View Full Version : ADD even though you did well in school?


nluchs
11-30-16, 07:40 AM
Hi everyone,

I'm new here and I'm not entirely sure I belong. Over the last few years I've been struggling more and more with procrastination issues as well as having trouble focussing and, especially, maintaining that focus. I've been looking into possible causes (as it's getting a bit out of hand), but the more I look into ADD, the more confused I get.

Let me start by saying that I do recognise a lot of the symptoms: I've always had trouble finishing tasks/ I put off assignments until the deadline/ I have a tendency to interrupt people mid-sentence/ I'm often late/ when I do like something, I can get lost in it/ I'm a perfectionist, etc.

But when I suggest to my family and friends that I might have ADD, they say: 'but you did so well in school!, which is true. I did pretty well in high school, even though I feel I could've done better. And I took extra classes in university and finished my undergraduate degree with mostly A's and B's. (I've been having a lot more trouble finishing my graduate degree.)

What it comes down to is this question: is it possible to have ADD, do reasonably well in school and only really struggle with the symptoms after graduating university? Or am I barking up the wrong tree here...?

Thanks so much, any input is welcome.

stef
11-30-16, 08:03 AM
I would say absolutely yes;
I'm not actually diagnosed but school was about the only thing i could do; the rest of my life was a catastrophe and especially after college.

Swissy
11-30-16, 09:46 AM
Yes! I was able to do well in school and have a relatively successful career. My primary doc actually told me I could not have ADD because of this. He suggested other diagnosis such as bipolar or depression. So I sought a neurologist to see what was wrong with me. He said absolutely not bipolar, and told me people with ADD CAN do well in school and work, that they are usually very smart but lack the dopamine needed to follow through on tasks and stay organized. We have trouble focusing on conversations etc... And then the awesome folks here helped me through processing everything i have learned about myself. I learned to listen to professionals who know about adult ADD rather than non medical friends or the wrong type of Doctor! Good luck.

sarahsweets
11-30-16, 11:35 AM
I have a few thoughts on this. In order for it to be adhd there have to be 6 or more symptoms that impair you in 2 or more ways for at least 6 months. Does this mean if you have adhd you cant do well in school? No! But you would need to have impairments in many other areas of your life.

JosieK
11-30-16, 01:23 PM
Calling it Attention "Deficit" is actually an inaccurate description. It suggests that people with ADD/ADHD are incapable of concentration. That's not true. A better description is Attention Inconsistency Disorder. We can focus really well on things that interest us. Look up "hyperfocus." If you were taking classes in school that you liked, or that were structured in a way that fit you well, it's not surprising to me that you may have done well.

When I was in school my grades were very up and down. The classes I liked, or the teachers I liked, I got A's. Classes and teachers I didn't like, I got C's. Classes that didn't interest me I just could not stay engaged. I would basically just tune out and wait for it to be over with. In college I tried to stick to scheduling professors that I knew I could do well with. That helped a lot.

nluchs
11-30-16, 05:05 PM
Thanks so much for your comments everyone! It's really good to hear, because sometimes it feels like I'm imagining it all..
@JosieK, it's just like you said: on the courses that interested me, I got consistent A's. The rest was B's and C's.
I got a referral from my doctor, so I'll find out if it is ADD soon, hopefully. Thank you guys again!

33Forward
11-30-16, 07:51 PM
I had the same experience as JosieK.

I had some great science and math teachers, and I did well.
I had some horrible english and history teachers, and failed 7/8 grades in those two classes badly.
I had a history teacher in high school that was great. I did well there.
I did well in art, music, and anything that really used creative brain power. I actually helped teach 7/8 grade art students my senior year. I was self-taught how to airbrush, and the teacher would let me have the class or a portion of it to demonstrate and teach some basics.
Even within the same course of study, the teachers made a lot of the difference.
I hardly ever did well in a classroom. Having teachers call on me was the worst, and I had a few that would purposely single me out when they thought I wasn't paying attention. Two of those types were how I managed to fail 7/8 grade english and social studies, when I aced everything else those years.
Those two years were the worst hell of my life, the first time I can remember thinking how much I wanted to not be alive anymore, between the teachers, the bullying, etc. Its the beginning of my trip down psychology lane, therapy drive, and medication highway.
I still graduated school with honors and a regents diploma (which was still a big deal back in 1996... 96, wow I'm old!)

Same patterns continued into college. I was a music industry major, biding my time while the college dangled a Recording Arts/Studio Production major idea in front of 50% of the MI Major students who started to burnout of the program with some horrible teachers. Never did offer that major, and all of us that felt cheated and strung along for tuition money up and left that year.

But the best classes I had weren't even in my major, or even music. I had some of the best teachers in classes for general ed credit, like Business, Marketing, Economics, even Psychology. Economics was awesome. Something I never thought I'd enjoy, but the teacher made all the difference. Even after passing all the classes he taught, I would sit in on some if I was stuck between other classes, just to listen and absorb and watch this guy engage the class.

I dropped my main music industry course the last year I was there, the teacher would single me out every opportunity, and dropped history of classical music because the teacher refused to teach us anything, and would even brag about how many of us would have to re-take his class over and over.

Still managed 2.5-3 semesters of it with a 3.75 GPA intact, even after the drop-out classes! :yes:
If I could afford to go back, 18 years later now, I would. :(

ToneTone
11-30-16, 09:22 PM
You are not imagining your struggles and here's the issue: the older you get, in my view, the higher price you pay for procrastinating and delaying and failing to complete projects on time.

Good enough work completed--heck mediocore work completed--beats extraordinary work not completed any day of the week. That realization has been a most painful one to me because I justified my procrastination for years and years by saying, "Oh, I'm working on something that will be really good." ADHD as someone else said makes it hard to control your attention and motivation even when there are major stakes involved.

I also did well in school. Quite well in high school. But there were always little issues. Like I could never wash my face or brush my teeth consistently and just didn't know how to take care of myself. Plus, I would go blank at any tedious tasks ....

I swear the only reason I graduated from college is that I had a roommate who, when it came time to fill out any forms or do anything important, would grab me and say, "let's go do X." I swear without him, I would not have filled out the forms to graduate or to sign for my loans, etc. And I was a disaster with the extra time I had in college--time that was filled in high school.

Definitely don't let your family's views get in the way. See if you can get a diagnosis if you want. Families uninformed about ADHD often do NOT get it and frankly won't get it. But you'll be the one paying the price for inaction, not them.

Good luck.

Tone

john2100
11-30-16, 09:22 PM
Thanks so much for your comments everyone! It's really good to hear, because sometimes it feels like I'm imagining it all..
@JosieK, it's just like you said: on the courses that interested me, I got consistent A's. The rest was B's and C's.
I got a referral from my doctor, so I'll find out if it is ADD soon, hopefully. Thank you guys again!

If they give you an ADHD diagnoses after a short test ,basically 10min test and a ususal 15min talk , after that RUN .... It will be about as accurate as an evaluation you are getting online. Sure it may be ADHD, or NOT.

It is getting ridiculous that almost anybody with motivation ,procrastination , distraction is being encourage to get "diagnosed".

What if your doctor misdiagnoses you ? Are there any consequences for the doctor or just for you ? So why are these tests so biased and easily passed just by about anybody who has a little rough week or a month.


They are never wrong either.
Has anyone ever heard from a doctor ,sorry I don't think you are ADD after 4 years on ADD meds ,,,you may have depression ,,,what? so I was in ritalin for nothing???
How in the hell did you confuse those too? Well,they are similar,,,so you test it better no? Well we do .You did the evaluation 4 years ago.


Look up a test online , then give it to a friend who has a bad day, and you'll see what I'm talking about.

It takes criminal investigators hours ,days,weeks to build a psychological profile and every possible info is in their disposable.
But doctors can do diagnoses ,only based on patients subjective opinion without any ability to verify it in 30min-45min at most?

No, wonder most people think ADHD is a joke and a made up diagnoses.

JosieK
12-01-16, 01:02 AM
I hardly ever did well in a classroom. Having teachers call on me was the worst, and I had a few that would purposely single me out when they thought I wasn't paying attention.
I had the same experience. I specifically remember an English teacher that would wait and call on me when I wasn't paying attention just to embarrass me. Then the class would laugh when it became obvious that I didn't know what was going on. I'm sorry but the class was boring.

One of the easiest ways to make me mad is to treat me like I'm stupid or go out of your way to make me look stupid.

nluchs
12-05-16, 06:39 AM
I swear the only reason I graduated from college is that I had a roommate who, when it came time to fill out any forms or do anything important, would grab me and say, "let's go do X." I swear without him, I would not have filled out the forms to graduate or to sign for my loans, etc. And I was a disaster with the extra time I had in college--time that was filled in high school.


God yes, my friends saved my *** so many times in uni, just by saying things like "so how are you doing on this and that project?". A little lightbulb (or more like a stagelamp) would go on in the back of my mind and the ensuing panic allowed me to finish the project just in time.

@john2100
Yeah, I'm well aware of the many other diagnoses possible (I'm a psych major, ironically...). That's why I'm on this forum: because I'm not sure. So I'm not going there to get an ADD diagnoses, I'm going there to get help.

@JosieK
"One of the easiest ways to make me mad is to treat me like I'm stupid or go out of your way to make me look stupid."
Haha, so familiar...

@33Forward
Wow, such childish teachers! I'm sorry you had such harrowing experiences because of people refusing to grow up, looking for a cheap laugh