I just have a few questions about ADD, and the symptoms as they relate to me. I know overall I should consult a doctor, but I wanted to get a few opinions first. I'm a 23-year-old male, and I'm a pretty successful student. I graduated valedictorian of my high school class, and I currently attend one of the nation's best universities. However, as I have gotten farther along in my academic career, I have started to question my attention span and the possibilities of ADD.
- I am a chronic procrastinator. Until I am under the gun, I can't get things together and accomplish anything. I wait until the last minute to study for exams, write papers, or anything else school related. I generally wait until the night before a test to study, even for midterms and final exams.
- I do most of my work when everyone else is sleeping because i find it impossible to work when things are going on. I pretty much have to be alone and study in a quiet environment to accomplish anything. (My sophomore year in college people called me the section vampire because i would stay up all night trying to do my work, only to catch up on sleep during the day.)
- When I write papers, I find myself writing a paragraph, printing it off, moving to another location (just to read through and think of new ideas) .... only to move back to the computer shortly thereafter. It is hard for me to stay in one place for very long in these situations.
- When it comes to class, I usually just don't go. I find I can teach myself better than a prof can teach me. When I do go, by the middle of the class I find it impossible to keep my attention on whatever the prof is saying. (The inattention stems back as far as I can remember …. In high school I hardly ever paid any attention to a teacher ……. I attributed this to just being bored with easy work)
- I find reading boring, as I generally can't concentrate long enough to get through most things, unless it is of high interest to me. I find myself reading passages and noticing that I don't remember a word of what I just read at the end. (as a side not, my sat verbal/math scores were extremely lopsided …… as I scored almost 200 pts higher on the math …. My act scores were the same)
- Even when I talk to people, and look them in the eye, I generally find myself losing focus of them. My attention is drawn to what is behind them more so than what they are saying. When I meet someone, I hardly ever remember their name.
- I am very forgetful, and I constantly misplace things or forget about scheduled appointments. I can hardly ever keep track of my keys, and I leave my book bag behind all the time. I also find myself borrowing a pencil or pen when it comes time to do work or go to a test, because I can’t find one.
- I am very impatient and impulsive, but I don’t think I show signs of hyperactivity, as I am a fairly laid back person. I do show some compulsive/impulsive tendencies when it comes to drinking and gambling, and I often feel stressed or overwhelmed by anxiety when I find myself so far behind in my classes or when work piles up.
- I am an awful speller, and I often find myself making mistakes in things I deem as trivial or repetitive.
All of these things listed above have been issues for as long as I can remember. However, I just attributed them to boredom since I was doing well. My college academic performance is nowhere near my high school/grade school performance, and as I get closer to entry into the real world, I am starting to worry that this inattention could be a problem in the job field.
Is this something I should worry about? I'm sure i haven't fully explained some situations, but this is a start. If anyone could offer their insight, i would be thankful.
Well, I wouldn't start worrying, but alot of what you describe does sound ADD-ish to me. You might want to do some more reading on the subject and see if it seems to fit. If so, then perhaps your college guidance counselors can recommend someone for a further evaluation.
A ".gov" website that I can post a link to is:
If you do a google search for "children ADD symptoms", you'll find some excellent websides.
Many of the best websites are geared more toward children, but even so, you might want to read about accomodations that can be made so that you could begin making them for yourself. One of the most important for you will be to make your learning as active as possible by taking notes, highlighting, etc. I wrote a lengthy post about how I coped in college a few boards back. Here's the link if you're interested:
Ditto. You have the advantage of being young (so you can get some help and remediation if you need it before "it" starts piling various consequences upon you-- more with age!) and aware and well-educated, and probably more! I was over 50 when I stumbled into ADD (Inattentive) Dx, and then alot made sense to me, but alas, it was pretty l-a-t-e! But even then, it's never too late. I would recommend Hallowell's "Driven to Distraction" if you haven't read it already. One thing that is pretty true: often, just knowing you have "it" is a major part of therapy, because you can work behaviorally to the extent that you can before and hopefully without needing Rx/Meds, which you probably would agree is to be avoided unless really necessary. Godspeed...
I see some ADD, except that you DO get the work done by the deadline. A classic ADD'er wouldn't. I also see some Aspberger's Syndrome in there. You might want to look into it.
You might just be getting into what all of us adults have: too much to do, too much to think about; too much to worry about; too little time. My daughter was a perfect student but started showing your symptoms in Grad School.
I don't think you can just "get" ADD - I think you are born with it and it just starts showing up when school starts.
I would definitely look into ADD. Too often people say 'if you haven't shown symptoms since you were a child, you don't have ADD'. Given that many people with ADD are very smart and creative and have learned to be resourceful, they may be able to hold it together for a long, long time before their struggles become apparent to others. This is what happened to me - by the end of college I appeared to be a fantastic student, but the ways in which I achieved that were fairly ludicrous and very taxing. Literally never started a term paper anywhere near on time. Guzzled coffee and also became a vampire.
For me, my ADD became a truly serious issue as I went through my first 'real' job and my first year of graduate school. So, I would err on the side of caution. Why not read what you can and see how it feels. I very very strongly recommend Gabor Mate's book Scattered. It is a bit controversial but he does a wonderful job of plausibly reconciling heredity with environment. And he is a smart, reasonable voice with alot of empathy and a very human and optimistic outlook on ADD management.
When I read it, I found it eery how he seemed to describe some of what I thought were my most personal and private idiosyncracies. It's been a lifesaver. Good luck.
and PS. I mean no offense to the previous poster, but nothing you have described sounds to me like Asperger's Syndrome. I have a non-blood-related cousin with Asperger's and anyone who spent 5 minutes talking to him could tell you that something was very very different about him. Having known him and others who really have what is a truly serious condition, I am very skeptical of the upsurge in Asperger's diagnosis. But that's just me....
I know how you feel. I'm a college senior at BYU. It sounds like ADD to me but you better get yourself tested. By the way, to the person who says the classic ADDer can't get stuff in by deadlines. That is not entirely true. Mine is pretty severe and I always get my papers in on time. Even if they suck.
You say you're not hyperactive but in some peopel the hyperactivity manifests itself more with restlessness. That's how I am. I can't sit still for a minute if I'm not medicated. If I do manage to not change positions or get up I'm fidgeting.
If you are diagnosed with ADHD(same thing as ADD) I would get medication. It helps tremendously in controlling the behavior. Also I'm meeting with a coach right now and its helping me a tons. I've become more organized and I am actually managing on staying organized for more than a few days.
Just be warned that ADD affects or social life also. So look into getting help.
Another symptom that I feel with ADHD is that time is different for me than for other people. I always feel like the walls of time are closing in around me and that everthing has to be done right now.
Another symptom is that I'm always thinking of a new hobby to work on but as I gut through teh bulk of it I think of another project and the previous one never gets finished.