View Full Version : School gets hard, it makes me wonder...


appa215
04-07-11, 07:22 PM
Ok. Well, I am new here so I'm not sure if this is where I would post something like this...? Anyway, I guess I'm really just looking for someone to talk to, someone to help me out here...So here's my story (sorry if it gets a bit lengthy...)

I'm 16. Just passed my driving test yesterday. (: I have not been diagnosed with ADD/ADHD, but I really believe I have it. I'm not saying this because I'm trying to compesate for my poor school work, I have honestly done my research online (although I'm sure there is still plenty more for me to learn) and even taken online tests. Now, I know these tests are not 100% accurate, and they are not a diagnosis. But, every single one of them has said that I do have ADD to some extent...

What makes me think that I have ADD? Well, I'm going to list them in paragraphs... (Feel free to just read the first sentence or so of each to get the basic reason w/o all the details)

1) Concentrating on classwork/homework is hard. Really hard. Homework is especially hard for me to do because, well, I'm at home. Therefore, I can find many more things to do and have fun with as opposed to when I'm at school. I get distracted SO easily...Work on the computer is nearly impossible for me, as the internet is such a vast and inviting place...

2) I daydream a lot and lose focus easily. This kind of ties into #1. When teachers lecture, I find myself being brought back down to earth when I here my named called to answer a question. And then, of course, I don't know the answer. Sometimes I daydream about some random, crazy theoretical situation that in reality I know is not going to come up, but I try to figure what I would say/do in that situation. Then when I snap out of it I realize I was being completely irrational.

3) I fidget. Usually I don't realize it, but I've been checking myself randomly to see if I'm tapping my foot or something. A couple weeks ago, my parents interrupted our dinner conversation because they noticed a "banging" noise against the table. It was my foot kicking the leg of the table. There is also this other major issue that is becoming really bothersome to me and other people, too. It's this thing I do with my hair. See, I think I look better when I have my hair parted, in the middle, and coming in front of my shoulders, but still behind my ears. I don't really know how this started, but I just cannot stop taking my hands and making sure that the part in my hair runs evenly down the back of my head, with no hairs crossing over to the wrong side. I've figured out several different techniques with my fingers to help it. But, it doesn't stop if I've got it perfect in the back. Sometimes I'll pull a few strands of hair over to one side just so I can pull them back again. It feels so good. I don't know why. Lately, I've developed this new thing where I sometimes like some parts of my hair to cut across to the "wrong" side, but only from certain areas on the back of my head. It's really confusing, I know. It annoys me in a way, because I know it annoys others. For example, my sister HATES it. She gets mad at me when I do it around her. My friend also, who sits behind me in English class, I think has a problem with it (although she's never actually straightforwardly said that to me). When I'm palying with my hair in class, she sometimes reaches out and makes the part "perfectly straight." I feel like she's trying to hint at me that it's annoying. I also think my Chemistry teacher is annoyed by it...she seems to call on me and "glare" at me sometimes when I do it. This goes on all day. Oh, and another girl in my Chemistry class always gives me these "annoyed" looks and stares when I do that. Maybe I'm just being paranoid though. This also makes me think I may have OCD, but that's another story.

4) Reading. I hate it! Unless it is something truly interesting to me, (and I mean it has to be REALLY interesting, it's usually a horse novel) I hate to read it. Out of all of the books we read in English class this year, I've read 1 fully through. It was a short one. The others I pretty much just "skim" or do whatever I need to for assignments that go with them. One book was an "outside read," which meant the teacher did nothing to make sure that we were reading it and staying on track until test day. Well, I couldn't motivate myself to read it. So the night before the test, I printed out the SparkNotes articles on it, brought them to school, read over them the period before, then took the test. As you can imagine, I failed. And because of that one test, I got a B in that class for the half semester. If it weren't for that test, I would've had an A.

5) Grades. Ugh. We just got report cards yesterday (which otherwise would have been a great day, considering I passed my driving test). But the report card ruined it. Now in elementary school, I was a good student. I managed to pull of all A's with only 2 or 3 B's for all those years. I was one of the "smartest" in the class. I am a in the Gifted program. I didn't pass the test the first time I took it, in Kindgergarden, but I did in 4th grade when I retook it, and ever since then I've been "Gifted." In middle school, things started out okay. Good infact. I still thought of myself as one of the best in my classes, but each year things started to get harder and harder. Now I know this is normal, but I really started to lose my motivation. I had all A's throughout middle school, until 8th grade, the last year. I got 1 B. It was the last half semester of the last year of middle school. I was CRUSHED to hald just missed getting straight A's... Then high school happened (and is still happening). This is when things really go downhill. Ninth grade was hard. It was when I took my first Advanced Placement (AP) class. I did not pass the exam. I got mostly A's, and a few B's in highschool. That's when I realized that B's were becoming a norm, although a few years back I wouldn't have though I would be a B student at all. This has been the worst year so far (10th grade). My report card yesterday was devastating...I got 2 C's. TWO C's in ONE nine weeks! My parents still have not seen it. They are in chemistry and AP Art History. Today in class I heard one of the, let's say, "less studious" girls say she pulled off a B in chemistry. And I got a C. I've never thought of myself as "one of those" people who don't make the best grades because they're out partying all night or whatever...But I looked in the mirror last night and realized that I'm not a good student. I have almost no motivation. That person in the mirror should not be a C student.

6) I'm not the most social person. I think when most people here "ADD/ADHD," they think of someone who is always bouncing around and can't sit still. Well, in a way, I'm kind of like that, but I'm also very quiet and reserved. And I read online that not all ADD/ADHD patients talk a lot, etc. I've finally broken the habit of looking at the ground while I walk and talk. I have friends, but I've also been bullied. I never interupt people when they are talking, because I HATE when they do that to me. I tend to lose my train of thought easily. This is a little off topic, but I really don't like going to plays/musicals/etc. because I can never catch on to what's happening and sitting in a chair for so long get's annoying. When I'm at home, I guess I do kind of move around a lot... I tend to skip and dance to one the kitchen or wherever it is I'm going. I do ballet, so I do tend to get out a lot of energy there I guess. I used to play piano, but I quit because I couldn't motivate myself to practice it.

7) Things make me mad very easily. And I get emotional easily, too. My mom and I have an OK relationship, but not the best. When she says for me to come wash the dishes, that just really makes me mad! I think I just don't like the fact that she has so much power and of course I don't want to do the dishes in the first place. But yes, the slightest things upset me. I've even almost broke down crying in ballet class before because of a simple correction.

I'm so sorry that was so long... I just have a few more notes to tell you...I love writing (if you can't tell ;)). I guess it's because I can express myself so freely. I am *kind of* organized. I'm not super organized but I'm not super unorganized either. I have maybe 1 or 2 loose papers floating around in my backpack, a ton of paper inside textbook, but on the other hand, I have a very organized system of where items belong in my backpack, etc. I do not tend to forget my homework, but it does happen occasionally. As for doing my homework, I get it done 95 % of the time, it just usually doesn't happen at home, and it usually doesn't get done very well. I can memorize *some* things really well. For example, I once had 100 digits of Pi memorized. I developed a sort of rhythm in my head. Other things though, can be very hard to memorize, espcially things that involve "concepts," rather than just things like 1 digit after another (pi).

One more thing: I have not told anyone, not even my parents, that I think I have ADD except my one friend who has been diagnosed with it. I'm too scared to tell my parents. I fear they will just think I'm making an excuse for my bad grades. I don't know how to bring it up, but if I were to get diagnosed with ADD, that might just be a really good thing. YES, I do want to get diagnosed with it, or at least get some answer because I really do believe that there is something *wrong* with me. If I got diagnosed with ADD tomorrow, that'd be a great thing because nothing would have changed, except the fact that I could hopefully start some medication and get help.

Thank you so so much if you read this whole thing! That would mean the world to me. I've just been needing someone to talk to about this, and I didn't know where to turn. Again, any kind of any help is very much appreciated. Thank you! :o

Oh P.S. one more thing: As kid I used to have this horrid habit of, please don't laugh, but I used to pull my eyelashes out. :confused: I think this started because my sisted had told me that if you found an eyelash on your face, you should eat it because it's good luck. So slowly that turned into a very bad habit, but I forced myself to stop eventually. Now my main habit is the thing I do with my hair. A side note on the hair: it's always hair that bugs me! The eyelashes, I would sometimes pull the hairs off my arms and legs, the thing I do with my hair now... and even in ballet, when my hair's in a bun with lots of pins in it to hold it up, I'm always messing with the pins and if I feel that there is one side of the bun that doesn't have as many pins as the other sides, that's a big deal to me. (Again, sorry I keep adding more, but more stuff keeps popping into my head.)

Pamplemousse
04-08-11, 12:17 AM
Well, I just skimmed your post. :p It's so long and I don't have the focus to read it all at the moment but I think I get the general idea. lol. Let me give you some tips and my story. :D

I was in the EXACT same position you are in about 1.5 years ago. I'm 17 years old now and though I'm a senior now it was my junior year that I became concerned about having ADHD after I had many people telling me they think I could have it, well a few, but it seemed like a lot to me. :p

It was tough breaking through to my parents the first time. And it took a couple weeks before they said, ok let's get the testing done. I hit a brick wall, and I hit it hard. Grades were awful, everything just falling apart left and right.

I went through testing with a psychologist and he never officially diagnosed me with anything because my mother never brought me back to him. She was almost trying to run away from the truth. He suggested I go on anti-anxiety medication to see if it was anxiety instead of ADHD or I may have them both together....FAIL. Those meds didn't help at all and were a pain in the *** to get off (not to discourage anyone from taking them, haha)

FINALLY after almost an entire year I got put on Ritalin thanks to my GP, it's been a life saver and now my mother wishes she had gotten the testing done so much earlier. At least she's now taking the proper steps to get my 11 year old brother evaluated.

I think I wrote an entire post on how to break it to your parents...I'll have to dig it up here so you can read it and maybe use some of the information to your advantage. :D

But I went through what you are going through, the fear or asking, wondering, wishing your life/grades could be better. Trying to force yourself to do better but getting nowhere because you are stuck in the mud...I know the feeling as do many of us here. :)

And we're here to help you through thick and thin.

If you need any advice or anything feel free to PM me! We're about the same age, and there are a few others I know on this forum that are roughly the same age as well.

Anyways, I wish you luck and hope everything goes ok!

pooka
04-08-11, 03:09 AM
Hi!
I'm also a "gifted" ADD teen, and I love to write too! Yay! :D
A lot of your symptoms sound like ADD to me. I think it's definitely a possibility and that you should definitely try to get diagnosed, especially since it seems to be causing problems.
The only thing that seems kinda odd to me is that you did so well all through middle school. I was under the impression that ADD is something you have from birth, although you may not start to seriously struggle with it for a while. It sounds like you were at a school that's designed to challenge you, so I think it's unlikely that you could float through because of your giftedness, which is what happened to me for a few years. So it seems weird to me that you started having trouble so late. Maybe I'm wrong though...I'm just speaking from my experiences, since my attention issues have impacted my academics and my grades since I was in 2nd or 3rd grade. Does anyone else know if ADD can kinda pop up like that? Or what?
One question to ask yourself is if, like I believe both Pamplemousse and I, other members of your family show signs of ADD or ADHD, since it is a genetic thing.
I'm not gonna go too much into "breaking it to your parents" because I never really had to...it was my parents who suggested I had ADD in the first place, plus my brother was diagnosed with NLD when he was in like kindergarten or something so we've been familiar with LD's. But I was the one who finally said that I was sick and tired of just not knowing for sure whether or not I had ADD. I didn't want to wonder my whole life...without a diagnosis it doesn't mean too much. My best advice for talking to your parents is just to present your case reasonably so that they'll have a tough time saying you're just jumping to conclusions or looking for excuses. Make sure that they know you've done the research. I'm awful with these kinds of things...I have this inner dialogue where I make up my mind to tell them today! No wait, tomorrow, Mom was in a bad mood today. Oh whoops, I was barely home all day, I'll tell them tomorrow. And on and on. Don't do that! Just suck it up and say it! :D
Anyways, I definitely think that you should try to get diagnosed. Even if it turns out that you don't have ADD, you can get some cool information about the way you learn and strategies that might work for you. And like I said before, it's just good to know for sure, do I or don't I. I hope this helps! Good luck!

appa215
04-08-11, 06:52 PM
Guys, I just wanted to say thank you so so much for replying! That honestly means the world to me to know that you care and would take the time to reply :) I didn't know if I was going to get any responses because it was so long xD

Pooka- In middle school, things were difficult and I did struggle a bit with school, but somehow managed to pull off all but one A. I do remember each year got harder though. But you're right: it definitely isn't as bad as it is today in high school. I'm not sure if it's me who's getting "worse" or if my middle school classes just happened to be a lot easier than my high school classes. I'm finding it hard to tell :/ I just did a little more research and I found on one site that "certain circumstances" can make ADD "get worse." As far as I know, no one in my immediate family as ADD, but I do know that my aunt has OCD, which I think I've read somewhere that is often associated with ADD, so I don't know if that would have anything to do with it...Oh and my sister has always been very very smart and hard working. She's in college now and has never gotten a B or anything less on her report cards. Straight A's her whole life...and just got a scholarship.

Anyway, I'm thinking that whenever my parents finally ask about my report card (if they remember, that is...), then I will try to explain that I have trouble concentrating, etc., which will hopefully entice some further questioning...

Thanks again!!

pooka
04-08-11, 07:05 PM
Oh ok, that's interesting, thanks for that info!
About telling your parents, I would do it before they ask about the report card, especially if the report card isn't great. If you tell them after, I think it will sound more like you're making excuses. It's the ADD issues that lead to the bad grades, so it might make sense to talk about it in that order ("I've been having some issues lately, possibly related to ADD" THEN "it's affecting my grades"). Just some suggestions though, you can take it or leave it.

appa215
04-08-11, 09:02 PM
Thanks! That's a good point!

Spaced_In
04-11-11, 05:09 AM
hi, you do sound like you have adhd, especially with all the rambling on lol i like to do that to lol. so yes it does sound like you do have it, you should also ask one of your adhd friends if she reckons you do, she might not be able to tell though, only last year was i able to start being able to tell when someone has adhd lol, ive now figured out that so many people i know have adhd lol. By the way not liking to read isnt a sign that you have adhd, i love reading, so does one of my friends who have adhd, most people just dont like to read i think

appa215
04-11-11, 05:58 PM
Ok thanks :) Yeah sorry I did ramble on a lot... there was just so much on my mind and it all kinda came at random times, so I still left things out that I wanted to get in there lol.
And you make a good point about the reading thing...I think the reason I don't like to read is because I simply cannot focus on it unless it is really, really interesting to me. I tend to only read the dialogue in books, too (well, those that I DO read haha). Maybe why I am so deterred from it also because, in elementary school, they made us read for like 1/2 an hour each night :O ...which was really painful for me.

A side note: I haven't talked to my parents about susupecting ADD/ADHD yet. And, my mom just told me that she checked my grades online and knows about the C's. D: Ugh...

Anyway, thanks again for your input. :)

AngelDevilDork
11-02-11, 11:08 PM
If I were next to you right now I would give you a giant hug!! Except in reality I'm not that affectionate except with my boyfriends. Let me start by saying that I read every word. I love to read but to be more specific I love to read things that interest me (mostly historical romance) and I'm 28. I just got diagnosed in February and it started the way you did. I had so many problems and started researching and basically self-diagnosed myself then went to a doctor then a psych. Unfortunately the is no blood test for add but if you've been researching (sounds like you have and I'm sure once your brain is stuck on something you keep going and going and probably skipped homework and study because of it). So do I. You sound EXACTLY like me! Very adhd combined type...let me explain the similarities:

First, in school I always did well until middle school towards the end when things got harder...because I was so smart and ahead of the game naturally I didn't HAVE to study much and could skim to pass (I'm still not sure I've ever read an entire school book). And everything got crammed the night before a test. I found out recently that I have a 139 IQ and thank god no one knew that when I was in school! Gifted classes are for kids who are capable of that kind of work and when you can't focus and the work gets harder you really aren't needing gifted classes. (I'm also a teacher)

I was also EXTREMELY shy until my junior year in high school when I got so stinking fed up with being so shy and quiet that I cracked my own shell! I'm so happy that happened but I've been talking since I was 16 to make up for all of the years my shyness held it all in. Just because you don't show the hyperactive talking right now doesn't mean you won't one day. I do now! And all the writing that you did in your post kinda shows that you have it...you're just only comfortable behind your computer right now. At your age I was in chat rooms til 2 in the morning.

I am also extremely organized at work because I somehow taught myself over the years to stay so closely on top of things like organization otherwise I can't think about anything else and basically shut down. People always comment how organized my classroom is (it HAS to be). And I'm sure you've read in your research that adhd easily combines with OCD as well as many other mood disorders. The symptoms are all so strange and overlap so easily.

As for the hair thing...I twirl my hair often and it used to be really bad but lately my new thing is smelling the skin on the side of my hand or my forearm. Don't even try asking me how THAT started! And it's getting worse! My 4-old son noticed it one day and said "mommy why are you smelling your arm?" The answer? "who knows?!?!" It's like half smelling (sometimes the skin smells different, esp after being in the florida sun) and half feeling the soft hairs on my lips. Yes, this is very embarrassing to admit but you know what? oh well! It's me, it's what I do, and I don't know anyone here and it's obvious that no one here comes to judge. So yes, you part your hair...but one day you'll stop that and it will be something else. I also shake my leg (sometimes even when I'm laying down) dance from room to room or shuffle-step like I'm still in tap. I rock back and forth on my feet, stare off into space endlessly, count ceiling tiles when I'm supposed to be listening in meetings (I kinda give up on that and just read or learn whatever it was about afterwards). As well as so many other weird and odd habits, ticks, etc. It's not you, it's the adhd and we ALL do these strange (to "normal" people) things.

As for friends, I usually only had one good friend at a time growing up and still do. I can't seem to handle that many friends. It also seems to be a common adhd trait and one that it seems most people here share. Thank the adhd for that one. And I'm sorry to say that relationships with guys are going to be the most difficult thing to deal with. Even ppl with adhd can't seem to understand each other.

As for your parents...you are a minor and can't go to a doctor or get medication without your parents permission. I was just diagnosed in February and my parents think I'm wrong and making it up. I'm 28 mind you....it's VERY frustrating and upsetting to me because I would love to have them actually listen to what I'm saying but they think I make excuses and so does everyone else. What you will notice about your adhd is that the symptoms seem like your just lazy, mad, making excuse, etc but your not and I know your not and everyone else here knows it too. In fact, I bet you work your butt off and stress way more than the average kid and seem to get fewer gains for your effort. That's not true though, the gains you're making may not be as high as the "normal" kid behind you (fixing your hair for you) but they are tremendous gains for you. And you have to feel proud for yourself and fight for yourself because in life you are the only person who can really make you happy and proud of yourself.

I got a little off topic but what I started saying was...start making copies of the checklists you do, print articles or even posts (but research based articles are better) and highlight everything that pertains to you and especially stuff that your parents comment on and complain about. Do a few checklists from different sites and since you're 16 already find a couple that pertain specifically to women with adhd and maybe even adults. You can do those as well. Get all your research together and organized and try and wait for a calm time (not with report cards) maybe even when you aren't doing that bad (in a week or two) and sit down and show it to you parents. But be prepared that it is highly likely that they won't believe you and will push you aside. I would also recommend asking to see a psychologist who specializes in adhd (better than a regular doctor). Your parents may hopefully let you see if and get evaluated by him and maybe believe his evaluation. But then again (and like I said, I am a teacher) many many parents put blinders on where their children are concerned and refuse to believe their child is less than "perfect" and won't accept that their child has a problem that requires special help. This doesn't mean they don't love you or don't care but it seems like it and it hurts not to be accepted by your family for who you really are (trust me, I know). But you have to constantly remind yourself that what it really means is that your parents aren't perfect either. They may not know how to accept that the right way and they may never know, but they still love you just like you still love them for that failing.

And then you will get upset....very upset. And if you're like me you cry hard and deep and the pain feels like it's never going to end and the world is crashing around and all you want is for everything to just stop. You want the feelings of hopelessness, hurt, anger, sadness, inadequacy, to go away and you want to just be an empty shell because that's better than everything your feeling right now and better than having it happen over and over and over again. And then? Well, then the tears dry up and your eyes are red and puffy and everyone is going to know that you were crying again but inside it's like those tears washed the endless pain slowly out of your body and you're able to breathe again. And now after letting it all out you can see the path of your life again and you're able to take another step forward, even if that step is one that you're taking alone...without mom, dad, friend, boyfriend...just you and your adhd. And you realize that your going to make it. For me and you (and many other adhd people it seems) you can't see that path without breaking down...it's invisible and the tears somehow make it show up. Other people can see the path and they don't understand why we can't and they can tell us over and over to calm down and look and do this that and the other but it's always the same. Freak out and THEN calm down. And unfortunately I can't tell you how to change that or if you can.

Another thing, that high IQ is a double edge sword...people think that adhd kids are always failing and that's not true. Adhd people really can't reach their full brain IQ potential most of the time. So if your adhd with a normal or slightly low iq then your going to fail normal classes. If you have the high iq you can probably pass normal classes because it takes no effort but you struggle in gifted with other people with your iq. So what happens is that most parents and even teachers don't notice the adhd in a kid unless the kid is struggling or bouncing off the walls. But your shy so you fidgeting is done in a way that doesn't bring attention to yourself because your so scared of that attention, but you do still fidget. And your smart so until now you did great with little effort but it's hard material so it takes more effort and your grades will slip. And it gets worse as an adult with more responsibilities which is why you see so many women getting diagnosed later in life because that's when it catches up and becomes too much for them. So your parents may refuse to accept it and may refuse to take you to a doctor and there's nothing you can do about that. But in 2 years you are 18 and can do what you want and go to a doctor and get on meds if you like. In the meantime, research, chat, discuss, find alternate drug-free ways to help yourself succeed with your adhd. There's so much information online and you'll find that it's stuff you actually can sit and read because you care so much about it. You've taken the tests, you know the diagnosis, and a lot of adhd support comes from learning about it yourself and going online like your already doing. Even if you have meds they don't fix everything and you do this anyways. And pyschs don't always have the best advice either...adhd is a tricky thing. But you are VERY lucky that you are accepting this at your age and starting now to find answers, solutions, and support for your adhd problems. Many women spend years confused at themselves and their actions. The early you accept your adhd and take means to control it, the better! It's a rough road but you will make it through and you sound like an extremely bright person.

And one more piece of advice...if you do go on meds be VERY careful. I started on adderall and the doctor didn't realize I have anxiety issues, it made me basically go crazy and almost do irreversable damage to myself. It sounds like your stress in life could be causing you anxiety and NO ONE with anxiety should be on adderall. There are many different adhd meds, both stimulants and nonstimulants. I like the stimulant part because it gets me moving and thinking during the day and I'm on vyvanse. It's working great so far but I also am on celexa for anxiety and it helps control my freak-out moments. Meds are tricky and hard to get right and you constantly adjust but they also do amazing things to help. But like I said, they're not a cure-all and you still have to work on things without meds.

Good luck to you! You are NOT alone and there are thousands of people out there who are EXACTLY like you and me with these things. You can do it and you're getting a great headstart. You are already taking great leaps and bounds to control your life and you should be very proud of yourself for that.