View Full Version : ADHD/HSP or both?

04-18-14, 11:46 AM
Hello, I am new and have been thinking about posting here for quite a while now. I should probably start this off by saying that I have not been diagnosed with anything yet and was barely able to think about anything else for the last month other than the appointment I have with a psychiatrist in 12 days. Let me start by explaining what led me here and why I am here writing this in the first place. About a month ago I finally started researching on my own why I have had so much trouble lately, especially academically and also socially. I am posting this in the hope that there are some people here who can relate to this and as result maybe can help me to better understand myself. As the title implies I have diagnosed myself as somone who has ADHD and at the same time most probably is a HSP (highly sensitive person), as defined by Dr. Elaine N. Aron. Why am I thinking this? Well because this combination would explain my whole life if I understand and interpret it correctly and that is why I would like more input from other people to help determine wether I am on the right track or not. I apologize in advance if my english doesn't seem very elegant or eloquent, I am not a native speaker, however it is easier for me to talk about this in my second language. I guess subconsciously it doesn't feel real.

I have been going through numerous ways in my head on how to write this but could never really decide what the best approach is. So now I simply decided to quickly explain my situation today and then go a bit deeper into analysing what has led me to this situation while taking into account that I might be a HSP with ADHD.

I am a 28 year old male student of electrical engineering from Germany. After high school it seemed I was going to achieve a great many things, at least that is what I and many of my family members believed. Quickly however after leaving home I encountered academic problems, couldn't concentrate on things that I did not have an interest in or that were not intellectually stimulating to me. As a result of that I switched universities (private to pubic; in Germany public universities are actually very good and the norm) and finally with great effort despite concentration problems, organisational issues, lack of structure and also lots of anxieties I finally received my undergrad degree in 2012. The way things are presented now in grad school have changed and this is a problem for me because I am focusing to much on the details and in the past 2 years I have received almost no course credits at all. In a lot of courses I am at my "third trial". You can do an exam 3 times in Germany after that it's game over. The thing however is that I did not even take the exams the first two times, because I couldn't prepare and surely would not have passed. So I just did not go. Every other student would have gone to the doctor at this point to be excused for the day but I couldn't do it because I was to anxious to go see the doctor because I was not really ill. Now I am finding myself in this weird spot were my parents don't know how serious it really is and I myself am only just realizing it. I never ever before considered that there might be something "wrong" with me. I always knew that I was different though. This is particularly problematic because I knew since I was 5 or 6 yrs old that one day I was going to study EE. I never wanted to do anything else, EE has always been my passion. My mother was often angry at me when I opened her kitchen appliances in order to get a look inside and see how it works. There is one additional problem which I did not touch upon so far and that is the fact that I have absolutely no aquaintances or friends where I live. I do have friends of course and we see each other a couple of times a year but those are my early childhood friends. So that is my situation today. Now let me describe in what way I relate to the symptoms of ADHD/HSP and see wether this all makes sense. I'll start with ADHD.

I have huge trouble focusing when something doesn't interest me and when it is not intellectually stimulating to me at the same time. I do like things that are intellectual in nature, like for example chess and certain riddles, anything that is challanging and in which I happen to be interested in. However, very often my mind just wanders of. I can't sit for very long and whenever my mind wanders to something else I start walking around in my room and very vividly imagine myself in different situations and what I would say ... I imagine a lot of other things as well and it changes frequently. I can think of upcoming events and this and that. I guess one could call that daydreaming. In childhood I was always a bit hyperactive, didn't like sitting for long, always walking around and being very forgetful, not listeing when people were talking to me because I was thinking of something else. And then there is the impulsive side, which is more tricky. Sometimes I say stuff or make decisions which later I wish I had not said or done. Usually it comes done to buying things that I shouldn't have bought but also life changing decisions appear to be impulsive at times, like switching universies. It has also led me into weird social situations were I unwillingly ended up hurting people by saying something before thinking about it. This is actually quite at odds with the symptoms of HSP and I believe that both these things can sometimes inhibit symptoms of the other. With my family it's almost always the ADHD side of me which comes out, probably because I consider it a safe environment and I don't think too much about my own behaviour.

Moving on to HSP. Since early childhood I have asthma, allergies and eczema, which was a big problem since I grew up on a farm. I mention this because it is often associated with HSP. Also I had huge problems when people wanted to touch me, especially when my mother wanted to close my jacket, anything along those lines. I just couldn't stand it and she would get angry at me saying I should stay still. I still get internally anxious whenever I need to hug someone. I just don't like it but I do it because it is a common way of greeting and leave-taking at social events, thank god it is restricted to hugging woman though. Bright lights mights pose some problems for me, I might get a migraine but overall it's not that big of a deal as some HSPs describe. The same goes for sound, there are annyoing sounds which I can't stand like ambulance and police car sirens. However whenever I am concentrating and some external event like an annoying sound and this could be a more subtle sound, breaks me out of my focus I get very anxious internally, it's very stressful. But overall I am not affected by sounds to the degree presented by some other HSPs. Taste and smell doesn't seem to be much of an issue at all. The biggest problem I have is with emotions. Benign things that other people don't think twice about or that don't seem to affect them much bug me for quite a while. Criticism and being rejected are especially problematic for me. I was never in a relationship with a female so far and that is not due to lack of opportunities. Twice I tricked myself out of the pssibility of having a girlfriend by just letting it slide. I always thought this is because I have problems with being emotionally close to someone. But one can look at this form another angle: the emotions I had were just too strong, so strong in fact that I expeienced it in a negative way. This goes even so far that when I see a couple in public showing some affection for each other I can't bare to look because I get these strong emotions. Even thinking about the word "love" in german makes me anxious. I have to go through great lengths sometimes to hide the fact that a movie affects me a great deal when in the theater with friends. Books that are very emotional can actually drive tears out of my eyes sometimes. No one however has ever seen me in this way. My mother actually thinks that I am not very empathetic at all and have huge issues putting myself in someone elses shoes. I don't know how it is possible for me to inhibit a reaction to those strong emotions but I suspect it is due to ADHD which lets my mind wander off quickly so that it sometimes appears that I am not thinking of other people and only about myself in some situations when in fact I am deeply affected by lots of things. I have a strong sense of justice and cant stand to watch at homeless people for example.

I guess this really suffices for the moment, gotta keep in mind that whoever is reading this, probably has attention problems themselve :)<!--DOCTY--><!--DOCTY--><!--DOCTY--><!--DOCTY--><!--DOCTY--><!--DOCTY-->

04-19-14, 08:57 AM
I did manage to read through your post, eventually... :)

Anyway, you have symptoms very similar to mine and I am diagnosed with ADHD -primarily inattentive (not hyperactive). As for HSP, I don't know much about it, though I can relate to pretty much everything you wrote. Anyways, only a doctor, a psychiatrist preferably can put a diagnosis and I think you should see one if you think that a diagnosis would help you. Keep in mind that ADHD is a condition you're born with, so all symptoms must be life-long (though they can affect someone differently at certain ages) and they must impair you in at least 2 areas of your life (work, school, relationships, friendships etc).

05-27-14, 05:15 AM
ADHD and HSP are one and the same.

ADDers are very sensitive to over stimulation - I can't eg go anywhere near fireworks, loud noises, balloons (in case they burst) etc

Figure that it's simply because we like to be in a specific frame of mind (relaxe daydream state) - and these sensory blasts drive us out from our specific favoured frame of mind.

So ADHD as the same basic thing as HSP.

And I have asthma/allergies also - which relates to (pretty sure) - chronic psych and physical stress from failing to live in theta EEG and distressing our system through feeding it the standard Western diet (non-physiological).

Key to understanding asthma / allergy is that the agents of stress are used to treat the conditions - pseudoephedrine, beta agonists and steroid.

I'd liken life in the current world - to ADDers desperately trying to fall asleep (theta EEG), being woken violently up as we're about to drop in, becoming stressed and then the whole pattern repeating - where a very common form of torture is to prevent people from falling asleep.
This torture actually does kill.

I think that the stress we endure through living outside of our favoured mind space - gives rise to all of the various conditions we report
- asthma, allergy
- immune problems ie increased common cold susceptibility
- high sensitivity (chronic stress leads to reduced resistance to stress)
- anxiety, depression for obvious reasons
- over-thinking from adopting an overly fast (beta EEG as opposed to theta EEG) type of mind
- tendency to self-medication particularly eating, alcohol, cigarettes - and thereafter to T2D/Obesity

... ... just 1 interconnected downwards spiral which results from us being unable to adopt an optimal psychological and physiological state.


Sadly to adopt an optimal psychological state - we need a change in the mind of man - or you'll be forever trapped in psychological distress in a world which worships it.