Adult ADHD? Aspergers? Something else??
by Just a Regular Guy
I have a sibling who was diagnosed with Adult ADHD/Asperger's Syndrome after near age 50. Prior to that, I would have considered their life to be quite successful, and they enjoyed several varied careers, from acting/singing to casino cashier, then blackjack dealer on the Vegas 'strip'. Sandwiched in there, they started and ran a successful infant/child swimming school out of their home. The life was hectic, and after a divorce, they became the sole parent and support for their young child. It took immense (IMO) organizational skills to pull this off successfully.
As best as I can ascertain, during the Vegas dealer era, there came a period of amphetamine use. ( not being judgemental here,they THOUGHT it was helping them maintain the high energy lifestyle demanded by their situation) NO coke, NO 'meth'....just dexadrine.
Beginning sometime in the mid 90's this person began to experience work problems, and also began to feel that the managers were out to make life impossible for them. So the casino career ended. Then, some high placed person who's child attended swimming classes reportedly began to spread bad stories about my sibling and the swimming business....after which the business eventually became defunct.
There followed a few attempts at office type work, one with a construction contractor, and the other at a health insurance office. These ended badly. Supposedly the work performance was poor. My sib's story was that the rest of the staff were out to "get me fired because I didn't act like them".
At some point in there, sib found a psychiatrist who diagnosed the "ADHD/Asperger's", and immediately put them on a high dose of amphetamines,(Adderal) basically dexadrine which I'm told is a 'standard treatment regimen'. This has since been replaced with 140mg daily of Vyvanse (amphetamine) The dosage-140mg, is a full 2x the recommended 'maximum' dosage for this med. This has continued for a number of years.
After a panic phone call from my sib's now grown child, I (and one of my sons) visited their home in 2005 to help my sib get ready to move out pending sale of the home. What I found was shocking. The stories were equally so.
Fort Knox is not nearly as locked down. There were locks EVERYWHERE, but the really bad part is that many location s had MULTIPLE locks, because the original lock keys had been lost, misplaced or STOLEN. Yes, despite all this 'security', "break-ins and thefts" were routine....supposedly. (In all the stories and professions, replete with photo's
etc., I never saw even ONE shred of PROOF that any of this was really happening,....yet I WANTED to believe.....rather than to think they had become psychotic,delusional and paranoid as a result of their condition or the "medication".
I could detail the next 6 years almost day-to-day, as this sib has become a member of my household due to an inability to get along with their grown child (who is btw- a successful pharmacist in a western state). They tried living together in the childs home, but my sib kept doing things like opening up walls, convinced there were hidden surveillance 'bugs' and camera's all over the house. My sib also quit venturing out except late at night to shop, when there were less people around in the stores, etc. In short, the kid just couldn't deal with it anymore, so I stepped in to 'help'.
The situation is now unbearable. They open (and usually destroy) ALL electronic devices, from camera's to TV remotes, printers, computers etc., because they are convinced these devices are being altered by "them" to spy. Today the sib came to me and said that when they went outside, to go UNDERNEATH their car (taking pictures of the engine numbers, because they are CONVINCED the engine has been 'switched'...right in my DRIVEWAY none-the-less!)....some one walked up, out of nowhere, and stole the cellphone sib was using to take the pictures, then walked off before sib could crawl out from under the vehicle (1998 Ford Explorer-btw)
So I'm watching a now 66 year old sibling,who should be ENJOYING life, literally imprisoning themselves in a 3 room addition to our home. Mirrors hang everywhere. Any smoke dectectors are either covered over or taken down. Tin foil hangs in windows to stop "electronic surveillance microwaves" from entering. They are ADAMANT that is is all very REAL.
I'm at the end of my rope on this. I've somehow become the 'enemy', along with my other family menbers too, who I think sib believes are now part of the 'plot' against them. along with store cashiers,service workers, etc.,etc., etc!
If ANYONE here has any experience with this kind of thing, PLEASE... I'd like to hear from you.
I will not try to have my sib 'committed'. My belief is that the meds are responsible for this change in personality and behavior, but I can't get them to 'trust' another doctor enough (other than the prescribing psych.) to talk to one (they may ALSO be part of the conspiracy......AARRRGGGHHHHH!)