View Full Version : Is there such a thing as mild ADD?


AgoraB
09-12-17, 09:04 AM
Hello everyone,

My husband was diagnosed with ADHD a year ago (we're both in our early 40's). It's a wonder that he went undiagnosed for that long given the fact that he has had all the symptoms.

His breakthrough made me think about my own problems. In a nutshell without proper motivation for me it is EXTREMELY difficult to concentrate.

From 6-14 years old I was the best pupil in my school. We had great teachers and paying attention in class was enough to be able to not only to have good grades, but get invited for competitions and later on enroll in the best high-school.

From 14 on my problems became painstakingly obvious. Teachers did everything but teach and we had to learn everything by ourselves at home (the same dynamics would continue at the university as well). My problem was not the matter itself, as I would help others understand what we were working on, I simply couldn't stay focused on daily basis to study or write reports, essays.... I would wait for the last moment, the ultimate deadline to start working because when the adrenaline hit I would all of a sudden be able to sit and study.

Of course, this goes for the subjects I was not interested in. I could sit and read, paying attention to details for hours. I could play chess for days... The only solution I found was to team up with classmates and later on fellow students. Their presence would keep me focused and I would be able to work and help them out.

I had and still have aspirations to be a writer. I even got the master's degree in writing, I have some ideas I'd like to develop, but... I cannot seem to just sit down and write. I have bouts of focus that never last long enough for me to finish anything.
As a consequence I often chose jobs that I can easily handle even though I can do much better than that. I use all the tools I can get my hands on to organize my daily activities.
I have had problems organizing my books, papers, clothes... I would tidy up then lose my focus and before you know it everything would be a mess. The only thing I'm big on is cleaning and washing :) Mess is ok dirt is not.

My therapist is focused on working on my self-confidence and some emotional issues I developed as a consequence of my fairly unusual childhood. But I don't think she took seriously my problems with focusing.

I'd like to address this subject with her and I would very much appreciate your ideas and comments. Could I be suffering from a (mild) form of ADD? Thank you!

Fraser_0762
09-12-17, 09:47 AM
I think mild ADD is something that most people can relate to. It would take a special kind of mind, never to exhibit common ADD problems ever in a persons life.

Lunacie
09-12-17, 12:28 PM
Yes, for sure. ADHD impairments may be anywhere on a spectrum from mild to
severe. And even more oddly perhaps, it can change depending on the stress
we are experiencing or the things we have to cope with.

PoppnNSailinMan
09-12-17, 01:24 PM
John Ratey and Catherine Johnson have a chapter on ADHD in their book, Shadow Syndromes: The Mild Forms of Major Mental Disorders That Sabotage Us (New York: Bantam Books, 1998). John Ratey who is Associate Clinical Professor of Psychiatry at Harvard Medical School was the coauthor with Edward Hallowell of the classic ADHD book, Driven to Distraction, and himself has ADHD (probably what he would consider a "mild" form). Ratey and Johnson have excerpted some of what they say in Shadow Syndromes in an article at Additude's website:

Harvard’s John Ratey, M.D.coined the term “Shadow Syndrome” to describe a psychological disorder in so mild a form that diagnosis can elude even a trained therapist. Just as a cloud can cast a pall across an otherwise sunny day, a mild case of attention deficit disorder casts its cloud over our day-to-day lives. In the following excerpt from his book, John Ratey offer some examples of domestic mini-dramas, caused by mild ADD, that can “trap” our attention and cause major discord.

To understand the mild case of ADHD, it helps to look at ADHD in its full-blown form, where precipitous actions tumble forth as quickly as do impulsive words. The adult with attention deficit disorder may quickly jump in and out of jobs, relationships, projects, and commitments, swerving from one to another. The classic story of untreated full-blown ADD is the intelligent person who cannot get her life together, and who becomes increasingly demoralized, anxious, and depressed as the years wear on.

But the person with mild ADHD is not simply the less chaotic sibling of his severely afflicted twin. In fact, the adult with mild ADD may be a brilliant success on the job. High energy, enthusiasm, and the ability to hyperfocus can take a person to great heights in some professions. The mildly hyperactive adult can survey herself and see what she needs to work on. Thus, she might deliberately cultivate an obsession with her datebook, checking and rechecking it throughout the day. The mild ADDer may be the top salesman who can never finish his paperwork on time, or the financial executive who cannot file his own taxes. With a good assistant, these limitations won’t cripple your career.

But the two ends of the attentional spectrum – hyperfocus on the present moment and the constant search for the next high-energy task – that can be assets on the job may not work to the same advantage in the mild ADDer’s personal life. With mild ADD, as with many shadow syndromes, the real trouble registers in the social realm.

https://www.additudemag.com/domestic-unrest/

AgoraB
09-12-17, 03:29 PM
Thank you all so much for your replies!!!
What an eye opener!
I can relate to jumping in and out of projects and even though I don't think I'm full blown, I can recognize myself in "The classic story of untreated full-blown ADD is the intelligent person who cannot get her life together, and who becomes increasingly demoralized, anxious, and depressed as the years wear on."

Now I feel better prepared to talk to my therapist.
Than you again!

TheGreatKing
09-12-17, 06:14 PM
I think of myself having mild ADHD compared to howie mandel, more closer to jim carrey on a scale i mean. I have been searching for a good definition for a Mild case of adhd but it is hard to find. let me know if anyone has a definition or a source about this topic i would really be interested in reading it .

Lunacie
09-12-17, 07:26 PM
I think of myself having mild ADHD compared to howie mandel, more closer to jim carrey on a scale i mean. I have been searching for a good definition for a Mild case of adhd but it is hard to find. let me know if anyone has a definition or a source about this topic i would really be interested in reading it .

This might help. CHADD is a good source.
http://www.chadd.org/understanding-adhd/about-adhd.aspx

Severity of symptoms

As ADHD symptoms affect each person to varying degrees, the DSM-5 now requires professionals diagnosing ADHD to include the severity of the disorder. How severe the disorder is can change with the presentation during a person’s lifetime. Clinicians can designate the severity of ADHD as “mild,” “moderate” or “severe” under the criteria in the DSM-5.

Mild: Few symptoms beyond the required number for diagnosis are present, and symptoms result in minor impairment in social, school or work settings.

Moderate: Symptoms or functional impairment between “mild” and “severe” are present.

Severe: Many symptoms are present beyond the number needed to make a diagnosis; several symptoms are particularly severe; or symptoms result in marked impairment in social, school or work settings.

As individuals age, their symptoms may lessen, change or take different forms. Adults who retain some of the symptoms of childhood ADHD, but not all, can be diagnosed as having ADHD in partial remission.

userguide
09-12-17, 09:07 PM
My therapist is focused on working on my self-confidence and some emotional issues I developed as a consequence of my fairly unusual childhood. But I don't think she took seriously my problems with focusing.

I'd like to address this subject with her and I would very much appreciate your ideas and comments. Could I be suffering from a (mild) form of ADD? Thank you!


1. If your therapist is hired to help you with self-confidence, and she dismissed the idea of adhd even though your husband has it, you should at least renegotiate her price ;)



2. I don't know what experts say, but I find it counterproductive, from a patient's perspective, to speak about "mild adhd". Probably most experts insist on it, because they need clear hierarchies and protocols.

But if I have a mild adhd, then maybe I deserve only mild accomodations, mild help and mild therapy.

I think saying you have plain vanilla adhd and some highly developed coping and compensation mechanisms is a more productive and healthy approach.

daveddd
09-12-17, 09:26 PM
1. If your therapist is hired to help you with self-confidence, and she dismissed the idea of adhd even though your husband has it, you should at least renegotiate her price ;)



2. I don't know what experts say, but I find it counterproductive, from a patient's perspective, to speak about "mild adhd". Probably most experts insist on it, because they need clear hierarchies and protocols.

But if I have a mild adhd, then maybe I deserve only mild accomodations, mild help and mild therapy.

I think saying you have plain vanilla adhd and some highly developed coping and compensation mechanisms is a more productive and healthy approach.

its tough because like a majority of mental conditions , the "symptoms" of ADHD are really just traits every human has

when you have them to point that it negatively effects you its considered a disorder

but i think you're spot on about its not really meaningful to discuss it with a doctor

say someone just cant make it through college course, it impairs you, it interrupts your goals and you deserve to have it helped

in the grand scheme is that mild compared to someone who dropped out of grade school, self medicates with crack, cant really function in life? yes

but would a hospital throw someone out with a mild heart attack?

i get an uncomfortable feeling that the mild, severe stuff is used as some type of status symbol, more than doctors dismissing it

plus disorders in the DSM are diagnosed behaviorally which can screw up the mild, severe thing too . I know four people who have committed suicide in the last year or two, all had a good job (including a successful business owner) 2 were in good marriages, and they all seemed to be socially high functioning

mildadhd
09-12-17, 10:31 PM
NT:

Mild: Few symptoms beyond the required number for diagnosis are present, and symptoms result in minor impairment in social, school or work settings.

Moderate: Symptoms or functional impairment between “mild” and “severe” are present.


Mild ADHD: Few symptoms or minor impairment between "NT" and "moderate" are present?





M

PoppnNSailinMan
09-12-17, 10:36 PM
But if I have a mild adhd, then maybe I deserve only mild accomodations, mild help and mild therapy.

Or no therapy at all. I was recently referred to the behavioral health department of the place where I get my healthcare and asked to see a therapist. But when the person who was interviewing me found out that I had gone to college, he implied that even though I have ADHD, I'm too "functional" to need to see a therapist. And I would consider myself to have "moderate" ADHD if I had to pick between the categories.

mildadhd
09-12-17, 10:44 PM
Or no therapy at all. I was recently referred to the behavioral health department of the place where I get my healthcare and asked to see a therapist. But when the person who was interviewing me found out that I had gone to college, he implied that even though I have ADHD, I'm too "functional" to need to see a therapist. And I would consider myself to have "moderate" ADHD if I had to pick between the categories.

I wonder if everyone diagnosed before DSM 5, was diagnosed with at least moderate ADHD?

I was diagnosed with moderate ADHD inattentive at about age 35.




M

Lunacie
09-13-17, 12:00 AM
Mild ADHD: Few symptoms or minor impairment between "NT" and "moderate" are present?





M

Mild: At least enough symptoms for the diagnosis, probably a few more.
And enough impairment for diagnosis as well.

Lunacie
09-13-17, 12:06 AM
I wonder if everyone diagnosed before DSM 5, was diagnosed with at least moderate ADHD?

I was diagnosed with moderate ADHD inattentive at about age 35.




M

Why do you think that is a possiblity?

Greyhound1
09-13-17, 12:12 AM
I wonder if everyone diagnosed before DSM 5, was diagnosed with at least moderate ADHD?






M

Not me. Mr Dr. said I had classic ADHD whatever the hell that means.

mildadhd
09-13-17, 12:46 AM
Mild – few, if any, symptoms in excess of those required to make the diagnosis are present, and symptoms result in no more than minor impairments in social or occupational functioning
http://adhd-institute.com/assessment-diagnosis/diagnosis/dsm-5/


Lunacie,

"Mild severity" is few, if any, symptoms in excess of those required to make diagnosis, between "NT" and "Moderate" ADHD.








M

sarahsweets
09-13-17, 04:32 AM
When it comes to accommodations for things, I think mild/severe etc should be left out. I only recently found out I am severe due to my doctor sharing her notes with my disability review case worker. She said she thought I knew but I'd never considered it before. I have a BA in Eng lit yet my childhood years were sucky grades. I could have used help then but back then you didnt get it for most things like adhd. I would say that at the beginning of college before I got married and had kids (18-20) I was not as "severe" as I am now for whatever reason. I think categorizing adhd can help or hinder. I woudnt want to see someone dismissed or denied help or medication because they are considered mild- yet I would hate to have someone severe miss out because they are considered to severe to benefit from certain types of help.
Plus I dont like p**sing contests.

Lunacie
09-13-17, 11:10 AM
Lunacie,

"Mild severity" is few, if any, symptoms in excess of those required to make diagnosis, between "NT" and "Moderate" ADHD.








M

ENOUGH to make a diagnosis of ADHD though.

Why wouldn't that have been enough to make a diagnosis before DSM-V?

mildadhd
09-13-17, 01:30 PM
I was wondering if everyone diagnosed before DSM 5 would be diagnosed with at least moderate ADHD, since I read "mild" ADHD was not in the previous DSM and this article meant to help understand additions and changes to DSM 5, writes that people with "mild" ADHD would not have been diagnosed in the past.

Mild is restricted to cases where there are few, if any, symptoms beyond those required to make the diagnosis and no more than minor impairment in functioning. In DSM-IV, where clinically significant impairment was required, these individuals would not be diagnosed.

http://www.helpforadd.com/2013/june.htm





M

PoppnNSailinMan
09-13-17, 03:02 PM
I was wondering if everyone diagnosed before DSM 5 would be diagnosed with at least moderate ADHD, since I read "mild" ADHD was not in the previous DSM and this article meant to help understand additions and changes to DSM 5, writes that people with "mild" ADHD would not have been diagnosed in the past.



http://www.helpforadd.com/2013/june.htm





M

It does sound to me as if everyone diagnosed before DSM-5 would now be considered to have at least "moderate" ADHD if their symptoms have not changed significantly. In my case, when I was diagnosed I never had any discussion with my psychiatrist or my therapist about the severity or lack thereof of my ADHD. But then, I don't know what they wrote in their notes and it would be interesting to find out.

TheGreatKing
09-13-17, 07:41 PM
Honestly i got diagnosed with ADHD they never really went into what category i was in. I wonder why lol I think that is why i still live in denial, having a hard time swallowing the pill.

Lunacie
09-13-17, 08:13 PM
I was wondering if everyone diagnosed before DSM 5 would be diagnosed with at least moderate ADHD, since I read "mild" ADHD was not in the previous DSM and this article meant to help understand additions and changes to DSM 5, writes that people with "mild" ADHD would not have been diagnosed in the past.


http://www.helpforadd.com/2013/june.htm


M

I was better able to read and understand today and you may well be right.

I didn't know that previously there was a category called ADHD-NOS (not
otherwise specified) that often didn't appear to merit treatment or meds.

Which could mean that those who need treatment or accomodations are
now more likely to receive them which is a good thing.