I was wondering what is the difference between ADD and ADHD? I assume that the "H" in the latter suggests hyperactivity...does this mean that someone who is not "hyperactive" could still have ADD? Thanks!
Hi! Yes the 'H' does stand for hyperactivity and yes it is possible to have ADD without the hyperactivity. From what I've read on the subject, this kind seems to happen more in girls that boys, and so that's why its often missed in girls. I have ADD and although I was 'restless' as a child, I would have never been considered hyperactive. More inattentive than anything!
I am 29, and started wondering whether I had ADD when I started researching it, along with OCD, in regards to my 9 year old son. While HE may very well have some degree of one or both of these disorders, it has not prevented him from doing well in school, so I have decided to take a "wait and see" approach with him. I hate the idea of having to medicate children so young, although I realize that it can't be helped when the disorder is preventing them from functioning.
Anyway, I started seeing myself in a lot of the info I was reading about add/adhd, and I asked my doctor about it today. She said she was going to ask me if I had been diagnosed as a child...she had a feeling that I might have it just by visiting with me for a little while. She said she is going to check with my insurance company to see what we have to do to go from here.
I guess I am wondering...what happens now? She didn't explain it, we got focused on some other health issues and never got back to discussing it before I left. She is a family physician, I got the impression that she's wanting to send me to another doctor. Is that a typical thing for a family physician to do in a case like this? And what exactly is she or another doctor going to do to determine whether I am indeed suffering from this? Does it just involve a sort of q&a interview type thing? How exactly is this diagnosed?
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.