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Re: another “do i have it” topic…

Re: another “do i have it” topic…2010-11-29T16:01:18+00:00

The Forums Forums What is it? Do I Have it? another "do i have it" topic… Re: another “do i have it” topic…


Patte Rosebank
Post count: 1517

If you are diagnosed with ADHD, the first thing you’ll probably feel is, “Aha! So that explains it!”

After that, there are some short-term benefits, but it’s really a lifelong journey.

If you start on medication to help treat it, you’ll go through a period of trial-and-error to find the right med(s) and dose(s). Or, you may be lucky, and the first one you try (usually Ritalin, since it’s been around since the 1930s) will work for you. When you find the right one(s), you’ll be amazed at the clarity, focus, and calmness you’ll feel. It may only last a little while—so you may have to increase the dose, after a few weeks—but you’ll know it.

The meds are just a start, to help you implement the necessary structural and behavioural changes, so you can function better. That’s the really hard part, since we have so much trouble with sticking to anything long enough to finish it. It takes time and effort.

As for whether it could be something else, that’s why you need a proper diagnosis. ADHD is often diagnosed after a patient has been diagnosed with, and treated for, other conditions—particularly depression, anxiety, and/or bipolar. This is partly because many of the symptoms are the same, and partly because, if you’re always struggling to do things that others find so easy, and always worried that you’ll screw up again, you probably would be pretty anxious and depressed.

That was my situation. Treated for depression & anxiety and mild bipolar for 12 years, before discovering that those were just symptoms of trying to function with ADHD. I was diagnosed this past spring, so I’m still learning how to work with it. And this website is a fantastic source of information and encouragement.

If you haven’t done so already, talk to your Student Services department, and to your prof, about the difficulty you’re having with your PhD, and that you suspect it may be due to ADHD. Do the preliminary diagnostics in the “Tools” part of this website, print out the results, and bring them with you. Student Services should have a psychologist on-staff who can discuss the test results with you, and do further testing to make a proper diagnosis. If you do have ADHD, your university should have plenty of experience in what sort of supports are necessary to help you to successfully earn your degree.