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.