View Full Version : Hey guys...

01-19-14, 03:29 PM
I need to vent here. School is seriously killing me here. I don't know if I have ADHD or not, because I haven't been tested. I asked my mom (to get tested), but she doesn't think I have it, nor does it run in our family. I know we have bipolar in our family, and probably something else that I can't remember right now. Well, my mom was the first in the family to go to college, as most of the fam were high school dropouts.
Anyway, school is kind of killing me right now. I have three low As, a high B, and two low Bs. My parents are really strict though, and they have been threatening to take away all of my extracurricular activities until I get them all up to high As and whatnot. Like, just because I'm gifted and smart I'm supposed to be valedictorian. I'm in eighth grade, at a private school. I'm going to public next year, and yes, they've said that I have to be top of my class, valedictorian, straight As, all that crap. The thing is, I stay up until midnight a lot just to finish my math homework (approx.. 30 problems, and technically I'm mathematically inclined), and to do the rest of it I'd never get any sleep.
I know I have ADHD. They say it's apparent to the person who has it (maybe...), and looking back I got distracted easily, resisted homework even though I knew full well how to do it, seriously disorganized (even though I'm way more clean now), and forgetful. As for organization, I'm pretty anal so there are some things like this one section of my closet where I hang my clothes that will always stay in order, but I feel like there's always clothes strewn about my room, random books and bandaids and candy wrappers and shoes and tissues and pens and clutter all over my room(really annoys my parents), in my closet, in my locker(don't even get me started on anything related to school), my backpack, my binder, and pretty much anything else that I missed. Last week, I was trying to find a paper that I lost, I looked in my binder, my backpack and my locker and discovered two dirty pairs of socks, my school picture orders, but not the check (oops...), and tons of other papers I lost and forgot to turn in. But not the paper I was looking for.
Every time my parents talk to me about school, I get really sad and really ******. Like, can't they see I'm trying? Even the top of the class doesn't spend as much time on schoolwork as I do. I doubt they spend four hours trying to start their homework, while getting distracted and procrastinating (not noticing they are until three hours into it). I really try, but no one seems to understand. During the midterms, I ran severely overtime during about half of the tests, and during the ones that I finished on time, I was at least half an hour to forty five minutes later than everyone else. And I studied so much! I knew the stuff (well, most of it) and still got an 80 on my history exam!
Before this turns into a rant... too late.
So you can see why I wanted to get tested.. also I'm extremely forgetful and every light in my house is usually on at once because I keep dropping one thing to move on to the next. Anyway, this is me trying my hardest, and if middle school isn't hard enough, how on earth is high school going to be? My teachers are really lenient, too. I've never had homework from every teacher all on the same night before. I guess what I'm asking is, is anyone else in the same boat and has advice? Maybe I'm just being a hypochondriac, in which case my whole life explains nothing. :( And no, I'm not wallowing. It's been bugging me for a while.
Oh, yeah, and I don't really care about tl;dr. That was long anyway. :giggle:
I'm kind of new-ish here (haven't taken the time to "explore") so I don't know if this is the right place to put this... help?:confused:

01-21-14, 11:59 PM
If it helps you figure stuff out I was diagnosed a couple weeks ago with symptoms extremely similar to yours, and i understand where your coming from about grades, my parents where always on top of my grades because they believed I could be a 4.0 student if I applied myself. You just have to trust your own instincts about this, if you feel that that the way your life is affected by adhd follow that. Your not wrong. I do suggest getting tested ASAP I cant say it makes a world of difference right away because my life is still pretty stressful but In the long term you will feel so much better and prepared for coming years of schooling.

01-31-14, 10:54 PM
I guess... this is a process. Earlier today, my math teacher told me that I might be assessed to get extended time on tests (after I had to come back during study hall to finish a quiz we took) and I said maybe. Like I'd think about it get back to him later. I know it sounds stupid, but I don't know what to do. I know by extended time he meant like ADHD or something, which should clear things up except he would have to call/email/contact my parents, and like I said before, I've already talked to my mom. She didn't think I have it. To hear it from a teacher might be different, except there's also a 50/50 chance she would give me a lecture on test taking strategies and applying myself and focusing instead of addressing the issue at hand. There's also a 50/50 chance that if I did get tested, she would say that I'm a very focused, organized person who receives top of the line grades and never loses or misplaces a thing. Well, probably not that, because it's pretty obvious that I can't keep track of things, and I also for some reason tend to break things a lot... so anyway, I'm stuck. They expect so much from me, especially cause I'm the oldest child, that it most likely just seems I'm not trying. I need input here - should I give my teacher the "go to" to call my parents or, I dunno, tell them myself?:scratch:

02-01-14, 12:41 AM
You sound exactly like me minus 4 years. I really want to come back to your post and read the whole thing when I can focus better. For now all I can say is hang in there, seriously I can't even tell you how much I relate to you, talking to parents about school is the worst especially with ADHD they can't understand the limits on your abilities that, as a gifted kid, are supposed to be limitless....

Initial advice: talk to your parents first, then if it doesn't go so well give your teacher the go ahead to contact them and back you up. Good luck!!

02-01-14, 02:17 AM
Your folks can only be your ally if they know whats going on...

Sometimes these things have a tendancy to surface at pressure points or in between other external issues...

Pre planning a time to sit them down and getting all this stuff out in point form will at least give you a better chance to convey your feelings and experiences...

-work off notes if you have to...

Give a brief ove4view of your state of mind then in brief points... outline the areas tgat are caus8ng the greatest strain on you...

If they interrupt ask them to please let you finish.

If you get that far and they havent put two and two together... Tell them you'd like to be tested...

Each time they start to spit sone hardline sermon... just hold your calm stance... aka... "mom dad I've listebed to you guys... what I really jeed is for you to listen to me... I would aprrieciate your help... we are workibg toward the sake goal"... etc.

Stay in touch

02-01-14, 11:20 PM
If you need extended time on tests, get it. If nothing else it'll help make whatever is going on more apparent.

Like you, I was a "gifted" kid and nobody ever suspected ADHD. I was only diagnosed recently (at age 39), when the demands of family created much more debilitating problems. The thing which you describe that sounds most familiar to me is spending three hours "trying" to do homework but being stuck/blocked. What are you doing during that time? What are you thinking? What keeps you from working on the first problem?

I'll write a bit more of my story, in-case it helps..

I learn fast, but I basically never did homework. It's hard to recall accurately, but it wouldn't surprise me if I only did 30% of assigned homework through end of undergrad. In elementary, multiple teachers talked to my mother about it. She would tell them what was going on at home (divorce, problematic father), and they became very lenient. In high-school, I spent most days in a panic trying to finish scraps of the homework due that day. My story was A-on-tests, C/D on homework, B in the class. I had some high-school insomnia. It was torture to wake and get to school on time -- and when I started driving myself I was often late and always in a fog.

My mother reminded me of an event from around 4th or 5th grade, when I was frantic because I was supposed to read some chapters for a class (probably history). I came to her in tears, telling her that I had read the same page over-and-over, but each time at the end of the page, I couldn't remember anything it said. At the time I had already learned to do some computer programming, and would read technical programming books cover-to-cover. I couldn't understand why I could read an entire 200 page technical book I was interested in, but I couldn't read and understand a single page assigned by school. I look back now and see classic ADHD hyperfocus vs distraction problems.

Reading prose was often like that for me. I sort of gave up on reading for english / literature. Sometimes I couldn't even focus enough to read the cliff notes. I am very bad at remembering dates. I developed skills to catch concepts in class and bluff my way through class participation, essay tests, and quizzes. For essays and term-papers, I'd procrastinate badly, until it was close and I was in a panic. Then I'd go hold up in the library, frantically trying to "skim" enough detail out of the material to write my paper. I was good at writing, so I tried to write lots of my own conclusions and thoughts, with light references to the material. I didn't have as much trouble in math and science. Perhaps it was because it fascinated me so much. Maybe the symbols and diagrams helped. I still didn't do the homework very often.

Most people I know have some passing memory of shakespere, james and the giant peach, and a bunch of other stories they read during school. I don't, because I could never read any of them -- just bits of cliffnotes and a paragraph here and there. I know a bit about midsummer night's dream because we had a school field-trip to see it in play form.

I could go on, but I'll skip to the end. The good news is, my life turned out pretty great despite not being diagnosed until recently. I'm a computer programmer. I made a crapton of money. I found an awesome wife, married, had kids. Sharing a bed and having kids sent my ADHD into debilitating overdrive, and somehow I figured it out, found a specialist and I'm getting help. So far it's really working.

I guess the point of all that is, there are many many coping strategies besides medication. I wrote about some of my strategies here...

02-07-14, 01:06 PM
Yeah I guess when I'm about to do my homework that I know is super boring (okay, so that's pretty much everything except this one time I had to copy a map from my history book, and lets just say that absentmindedly drawing is kind of my strong suit) first it's like this feeling that, and it's so sudden it disappears the second I look away from my homework, that there's like a drape over my mind that it's almost like I've been doomed to prison, like the part of my brain that has emotion shuts down. Except for maybe frustration. It feels so detached and boring and like there's no sense in living that your chest tightens up and you're tired and you want to scream at the aspect of actually doing it. And this is when I open my textbook. It actually take me a lot longer to gather the will to start than it actually is to do it, unless the homework isn't easy (or I'm not sure how to do it or have to read something) in which case the same goes for when I finish a problem. The worst is that this results in me not starting my homework until very late at night, and getting a few hours of sleep which makes the whole paying attention thing even worse. It's like when I'm reading something, like you said, it takes many tries just to get it to make a sound in your mind, and then a few more for it to make any logical sense in context. It's like I can read it, but the words are all jumbled up and you have to pull it off of the page for the letters to make sense, like you read it but only on the surface of your mind, you know? It doesn't penetrate deep enough for it to have a place in your memory for more than, well, at all. I think some of the worst homework is on weekends, mostly because I intend to start it on Saturday or maybe even Friday, but I don't end up starting until ten o'clock on Sunday. Even when I can get away with not doing it the first part of sunday, I'll procrastinate more and more until I literally CAN'T anymore, because it's almost tomorrow.

My posts are way too long, I know.

02-10-14, 11:43 PM
Just wondering since you mentioned being a programmer, Im heading to college for computer science and would really like to know if you suffer a lot from distractions where you are now. I really like programming but still have a hard time concentrating on projects. Am I screwed for a career?

02-11-14, 02:25 AM
Symptoms in the OP sound familiar. I got a lot of... erm... guidance (nagging?) from parents until college and then all the symptoms came out...procrastination, hard to get started on homework, anxiety about homework, avoidance, all that. Did the same earlier on but didn't get away with it for homework. So it sure all sounds familiar and I'm all officially diagnosed ADHD and everything. :)

I think it's a good idea to go thru some of the better ADHD checklists and then present the results to mom and dad as indicated above.

So, your mom isn't a doctor and she doesn't know exactly what's going on inside your head. Of course you don't dare say that to her in those words (unless you're trying to **** her off) :)

It sounds like you are quite bright and quite wise to have this figured out for yourself so young. It took me an additional 30 years. You also sound very articulate in your writing.

It helps me to talk to people if I write it all out first. Get all the ideas sorted out and simplified. Even then I may have to read off the page. But maybe that's what you can do is to take some notes to guide yourself along in your chat with mom and dad.

It's highly likely that someone in your family has it. It never occurred to me that dad had it until I realized I did. Because I didn't know what ADHD was, exactly. I thought it was just lacking attention. Bzzt. Wrong answer. Now that I know what it is, it's plain as day that my dad had it too.

Another thing -- if your mom/dad still object, try to understand why they are unwilling to let you get tested. Maybe there are some unspoken concerns. Maybe they're worried it'll cost a lot. Maybe they're not sure what ADHD is and think poorly of people with it. I don't know.

Sometimes it's best to ask what another person's opinions and thoughts are to understand them first, then work with that as you relay your thoughts and opinions.

I hope this helps.

And, if it doesn't work out and you can't get tested yet, then there will come a day when you get to decide if you get tested. That's at the very latest. In the interim, in high school, you may be able to avail yourself of some service or other at the school to help. I don't really know for sure but if you search you will probably stumble across something. Counsellor. Sympathetic teacher. Something.

02-11-14, 02:39 AM
Just wondering since you mentioned being a programmer, Im heading to college for computer science and would really like to know if you suffer a lot from distractions where you are now. I really like programming but still have a hard time concentrating on projects. Am I screwed for a career?

No, not at all. It won't be easy but it is doable.

FWIW, I was into computers when PCs were a brand new thing.

I got a degree in computer engineering, I was going to be a developer but got really bored during one summer of doing a programming project so I re-thought that somewhat.

I did sorta-kinda development for a year or so out of college but quickly moved into system administration and from there into information security where I found a massive playground to explore for 15+ years.

I've always rocked at doing tools development: small scale coding.

Be open to following your obsessions, because you can harness that emotion to motivate you. It worked great for me.

It's your ability to think, and the way you think, coming out of a CS or Engineering degree, that matters most. You don't have to be a coder but learning how to code shapes your way of thinking that is awesomely useful.

I am now in a very big, very well respected and well known company, one of the senior folks, very respected technically, and I make a very good salary (not rich! but quite nice, way more than this lower middle class kid ever expected).

While I still struggle with organization, time management, procrastination, and have been dinged on it many times in my career and probably been held back many times by ADHD, I've made it work well enough. Very thankful, let me tell you.

The ability to analyze, decompose, connect concepts, grasp complexity, has carried me a long way, frankly. You have those and other skills no doubt, which can carry you far, too.

I wouldn't be surprised if a lot of programmers have ADHD. I'm certain a lot of system admins have it and thrive as I did on an interrupt-driven job. Hyperfocus may well be very good for programming. I don't know. It seems to help when I'm working on a hobby project.

Though I don't program professionally I write a reasonable amount of code every year. C, C++ (sort of), Java, Perl, etc.

So, I don't really want everyone on earth to know my name and I don't want them to easily figure it out from my posts but if you want any input that requires more details, you can always pm me.