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  #1  
Old 12-22-04, 06:01 PM
FramazeledKepi FramazeledKepi is offline
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psychologist states "No such thing as adult onset ADD"?

I did an intake in my therapist office yesterday with a 20 year old college dropout. Nice guy--seems to have many ADHD features. Went to a psychiatrist in college who diagnosed him with ADHD and prescribed Ritalyn.
Now, here's where it gets interesting: Client is very controlled by his parents and didn't take the Ritalyn. Moreover, his parents went to a psychologist for couple therapy. After my new client finally told his parents about his claim to have ADD--recently diagnosed--their psychologist proclaimed that this was false and that "There's no such thing as adult onset ADD. Moreover, he told them that since he wasn't diagnosed as ADD as a kid, he couldn't possibly be ADD!
Since this psychologist is in my group practice, this ought to get real intetesting. My point of view is that many people skate thru their youth as it is rather structured and in many cases, less demanding. This fellow was a top high school student and National Honor Society .
In my case, I didn't find out about my ADD until I was in my 40s! I was lucky to have a consult with Dr. John Ratey and he diagnosed me. HMMMMM, what if I invite Dr. Ratey to our staff meeting?? Just kidding.
I think that the reason I got by for so many years was that as I got older, our society got more and more time pressured and it got to me.
ANy articles that validate "Adult Onset ADD"?
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Old 12-22-04, 07:03 PM
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I agree w/ you....for myself...I always suspected ADD but it never really bothered anything in my life until I left my husband and had all the responsibilities of raising and supporting kids and working 24/7. But....I don't know about adult "onset" ...I mean, it may go completely undetected until even late adulthood, but people probably still had it when they were younger, just as you say, not as much stress and just were able to skate through things.
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Old 12-22-04, 09:07 PM
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I went through some questionaires with my mother last weekend on the phone, trying to get to the bottom of my condition, part of a screening I'm going through. She doesn't think I have ADD. Almost all the questions relating to me AS A CHILD she answered normal, but there were many I noticed that had to do with whether I had trouble keeping a schedule or completing tasks etc. Well I didn't have a schedule as a kid other than show up to school & I didn't have much responsibility around the house either. I was pretty smart & had no problem getting acceptable grades in grade school without even trying. I'm not hyperactive either, more of the daydreamer. I did get less than stellar grades & they had me evaluated by the school psychologist who said "Paul is not very good with practical things but he should do fine when he gets into college". And I did do fine in college, it was stimulating & not terribly difficult and reasonably structured. Then I got out of school & got a job & had some struggles but if I'd just show up & do what they ask, things went fairly smooth. Eventually I got frustrated with being an employee & have been trying to be self employed & wow, this is killing me having no structure, I'm totally on my own to wander aimlessly & that's exactly what I've been doing.
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Old 12-22-04, 10:36 PM
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I didn't get diagnosed until recently, and I'm over 40. I had tons of problems when I was a kid, started out very hyperactive and settled down into a distracted, dreamer type. My folks brought me to the family doctor to find out what was wrong with me. He said my heat beat strongly, my blood pressure was normal, I wasn't anemic or insane, so I was quite fine!

Once I started getting decent grades (in about 4th or 5th grade), nobody seemed to notice anything was wrong.

The last few years, I've had a job where I'm my own boss, within a large organization, I manage people, as well, for my research projects. And I've been falling apart, due to my pathological disorganization and inability to remember appointments, etc.

Paulb, I can relate to wandering around aimlessly at work, and its quite depressing.


So, FramazeledKepi, as you suspect, the therapist is correct, there is no "adult onset" ADD. ADDers are just too damn distracted to notice they have ADD.
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Old 12-22-04, 10:54 PM
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Adult on set is very rare. Most of these cases are from some sort of brain injury. More than likely the ADD was always there but was never picked up on. A lot of this does have to do with being in structured or even "ADD Friendly environments". Not being diagnosed until being 30, 40, 50, 60, etc is common but ADD just coming from now where isn't.

Maybe your definition of "adult onset" isn't the same as mine.
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Old 12-23-04, 12:00 AM
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I really do hate to say this, but as far as psychology as a whole is concerned, there is no such thing as "adult onset" ADHD. In fact, the DSM-IV criteria for ADHD require that symptoms be present, manifest, and observable before the age of 7.

The psychologist is absolutely correct. There is no such thing as Adult Onset ADHD.

However, Tara speaks truth that sometimes cerebrovascular accidents and traumatic brain injuries can create symptoms similar to ADHD. Nevertheless, this is not actually ADHD: simply a collection of symptoms that are similar.

There is no such thing as adult onset ADHD.

Quote DSM-IV Text Revision:

"II. Some symptoms that cause impairment were present before age 7 years."

and...

"V. The symptoms do not happen only during the course of a Pervasive Developmental Disorder, Schizophrenia, or other Psychotic Disorder. The symptoms are not better accounted for by another mental disorder (e.g. Mood Disorder, Anxiety Disorder, Dissociative Disorder, or a Personality Disorder)."


In this case, a TBI would be considered another mental disorder. Furthermore, if it were caused by TBI, it would be diagnosed as Behavioral Disorder due to General Medical Condition.
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Old 12-23-04, 02:21 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KMiller
In this case, a TBI would be considered another mental disorder. Furthermore, if it were caused by TBI, it would be diagnosed as Behavioral Disorder due to General Medical Condition.
100% true. Also, in this case, it would probably be more appropriate for the condition to be treated by a neurologist than a psychiatrist. However, note:
Quote:
Some impairment from the symptoms is present in two or more settings (e.g., at school [or work] and at home).
It is quite possible to grow up with all the impulsive/inattentive/hyperactive symptoms of ADHD and not be impaired at all. I got through high school just fine, and, apparently, I wasn't impaired enough at home for my parents to wonder if anything was wrong.

In my particular case, one could possibly argue that I was socially impaired in both school and work settings, however, not all ADDers are socially impaired. (Alternatively, one could argue that I was not impaired at all by ADHD, just introverted and shy.) However, my best friend, also an ADDer, is one of the most social people I know.
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Old 12-23-04, 04:21 AM
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I personaly think it has a lot to do with the balance of our hormones, and thyroid and suger levels also. After doing research on hormones, I begun to see the big picture, but I still was feeling that something else was playing a part in things, then I begun to inaddvertenly started researching adhd/add and the relationship with they other factors. When we are youger we go through patterns that tend to be the calmest as far as seeing/severity of the add/hd symptoms, this is also an area we are more in a prime, begining new life and new beginings. when we start to get older and hormone levels drop and stess has a big issue here too.. these factores see to play on the severity of the symptoms, I was told to have a chemical imbalance as a kid and had a time fighting myself for years, now in sergical menopause and a realzation of haveing adhd, ( I always new something wasn't quiet right) I can see more of the big picture now, the puzzle pieces falling in place. And find it interesting some of the things I see in people I know around me. With us We were born this way, some of us were givin more tools to fight with, some more indurence, some plain intellect. Now we each come up with ways naturally that we have dealt with certain issues all of our lives, now because of paths we take, and also genetics, we each are going to start to fall out of balance sooner or later, it may be certain symptoms for one and a mix and some different with another. But an onset, not really more like realazation.
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Old 12-23-04, 05:44 AM
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Id say it has to do with life itself.............

I have not changed in anyway from when I was younger, but the world has

It has got faster, more demanding , more stressful and I tryied to move along with the world only to find my ADD got in the way.

Once I recognised that I have an inability to do somethings as well as others, and I have choosen a path in life that coinsides with the way I am, ........

Poof ..... Magically all the problems of stress , paperwork, bullcrap supervisors (turns out my supervisor strongly suspects he would qualify after learning of the symptoms from me), ect. ........have all disaperered ........

As I drive my truck from stop to stop, and as I am standing outside my truck working the leavers and staring out over the country fields,

I remeber never knowing what I wanted to be when I grew up.......

Now I realise that growing up is just a physical change in the body and a set of standards that are imposed on us by society that they claim we must adhere to.....

Now when I look over the country fields and think about how Id much rather be running in the fields the way I used to do , I now enjoy the thoughts as being a reallity that I would much rather accept rather than the hustle bustle of every day society..............

Ill never be rich in money, Ill retire poor as a church mouse , Ill have no fortune to leave to my children .........


But it took me till I was 50 years old to discover that, and my son has discovered it at the age of 26 ........

So I guess I have helped him to find 26 years of peace and tranquillity

So maybe I am rich in my own way............................
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Old 12-23-04, 10:36 AM
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"So maybe I am rich in my own way"....

Hey, Garry?

There is no "maybe" about it...you are rich...

Sometimes I think the real difference in people is how much self acceptance we have...and that gift allows comfort and joy in the exact proportion to our ability to live in our own skin...

I just love those fleeting moments in my life when I know I am who and where I'm supposed to be...

Yep...you are definitely one of the "richies"!
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Old 12-23-04, 11:44 AM
FramazeledKepi FramazeledKepi is offline
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I do quibble w/ DSM about "II. Some symptoms that cause impairment were present before age 7 years."
What if no one cared enough be watching or documenting??
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Old 12-23-04, 04:05 PM
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Quite a few ADD experts also have problems with the before 7 thing.
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Old 12-23-04, 05:08 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FramazeledKepi
I do quibble w/ DSM about "II. Some symptoms that cause impairment were present before age 7 years."
What if no one cared enough be watching or documenting??
When I was diagnosed 5 years ago, I asked my psychiatrist why I never really had many probelms in school (except for math--BLECH!!!!). He said that most Inattentive Types (moi) do seem to develop their own coping skills for school, etc. because of their high levels of intelligence (not to say the other types are not also very highly intelligent). Many previous posts in this thread indicated "I did just fine in school...," or "Most kids' lives are pretty structured...." I'd like to add (heh!) that ADDers are notoriously poor self-observers...so for us inattentive types off in la-la land, as kids we'd probably never truly realize our differences.

W/r/t "no one cared enough to be watching or documenting," I know that I have had to come to accept the fact that when I was growing up, ADHD was not as visible as it is today, especially my type. If one has no knowledge nor any viable way to gain knowledge of a condition, how can one be expected to have been looking for signs of it?

Don't get me wrong...I still get anger flashes about not being dx'd until I was an adult, but I can't change the past nor blame my folks for not catching it. Really can't even blame the teachers either, for the same reasons: ADHD did exist back then, but knowledge about it was meager at best.

I've had to learn about how my ADHD is tailored to me...to recognize how it manifested in me both as a child (from what my daydreamy memory can remember--heh), during adolescence, and now as an adult.

As stated previously, an adult can't "catch" true ADHD. Symptoms in and of themselves can manifest in varying degrees of severity, whether or not one is considering their presence/absence before or after age 7. But again, if you don't know what to look for, then how can you see...?
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Old 12-23-04, 08:04 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FramazeledKepi
I do quibble w/ DSM about "II. Some symptoms that cause impairment were present before age 7 years."
What if no one cared enough be watching or documenting??
Excellent point! There are many people that do not remember much about their lives before the age of seven and certainly not from an adult evaluative perspective. So how does one establish her behavior? Not everyone's parents are alive or sentient. I do have a report card upon which a teacher complained about my "daydreaming," but that was at age 9.

My mother had us kids rigidly scheduled. I don't think I was allowed to make a decision of my own until middle school. Two years ago my mother fell in a parking lot and she is constantly forgetting things. She has made up a whole new childhood for me. One that is much nicer than the one I really had.

So if I am convinced I am ADD what do I do when I am evaluated by a psychiatrist to make certain I get the help I need? Lie?
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Old 12-23-04, 11:08 PM
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How many kids do you know that cope with ALL sorts of things like alcoholic or abusive or controlling parents and as a kid you would NEVER have known they had those issues to deal with. Kids learn to cope and adapt, plain and simple.
Also, throw into the mix parents that control everything and you have a kid who learned to DO what he was told and hyperfocused on DOING WHAT HE WAS TOLD.

To me, I think that any doctor who gets caught up on "ADD doesn't onset in adulthood" or whatever they are hung up on is a useless doctor. If the current evidence supports the diagnosis of ADD then it was obviously present in childhood but very well masked.

Tell the doctor their is such a thing as adult onset of head-a-rectomy... but it takes a HUGE dose of humility to make it work! HAHAHAHAHAHA!
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Well, everything is NOT going to be OK unless you learn to handle whatever comes your way.
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