feelings, or exhaustion.

Attention Deficit Disorder is more organic in origin, apparently hereditary, affecting the brain. It is as though part of the brain is not lit up or activated all the way, causing a person to have difficulty filtering out irrelevant stimuli, managing time and money, problems with organization, focus, concentration, and seeing projects through to completion. Frequently hyperactivity is part of the diagnosis. There are many more symptoms and lots of resources available on the internet, just do a search. This disorder is most effectively treated with stimulant medication such as ritalin, but does not usually respond to psychotherapy, since it is not psychological in nature. Therapy can be helpful in learning to cope with the emotional fallout, and managing the symptoms that linger.

Learning disabilities are also believed to be hereditary, and involve problems with the way the brain performs tasks related to perception and expression. The most well knows is dyslexia, mentioned by Lloydy, which is difficulty with reading. Others include dysgraphia which is difficulty with writing, and dyspraxia which is difficulty with verbal expression. There is no medical or drug intervention available at this time, however there are lots of ways to learn how to cope and manage these problems. One of the worst aspects of having a learning disability is the emotional impact. Children often grow up believing they are stupid, and are often told they are lazy. As with ADD, learning disabilities are thought to occur mostly in people with above average intelligence and are frequently associated with a person who is highly intuitive and creative. Also, neither learning disabilities or ADD have any connection to sexual abuse. There are many people with these conditions who have no history of childhood trauma. Sometimes a person with ADD will also have learning disabilities and vice versa. There are varying degrees of severity, so some people struggle more than others.

Sorry to come off sounding like a professor of Psych 101, but I have training in this stuff and "new to this" asked for it. Blame him, he got me started! Also, I have reading a lot about this lately as a result of my diagnosis. Hope this clears things up a bit. Good night.

Roy


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#16125 - 10/30/02 01:08 PM Re: What's This
The Dean Offline
Moderator Emeritus
MaleSurvivor
Registered: 07/15/02
Posts: 2080
Loc: Milwaukee, WI
I appreciate the insights guys. I just felt that I was through with that kind of thing. I hope I do not have a wreck and hurt someone when it happens and I am driving. It happens a fair amount when I am driving. I will talk with my T about it.

Bob

_________________________
If we do not live what we believe, then we will begin to believe what we live.

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#16126 - 10/30/02 01:18 PM Re: What's This
Lloydy Offline
Administrator Emeritus
MaleSurvivor
Registered: 04/17/02
Posts: 7071
Loc: England Shropshire
Roy
It's no wonder we missed you !!

Thanks for that great de>
_________________________
Go confidently in the direction of your dreams! Live the life you've imagined. As you simplify your life, the laws of the universe will be simpler.
Henry David Thoreau

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#16127 - 10/30/02 08:27 PM Re: What's This
New to this Offline
Member

Registered: 09/16/02
Posts: 138
Loc: Mississippi
Roy,

I had missed you. I'm glad you don't need us as much anymore.

I was diagnosed with ADD in '92, depression in '85. I've been on elavil, lithium, pamelor, welbutrin, prozac, ritalin, adderall, cylert & Johnny Walker Red.

I never had ADD. I had the symptoms--which disapeared within a week of recognizing my SA. My depression is also gone. Both of these were defense mechanisms, which I no longer need.

I definitely feel that there was a connection. Both problems started right after my SA, but up till a month ago I though it was something that had developed at puberty.

I saw a psychiatrist for an evaluation in September. He checked off the following DSM IV diagnosis: Adjustment disorder with depression, Adjustment Disorder with Anxiety, PTSD, ADD, Cyclothemia & Dysthemia. The only one that might be valid is the adjustment disorder.

And now I'm wondering what the hell this has to do with a 17 year old Bob on stage...

_________________________
"Knowledge itself is power" Francis Bacon

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#16128 - 10/30/02 09:54 PM Re: What's This
Roy Offline
Member

Registered: 08/02/02
Posts: 184
Loc: Los Angeles
hi mississippi, sounds like you have a very label conscious psychiatrist. Cyclothymia, dysthymia, and adjustment disorder with depression are all variations on a theme anyway. It would be interesting to do a study about any possible connection between ADD and sexual abuse. Current thinking is that symptoms must be present by age 7, maybe that will change if a connection is found. However, that would mean it is environmental rather than genetic, or at least a combination of both, which brings us back to the mind/body connection. Feelings aside, this is fascinating stuff.


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#16129 - 10/30/02 11:32 PM Re: What's This
Don-NY Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 08/06/02
Posts: 546
Loc: Long Island, NY
Bob:

I just had a thought and was wondering if you've recently added or changed a medication of any kind.

I know someone who had similar lapses of memory after changing from a brand name blood pressure med. to a generic. Going back took care of that.

As for daydreaming I find that I'm doing that more, sometimes even in the middle of conversations. I think that as a lot of my fears and anger have dissipated, I am less hypervigilant that I used to be, and it's just easier to get distracted by my own thoughts.

Then again, as my nephew is so fond of telling me, sometimes I'm just having a "Senior Moment". A good excuse for a coffee break or a nice brisk walk.

Take care,
Donald

_________________________
If you understand everything, some things are just as they are. If you understand nothing, things are still just as they are.

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#16130 - 10/31/02 01:09 PM Re: What's This
The Dean Offline
Moderator Emeritus
MaleSurvivor
Registered: 07/15/02
Posts: 2080
Loc: Milwaukee, WI
;\)

Well, I am getting senior moments down to less than a dozen a day now.

Talking things over with the T it would seem that some of my dissociative behavior may come at times when I am overwhelmed with the physical pain I have, I have both kinds of arthritis, but cannot take medicine for the pain due to kidney failure. So, I get to a point where I feel I can't go on. Then, I go on stage and sing or conduct a symphony or whatever.

I will be trying to learn some ways to handle pain that becomes more than I can bear at the time.

Thanks for the ideas guys.

Bob

_________________________
If we do not live what we believe, then we will begin to believe what we live.

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#16131 - 10/31/02 05:50 PM Re: What's This
Lloydy Offline
Administrator Emeritus
MaleSurvivor
Registered: 04/17/02
Posts: 7071
Loc: England Shropshire
Bob
for about 12 years I had migraneous neuralgia for about 2 hours and twice a day. Excrutiating pain, for which no painkiller was strong enough - or fast enough. This came on within 1 minute of the first symptoms.
Thankfully it's gone except for very occasional attacks, but it was genuinly suicidal for many years.

I started to look into the whole subject of pain control through the mind, and had a tiny bit of success with it. But it stopped so I didn't need to continue.
But Im convinced it works.

Lloydy

_________________________
Go confidently in the direction of your dreams! Live the life you've imagined. As you simplify your life, the laws of the universe will be simpler.
Henry David Thoreau

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#16132 - 11/01/02 11:18 PM Re: What's This
The Dean Offline
Moderator Emeritus
MaleSurvivor
Registered: 07/15/02
Posts: 2080
Loc: Milwaukee, WI
Thanks Lloydy,

I have done some bio-feedbhack and it helped some. I will be talking things over with a team of physicians to see what can be done without further exacerbating my failing kidneys.

Ah, how great these golden years!

Bob

_________________________
If we do not live what we believe, then we will begin to believe what we live.

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