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Old 05-23-2009, 10:45 PM   #1
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The More Obscure Symptoms Of ADD

Everyone always told me I acted like I had ADD, but I never really took it seriously or really cared if I did because it didn't effect my performance in High School too bad. (My parents were good task masters) But now in my second year of college and being on Academic Probation for the 3rd time (Not consecutively, its by the Quarter system) I decided to give it a little more research, I have found that I match most of the typical symptoms almost perfectly, and asking my housemates about it they all agree that it seems like I have ADD. I'm already in the process of setting up an assessment at my student health facility. But what really got me is some of the other more obscure symptoms, which I never thought were related to ADD/ADHD, that some sites mentioned which, some at least, seem to match me as well.

These are some of the ones I found that I never thought were part of ADD or ADHD. My question is: From your experience are these all related to ADD/ADHD, or are other problems to blame. And does medication or counciling help these? And to what degree.

Chronic sense of underachievement, feeling you should be much further along in your life than you are

Chronic problems with self-esteem

Mood swings

Trouble sustaining friendships or intimate relationships, promiscuity

Trouble with intimacy

Easily distracted during sex, causing breaks or turn-offs during lovemaking (Is it normal for the mind to wander during lovemaking? I have found myself thinking about the most random stuff sometimes, things like an episode of a show I recently watched, or some new gadget I recently read about, or something even more random. And it did on occasion cause me to lose focus on what I was doing, which would end up being a turn off)

Lack of talking in a relationship

Tendency toward addictions (food, alcohol, drugs, work)

Poor writing skills (hard to get information from brain to pen)

Poor handwriting, often prints

Periods of low energy, especially early in the morning and in the afternoon

Startles easily

Sensitive to touch, clothes, noise and light

Avoids group activities

I also personally find that I have obsessive tendencies, and by that I mean for example a TV show like Lost, I find myself daydreaming, and focusing on it to extreme detail, and when I try to do anything else all I can think about is Lost and it always interrupts me while I am reading or writing or whatever it is I am doing. (Its not always lost but there always seems to be something I am obsessed with at any given moment). Is this linked to ADD/ADHD or is this something different altogether.

 
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Old 05-24-2009, 04:08 AM   #2
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Re: The More Obscure Symptoms Of ADD

Short answer: Yes, all of the symptoms you described are/may be related to ADHD. All can be treated by medication/counseling, though you will likely find they will never be entirely eliminated.

Longer Answer: It's important to keep in mind that ADHD often presents alongside other comorbid issues, which in a nutshell means that it exists alongside other emotional or neurological issues such as Bi-Polar Disorder or Chronic Depression (some level of depression almost always goes hand in hand with ADHD).

Many of the issues you described here can be attributed, either directly or indirectly, to ADHD, though some would come about as a result of related comorbidities.

It is important to seek a proper diagnosis for ADHD and any other issues that may exist alongside it, because each issue may require a different treatment. It seems likely from what I see in your post that you do indeed suffer from ADHD, and possibly depression, but it's important to note that I am not a mental health professional, and as such, my opinion is of little value to you. It's also important to keep in mind that we all suffer ADHD a little differently, so my symptoms may not perfectly match yours.

The symptoms that I see that are simple ADHD are as follows:
  • Easily distracted . . . 'nuff said. I'm certain that the bedroom isn't the only place that you're easily distracted, and this is most likely a symptom of ADHD and should respond well to treatment.

  • Tendency toward addictions (food, alcohol, drugs, work). Again, simple ADHD. Between our impulsiveness and lack of self control, and our subconscious search for self medication (I'm mulling a thread on this subject, but you'll see the issue in a few of the active threads here), addictions are a real problem for those afflicted with ADHD.

  • Poor writing skills (hard to get information from brain to pen). I find this particular problem to be more general, affecting all communication, verbal, written and otherwise. I often find it very difficult to make myself understood, and find that extremely frustrating. I do have a lot of success with formal writing (heading off Bob's comment about how I'm the 'master communicator'), but in everyday conversation or writing, I struggle immensely.

  • Poor handwriting, often prints. I never saw this as a symptom of ADHD, but it may well fit. I myself never write cursive and print exclusively, and always have (I did learn to read and write cursive, but stopped as soon as the teachers would let me).

  • Startles easily. Yep, that's ADHD. Alas, our brains tend to process things more slowly than 'normal' brains, and as such, being startled easily can certainly be part of our uniqueness.

  • Sensitive to touch, clothes, noise and light. Do you suffer from all of these, or just one or two? It's not uncommon for those with ADHD to suffer sensitivities, though I've never met anyone sensitive to all of the above (then again, my circle is small . . .).

  • Daydreaming interrupting daily activities. This one is textbook ADHD. There are two types of ADHD, one hyperactive and the other primarily inattentive. They overlap often, but for primarily inattentive types like myself, daydreaming is one of the most serious issues.

The other issues you listed are possibly (or likely) linked with ADHD, but seem likely to be symptoms of depression rather than direct ADHD symptoms. The reason depression is so common among ADHD sufferers, especially among undiagnosed adults, is that the more direct symptoms of ADHD prevent us from achieving the perfection and success that our disorder makes us crave, and when we don't live up to our high and exacting expectations, we become depressed.
  • Chronic sense of underachievement. Much of the material I've read on ADHD indicates that we ADHDers have very high expectations of ourselves, yet we lack the ability to easily start projects, and even once started, the ability to easily follow projects through. Thus, we we have unusually high expectations of ourselves, and tend not to achieve at a high level . . . simple math on that one leads to a sense of underachievement. This seques nicely into your next issue.

  • Chronic problems with self-esteem. If you always feel like you're not living up to your potential, it's natural to make the jump to feelings of laziness and worthlessness. It doesn't help that those around us often make those observations for us.

  • Mood swings, trouble sustaining friendships, trouble with intimacy, lack of talking in a relationship, avoids group activities: All these stem from the core self esteem and depressive issues that most often stem from the ADHD, thus all can be tied, either directly or indirectly to the ADHD.

As you can see, ADHD is a complex disorder that has profound effects on all aspects of your life. It's important to seek a proper diagnosis so you can begin treatment, because the difference between treated and untreated ADHD will amaze you. The process of gaining that diagnosis and treatment can, in some cases, be long and frustrating, but hang in there. You're not unique in your symptoms, you're not worthless and you're not lazy. Use this board as a resource, and read all that you can stomach about the disorder and it's treatment. Having the information and dealing with the doctors from an informed position is extremely important.

Good luck.

 
Old 05-24-2009, 05:18 AM   #3
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Re: The More Obscure Symptoms Of ADD

No way you're 'heading off Bob's comment about how I'm the 'master communicator' with THAT post.

It's written better than any freaking shrink, psychologist or whoever I've seen.

Well, now, I think I missed one small detail: IT'S DEAD ON TARGET. That really tops any freaking shrink I've read.

The stuff is in our brains. It get's scrambled when we load it into working memory. Anything that helps us "linearize" the flow produces "what we are really capable of."

Thu, you got a gift, man.

Bob

 
Old 05-24-2009, 06:11 AM   #4
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Re: The More Obscure Symptoms Of ADD

shorties,

I agree with Thunor that what you are describing sounds very much like inattentive ADD. His response is so wonderful that I have only one thing to add.

You said that you did reasonably ok in school, and now that you are in college you are floundering. You had outside structure when you were younger -- those "task-master parents" of yours kept you on track. I am assuming that they are not structuring your time now that you are in college. It is typical of us (I have inattentive ADD as well) that we have difficulties using our time constructively.

We need a lot of help learning to structure our time, and prioritize, and to focus on the task at hand. After your initial evaluation (I'm going to wave my magic wand here and propose that you'll probably be diagnosed as having ADD), you might want to look into getting some coaching. Regardless of whether you take meds or not, we adult ADDers really need some help learning the organizational skills that we didn't learn as children.

Was that only one thing that I was going to add? Um, it was "coaching". It just took me a long time to get there. Ahem.

--Rheanna

 
Old 05-24-2009, 06:35 PM   #5
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Re: The More Obscure Symptoms Of ADD

Quote:
Originally Posted by Thunor View Post
Short answer: Yes, all of the symptoms you described are/may be related to ADHD. All can be treated by medication/counseling, though you will likely find they will never be entirely eliminated.
  • Startles easily. Yep, that's ADHD. Alas, our brains tend to process things more slowly than 'normal' brains, and as such, being startled easily can certainly be part of our uniqueness.

  • Sensitive to touch, clothes, noise and light. Do you suffer from all of these, or just one or two? It's not uncommon for those with ADHD to suffer sensitivities, though I've never met anyone sensitive to all of the above (then again, my circle is small . . .).


First I would like to say, thank you for all of this insight, its really helpful, I really appreciate it. These two, for me at least were the most interesting because I never thought it was linked to ADD/ADHD at all. I personally am very easily startled and sensitive to touch and noise and for these to be linked to the ADD/ADHD as well makes total sense. I am really eager to get evaluated by a Dr. now.

 
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