View Full Version : Devastating Symptoms, No Diagnosis


ScattRBrained
04-27-17, 11:32 AM
I'm not sure where to begin. I've suspected I've had ADD for a very long time. I'm 33 now and my life is in ruins because I can't stay focused on anything. House is always a wreck, always forget to plan for dinner, will buy groceries for a week and they'll all go bad in the fridge before I remember they're in there. I've gone from low paying job to low paying job my entire life, where I'll be very successful the first few months and then get bored out of my mind to the point I get terribly depressed and can't motivate myself to go to work. I've always quit my jobs after a few months but last time was the first time I was actually fired (for taking too many vacation days in a certain amount of time, I didn't know I was violating policy at the time). I don't socialize at all anymore because I can't remember if I've met people before (some people remember faces and not names, I don't even remember faces). If I have to interact with a group of new people, and then turn around for a second, I will not recognize which ones I was just talking to. If a delivery person comes to my house, and then we get another delivery a few days later (or even the next day) I can't tell if it's the same person. The few people I'm forced to interact with get angry/or have their feelings hurt because I don't remember important details about their life (ex, my sister stopped smoking something like 5 years ago, but I always forget and ask her about it). I feel like an old person with Alzheimer's, it's just terrifying.

I have a liberal arts degree but have never been able to get a job that requires anything but a HS diploma. (My best guess is, it's because I have a total lack of accomplishment outside of my BA because of that I just can't compete with the other college grad applicants).

In the last 3-5 years my memory has gotten HORRIBLE. I forget EVERYTHING. I'll schedule conflicting major events/appointments for the same day and not realize until the day before (example - plan on going to visit parents who live an hour away and also plan on a doctor's appointment out of town in the other direction). I'll known both things are coming up but fail to think about them at the same time until I'm forced to reconcile the night before (or day of!). I'll even have them both in my phone calendar (which is my life blood) and this still happens. I've also begun burning food on the stove and ruining other simple recipes (such as meat in the crock pot) to the point that it feels cheaper to just eat out because the likelihood of ruining $25 worth of groceries is becoming more and more likely. Paying bills is VERY difficult. I constantly forget usernames and passwords, and the procedures of individual companies (like that some take checks only, some only take cards, etc). I get distracted so often that even when I sit down to purposefully take care of an issue I get distracted and find myself 10 minutes later reading something that has nothing to do with the bills and trying to remember what I had set out to do).

The last two years it's becoming more and more dangerous. I find myself holding a bottle of Tylenol, anti-biotics, etc. and not knowing if I've just taken the pills and put the cap back on, or haven't opened the bottle at all. I can't go into a grocery store and remember more than 1-3 items without a list in hand. I recently got lost coming home from an out of town event when I got back to MY OWN CITY. I used to be able to look at a map once and then drive wherever I needed to go. Now I can't function without a GPS and map app.

I've gone to a neurologist, had an mri (normal), had bloodwork looking or vitamin deficiencies and other anomalies which included heavy metal bloodwork (normal), and was recently given an IQ test to test for "cognitive decline" (dementia) or ADD/ADHD. My highest subscore was 32 on a verbal component (can't recall the exact name of the category), another score in the 20s (in math I think) and my two lowest scores were both in the Low 80s for "Processing Time" and "Memory". The guy who administered and scored the test interviewed me in between segments, on the whole we talked a lot during the 3 hours I was there. After the test was complete I felt more confident than ever that my symptoms are caused by ADD. After the test, the administrator had both me and my mother fill out very short questionnaires about what I was like as a kid (an ADD evaluation). After he received our completed questionnaires he sent the results to my doctor which stated I have NO cognitive decline and DO NOT have ADD/ADHD. His conclusion was that my difficulties are caused by stress and "intrapersonal ability variability" (which I take to mean I'm very smart in some areas and bordering on disabled in others). When I got the results I googled them and what I read seemed to say that the pattern of high scores in most areas, and very low scores in processing time and memory are exactly what ADD/ADHD looks like on an IQ test. The test administrator said there's NO WAY I can have ADD/ADHD now, because there's no evidence I had it as a kid (and since it's a developmental disorder and not one that suddenly appears, it can't be ADD).

I personally do feel like I had it as a kid. I was never hyperactive, am female, and was always able to get passing grades despite not paying much attention and making tons of "silly mistakes" (adding instead of subtracting, not reading the directions thoroughly etc)

I'd love to hear from anyone who has been diagnosed via IQ/cognitive abilities test - what did your score pattern look like? How did the tester determine you had ADD from your scores?

A psychiatrist I was a few years back said she though I DID have ADD. I can't take stimulants because of a heart condition, so I was put on Strattera and maybe on other non-stimulant ADD med, but they did not help one bit. I don't live anywhere near her now, and can't get anyone in this city to take me seriously. They all just (eventually) pat me on the back and tell me I'm my symptoms are caused by stress. What they refuse to believe is that my life is so stressful (financial problems, constantly making mistakes) BECAUSE OF my symptoms.

I just don't know where to go from here. The neurologist and cognitive testing were the last options I knew of to exhaust. My symptoms have progressed so rapidly in the last two years, that if it keeps up I will honestly have to move in to an assisted living facility in 5 or 10 years. I know ADD isn't degenerative, so I don't know what to make of this. I just desperately need some insight and direction or what to do next to hopefully finally get some help.

Thank you in advance!

Thank you.

namazu
04-27-17, 12:06 PM
There was just another recent thread where someone asked about "cognitive decline" (or what seems like it), so you're not alone in feeling this way. Adult responsibilities draw on a lot of areas that are challenging for people with memory and executive function weaknesses.

ADHD cannot be ruled in or out by cognitive tests alone. The pattern you describe is somewhat common to people with ADHD (and certain types of leraning disorders), but it's not diagnostic by itself.

Did the psychologist who tested you and gave you a diagnosis of "stress" and "interpersonal ability variability" give you any useful advice? While I am not qualified to dispute that diagnosis, it seems like that doctor failed to explain why you are experiencing these types of serious memory lapses, and didn't provide any useful suggestions on how to mitigate the problems.

Is it possible to contact the psychiatrist who diagnosed you with ADHD before? You are legally entitled to copies of your paperwork, which should indicate the diagnosis and treatment prescribed. Having that paperwork in hand could be helpful if you decide to seek another opinion.

If you can get in touch with a CHADD or ADDA support group in your area, or post in the referrals section of the forum, you may be able to find a doctor who is very experienced in diagnosing ADHD (and related problems) in adults. Hopefully that person would take the time -- regardless of diagnosis -- to help you figure out strategies to minimize the impact of your memory problems in your daily life.

Meanwhile, I'd suggest browsing the forum and checking out some ADHD self-help books for strategies.

"Working memory" is often the type of memory that gives people with ADHD the most trouble, and from your description of your problems, it sounds like you have working memory difficulties, too.

For those of us who struggle with it, "externalizing" the information -- rather than trying and failing to hold it in our minds -- is often a very useful strategy.



With medication, this can involve use of medication organizers that let us see whether or not we've taken a pill (though it's more useful for regular meds, and less useful for a one-off Tylenol for a headache).

GPS navigation systems can be great -- and I think so many people have grown used to navigating this way that you wouldn't be the only person who gets lost without it!
For remembering/scheduling dates, a calendar (either on your phone/computer, or a paper day planner or wall calendar) can be useful, if you can train yourself to use it regularly. With a digital calendar, you can also set reminders in advance of important events (which can include things like paying bills, lunch with a friend, work deadlines, etc.). Personally, I also like to color-code things: one color for appointments, another for work, another for travel, another for fun activities with friends, etc. ...EDIT: Just noticed that you said you already use a phone calendar, but still have problems. You might want to see if there's a setting that will alert you to conflicting events, or get an app with a feature like that. A calendar app with a good visual display (rather than a list-like display) may also help you see potential conflicts. Setting advance reminders of events can also help you catch scheduling conflicts a little earlier -- maybe with enough time to reschedule.
For bills: are there any you can set up auto-payments (or at least payment reminders) for? That can cut down on the number of things you have to remember to pay. For bills that can't be paid electronically, some people set up a "billing station" consisting of a pen, a checkbook, envelopes, and stamps, so that everything is all in one place. You could add a list of recurring due dates, usernames and passwords, and the information about what payment types each place accepts to help you -- again, reducing the burden on your memory by having things written down somewhere.
Alarms are another way to externalize info. Besides reminding you to go somewhere or pay a bill, these can be life-saving when it comes to cooking. Make sure you never leave a stove without setting an alarm. (And if there's a likelihood you'll walk out of earshot of a kitchen timer, set an alarm on your phone and carry it with you.)
Grocery lists: useful! I keep a whiteboard on my fridge so that I can write down stuff as I run out (or get close to running out). That makes it super-easy to jot down a list (or take a picture of the whiteboard -- instant list) for grocery shopping.


In sum: I would suggest getting a copy of your old records, and possibly seeking out the opinion of someone recommended by others with ADHD in your area. Meanwhile -- and I'd suggest this even if you had a diagnosis and could take medications that worked great without worrying about your heart condition -- look into ways to externalize information, as a workaround for your fickle memory.

Best wishes!

tearsong
04-27-17, 07:53 PM
[LIST]
For bills: are there any you can set up auto-payments (or at least payment reminders) for? That can cut down on the number of things you have to remember to pay. For bills that can't be paid electronically, some people set up a "billing station" consisting of a pen, a checkbook, envelopes, and stamps, so that everything is all in one place. You could add a list of recurring due dates, usernames and passwords, and the information about what payment types each place accepts to help you -- again, reducing the burden on your memory by having things written down somewhere.

I would be dead in the water, if my bank didn't have an online automatic check sending thingy... Check with your bank, most of the bigger ones probably have this now, though I obviously cannot speak for every bank. (I know for sure that Citibank and TD Bank have this feature, and they do it for free!)

Basically, and for example, I have a rent check (can't be paid by card, etc) that automagically goes out every month -- without any intervention from me. I basically just told the bank to send a personal check out on the 25th of every month (to account for February) to a particular address and in a particular amount.

After he received our completed questionnaires he sent the results to my doctor which stated I have NO cognitive decline and DO NOT have ADD/ADHD. His conclusion was that my difficulties are caused by stress and "intrapersonal ability variability" (which I take to mean I'm very smart in some areas and bordering on disabled in others). When I got the results I googled them and what I read seemed to say that the pattern of high scores in most areas, and very low scores in processing time and memory are exactly what ADD/ADHD looks like on an IQ test. The test administrator said there's NO WAY I can have ADD/ADHD now, because there's no evidence I had it as a kid (and since it's a developmental disorder and not one that suddenly appears, it can't be ADD).

This is a DSM thing... You note that there were symptoms that you noticed as a child, but did they come out in the questionnaires? Without that, a psychologist cannot diagnose someone with ADHD; it has to be present before age 12.

ADHD doesn't get progressively worse as an individual ages, but it CAN get worse in particular settings. As a child, for example, you have adults constantly providing support which gets faded. That said, this is a setting change, not an ability change. You said you could do some things (like look at a map and remember the route) but over time you lost that ability... I assume this is within the same adult setting, you could do this for a period of time within your adult life, but now you can't?

That type of regression in ability would seem to indicate something else, I would think?
(For example, have you ever had any kind of head trauma, such as being hit by a car or falling out of a tree, etc?)

*** Note ***
I AM NOT A PSYCHOLOGIST/PSYCHIATRIST/NEUROLOGIST/OTHER.
I could be wrong here. :P

aur462
04-28-17, 02:17 AM
You're certainly suffering from anxiety. With or without depression the manifestation for YOU could be functional chaos. You're forecasting "nursing homeish" scenarios that seem real to you, but it seems anxiety related and anxiety is EXTREMELY persuasive - it's better than any "salesman of the year" by a long shot. Your neuropsychological tests weren't enough to clear this up. If you haven't exhausted psychiatric help or perhaps even if you think you have, that make the most sense to me, as well as a good therapist.

I would look at this as "brain fog" - very common but you've got it bad - rather than any degenerative disease.

ScattRBrained
04-30-17, 07:06 PM
Thank you for your very thoughtful and thorough reply.

There was just another recent thread where someone asked about "cognitive decline" (or what seems like it), so you're not alone in feeling this way. Adult responsibilities draw on a lot of areas that are challenging for people with memory and executive function weaknesses.

ADHD cannot be ruled in or out by cognitive tests alone. The pattern you describe is somewhat common to people with ADHD (and certain types of leraning disorders), but it's not diagnostic by itself.

Where can I find more information about other conditions this pattern may indicate? I've tried googling with no success. Probably using the wrong search terms.

Did the psychologist who tested you and gave you a diagnosis of "stress" and "interpersonal ability variability" give you any useful advice? While I am not qualified to dispute that diagnosis, it seems like that doctor failed to explain why you are experiencing these types of serious memory lapses, and didn't provide any useful suggestions on how to mitigate the problems.

You're exactly right, he didn't provide any useful suggestions at all. I'm very frustrated by that as well. During the testing (interview portions) we disucussed my psychiatric history in depth. I was diagnosed with depression around 15 years old and have been on every brand of SSRI available (zoloft, prozac, celexa etc, and have tried others, such as dopamine re-uptake inhibitors (Wellbutrin), something for anxiety called Buspar). I confided in him that I've seen many therapist with these issues and continue to be diagnosed only with "depression and anxiety". The practitioners I've seen would only offer CBT, insisting that I must be telling myself negative and destructive things or else I wouldn't be having these problems. The last therapist I saw only offered talk therapy. I didn't realize this and spent 3 months wondering when we would end the "getting to know you and small talk" sessions and begin the actual therapy. She felt my problems were due to loneliness and thought that having someone to talk to once a week would help. I stuck it out for over a year. It was a complete waste of time. Anyway, the guy who did the testing seemed to really GET IT. He nodded, and seemed very understanding that SSRI's haven't worked, talk therapy hasn't worked, CBT hasn't worked...I was so hopeful when I left his office. The report he wrote for the neuro who ordered the tests actually states that "patient should try CBT and an SSRI". It was as if our conversations never happened. Either his memory is worse than mine or he was just faking when he communicated empathy. Oh, he did have one suggestion as far as strategy goes "patient should consider using a memory notebook". This after I already told him all the things I was doing to cope weren't enough (calendar, lists, emailing myself reminders and important info, taking photos of everything that can be photographed (paperwork mostly) etc).

Is it possible to contact the psychiatrist who diagnosed you with ADHD before? You are legally entitled to copies of your paperwork, which should indicate the diagnosis and treatment prescribed. Having that paperwork in hand could be helpful if you decide to seek another opinion.

I haven't, but I will. Not sure if it will be a big help though. Last I talked to that office they said my file was something like 1000 pages long (she made TONS of notes at every meeting) and they charge patients per page for copies. Is there a certain single document I could ask for that has my diagnosis on it? The office staff there are not helpful or friendly at all, so I'd like to know in advance specifically what to ask for.

If you can get in touch with a CHADD or ADDA support group in your area, or post in the referrals section of the forum, you may be able to find a doctor who is very experienced in diagnosing ADHD (and related problems) in adults. Hopefully that person would take the time -- regardless of diagnosis -- to help you figure out strategies to minimize the impact of your memory problems in your daily life.

Meanwhile, I'd suggest browsing the forum and checking out some ADHD self-help books for strategies.

I've checked out a lot of those in the past from the library. Always forget to read them, or get bored with them, and then forget to return them and have $$$ fines.

"Working memory" is often the type of memory that gives people with ADHD the most trouble, and from your description of your problems, it sounds like you have working memory difficulties, too.

Definitely.

For those of us who struggle with it, "externalizing" the information -- rather than trying and failing to hold it in our minds -- is often a very useful strategy.



With medication, this can involve use of medication organizers that let us see whether or not we've taken a pill (though it's more useful for regular meds, and less useful for a one-off Tylenol for a headache).

I used these briefly, and they did help. I had no idea how often I was forgetting my heart meds until I used those. But I have kids, and now a dog and cat. The risk of someone (or some animal) getting into those not-child-proof-containers is just too great. Wish they made pill organizers that were child proof! Guess only elderly people are supposed to have these kinds of issues.




GPS navigation systems can be great -- and I think so many people have grown used to navigating this way that you wouldn't be the only person who gets lost without it!

I know, I want one, but can't afford one. Can't afford a used one either. I know most people will roll theirs eyes, I could do in to detail about the financial ruin I'm in, but that would take way to long to write (and read)! It's not that I don't think it's important enough to spend money one, I literally won't be able to pay rent/bills if I spend $ on a non-necessity like that.




For remembering/scheduling dates, a calendar (either on your phone/computer, or a paper day planner or wall calendar) can be useful, if you can train yourself to use it regularly. With a digital calendar, you can also set reminders in advance of important events (which can include things like paying bills, lunch with a friend, work deadlines, etc.). Personally, I also like to color-code things: one color for appointments, another for work, another for travel, another for fun activities with friends, etc. ...EDIT: Just noticed that you said you already use a phone calendar, but still have problems. You might want to see if there's a setting that will alert you to conflicting events, or get an app with a feature like that. A calendar app with a good visual display (rather than a list-like display) may also help you see potential conflicts. Setting advance reminders of events can also help you catch scheduling conflicts a little earlier -- maybe with enough time to reschedule.

I already use a calendar with a good visual display, and a set reminders for everything (for appointments 2 weeks ahead, 1 week ahead, 2 days ahead, 12 hours ahead, 3 hours a head, and 1 hour ahead). I haven't been able to find any calendars for windows or android that alert users to conflicts. Please let me know if you know of one.




For bills: are there any you can set up auto-payments (or at least payment reminders) for? That can cut down on the number of things you have to remember to pay. For bills that can't be paid electronically, some people set up a "billing station" consisting of a pen, a checkbook, envelopes, and stamps, so that everything is all in one place. You could add a list of recurring due dates, usernames and passwords, and the information about what payment types each place accepts to help you -- again, reducing the burden on your memory by having things written down somewhere.

I loved auto-pay before things got this bad. Now it's just not possible. I'm lucky if I don't overdraw my account during a normal month. Autopay means transactions going through that I'm not thinking of, so I would forget, spend money on groceries or toilet paper, and then get an overdraft fee, and also I usually have to delay paying a bill several times a year just because of not having enough to pay all my bills in a month.




Alarms are another way to externalize info. Besides reminding you to go somewhere or pay a bill, these can be life-saving when it comes to cooking. Make sure you never leave a stove without setting an alarm. (And if there's a likelihood you'll walk out of earshot of a kitchen timer, set an alarm on your phone and carry it with you.)

Yeah, already doing this one too, as much possible. The thing is I sometimes forget to use the alarm. Or I'm SURE I'll remember, because I'm just running out of the room to go the bathroom and will be right back. Fast forward 20 minutes later and I'm at the other end of the house engage in some kind of project completely unaware there was something cooking in the kitchen.




Grocery lists: useful! I keep a whiteboard on my fridge so that I can write down stuff as I run out (or get close to running out). That makes it super-easy to jot down a list (or take a picture of the whiteboard -- instant list) for grocery shopping.

The thing about grocery lists is that you have to remember to bring them with you to the store for them to work. I tried to combat that problem by making the list right in my phone. It's better than nothing, but I often will forget to add essential things like toilet paper or milk to the list (despite thinking about it ALL DAY), then once in the store, will all the bright lights and people and colorful displays and commotion, trying to remember something is just completely futile. I've had to run around town looking for an open store that sells toilet paper at 11:30 pm something like 10 times in the last year, for example.

In sum: I would suggest getting a copy of your old records, and possibly seeking out the opinion of someone recommended by others with ADHD in your area. Meanwhile -- and I'd suggest this even if you had a diagnosis and could take medications that worked great without worrying about your heart condition -- look into ways to externalize information, as a workaround for your fickle memory.


Thank you for your very caring and detailed reply.

ScattRBrained
04-30-17, 09:27 PM
I would be dead in the water, if my bank didn't have an online automatic check sending thingy... Check with your bank, most of the bigger ones probably have this now, though I obviously cannot speak for every bank. (I know for sure that Citibank and TD Bank have this feature, and they do it for free!)

It's not for free when an auto-pay overdraws your account! I don't have a stable income or stable bank balance, so I had to stop using auto-pay. It was costing me big bucks.

Basically, and for example, I have a rent check (can't be paid by card, etc) that automagically goes out every month -- without any intervention from me. I basically just told the bank to send a personal check out on the 25th of every month (to account for February) to a particular address and in a particular amount.



This is a DSM thing... You note that there were symptoms that you noticed as a child, but did they come out in the questionnaires? Without that, a psychologist cannot diagnose someone with ADHD; it has to be present before age 12.

The questionnaire about childhood symptoms was very short - 20 questions for me and the same 20 for my mom (just worded differently for a parent instead of a patient). I personally feel the questionnaire could not possibly retro-actively diagnose ANYTHING because of how short it was.

ADHD doesn't get progressively worse as an individual ages, but it CAN get worse in particular settings. As a child, for example, you have adults constantly providing support which gets faded. That said, this is a setting change, not an ability change. You said you could do some things (like look at a map and remember the route) but over time you lost that ability... I assume this is within the same adult setting, you could do this for a period of time within your adult life, but now you can't?

Correct.

That type of regression in ability would seem to indicate something else, I would think?

I think so too. The testing I had done was not only for ADD/ADHD. It was also supposed to be able to suss out any kind of dementia (cognitive decline) going on. Early onset Alzheimer's or another form of dementia is what concerns me most. I'm not exaggerating when I say if I get any worse than this I will be in a residential care facility (or living on the streets, under a bridge somewhere).

In the tester's report to my neuro he completely ruled out any kind of dementia. So strongly, in fact, that when I went back to the neuro for the follow-up visit he told me "This report means there's nothing going on that I can help you with." When I proceeded to ask him a question he interrupted me "There's nothing more I can do for you." I don't really see how it's possible to rule out something like cognitive decline from a single test. Sure if you took a test 10 years ago, and then took it today, you could rule out the possibility of dementia if your scores were all within a couple points of where they used to be, but to rule it out from a single test? Especially one that showed a 50 point gap in different cogntive abilities? I don't get it.


(For example, have you ever had any kind of head trauma, such as being hit by a car or falling out of a tree, etc?)

Well, that's what the MRI (and prior CAT scan) looked for. They both came back normal. I've never had any physical head trauma, but I was on very heavy medication for anxiety and chronic pain at the same time for 2 years (Klonopin and Vicodin). Once I got the correct diagnosis for the pain and started treatment for that I was able to stop the Vicodin. A couple months later I noticed my anxiety had nearly vanished, so I was then able to stop the Klonopin. I was seeing a new primary doc at that time and he thought the memory troubles were a residual effect of the Klonopin, so he had me wait a few months to see if there was improvement (there wasn't) before referring me to the neurologist (who then referred me to have this testing done). I wonder if there were some kind of chemical or cellular brain damage from the medications, would that even show on an MRI or CAT scan? Or are they only good for detecting physical damage from things like injury or tumors?

*** Note ***
I AM NOT A PSYCHOLOGIST/PSYCHIATRIST/NEUROLOGIST/OTHER.
I could be wrong here. :P

No need to post a disclaimer..... I'm not so far gone as to think I've hired a doctor online when I post here. lol

ScattRBrained
04-30-17, 09:29 PM
You're certainly suffering from anxiety. With or without depression the manifestation for YOU could be functional chaos. You're forecasting "nursing homeish" scenarios that seem real to you, but it seems anxiety related and anxiety is EXTREMELY persuasive - it's better than any "salesman of the year" by a long shot. Your neuropsychological tests weren't enough to clear this up. If you haven't exhausted psychiatric help or perhaps even if you think you have, that make the most sense to me, as well as a good therapist.

I would look at this as "brain fog" - very common but you've got it bad - rather than any degenerative disease.

"Brain fog" is not treatable. It's a last ditch diagnosis when everything else as been ruled out and there's nothing left that doctors or anyone else can do for you. I'm not about to give up all my hopes and dreams and resign myself to having "brain fog" while my life passes away.

ScattRBrained
04-30-17, 10:04 PM
namazu (http://www.addforums.com/forums/member.php?u=38020) I've looked on the CHAD and ADDA websites for info about possible local groups as you suggested. I can't seem to find any info fom either group indicating they have in person meetings (found info about ADDA's virtual peer support group). Am I looking in the wrong place?

Thanks!

Kunga Dorji
05-01-17, 02:20 AM
Your description of decline seems pretty clear cut to me.
Is there anyone who is personally close to you who can back this up with their observations?
Have the pressures on you increased so much in the last 2 years that that could explain the deterioration?
What sort of area do you live in?
Issues like Lyme disease or some other sort of toxicity spring to mind.
I hear that 50 million US citizens have Lyme- and that can be very hard to diagnose- and cause lots of issues with brain fog.
Equally I am seeing more reports of glyphosate (roundup) being an issue-There is lots of it in the US food supply, but most doctors are unaware of its effects.

sarahsweets
05-01-17, 04:23 AM
After he received our completed questionnaires he sent the results to my doctor which stated I have NO cognitive decline and DO NOT have ADD/ADHD. His conclusion was that my difficulties are caused by stress and "intrapersonal ability variability" (which I take to mean I'm very smart in some areas and bordering on disabled in others). When I got the results I googled them and what I read seemed to say that the pattern of high scores in most areas, and very low scores in processing time and memory are exactly what ADD/ADHD looks like on an IQ test. The test administrator said there's NO WAY I can have ADD/ADHD now, because there's no evidence I had it as a kid (and since it's a developmental disorder and not one that suddenly appears, it can't be ADD).

There are no tests for adhd, but I guess the one you had was for something else? If you didnt have adhd as a kid then you do not have it now. However, you could have been adhd as a kid and been undiagnosed- because lots of us get diagnosed as a adults and it doesnt mean we didnt have it, it just means we were undiagnosed.

I personally do feel like I had it as a kid. I was never hyperactive, am female, and was always able to get passing grades despite not paying much attention and making tons of "silly mistakes" (adding instead of subtracting, not reading the directions thoroughly etc)
What symptoms did you have as a child that makes you think its adhd? What does your family say?


I'd love to hear from anyone who has been diagnosed via IQ/cognitive abilities test - what did your score pattern look like? How did the tester determine you had ADD from your scores?

Again, there are no tests for adhd. There are tests to rule out other conditions but there are no adhd-specific tests.

[uote]A psychiatrist I was a few years back said she though I DID have ADD. I can't take stimulants because of a heart condition, so I was put on Strattera and maybe on other non-stimulant ADD med, but they did not help one bit. I don't live anywhere near her now, and can't get anyone in this city to take me seriously. They all just (eventually) pat me on the back and tell me I'm my symptoms are caused by stress. What they refuse to believe is that my life is so stressful (financial problems, constantly making mistakes) BECAUSE OF my symptoms.
[/quote]
If you were previously diagnosed then you have a right to get your records to give to your new doctor.

I just don't know where to go from here. The neurologist and cognitive testing were the last options I knew of to exhaust. My symptoms have progressed so rapidly in the last two years, that if it keeps up I will honestly have to move in to an assisted living facility in 5 or 10 years. I know ADD isn't degenerative, so I don't know what to make of this. I just desperately need some insight and direction or what to do next to hopefully finally get some help.

Thank you in advance!

Thank you.
What symptoms are there that makes you think you need assissted living?
What is the advice that the doc gives you to deal with these issues even though they say you do not have adhd?