View Full Version : Could I have ADD?

07-26-04, 12:28 AM
In advance, sorry for the long post. I hope you will have the patience to read it.

Hello, I am trying to find the answers to a few behaviors that have been a negative impact on my life, and this search has led me to this forum. I am hoping that with your experience and knowledge regarding ADD, you may be able to tell me if I might be someone with ADD or another problem. First, a little about myself, so that you may know my background or other things that might be relevant.

Age: 19
Gender: Male

Social Ability: I am very reserved and tend to have very little self-disclosure, even with friends (I know it is ironic since I am posting this). I find it hard to relate or reach common ground with most people. I make friends slowly, and I prefer to only have a few good friends over many friends. I also tend to judge people quickly and be suspicious of most people.

School: I have always been a good student (I have a 4.0 and will comfortably finish my bachelors in two years as opposed to four), as far as being able to meet professor's academic expectations. I do find it hard to pay attention in the classroom, and I tend to day dream a LOT. Consequently, I often skip classes that do not have strict attendance policies.

Possible Idiosyncrasy: I have found that I often obsess over things and then out of the blue I no longer obsess over them. For instance, I used to be obsessed with the stock market and various ways to predict stock prices and then I woke up one day and totally forgot my obsession until weeks later when I was reminded of it.

All right, now for what I am worried about:

Behaviors in Question: (A) I fidget a lot (drum or weave my fingers, tap my foot, shake my leg, touch my face (a lot) or chest, etc...). My parents have told me I do this a lot, but I do not really look at what other people do with their hands and feet, so I never really believed it was too out of the ordinary. That is, until I set up a camera in my room and looked over the logs to find that I am constantly fidgeting.

Touching your face in speech is a nonverbal indicator that the person is perhaps lying and general fidgeting indicates to people that you may be nervous, which is why I am now so concerned of this behavior that I do not seem to have enough self-control to stop.

(B) I pace incessantly. I used to not mind it too much because I always viewed my pacing as the way I think, but now I am wondering if perhaps I think BECAUSE I pace (so, the other way around). Or, in other words, I pace and then I think because my mental processes are now relatively unstimulated. I am beginning to mind this because it seriously affects my productivity. The problem is, I can (and often do) pace for hours at a time. I work on the computer and I find that without thought I will get up and start a fast pace and then realize that I am doing this and sit back down. My concern is that I have tried to stop pacing and I find it terribly difficult; and also, when I do pace, it is not a conscious decision to pace but an automatic action.

Does this fall in the realm of not-so-normal-but-still-normal behavior or could there be something else here? Btw, so you know, I do not have a history of being a hypochondriac, lol.

Thanks for your time.

07-26-04, 01:38 AM
ADD and ADHD are disorders that occur along a spectrum, that is to say, most people do most of the things that define you as ADD, the only question is how MUCH do they do them and how MUCH does this interfere with their day to day life. You mention you are extremely successful in class. Are you happy with your life? Are you happy with the way you are? If so, then does it really matter whether you are ADD or not?

We can certainly advise you, and the symptoms you describe fit the profile. But the only way to be sure is to have a professional with experience with ADD diagnose you.

You might want to read a book or two on the subject as well. There is a Books section here at the forums where several have been reviewed.

At any rate, welcome to the bunch! Another way to see if you are "like" everybody here is simply to look around and see if you fit in or not. You don't need a professional diagnosis to look around, read, or talk...

07-26-04, 03:40 AM
OK so you aren't a hypochondriac (yeah right)
(sorry but that sounded awfully suspicious)
OK sorry again (slapping self)
[I'm kidding really (sort of)]

No doubt you are Obsessive Compulsive (OCD) but hey other than being a little bit weird I didn't notice any real problems surrounding that.

"Out of the ordinary" is fine as long as it doesn't keep you from what you want to achieve in life. The social issues seem the biggest problem. Do you want more social contact or are you OK with being the wierdo you are?

Pacing and fidgeting are not a big issue in themselves. I'd suspect the pacing is not interfering but actually helping you concentrate (and yes that's a normal, healthy ADD thing). ADD isn't a disease necessarily but just a bit different way of operating. If meds work for you, that can help to fit into the regular word some... at least while they are working.

I also touch my face. I have a particular 5-step swiping across my nose, then lips that I've always done and I've had a shrink point it out as a potentially neurotic behaviour long ago. That's interesting you say it's a sign of lying. My interpretation is that means it's a sign of repressed emotions (lying to myself) and in my case the repetetive regularity suggests OCD as well. I wouldn't worry too much because everyone is a bit weird and would focus more on using those peculiar clues to decipher your situation (which you are doing) rather than worrying if you are "diseased irretrievably" in some way (we all are). That'd be cool if I could make a specific intrpretation of my swiping actions but really they aren't too bad. OTOH those kind of OCD behaviours have a rather superstitious character to them. Aspergers/Autistic folk have odd things like rocking & repetitious supersitious-looking obsessions... they are all inter-related. But hey, if you think the rocking chair is a device strictly for the insane...

In the case of ADD, pacing and related hyperactivity is an attempt to activate parts of the brain that are struggling and looking for resolution (frustrated). So yeah, from that perspective, it's a (somewhat) crippling disease. But the mind is a wonderful thing and can adapt and find ways around and make advantages out of problems in the blink of an eye so I wouldn't worry terribly about it. If pacing helps you concentrate, then pace to your hear's content. Your brain knows what it needs, sometimes, it is OK to trust it. Your heart should know when that's truly causing problems so listen to that if you hear it and follow it.

Oh and, Welcome!