Discussions By Condition: Mental conditions

Possible ADHD? Or something else?

Posted In: Mental conditions 5 Replies
  • Posted By: Anonymous
  • November 6, 2009
  • 02:45 PM

Hello everyone,

My question(s) involve ADHD and possible ways to diagnosis it seperate from the common symptoms that many of us in our daily lives.

I am 23 years old at university currently studying to be a Nurse.

As a child, I had issues paying attention and recalling information in the sense of words usually. I remember being shown flash cards with words on them in Kindergarden and I had issues remembering some of the words especially "After." Before and during this time, I was under speech therapy and even stayed out of school for a year due to a speech delay.

Overtime, I thought nothing of it until I begun to notice over the years in high school and university some issues with concentration such as keeping my attention on what I am reading and focusing on it. A common reoccurance of this is when I'd stare at the same paragraph, even something simple, for as long as 20 minutes sometimes and may even forget what I just read after having just looked at it. I would end up frustrated and keep reading it but it'd just continue even though I can say it outloud perfectly, it won't connect or stay retained. However, this doesn't always happen and I am not quite sure why.
Even at times my mind would just randomly wander when I am trying to read something which adds more to my frustration when I try my hardest to focus.

During my second year in university, part of a psychology class grade was to do different tests with the graduate psychology students. One of the tests I did was about hearing from different angles and pressing a button to tell if it was left/right or both sides. The other test involved cognitive testing with various tests such as inserting "best" words for sentences, finding something specific on patterned cards that look different on each one, and other such things. While I did perfectly find in my hearing testing, the cognitive tests as stated just previously I did very slowly.
The grad student commented that I took longer than most others (she did not necessarily say I was right or wrong in my choices) and suggested that maybe I should do some further testing to see if it is something mental or some strategies to help out with my thinking process.

Even with that advice, I was reluctant to believe something was wrong with me and I just needed to train my focus better and study harder (I am often a B- to B student on average).

My short term memory is fairly poor that I can not hear numbers or spelling of a word and recall right away what was said. I often have to write everything down I am told to remember it later. During these times I feel often really stressed I may miss something and often ask 2-3 times for clarification and confirmation.

For social times sometimes if I were told to explain something I know very well of, I have trouble explaining it unless I write it down then read it to them. This is also in the case with friends, not just strangers, peers, family, or teachers. If I need to explain without something to write on or any notes, my mind races and brakes suddenly and I sometimes speak it out without properly thinking of what I am saying even though I could be perfectly correct or misplace what I said.

My mind going "a mile a minute" is often always reoccuring. Constantly, there is something playing in my mind such as a few seconds to a tune I heard recently or thought of or a scene with some words being said (from something that happened in real life or on tv etc). This seems to contribute to my focusing issue that leaves me staring at a paragraph for several minutes.
Even if I wake up in the middle of the night or to go to school at 5:45 am, my mind continues at the same intensity as if it were in the middle of the day.

Sadly, if I am fatigued from being up late for whatever reason (such as past 2 am or after having worked on something for several hours) then it is the only time my mind softens slightly making my focus enhanced.

I am aware many people like to work in quiet areas such as libraries but I find it easier that noise at a consistant volume (not from loud to soft and vice versa, stays static), such as at the cafeteria, help cancel out the noise in my head leaving me with a better focus. At one point, music helped but now it just contributes to the noise and may even replace the previous repetitive reruns of short music/earlier scene with voice in my head.

One of the biggest factors I think it "may" be ADHD was when I noticed how I may do something with less priority than another even if the lesser priority requires more work and more time to do. I studied this a year ago when I noticed how this one child would be told to clean his room but the child insisted he'd clean the bathroom and wash the car instead. If he was told to do any of the other things he'd do his room instead.
My guess with this is to avoid the "stress" involved in doing something that "needs to be done" and do something else that is also important but not as high priority as the other.

There may be times where I can be bored so long it seems chronic even though there are some things I can do but I find it a hassle to start (when I start something I can usually get the momentum but that is the case with most people in general anyway). My father has this issue sometimes as well.

My eating habits may also contribute to this. Sadly, I am only able to consume a very limited types of food and are often very plain such as macaroni with probably nothing on it except salt and maybe paramasian cheese. I am unable to consume fruits, vegetables, and seafood as the largest groups. I can eat ground beef and chicken fine but normally specific kinds. I took supplements such as Juice Plus capsules and on occasion other supplements to help me with all the nutrients I may have been missing.
This is likely a picky eater deal but I hate it with a passion because it makes social life harder for me and on occasion others. Even with the supplements I am not sure if it is good enough to replace what I am missing from eating the foods themselves. Or if I am missing some supplements that I am not getting in certain pills I take.
I don't normally get hungry when I probably should and could get away with eating two meals a day if needed and even then I don't eat very much to get full (except after exercise where my appetite increases).

I am fairly light weight if not borderline underweight. I have also been exercising recently this semester with some friends to get in shape and hopefully put on some more weight from muscle.
I am also an active writer who enjoys writing short stories including a novel I have been working on for years.

I apologize for the very long post and hope I covered everything. For years I didn't want to believe something was wrong and it was just me being lazy so I worked harder which helped slightly but my focus and concentration, with reading especially, remained the same. My father suggested I try what is left of my sister's Adderall (it is the lowest dose possible; she takes something stronger now) to see how it feels since it is the lowest dose. I was reluctant with that and chose, for the time being, not to do it.

Weither this is ADHD or not, I hope to hear of ways to cope with this since taking drugs of any kind are a "last resort" to me as I do not want to be dependent on them or use them as an excuse for any issues I may have.

--Diego

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  • I have been taking Dexedrine now for close to 15 years. Started on Ritalin and moved to Dexedrine. For the most part 30mg worked really great for me. The past three years or so Dexedrine has not been that effective. I increased dosage to 40mg and now 45mg a day. I don't know if it is the medicine but all textbook ADHD symptoms are back more than ever. Brain fog, lost word, can't speak, thinking is shot, double reading, lost thoughts and concentration, and a 2 min attention span. I seem to be traveling in the opposite direction from where Dexedrine use to take me. I don't know if this is due to the long term effects of taking a strong stimulant. Read all studies on the ADHD/ADD medications, and check the longterm effects. In my life I had other things wrong with me. At the age of 12 it started out just being attention, concentration, mood and my grades and relationships which got better after taking stimulant medication. When I didn't take the medication I would notice all symptoms. Years later I started getting; popping joints; muscle tremors all over; eye lid muscle spasms; dry skin; flaky skin around and under eye lid; muscle soreness; weight gain; acne at 27 years old; memory problems worse than ever; heart palpitations; dandruff. I should be at my prime. I started researching symptoms and found out that my family has thyroid problems which they take medication for. ADD/ADHD is sometimes misdiagnosed with thyroid problems. I had blood work done two days ago and I am waiting for the news. I understand my parents didn't know what to do with me when I was a kid. What if this whole time my body just was not receiving the proper chemicals and that is why I have all these problems and ADD/ADHD symptoms. Do the research before children take this medication. In the begining they might seem to improve as such as I did. These medications might effect there brain on many levels that can be long lasting. I had to deal with so many things because of my malfunctioning brain. Life was hard for me. I have been in college now for 7 years and I am still working on my BA. All I can think is what if my parents did more research and I had the proper medicine for my health issue. My life could of been so better. I am not a doctor, only a 15 year user of Dexedrine. Research parents perspective, case studies, medication effects, substances that interact with the drug, health perspective, get blood work done to find out if heavy metals and allergies play a role, look at family health history, and get doctors opinions so you can have a better understanding of the negitive or positive effects of dexedrine and other ADD/HD medications. Your child might perform better if the proper diagnosis and treatment is given. Don't give up the answers are out there, and always love and encourage your child to do the best even when they are being difficult.Longterm user of Dexedrine
    Anonymous 42789 Replies
    • November 15, 2009
    • 04:11 PM
    • 0
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  • (...)Weither this is ADHD or not, I hope to hear of ways to cope with this since taking drugs of any kind are a "last resort" to me as I do not want to be dependent on them or use them as an excuse for any issues I may have.--DiegoI find your reasons for not wanting to take medicine very curious and at best, flawed. 1) You cannot separate the mind from the brain: thoughts, feelings and emotions are born, stored, and transmitted in and by our brain by chemicals (atoms) and electric impulses (energy)... if thoughts and feelings weren't somehow physically rooted, nothing would show up on those colorful brain imaganing pictures. 2) ADHD is essentially a chemical problem in the management systems of the brain, it has nothing to do with will-power. If it were that simple, mental illness wouldn't exist. You cannot by will-power "induce" or "selectively choose" to suffer from any mental illness, either!! Mental illness can, and effectively does, hit anyone regardless of gender, age, level of education, race, status, upbringing, lifestyle, meat-eater/vegetarian and so on. 3) The definition of "illness" is an involuntary medical condition which causes severe or excessive social, physical, or mental functioning. Mental illness is no different that physical illness... just as the function of the liver can become sick, the mind and the way the brain functions can become sick.4) If you are able to, by your own will-power, to treat or cure yourself from your supposed mental illness, your do not have a clinical mental illness (!!) but just a habit or personal preference. If you have a diagnosis of ADHD (or whatever) it is BECAUSE you cannot by your own will-power do something about it - even if you very much WANT to get better. 5) If you have ADHD, you have ADHD - you can get an ulcer from being very stressed or suffer from ulchers due to bad genes. Neither reasons change the fact that you need a specific kind of treatment/medicine EVERY time you get an ulcer. The reason WHY or HOW you got an ulcer is nessecary in an effort to prevent it from coming again. I hope I have given your some food for thought. No one can give you any effective tips that will help you cope with your difficulties in the long run...... we aren't talking a broken heart or depressed feelings due to the financial crises, your difficulties are way more extensive and severe than that and they also manifest themselves on many levels in your life. My only advice to you is to seek professional help, you need to find out if you are having a mental illness or not, and if so, what kind you are having so you can recieve proper treatment. Realizing you have a problem is a huge step and wanting to do something about them is even bigger! You have every opportunity to get better because you WANT and WISH to get better.
    Anonymous 42789 Replies
    • December 8, 2009
    • 04:35 AM
    • 0
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  • Diego,Please take the previous post seriously. You can't control or will yourself out of a neurochemical imbalance. That said, since your sister has adderall, I suggest you try a dose, if you have ADHD, you should find that it will calm you down. If it is a low dose XR type, an effect may not be noticable for a couple of hours. For me, the regular adderall kicks in faster - within an hour. If you don't have ADHD, you should feel hyper -- you are taking speed. One dose won't hurt and may give you some answers. With ADHD, I can take the stuff as a sleeping pill. It keeps my mind from being a ricochet rabbit/energizer bunny and I can get more sleep. BTW. it took me a few PDOCs to understand and approve that course of action. I wasn't diagnosed until I was 45 and the consequences of the disease and my attempts to self-medicate were damage to my self-esteem, failed marriage and other relationships, car wrecks, PTSD, etc. You may consider yourself lucky to find this out before you have decades of psychic garbage to clean up. Unfortunately ADHD can occur at the same time as other diseases (the term is comorbid - why they can't call it co-occurring is beyond me) and the ADHD might be treated to find other things going on. Regardless, of the outcome of your adderall experience, you need to see a professional.Best luck to you!
    Anonymous 42789 Replies
    • December 16, 2009
    • 02:00 AM
    • 0
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  • I'm on medication for ADHD, after years of frustration while not on it, and doing a lot better; my concentration is better, my sleep is better, and I'm breaking old, bad habits all the time. Even my driving is better. Lousy music isn't as annoying. (etc., etc.)So I definitely know there are benefits to medication.But there is a lot of research supporting the idea that brain training can actually reduce the symptoms. Neuroplasticity is the ability of the brain to learn new things, and that includes focus.As helpful as the medication is, it doesn't instantly turn your life around. Cognitive-behavioural Therapy or ADHD coaching, or even occupational therapy might be needed. I mean, even on meds I still have 27 years of chronic lateness, not-so-great study skills, and trouble having conversations. Not as bad as before though.I suggest this: try medication, and if it seems right, use it.Once on it, make a serious effort to break any bad habits you have. Seriously practice any skills that it always bugged you that you just could NOT do. (For me: rhythm, precision timing, catching.) Be on time, don't procrastinate, listen when people talk, plan ahead, etc.After 6 months or a year, take a week or two off meds and see how you're doing, which skills still need work and which ones you've gotten much better at. There will be some! Then make a decision as to whether you need to stay on the medication, adjust your dose, try a different med, or whatever.(Sort of related: overcoming the picky eating might be a great habit to try and break. Try at least one unusual food every day -- even if you've had it before and said, "ew!" Put hot sauce on a burger, or cheese on some broccoli. Snack on apples, oranges, berries, cherry tomatoes, etc. It'll be much better for you in the long run.)
    Anonymous 42789 Replies
    • January 10, 2010
    • 00:50 PM
    • 0
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  • Looks like you just wrote a story about me. I am the exact same way and so are billions of other people. In fact, the more rare breeds are those who aren't this way. So good news: You aren't alone, and you are brave for saying so. Aderol has helped me for four years but I only take 20 mg a day. i don't have an addictive personality anyway, so I have always only taken what I needed. It is a very addictive drug, but by golly it works. I too am a writer and express myself very well with the written word to a very high degree. I understand this and love to see other people who match my personality so closely. You would fare better to learn from a person who teaches in metaphors. You are the mind type who will have to see the picture of something before you can understand it. And because of your very high intellect, you must have a full understanding of a subject for it to make sense to you. I am THERE. The other good news is, you are an excellent teacher. You should pursue some type of career where you can help people or demonstrate what you are trying to say. You would be a teriffic sales person because people will tend to gravitate to you. We make up in personality for what we FEEL we lack in "smarts". But what you don't seem to realize is that you are actually more intuned and more intelligent that the guy who has no trouble at all learning. Because that guy just learns what is in front of him and you take it to the next level of study and research to learn all about what ever it is that is being studied. What a MIND you have. The problem is, our minds have a problem accepting things as they are, so when we cant wrap ourselves around the theories that are involved in college studies (math in particular), we lag behind the others. But do not be discouraged. You are smarter than all of them. You just learn differently and to a more indepth analytical level. I am thankful for your post. It is refreshing and gives me a good feeling inside as a reminder that in particular; Im not alone. StephanieHello everyone, My question(s) involve ADHD and possible ways to diagnosis it seperate from the common symptoms that many of us in our daily lives. I am 23 years old at university currently studying to be a Nurse. As a child, I had issues paying attention and recalling information in the sense of words usually. I remember being shown flash cards with words on them in Kindergarden and I had issues remembering some of the words especially "After." Before and during this time, I was under speech therapy and even stayed out of school for a year due to a speech delay. Overtime, I thought nothing of it until I begun to notice over the years in high school and university some issues with concentration such as keeping my attention on what I am reading and focusing on it. A common reoccurance of this is when I'd stare at the same paragraph, even something simple, for as long as 20 minutes sometimes and may even forget what I just read after having just looked at it. I would end up frustrated and keep reading it but it'd just continue even though I can say it outloud perfectly, it won't connect or stay retained. However, this doesn't always happen and I am not quite sure why.Even at times my mind would just randomly wander when I am trying to read something which adds more to my frustration when I try my hardest to focus. During my second year in university, part of a psychology class grade was to do different tests with the graduate psychology students. One of the tests I did was about hearing from different angles and pressing a button to tell if it was left/right or both sides. The other test involved cognitive testing with various tests such as inserting "best" words for sentences, finding something specific on patterned cards that look different on each one, and other such things. While I did perfectly find in my hearing testing, the cognitive tests as stated just previously I did very slowly. The grad student commented that I took longer than most others (she did not necessarily say I was right or wrong in my choices) and suggested that maybe I should do some further testing to see if it is something mental or some strategies to help out with my thinking process. Even with that advice, I was reluctant to believe something was wrong with me and I just needed to train my focus better and study harder (I am often a B- to B student on average). My short term memory is fairly poor that I can not hear numbers or spelling of a word and recall right away what was said. I often have to write everything down I am told to remember it later. During these times I feel often really stressed I may miss something and often ask 2-3 times for clarification and confirmation. For social times sometimes if I were told to explain something I know very well of, I have trouble explaining it unless I write it down then read it to them. This is also in the case with friends, not just strangers, peers, family, or teachers. If I need to explain without something to write on or any notes, my mind races and brakes suddenly and I sometimes speak it out without properly thinking of what I am saying even though I could be perfectly correct or misplace what I said. My mind going "a mile a minute" is often always reoccuring. Constantly, there is something playing in my mind such as a few seconds to a tune I heard recently or thought of or a scene with some words being said (from something that happened in real life or on tv etc). This seems to contribute to my focusing issue that leaves me staring at a paragraph for several minutes.Even if I wake up in the middle of the night or to go to school at 5:45 am, my mind continues at the same intensity as if it were in the middle of the day. Sadly, if I am fatigued from being up late for whatever reason (such as past 2 am or after having worked on something for several hours) then it is the only time my mind softens slightly making my focus enhanced. I am aware many people like to work in quiet areas such as libraries but I find it easier that noise at a consistant volume (not from loud to soft and vice versa, stays static), such as at the cafeteria, help cancel out the noise in my head leaving me with a better focus. At one point, music helped but now it just contributes to the noise and may even replace the previous repetitive reruns of short music/earlier scene with voice in my head. One of the biggest factors I think it "may" be ADHD was when I noticed how I may do something with less priority than another even if the lesser priority requires more work and more time to do. I studied this a year ago when I noticed how this one child would be told to clean his room but the child insisted he'd clean the bathroom and wash the car instead. If he was told to do any of the other things he'd do his room instead.My guess with this is to avoid the "stress" involved in doing something that "needs to be done" and do something else that is also important but not as high priority as the other. There may be times where I can be bored so long it seems chronic even though there are some things I can do but I find it a hassle to start (when I start something I can usually get the momentum but that is the case with most people in general anyway). My father has this issue sometimes as well. My eating habits may also contribute to this. Sadly, I am only able to consume a very limited types of food and are often very plain such as macaroni with probably nothing on it except salt and maybe paramasian cheese. I am unable to consume fruits, vegetables, and seafood as the largest groups. I can eat ground beef and chicken fine but normally specific kinds. I took supplements such as Juice Plus capsules and on occasion other supplements to help me with all the nutrients I may have been missing.This is likely a picky eater deal but I hate it with a passion because it makes social life harder for me and on occasion others. Even with the supplements I am not sure if it is good enough to replace what I am missing from eating the foods themselves. Or if I am missing some supplements that I am not getting in certain pills I take.I don't normally get hungry when I probably should and could get away with eating two meals a day if needed and even then I don't eat very much to get full (except after exercise where my appetite increases). I am fairly light weight if not borderline underweight. I have also been exercising recently this semester with some friends to get in shape and hopefully put on some more weight from muscle. I am also an active writer who enjoys writing short stories including a novel I have been working on for years. I apologize for the very long post and hope I covered everything. For years I didn't want to believe something was wrong and it was just me being lazy so I worked harder which helped slightly but my focus and concentration, with reading especially, remained the same. My father suggested I try what is left of my sister's Adderall (it is the lowest dose possible; she takes something stronger now) to see how it feels since it is the lowest dose. I was reluctant with that and chose, for the time being, not to do it. Weither this is ADHD or not, I hope to hear of ways to cope with this since taking drugs of any kind are a "last resort" to me as I do not want to be dependent on them or use them as an excuse for any issues I may have. --Diego
    hi_imstephanie 8 Replies
    • January 18, 2010
    • 01:32 AM
    • 0
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