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Old 03-18-03, 08:17 PM
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Hi there! My name's Tom, and I'm a 32 year old man. I suspect I have ADD, but I'm still pre-diagnosis, so take all of this with a grain of salt.

Have you ever had the weird feeling of wanting to have an incurable, lifelong disease? That's where I am with ADD! It would explain so much of my life. Like that book title -- it would mean I'm not lazy, stupid, or crazy.

My life has been a long string of failures -- failures to live up to my potential. When I was a young child, I was slow to start reading and showed little interest in my schoolwork, so I was placed in the "slow kids'" class as it was assumed it was mentally retarded.

When I was fairly young (I don't know the exact age), my Mom was trying to get me interested in reading by reading to me out of the Hobbit, and a little way in, I told her "that's ok, Mom, I'll finish it." I remember thinking she was going so SLOWLY!

This caused my parents to be interested in re-evaluating my learning capabilities. After I scored off the charts on several intelligence tests, the local university tested me and found that I had an IQ of 172. This was the old scale; I think that with today's "adjusted" scales, that would be higher, perhaps 180. Regardless, this level only occurs about once in every one hundred thousand people. My parents were quite excited -- they had a little supergenius on their hands!

I was quickly yanked out of the classes for the slow kids, and put into the gifted program -- which did wonders for me. All of a sudden, I found myself interested in the subject matter and was cruising along -- I tended to make even the rest of my gifted peers look slow... sometimes.

And that "sometimes" is the kicker. Because even in elementary school, and especially going forward, I heard one phrase, again and again: "Tom isn't living up to his potential." How I started to hate hearing that! To me it was a thinly veiled way of saying that I was lazy, that I was a loser, that I was a failure. Obviously this was, and still is, a huge hit on my self-esteem.

I never fit in socially. I've always been a little shy, and social interactions always seem a little baffling -- I have a hard time "reading" people sometimes (other times I'm brilliant at it -- I still don't know if I'm socially gifted or socially retarded... maybe both). I have several comorbid health problems, one of which is a pituitary adenoma -- until just recently I produced barely enough testosterone to get by. As a result my sex-drive was almost nil, and I was happy enough without "a girl" -- even though I wanted a girlfriend to feel "normal." As my testosterone has returned, that's changed...

My work life has been... well I wouldn't say a disaster... but again, not living up to my potential. Instead of staying in college and getting my doctorate for some research work (what I'm really interested in!), I dropped out because I couldn't concentrate and do the homework. So, I have a programming job for one of the largest software companies in the world, but I feel chronically underchallenged and... bored.

Boredom -- what a horrible word. Boredom has been a curse my entire life! I'm so bad with things that bore me -- work, reading textbooks and so on, hobbies after that initial "new thing" rush, even relationships...

I'm SO distractable. Any new thing will divert me from what I'm doing... I'm SO disorganized... my home and desk are arranged around "piles" of stuff... I'm forgetful -- I forget to pay bills, make phone calls, keep in touch with friends (they think I don't care, so they just drift away... I've lost so many friends that way!)

I have had a couple battles with alcohol addiction. One of the reasons I got involved with alcohol was women -- when I'm talking to a woman, particularly one I'm attracted to, there are so many thoughts and "voices" (not real voices, you understand) going through my head that I act distracted and uninterested... With alcohol, my mind seemed so relaxed and... focused. I could focus and flirt with all my being -- and the results were so encouraging! Except that it usually involved getting sloppy drunk. After getting into some trouble with alcohol, I've sworn it off for good (6 months sober now), but I do sometimes miss that feeling of clarity and focus and just... ease of thinking and being.

I read some of the descriptions of the new drug Strattera in the meds forum -- and I almost cried. I have felt my whole life like so much of me is going to waste, like I was ... dissipated. My energies go every which way except where I want and need them to go. I so desperately want to be able to function at my full potential. I hate, hate, HATE this horrible feeling of REGRET at what "might have been..."

Ugh, I'm running out of steam now -- another ADD trait? I've taken a number of online ADD tests, and all of them -- every single one -- said it was all but certain that I have ADD. Supposedly I have the "inattentive" subtype.

Oh, did I mention that my nickname as a child was "sleepy?" Curiouser and curiouser.

Anyway, I want to sum up but I'm out of steam. Mostly I wanted to say hello, to compare my stories to yours -- to just reassure myself that I'm NOT lazy, stupid, or crazy.

Good to meet you all!

-- Tom
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Old 03-18-03, 09:16 PM
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First, let me welcome you to the ADD Forums. Whether you actually DO have ADD, or just similar symptoms, I think we can learn much from each other in this forum.

Second, those dreaded phrases "[insert name] is not living up to his potential" or "if he just applied himself" or "if he just tried a little harder" were some of the most painful things I could hear as a child. Knowing for certain that I was trying my damndest, and something just wasnt 'right'. The distractability, the focused and eager attention to one subject (mine was Social Studies) and yet the complete and utter failure in another (in this instance, math) completely baffled my teachers and parents.

I relate to much of your story, Tom, and will tell you this: Until I got the proper diagnosis and subsequent treatment, my work and family life was unbelievable challenging. I encourage you to learn as much as you can and ask as many questions as you can. It wasn't until I did, that I found relief from the painful frustration that was my undiagnosed ADD childhood.

Once again, welcome aboard, and I look forward to additional posts from you
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Old 03-18-03, 10:46 PM
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Welcome to ADD Forums Tom!
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Old 03-21-03, 03:13 PM
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Garry Garry is offline
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I see a lo0t of me in what you wrote

Not the of 172 though

but many other things

I look at my inattentive ness as a positive in that I can try out so many differnent things

Look on the negative side You could be stuck with a boring job thats the same thing every daY We could then call you Robbie Robot

I have never been unemployed in my life for more than 2 months but I hve only had 2 jobs that lasted more than 2 years and the were both at the same plant

im 49

started work at 17

49-17 =32

average job lenth - 9 months

you figure it out

I can program a computer in several (old Languages)
overhaul my car rebuild an old delapedated house drive a big truck drive a school bus and so on and so on

But my biggest thrill of all is learning how to do something new
then something new again and so the cycle grows

I like me for who I am and I feel very fortunate to have the abillitys I have

I feel sorry for the straight people who dont have the gifts we ADDers have

Most people go to college to learn how to be SOMETHING doctor lawer candelstick maker

I went to college to (Learn How To Learn) and meet people to *** I talk much more than I type

who really gives a rats **** if I cant stay at a job for long

I feel that that if the company isnt glad to have me due to my diverse knowlage the too bad so sad someone else will

Mind you im not rich and I dont have any money put away for retirement

but I really dont care

Ill never retire so therefore I dont need any

Enjoy the abillitys you have Enhance your life by enjoying what you do best weather it be one thing or 1000 different things

read this page its what changed my life
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Old 03-21-03, 04:59 PM
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Hi Tom, I just joined this forum a few days ago and I think you will find comfort in knowing there are a lot us out here. I know I have. I can fully relate to your story in more ways than I can say without yapping all day long. I will say that you appear to have a good chance at getting yourself together. I'm not a Dr. but I've spent the last month educating my two insurance companies as well as my therapist about the different sub-types. In a loving way, I want you to feel good about having just one sub type, for some of us, we have the gift and misfortune of having all of them, hence the #6 Ring of Fire. I hope you can find an understanding and educated DR about your sub-type of ADD. This is leading edge technology and a lot of health providers aren't up to speed, pun intended. I am fighting and fighting for a SPECT brain scan and I was just told I can go to Stanford, but now I have to wait until next Wed. I finally found my Healing ADD book written by Dr. Daniel Amen that I misplaced and encourage you to try and read it. I haven't been able to finish it yet, lol. In regards to the alcohol, I've been there too, but my oldest brother died from it in 1992 so I watch myself very carefully. If you feel like chatting, my Yahoo id is "rkellyg" Best of luck to you my friend, take care, Kel
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Old 03-26-03, 02:38 PM
Lafnalot Lafnalot is offline
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I never properly said hello and wanted to make sure I took the time. Being the typical disordered person I started getting confused at the board began growing. Forgive me and welcome to our family.
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Old 04-03-03, 09:28 PM
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Quiescent Quiescent is offline
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wooo.....excuse me for not reading that long,long,long,long introduction but welcome to our addforum! i am 13 and i have ad/hd, odd, ocd, bipolar, and deep depression....yo!

- "There will always be something better out there, so if you want to wait for something better, you will always be waiting" - Me

- "Negative thoughts, words, and paths are only noise for the signal for our brains. Just like the Signal to Noise ratio is for sound devices, the more noise we have, the less signal we have." - Me
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