I understand how shocking the diagnosis can be, especially to a scientist. My husband is a scientist, diagnosed at age 37 with ADHD. And I can tell you, more than a decade into treatment, he is a happier, more fulfilled, healthier, more relaxed scientist -- and his work is an order of magnitude better than before. And with less nerve-wracking fixing of mistakes, etc.
My advice to you, is get started with treatment ASAP. The longer you spend spinning in this state, trying to figure it all out without benefit of Rx, the more you can drive yourself batty.
The fact is, despite the ADHD, you are still you. Your particular experience of the very variable syndrome called ADHD is just one small factor in who you are. And, as your treatment progresses, you will more clearly be able to see "you" versus ADHD symptoms.
By treatment I mean Rx, and also if you can find a therapist who is very familiar with ADHD, to help you reframe the past and let go of some mindsets that will no longer serve you ("I always forget things," etc.). If you cannot find a therapist, you can read a few good books.
Best of luck to you, and congratulations on finally getting the diagnosis!
Actually, it sounds like you are doing a superlative job in difficult circumstances. I hope you can take some time to congratulate yourself and focus less on an upside-down house.
Still, it will probably help you to relax if you didn't have to deal with stress-inducing disorganization.
The way I see it, just based on a paragraph, you might be less in need of therapy than of a professional organizer. Someone sensitive to ADHD-friendly ways of organizing a home (visual systems, for example) who can work with you to set up easily maintained systems.
Truly, organization is one of the top challenges for people with ADHD. Going to a therapist when you don't have time to go to talk about disorganization might be only so helpful; you might learn new ways of viewing the situation. For example, you might be suffering from some typical ADHD issues with perfectionism. Does "every hair need to be in place"? Probably not. But folks with ADHD can have trouble finding the middle ground.
Honestly, though, we all do better with an organized home. We spend less time looking for stuff and getting frustrated. That frustration can feed anxiety, which then can feed perfectionism.
So, if I were you, I'd invest in some time with a good professional organizer. You can check the directory at the National Association of Professional Organizers for someone in your area; there is a menu that lets you select for various specialties. http://napo.net/
The fact that coffee and energy drinks make you sleep could well indicate that you are sleep-deprived.
Stimulants can have that effect on some people with ADHD who have sometimes gone without sleep their entire lives. They help them to "focus" on going to sleep, to stop the "noise" in their brains and go to sleep.
So, it might be that you have ADHD. If that is the case, you need to approach treatment in a more integrated way -- not just taking a "pick me up" to get you through the third shift.
Treating ADHD would mean taking stimulant medication (in both cases) and optimizing other lifestyle factors, such as getting exercise, eating a healthy diet, and getting regular (and sufficient) sleep.
You are not alone in experiencing difficulty with the Concerta generic. You can read many of the comments to this blog post from other adults with ADHD (and parents of children with ADHD) expressing an inferior result with one of the generics.
If you know Concerta works well for you, I would try to get the brand-name or the licensed "generic" that is actually the same as brand, marketed by Watson.
But if you want to try another medication, it's possible that the Vyvanse would work for you. It's a different class of stimulant (amphetamine as opposed to the methlphenidate Concerta), but some people do well on either.
You could also try another methylphenidate delivery system, the patch, called Daytrana.
People in this country have grown to think that no insurance equals no care. But that's not the case. Especially if you have some resources.
Even without health insurance that covers pharmacy, you can buy the medications that you need. Stores such as Costco and Wal-Mart offer discount prescriptions. And, while generics are sometimes not ideal (I've written about various issues with generics at my blog ), they are better than nothing.
See if you can find a physician in your area who will work with you on a cash basis; sometimes this is less expensive than the rate the physician charges for insurance coverage. Or, ask for a sliding scale.
As for over-the-counter drugs, no, I can't think of any. You can work on improving your diet perhaps and getting exercise in the morning. Also focusing on regulating sleep. Those won't help ADHD symptoms per se, but that will help minimize the impact of ADHD creating sleep deficits, etc.
Is it absolutely mandatory that you work the graveyard shift?
Establishing a stable circadian rhythm (the body's internal clock) can be a challenge for many people with ADHD. Working odd hours might make it more challenging.
If you must do it, then try to ease into the new waking-sleeping routine gradually, advancing the time you go to sleep/arise an hour or two at a time.
As for your medication, I can't imagine why taking it during your work hours is a problem. The night will become your "work day" and if you've taken the medication for your work day to this point, there shouldn't be an issue.
The first priority is doing the paperwork so you can resume treatment. Can you ask a friend to help you?
In the meantime, some people find that an amino acid named L-Tyrosine can help to some degree, and it can help the medication to work better. Also, if you can get exercise in the morning, that can help brain function throughout the day.
You've received some helpful answers here. I hope you follow up quickly.
When you say you "opted for alternative natural symptom control," what does that mean? Did you educate yourself fully on ADHD and its co-existing conditions? Did you read some good books (such as Dr. Barkley's Taking Charge of ADHD)?
It is unfortunate that both you and your child are dealing with these challenges. But you must take charge. If you have trouble getting yourself organized to do so, it might be worthwhile to be evaluated for ADHD yourself. If this is your biological child, chances are good that one of the two parents also has ADHD. Parents with ADHD tend to have trouble with effective parenting overall, and this goes doubly when dealing with the complex systems that might be required when the child has ADHD (finding medical care, implementing reward systems, etc.).
But right now, it sounds as though your daughter is a victim of her own brain biology, and she's fighting this battle alone. She needs your help. Your informed help. I hope you both find help soon.