The Forums Forums What is it? Do I Have it? Do I have it?

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  • Anonymous
    Inactive
    #88138 |

    I often wonder if I have ADHD but taking tests and getting a diagnosis feels like one more thing in my already long to do list. I just don’t seem to have the energy to follow up. Or maybe I’m just too afraid to find out?

    Mike
    Member
    #91503 |

    I would say everyone is afraid to find out, cause it means something is ‘wrong’. And what’s scarier than having something ‘wrong’ with your brain. I like the idea that this is a mindset or style of thinking. And in certain situations it works well. And the trick is to know what those situations are.

    purlgurl
    Member
    #91504 |

    Don’t be afraid! I was diagnosed this summer (ADHD-Combined), after over 10 years of chronic depression, and a childhood of never quite fitting in. It was *such* a relief to have an answer, pretty much to the entire puzzle that has been my life. I’ve been depression-free for 4 months and counting, and I’m on my way to completing an entire semester of college courses (going into exams with an A+ average!) for the first time since beginning my post-secondary journey almost nine (!) years ago.

    Also, there are other conditions that can cause some of the symptoms of ADHD – it’s probably worth the visit to your doctor. Here’s a thought – book the appointment right now. Don’t tell yourself “I’ll do it tomorrow” – there’s no reason to wait!

    To be fair, I was certain that I had chronic depression, and “just because…some people’s brain chemistry is like that” was pretty much where all of the various clinicians that I had seen over the years stopped as far as trying to figure out why I was so depressed. I already figured there was something wrong with my brain, so I think that made the idea of ADHD much less scary. For me, it’s a much-easier-to-manage kind of brain wrongness. :)

    Good luck! :)

    Anonymous
    Inactive
    #91505 |

    Diagnosis or Road to Discovery? You are among friends!

    Mike
    Member
    #91506 |

    I understand your reluctance to get diagnosed. It takes time. It costs money. It’s hard to find someone who can do it properly. Start with the website here and also some of the other ADHD resources. Hallowell’s books are good. As are others. I think the more you look around, the more you will decide that yes, this is VERY familiar sounding, or Nope, I don’t hear myself in this. Trust me, if you recognize yourself, if you learn more about it and start to realize, “Hey, I do that! I thought it was just a personality quirk.” you will start to get excited and energized and you will have all the motivation you need. It’s like spending your whole life struggling to understand people and then one day you land in a country where everyone speaks the same language you do. And you realize the problem was you speak English and you’ve spent your whole life in Borneo where they only speak Borneo-ese. Or whatever they speak there. It’s a relief.

    Anonymous
    Inactive
    #91507 |

    I was diagnosed back in the 60s with Minimal Brain Dysfunction- what they used to call ADHD. As a female and the diagnosis coming just before beginning school, I was something of an oddity. In 2005, I was re-diagnosed after six hours of testing for virtually any and everything else. Still ADHD with a capital H.

    For me, being able to put a name and some facts to the issue keeps me from playing into an already damaged self esteem. I know what the issue is, I know what the effects are, and I can act to circumvent what I need to. I find it helpful.

    Of course, no one wants to be diagnosed with something that will be a part of your life all your life. But I can think of many things worse than recognizing that it’s ADHD.

    There are many good ADHD forums out there. Read a few. I can’t tell you how freeing it was to hear from other ADHDers that they had problems with certain noises, had issues with driving, and were spatially challenged. All this time, I thought it was just me. I find that I am in some pretty good company!

    Anonymous
    Inactive
    #91508 |

    I actually found my diagnosis to be a massive relief! I already “knew” there was something wrong. Why hide from that fact? If your heart feels wrong, you go see your doctor about it no? If you look at your hand, and it looks ‘wrong’, you go see your doctor about it right? Then why not see someone about something ‘wrong’ (and I use this in juxtaposition) with the ol’ noodle? You don’t have to keep banging your head against a brick wall to know it hurts.

    The main thing is, you have support and love. Lots of it. Use it. Do your research and educate yourself. There is nothing more powerful than a knowledgeable mind that acts upon that knowledge.

    #91509 |

    Tigger said so much that I recognized in myself. And since this isn’t a disease or an illness, it’s not something you catch or develop, unlike say Depression, there may be a different way to frame it.

    You could say that rather than being diagnosed, you discovered you have ADHD. The diagnosis is good news and bad news. And it really is what you make of it, I think. And we all do both, right? When I’m aware of my symptoms, when I’m playing to my strengths and working around the areas where I struggle, it’s a good thing. When I’m thinking about how it’s unfair, or embarrassing or what my life could have been had I known earlier… Well, it’s a bad thing. But I can’t imagine not knowing. Instead of thinking about what might have been, had I been diagnosed earlier, I now think about what would have happened to me, and my kids, and my second marriage, had I never found out. Then I’m really grateful for the diagnosis.

    Anonymous
    Inactive
    #91510 |

    I discovered it by myself one day when a story came out in the paper about the “recent”

    discovery that some kids with ADD keep it into adulthood and I recognized the symptoms.

    That was back in the eighties or early nineties.

    I went downtown to the main library, did some research and diagnosed myself. I have all the

    symptoms, which was why it was easy for me to diagnose myself. For me, it was finding an

    answer for the unending depression I had since I was born and also finding a treasure at the

    bottom of the same well because now I knew there was a chance I could harness the amazing

    powers that I already knew I had. Double win!

    Armed with that info I got an appointment, started a prescription, went back to school and got my

    high school diploma in only two years while still working out which drugs and how much of each

    I needed. I had graduated before my doctor and I were done beating the depression by finding the

    right antidepressant and how much to use.

    Try clicking the Diagnosis link in the blue menu bar at the top, Ava.

    It’s handy enough to do right now and the price is right.

    #91511 |

    The thing about the diagnosis, for me, was that for a while it was all I could think about. It was all I wanted to talk about. Kind of like a new parent with their first baby. In a way, I guess the new baby was me, cause it was kind of a rebirth. Does that sound melodramatic? It’s just that discovering why I was not good at so many things that others took for granted, and really good at things that scared the bejeebers out of most people, like speaking in public, suddenly meant that everything and everything was up for grabs. stuff I’d given up on or shut down around, like owning my own business, were suddenly a possibility again, now that I was aware of my weak points. And my strengths.

    Anonymous
    Inactive
    #91512 |

    I have not been officially diagnosed, however I know from my childhood behaviors of “day dreaming” , procrastination, and difficulty sustaining focus, that these tendencies have carried themselves into my adult life. While I have learned to filter out distractions in order to focus on important tasks (ie, workplace tasks, driving, reading etc…) The one area where I know my quality of life would be improved is in my inability to manage time to peruse my other life passions.

    I am a creative person (as are most Leo’s I know), and throughout my school years teachers and adults encouraged me to pursue my creative endeavors believing I had potential as a writer. Although I would get inspiration from this encouragement, all my attempts outside of this structured environment would end up uncompleted. In hindsight I think I did well not to get bogged down in depression, but it did end in me giving up on my creative pursuits to focus on a more conventional career. Well, after many fruitless years of pursuing this elusive “career” I realized I am just not that conventional.

    I have managed to find a job which I do enjoy and fulfills me. It is not 9-5 which also lends itself perfectly to my having time for my passion. I have recently had several offers to collaborate on projects with others but I still struggle on a daily basis to find the discipline and time management skills to follow through. Are there any other members who are in a creative field who struggled or are struggling with this too?

    #91513 |

    I always struggle with time management. It has to do with the four different aspects of ‘Focusing and Attention’ that Patrick talked about in the documentary, ADD & Loving It?!. The four aspects are: Focusing & Distractibility, over focussing or Hyper-focusing at the exclusion of other things that may be more urgent, Selecting the right thing to focus on, and Switching Focus from one thing to another (Which is why it’s frustrating to be interrupted.) For me the Selecting is a problem. I can walk into a room full of stuff I wanna do and think, “Oh I could work on that. Oh, and I want to get that done. And that thing there is fun, I can’t wait to get to it.” I end up looking at everything I want to do, getting a bit started on one then getting distracted by something else… and I’ve done nothing. Or I end up doing something that’s easy and fun and tactile and dramatic, like emptying out a whole cabinet of old paint cans and sorting them by colour and type and getting rid of the bad cans. A great job. Meanwhile I was supposed to be online moving money into my credit card account to avoid an overdue charge! Or whatever.

    There’s a couple of things I do to deal with this. They may sound kind of dumb.

    One is I actually say aloud what I need to do. I repeat it. “Pay off my Visa. Pay off my Visa.” Then on the way to get my laptop and log online, if I notice a bunch of DVD’s that I wanted to put away but didn’t, a job that will only take a second… Okay, thirty seconds… I remind myself, “Pay off my Visa.”

    For the more creative stuff, like writing, the best solution I’ve found is to sit down and just write something. Anything.

    So let’s say I have a 700 word article to write. Rather than wait for inspiration and a two hour gap to sit down and write it, I can convince myself to at least create a Word document on my computer. “I’ll just open a document, and write the title. And throw down three ideas.” I won’t spend more than five minutes. (And by the way, i don’t do this if I really only have five minutes. I do this when I have all day but can’t get started.) Three minutes later I’ve got the document, a title, and a couple of ideas… Then another idea, perhaps one that makes me smile, so I expand that with a couple of more thoughts… and that often triggers something… And I’m writing. Sometimes I’m not, but most times I find myself doing way more than five minutes. Even if I go 20 minutes rather than 2 hours, I’ve now done more than I thought. And the amazing thing for me is when I come back later in the day to add a couple of more ideas (Cause our minds solve problems while we work on other stuff. Read The Breakout Principle by Dr. Herbert Benson & William Proctor) I’m always surprised at how much I’ve done. Ideas I wrote down earlier in the day, or even months ago, spark me and immediately get me thinking again.

    There’s a great quote we have in the TotallyADD.com office. I put it over a picture of my wife’s charity group, Malamulele Onward.

    And the quote is: “We should be taught NOT to wait for inspiration to start a thing. Actions ALWAYS generates inspiration. Inspiration seldom does.”

    Or as Nike put it, “Just do it.”

    If you are dealing with ADHD, then “Just do a bit of it and see what happens.”

    Anonymous
    Inactive
    #91514 |

    Theres too much to read just on this forum. I’m not officially diagnosed but have to get it done. i attended the seminar today. Thank you god so much for Rick, Patrick, Dr. Jain and all involved. I came in a few minutes late and having found a seat between 2 strangers, I had to fight so hard to keep back tears. Throughout the entire 3 hours at times I found it so hard to not break into tears. I am at the ÄNGER state too, at 44 I have been hearing for so many years I have ADD and everyone would just laugh it off, IT”S not funny, that’s why I am angry I guess. I just wanted to say how grateful I am feeling for attending today at the Science Center and again many many thanks.

    #91515 |

    Newfiepaul, you are welcome.

    Do get a proper diagnosis.

    I completely understand your anger. And the tears. I was fighting them back myself, several times.

    I’ve learned two things about people who laugh or dismiss this. One, most of them honestly don’t know this is real. They’ve only heard the myths and lies and misinformation. When people know better they do better. And they may actually be concerned that you’re falling into some lame excuse or falling prey to some scam that’s going to sell you a product. (A legitimate fear since this has been misdiagnosed and there are some incredibly dangerous lies, especially on the internet, about what works to treat this.)

    The second thing, and this is less common, is that people who dismiss this, and are adamant about it are often people who have it. And they desperately don’t want to consider it a disorder or a problem. Why? Well, it tells you what they think of mental health issues. They either fear them or they think it’s a load of crap (Perhaps because their parents dismissed their struggles. No wonder so many Anti-ADHD articles include the phrase, “When I was a kid we had that kind of behaviour beaten out of us. Eventually we learned!” I always think, what if you could have learned and NOT had the beatings? Would you be a better person now? PErhaps, god Forbid, more empathetic to others?)

    But mostly it’s just people not knowing. That’s what we’re about, education.

    If you can find someone who doesn’t laugh dismissively–perhaps on this website, perhaps in your life, perhaps at our next workshop, or at one of the support groups that exist–it will ease the struggle and speed your process of moving forward.

    Anonymous
    Inactive
    #91516 |

    Great thread, Ava.

    BTW, thank you helping me with the problem I was having logging on here. All fixed now, as you can see. :-)

    Did you have your testing done?

    I found this site through an article in the Toronto Star. I don’t know what made me read it, as I never thought ADD/ADHD would apply to me….I’m not hyper, I’m lazy! I followed the links, and started seeing myself, my behaviours, my problems. When I got here, I watched the videos saying, yes! Yes! That’s me!….so I took the test here, and scored 8/9 and 9/9.

    I was so relieved! So that’s what my problem is!!! I’m not stupid, I’m not lazy!

    And I was Angry! All this time I’ve been struggling! (I’m 49)

    I was able to see my GP two weeks later, took his test, and he put me on Adderall right away.

    I have been running a retail business for 20 years, and you can just imagine the state my paperwork was in!! It’s been a week now, and I am almost caught up on my paperwork jobs. (Does anyone know if I can get back some of the late fees and penalties I’ve paid to the governments for late filing, now that I know it was caused by a medical condition?)

    Anyway, thanks for this site.

    It is so nice to be able to interact with others who understand what I’ve been going through.

    There is light at the end of the tunnel, and for the first time, it is not an on-coming train.

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