Re: Difference between ADD & ADHD
My doc sent me to a psychologist because like you, I was exposed to the "possible idea" of me having ADD and I mentioned it to him. I saw the commercials on TV. My wife picked up on it also by the way. I told the psyc up front I wanted to see if that was what this was. 2 sessions, he talked to me about ADD and asked why I thought that's what it was. He gave me a take home questionaire for me a close person to me (I chose my wife) and some one from my past (my mom). I dropped the questionaire off to his office, they made an appointment with me and went over the results and that landed me with the ADD diagnosis. Now I have many answers to questions through out my life. The psychologist then sent me to a medical doctor who specializes in treating ADD (prescribing meds for ADD folks better stated). He did some simple nurological exams and went over the science behind ADD. That's what I went through in getting diagnosed. I don't think it would be unusual for a doc to send you to someone that knows more about treating ADD with meds. I’d rather it be that way actually.
I'd like to offer a bit of advice in getting treatment if you are diagnosed with ADD. Straight from my personal trenches:
1. Know what to expect from the meds if you take them.
-I'd give anything to have had an experienced person who had already been on the meds and could have told me what I'd be going through. What it was like, what it actually did for them. I had nothing. Adderall gave me the god-awfullest time in the beginning. No sleep, I could focus but there was way too much energy it was just useless. I couldn't stand it. I took me a year to find a dose and med that I "think" is working. I had to figure it out on my own. Most of us experienced ones could pass on our experiences to you but I would recommend someone you could talk with.
2. Read Delivered from Distraction.
-Super wonderful book by Dr. Hallowell. He has ADD and is a psychologist/psychiatrist (what ever the difference is) writing about ADD. A must read (or listen if you like audio books).
3. Think about what you don’t like and would like to change about yourself that you think may be ADD related.
-Mine: No energy, always forgetting, can't keep my mind on the sermon/lecture/conversation/whatever, no focus, my kindness is often take advantage of (I get run over a lot), want to be more accepted by my peers at a social level, I feel out of sync with everyone, I would rather be alone but don't want to be alone, I'm smart but appear dumb to my peers, no organization skills or time management, can't prioritize)
4. Your course to treating ADD should take all you list into consideration. Have goals of a simple list of things about yourself you can talk to your doctor about. Don't settle on "here's a pill. Have a great life."
-I discovered that meds only did a couple things for me. I'm not a zombie anymore, my immediate memory works a little better (I can leave my desk, head to the restroom, come back to my desk and realize I still have to pee... oh that's where I was going), I can keep up with my peers on conversation. May not have the skill to participate any better but I don’t appear “in another world”. The rest of the items I'm having to actively learn. A psychologist can assist with learning basic skill social skills "most" of us ADDer's missed growing up. Use a psyc to help with any past "un-resolutions" (did you have a bad life due to ADD and people not understanding, you were just lazy or stupid kind of feeling they left you with... Trust me, my life wasn’t that bad but now that I understand, I've never felt more misunderstood. I need help with that.)
5. Keep a journal about how you feel before you start treatment.
-It should contain comments about what you would like to change about your ADD and experiences on these items. Once you start treatment, you can track any changes by reading what you wrote before and what you’re writing now. Know where you came from and where you are and where you want to go.
6. Having ADD has many advantages. Learn them and also how to use them.