View Full Version : ADHD or Aspergers?


Seshat
12-16-16, 02:18 PM
Hello!
I am posting here because I was hoping to get some viewpoints.
I am a 24 year old woman, and I haave recently recieved a diagnosis of Aspergers syndrome. However, I'm not sure that this diagnosis is correct. None of the stuff that I read about aspergers seems to apply to my specific problems. And everytime I look up these problems, it always seems to come back to adhd. I have tried to talk to people about this, but my mother seems convinced that I match aspergers, and every one comes out with stuff like "it's a spectrum" when I point out that things don't apply to me. Or they tel me that "it takes time to adjust". Both of which honestly feel like a brush off.
I'm confused, because every one else seems to say that their aspergers diagnosis was something of a relief, and that they finally understood themselves. And as I said, mine didn't seem to have anything to do with me.

Things came to a head during my Master degree, when I really struggled with assignments. I knew I hd the brain power, but it was really hard to push through and motivate myself to keep going to get them finished.
I went to the GP, but I don't think I ever convinced him that I was stressed BECAUSE I couldn't get anything done,rather than it being a response to the stress. I didn't want to ask my lecturers, because I knew explaining that I couldn't sit still long enough to read one paper, or that I had missed stuff because my brain had wandered off in the lecture wouldn't go down well.
I have plenty of ideas, it's just the seeing it througgh that's a problem, ad not getting sidetracked, or getting motivated enough to get started. Or finding things (One my housemates in my third year said my room resembled "an explosion in a paper factory"). And I struggle with research, sticking with someting long enough to properly look into it, remebering dates and statistics. Sometimes it feels liike my brain won't engage, and work. And sometimes Iread a page, but it feels like the words just don't get any traction in my brain. If that makes sense.
I was OK during my undergrad (lit is easier than anthropology to wing, because there are generally summaries available, etc) And I got a good grade, though it was touch and go. But I have been doing less well at school than expected since at least GCSEs.
Getting motivated to do things, and follow through is still a problem now (I'm building a career as a freelance writer and journalist).
I have raised this possibility with a GP, and my autism assessor. Both said they didn't think I have it. Although I only saw that GP once, and he also said he didn't think I have autism. So I dunno. The assessor said she could tell from looking at me, as I wasn't fidgiting, or anything.
I have tried SSRIs in the past. They raised my mood, but made me so spaced out I could barely do anything. I have also done several rounds of CBT, but that doesn't help. They keep telling me to make timetables, and plan things out. But there are too many things to plan, and I have no idea how long things will take, and it depends on my mood, and whether my brain plays ball. My mother tried writing my a plan for completing my essays when I got into trouble with deadlines. I promptly lost it, and didn't follow any of it.
Anyway, I wanted to ask people's thoughts and opinions about if it would be worth me pursuing an adhd assessment?
Thak you to anyone who gets through this essay!

sarahsweets
12-17-16, 05:58 AM
Hello!
I am posting here because I was hoping to get some viewpoints.
I am a 24 year old woman, and I haave recently recieved a diagnosis of Aspergers syndrome. However, I'm not sure that this diagnosis is correct. None of the stuff that I read about aspergers seems to apply to my specific problems. And everytime I look up these problems, it always seems to come back to adhd. I have tried to talk to people about this, but my mother seems convinced that I match aspergers, and every one comes out with stuff like "it's a spectrum" when I point out that things don't apply to me. Or they tel me that "it takes time to adjust". Both of which honestly feel like a brush off.
I'm confused, because every one else seems to say that their aspergers diagnosis was something of a relief, and that they finally understood themselves. And as I said, mine didn't seem to have anything to do with me.
Specifically, what symptoms do the doctors say you have that they also say are symptoms of aspergers?

Things came to a head during my Master degree, when I really struggled with assignments. I knew I hd the brain power, but it was really hard to push through and motivate myself to keep going to get them finished.
I went to the GP, but I don't think I ever convinced him that I was stressed BECAUSE I couldn't get anything done,rather than it being a response to the stress. I didn't want to ask my lecturers, because I knew explaining that I couldn't sit still long enough to read one paper, or that I had missed stuff because my brain had wandered off in the lecture wouldn't go down well.
I have plenty of ideas, it's just the seeing it througgh that's a problem, ad not getting sidetracked, or getting motivated enough to get started. Or finding things (One my housemates in my third year said my room resembled "an explosion in a paper factory"). And I struggle with research, sticking with someting long enough to properly look into it, remebering dates and statistics. Sometimes it feels liike my brain won't engage, and work. And sometimes Iread a page, but it feels like the words just don't get any traction in my brain. If that makes sense.
Do you think if you told your teachers of your issues that they would help you? Does your school have disability support services for accommodations?


I have raised this possibility with a GP, and my autism assessor. Both said they didn't think I have it. Although I only saw that GP once, and he also said he didn't think I have autism. So I dunno. The assessor said she could tell from looking at me, as I wasn't fidgiting, or anything.
If they are using your lack of fidgeting as a basis for why you dont have adhd, then thats a problem.Plenty of people have adhd that arent physically hyperactive. Inattention is a huge issue with adhd.


I have tried SSRIs in the past. They raised my mood, but made me so spaced out I could barely do anything. I have also done several rounds of CBT, but that doesn't help. They keep telling me to make timetables, and plan things out. But there are too many things to plan, and I have no idea how long things will take, and it depends on my mood, and whether my brain plays ball. My mother tried writing my a plan for completing my essays when I got into trouble with deadlines. I promptly lost it, and didn't follow any of it.
Anyway, I wanted to ask people's thoughts and opinions about if it would be worth me pursuing an adhd assessment?
Thak you to anyone who gets through this essay!
What are they treating the aspbergers with? Any meds at all? If they are telling you there is no way you have adhd and at the same time not trying any medication for the aspbergers then I would be raising a stink.

Fortune
12-17-16, 07:41 AM
Asperger's / Autism Spectrum Disorder isn't generally treated with medication.

Anyway, there's a lot of crossover between autistic symptoms and ADHD symptoms, and the two coexist in a lot of autistic people (I forget the exact percentage of autistic people who have ADHD, but it's high. The percentage of people who have ADHD and are also autistic is significantly lower but still high compared to the general population).

Seshat (cool name, btw), when you were diagnosed with AS did they do the autism diagnostic observation schedule (ADOS) or the autism diagnostic interview-revised (ADI-R)with you and/or one of your parents? That's the gold standard for autism diagnosis, and if they didn't use those tools to evaluate you, your case that you're not autistic is stronger.

burger
12-17-16, 10:40 AM
ADHD and aspergers seem very similar to me except one or two things. Look at the DSM criteria.

Anyways not being able to sit still and read is a problem that I had in University also. You can try L-theanine to see if it helps at keeping you still and calming you down. It won't help with the adhd but it might help you sit still. It might not work at all but I think it would have helped me quite a bit back then.

Seshat
12-17-16, 05:48 PM
Thank you everyone for getting back to me!

Ok, answers:
The aspergers diagnosis was based on some social dificulties (I can do small alk, and chatting. Its the moving from aquaintance to friend that sometimes gives me trouble. Also I am pretty quiet and introverted, and come out with some strange things.) Some stimming (mostly picking the skin on my fingers), and some sensory stuff (high pitched voices really grate on me, and make me wince).

For the assessment I and my mother filled in many pages of questionaires, and also had a long interview with the asessor. She was consulting some pages of criteria, so I gues ADI-R. She told me I was just under the threshold on the questionaires, but based on the interview she thought I had it.

We are currently waiting for the assessmnt report, before going back to GP to see about support, etc.

I didn't talk to my teachers at the time. Frankly because I was embarressed, and I didn't know how to explain thingsto them without seeming that I was just lazy, and wasn't paying attention. But I wanted to learn about the subject!

I'm not sure about the basis of the drand assessor saying I didn't have it. GP never said, and assessor said she could tell, partly at least from looking at me.
Maybe I do have some combination of both, I dunno. Maybe I should change the title on this.

I wanted to post on here, because I was getting confused and frustrated. Like I say, every one seems to view aspergers diagnosis as a good thing, when you can "understand how you work, and why you are having difficulties". But for me it didn't. For example, when you look up aspergers and trouble at Uni, all the sites seem to talk about social diifficulties, and say how good they would be at the academic side. And if anything, I was the opposite.

I'm not sure if anyone IRL believes me about the adhd. They seem convinced about the aspergers. So I wasn't sure if I could get a referal. Although I have a new GP now, so could ask her.
Ooking throgh th dSm, and te criteria on this site, I would say I identify more with the adhd side (I identified with pretty much all of the inattentive criteria.)

Fortune
12-17-16, 07:00 PM
Thank you everyone for getting back to me!

Ok, answers:
The aspergers diagnosis was based on some social dificulties (I can do small alk, and chatting. Its the moving from aquaintance to friend that sometimes gives me trouble. Also I am pretty quiet and introverted, and come out with some strange things.) Some stimming (mostly picking the skin on my fingers), and some sensory stuff (high pitched voices really grate on me, and make me wince).

For the assessment I and my mother filled in many pages of questionaires, and also had a long interview with the asessor. She was consulting some pages of criteria, so I gues ADI-R. She told me I was just under the threshold on the questionaires, but based on the interview she thought I had it.

Ah. Makes sense.

ADOS involves activities like they give you a set of mundane items (like a shoe lace, a paper clip, a pencil, etc) and ask you to use them to tell a story. For one example. That's something they do with adults at least. With children they see how children play and interact while playing.

We are currently waiting for the assessmnt report, before going back to GP to see about support, etc.

I didn't talk to my teachers at the time. Frankly because I was embarressed, and I didn't know how to explain thingsto them without seeming that I was just lazy, and wasn't paying attention. But I wanted to learn about the subject!

I'm not sure about the basis of the drand assessor saying I didn't have it. GP never said, and assessor said she could tell, partly at least from looking at me.
Maybe I do have some combination of both, I dunno. Maybe I should change the title on this.

I wanted to post on here, because I was getting confused and frustrated. Like I say, every one seems to view aspergers diagnosis as a good thing, when you can "understand how you work, and why you are having difficulties". But for me it didn't. For example, when you look up aspergers and trouble at Uni, all the sites seem to talk about social diifficulties, and say how good they would be at the academic side. And if anything, I was the opposite.

I'm not sure if anyone IRL believes me about the adhd. They seem convinced about the aspergers. So I wasn't sure if I could get a referal. Although I have a new GP now, so could ask her.
Ooking throgh th dSm, and te criteria on this site, I would say I identify more with the adhd side (I identified with pretty much all of the inattentive criteria.)

For a lot of people, an autism diagnosis is a relief because they finally have an explanation for the difficulties they've experienced in their lives. This isn't true for everyone, and doesn't have to be true for you even if you are autistic. Everyone gets to decide how they relate to their diagnoses, and no one else should be telling you how to do that.

The thing about good vs. bad grades is that autistic people can have bad grades. I had bad grades throughout K-12, with the exception of one year in a special education class where I was able to work at my own pace and to some extent determine what I wanted to study at any given time, esp. after I ran out of schoolwork. I didn't mesh well with a traditional school environment, however. But then I am diagnosed with both ASD and ADHD.