Hello, this is Renee, the author of this blog.

Let me start with a disclaimer: I am not a doctor. Anything I post here is just my opinion, or based on research I’ve done, and should not be taken as medical advice. I am only going to post about my personal experiences and how different “treatments” affect me.

 Secondly, I should mention that I am somewhat self-diagnosed. My mom took me to a doctor when I was in 9th grade because of a sharp decline in my school grades. I had always been a fidgety kid, often obstinant, and generally difficult to control. Based on my family history, my personal behavioral history, and some psychological testing, I was basically told that I do have some form of ADD/ADHD, but that I was managing OK. So the doctor suggested that unless things got worse, that I could probably manage without medication and I would probably “grow out of it” as I got older, since my symptoms (at least, the behavioral ones) had become milder as I entered high school.

Fast forward a few years: I graduated high school with about a 3.4 GPA and good SAT scores and got into a decent college. My mom stopped worrying about the ADD, though I had some trouble with mild depression for a year or two, I pretty much put the whole idea of ADD out of my mind. I managed fairly well in college. I probably could have gotten straight A’s at my school (it’s not exactly an Ivy League), but I didn’t turn in a lot of my homework, and I didn’t go to all of my classes, so I ended up with about a B average. I chalked it up to just not caring that much about grades at the time, but now that I look back, I think my AD/HD symptoms did hold me back some.

So, now where am I? I am 25 and self-employed and the Vice-President of a tiny web/database development company in a small town. Most people around me figure I’m pretty smart and successful, but here are my problems: I don’t get nearly as much work done as I should (problems with procrastination and follow-through). I have a hard time focusing on the work or chores I should be doing and am very distractable. I have a hard time remembering things. I have a lot of  trouble in my personal life due to causing arguments, or being overly-sensitive to other people’s comments, or just being generally negative.

I have taken several assessments online and in books, and have done a lot of research on AD/HD. I am a member of the adults_add livejournal community and definitely identify with a lot of the other “diagnosed” members. I am convinced I have ADD, and when I tell my family or friends this, they are not surprised. I read the great book Delivered from Distraction: Getting the Most out of Life with Attention Deficit Disorder and felt like it was written just for me. Basically, every self-assessment I’ve done (from 10+ different websites and books) says that I have ADD.

Here’s the big issue: I don’t want to go to a doctor to get treatment because I don’t want to be on medication. This is my personal belief at the moment, and I’m going to see how well I can manage the symptoms myself before seeing a doctor again, if that becomes necessary. I can get through daily life well enough, but I am causing problems for the people I love and for my business and I need to search for a way to pull myself through this “disorder” myself.

 I have been fairly unsuccessful in managing my symptoms lately, and I feel like they’ve gotten worse in the past 2-3 years. Managing a business where I have to motivate myself to get things done is tough, but I know I can do it. I have a super-focused business partner and a family who loves me, and I know I can make a big impact on overcoming these problems myself. This blog is a sort of self-therapy. I think that by writing down what I’m doing and how I feel will help me keep better track of my progress, and also by knowing that someone out there may be reading this blog, I’m more likely to stay on top of things and not give up or forget to continue my “treatment” in a week.

So, welcome to my blog. Hopefully I will be successful and can show that it’s possible to treat ADD symptoms without medication! Wish me luck!

P.S. I tried to pick a WordPress template that was minimal and easy to read, since (at least for me) pages with lots of stuff going on all over the place can get hard to read with an ADD brain. I often end up clicking on a link on a busy site before I finish reading an article! I like this one and I hope you feel the same way about the layout. Comment on a post if you have anything to say about it!

 Update: As of today (July 17, 2007) I am adding posts by contributing authors! Read each author’s intro posts below:

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