The Forums Forums Emotional Journey My Story Starting to question diagnosis

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  • (M/34) My ADHD has always been more on an impulsive nature. Do or say things without thinking about the consequence. I also have some general problems that fit the mold like being messy (disorganized organization). I can typically find when I am looking for or know right where it is. Getting bored with tasks, or starting but not finishing something.

    However, this is where I differ… I have a somewhat (my own opinion) photographic memory. Not in the sense that I can read and quote back a page of text. I can see an object and then a month later when someone asks where that specific item is, I say “It is in that room under the desk to the right behind the garbage can.” I also work in IT as an IT Consultant and have a client with 40-50 users which I know almost all their passwords even crazy ones like H4#g92xa7?6z. My wife hates all arguments with me because she will say “I didn’t say that” and I will then go on and quote the whole conversation back to her to which she will say “Well that isn’t what I meant”. I also don’t have to typically write things down. I remember to do what someone wants me to do.

    Other things that are not the norm… I am always on time and in fact, typically way early. My philosophy is “10 mins early is 5 mins late” (props if you know that quote).

    With that said, the “On Time” part, could be that I think it is very rude and big pet-peeve of mine which then makes it part of the hyper-focus aspect of ADHD?

    I used to take Adderall but then couldn’t afford the prescription anymore (Im in the US). It would have cost me $380USD to take it each month.

    I then went to getting a generic Ritalin prescription ($4 walmart) but I didn’t really like it so stopped taking it.

    It’s a hard thing. We sometimes want to feel like we are normal and get rid of the negative aspects of ADD/ADHD but yet when we take the drug and it gets rid of the good aspects of ADD/ADHD we are left to choose the battle.

    When I first start taking Adderall after not taking it for a while, I whisper if I talk and I don’t say much. Then, people say “Whats wrong with you”?

    I know there are a lot of companion diagnosis that can come with ADHD and so I am starting to wonder if I have more of a different thing than ADHD. Not sure.



    Take an Asperger’s Syndrome evaluation.


    Hi Coldhandedman,

    I hear what you are saying about questioning the diagnosis.  That is what I am doing at the moment.  So do I have the CDD (STD), Aspergers, Inattentive ADD or ADHD.  How can I be tested for these and especially without my Primary and Secondary School records.

    In addition I am also in IT, in particular specialization in IT Security.

    What frustrates me is that I have obtained an Masters Degree and still have issues of keeping employment.  In particular having employment for less then three years and most being for just three months.  In addition always being at the entry level.   This is what drove me to get an Educational Assessment which gave me my ADHD Diagnosis.

    Now with my research on the field of ADHD they are saying their is an another Concentration Disorder.  So what is the conclusive tests for this new Disorder and where can I be assessed for this?  Is there objective tests which do not require me to fill out a personal inventory survey.  Reason is I do not trust my self with them.

    So I want a method of diagnosis without the personal surveys.  I find that I can manipulate them to my intended outcome or fill them out to a particular goal.  This make me see them as not useful in any screening or diagnosis.  Only purpose is to confirm what the other tests have found.

    So what I would like to see is either some other objective tests or a new Adult Survey with lots of checks and balances which includes other disorders.  That is some questions are overlap with other disorders.  That is if you answer the question you can have one of the following Disorders.   While others are separation questions for a particular set of disorders, that is if you answer ‘a’ or ‘b’ it is this disorder, ‘c’ or ‘d’ for another.  Few if any questions which are Norm vs. Disorder questions, usually scale based questions on severity.  In addition have the check questions which if you are seeking a specific outcome will flag your answers as such.

    So I need to find a new testing centre and get another assessment.  In the mean time focus on keeping my work while I seek a new Employer.




    Coldhandedman, I quite definitely have ADD – and a memory like yours. When I was young, it really seemed to be photographic. For example, in addition to remembering printed text that I’d read much earlier (sometimes years), I’d also remember that it was on the lower left-hand page about a third of the way through a two-inch-thick book with a slightly frayed red cover. I no longer have an excellent memory, but I do still have what my husband and I call “lint”, bits of stuff that stick for no apparent reason, exactly like your thing behind the garbage. It is usually the location of something that someone else is looking for. I have much less luck with my own stuff.


    Hello ikyte and Coldhandedman,

    The evaluations they give you are filled our by you. Which everyone knows we are all bright enough to manipulate the outcomeof the evaluation. Hopefully we won’t, but its just too tempting(fun) to do. Manipulating the outcome, doesn’t get you treated for your condition, it just proves you can lie convincingly. The goal is to get treated.

    They also give the same evaluation to members of your family, long term friends, mom, dad, brothers. Try getting them to manipulate the answers and see how far you get.

    Once they have a chance to evaluate all the scores, they can determine how well you do at self-assessment, and how your friends and family perceive your condition.

    The good doctors will use several tests which expose different facets of your condition. All of these tests and evaluations, along with interviews give them a pretty good picture.


    Hey Coldhandedman,

    It sounds like you have ADHD subtype Hyperactive/Impulsive. The diagnosis of ADHD is not always considered to be inattentitive. It’s sort of a blanket category that is ever changing. They don’t even diagnose with the title ADD anymore. It’s all recognized as ADHD. At the moment according to the big book of symptoms and lables, ADHD has 3 subtypes: primarily inattentive(formally ADD), primarily hyperactive/impulsive (this sounds like what you are describing), and a combo inattentive and hyperactive impulsive (waves! this is me).

    I also feel I have a photographic memory, however where I hinder is getting to those memories. I can remember just about anything, where I place it where I saw it last, a weird phrase in the middle of some book I read 5 years ago. However I often find my brain has inefficient paths to get there. I know that memory is there, I know it’s stored, I just draw a blank, roadblock, construction detour.

    I’ve been doing a lot of research becaues I’ve had to write a paper for a class, and have found some interesting ideas. The major idea behind ADHD is the sensitivity to the stimuli in the environment. Non-ADHDers have a pretty good filter and are able to tune into what is important and in front of them. ADHDers on the other hand have a harder time regulating that, they can’t quite control or filter what they take in and tend to take in a lot of information about a little chunk of time. Think of the memory card on your phone. Your wife takes snapshots and is choosing the ones she wants to add to the memory. When the memory card is full, the memory is over and she has a timeline of focused events. You take video. Your memory card fills up a lot faster because you are taking in every little detail.  When our memory cards get full, we change them out for new ones. A person with ADHD is changing out their memory card a lot quicker and more often than someone who isn’t diagnosed. New memory, new posiblities, new excitement, change of directions.

    Since memorys are quickly ending and starting a new, forming habits is hard. It takes longer than the average person, and the reward or reinforcement needs to be quick, very quick. As much of ADHD causes is pointing toward neurological differences, you have what you are given in your brain. You can’t ‘fix’ or ‘cure’ it. You have to develop strategies to navigate the world and adhear to it’s rules. If I have something important to get to, it was engrained in me by my parents to best be there on time, which was early. I consciously add in extra time because something is bound to go wrong. I also know myself. If I am not leaving 15 mintues early, then I will get distracted and end up walking out the door 5 minutes late.

    Most likely you have developed high-order thinking skills and strategies to get along in the world. If med’s dont help you, don’t take them. They are a tool, and not a fix all. Meds take me from 12 brain paths to 2. I can read a text book too and not skip lines or lose my place every 3 seconds. I barely notice them, except I have a harder time convincing myself I NEED to do something else. It’s like they give me the ability to say, “Not right now, lets finish this first. ”  However, they absolutely have nothing to do with motivation and I will go right to sleep if I choose to, or spend my time focusing on nothing particularly useful or what I originally intended.

    If your ADHD is not hindering your daily life and you can manage, I’d say keep on keeping on. However if you feel like something is off, you might need to look into a different kind of med. I do great on Adderall, but for some reason Adderall Extended just burns through my system. It works for about 3 hours and burns out, not to mention I lost about 12 lbs apparently in a month. Not suppose to do that I guess. I’m suppsoe to start on Vyvanse but I’m still waiting on the insurance to go through. My doc says he actuallly thinks it’s a better drug, but the insurance makes you try and fail on everything else first before approving it.

    Hope this helps. Sorry about the book.



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