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Old 05-12-20, 10:35 PM
jason-shawcross jason-shawcross is offline
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getting an adult diagnosis

hi all, this might be a bit of a ramble as i'm not even 100% on why i'm posting and i guess a full picture is needed. there will be a TL/DR

quick bit of info I'm 29(ish)

i know i'm not normal but i'm not sure why. i believe I've been diagnosed with Asperger's when i was in secondary school but for whatever reason i seem to have decided to block that out. i remember having some kind of support worker in class with me during my last two years at school and when i went to college.

when i went to university i didn't put anything about that down i had decided that i didn't want it to effect me so i was going to ignore it. i defiantly didn't want medication because i'm me and if a drug makes me think differently then i'm not me anymore was my thinking and i decided that if it was a behavioural problem then all i had to do was behave normal then i would be normal right? well i didn't get any of my projects finished and ended up failing the first year and left.

i pretty much had a wasted 2 years, couldn't get work didn't know what i wanted to do and i pretended i was normal so i decided to join the army had a great interview with the recruiter ace'd the tests (i think it was multiple choice) then out of the blue, after the medical check, i got a rejection letter which read along the lines of 'rejected due to possible Asperger syndrome' (they may have used other names)
what i don't get is this came as a total shock to me like i couldn't remember being diagnosed or anything about it even though knew i wasn't normal. afterwards i remembered filling out the forms on my college application and ticking the boxes for it. i vaguely remember going to see a few doctors before the support worker appeared but i didn't pay much attention i must have been 13/14 but it was like i blanked that part until then.

after that i decided to not complacently ignore it so i did some research and tbh i found myself identifying with it on a very borderline level yeah im socially awkward but i'm not dysfunctional, yeah i have a few of specific interests but i cant stay focused on them, yes i can spend 10 hours making a model but it should have only taken 2. i never truly accepted the diagnosis and decided that meant it probably wasn't true so i went back to ignoring it which was helped greatly by the fact that i went back to college to learn a trade(electrician).

the work was easy the course was part time, i barely needed to study. the tests where multiple choice so i aced them and i even managed to get a job in the final year as a caravan electrician while studying. in hindsight its been a downward spiral since then i was always slow but i couldn't figure out why. i could second fix a socket at the same speed, i could put in a down light faster than anyone and i pushed myself to work as fast as i could yet everyone managed to finish there list of jobs before i did plus i would forget things, put tools down and not picking them up was a constant one which led to tension if it wasn't mine. this led to me getting so stressed i hated Saturday nights because i knew tomorrow was the last day of the weekend and then i would be back at work constantly trying to catch up. i ended up quitting as soon as i finished college.

at this point i'm only part qualified the second part I needed to do was a practical portfolio. problem was i never got round to doing it (it wasn't part of that course but another i needed to do after) i should have taken photos of work and and done other such stuff health and safety organisation at work that kind of thing but i was always too busy.

since quitting that job i went through a string of temporary jobs nothing lasting more than a few months before the stress of not working fast enough built up and i quit and moved onto the next one, a lot easier to get away with in construction with agencies. then last year i got a proper job and for the last year of work I've pretty much been in constant anxiety. i never Finnish jobs on time countless times I've stayed late on a job to finish and not told my boss because i was embarrassed it took me the full day to do let alone overtime i would forget things get distracted from one job and move onto the next or not understand some instruction or forget something i was told. i just assumed i wasn't working hard enough, not paying enough attention. the worst bit is i was really good at the job just could never keep the output and now i hate every minute of it.

then a few months ago i was watching a youtuber that i listen to a lot and during a live stream or a video i cant quite remember he started talking about how he was recently diagnosed as having adhd (hes around my age) and he went on too explain why he went to a doctor and everything he said just clicked, he could have been describing me but at the back of my mind was doubt, what if I'm just lazy or just **** at my job and told myself it doesn't matter what you have you've just gotta work harder so i put it off for a while and carried on with work.

then this lock down started, there's a global pandemic; the economy could totally collapse; family, friends and even I could get sick and die but my anxiety just dropped. my problems haven't gone but at least i don't have to worry about something going wrong at work.

i ended up doing some research on adhd (ironically i was meant to be sculpting today for a competition that closes in two days but i got distracted by this......) and i don't think i have seen a symptom that i don't identify with on some level, even most of peoples personal experiences are mirrored somewhere in my life.

i want to get a diagnosis but I'm in fear of being told I'm fine that I'm just exaggerating everything and I'm just useless at anything I'm going to try and do

as for why now, ive always been a good artist at least my natural ability to draw was good and working in 3d is even better. i love to sculpt and i would love to have that as a job but i never Finnish much work.
today is a perfect example, i wake up start daydreaming and thinking of stuff until i realise its getting late so i get up go to my art room and i look at the piece I'm working on and say to myself this is taking to long sit down today and blast out the piece everything is there ready but first i'l just tidy up my work space and now i'll have a coffee (all the time I'm thinking about other stuff) and now i need to to the shop to get cat food because I've been putting it off and now i'm out(food only ran out then) and i need to get some sweets and chocolate and milk, so i go shopping come back and then realised i needed cat litre and i didn't get any chocolate or sweets because i was too busy thinking about something else but i did end up buying some work trousers from lidle that i probably don't need. then i get back sit down in front of my work then decide i need a coffee (btw every waking moment is a none stop stream of what ifs and ideas running through my head) so i sit down start to work then i realise I've stopped painting because i was just thinking about something then tell myself to get back to it, then suddenly i just need to google something real quick cause i just happened to think how much does cheap artist accommodation cost? so i sit back down but my coffees cold so go make a,new one sit back down do a little bit more, but i'm constantly thinking about things what i could be doing that article said something about Lisbon being a great city to move too for artists (i'm doing it now) and now I'm pacing the room ok lets sit back and I'm back up and reading more on it (my pc is on the other side of the room from my art) and through a highly convoluted thought process which even i cant link together now i eventually ended up researching adhd further and here i am now. i started at midday because i procrastinated all last night till 4 in the morning and its now 2 in the bloody morning (i know at least at one point i was pacing over there thinking about moving back in with my parents while writing this) and I'm meant to be sculpting, this was just i quick google. and now I'm thinking i could have just sculpted for 6 hours and then done this googling and decide not to do it again, but i will. to put this in perspective, i love making things I'm not putting of something i don't want to do its just there's always something more urgent.

I've tried to avoid just listing symptoms and decided to give a quick slice my life but i think I'll list a few things I've noticed for a long time about myself that i think might relate

i am always in my head even when working or sculpting there is a non stop thought process a daydream or a fantasy or a what if. sometime the daydreams take the form of conversation sometimes even from multiple viewpoints (i know its all myself its more like a problem solving tool i.e what would he say if i said this) and sometimes i get so lost in them i might start talking out loud

I'm constantly thinking about the past, mainly my mistakes or missed chances or embarrassments as far as I'm aware everything I've listed below has happened since primary school (or earlier, not sure)

pacing, while thinking while waiting, physical between what i'm meant to be doing something I'm thinking about, sometimes I'm in the middle of doing something and i get distracted in thought and get up and pace

sometimes i don't even know how i got onto a subject and I'm in a different room deep in thought and I'm pacing. I'm aware i got up and walked over and was deep in thought i know i then started to do something else but what was it?

coffee and tea are a bad one, i'll be just starting to do something then i realise i could have brew so i'll just stop and make one which is fine but i don't always go straight back to what i was doing


video games, i can play league of legends for non stop, sims yeah (but i google stuff and watch stuff and play on max speed

sometimes i can focus on a task really well, but its rarely what i actually would prefer to spend my time doing and definitely not what i should be doing

i zone out of conversation someone will say something and i'll follow a train of thought from there or i find i just had an idea and im seeing the lips but i cant remember what they just said or there's a picture on the wall.

i struggle to remember spoken instructions (definitely ain't gonna follow directions)

i get distracted a lot (this came to me now because i just read the summery of a scholarly article that was linked on an open page on my other screen after writing the last point. i am at this point a walking cliche)

its got to the point now that my family just accept that i have no time keeping skills if i invite them to diner I'm going to still be sorting stuff when they arrive regardless of the time i had to prepare

there's a running joke now that everyone knows that im going to be completely unaware of any social gathering even though they where 100% sure i was there when we talked about it.

i put bills off until the very last minute even though i can afford to pay them (in fact i think i put everything off till last minute(just realised i started this whole thing because i cant focus on my artwork that i need to finish in two days but I'm putting it off to write this))

I've just given up on making this list.

I'm disorganised impulsive and forgetful to the point that everyone around me is aware of it accepts it and has changed there behaviour to suit and I've only just becoming aware the implications of that and I've just realised this whole exercise is just one long distracted train of thoughts that your only going to see about a third of and I've managed to convince myself already because I've just spent a whole day writing a forum post and thinking about other **** instead of just painting my sculpture and tbh i don't know how i got so late this day has just gone.

TL/DR - summary
I've spent my whole life struggling with forgetfulness, distraction daydreaming inability to focus except on the odd occasion where i spend a full day doing something. today i woke up with 2 things to do. get some cat food and finish my art, i got the cat food because shes more distracting than i am and I've spent a total of 30 mins on my art and 12 hours doing something else and I'm cant actually explain why I've taken all that time.

and yet after writing all of that there's still the self self doubt i guess i just want to know I'm not gonna make a fool of myself by seeing a doctor and being told I'm fine. i think I've made the choice to see someone while writing this but I'll post anyway, someone might give me a new perspective or someone else might read it and be in a similar place

cheers for reading
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Old 05-22-20, 05:14 AM
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Re: getting an adult diagnosis

Welcome @Jason-shawcross:
Adhd is defined a lot by impairments. It sounds like you have some significant, interfering impairments. Do you have a relationship with a doctor that you could have a televisit with? or is this so brand new and your mental health has been good enough that you didnt need any help until now?
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Old 06-12-20, 01:23 PM
amoreno amoreno is offline
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Re: getting an adult diagnosis

ok , so a couple of things, the way you write is very ADHD, like all over the place with a bunch of different stories at the same time and going everywhere. I know cuz I write like that too!!!
2. autism spectrum disorder has a common comorbidity with ADHD, its common to have both.
3. You are probably not lazy, you just haven't found the way your mind works best, I will give you a couple of examples of how I "fixed" some of my ADHD problems before I was even diagnosed.
I never folded my clothes nor put them away and they were always all over the place and my mom always used to get angry with me because of this, then on day I realized I hated the action of folding them neatly because it required a lot to attention to detail and it was so broing, so I changed ALL my clothes to hangers, the "problem" dissapeared..... I put all my underwear in one of those over the door shoe organizers, I literally just shove it in ( no folding no organizing.) AS you can see, if I had continued doing what my mom wanted and worked the way she worked ( folding, organizing being exact and following regular procedures) I would still be a mess, but I just found a different way to clear up the mess ( believe me my mom still doesn't approve) but my room and my clothes are put away 80% of the time instead of the 30% I had before.

I was a total hoarder of crafts stuff, and I had everything everywhere because according to me " I needed to see it to use it" but I never did anything because I never knew which one to choose because they were so many things. Then I found out that people with ADHD have a high tendency to hoard, and I cleaned out and threw away pretty much anything I wasn't using, I stopped thinking "maybe I will use this later" because we know that for us later is usually never and suddenly I only had one option and became really good at it ( I do calligraphy)

and the hardest one, that I believe you are also struggling with, I am good at many artistic things, singing, drawing, painting, acting, sculpting, writing, but my passion is teaching, so when I found out I had ADHD a very sad idea materialized, I had amazing potential but only so much attention to use it for one thing, I had to let go of other ideas that had nested on my mind, other dreams that I knew I was able to perform "if only I had the time". It was like having a ferrari but with very little gasoline, before I never got anywhere because I tried driving to all the places and I ran out of gas, now I get to the place that I want but I can only go to ONE place at a time. SO I don't paint, I don't design, I don't sing, I don't draw, I don't start another career, I focus on making amazing classes for my kids and giving them an excellent service, it doesn't mean I can't do all the other things every once in a while I just don't waste my attention on becoming better at them. ( I used to practice all this things and study about them, and show people when I did them)
When you get diagnosed you start your education on yourself, it will fine tune you to the way your brain really works and thrives.

As you can see most of the things I mentioned were decisions I made, I decided to stop fighting myself and just work with what I have, but I don't have that "much" ADD, so a lot people ( maybe you too) need the meds to start focusing or paying attention to what you really want.

This is what meds do ( more or less)
without meds: Hey I want to go get some chips . *procrastinates, or is unable to change task so they never get the chips*
With meds: Hey I want to get some chips *goes and gets the chips*

The meds don't make you more organized, they just help you do what you want to do, but if you don't know what you want, the meds won't help you.
Thats were therapy comes in, your therapist will help you find what are the things that are important in your life and how the ADD is causing trouble in those areas. Meds without therapy will only take you so far and they don't really make you a "different person"
lets just say you were an astronomer, and you studied a lot but instead of a telescope you were only given a microscope, ( the microscope is the A.D.D) so as cool and useful as the microscope is it won't help you see the stars, you need a telescope to do that (the telescope is the meds) You see if you get a telescope, the telescope won't change all your knowledge, or your aim, or your dreams, or the way you did things, the telescope would just help you achieve something that was unattainable before. Now in this very weird analogy, a therapist would be a fellow astronomer/mentor, they could tell you that you can study the stars in other ways without the telescope, or maybe show you that with your microscope you could study fallen stars that landed on earth.
Also, many people have to continue changing their meds because they don't work or they have secondary symptoms, thats were a psychiatrist comes in.

Its great to be diagnosed, because you can finally stop thinking " Oh I am lazy" and start thinking Oh, so thats why I do that!!! Now how can I fix this problem with the resources I have been given?

Also, you should hang around pinterest in the Autism and aDHD tags, there is a bunch of awesome stuff but you kinda have to curate it, initially when you first search it only gives you academic stuff, or tips for moms with kids with autism or ADHD, but if you are persistent you will start finding all these tumblr anecdotic posts of people with ADD and once you pin them, the pinterest algorithm will automatically give you more in your home page, there is also a bunch of people that do comics that explain stuff, and the Tik tok tag "Actually Autistic" is gold, because you get to see a lot of people and their perspectives and how what you thought was autism (ASD) doesn't match how these individuals are living their lives. I don't have autism, but my brother has it, so I roam around both tags a lot.

They are helpful because you see other people struggling with what you live, and suddenly you aren't alone and weird and lazy, you are just wired differently.
sorry for the long post.
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Old 06-12-20, 01:37 PM
amoreno amoreno is offline
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Re: getting an adult diagnosis

Also, you can achieve any career or job, but you might not be able to do it in the same way others are doing it.
I started my masters degree and was so overwhelmed I thought I wouldn't be able to make it.
Then I realized that I could do it, but only If I accepted I could only take one class per semester which doubled the amount of years it would take me graduate. ( I am still missing 2 years!)
Go to the doctor, start your education, that was my mistake I found out when I was 21, but I never went to the doctor because I thought that I could deal on my own, and that the "correct" way was to fix this things on my own, that meds and doctors where "cheating", even if you weren't diagnosed, there is enough wisdom in the ADD forums that can help other people that don't have it.
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