Hi, I am 18 years old and an I.B graduate. For the past few years i have been suffering a lot of stress, self esteem and depression issues for a variety of reasons primary being my deteriorating performance in different areas. One of my friends mentioned i should test myself for ADHD. I have scheduled an appointment with the doctor, in the meanwhile i wish to list my problems and also seek assistance on whether there is a reliable online diagnostic test please.
For as far back as i can remember i have suffered from an acute gap between ablity and performance that i would attribute to a complete lack of self control and discipline
I have the ability to think, analyze, understand sometimes above average also (acknowledged by teachers, parents, peers etc) This has led to me knowing exactly where my weaknesses lie, what i need to do but just not doing it. To the point that i asked for supervision while studying through the ninth and tenth grade and even after.
My weakness for falling for temptations is so strong it feels like two different people, like the person that thinks and acts are two different people altogether. No one seems to relate with my inability to act. I dont understand where my time goes and i just keep procrastinating and function only under pressure.
I used to be an achiever and used to have above average performance, top of my class, up until the 4th grade (I used to study under supervision and training of my mother who would spend hours with me, my school work by sheer interest and desire to see i do my best) i went of to boarding school for two months in the fifth grade and the sudden freedom made me spiral downward after the first time. After that i never seemed to recover. My performance would just deteriorate after the first term.
Whenever i sit down to study my mind invariably wanders indefinitely and concentrating is terribly hard on subjects not of interest especially. I used to be a voracious reader but over the past two years i havent been able to get past the first chapter of any book, it frightening.
Often while reading i feel so distracted i have to 'drag' my mind back, i read sentences over and over again without absorbing the meaning!
I have had a string of immature relationships that all lasted not more than a month up till the 11th grade. the moment i had 'won' the girl i would feel suffocated and want to run for my life from the relationship.
I a, never able to finish anything ive started for i cant remember how long.
In the past year i fell in love with a girl and it was an extremely obsessive, intense and depressing time for me. We were together and in love but she never seemed to reciprocate or contribute to hapiness. things are still messy and its hard to explain. But extremely emotionally volatile.
I always do well at writing, interviews and anything that involves expressing my thoughts. I write poetry and a firm is now publishing 15 of my poems with visual artwork. I feel a sense of injustice because i didnt work for that at all and the head of the firm has been doing all the work. i procrastinate even with my greatest passion!
I had a major car accident earlier this year that involved another friend speeding past me while i was trying to change lanes at about 80 kmph.
I would really appreciate if someone could give me an objective analysis of these problems and even better if help me with an online diagnostic test for ADHD
Not being a psychiatrist, and not having met you, I cannot say that you have ADHD. I can only say that the experiences you have described are extremely similar to mine and those of other people who have been diagnosed with it.
I think you are doing the right thing by going to get tested. There are some online screening tests (can't say offhand where to find one) but those are less useful than a 1/2 hour with a psychiatrist, counselor, or neurologist who handles ADHD. They can watch you, ask open-ended questions, and give you little tests, things a computer can't do. You might want to bring a parent to the evaluation, for an outside perspective on your behavior, things you might not be aware of. (I, for example, had no idea that I'm mostly deaf when concentrating. How would I know? I hadn't heard!)
If you are diagnosed with ADHD, that begs the question, what next. There are a lot of possibilities. Prescription drugs are helpful for a lot of people, they might or might not be right for you. Even if you do take medicine, it probably won't be enough all by itself. Think about it, you're 18 years old and don't really know how to study. The drugs might give you the ability, but you still have to learn how. I was in the same position when I was diagnosed at about the same age.
It sounds like a major problem is your impulsiveness. That's true of many but not all ADHD'ers. That may get better as your hormones level out and your brain finishes maturing. This is also something you want to bring up at that doctor's appointment, as there may be some things that can be done, not necessarily drugs.
One last thing, do you exercise regularly? Or participate in sports? Physical activity does great things for the brain. It might take you a while to find something you like and can stick with, but it's worth thinking about.
Good luck, and welcome to the "family."
(Jane shudders, imagining all of us actually in the same room for more than 15 seconds.)
I dont do sports at all although ive started some physical excercise recently ironically out of frustration and the need to motivate myself physically because i felt so inactive mentally. I spoke to one of my old teachers today who is very close to me even today and has experience in teaching young kids with ADHD and special needs. She said there was no way I could have ADHD as i showed none of the symptoms of hyperactivity at all which is true and i realized i hadnt mentioned. I am not hyperactive at all, i have attributed all my problems to lack of self control and laziness in fact all along. Is it possible that I am merely exaggerating a discipline and age related concentration and distraction problem? although everything i mentioned before is accurate in exactly that degree, i am going for the test but it would certainly help to understand from someoene who has experienced the same. What you said about how to study once you have the ability is really interesting. Its true ive spent hours in front of books having accomplished almost nothing. I found today a report from my 1st grade teacher stating i get distracted very easily.
Thank you very much Jane, having heard my teacher I'd almost began to believe that I was convincing myself, making a judgment either way prematurely would be incorrect. I am going to go for the test now and having heard heavy arguments from different people in different positions of authority i have fair conviction i will be neutral about my outlook. In the meanwhile i cannot help feeling if there is actually something out there that can solve this feeling, I've tried everything from meditation to counseling ( i was even put on anti depressants and mood stimulants), and after all this if something can I could begin looking at m y life and myself in a renewed energy. I can see myself achieving all I've wanted to and a re surging conviction in myself. I have suffered progressively increasing self doubt which could possibly go away. On the other hand if i don't, well its back to trying to make myself get off my arse and work one day at a time.