For a long time, I've suspected I might be ADD (coupled with diagnosed anxiety disorder and possible mood disorder). I've never been evaluated, but I've taken online tests and tests in books and they all tell me I am definitely, definitely ADD. I've read a fair amount of literature, too, and it just sounds exactly like me.
If I look back at the report cards I got when I was young, I was considered highly intelligent (and in fact got very good grades until 4th grade when I began to chronically underachieve), but not very attentive. I also remember being scolded for talking out of turn alot. All through school, I did my work if I was interested and didn't do it if I wasn't. I rarely did homework after a certain point. I always excelled in courses where reports, presentations and exams were the bulk of my grade and tanked in the ones where there was alot of busywork or I was expected to remember to do assignments. I basically skated through elementary and high school with alot of bsing and on raw intelligence alone. I don't remember being really hyper as a kid, but I do know for a fact that I never napped- at least not since I was 2 or so.
I daydreamed alot in school and, in fact, still retreat into daydreaming if I'm bored (which is often). As an adult, it is hard for me even to watch a film without getting up 5 or 6 times just to walk around. I avoid going to movie theaters because of this. I'm very fidgety in general, have a hard time keeping eye contact when I talk to people, and tend to pace around the apartment alot for no reason. I flip channels and radio stations a ridiculous amount. Sometimes I'll flip so much that I realize I'm passing up stuff I WANT to watch or hear. I'm always reading 3 or 4 books at a time, but often have trouble with finishing or fail to finish any of them. I make alot of plans that never come to fruition. I'm horrendously disorganized and messy and always have been.
Finally, I'm rather moody, but my moods never last very long at all. I can go from tearful to cheerful in a matter of hours. This is the part I'm not sure is mood disorder or attention deficit. I know rapidly shifting, brief moods are characteristic of ADD.
I was wondering what y'all thought. Is it time for me to get evaluated? Also, is it expensive? I heard it is and that insurance rarely covers this screening...
Yes, "Miss", alot of what you describe sounds like ADD co-existing with some other conditions. Unfortunately, the other conditions - mood disorders and anxiety - can cause ADD symptoms themselves. So, to get an accurate diagnosis, you really need to have a thorough evaluation preferably with a psychologist.
If you want to change your life for the better...go get diagnosed. If you're concerned about the feelings of the people that care about you...go get diagnosed. You sound exactly the way I used to be right down to the reading habits.
One thing that most adult ADD patients don't realize is the hell that they may have, inadvertently, put their parents and friends through because of their disorder. It's only been in the last couple of years that I've realized what my mother went through to try to deal with what was happening to me when I was younger because of my ADD. She wanted me to be "normal" and couldn't understand what was happening to me. She repeatedly put herself on the firing line to try and help me.
You should go get the tests done if not for yourself then for those around you that care about you.
Missmokay, what you described sounds exactly like me. Like you, I have never been diagnosed with ADD, but I seem to know that I must have it. I, too, was constantly in trouble in school for not paying attention, talking out of turn, and fidgeting. I had detention nearly every day, yet I was in a special class for gifted children. I find it still affects me, as my inability to stay focused is creating a difficult environment for me to do a good job at my place of employment. My clients have started complaining about me because I miss ads (I work in advertising) and forget to return their phonecalls. I find it very difficult to read because I cannot keep my eyes on the page for that long.
I don't know what to do about it.. I feel like I've lived with it for this long and that I should keep living this way. But I fear the consequences at work the most. I feel like this could cause me to get fired.
Mandinka, I was in the smart classes pretty much all my life for everything but Math. I've been mediocre at Math since the 3rd grade (when it stopped being very short and common sense and went to stuff like long division) because I really don't care about it. Too tedious.
Anyway, at subjects like English and History, I did well despite the fact that I was always forgetting homework and did my papers at the last minute. Because Math is only one subject out of many, I got fairly good grades until my last 2 years of college, when I had a moderate drug habit and stopped caring about school.
It wasn't until the work world that I felt the full impact of my short attention span and the low frustration tolerance I think partly springs from it. I function, but often I feel like this holds me back. I have the intelligence to go alot further than I have (including not yet finishing school), but am too wound up to get it all together. It's partly anxiety, partly insecurity, and partly these attention problems..
To answer your question about getting evaluated, you might want to research psychiatrists in your area who specialize in ADD. Maybe someone on the Boards can recommend someone in your area, if you want to share where you live. You will need medication, which must be prescribed and monitored by an MD. I don't know what type of insurance you have, but it should cover your office visits (after your deductible is met and along with your co-payment). Good luck. Hope you'll keep us posted on what happens.