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Question
Posted by: ami | 2010/01/15

ADD / ADHD

Is there a distinct difference between ADHD and ADD? I have done a fair amount of reading on the internet on this topic and am just about convinced (in my humble and non-professional opinion) that I fit the ADD description pretty darn well. My behaviour is uncanny and affects my emotional and day-to-day living in a serious way.
People (more specifically conversation) bore me to death. I struggle to follow verbal instruction. In all its irony, I love to write, and hate to read - as I too struggle to follow or absorb anything beyond the first few sentences! Daydreaming makes up 90% of my day - to the point that it takes me about 2 hours to fall asleep at night! I forget, regularly, appointments and commitments. I am the procrastination Queen. I haven' t had a proper job for more than 3 months EVER. I have had many relationships, none of which have lasted more than a few weeks. I am almost 26 - Even though I put in minimal effort at school, I managed to do relatively well - and not to mention - at everything I did - which was a lot! If it weren' t for my good friends, I would have forgotten half my assignments and exams while studying. Now I no longer have that ' support' , my life regularly falls into a mush of un-done chores. (My entire wardrobe is currently spewed out over the kitchen table, stairs and bedroom floor..., there stands two weeks worth of dirty dishes in the sink...) I have become involved in( and no longer am involved in) so many ventures and ' career-paths'  that are so varied, that sometimes I think my life purpose is to learn how to do EVERYTHING in the world and to do them at least once. I am now completely unemployed and am terrified of starting a new job anywhere because the past results speak loads.
I' m known as rather quiet and non-confrontational, and for my slightly unstable emotional side - a side though that no one ever sees directly, only its aftermath. And also my humour and child-like approach to creativity. I' m certainly NOT hyperactive except when I get excited about an activity - but it is usually very short lived. My job status is a serious problem (among all the other above-mentioned things) and I really don' t know how to get around this. If I had the choice I would not be living on earth.
Is this typical of ADD in your opinion? I' ve noted that ' symptoms'  must have been present as a child - which might suggest otherwise of me as I was ' apparently'  very level-headed and an achiever. Is it possible for a child to mask and curb/hide symptoms for whatever reason? What does one do in such a situation? Thanks

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Our expert says:
Expert ImageCyberShrink

There's actually quite a bit of confused labelling in this area, and its best to stick to widely internationally recognized criteria where possible - though Adult ADHD is being increasingly recognized, I haven't seen an agreed set of criteria for the diagnosis, though this may be remedied in the coming years.
Only a diagnosis made by a properly qualified professional psychologist or psychiatrist would be worth relying on.
You describe a number of fruitless habits, assumptions and problems in living, which could respond well to treatment with CBT, but don't necessarily add up to a diagnosis of ADD ( nor need they, to deserve proper attention ). A proper expert assessment by a psychologist could clarify the issue, and lead to appropriate treatment, probably psychological in character

The information provided does not constitute a diagnosis of your condition. You should consult a medical practitioner or other appropriate health care professional for a physical exmanication, diagnosis and formal advice. Health24 and the expert accept no responsibility or liability for any damage or personal harm you may suffer resulting from making use of this content.

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Our users say:
Posted by: ami | 2010/01/15

Thank you CS and Woman.
I tend to agree with you CS. Until recently I alway did think of my behaviour as some terrible habits. And perhaps I' m getting carried away. I tend to keep my distance from the ' professionals'  for fear that I get ' diagnosed'  and fed a miriad of drugs that perhaps I don' t need. In short I trust very few people when it comes to my psyche.
I think I' m going to confront the issue as breaking bad habits - whether it means consulting a psychologist or just researching ' habit-breaking' . It sounds good to me.
Woman, your story is motivating and I' m pleased to hear your hubby and friend' s daughter have found relief in their ways. Right now I' m going to attempt a different route.

Reply to ami
Posted by: Woman | 2010/01/15

My husband has been diagnosed with adult ADHD. You seem to fit that one pretty well too.I can fit everything you describe to his behavious when he wasn' t on medication. Do yourself a favour, go see a psychiatrist, give the medication a six month chance. If your life hasn' t changed drastically by then, by all means, explore other options. Make sure you find a psychiatrist with special interest in ADHD, please do go to them.

My hubby has become such a high achiever now that he can concentrate all day, to him, it has been worth it 10 times over.

In my opinion, people with ADD/ADHD are above average smart and once they go on medication, make such drastic positive changes in their lives, that they truly become high achievers in the shortest possible time. A friend, whose daughter was diagnosed last year after nearly failing grade 11 recently received her matric results - B average with a distinction in maths!

Reply to Woman
Posted by: cybershrink | 2010/01/15

There's actually quite a bit of confused labelling in this area, and its best to stick to widely internationally recognized criteria where possible - though Adult ADHD is being increasingly recognized, I haven't seen an agreed set of criteria for the diagnosis, though this may be remedied in the coming years.
Only a diagnosis made by a properly qualified professional psychologist or psychiatrist would be worth relying on.
You describe a number of fruitless habits, assumptions and problems in living, which could respond well to treatment with CBT, but don't necessarily add up to a diagnosis of ADD ( nor need they, to deserve proper attention ). A proper expert assessment by a psychologist could clarify the issue, and lead to appropriate treatment, probably psychological in character

Reply to cybershrink

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