View Full Version : Seeking help for a friend


GrayCat
03-01-14, 11:35 AM
I suffer from ADD but the reason I start this thread is, as you can guess from the title, for my friend’s benefit.

(Caution: very long)

She was never diagnosed but from the many discussions we had on the subject it seems that she has dyslexia and ADD. The reason I write this is because it seems she also has something else. You would think that the best thing for her is to visit a neurologist but knowing the way health care works in my country she would be simply dismissed. So I turn to this forum in hopes someone has something similar, or heard of a condition I’m about to describe:

She is a friendly nice person and she had many of ADD symptoms: like procrastination, spacing out and many more. But she also has a bunch of other behaviors that I believe has nothing to do this ADD and are damaging her life.
She simply doesn’t understand things! If you talk to her and say a sentence that has a slightly not direct meaning (for example: said in cynicism) she would not understand it or will understand it wrong. It happened so many times that I often feel I need to explain to her my meaning. And when I assume she understood she usually doesn't.

When she wanted to get a driving license she failed the writing test 11 (!) times. Eventually she gave up. They even tried to read the test out loud to her, she did even worse.

When she’s watching movies often she doesn’t understand the plot.

Many times happened that she signed a contract for renting an apartment and it turned out she missed some crucial paragraph that bit her in the a** later. I assumed it has something to do with dyslexia so when the time came for her to sign a contract again I set with her and went over all the problematic paragraphs. She wrote the problem, she wrote the paragraph number but when she set with the land lord she still managed to get confused.

Many times happened that I talked to her, she would react to my words but then it turned out that she didn’t hear a thing. A good example is of one time that we were at a mall, me and my boyfriend decided we didn’t want to eat at the place she wanted, so I asked her “are you sure you want to eat here?”, she answered me “Yes”. So I said “then me and him will eat someplace else and then we’ll meet at that <store’s name> store”, she said “ok”. It turned out the she didn’t understand it at all what we agreed. She told me later: ”Why would I want to eat alone in the mall?! It’s unthinkable I’ll go to a mall with friends and eat alone.” I replied “But you specifically said ‘Yes’, am I supposed to disregard your words and guess what you really mean?” It’s the shortest version possible but I remember it well since it was a big fight and she was furious.

I don’t know if it has any relevance but she also can’t manage her money. She’s constantly in high debts to the bank.

When she’s about to make a big decision (usually financial) she never asks the right questions and it seems that she never manages to see the whole picture.

She keeps doing a mistake after mistake and every time I think “she’s a grown woman, she knows what she’s doing, I should simply trust her” and every time it turns out I was wrong and she didn’t actually know what she was doing.

It seems like she has some sort of a cognitive condition that unable her to function like a grown person. Although of all I wrote I respect her and, in any way, don’t think she’s stupid. She doesn’t have any mental retardation. When it comes to looking at some aspects of life, like human behavior or morals or empathy I can learn a lot from her.

Sorry it turned out so long. The funny thing is that it’s the short version.

sarahsweets
03-02-14, 08:48 AM
There is certainly something going on. Has she ever had a thorough physical and mental evaluation ? By mental I mean with a psychiatrist and by physical I mean beyond a general doctor and with one more attuned to brain issues like a neurologist?
Either way if she hasnt had these evaluations she should get them ASAP because it sounds like without you she would be lost in life.

someothertime
03-02-14, 10:09 AM
Do you know her family at all? Are there any stand out behaviors in them? Also, your a great friend to look beyond the actions to the cause :)

GrayCat
03-07-14, 01:12 PM
She visited a psychiatrist but for a different reason (she suffered from anxiaty about 8 years ago), he did nothing than prescribe medicine for her that did nothing but to harm her.
I doubt if she would want to go to a pychiatrist again, and I can't blame her. They're know for prescribing medicine without a deeper look. She's never been at a neurologist but as I said before I'm afraid she would be simply dismissed. I have learned the hard way that when it comes to things that are not completely obvious to the eye the healthcare system in my country tend to fail treating those issues. But I suppose it's worth a try, the question is if she would think so too.
About her family... it's very complicated since her sister and brother are very messed up in different ways but it might be only due to their upbringing. She went to live in a boarding school at the age of 11 and this is why she turned out the most balanced. It's very difficult to say if there is a genetic factor in this or only enviromental.

I don't consider myself a great friend, but thanks, it's nice to hear. I'm only trying to make life easier for her.

dvdnvwls
03-07-14, 02:52 PM
It's possible that your friend's condition is psychological and not neurological. Has she seen a therapist/counsellor before?

Sometimes this kind of behaviour can be something the person has learned in the past. (Your friend is much more complicated than this example, but basically having the thought "I'm a stupid person and so I must find ways to act like one".) No drug would really touch that - only some kind of psychological therapy.

GrayCat
03-08-14, 04:57 AM
It's possible that your friend's condition is psychological and not neurological. Has she seen a therapist/counsellor before?

Sometimes this kind of behaviour can be something the person has learned in the past. (Your friend is much more complicated than this example, but basically having the thought "I'm a stupid person and so I must find ways to act like one".) No drug would really touch that - only some kind of psychological therapy.


I don’t think so. I think it’s too extreme not to be able to function like a grown person just because that person believes he’s stupid. I actually also considered this in the past until I saw how severe it is.
It also doesn’t explain why she’s missing sentences when someone speaks to her, or reacts to speech but then apparently didn’t hear a thing, or understands something completely different when a person talks to her about mundane things.

dvdnvwls
03-08-14, 12:24 PM
It also doesn’t explain why she’s missing sentences when someone speaks to her, or reacts to speech but then apparently didn’t hear a thing, or understands something completely different when a person talks to her about mundane things.
At the most basic level, these things can all be caused by extreme anxiety and fearfulness. I'm not saying that's the cause, but I'm saying it doesn't have to have a neurological basis.

GrayCat
03-08-14, 03:34 PM
At the most basic level, these things can all be caused by extreme anxiety and fearfulness. I'm not saying that's the cause, but I'm saying it doesn't have to have a neurological basis.

She has her problems at life but she isn't under any extreme anxiety or fearfulness.

Nicksgonefishin
03-08-14, 04:02 PM
It sounds like she could definitly benefit from an mental health evaluation.

As for playing dumb I totally get this. This is a coping mechanism to cover for daydreaming.

At the mall... I'm not certain... you didn't specify how big the outburst was. But she verbally lashed out at you for her decision? Sounds like a lack of self accountabity if she did indeed hear you or a complete lack of self awareness. Undiagnosed ADHD can lead to many a co-morbid disorder trait.

On the bigger picture... I would encourage you to either accept your friend the way she is, see her in only smaller doses, or if it is too disruptive to your own mental well being cut ties all together.

someothertime
03-09-14, 05:12 AM
She trusts you... this is a "play test"... but when my psychologist tested alot of these functions for me... he used some fairly basic tests...

Memorise spoken numbers and repeat in reverse...
Look at pictures and guess what they are
etc. etc.

As a suggestion... you could get you hands on one/a few of these really basic tests and do them with your friend...

Normally i'd advise going to professionals... but doing some things like this will be a cheap and non-stressful, quick and low-pressure way of finding / eliminating processing type function...

Remember though that these are not definitive... but they will help in them being more practical about how they go about seeking future help... where to look etc..

PM me if you want some help finding tests :)

GrayCat
03-09-14, 02:27 PM
It sounds like she could definitly benefit from an mental health evaluation.

As for playing dumb I totally get this. This is a coping mechanism to cover for daydreaming.

At the mall... I'm not certain... you didn't specify how big the outburst was. But she verbally lashed out at you for her decision? Sounds like a lack of self accountabity if she did indeed hear you or a complete lack of self awareness. Undiagnosed ADHD can lead to many a co-morbid disorder trait.

On the bigger picture... I would encourage you to either accept your friend the way she is, see her in only smaller doses, or if it is too disruptive to your own mental well being cut ties all together.

Yes, I indeed didn’t specify anything about that fight because it would have turned out too long. What happened there is that I asked her if she’s sure she wanted to eat at that place, she said yes. Then I asked if she wants us to stay with her while she eats, she made a gesture (accompanied with a sour face) that made us understand she doesn’t want to. I discussed more with my boyfriend (next to her) about where we should eat. Then told her that if she’s sure she wants to eat here we’ll go to a different place and meet at a specific store. She agreed. It turned out that what she understood was that she’ll decide what she wants to order and then we’ll meet at the store. Basically she stood and waited for 20 minutes at the store and then started to search for us all over the mall. When she saw us sitting and eating she thought we just decided that to hell with her, let her wait while we eat.
She didn’t lash out but spoke with very unmistakable angry tones and with a little higher voice than usual. Shorty, it wasn’t a scene or anything.

And I think you misunderstood the reasons that led me to write this post. It’s not about not accepting her, or that she gets on my nerves, it’s about not wanting to see her harming herself with her decisions/behavior and constantly straggling for things that come easy for others. She’s like a sister to me so cutting ties is out of the question.


She trusts you... this is a "play test"... but when my psychologist tested alot of these functions for me... he used some fairly basic tests...

Memorise spoken numbers and repeat in reverse...
Look at pictures and guess what they are
etc. etc.

As a suggestion... you could get you hands on one/a few of these really basic tests and do them with your friend...

Normally i'd advise going to professionals... but doing some things like this will be a cheap and non-stressful, quick and low-pressure way of finding / eliminating processing type function...

Remember though that these are not definitive... but they will help in them being more practical about how they go about seeking future help... where to look etc..

PM me if you want some help finding tests :)

Thanks!

deathbytheory
03-14-14, 09:59 PM
I'm wondering if it could be some kind of processing disorder? I've only come marginally across this and have no experience or any real knowledge about it but maybe it could relate to an auditory processing disorder. I hope that's of any help to you.

I think you're a good friend though and I hope your friend gets whatever help she needs!