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Old 02-04-2004, 02:48 PM   #1
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How overdiagnosed do you think ADD is?

My brother's seeing a new psychiatrist who thinks he has ADD. I've never seen the slightest indication of it, and we are in our 30s. Also, my brother has been in psychiatric treatment for depression for about 6 years, and you'd think one of the previous three psychiatrists he's worked with would have noticed. I'm protective of my little brother and I'm worried about this doctor screwing him up more.

 
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Old 02-04-2004, 03:32 PM   #2
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Re: How overdiagnosed do you think ADD is?

ADD is very overdiagnosed. There are many physical and psychiatric problems that can cause ADD symptoms. As you know some symptoms of ADD must be present before age 7. This is not an adult onset disorder. Depression can cause symptoms of ADD.
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Old 02-04-2004, 03:39 PM   #3
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Re: How overdiagnosed do you think ADD is?

Quote:
Originally Posted by * Free ~ Spirit *
Depression can cause symptoms of ADD.
Ah, I never thought of that. Very good point. I'm severely depressed myself, and when I'm not on my meds, I can't concentrate long enough to read even one whole page of a book in one sitting, and trying to follow a conversation is hard work. Thanks - knowing that helps a lot. I'm going to tell my brother that.

Last edited by Crossbow; 02-04-2004 at 03:39 PM.

 
Old 02-04-2004, 08:24 PM   #4
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Re: How overdiagnosed do you think ADD is?

AD/HD can also cause depression. One of the Frontal Lobes' jobs is to regulate the Limbic System, so when the Frontal Lobes aren't working correctly and underactive (metabolic activity is low), they are unable regulate the Limbic System and depression sets in.

 
Old 02-04-2004, 09:58 PM   #5
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Re: How overdiagnosed do you think ADD is?

Quote:
Originally Posted by brainf0g
AD/HD can also cause depression. One of the Frontal Lobes' jobs is to regulate the Limbic System, so when the Frontal Lobes aren't working correctly and underactive (metabolic activity is low), they are unable regulate the Limbic System and depression sets in.
Not always, besides.. she said this man is grown and has never showed the signs of ADD early in life.
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Old 02-05-2004, 07:58 AM   #6
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Re: How overdiagnosed do you think ADD is?

In answer to your question of how overdiagnosed is ADD, I'd have to say that research indicates that ADD is actually underdiagnosed in the population, not overdiagnosed.

The question you really want to ask is how often is it MISdiagnosed and the answer to that is quite often.

Depression can certainly cause ADD symptoms; no doubt about that. It is also possible to have both depression and ADD. With regards to your brother, what he needs to think about is how inattentive he is when his depression is under control. If the only time he has trouble with it is when he is depressed, then depression is the issue. If he always has trouble with inattention/distractability, then he could quite possibly have both.

If he isn't hyperactive, especially if he's intelligent, he could have compensated for his ADD to the extent that you might not to have noticed it. If he's going to shrinks complaining only of depression (and not mentioning problems with concentration), they most likely would not have evaluated him for it.

So, in my humble opinion, it IS possible that he has ADD along with his depression. It is also possible that he has depression alone.

 
Old 02-05-2004, 10:30 AM   #7
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Re: How overdiagnosed do you think ADD is?

Quote:
Originally Posted by index.html
Depression can certainly cause ADD symptoms; no doubt about that. It is also possible to have both depression and ADD. With regards to your brother, what he needs to think about is how inattentive he is when his depression is under control. If the only time he has trouble with it is when he is depressed, then depression is the issue. If he always has trouble with inattention/distractability, then he could quite possibly have both.

If he isn't hyperactive, especially if he's intelligent, he could have compensated for his ADD to the extent that you might not to have noticed it. If he's going to shrinks complaining only of depression (and not mentioning problems with concentration), they most likely would not have evaluated him for it.

So, in my humble opinion, it IS possible that he has ADD along with his depression. It is also possible that he has depression alone.
It's confusing. He just told me that when they tested him for ADD and Dyslexia, he had to go off his antidepressants for a while first. If inability to concentrate was due to depression and he was off his meds, couldn't that create a false positive for ADD?

Turns out he is somewhat dyslexic. I didn't know - he just told me today. He's always compensated for it. (No, he's not hyperactive, and yes, he's intelligent - has a PhD and an IQ of 160.)

 
Old 02-05-2004, 10:38 AM   #8
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Re: How overdiagnosed do you think ADD is?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Crossbow
If inability to concentrate was due to depression and he was off his meds, couldn't that create a false positive for ADD?
Yes, it sure could create a false positive.

I think your brother's input about whether or not inattention/distractiblity are issues for him when he is not depressed would probably be a more reliable indicator than how he tested while off of antidepressants. BUT, this is strictly personal opinion and is not based on facts!

 
Old 02-09-2004, 09:10 AM   #9
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Re: How overdiagnosed do you think ADD is?

I was just going to comment on the fact that he never seemed to have symptoms...

From the outside world, the only real obvious symptom would be hyper-activity and that isn't always present. The rest of the symptoms are pretty hard to detect from just looking at someone. You can't look at someone and know if their mind is wandering, if they are having a hard time concentrating or remembering things. Most of the outward symptoms seem so "normal" when you look at them individually... like someone always changing the subject or interupting you before you're done speaking. That might just seem like rudeness... when in reality, it might be their impulsiveness from ADD. There are so many of these "normal" behaviors (although some might consider them rude) that only seem a concern when you add them all up at look at them together, then you can see a pattern or a picture develop. I just wanted to say, that you might not want to discredit his diagnosis too quickly - but on the other hand, it's good to be cautious too. He's lucky to have you looking out for him.

 
Old 02-09-2004, 09:21 AM   #10
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Re: How overdiagnosed do you think ADD is?

Quote:
Originally Posted by brainf0g
AD/HD can also cause depression. One of the Frontal Lobes' jobs is to regulate the Limbic System, so when the Frontal Lobes aren't working correctly and underactive (metabolic activity is low), they are unable regulate the Limbic System and depression sets in.

This is really interesting....does this mean that ADD and metabolic activity are linked? I read in another post where someone mentioned hypothyroidism as a symptom - which is a metabolic malfunction. You seem to know more than the average Joe. Can you steer me towards any links or resources that really explains ADD and what's going on in the brain? I would really appreciate that!

 
Old 02-09-2004, 01:12 PM   #11
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Re: How overdiagnosed do you think ADD is?

Quote:
Originally Posted by ZeeMe
I was just going to comment on the fact that he never seemed to have symptoms...

From the outside world, the only real obvious symptom would be hyper-activity and that isn't always present. The rest of the symptoms are pretty hard to detect from just looking at someone. You can't look at someone and know if their mind is wandering, if they are having a hard time concentrating or remembering things. Most of the outward symptoms seem so "normal" when you look at them individually... like someone always changing the subject or interupting you before you're done speaking. That might just seem like rudeness... when in reality, it might be their impulsiveness from ADD. There are so many of these "normal" behaviors (although some might consider them rude) that only seem a concern when you add them all up at look at them together, then you can see a pattern or a picture develop. I just wanted to say, that you might not want to discredit his diagnosis too quickly - but on the other hand, it's good to be cautious too. He's lucky to have you looking out for him.

I would have to disagree with this. Its true a lot of ADD inattentive types dont get diagnosed until later on because the teachers dont think there is a problem because these kids are well behaved, but the symptoms are there and they are noticable. For example report cards might say "A joy to have in class" AND "Needs to get more organized" "Daydreams often"

The symptoms ARE noticable to the outside world.
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Old 02-09-2004, 01:40 PM   #12
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Re: How overdiagnosed do you think ADD is?

Quote:
Originally Posted by * Free ~ Spirit *
I would have to disagree with this.
The symptoms ARE noticable to the outside world.
I think you are both right. In many cases, the symptoms are noticable to the outside world. In many cases, they are not.

Some of us are quite skilled at disguising our inattention. Some of us have excellent auditory recall so that we can "play back" what was just said when we get caught daydreaming. That information wouldn't otherwise make it into our memory banks, but many of us do have it there for short-term retrieval which keeps us out of trouble with our teachers, coworkers, spouses, etc.

Those of us with gifted IQ's (like Crossbow's brother) can often compensate for our inattention, disorganization, etc in such a way that you would never suspect how hard we have to work at it.

 
Old 02-10-2004, 12:58 AM   #13
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Re: How overdiagnosed do you think ADD is?

Quote:
Originally Posted by index.html
I think you are both right. In many cases, the symptoms are noticable to the outside world. In many cases, they are not.

Some of us are quite skilled at disguising our inattention. Some of us have excellent auditory recall so that we can "play back" what was just said when we get caught daydreaming. That information wouldn't otherwise make it into our memory banks, but many of us do have it there for short-term retrieval which keeps us out of trouble with our teachers, coworkers, spouses, etc.

Those of us with gifted IQ's (like Crossbow's brother) can often compensate for our inattention, disorganization, etc in such a way that you would never suspect how hard we have to work at it.
I agree. It can be both horribly obvious when the behavior is disruptive.. but even then sometimes people just say the child is rude or was never taught manners or is assumed to have come from a bad home. And more often, I think the symptoms are considered normal. Even if a teacher notices that a child is daydreaming - that's normal by itself. Not trying in school can be a normal behavior. Being hyper with lots of energy to burn off is even normal. Talking too much can be a symptom, but it can also just be rude. See what I mean? None of the ADD symptoms are so bizarre that by itself they would say "S/he is ADD". Even now, with everything that is known about it, and adults looking for it in children, you still have people that will fiercely debate that these aren't "symptoms" but rather normal behavior.

Back when I was a kid this thing was NEVER diagnosed. I doubt they knew what ADD was back then. I had certainly never heard of it. Every report card I ever got said things like: "Has potential but doesn't apply herself, Doesn't participate in class, Very creative but daydreams", etc. And yet, here I am, in my mid-thirties and just NOW putting the pieces together. I've been treated for depression for years (just like the brother we are talking about here) but I know now that they were missing the mark. For years I have complained, specifically about the type of symptoms that ADD sufferers have (although I didn't know they were ADD symptoms until now), but it was never an avenue that any doctor ever explored with me. I have NEVER been tested for it, even though it's HORRIBLY obvious to me now that I've done some research on this. I would bet my life and the life of my children on the fact that I have had ADD my whole life. And yet, no one ever saw it. No one ever put it all together. I'm just trying to gather enough courage to go BACK to my doctor and try to find a tactful way to try to suggest that they've missed the diagnosis all this time. I just dread this because I know how sensitive their egos are and they resent ANYONE that suggests that they might know what is going on in their own body. I just feel like I'm going to have to fight for this diagnosis because they aren't going to want to admit that they have missed it for ten years. *sigh*

Sorry - I didn't mean to get off track and start talking about myself. I just wanted to say that any of the ADD symptoms can seem "normal" when viewed individually. I think there are probably alot of adults like myself that just never got the diagnosis because no one was looking for it back then.

Last edited by ZeeMe; 02-10-2004 at 12:59 AM.

 
Old 02-10-2004, 05:58 AM   #14
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Re: How overdiagnosed do you think ADD is?

Quote:
Originally Posted by ZeeMe
Even now, with everything that is known about it, and adults looking for it in children, you still have people that will fiercely debate that these aren't "symptoms" but rather normal behavior...

I think there are probably alot of adults like myself that just never got the diagnosis because no one was looking for it back then.

Both of these have been very true for my kids and I. I posted my story under your "Adult ADD" thread.

Even with my 13yo son whose inattention/hyperactivity have been painfully obvious to the whole world, I've dealt with teachers and others who wanted to blame poor parenting, poor impulse control, etc and those who've believed that "he'll grow out of it".

As far as talking to your doc about it, I wouldn't challenge that they've misdiagnosed you all along. I'd simply bring up that you're convinced that you are ADD and that you'd like to be evaluated for it. If you have ADD kids, mention that, too, because most professionals are now accepting the involvement of genetics. You can certainly challenge them if you feel the need, but my experience has been that you're better off not offending the egos!

 
Old 02-10-2004, 07:24 AM   #15
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Re: How overdiagnosed do you think ADD is?

" poor impulse control"

That IS part of what people with AD/HD struggle with.
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