View Full Version : Need advice on seeking diagnosis

01-11-12, 10:51 PM
Hi, let me start by saying this is the first time I've posted on a forum in years, for any reason. For whatever reason I feel more comfortable in the anonymity of strangers on the Internet with this particular subject. I am a 23 y/o male and have been struggling with what I've deduced to be ADD-like symptoms for the past 3-4 years, although I have not sought a diagnosis, mostly due to the fact that I never thought that it was possible that I would have this disorder, due to either arrogance, ignorance, or both. I was able to finish college, however I certainly feel that I underachieved to a great degree, constantly doing just enough to get by and feeling terrible for it. I knew for each exam that I was likely to procrastinate, would always say I'll do better next time, then repeating the process. I did not party hardly at all, partly due to the fact that I wanted to rule that out as a reason for my performance. College to me was 4 years of feeling that I was letting my parents down, particularly after doing well in high school. I'd always done well in school up to then, but school was always less than demanding.

I have difficulty with listening to others talk; for example my girlfriend will always talk to me, but I usually can't bring myself out of my head enough to really "hear" her, and have to judge from her look or body language how I should respond. I feel bad that she thinks I don't want to listen to her, but at the same time I'm also frustrated because I can't communicate this effectively enough so that I don't seem like an uninterested *******.

Also, I have been a musician for the majority of my life, and just can't get my musical ideas organized enough to actually create what I want to. I have great trouble in finishing writing songs, and have tons of fragments of songs that I want to put together, but just can't seem to coallesce the ideas into a coherent, solid expression.

My girlfriend was diagnosed with ADD when she was a child, and seems to think that if I seek out a psychiatrist, they'll just put me on stimulants and my problems won't go away. It is one of the few discussions that I simply avoid having with her due to her lack of receptivity. I feel like she is either jealous that I have health insurance and she doesn't, so I'm more able to seek treatment while she stays in a similar situation, or worried I'll become like a crystal meth tweaker or something.

I suppose my question to the forum regulars would be firstly, does what I have described sound like adult ADD, something else, or am I just the unmotivated, unorganized jerkoff that I fear I might be? Second, if seeking treatment is advised, how can I open up an honest line of communication with my girlfriend and those closest to me? I apologize for the long post. I'm really just feeling quite alone and lost with this, and only want to feel better,emotionally most of all. Thanks to everyone.

01-12-12, 12:11 AM
It could be ADHD. You sound like so many of us here. However, other disorders can mimic ADHD. Getting an evaluation from a doctor who has extensive experience diagnosing and treating ADHD is important.

Getting on medication doesn't magically make your problems go away. Especially if you've had them your whole life. There will be things that you will need to work on. You will need to work on YOU. There's a whole lifetime of self-doubt, negative self talk and low self esteem (in many cases) that need to be worked through. It's an everyday, 24/7 endeavor. Many people choose to go through therapy.

Research and studies have shown that adolescents and adults who AREN'T diagnosed or treating their ADHD are at a greater risk for substance abuse than those who are getting treatment. Once your brain gets the stimulation it's seeking (through medication), the desire to abuse drugs/alcohol/sex/gamble--whatever often diminishes.

First, start learning about ADHD and the medication used to treat it. Then, you'll be in a better position to respond to naysayers (if any) and answer questions and talk openly.

I know how alone you feel. I really do. It does get better, though. :)