View Full Version : I need some advice


supersonic1
02-25-14, 10:03 PM
I'm a 27 year old female and for the past 10 years I have had a lot of difficulty in finishing my university education. I recently saw my family doctor who recommended I go for psychological testing to see if I have a learning disability or anxiety that is causing me difficulties.

In elementary school up to high school, I was always an A student. I always did all of my homework and finished tasks. However, I do remember that in high school it took me a greater amount of time to finish homework compared to my classmates. I was always up until 2AM having to do homework and I still procrastinated but ended up finishing everything last minute. I also could never focus on what the teacher taught in class and would zone out.

I was also a very quiet and shy kid throughout school but got better in high school and had a small group of friends. I was very sheltered and an only child. My mom has said I've been disorganized since I was very young. I can never keep my room organized or put things away and this has been an issue. My dad said when he was in university he had similar issues as I do now.


Over the past 10 years I have tried to finish my studies at university, but I have had no luck. I can never focus on my studies and have a very hard time focusing on my readings. I even tried switching my major but I am still unable to focus on any of my readings. I try going to the library and it is still very difficult. After a page of reading I simply get bored and overwhelmed. I still cannot focus on what the teacher says in class and I zone out. I have horrible time management skills and can never plan my time and organize my list of things to do and homework. I find it very overwhelming and don't even know where to start off. I also have bad organizational skills when it comes to my surroundings. Sometimes it is easier to live in a disorganized room than to organize my room. Everything always piles up and I am overwhelmed. I am also late quite frequently and always underestimate my time. When I write exams, I always run out of time. When it comes to writing papers and essays I can never focus and start my paper. I feel like I am bombarded with ideas and thoughts and can't focus on one thing. I thought maybe everyone is like this, but as I observed my friend writing her paper, I realized she does not have this problem.


My friends also call me too sensitive, emotional and up and down. I get into moods where I snap at them and say things that I regret later or do things that later on seemed extreme. However, I am a very good listener and remember things, but there are times and this has happened for years where I'm talking to someone face to face however I zone out. And they ask me if I"m ok or what I'm thinking/looking at.

I'm also a very anxious person and little things can create anxiety to the point where I will think about them constantly.

When it comes to relationships I fall for people quickly, but I lose interest very quickly as well.

However, despite all of this, I have never been a hyperactive child and I was able to finish high school with an A average. That's why I'm confused. I'm going to go to another physician this week to get an appointment with a psychologist after. But I'm at a point where I just want to know what is wrong with me? Has anyone experienced symptoms like mine? Am I just a procrastinator? Am I lazy? Can my symptoms indicate ADD/ADHD?

Hawutwut
02-25-14, 10:48 PM
I know you posted in the Women with ADHD forum but hopefully you're open to males responding too. If not, apologies. Just trying to be of help.

I was also a very quiet and shy kid throughout school but got better in high school and had a small group of friends. I was very sheltered and an only child. My mom has said I've been disorganized since I was very young. I can never keep my room organized or put things away and this has been an issue. My dad said when he was in university he had similar issues as I do now.

That is me to a T. As for earlier, my mom indicated I had no sense of time passing. I would work endlessly on something. I remember being distracted and puttting off, e.g., cleaning my room. I still do all this. I got dinged in elementary school for goofing off and wasting time. That's what I do.

Over the past 10 years I have tried to finish my studies at university, but I have had no luck.

It took me 6 years to get through my degree. Longer than my peers. I took a lighter load because I wasn't organized enough to handle more. Even at about 2/3rds normal load I was totally overwhelmed and stressed.

I can never focus on my studies and have a very hard time focusing on my readings. I even tried switching my major but I am still unable to focus on any of my readings. I try going to the library and it is still very difficult. After a page of reading I simply get bored and overwhelmed. I still cannot focus on what the teacher says in class and I zone out. I have horrible time management skills and can never plan my time and organize my list of things to do and homework. I find it very overwhelming and don't even know where to start off.

Same things for me in college re: reading, time management, etc. I would have to read stuff over and over and over. I could stare at a page for an hour, my thoughts wandering off.

I also have bad organizational skills when it comes to my surroundings. Sometimes it is easier to live in a disorganized room than to organize my room. Everything always piles up and I am overwhelmed.

I can relate to this too. Overwhelmed, stuff piles up, etc.

I am also late quite frequently and always underestimate my time.

Yup, also a big issue for me. Underestimating how long it takes to do something, go somewhere, forgetting the steps required, etc.

When I write exams, I always run out of time. When it comes to writing papers and essays I can never focus and start my paper. I feel like I am bombarded with ideas and thoughts and can't focus on one thing. I thought maybe everyone is like this, but as I observed my friend writing her paper, I realized she does not have this problem.

I remember reading about a detective (maybe it was Poirot or Encyclopedia Brown or Nancy Drew I have no idea) talking about having an orderly mind and realizing that wasn't me. I couldn't hold a thought still in my head for any time. Thoughts and ideas come in and go out.

My friends also call me too sensitive, emotional and up and down. I get into moods where I snap at them and say things that I regret later or do things that later on seemed extreme. However, I am a very good listener and remember things, but there are times and this has happened for years where I'm talking to someone face to face however I zone out. And they ask me if I"m ok or what I'm thinking/looking at.

I do all this too. I don't snap *too* much or *too* over the top I don't think... ? but imupulsivity plus all the stuff above are symptoms of ADHD. That isn't to say you're guaranteed to have it but gosh, it sure seems like a possibility. I'd suggest doing more reading about ADHD, particularly checklists and reading posts here. You may find a lot of similar things... or you may find people struggling with things that you didn't even realize you struggle with.

I'm also a very anxious person and little things can create anxiety to the point where I will think about them constantly.

I had a lot of anxiety and depression before getting on Lexapro. After that I just had a lot of thoughts and unfinished projects. :)

However, despite all of this, I have never been a hyperactive child and I was able to finish high school with an A average.

Hyperactivity isn't required to be diagnosed with ADHD. Originally (DSM III?) it was ADD and ADHD where ADD was less about the hyperactivity. Also, the hyperactivity might simply be a restlessness mentally, emotionally, or physically. Maybe you bounce your foot like crazy sometimes. Or can't sit still for too long without feeling like going to do something.

I didn't get an A average, but did ok in school. I am not sure what combination makes it possible, but as a very sheltered only child with a mom who was a teacher and her and gran working very hard to keep me on track, I suppose that's why I did as well as I did. And why I struggled more once I got out on my own. Getting A's doesn't preclude an ADHD diagnosis. The fact that you had to work longer/harder and have trouble focusing are really at issue, not the grades, it seems to me. I mean, I'm no doc or anything but it sure seems to me like you mention a lot of things that sound familiar.

Has anyone experienced symptoms like mine?

Just about all of them, yes. Including wondering what was wrong with me and this:

Am I just a procrastinator? Am I lazy? Can my symptoms indicate ADD/ADHD?

Yeah, I think they can from what I've learned over the last year.

supersonic1
02-25-14, 11:16 PM
Thank you so much for replying. I feel do discouraged and stupid at times. I don't know what's wrong with me:( All my friends are finished with their degrees and I'm stuck. I"m a good person, I don't do drugs. I'm not really depressed, I do get a bit grumpy, low in energy in winter times, but I dont have a depression problem. I have always been anxious though from a very early age. I cried a lot as a child my mom has said.

Also another thing I forgot to mention is that I daydream A LOT! This is one thing I have done for years since I was maybe in middle school and I find it very hard to 'snap back' to reality.

I also have perfectionist tendencies. I won't clean my room until I know I can clean and make it 'perfect'. I give up studying and won't because I feel like I can't get a perfect grade.

I'm also VERY indecisive. Easy decisions are very difficult to make for me. I hate making decisions. I tend to have addictive tendencies when it comes to internet. For instance I'm addicted to going on youtube and just browsing music or news and I lose track of time.

There are so many books I want to read just for fun, and I can't even organize my time to read them and find it difficult to finish them even though I enjoy them. I cannot ever commit myself to any activity. Whether it be gym, reading, school.

The one thing that makes no sense is that I am very detail oriented. I am good with details. I'm also very good at math and has always been one of my fave subjects because I do not have to read and memorize but instead work out the problem which I enjoy. I enjoy creative things such as making presentations, etc. And I can spend hours on such activities without being distracted.

I also do my job at my work fine. Even though it's boring, I don't get distracted. It's not a very difficult job. But I can sit still so I don't know how to explain that.

When I explained all of my concerns to my physician he did say I may have anxiety or a learning disability and that it may be ADD but that it is unlikely because I would have exhibited these symptoms earlier as a child.

Hawutwut
02-26-14, 01:06 AM
The one thing that makes no sense is that I am very detail oriented. I am good with details. I'm also very good at math and has always been one of my fave subjects because I do not have to read and memorize but instead work out the problem which I enjoy. I enjoy creative things such as making presentations, etc. And I can spend hours on such activities without being distracted.

Do you ever make mistakes? Do you make more mistakes on things that are boring or un-fun?

Do you ever spend hours on such activities to the exclusion of things you "should" be doing?

Do you ever find yourself unable to make yourself stop doing such things? Or lose track of time while doing such things?

I also do my job at my work fine. Even though it's boring, I don't get distracted. It's not a very difficult job. But I can sit still so I don't know how to explain that.

Do you like it?

When I explained all of my concerns to my physician he did say I may have anxiety or a learning disability and that it may be ADD but that it is unlikely because I would have exhibited these symptoms earlier as a child.

Well, physicians aren't psychiatrists or psychologists, so I wouldn't put too much weight on that response.

Can you think of any examples of any of these symptoms as a kid? Just because you can't remember with perfect clarity and self-awareness, doesn't mean you didn't have the symptoms then.

Put another way how long have you had these symptoms? As long as you can remember or did they suddenly appear at a particular time/age/whatever?

supersonic1
02-26-14, 01:47 AM
Do you ever make mistakes? Do you make more mistakes on things that are boring or un-fun?

Do you ever spend hours on such activities to the exclusion of things you "should" be doing?

Do you ever find yourself unable to make yourself stop doing such things? Or lose track of time while doing such things?

Do you like it?

Well, physicians aren't psychiatrists or psychologists, so I wouldn't put too much weight on that response.

Can you think of any examples of any of these symptoms as a kid? Just because you can't remember with perfect clarity and self-awareness, doesn't mean you didn't have the symptoms then.

Put another way how long have you had these symptoms? As long as you can remember or did they suddenly appear at a particular time/age/whatever?


I hardly EVER make mistakes with things I do whether it be assignments or work related. But it takes me much longer than everyone else to do assignments at school. Something that takes people 2 hours will take me 5 hours. IT will take me days longer to finish an essay than takes normal people. And this is also true with studying. I can only study and memorize a page or two a day, and I get distracted.

With work at my job, I am very fast. But it involves computers and inputting information which is very repetitive but I have done it for 5 years now that it is nothing new.

Yes I spend HOURS doing things I shouldn't be doing. Reading articles, listening to music, going on websites, when I have other things to do. And then I'll see hours have been wasted with a blink of an eye. Sometimes I end up going on internet searching for something at like 12AM and it will lead me to move on and search something else and end up not going to bed til 5AM. And just shocked at how time passed by.

I moved away for university, now I am back at home. But when I was away, Everything was too much going from a sheltered life to living on my own. I did not know how to manage doing homework, cleaning, eating, cooking, paying rent, bills, tuition. It was too much. I got overwhelmed. But I have had problems all throughout my university life so for the past 10 years with focusing, reading.

In terms of never having enough time to finish exams and tests I HAVE ALWAYS had this problem since middle school. I always ran out of time and couldn't double check my answers. It always took me longer than it took other people to study for tests, I noticed this since high school.

I have always procrastinated since I was in middle school. I got away with it in high school and middle school though. I remember I never started my homework until Sunday night in high school.

Another thing I remember since elementary school up until today is that I have never been able to sit and study in a quiet place. In elementary school up until high school I studied in front of the tv and did homework that way. Right now, obviously I cannot study in front of the tv as there is more to study, however I find it hard to study in a very quiet place. I also find it comforting when I hear noise in room, it somehow helps slightly to study.

I have always been an emotional child and super sensitive to criticism and I would get into arguments with my parents or yell. I don't argue with my parents now, but with friends I do snap easily and overreact.

And as I said, I have always been disorganized since middle school with my room, clothes, bags, time. I have also always daydreamed a lot since early teen years to the point where it interferes with my reading and studying.

I do feel I was able to study better maybe 10-15 years ago, but now I really can't I try and I cannot read. I am distracted. I don't know..maybe I just procrastinate, because I dont know why I focused better then.

sarahsweets
02-26-14, 06:50 AM
have you been evaluated for anything? Possibly bipolar?

supersonic1
02-26-14, 11:37 AM
have you been evaluated for anything? Possibly bipolar?

No I haven't. My doctor asked me if I have some of the symptoms of bipolar and I dont. And I live in Canada and this whole process takes so long. I am just tired of not having an answer...

zilphy
02-27-14, 09:07 PM
Your story could be mine. I completely relate. Innattentive ADHD is not as distracting. Everyone seems to be looking for the boy who is bouncing off the walls, but part of ADHD can also be a disregulation of attention span. That is why I was not diagnosed until well into my adulthood. ADHD is exhausting and leaves me feeling tired and irritable. This makes me more sensitive and emotional. I have to work 3 times as hard to get the same amount of work done as my peers.

Get a Psychologist who specializes in diagnosing both childhood and adult ADHD. Getting evaluated will answer a lot of questions for you.

supersonic1
03-01-14, 12:47 AM
Your story could be mine. I completely relate. Innattentive ADHD is not as distracting. Everyone seems to be looking for the boy who is bouncing off the walls, but part of ADHD can also be a disregulation of attention span. That is why I was not diagnosed until well into my adulthood. ADHD is exhausting and leaves me feeling tired and irritable. This makes me more sensitive and emotional. I have to work 3 times as hard to get the same amount of work done as my peers.

Get a Psychologist who specializes in diagnosing both childhood and adult ADHD. Getting evaluated will answer a lot of questions for you.

Thanks for replying guys. My physician recommended me to a psychiatrist, but the wait is til April, so I'm going to go through my university. I have an appointment with a physician from school Monday, then I will get recommended to a psychologist through school in two weeks. Not having an answer is really irritating. I also think maybe it's all in my head.

I also misplace things a lot or forget where I put them. For instance two night ago I took off my hat I guess while I was on my bed and the next day I was looking for it for five minutes. Today again I was looking for my hat for 5-10 minutes.

I remember someone mention radio stations and changing them. I'm not saying thats an indicator. But I do this all the time. I cannot keep a station, I change it at least 5 times every minute while driving.

As for work, some of you asked me if I can focus at work. My part time job requires me to work with computer and phone and so I have to talk. What I've noticed is that I get annoyed at work when my coworkers dont. If there are a lot of calls I just sound rude on the phone and get angry. Also if my work is busy, it will show on my face that I'm stressed. This is something I've always had, I get stressed and overwhelmed easily. My friend even said I was like this back in high school.

The reason I was slightly suspicious about ADHD is because my dad also had difficulty in school. He finished his degree but it tool him longer than others. And he said he could never focus in class or on his reading. My dad can also be a hoarder and disorganized like me. And my mom is the opposite, the most organized perfectionist I know.

lavita_bella
03-01-14, 05:30 AM
I have inattentive ADHD and this describes me to a T, as well. I'm on 20mg of Adderall XR and I have some academic accomodations now that I've gotten diagnosed. And like zilphy said, it's harder to get diagnosed because it's not as "obvious". I've had lots of people tell me "But you aren't hyperactive..."

I would really look into ADHD symptoms more and get evaluated.... but it seems like you already have a pretty good idea you've got it. Just remember, ADHD isn't a disorder until it becomes a difficulty in your life. I was home-schooled and never had too much trouble with it until college (and a handful of other times... being over-emotional and impulsive is inconvenient in any situation basically). Saying that, it's good to look for positive accomodations you can make in your life to make it easier, not to make the ADHD go away. Change the situation, cuz you can't change you. :) (medication also helped me tons, but I don't think it changed me personally.. just the way I organize my thoughts, thank goodness)

supersonic1
03-01-14, 12:12 PM
I have inattentive ADHD and this describes me to a T, as well. I'm on 20mg of Adderall XR and I have some academic accomodations now that I've gotten diagnosed. And like zilphy said, it's harder to get diagnosed because it's not as "obvious". I've had lots of people tell me "But you aren't hyperactive..."

I would really look into ADHD symptoms more and get evaluated.... but it seems like you already have a pretty good idea you've got it. Just remember, ADHD isn't a disorder until it becomes a difficulty in your life. I was home-schooled and never had too much trouble with it until college (and a handful of other times... being over-emotional and impulsive is inconvenient in any situation basically). Saying that, it's good to look for positive accomodations you can make in your life to make it easier, not to make the ADHD go away. Change the situation, cuz you can't change you. :) (medication also helped me tons, but I don't think it changed me personally.. just the way I organize my thoughts, thank goodness)

Thanks for your input. I just signed up for school accommodation but honestly it isn't much just an extra 20 minutes on exams and tests. I was hoping for longer due dates on assignments etc but they said they'll have to see about it and figure more out after my diagnosis.

I'm curious how has medication worked for you? When I tell my friends my difficulties they're just like go buy Adderall and I know people who dont have ADHD and abuse it to get good grades in school and I refuse to do that cus one I have no diagnosis and it's wrong and people abuse drugs. But for you guys who have ADHD, has medication helped you? Do you only take it when you study or have a lot of work to do?

If it is anxiety, I dont think I will want to take antidepressants. I rather do cognitive behavioral Therapy.

mezziestar
03-27-14, 12:55 PM
Just another person chiming in to say that you're describing me! I'm inattentive type. I'm not hyperactive, really, just pretty fidgety and have a hard time sitting through things I don't care about. A Friends marathon on TV? I'm there for hours. A long work meeting? I'm fidgety or asleep 60 seconds in. I did great in school and went on to get a Masters degree. But I definitely have ADHD (tested and diagnosed). Doing poorly in school just didn't happen to be an effect of it. If I'd been graded on study habits and getting things done long before they're due, I'd have failed out of school. I was always doing the bare minimum to get an A (if I cared--English class) or a B (if I didn't care--math) or a C (only happened once--college chemistry ;)).

I think because I always succeeded at school, it didn't occur to me that the constant stress, procrastination, disorganization, and zoning out during classes was a symptom of something bigger. It took being in the working world for me to recognize what a problem it was.