View Full Version : Can someone please, please, help me?

03-26-14, 06:35 PM
I have Inattentive ADHD, diagnosed in my final year of secondary schooling. Ever since I can remember, teachers and parents have complained relentlessly about my lack of organisational skills, inability to listen to and follow instructions, and inability to concentrate. However, my parents and teachers dismissed my behaviour as lazy and obstinate. Once one of my primary school teachers thought I had a hearing problem, but my parents refused the offer to have me tested. We never had any gifted or talented classes in primary school, but I always scored on the high end for mathematics and writing, but scored near-failing grades in reading comprehension or anything that required me to concentrate on a piece of text and extrapolate information from that text to answer questions. I got into an academically gifted school, but only because I'm indian and I got put into tuition for the 'gifted exam', but I don't know how I would've went had I not gone to tuition at all. I am now doing an Advanced Mathematics honours degree at university. Most ADHDers report having fantastic grades in primary school only to be obliterated by the sustained organisational skills required in high school and university. I didn't find anything challenging in primary school (except comprehension) so I got good grades, but in year 7 I found I was getting extremely mediocre grades in mathematics, and very good grades for visual arts and english. I am very insecure about my intelligence - I am more scared of taking an IQ test than I am of stabbing myself in the arm. I know I'm not stupid, but I dont know where I lie on the 'above stupid' range. I don't know whether I am a genius being held back by ADHD, or an average person who had a lot of luck and support in their life. Starting from Year 10, I was put in the top class for mathematics, and ended up doing the highest level of maths, which I did very well in. I began medication in year 12 but it did not have a noticeable effect on me. When I think it is helping, I speculate as to whether the medication is truly helping me or it's just the placebo effect working on me at a subconscious level.My question is, do I truly have ADHD, and if I do, then how come my grades have fluctuated so weirdly, and how come the medication doesn't affect me much? Also, how do I deal with my insecurity about my intelligence?

03-26-14, 10:25 PM
Hello, anshiman! Welcome to the forums.

It's not uncommon for people with ADHD/ADD to have very inconsistent grades throughout school. It depends on the particular classes and what catches your attention at the time. For me, personally, I did the best in grade school and high school. I am highly intelligent, like yourself, and was able to improv my way through the different classes. I never did as well as I could've but I did alright. I began to really struggle at my university because the major classes are so specialized that it became difficult for me to improvise, to teach myself, and to pick up on things from the patterns of my classmates. I had adopted a "Fake it til you make it" approach. It was only this last semester (my first semester of graduate school) that I was diagnosed with ADHD and am learning "how to learn" correctly. So academic success can fluctuate, yes.

I think the biggest question now is: how are you doing in your university classes? You've spoken about your challenges in grade school and high school but not how you are performing right now.

ADHD isn't a problem until it's a problem. If you are doing well in your classes and you are pleased with your performance then keep doing what you're doing! As long as you are happy with yourself, that's what's important. If you are still curious about your diagnosis, you could try getting tested again now that you're older.

But if you are having a difficult time, then I would definitely suggest talking to someone about it before it gets worse; perhaps a doctor at your university?

This would also be a good time for you to talk to someone about your problems with your medication. What medication are you taking and how much? I've had very drastic, positive results with mine, so I suspect that if you are questioning whether or not the medicine is a "placebo" then it's probably not doing its job. You might have to adjust your dosage or even swap medications all together. Just ask your doctor!

In regards to your insecurity about your intelligence, it sounds to me like you are a extremely gifted and smart individual. And that's not something to shrug off due to feelings of inadequacy because maybe you're not a "genius" on the IQ scale. IQ is just a number; it does not accurately portray your full intelligence. The test does not measure the quantity of your knowledge but rather measures your general intellectual ability to understand ideas, as compared to the general population at the same developmental level. How well you reason, distinguish relationships and solve problems are the kinds of things the test aims to discern. An IQ test also measures how well you process information, particularly our ability to store and retrieve it.

While IQ tests can be quite predictive of general intelligence, it's important to remember that they don't tell the whole story of a person's abilities. Things an IQ test doesn't measure include creativity, emotional sensitivity, social competence, various acquired skills and many other things that usually fall under the general heading of intelligence. So a person who displays exceptional creativity, for example, may only manage an average IQ test score.

Unfortunately, if you do decide to go the retest route an IQ test is often one of the methods utilized since there is no actual test for ADHD. The results may very well surprise you too! People with ADHD are many times discovered to have an above average IQ. I personally scored a 136 during my assessment, which is in the 99th percentile of IQ. If anything, learning this was validating. I alway knew I was capable of so much more, but my grades never really reflected that because I was wrestling with my own mind for all of those years.

I guess what I'm getting at is that your IQ is but one single thread in the tapestry of your intellect. So try not to dwell too much on it!

Good luck! And I look forward to reading more from you.

03-27-14, 04:34 AM
F**k IQ tests. They only thing they test for IMO is how well you take IQ tests.

03-27-14, 05:26 AM
You are definitely smart. No person can be good at high level math without having an above average IQ, no matter what kind of support they get.

I don't know if you really have ADHD, you seem to be doing quite well anyway. I do think you should go to a specialist to reconfirm your diagnosis and, if you have ADHD, take different meds.

03-28-14, 07:08 AM
I think the biggest question now is: how are you doing in your university classes? You've spoken about your challenges in grade school and high school but not how you are performing right now.

Thank you for the quick replies! I take 40 mg Ritalin LA at the moment, but I have actually noticed that without the medication I feel more stupid because I get confused much more in class, so maybe it was working (in a subtle way)!
I'm doing the highest level (advanced) maths subjects and advanced level physics. I am doing very well in Maths, and find almost everything easy, but find that in Physics I actually have to do a lot of work to understand the concepts taught in class. I have a feeling that in terms of visuo-spatial thinking, I am stupid. Anything that has practical, spatial applications I am bad at. I'm good at theoretical economics and maths, but when it comes to Physics I find myself struggling with kinematics and classical mechanics. As to your statement on IQ, I think that anyone can do anything if they put in the work, but I found the majority of the internet provides the popular sugar-coated opinion that 'IQ is just a number' when someone is anxious about their IQ. The cold, hard truth is that IQ has been proven to have high statistical reliability in its relevance to an individual's levels of academic success. I know that IQ is not indicative of creativity (which I and most ADHDers have) or emotional intelligence, but it is indicative of your ability to solve problems in a rational, logical way. I give the most importance to natural intelligence of the problem-solving kind, more than anything else. In fact, I don't care about emotional intelligence at all. I just really have no clue how naturally intelligent I am, and being uncertain about anything makes me obsessively frustrated. I hope someone else relates to me, and sorry for rambling so much LOL :)

03-29-14, 03:14 AM
You forgot the option : in my dreams