I am beginning to think maybe I have adult ADHD and thought maybe someone could let me know. I read up on it a little yesterday. I seem to fit into it but the symptoms listed were a bit vague to say yes or no to. I am constantly late to everything, including work. I have very little focus to do much of anything. My work is suffering as a result. My home life is a disaster. I get overwhelmed so easily with any task at hand that I don't know where to start and instead never do start. I have no organizational skills whatsoever. My bills are always late. My money's never where I think it is (meaning, I always think I have more than I do and end up overdrafting). I am always tired and have little or no energy. I don't know. I'm kind of sick of living like this. I want to find a solution. Am I just bad at life or is there some underlying cause. I have had depression since I was very young and am on Lexapro for that. I also read that depression coincides with ADHD a lot of the time. Does anyone think maybe this is my problem? I have a therapist that I'll go see but I wanted to get a general concensus first. Thanks guys for your imput.
Think of this: It is called Attention Deficit Disorder.
1. It is a DISORDER.
Some quotes from "International Consensus Statement on ADHD" follow.
Under approaches used to validate a medical or psychiatric disorder: "... there must be scientificantly established evidence that those suffering the condition have a serious deficiency in or failure of a physcial or psychological mechanism that is universal to humans."
Under agreement of leading clinical researchers: "ADHD involves a serious deficiency in a set of psychological abilities and these deficiencies pose serious harm to most individuals possessing the disorder"
Under studies using various scientific methods: ADHD is linked to "several specific brain regions (the frontal lobe, its connections to the basal ganglia, and their relationship to the central aspects of the cerebellum). Most neurological studies find that as a group those with ADHD have less brain activity and show less reactivity to stimulation in one or more of these regions."
There are also comments showing the strong link to genetics and biology and the inconsequence of environment as a contributing etiological factor.
2. It involves ATTENTION or the ability to SUSTAIN focus and concentration.
3. There is a DEFICIT or deficiency in Attention.
The differance between deficit and simply below average is a fine line. To illustrate, if a person's tested IQ is 50, are they simply weak in intellectual ability or should we call it a disorder. Psychiatry calls below 70 "mentally challenged." Is 70 some arbitrary figure a few shrinks came up with? No. It is universally accepted by medical practicioners because observation has shown that below 70 will cause the person to have one heck of time functioning in society regardless of how much they effort they put in to it. Someone with an IQ of 50 needs others to do many things that those without the disorder find incrediably easy - like counting to 10. Excessively low IQ prevents a functional level "universal to humans."
Attention deficit is newer "technology." The definitions are not quite as concise. ADHD is the diagnosis when lack of attention creates serious problems in two or more of life's major activities.
In my opinion, ADHD has more to do with neurotransmitter regulation than lack of any specific neurotransmitter(s). In other words, the stuff is there, just isn't being regulated correctly because of a biological malfunction. It explains why ADHDers are prone to taking foolish risks. Risk pumps up the neurotransmitters enough to relieve symptoms, that is, if the foolish risk doesn't kill you.
This is long, I realize, but you must believe that ADHD is a pathological disorder and that if you are diagnosed with it, it has nothing to do with self-control or any other virtue and IT IS NOT YOUR FAULT.
Re: index's does it go back to childhood in school? It is good test to rule out depression. Depression causes a relatively recent onslaught of concentration problems. I often got depressed before diagnosis. The shrink ruled out clinical depression because I recovered too quickly. Heck it rarely lasted more than a day. However, my frequent short-lived depressive moods began in high school when ADHD began frustrating my efforts at the simplest of tasks. Did the depression precede the concentration problems or visa versa? Incidently, I was able to fudge grammar school but can vividly remember concentration problems. However, I had no benchmark since I didn't know what it was like in anyone elses head so I never complained about concentration problems, not even in HS.
The shrinks' two or more of life's major activities is good also because, for example, excess stress at work can mess with anyone's mind. So if we are ADD at work but not at home, stress is much more likely the cause.
The paradox for me and ADHD is I could not see it in myself before diagnosis and now it is a clear as my face in a mirror. Self-diagnosis is problematic because even if accurate you continue to wonder if it is true.
Lastly but not leastly, ADHD can and frequently does cause all the
problems you listed in your post.
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My childhood. Ok. I have always described myself as "flighty". I am like a bee. One minute I'm here, the next I'm there. I want to write a book. I want to go on a long trip. I want to do this with my life. I want to do that. Not that I read it everyday, but I always just attributed it to my being a Gemini. If you read the horoscopes, Gemini's are always described as "flighty" busybodies. I never thought twice about it. As for school, I could have done better but who couldn't say that. I always wrote papers the night before they were due, usually getting an above average or average score. I had trouble with subjects that didn't come to me easily. I hated, and still do, having to learn things. By that I mean, I want to just be good at it automatically. I love learning in general though. That probably didn't make sense huh? What I mean is that I didn't like the process of learning subjects, I just wanted to absorb them like a sponge. I don't know. I am beginning to think it's just me, I am just bad at things like organization and bill paying and decision making. Self-esteem issues anyone? I'll have some!!! Thanks for your imput. Continue to help if anyone has anything else to say.
I understand and relate to what all you are saying. I have so much trouble focusing that I have trouble even staying on task to read message boards. I usually just skim to the bottom. When I have alot of caffiene in me I do just fine since caffeine helps mental alertness.
I too believe that I have ADD. My childhood antics are ledgendary in my family. I used to joke that if they had Ritalin when I was a kid, they would have doubled the dose. I am no longer joking. I never finished high school because I got way behind. Ithought I was just lazy, as was told to me, or a procrastinator. I finally had enough. I went to my Gen. Prac. to be diagnosed. She of course refered me to a Psychiatrist. I have an appt. on 10/5. I'm nervouse. My husband does not buy into this at all. I have not told him what I am doing. We own a business and I am ruining it with my inability to get things done. We don't have health insurance but I'm going to make it happen. I want to be the person I see in my mind. I just needed somewhere to get these words out of my head...........
BlueGemini-you sound exactly like me! And, I am a Gemini!
Here's my "short" story: I have always gotten by on my looks and personality. (Since I don't know you, I'll be honest here, so hope that didn't sound conceded) Until the last 5 years, I have gained major weight-which now I'm depressed about, so looks no longer works for me-LOL! I have always felt inadequate in my studies. I only do well in areas that I can memorize. I cannot get myself together at home. I am a SAHM with a 2 1/2 year old. To top things off, DS doesn't sleep through the night-STILL! So, I am tired the next day. I have gotten a lot worse since DS was born.
Instead of doing things I should, I always find time to go shopping, to the park, visiting people-instead. I absolutely CANNOT concentrate even on cleaning an area in my house-I go from one task to the other-eventually finishing-but in a disorganized way! I am definately not lazy, I am always on the go-but to look at my house, etc. you would think I was lazy. I have a cleaning lady come to my house each week, and that is the only way I keep the house clean. I have wonderful intensions, but things never get done.
I have never been diagnosed, but I know I've had this all my life now that I know more about it. I am 43 years old and it was unheard of back when I was a kid.
What kind of doctor do you go to, to find out for sure if you have ADD? Does it sound like to you I have ADD?
this is interesting. bluegemini....has this affected your personal relationships? i've unfortunately been plagued by attention / hyperactivity problems my whole life. i was disruptive and behind in school. i did all of my projects the night before they were due. i studied for tests the night before too. although i got good grades, i couldn't test well because i'd sit and read the questions over and over again and they'd never sink in far enough for me to answer them i did go to college but i was the same way. i'm here, i'm there, i'm everywhere...i'm all over the board. i enter relationships, and leave them quickly. i want this, i want that. i want to work, i want to travel the world, i want to get married, but not to this guy or that guy...i'll look for a new guy, i'll do this now, etc etc etc. it's like a vicious cycle. i'm finally for the first time in my life looking for counseling. ugh. this erradic behavior just cost me another relationship.
Okay, I promise I will go to sleep after this post so I can get up in time to rush into work tomorrow one minute late.
BlueGemini & WalkInLove, Putting a name on my collection of idiosyncrasies has been a real boost to my self-acceptance because they no longer signify that I am a bad person, or someone who just screws things up.
I'm just wired differently.
But even if you aren't actually ADD, if instead, it's "just" depression (have had that since the day I was born), remember that you are valuable just being you in the time and place you happen to be at this moment.