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Adult ADD?

post #1 of 12
Thread Starter 
Anyone have experience with this?

For the past year I've been on anti-depressants, but I still feel like there's something more to the way I am.

I don't want to self-diagnose, but I'd like to know more before I seek a professional evaluation.

My issues are disrupting my career, my home, and just creating more frustration. I know that depression can be a symptom of ADD in women, and I want to know if I'm just lazy, or there's something more to it all.

The research I've done leads me to believe that I am ADD, but anyone can take a list of symptoms and say, "Hey, that sounds like me."

Also, would I got to my GP, or should I seek a therapist of some sort to talk about this with?

Thanks in advance!
post #2 of 12
I have generalized anxiety disorder.... I was diagnosed by my GP (but honestly, I think it's just because she's been doing what she does for YEARS).

I thought for a long time I had ADD because of my complete lack of attention span, but it turned out that was just a side effect of the anxiety and had I been put on ADD medication, things would have just gotten worse.

You really need to go seek out a psychiatrist and explain EVERYTHING, including your experience on the anti-depressant you are on. Having difficulty concentrating can also be a symptom of depression and if the anti-depressant you are taking just isn't for you, it may not be taking care of business. There are many different kinds you can try and not every medication is for everybody. Your body is very specific in how it responds to each different chemical.

I speak from experience, having dealt with this for ten years now.

Please see a specialist that can further help you to identify the underlying problem.
post #3 of 12
I've been told by therapists (non doctors though) that I have symptoms of ADD. Much of though has been developed between my career and my personal life.

With my job I can be constantly pulled in 4 different directions at once and all must be addressed at the same time. Often times I will be interrupted while working on one thing to go and do this other thing. Then I find I have a hard time concentrating on the first thing when I'm done with the second.

Owning 4 cats doesn't help either. When I come home at night all my life I've always wanted to take 30 minutes - 1 hour to relax and unwind. However when I get home, all 4 cats want my attention, want me to play with them. Then my boyfriend/fiance wants dinner because he skipped lunch.

That's just the tip of the ice berg. So with all that distraction I find I have a hard time concentrating when there is no distraction around.
post #4 of 12
emrldsky, did you have problems as a child?

My son has a very similiar disorder. Years ago, he was diagnosed with mild ADHD after several days of testing by both a psychiatrist and a psyologist (I know the last one is spelled wrong) at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester MN. And yes, this disorder REALLY DOES exist and it's serious. Besides being over-active and having a very difficult time being able to concentrate, the disorder caused severe disruption in his school and social life. As a result, my son had serious emotional issues and had several years of therapy with a psychiatrist which was also done at the Mayo Clinic.

People don't always outgrow this type of disorder when they reach adulthood. Since your issues are so disruptive, I think you should talk to your GP and ask for a referral to a qualified therapist for testing. Just my
post #5 of 12
http://www.adhd.com/adults/adults.jsp

http://www.adhd.com/adults/adults_add_screener.jsp (little quiz... symptom checker)

I know I have adult add for sure... I took a huge quiz on it, if I find it I will post a link. I havent addressed it yet, because I havent seen my therapist in almost a year to make the final analysis. My sister also has adult adhd (she was diagnosed as a kid)... I've always had the symptoms since childhood.

Some more links:

http://counsellingresource.com/quizzes/adhd/index.html
http://www.amenclinic.com/ac/tests/add_test1.php

The only real diagnosis that can be provided is by a professional!
post #6 of 12
I have ADD/ADHD. I have suffered just as Lorie D has described about her son, mine was untreated through my childhood and most of my adult life, it does only get worse and does cause depression if left untreated. It's a very difficult illness to live with. I believe you can develop it later in life but from what I understand you are usually born with it, I know I was. Otherwise, it could just be depression which also causes some of the same symptoms. It's a lifelong problem that does indeed get worse. I feel that mine has got worse in the past few years now.

There are a lot of really good book and websites out there, do a lot of research and read up on it as much as you can, that's what I did, until I was 100% sure I had it. One very good book to read is Driven to Distraction.

Some of the classic symptoms of ADD/ADHD are trouble paying attention, very short attention span, impulsiveness (I'm very impulsive), trouble following directions, moodiness, impatient, intolerance of boredom, easily frustrated over little things, low tolerance to frustration, need for high stimulation, trouble getting organized, worrying needlessly, addictive behavior, and a family history. I have all of these symptoms. I used to think I just had the ADD part but now I realize I also have the "hyper" part of this disorder too, ADHD.

I have a real big problem with boredom. I don't watch movies, or much on tv because I just can't pay attention and I lose interest so easily. It takes me forever to finish a book, although I enjoy reading. Unless I'm highly interested in something, forget it. I'll just tune out immediately. I can't multi/task well either, or take on too much at once or I lose it.

Well, I just wanted to let you know a few things about this disorder, I know so much about. Please PM me if you want to talk about anything.
post #7 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by lisalee View Post
I have ADD/ADHD. I have suffered just as Lorie D has described about her son, mine was untreated through my childhood and most of my adult life, it does only get worse and does cause depression if left untreated. It's a very difficult illness to live with. I believe you can develop it later in life but from what I understand you are usually born with it, I know I was. Otherwise, it could just be depression which also causes some of the same symptoms. It's a lifelong problem that does indeed get worse. I feel that mine has got worse in the past few years now.

There are a lot of really good book and websites out there, do a lot of research and read up on it as much as you can, that's what I did, until I was 100% sure I had it. One very good book to read is Driven to Distraction.

Some of the classic symptoms of ADD/ADHD are trouble paying attention, very short attention span, impulsiveness (I'm very impulsive), trouble following directions, moodiness, impatient, intolerance of boredom, easily frustrated over little things, low tolerance to frustration, need for high stimulation, trouble getting organized, worrying needlessly, addictive behavior, and a family history. I have all of these symptoms. I used to think I just had the ADD part but now I realize I also have the "hyper" part of this disorder too, ADHD.

I have a real big problem with boredom. I don't watch movies, or much on tv because I just can't pay attention and I lose interest so easily. It takes me forever to finish a book, although I enjoy reading. Unless I'm highly interested in something, forget it. I'll just tune out immediately. I can't multi/task well either, or take on too much at once or I lose it.

Well, I just wanted to let you know a few things about this disorder, I know so much about. Please PM me if you want to talk about anything.
Wow I have all those symptoms too. Of course Im not going to self diagnose but Im pretty sure, since it runs in my family, and I have been effected by these symptoms since I was a kid. Are you on any meds for it? My sister was on ritalin for years and then adderal... She said she had to stop taking the adderal because it made her feel like a zombie (she was not on a generic version and was perscribed a high dose)... Just curious what the feedback is on the meds?
post #8 of 12
I would recommend seeing if there is a psychologist in your area that specializes in ADD. Not all of the medical community agrees that ADD actually exists unfortunately. I once had a doctor tell me (when he noticed I was medicated for it) "you know, that's all in your head". I just dismissed his comment because he had no idea what I go through to deal with it. I can't watch movies, I can't read books, and studying (I'm in school) takes forever because I can't pay attention for longer than 5 minutes.

I've had it ever since I was a kid. I'm not medicated for it anymore because I didn't feel the medication was making much of a difference (as a kid, I was on Ritalin)....but I've found several coping strategies to deal with it. For instance, my husband watches me when I study and once I stand up to go do something distracting (oooo...shiny!!), he tells me to sit back down.
post #9 of 12
My dad has ADD and I have many ADD tendancies but I am "high-functioning" (it doesn't disrupt my career or life TOO much) My house and organization thereof suffers a bit for it and this drives my hubby crazy at times. He still has a hard time believeing I am not being this way on purpose.

I have struggled with anxiety and depression on and off through the years.
I have found that recognizing my tendancies and being aware of them helps a lot. I can see when I am going off on a tangent and try to compensate and it does work. I have also learned to be much easier on myself which helps a lot with the mood part.

Hope you find some answers.
If you go to a psychiatrist, chances are you will just leave with a prescription. These help some people and some not. My dad has had no success with drugs and I am not interested in taking any - I've been given enough drugs in my lifetime.
post #10 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by trixie23 View Post
Wow I have all those symptoms too. Of course Im not going to self diagnose but Im pretty sure, since it runs in my family, and I have been effected by these symptoms since I was a kid. Are you on any meds for it? My sister was on ritalin for years and then adderal... She said she had to stop taking the adderal because it made her feel like a zombie (she was not on a generic version and was perscribed a high dose)... Just curious what the feedback is on the meds?
No, I'm not on any meds at the moment. I was perscribed Strattera a while back for my ADD and Lexapro for the depression it caused, I didn't have much success with either one. My doctor and I are trying to find one that may help. I would love to see a therapist or another doctor but right now my insurance does not cover that much. I think I may have waited too long to start medication, that's why I strongly encourage anyone to seek treatment early in life.
post #11 of 12
Thread Starter 
Thanks for all the information. What I'm kind of hoping for is if I were, that there are non-prescription things I can do to combat them, and then maybe, MAYBE, I can get off the anti-depressants.

I do have the ability to concentrate on a book, if there's music in the background, or the TV is on. I have a hard time reading when nothing else is going on around me, and I LOVE to read. I'm ok in movie theaters, but at home, I tend to read or do puzzles while watching a movie (and pay attention to both).

If I DID have it, I know it'd be considered high-functioning to a point, but the reason I said it affects my daily life is because I'm very disorganized, and I have a problem meeting deadlines at work (which prevents me from exceeding in my position). I'm easily distracted, and I do well in environments where solutions or projects are quick to complete. I really do well when I have to "tinker" with things to try and make them work.

I also have a hard time keeping things in their place. DH and I go around and around about my messy habits, but I haven't figured out the best way for me to fix them.

DH once told me he thought I was being lazy (I didn't talk to him for an hour after that comment), because he doesn't get it. He's also one of those who thinks that it's all in the head.

I'm going to do more research and even seek out a professional and figure out what's going on here.

Thanks so much!!!!!!
post #12 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by emrldsky View Post
Thanks for all the information. What I'm kind of hoping for is if I were, that there are non-prescription things I can do to combat them, and then maybe, MAYBE, I can get off the anti-depressants.

I do have the ability to concentrate on a book, if there's music in the background, or the TV is on. I have a hard time reading when nothing else is going on around me, and I LOVE to read. I'm ok in movie theaters, but at home, I tend to read or do puzzles while watching a movie (and pay attention to both).

If I DID have it, I know it'd be considered high-functioning to a point, but the reason I said it affects my daily life is because I'm very disorganized, and I have a problem meeting deadlines at work (which prevents me from exceeding in my position). I'm easily distracted, and I do well in environments where solutions or projects are quick to complete. I really do well when I have to "tinker" with things to try and make them work.

I also have a hard time keeping things in their place. DH and I go around and around about my messy habits, but I haven't figured out the best way for me to fix them.

DH once told me he thought I was being lazy (I didn't talk to him for an hour after that comment), because he doesn't get it. He's also one of those who thinks that it's all in the head.

I'm going to do more research and even seek out a professional and figure out what's going on here.

Thanks so much!!!!!!
One of the charactaristics of people with ADD is that they can have the ability to hyper-focus on a task (meaning they will shut out everything else around them when concentrating on a task). My brother-in-law is currently seeing a psychologist for his ADD (his is worse than mine). A psychologist can give you the appropriate tests to find out if you really do have ADD.

Here is a link to the DSM-IV criteria for the diagnosis for ADD/ADHD: http://add.about.com/cs/addthebasics/a/dsm.htm
The DSM-IV, if you're not familiar with it, is the Diagnositic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (basically the gold standard for the diagnosis of mental disorders). I think that ADD is quickly self diagnosed in a lot of people because the symptoms are very subjective, and many people do exhibit the symptoms to an extent, but not to the extent that it's characteristic of ADD. However, the difference lies in how the disorder (if you actually have it) affects your daily life.

For example, I'm trying to do my homework today...which involves reading. Here's how the first few hours went:

1) Read for 5 minutes (2 pages)
2) Coffee pot beeped to tell me it was turning off, got sidetracked, put the book down went to get a cup of coffee. Saw a dish in the sink, rinsed it and put it in the dishwasher, went to look out the window and watched a squirrel for awhile, got on thecatsite.com.
3) remembered I was supposed to be reading, sat back down and read for 10 minutes (a few more pages).
4) Saw isadora walk by, decided to pick her up and pet her for awhile, got back up and looked at thecatsite.com, saw another squirrel outside.
5) Picked up my book again and read a page
6) Put the book down and walked upstairs for NO reason, wandered around looking out windows and scooped out the cat box. Came back down and here I am again!

So, in the matter of a few hours, I managed to get 5 pages read and a lot of time wasted. It's not that I'm not interested in the material I'm reading (I'm very interested in it), it's just that I'm so easily distracted and cannot sit still. My friends are always perplexed when I tell them I spend the whole weekend studying...that's why. What takes them 1/2 a day to a day to do takes me two full days!

If you ever have any questions, please feel free to PM me and ask!

Okay, off to read...............AGAIN!

P.S. As a side note, I am medicated for depression and anxiety. Depression is genetic in my family (paternal grandfather, paternal aunts, father, and sister all have it). I was diagnosed at age 6 with ADHD and age 16 with depression. However, I am the only one in my family with ADHD.
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