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Growing up in the 60's I was always the star athlete on my teams. In baseball I could go 3-4 and be so mad at myself for making an out I would stomp around and sometimes cry. As a pitcher, I would be on the umpires even while pitching a great game, and if I walked someone I would go berserk. A star on the field, I was also the class clown. I was popular but known as a hothead.
At a very young age I was put on Ritalin for ADHD but it gave me terrible problems and I could not take it. I also was allergic to everything and had shots from 4 years old. My home life was about 75% normal & 25% being abused, verbally, physically and sexually by an older female relative.
I have been divorced and have had other relationships hurt or ruined by my uncontrollable rage. I am not physically abusive but I still stamp my feet, swear, break dishes and act angry over little things. I think my girlfriend of 9 months is leaving me. She loves me, but because of my tantrum the other night, she thinks that I have Intermittent Explosive Disorder, and I have to agree--she's a psychologist, by the way.
I have been taking meds for a few months, but Adderall XR for ADD made me too emotional. Now I'm trying Stratera and going to see a psychologist on Monday for my anger/rage issues.
Is there anyone who has history of IED & ADD and has been helped by meds?
Also I have always been unorganized and cannot stay on task. Adderall helped me be organized but only for a week.
Response from Dr. DeFoore
Hello, and thanks for submitting your story on this site. You ask if there's anyone with a history of IED and ADD who has been helped by meds. I can respond as a professional with 37 years of experience. I have seen many people helped by meds when dealing with IED and ADD, but I have seen no one cured of those problems with meds.
When I work with folks dealing with these types of problems, I find that as they progress in their therapeutic process, their need for medication diminishes and goes away. I often spend quite a bit of time helping clients get off of the medication they're taking, while trying to minimize side effects from the meds and withdrawal.
The bottom line to what I'm saying is that you can use meds to "take the edge off" your symptoms, and yet even those benefits (as you have discovered) are only temporary.
With that in mind, I'll offer you some help in case you're interested in doing some healing work on your own.
You are very open about your history, and that's good. Your patterns apparently go back into your childhood, so you probably have high energy and a strong tendency toward volatility by nature. That is not a bad thing, it just means you're more prone than some toward expressing strong emotion. Anger is closer to the surface, and the emotion that seems to have the most power, so it's the one that usually gets expressed the most.
Your healing will come, however, when you deal with the underlying fear and pain that fuels your anger. And a lot of that, I'm sure has to do with the physical and sexual abuse that was perpetrated on you.
Here is the process I recommend for you:
1) Start by using all of the journaling processes you will find on this page. This will help you tremendously. You are a good writer, so this should really work well for you.
2) Next I think it would be very helpful for you to use these imagery processes for emotional healing, regarding the traumatic memories that you uncovered in the "Trauma Writing" segment of your journaling. This is a powerful set of tools, and I highly recommend that you use them. This will be especially helpful for resolving the pain, confusion and anger from the abuse you received.
Take that strong energy you have and channel it into the determination to take charge of your emotions, heal them and become emotionally healthy.
You can do this. Believe in yourself. The abuse was not your fault, in any way, shape or form.
My very best to you,
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