View Full Version : Am I crazy or...


SomeGuy4040
11-29-10, 09:16 PM
I know it's probably against the rules to ask for help here but I'm at a breaking point. I'm a college student and I think I may have ADD. The only thing keeping me from asking a physician is that I'm afraid of being told that I'm just lazy or not trying hard enough. I asked my mom about it freshmen year of college who in turn asked a close friend of hers who is also a physician. He basically laughed me off as if I was seeking a quick fix to school. So my fear lies there.

My reasoning for thinking so is as follows:

I can never think straight. It always feels like a million things are going through my head. Right now I'm tempted to check the news, scratch my head, go get something to eat, anything, other than finishing typing this thing. My mind constantly shifts from one thing to the next. It's great for thinking of creative out of the box ideas, but sucks because I can never concentrate on anything.

Along the same lines, reading assignments and procrastination have always resulted from this behavior. I read a paragraph and I think of something else or wander off on another train of thought. I've always received decent grades, but I cannot recall ever completing an assignment that required me to read a decent amount of pages. I either got shortened notes, quickly skimmed important parts, or relied on pure BS. The frustrating part is that I like reading. I do not mind it, but I can't put myself to complete it. Because I can't complete it, I get overwhelmed with anxiety.

I fidget a lot. A lot of random scratching(arms, legs), sometimes I pick at scabs, pulse legs, etc. I feel like I irritated, almost trapped when I'm sitting still and doing a task. I can almost never fall asleep unless I am completely drained due to my head constantly thinking.

I'm almost out of a good college and wonder if it's even worth looking into. I feel completely hopeless and out of control sometimes though. I really really want to work, and yet I can't do it. I've never tried any typical ADHD medication, so I have no idea if it would work or not. My main question is should I even ask a physician? If I go to the campus wellness center will they take me seriously or at least refer me to someone, or will they laugh at me thinking I just want aderall?

huntley
11-30-10, 03:50 AM
Sounds about right.
They'll take you seriously. In my experience, campus organizations are pretty awesome this way.

peripatetic
11-30-10, 04:06 AM
yes, you should talk to a physician (i suggest a psychiatrist, not your general practicioner--unless s/he's well versed in adhd) and yes you should go to your student wellness center. they should have a neuro/psychologist on staff who can do assessments and then refer you to a psychiatrist as needed.

oh, and welcome to the forums:)

heefman
11-30-10, 07:40 AM
I know it's probably against the rules to ask for help here but I'm at a breaking point. I'm a college student and I think I may have ADD. The only thing keeping me from asking a physician is that I'm afraid of being told that I'm just lazy or not trying hard enough. I asked my mom about it freshmen year of college who in turn asked a close friend of hers who is also a physician. He basically laughed me off as if I was seeking a quick fix to school. So my fear lies there.

My reasoning for thinking so is as follows:

I can never think straight. It always feels like a million things are going through my head. Right now I'm tempted to check the news, scratch my head, go get something to eat, anything, other than finishing typing this thing. My mind constantly shifts from one thing to the next. It's great for thinking of creative out of the box ideas, but sucks because I can never concentrate on anything.

Along the same lines, reading assignments and procrastination have always resulted from this behavior. I read a paragraph and I think of something else or wander off on another train of thought. I've always received decent grades, but I cannot recall ever completing an assignment that required me to read a decent amount of pages. I either got shortened notes, quickly skimmed important parts, or relied on pure BS. The frustrating part is that I like reading. I do not mind it, but I can't put myself to complete it. Because I can't complete it, I get overwhelmed with anxiety.

I fidget a lot. A lot of random scratching(arms, legs), sometimes I pick at scabs, pulse legs, etc. I feel like I irritated, almost trapped when I'm sitting still and doing a task. I can almost never fall asleep unless I am completely drained due to my head constantly thinking.

I'm almost out of a good college and wonder if it's even worth looking into. I feel completely hopeless and out of control sometimes though. I really really want to work, and yet I can't do it. I've never tried any typical ADHD medication, so I have no idea if it would work or not. My main question is should I even ask a physician? If I go to the campus wellness center will they take me seriously or at least refer me to someone, or will they laugh at me thinking I just want aderall?

I just started the testing process because I also suffer from everything you described in your post. I never even considered the possibility of ADD when I was in college, but I self medicated with alcohol during most of my college years so my thinking wasn't exactly straight. I have suffered from social phobia since childhood and I think a combination of this and chronic alcohol abuse may have given me severe anxiety disorders, and this could possibly be giving me these ADD symptoms.

SomeGuy4040
12-14-10, 03:13 PM
Thanks for all of the help. I just got back from my appointment. They scheduled me with a counselor because they do not schedule anyone immediately with the one psychiatrist on staff. The counselor was useless. He immediately disregarded the notion because I wasn't diagnosed as a kid. Also, he questioned how I got to my senior year of college. I explained that it wasn't easy. That I have had to switch my major, that I've failed a class, that my grade point is low, and that I lost all of my scholarships at one point, and only managed to get one back. He basically told me he would work with me on "study habits." I tried to tell him that my motivation was not a problem. I have a strong will, I ran cross country with horrendous asthma for years(I would win the race and then go immediately to the hospital). I can do that, but I can't get through 2 paragraphs without wondering off. Plus this won't help me sleep or keep my attention span in other aspects of my life. Grrr. :mad:

I agreed to get help from him with my study habits but asked to see the psychiatrist anyways for a second opinion. He told me that she will say the same thing. I lost it in the office, broke down crying. I don't cry. I've maybe cried once in my adult life other than this time. So this is a big deal for me. It was the only time that I got a somewhat sympathetic look from the guy. But anyways I'm really fearful that the psychiatrist is going to blow me off. I'm really convinced I have this as I've matched up almost perfectly with every symptom besides some of the social ones. My girlfriend who has been living with me is convinced I have it too.

I don't know what to do though since I was not diagnosed as a child. I mean I was a super active child. I was always playing basketball, running around the yard, etc, etc. I remember on Sundays I would watch football and I would run around the house throwing the football to myself all day as if I was a football player. I channeled all my extra energy into sports and maybe that masked it? I was always super focused on one activity at a time. I would get really really into a thing and then move on to something else. I'm still like that to a degree. Today I play video games rabidly. I feel like it's the only time my head goes into a "calm." I didn't get bad grades in elementary school though so I'm not sure if I'll ever get diagnosed.

Sorry for the rant. I had to get it off my chest though and don't really have any other avenue to do so. Should I give up if the psychiatrist turns me away too? Maybe I don't have it?

bof00
12-14-10, 03:59 PM
The psychiatrist will most likely know what they're looking for and see it. If not, I would still get a second opinion from another. That's the first question I was asked - If I was diagnosed as a child, and I wasn't. But mine is even more masked cause I'm just plain inattentive and everyone knows it and jokes about it. You sound like you fit the typical so I would think it would be easy for them to diagnose.

Epsilonn
12-14-10, 10:43 PM
My university psychiatric office was useless. It took me 3.5 months (entire semester) of being 100% certain I had ADD, for me to be "officially" diagnosed. Doctors, teachers, family, friends-- everyone said I was lying. Apparently I didn't exhibit the symptoms of inattentive ADD when I was a kid, so this means the hypothesis can be dismissed automatically. My question: How does ANYONE in the world know what/how I think?

I rarely take advil/tylenol let alone medication and I was viewed as a "med seeking monster". I was rejected from the examination accommodations at my school, despite being legally justified to have them. I have had absolutely no support and have gotten to the point of demanding I have an emergency appointment with the psychiatrist, in order to be taken seriously. I was told by the psychiatrist that if I hadn't been so determined, I wouldn't have even gotten a second appointment.

I basically had my entire world claiming I was insane for a semester. And yet I'll still say this: It's worth it.

I've gotten help now, and literally feel as if my IQ has been raised by 40 points. Everything is clear. Everything is straight forward. The first day I was on medication, I broke down in tears by how beautiful the world was-- I had never seen it in so much peace. Also, it's made such a difference that people think I'm sane again ;P

Whichever future route you will take towards therapy/medication, if any at all, you might as well go through the diagnosis process and see if you have ADD. If you don't have it, you'll stop wondering. If you do, your life could change entirely.

SomeGuy4040
12-15-10, 04:03 AM
Epsilonn, thank you so much for your response. This at least gives me a glimmer of hope. :) I really really appreciate it.

Epsilonn
12-15-10, 11:23 PM
I think most people who aren't TRULY certain that their lifestyle identifies with ADD would have quit with less than half the pain we've endured.
:) Hang in there.

Atypical Sand
12-16-10, 12:00 AM
Like others are saying, don't give up. My university does not diagnose or treat ADHD, which I didn't find out until seeing a Psychologist, a Psychiatrist with an MD, and a Learning Disability Specialist, which took several weeks and a LOT of nervous waiting and explanation. The local specialist was several months backlogged. I ended up finding help in what I thought was the least likely place, a Community-based clinic. Just keep at it, and you'll find someone who can help you.

SomeGuy4040
12-16-10, 01:29 AM
Thank you for the encouraging words. Seriously, it means a lot. I talked it over with my mom and after a lot of digging(there are seriously very few places that take adults), we found and made an appointment at a place that regularly tests adults for ADHD. I actually was really lucky and got an appointment next week to meet with the doctor, go over everything and and possibly take the TOVA. It feels like a huge weight has been lifted because I know I will at least be listened to and not immediately tossed aside. I'll let you know how it goes. Once again, thank you.

SomeGuy4040
01-28-11, 04:10 AM
Ok...So long story about my whole process:

For the past month I've been going to a psychologist about twice a week. It was a killer drive and I had to go immediately after work. I was never told anything or updated as to not compromise the tests. Overall it was about 7-8 appointments of testing(roughly 45 minutes a visit) and finally tonight I got my verdict.

The testing consisted of basic adhd criteria questions, IQ test, a long psychological test, and a tova. At the time it was extremely frustrating to continually go back and not get any feedback, but it all made sense once everything was laid out. The psychologist had told me that he wanted all information to make an accurate diagnoses.

So tonight we went through everything. The criteria questions came back with an extremely high rating(90 something). The IQ test showed that I was lagging a bit for my college education and that I was significantly lower on the two portions that typically effect ADDers(in the bottom 10th percentile *ouch*). That took a chunk out of my ego. The TOVA came back with a huge indicator in variation, nonresponse, and reaction but didn't show impulsiveness. That test was really helpful in showing the data and making a good picture of how I compare. My final test showed that I was clear of anything that may look like ADD(anxiety, depression, etc). The psychologist said that there is no sure way of diagnosing add, but we can basically know that I have it given the current available diagnoses tools.

I didn't know what to think as he told me this. Should I be glad? Should I be sad? Should I be upset I didn't go sooner? These are just questions that rushed to my mind as this was happening. I was honestly in a state of bewilderment because I had been trying to judge his reactions during testing and I thought he was going to say that it was mild or that I didn't have it...quite far from it.

I will be seeing a doctor soon and going on meds. I'm kind of scared given that I've never really had positive run ins with neurological meds(I have daily chronic migraines and tension headaches and after a couple of years of "trying out" drugs decided to go cold turkey and suck it up). But we'll see. I'm just glad that I went through everything. It explains SOOOOOOO much about me. And now I don't feel like a complete screw up, even though I'm sure a lot of it is still to blame on me.

Thanks again for those that posted on this topic. I seriously wouldn't have gone to either appointment if it weren't for this thread. Now that I know I have a problem, I can work on fixing it. I feel much better about it already. Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!

SomeGuy4040
02-02-11, 05:47 AM
Update:

I saw the MD and am now taking Vyvanse.

First day: WOW! My life did a 180 and I felt like a new person. Here's how my day went. I woke up, took medication. Soon afterwards I ate a good breakfast. During breakfast I talked effortlessly to my friends. I usually avoid conversations. I'm prone to mumble or stumble around words, or I forget some of the points they are making. Today it was all clear. I talked clearly, distinctly and said what I wanted to say. The feeling was amazing. I didn't feel like I was stupid and couldn't communicate.

After breakfast I went back to my room and cleaned up some of the mess and organized my room. I checked my email, immediately replying to emails that demanded attention and deleting others that didn't. There was no looking and putting things away for later use. I took a shower, got dressed. I socialized for a bit more afterwards! Then I actually started to take care of my assignments. I wrote a 1 page paper effortlessly and quickly in about 10 minutes. I then READ a chapter for one of my classes! Today was simply amazing to me. I can't remember ever being able to sit down and complete tasks a head of the due date. It's a liberating experience. I actually had a couple of moments where I was crying out of sheer joy. My head feels "clear" now. I can focus on things. My mind still jumps from idea to idea but the difference is that I do not forget about the first idea I come to. I can now go back to it on command if that makes sense or resonates with anyone. I am simply astonished at the difference. It's beyond words.

THANK YOU SO MUCH to anyone that posts on this forum. Thank you so much to anyone that posted on this particular thread. Without this thread, I don't think that I would've gone through with the testing. Thank you so much for changing my life for the better. You have no idea what it means to me. :)

Bezuidenthustra
02-02-11, 06:33 AM
No offense, but this thread made me chuckle a bit. Your descriptions of your life rang so clearly of AD/HD that I'm absolutely boggled by your counselor's and school psychiatrist's original responses. In fact, that **** makes me livid. This disorder fights so many battles against ignorance - the last one it needs to fight is against those very people entrusted to diagnose it. Ugh.

This last post made me smile. It reminded me of when I first started taking Ritalin. My life was very much like yours before the medication. Ritalin hasn't solved all my problems, but it's given me that huge element of control that I simply did not have before. I'm glad you've found that!

(Oh, and to answer your thread title: NO, you're not crazy! hahaha)

JonADD
02-02-11, 07:37 PM
EPSILONN - I feel like you stole my post ;). Took me 3 months to find someone who took me seriously also - and another 3 months of mostly my own work to find the right medications. Yes, it was a HORRIBLE time but now, looking back, I'm glad I persisted because my circumstances, as unique as they are, left me no alternative.

SomeGuy4040 - Congratulations on that successful diagnosis and starting medication. Just remember, the "magic" doesn't wear off when you don't feel the euphoria anymore.

Good luck folks.