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Old 01-28-18, 02:17 AM
danshan22 danshan22 is offline
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Unhappy Suspecting ADD but Possibly Being Dramatic?

Hello, Iím another adult who thinks they might have ADD, but at the same time, I feel like Iím being dramatic and that getting investigated will just be a massive waste of time.

Iíve been diagnosed with depression and anxiety, so my experiences are probably just from those two illnesses but some things I go through just... I dunno... happens so much regardless of what Iím feeling, I just think I might have something else going on.

Experiences such as losing something the instant I put it down, being very forgetful (I need to write everything down), constantly fidgeting, skimming through information that I need to go back and read it again, getting bored easily/hard time keeping my attention, and some other things I canít remember right now.

I barely remember my childhood, but I always had anxiety issues as far as I can remember. I would always lose things as well, but that could just be normal for a kid? I remember how I would usually be the student whoíd blurt out answers to questions before the teacher could even finish and being the first student to finish a test. But... I donít know. Maybe I just loved school so much.

I donít know like, Iím going to have my therapist appointment soon. But is it even worth mentioning? I just feel it itís a waste of time or that Iím probably spending way too much time on the internet. I donít know... I feel like Iím an embarrassment if I were to ask. What if the therapist laughs at me or something? Maybe they think Iím foolish for making such a far out assumption.

Sorry Iím just... I donít know. :P
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Old 01-28-18, 03:13 AM
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Re: Suspecting ADD but Possibly Being Dramatic?

Hey there Danshan, welcome to the forums

(((((((HUGS)))))))

I think a LOT of us know just how you feel about feeling ashamed and embarrassed to bring this up with our therapist.
It's like they'd think we're just being ridiculous or something.
My thing was always worrying about if people thought I was just looking for excuses for being so lazy and dumb >.<'.

I think it's absolutely worth mentioning to your therapist.
I don't know anything about your therapist obviously...but through my own experiences, I HIGHLY doubt they'll have any sort of a negative reaction to you mentioning it. They wont scoff at you, think ill of you, find you ridiculous or anything else. If anything, they'll be happy that you're taking an active role in figuring out what's going on with you.
They get payed for this...and though there's certainly bad therapists out there...there's also a whole heck of a lot of good ones. Hopefully yours is decent...if they are they'll ask you about why you think you may have ADHD and will then go over the diagnosis definition (in their dsm book or from the web or whatever) and actually discuss it with you. If they disagree with the diagnosis, they'll let you know...and really, I think that's the worst that can happen. They just wouldn't agree. But then you'll know and you can move on from there (including getting a second opinion if you're still suspicious).

There's TONS of us here on these forums that kinda self diagnosed ourselves before getting official diagnoses. Me included. One day I started to search google looking for answers to why I found certain things so difficult...found a description of ADHD (or in my case ADD) and discovered that I related so much to it...so I did further research and eventually found these forums.
Went and saw my therapist, told her about ADHD (she had almost zero experience or knowledge with ADHD). She couldn't give me a diagnosis, so sent me to someone who could. This person happened to have had an adult daughter with ADHD so had some experience with it and she had no problem giving me a proper diagnosis after my first visit with her.

Over all the years of having a therapist...with all the ever changing diagnoses I've had over those years...nothing has explained me like ADHD-PI does. I've never agreed more fully with a diagnosis in my life.

I say do some more research on ADHD. Read up on some post on these forums if you're up to it. Ask some questions...do you find a ton of people you relate with here...especially in ways that you don't relate with anyone about?
I always thought I was so broken that there wasn't possibly anyone else in the world that was anything like me.
Then I found these forums a few years ago. Turns out there's thousands of people just like me! lol

(((((((Danshansy)))))))

Sorry for the big reply. I hope I made at least a tiny bit of sense haha.
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Old 01-28-18, 04:27 AM
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Re: Suspecting ADD but Possibly Being Dramatic?

welcome to the Forums
ah, no, you are not being dramatic!
I was in much the same situation, or particularly, quite sure I had it but low on the spectrum.

I finally found a psychiatrist this fall, indeed low on the spectrum ( especially as I had few problems in school except of course, being scattered as far as I can remember) , well as soon as i tried meds i found, the adhd is actually the direct source of the anxiety I had most of my life! the constant confusion, the mental energy spent on just trying to sort out your thoughts and your envirornment and the information the mind receives and does not process correctly.

I think so many of us with the more inattentive symptoms may simply not realize how much the adhd actually affects us, as we don't even know any other state, in the first place. Like someone who suspected they had poor vision all of their lives , but solehow never got glasses because they could see the chalkboard in school, etc. And then saw everything! all of the billboards, the details, the buildings in the distance, etc.
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Old 01-28-18, 05:23 AM
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Re: Suspecting ADD but Possibly Being Dramatic?

When in doubt... check it out![my third grade teacher used to say that about looking words up in the dictionary]

Seriously though- a therapist can be great for you. But a doctor is who is most equipped to diagnose and treat adhd. I think regardless of the therapist, you need to find a doctor and make an appt with them to start the process. There are some amazing spot on therapists out there who can spot adhd, but they cant make the diagnosis and they cant treat it.
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Old 01-28-18, 11:40 AM
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Re: Suspecting ADD but Possibly Being Dramatic?

Hey dan, Keep in mind that untreated ADHD and comorbid condition(s) seem to go hand-in-hand w/ many people. Maybe beforehand get the diagnostic criteria, research the criteria/symptoms for understanding, and make a list. For the symptoms you "feel" may be applicable, match them up w/ real objective occurrences (non suppositional)of each manifesting and the objective impact on your life. If you can't recall any specific occurrences that had a real life detrimental impact, it might not be an issue. If OTOH you have 2 pages of almost daily occurrences with real life impacts, it probably is a valid issue. Keep the list handy as you recall specific instances or as they happen. After a bit if you still feel it may be an issue, send the list to your Doc and let him/her know that you wish to review. GL, -LN
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Old 01-31-18, 08:07 AM
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Re: Suspecting ADD but Possibly Being Dramatic?

In my personal experience the anxiety and the depression might be caused by ADHD, maybe this is also the case for you?

Don't think you're being dramatic, people don't get depression/anxiety for no reason, it's a sure sign something is wrong and it's worth checking out.
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Old 01-31-18, 11:31 AM
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Re: Suspecting ADD but Possibly Being Dramatic?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Fluppets View Post
Don't think you're being dramatic, people don't get depression/anxiety for no reason, it's a sure sign something is wrong and it's worth checking out.
This.

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Old 01-31-18, 11:50 AM
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Re: Suspecting ADD but Possibly Being Dramatic?

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Diagnosis of ADHD in adults:
Although there is no single medical, physical, or genetic test for ADHD, a diagnostic evaluation can be provided by a qualified mental health care professional or physician who gathers information from multiple sources. These sources include ADHD symptom checklists, standardized behavior rating scales, a detailed history of past and current functioning, and information obtained from family members or significant others who know the person well. Some practitioners will also conduct tests of cognitive ability and academic achievement in order to rule out a possible learning disability. ADHD cannot be diagnosed accurately just from brief office observations or simply by talking to the person. The person may not always exhibit the symptoms of ADHD during the office visit, and the diagnostician needs to take a thorough history of the individual’s life. A diagnosis of ADHD must include consideration of the possible presence of co-occurring conditions.

Clinical guidelines for a diagnosis of ADHD are provided by the American Psychiatric Association in the diagnostic manual Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition (DSM-5). These established guidelines are widely used in research and clinical practice. During an evaluation, the clinician will try to determine the extent to which these symptoms currently apply to the adult and if they have been present in childhood. In making the diagnosis, adults should have at least five of the symptoms present. These symptoms can change over time, so adults may fit different presentations from when they were children.

The DSM-5 lists three presentations of ADHD—Predominantly Inattentive, Hyperactive-Impulsive and Combined. The symptoms for each are adapted and summarized below.



ADHD predominantly inattentive presentation

Fails to give close attention to details or makes careless mistakes

Has difficulty sustaining attention

Does not appear to listen

Struggles to follow through with instructions

Has difficulty with organization

Avoids or dislikes tasks requiring sustained mental effort

Loses things

Is easily distracted

Is forgetful in daily activities



ADHD predominantly hyperactive-impulsive presentation

Fidgets with hands or feet or squirms in chair

Has difficulty remaining seated

Runs about or climbs excessively in children; extreme restlessness in adults

Difficulty engaging in activities quietly

Acts as if driven by a motor; adults will often feel inside as if they are driven by a motor

Talks excessively

Blurts out answers before questions have been completed

Difficulty waiting or taking turns

Interrupts or intrudes upon others



ADHD combined presentation

The individual meets the criteria for both inattention and hyperactive-impulsive ADHD presentations.

These symptoms can change over time, so adults may fit different presentations from when they were children.

A diagnosis of ADHD is determined by the clinician based on the number and severity of symptoms, the duration of symptoms and the degree to which these symptoms cause impairment in various areas of life, such as home, school or work; with friends or relatives; or in other activities. It is possible to meet diagnostic criteria for ADHD without any symptoms of hyperactivity and impulsivity. The clinician must further determine if these symptoms are caused by other conditions, or are influenced by co-existing conditions.

Several of the symptoms must have been present prior to age 12. This generally requires corroboration by a parent or some other informant. It is important to note that the presence of significant impairment in at least two major settings of the person’s life is central to the diagnosis of ADHD. Impairment refers to how ADHD interferes with an individual’s life. Examples of impairment include losing a job because of ADHD symptoms, experiencing excessive conflict and distress in a marriage, getting into financial trouble because of impulsive spending, failure to pay bills in a timely manner or being put on academic probation in college due to failing grades. If the individual exhibits a number of ADHD symptoms but they do not cause significant impairment, s/he may not meet the criteria to be diagnosed with ADHD as a clinical disorder.



Internet self-rating scales

There are many Internet sites about ADHD that offer various types of questionnaires and lists of symptoms. Most of these questionnaires are not standardized or scientifically validated and should not be used to self-diagnose or to diagnose others with ADHD. A valid diagnosis can only be provided by a qualified, licensed professional.


Who is qualified to diagnose ADHD?

For adults, an ADHD diagnostic evaluation should be conducted by a licensed mental health professional or a physician. These professionals include clinical psychologists, physicians (psychiatrist, neurologist, family doctor or other type of physician) or clinical social workers.

Whichever type of professional is chosen, it is important to ask about their training and experience in working with adults with ADHD. Many times the professional’s level of knowledge and expertise about adult ADHD is more important for obtaining an accurate diagnosis and effective treatment plan than the type of professional degree. Qualified professionals are usually willing to provide information about their training and experience with adults with ADHD. Reluctance to provide such information in response to reasonable requests should be regarded with suspicion and may be an indicator that the individual should seek out a different professional.



How do I find a professional qualified to diagnose ADHD?

Ask your personal physician for a referral to a health care professional in your community who is qualified to perform ADHD evaluations for adults. It may also be helpful to call a local university-based hospital, a medical school or a graduate school in psychology for recommendations. If there is an ADHD support group in your area, it may be very helpful to go there and talk with the people attending the group. Chances are that many of them have worked with one or more professionals in your community and can provide information about them. Most insurance plans list professionals by specialty and can assist those who participate in their plans to find a health care professional. Finally, there are many internet sites that list providers of ADHD services, including CHADD’s professional directory.



How do I know if I need an evaluation for ADHD?

Most adults who seek an evaluation for ADHD experience significant problems in one or more areas of living. The following are some of the most common problems:

Inconsistent performance in jobs or careers; losing or quitting jobs frequently

History of academic and/or career underachievement

Poor ability to manage day-to-day responsibilities, such as completing household chores, maintenance tasks, paying bills or organizing things

Relationship problems due to not completing tasks

Forgetting important things or getting upset easily over minor things

Chronic stress and worry due to failure to accomplish goals and meet responsibilities

Chronic and intense feelings of frustration, guilt or blame

A qualified professional can determine if these problems are due to ADHD, some other cause or a combination of causes. Although some ADHD symptoms are evident since early childhood, some individuals may not experience significant problems until later in life. Some very bright and talented individuals, for example, are able to compensate for their ADHD symptoms and do not experience significant problems until high school, college or in pursuit of their career. In other cases, parents may have provided a highly protective, structured and supportive environment, minimizing the impact of ADHD symptoms until the individual has begun to live independently as a young adult.



How should I prepare for the evaluation?

Most people are a little nervous and apprehensive about being evaluated for any type of condition such as ADHD. This is normal and should not stop anyone from seeking an evaluation if s/he is having significant problems in life and ADHD is suspected. Unfortunately, some of the common misconceptions about ADHD, such as “it only occurs in children” or “the person is just looking for an excuse,” make many people reluctant to seek help.

Many professionals find it helpful to review old report cards and other school records dating back to kindergarten or even the preschool years. If such records are available, they should be brought to the first appointment. Copies of reports from any previous psychological testing should also be brought to the appointment. For adults who experience problems in the workplace, job evaluations should be brought for review if available.

Many professionals will ask the individual to complete and return questionnaires before the evaluation and to identify a spouse or other family member who can also participate in parts of the evaluation. Timely completion and return of the questionnaires will expedite the evaluation.



What is a comprehensive evaluation?

Although different clinicians will vary somewhat in their procedures and testing materials, certain protocols are considered essential for a comprehensive evaluation. These include a thorough diagnostic interview, information from independent sources such as the spouse or other family members, DSM-5 symptom checklists, standardized behavior rating scales for ADHD and other types of psychometric testing as deemed necessary by the clinician. These are discussed in more detail below.



The diagnostic interview: ADHD symptoms

The single most important part of a comprehensive ADHD evaluation is a structured or semi-structured interview, which provides a detailed history of the individual. The interviewer asks a pre-determined, standardized set of questions in order to increase reliability and decrease the chances that a different interviewer would come up with different conclusions. The clinician covers a broad range of topics, discusses relevant issues in detail and asks follow-up questions to ensure that all areas of interest are covered. The examiner will review the diagnostic criteria for ADHD and determine how many of them apply to the individual, both at the present time and since childhood. The interviewer will further determine the extent to which these ADHD symptoms are interfering with the individual’s life.



The diagnostic interview: screening for other psychiatric disorders

The examiner will also conduct a detailed review to see if other psychiatric disorders that may resemble ADHD or commonly co-exist with ADHD are present. ADHD rarely occurs alone, and research has shown that more than two-thirds of people with ADHD have one or more co-existing conditions. The most common include depression, anxiety disorders, learning disabilities and substance use disorders. Many of these conditions have symptoms that can mimic ADHD symptoms, and may, in fact, be mistaken for ADHD. A comprehensive evaluation includes screening for co-existing conditions. When one or more co-existing conditions are present along with ADHD, it is essential that all are diagnosed and treated. Failure to treat co-existing conditions often leads to failure in treating the ADHD. And, crucially, when the ADHD symptoms are a secondary consequence of depression, anxiety or some other psychiatric disorder, failure to detect this can result in incorrect treatment of the individual for ADHD. Other times, treating the ADHD will eliminate the other disorder and the need to treat it independently of ADHD.

The examiner is also likely to ask questions about the person’s history of health, development going back to early childhood, academic and work experience, driving history, drug and alcohol abuse, family and/or marital life and social history. The examiner will look for patterns that are typical in individuals with ADHD and also try to determine if factors other than ADHD may be causing symptoms that look like ADHD.



Participation of loved ones

It is also essential for the clinician to interview one or more independent sources, usually a significant other (spouse, family member, parent or partner) who knows the person well. This procedure is not to question the person’s honesty, but rather to gather additional information. Many adults with ADHD have a spotty or poor memory of their past, particularly from childhood. They may recall specific details but forget diagnoses they were given or problems they encountered. Thus, the clinician may request that the individual being evaluated have his or her parents fill out a retrospective ADHD profile describing childhood behavior.

Many adults with ADHD may also have a limited awareness of how ADHD-related behaviors cause problems for them and have impact on others. In the case of married or cohabitating couples, it is to the couple’s advantage for the clinician to interview them together when reviewing the ADHD symptoms. This procedure helps the non-ADHD spouse or partner develop an accurate understanding and an empathetic attitude concerning the impact of ADHD symptoms on the relationship, setting the stage for improving the relationship after the diagnostic process has been completed. If it is not possible to interview the loved ones, having them fill out checklists of symptoms is a good alternative.

Many adults with ADHD may feel deeply frustrated and embarrassed by the ongoing problems caused by the disorder. It is very important that the person being evaluated discuss these problems openly and honestly and not hold back information due to feelings of shame or fear of criticism. The quality of the evaluation and the accuracy of the diagnosis and treatment recommendations will be largely determined by the accuracy of the information provided to the examiner.



Standardized behavior rating scales

A comprehensive evaluation can include one or more standardized behavior rating scales. These questionnaires use research comparing behaviors of people with ADHD to those of people without ADHD. Scores on the rating scales are not considered diagnostic by themselves but serve as an important source of objective information in the evaluation process. Most clinicians ask the individual undergoing the evaluation and the individual’s significant other to complete these rating scales.



Additional testing

Depending on the individual and the problems being addressed, additional psychological, neuropsychological or learning disabilities testing may be used as needed. These do not diagnose ADHD directly but can provide important information about ways in which ADHD affects the individual. The testing can also help determine the presence and effects of co-existing conditions. For example, in order to determine whether the individual has a learning disability, the clinician will usually give a test of intellectual ability as well as a test of academic achievement.



Medical examination

If the individual being evaluated has not had a recent physical exam (within 6–12 months), a medical examination is recommended to rule out medical causes for symptoms. Some medical conditions, such as thyroid problems and seizure disorders, can cause symptoms that resemble ADHD symptoms. A medical examination does not confirm ADHD but is extremely important in helping to rule out other conditions or problems.



Concluding the evaluation

Towards the end of the evaluation the clinician will integrate the information that has been collected through diverse sources, complete a written summary or report, and provide the individual and family with diagnostic opinions concerning ADHD as well as any other psychiatric disorders or learning disabilities that may have been identified during the course of the assessment. The clinician will then review treatment options and assist the individual in planning a course of appropriate medical and psychosocial intervention. Afterward, the clinician will communicate with the individual’s primary care providers, as deemed necessary
From CHADD:
http://www.chadd.org/understanding-a...s-of-adhd.aspx
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Old 01-31-18, 04:05 PM
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Re: Suspecting ADD but Possibly Being Dramatic?

I understand the fear of embarrassment.

I'm a veteran of therapy at this point, having returned to it multiple times in my life. I'm currently in therapy (and have been for years) and I go to a psychiatric nurse practitioner as well.

Here's the deal ... and it took me a while to figure this out. There is nothing "embarrassing" or laughable to a therapist. Literally! ... I don't mean generally. I mean literally!

Therapists see drug addicts, alcoholics, sex addicts, gambling addicts, sexually abused people, people who are domestic violence victims, people are domestic violence perpetrators ... and they see a range of people who are simply miserable, depressed, with ADHD, OCD, anxious, socially phobic ...on and on. And of course, most people have a combination of these issues.

There is NOTHING that they laugh at.

If your memory and concentration are interfering with your life and your happiness and wellbeing, then go.

You're confusing therapists and mental health workers with disinterested parents who refuse to take a child's struggles seriously ... or disinterested and ignorant friends who would merely say, "Get it together! Focus!"

Of course, there are rude and incompetent therapists and doctors out there, folks who themselves have become bitter in life and need help themselves!

But if you encounter one of those (unlikely), just set appointment with another person. In fact, one of the qualities of a good therapy is they allow you to feel comfortable sharing everything.

Good luck.

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