View Full Version : Could I have ADD (inattentive type)? Anyone know a good doctor?

12-18-06, 01:30 PM
Hi everyone,

This is my first post to the forum. I think I might have the inattentive type of ADD, but I wanted to get some feedback to see if this sounds like ADD to you. Here are the traits I have that I think are ADD-related: <O:p

Iíve always been a very dreamy, ďhead in the cloudsĒ sort of person. It started when I was 9 or 10 years old. I would daydream constantly and often find myself not paying attention in class or to the conversation around the dinner table, completely involuntarily. Teachers always said I was a very pleasant child but would just ďget lost in my own worldĒ sometimes.
In school I would always do my homework, but I would often forget to turn it in, unless the teacher said ďeveryone turn in your homework now.Ē This became a real problem in classes where the teacher didnít remind us to turn in our homework Ė like if we just had to remember to leave it on the teacherís desk or something.
I find it almost impossible to pay attention to something that doesnít interest me, whether Iím reading it or listening to it. Iíll tell myself Iím going to pay attention and 30 seconds later my mind will start wandering.
Sometimes Iíll ask someone a question that I truly want or need to know the answer to, and my mind will immediately start thinking about something else, completely involuntarily, causing me to miss the answer to my question that I really wanted to know.
I have what I would call an ďoveractive mind.Ē Iím constantly thinking and daydreaming. Sometimes Iím fantasizing and imagining myself in a certain situation, and other times Iím mulling over a moral, political or philosophical issue. Sometimes Iíll wake up in the middle of the night and start thinking about some issue and wonít be able to get back to sleep for a long time.
Iím very, very introverted and have struggled with shyness all my life. During my first year of preschool I had a condition called selective mutism, where I didnít say a word to anyone the whole year. Iíve always been a very cautious person. Not sure if any of this is related to ADD. My Myers-Briggs type is INFP, if that helps.
Iíve always been quite uncoordinated. In elementary school I was actually in a special physical education class for awhile for kids who had underdeveloped motor skills. Iím 26 now and have been driving for almost ten years, and I drive every day, but Iím still terrible at parking. I have a very hard time parking straight and Iím always crooked or over one line or the other. Donít even get me started on parallel parking.
Iíll often walk into a room and forget why Iím there. It will take me a few seconds to remember. Sometimes Iíll leave the room and then remember.
Iím very dependent on my day planner, in which I write down everything. (And I mean *everything.*) I write down when to get my oil changed, when to take out the trash, a reminder to give my 2-year-old her Flintstone vitamin, etc. I refer to my planner constantly. If I didnít have it I would forget these things at least 50% of the time and my life would completely fall apart. I also make a detailed list every day at work of what I need to do.
If someone asks me to do something, I either need to do it immediately or write it down immediately. Otherwise thereís a very good chance Iíll forget.
In order to remember something I either need to write it down or make it a habit. Some things I donít have to write down Ė like brushing my teeth, for example Ė because itís a habit. On the other hand, if something becomes habitual for me, itís very difficult to break the habit if I need to. For example, when I leave a room I instinctively turn off the light. Itís become a habit. But if my husband tells me, ďthis time when you leave the room leave the light on,Ē Iíll say ďokĒ and then 5 minutes later Iíll leave the room and turn the light off, because itís automatic.
I tend to not notice things in the external world unless theyíre glaringly obvious. I donít notice subtle differences. I can go for months without noticing the stain on the carpet, which my husband would notice immediately.
If Iím reading a good book or otherwise engrossed in something that interests me, I completely tune out the outside world and am completely unaware of everything going on around me.
On the other hand, here are some traits I have that do not sound like ADD:<O:p

I always did very well in school, both growing up and in college. I was always an A/B student. It would take me longer than most people to get my homework done because of my mind frequently wondering, but I usually did a good job. Most of the time the teacher would remind us to turn in our homework, so not turning it in was only a problem occasionally. I would never dream of blowing off schoolwork or not doing it. I was always very aware of the consequences of my actions (in fact, sometimes to the point where I was constantly worrying).
I was always a very good reader. In elementary school I was always in the top reading group and was a voracious reader. I have always loved to read fiction, especially classics and literary fiction. I was an English major in college. Assuming the book was interesting, I never had trouble finishing it.
I was never impulsive my any stretch of the imagination. If anything, Iíve always been overly cautious about just about everything.
I was never hyperactive at all. (Then again, if I do have ADD I think I have the inattentive type).
I was never one to seek additional stimulation. If anything, I was constantly trying to reduce stimulation.
I try to keep my house and desk at work neat and organized. I canít stand to be in a messy environment. Itís very distracting.
What do you think? Does this sound like inattentive type ADD to you? It has occurred to me that the ways in which I donít seem like I have ADD may simply be ways Iíve compensated Ė writing everything down, keeping things very neat so I donít lose things, etc. Also, does anyone know of a good doctor in the <?xml:namespace prefix = st1 ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com /><st1:City w:st=Washington</st1:City> <st1:State w:st="on">D.C.</st1:State></ST1:p metro area who treats adults with ADD, especially with the predominantly inattentive type? Thanks.

12-18-06, 07:19 PM
Getting good grades doesn't rule out ADD/ADHD. I always did well in school. The only way to truly find out is to see a psychiatrist. I do not live in D.C. area, but ask your primary doctor who THEY would go to for ADD/ADHD. Find one with experience in ADHD. My psychiatrist is actually a child psychiatrist (who I work with) and he took me as a patient because of the diagnosis.

12-18-06, 08:26 PM
I also fared very well in high school "Advanced" graduate -- and again in college these last couple of years that I attended (Phi Theta Kappa & National Dean's List, even).

I didn't understand how I could have add/adhd AND get good grades. That's prob. why I never looked into it bec. I thought "Well, I do/did fine in school..?"

12-20-06, 07:40 AM
Don't be concerned if you don't fit the ADD profile 100%. According to the DSM-IV (did I get that right? Someone correct me if I'm wrong) if you can say "yeah that" to 6 out of the 9 characteristics (something like that) it's a pretty sure fire bet you have ADD. For example, I don't necessarily fidget or make too many implusive decisions, but I can't concentrate, I get tired very easily after reading a passage, and my mind will jump from topic to topic to topic! :)

Again, the only sure fire way to know is to be assessed by a dr.

PS I've taken those Myers-Briggs tests, and now I wonder about my results. For example, they often talked about the affects crowds of people had on you. I like to be around people and I need to interact face to face with people on a daily basis, which would make me extroverted. However, I also need my downtime and find that at the end of the day I need my hot bath, just to chill and be away from people.

12-20-06, 12:27 PM
I know of a very knowledgable, competent psychiatrist in So. California (she has ADD) who diagnosed my inattentive ADD a few years back.

12-20-06, 06:27 PM
I got good grades in high school, although I had to work very hard to get them.

You could have adhd inattentive, you could have something else, or you could have adhd and something else occurring together(co-morbidity). If your symptoms are causing you distress, and/or effecting your functioning, I would contact a specialist for an evaluation. If you have insurance, you may have to go thru your doctor to get a referall. To reassure yourself that you do, or don't have adhd, I would go ahead and get an evaluation. :)

It sounds like if you don't get an evaluation, you will always have that "what if" feeling.