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Old 09-22-04, 06:02 PM
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Question Looking for early ADHD childhood symptoms in my husband

The DSM-IV, as I understand it, states that in order for an ADD diagnosis to be given onset of ADD symptoms must occur before the age of 7.

I am able to pinpoint a few things that suggest ADD at a young age in myself but my husband(who I also believe to have ADD) is having a harder time with that. He has pretty much gotten by on pure intuition, intelligence, and luck for 35 years and its starting to run out. His ADD symptoms are easily tracable to Middle School but, like many inattentive types, he didn't raise any concerns before that time.

I'm still trying to get my Mother in law to find his old school records to see when the "not working to potential" messages started to come home.

The main things that I can come up with ahout him from an early age are - poor handwriting and didn't know how to color in Kindergarten(he could identify several different types of pine trees, though). Kind of weak.

His psychiatrist has determined that he is just depressed. This is probably true but, in my opinion, its because at 35 years old with a masters degree and the beginning of a PhD he has no direction in his life at all. We are on a "Fast Food" style mental health plan that requires we determine all of our problems in 30 minutes or less.

So the short question for this long post is - Do you think that it is possible for ADD to not present itself until around Middle School age?
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Last edited by Ian; 09-30-04 at 01:13 AM.. Reason: Title change to include ADHD
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Old 09-22-04, 10:42 PM
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Middle school is when a lot of the problem with ADD really began to show up for a lot of adults. It doesn't mean the ADD wasn't there before the age of 7 though. If your husband was in an environment that had the correct ammount of structure his ADD may not have been a problem for him.

I have talked to quite a few professional that don't agree with the before age 7 criteria. There are so many reason that adults who do have ADD may not remember back that far or there symptoms didn't present problems.

I had a hard time remember if symptoms where there that early too. I do remember being about 6 and in 1st grade and having my desk dumped out in front of the whole class because it was a mess. But, if I had a teacher who wasn't so harsh I probably wouldn't have realized I problem before age 7.

I didn't have many responsibilties when I was under 7. I didn't have home work until I was in the 4th grade so that problem wouldn't have shown up. My mother did just about all of the house work so that problem didn't show up. I didn't have tons of toys so putting things away wasn't a problem when I was only 6.

Is it possible for your husband to see a professional who specializes in adult AD/HD?
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Old 09-22-04, 11:05 PM
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Thanks for that response Tara!

My husband saw a psychiatrist earlier this week. He has a history of anxiety and needed a medication evaluation. He is going back on an SSRI after being on Klonipin only for a few years.

The Dr dismissed the idea of ADD but said that he is depressed. That may be true but I think the depression is coming from things that could be ADD symptoms. My husband is a VERY bright individual with a mediocre academic history for the most part.

Anyway when the Lexapro stablizes and he gets the anxiety/depression under control then he might revisit the ADD thing with the Dr.

Interestingly, I saw the same psychiatrist tonight and got an official ADD dx along with Social Anxiety. He did not mention depression in my case at all.
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Old 09-23-04, 07:01 AM
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What about a head injury...although I agree w/ everything livingw/add said...it's hard for someone in their 30's to remember things that seemed insignificant 20-25 years ago. I too have been searching for childhood symptoms for myself...and for the life of me can not remember anything earlier than grade 8. This could very well be due to blocked memories of my f'ked up childhood or just simply I haven't remembered yet...sometimes reading the boards and hearing others' memories and stuff triggers my own...or, it could have to do w/ the fact that I was hit by a half ton truck when I was in grade 7. At the time it seemed that everything was ok, but I did fly through the air and land on cement, and got knocked unconsicous. I read that sometimes a brain injury can trigger ADD? Now there's a scary thought! I was good in school until grade 7....straight A's. I remember getting my first D in grade 8. And it went downhill from there as far as school was concerned. And I know I had symptoms of ADD after that...I can remember them. I don'tknow too much about this brain injury theory though.
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Old 09-23-04, 12:50 PM
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I sympathize. I'm 27 myself, and was just diagnosed by a psychologist in the spring (still awaiting psychiatric evaluation and treatment, though). I agree with the "must show symptoms under age 7" requirement, but not as some psychiatrists might employ it. I, for example, was a model student until grade 7 or 8. Not because I was paying attention, but because I was smart enough to 'get it' and not have to pay attention. I could look out the window or read ahead in my book, and still get all the answers right.

That said, I can recall times at a young age when I'd sit down and play with Lego. All evening. 3 hours of lego-building isn't 'normal' for a 6 or 7 year old; their attention spans aren't supposed to be that long. And I was a pretty 'difficult' kid; I'd do things my way, even if my parents had patiently explained why it was bad. I wouldn't (or possibly couldn't) listen, and it was hard to keep me still.

Those are the kinds of things AD/HD will show in young kids. The difficulty, especially with adults trying to remember, is whether they were worse than normal in those respects. I believe I was, my psychologist agrees, and I certainly show classic signs of AD/HD currently.

But if you were a perfectly normal kid until you were 16 when kids started teasing you, it's probably not AD/HD. Not that it's necessarily less serious, but it's probably something more like depression. Either way, whatever the problem is, it needs fixing. That's the attitude I went to the psychologist with; I know something's wrong, I suspect AD/HD, but if it isn't that find out what it is and fix it.
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Old 09-23-04, 02:23 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alex
Not that it's necessarily less serious, but it's probably something more like depression. Either way, whatever the problem is, it needs fixing. That's the attitude I went to the psychologist with; I know something's wrong, I suspect AD/HD, but if it isn't that find out what it is and fix it.
Well said....
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Old 09-23-04, 04:08 PM
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Well I don't think he has a head injury but there are things that might have masked his symptoms.

I think part of the point is nobody remembers much about my husbands behavior before he started to act out around the age of 13. They He had a well structured life and didn't really have chores that I know of. My husbands father shows some signs of a well adapted ADDer.

I guess the best thing will be to let the SSRI that he is starting level off and then see how things are going. If he can get back on track with is grad school work at that point then maybe it is depression. Otherwise we will need to look deeper, I guess.
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