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      Depression, Mental Health and Crisis Support   06/04/2017

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atlantis

ADHD worth diagnosis?

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atlantis   

Following some tests I was recently told that I might have ADHD in some form, and that I might like to seek an official diagnosis. I don't really know an awful lot about it, and have found a lot of the literature online very confusing. I was very surprised to hear that I might have it, as it's never something I've really noticed in myself.

 

In public I am very quiet, and my behaviour tends to be very rigid- which is not something I would have associated with ADHD. I even sit on my hands to stop any awkward movement. When I'm with people I'm very comfortable with, however, they see the full picture of my personality. The 'me' that these people see has wild mood swings, going from *very* hyper to extremely lethargic. I make rash impulsive decisions, and am incredibly disorganised. I tend to have difficulty looking after myself because I struggle to keep a tidy house, make food etc, although other people never see or believe this because I always appear well-dressed and groomed when I leave the house (and I never let people in my house). One of the reasons my ex-boyfriend broke up with me was because he felt like he was looking after me all the time, was always responsible for chores etc, and couldn't cope with my 'craziness'. I am also constantly late, and lose friends quickly because I'm so unreliable.

 

I have trouble at uni in lectures because I can't listen to what the speaker is saying unless they're talking about something of very specific interest to me. In the past this has sometimes led to disruptive, rude behaviour, but I feel I have that in check now. Before I thought I couldn't listen because I had some sort of processing issue with speech- if something is written down I find it much easier to process than if it's said to me. But this doesn't account for the fact that it's not so bad if it's something I'm intensely interested in. And also the recent tests have shown that my attention span is very low across the board- not just with listening to speech but also in problem solving tasks etc too. They also showed that I'm very impulsive, confirming what I knew from past experience and the opinions of friends and family.

 

Despite this, I'm still very sceptical of the idea that I might have it (mainly because I'm not sure whether a lot of these traits could be explained by my dx of AS anyway), and would feel very uncomfortable about seeking an ADHD dx as I don't want to be wasting anybody's time if it turns out to be false. Being diagnosed might be helpful as it might allow me to address problems at uni and at home, but there is no guarantee of this. And frankly, if I ask about a dx but get told I obviously don't have it, I'm going to feel like a complete idiot and will spend ages being very hard on myself about it!!

 

So, would it be worth seeking a diagnosis? Is it even possible that I could have it, considering the lack of publicly obvious symptoms?

 

Any advice would be much appreciated :) thanks.

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Merry   

Hi atlantis, welcome to the forum.

You sound to me exactly like a person with aspergers if you don't mind me saying, and that's fine. I have aspergers and live a very normal life really, married with a child.

High functioning, is when you appear normal whenever you have to, because you have the intelligence to mask your difficulties. You've grown up observing the behaviour of others and learning exactly what to do. You've developed coping strategies. You can get by, just about, most of the time... but you need that time alone, or just in silence, learning the things you enjoy, going about your usual habits, or however you `recover` from the over stimulation of the day/week/year... I'm always late for things too. I also find it hard to keep a tidy house, yet I crave organization. I'm very quiet in public. I can also be intense and and a bit hyper, or very very low, tired, depressed...although I've learned to cope with depression pretty well. I do nervous things when i'm with people i don't know, and i don't like visitors, or visiting. Very few people really know me, and the ones who do, I depend on quite a lot at times. I find I can learn better from reading (if it's something i'm interested in) than being taught, and can express myself better in writing too. When I was in school, I daydreamed, couldn't learn, wasn't interesting, too much background noise, and going into my own mind was more enjoyable.

Personally, getting a diagnoses last year was the best thing i've ever done. It definitely changed my life for the better. Now i don't look back in anger, my life makes a lot more sense. I've forgiven myself for a lot, I understand why things were hard and why things didn't often work out. It's helped friends and family to understand me better too...I feel like i'm accepted more. I even told the lady who was measuring me for a new bra recently, and she became even more helpful. She knew that I would need softer fabrics and comfort. It's amazing how many people know about aspergers, know someone who has it, or think they might have it themselves but aren't sure.... No one is going to think badly of you for seeking diagnoses. My doctors were amazing. The whole mental health team were great. I felt very supported. I wish the same for you. Just because you can cover it up when you need to, doesn't mean you don't have it. They do tests which will be pretty decisive. Anyway, if you feel like you need help, or just need to know, i'd say seek it out.

If you stay on the forum, there are plenty of people here who have been there themselves and can give you a little support while you go through the process, or while you continue giving it some thought. There are also people here who have aspergers but have never been officially diagnosed and don't feel they need it. The thing is, a lot of people know they've always been different, and they knew what their traits were before they ever heard the word aspergers. It just so happens that when we come to a site like this, we realize how similar we are to all the other members and then the jigsaw pieces start to come together! It's kind of obvious to us once we read the books or talk to others who have it, it's unmistakable really...although of course we're all different in a lot of ways too...Because we have different interests and have had different life experiences. We all cope in different ways, and have different opinions. It's certainly nice to have the support. :)

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I was told about 7 years ago that i possibly have adhd or add, but ive never needed a formal diagnosis... until recently ive because been thinking about going back to college and im worried about how/if i will be able to concentrate and listen. So have been thinking it may be useful to get a formal diagnosis to see if there is anything that can help me when i start college.

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Lyndalou   

That might be a sensible idea Noskcaj86 in order to get the proper support. It might be worth reading up a bit on how ADHD/ADD can affect you and steps you can take yourself in order to help yourself if you haven't already done so ! :)

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atlantis   

Thanks for the replies :) and for the welcome, Merry!

 

I have actually been formally diagnosed with Aspergers, but it's interesting to know that many of the traits I've been told would be attributed to ADHD fall under the AS characteristics anyway. I'm still learning about my dx and what it means- and especially how to manage it in day-to-day life.

 

From how you describe yourself (Merry) it sounds like we're very similar! And I also feel that getting diagnosed was life-changing in a positive way too. Hopefully the impact will continue to improve things though. At the moment it seems to be more of a battle to get other people to understand- or at least acknowledge- what it means.

 

My experience of the forum so far has been great, and I intend to stick around! :)

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The question has to be asked , what do you hope to achieve by pursuing such a diagnosis ?

 

On receipt of such what would you do with it ; use it for further development, correctional training or as an excuse why you have certain issues ?

 

I have ADD, it has been suggested before, but I will not pursue a diagnosis for this one given the AS diagnosis is useless at best and damaging at worst as an AS diagnosis can close doors as I have found, but then I am an adult where adults don't matter.

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JeanneA   

Hi atlantis, I'm pleased that you have your diagnosis, I hope it will help you in the future to get the help that you may need. Everyone has different views regarding getting a diagnosis I'm sure, but keep positive and learn all you can about your diagnosis.

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Hi there

My DS paediatric consultant has just requested that we complete a Conners questionnaire - we are awaiting diagnosis for AS which will hopefully come at the next appointment early March - consultant was insistant that she could not diagnose until a child was 7yrs. We completed questionnaires previously but not the conners - she stated that there was definitely AS there and unlikely to be ADHD at the time. Now we are aware that DS has deteriorated within the school setting considerably since christmas - DS hasn't settled at all this term and he has recently been excluded 4times in 3weeks!

Am I right in thinking that the Conners questionnaire is to assess for ADHD - if so how is it scored? Can a child have AS and ADHD in combination? Am getting a little confused by this assessment process in general to be honest!

Any help/advice/words of wisdom would be much appreciated

Sue

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From what I read is that a conners assessment is to test for various disabilities. When I was a chilld they were going through lots of diagnoses before i was diagnosed with my main diagnosis of autism.

Edited by Special_talent123

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smileyK   

been referred to local hosp ADHD & AS team (have previously accessed their service before!) through adult MHT (through care co-ordinator) and had my appointment this afternoon my mum attended with me as on the form i completed said be helpful to bring someone with you! i saw clinical nurse specialist she asked me and my mum lots of questions related to focus ,attention ,impulsivity (thoughts & behaviour) nurse said pointing in suspected likely hood & direction of ADHD??? -bit shocked to be honest i have agreed to be on assessment waiting list! now just waiting to here! nursereckons showing quite few common main signs of ADHD just assumed part of picture of Dyspraxia or AS but maybe not just them two maybe triple factor! long list of letters now following after my name! lol ;)

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smileyK   

i received a appointment letter through the post on thursday have to fill in questionnaire (Wender Utah rating scale) & adult ADHD self-report scale symptom checklist and my mum has fill in questionnaire of how i was when was a child etc (mum has fill in same questionnaire as mine) and got to send both questionnaires off to ADHD & AS team before my appointment date of thursday 10th October at 1:30pm -The letter explains the consultation of the assessment could take up to 3 hours but should get an outcome of the assessment there and then hopefully fingers crossed anyways! can but hope i suppose! though not hoping too high

 

! the letter also says we get few 20 minute breaks in between been told it quite similar to an AS assessment also have to bring school reports along when looking through my reports which i have from reception,year 1- juniors and senior's school only year which haven't got is year 6! which isn't too bad glad my mum kept my reports now as noticed a running pattern /theme throughout of attention/concentration issues is clear to see and stands out!

 

XKLX

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Merry   

Hi Smiley! Good to hear from you! It sounds like a busy time for you! So what happened on the 10th? What was the outcome? I hope it all went well. X

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smileyK   

well the assessment took 2 and half hours to complete with my mum by my side - i had 4 mini tests which found quite hard,difficult -challenging i also took along school reports to give a insight into childhood to show evidence! the outcome after looking at both mine and my mum's questionaires we filled in and sent off as well as questions we asked about past,present and then these tests altogether.

 

i knew the outcome before clinical pyschologist told us but i have main type of ADHD combined type just waiting from letter from local CMHT to discuss medication options and also a appointment letter to see clinical nurse on emotional management skills with ADHD & AS team who referred me for ADHD assessment in first place now 'explains' how i thought bi-polar/BPD direction as easily confused /mixed up with ADHD pyschologist explained like female AS ,female ADHD also hard to discover due to it seen as 'male condition'! also normally when AS is 'found' it left at that and nothing more is searched or investigated! so frustrating adds to lost years i felt so confused within! always thought just down to MH issues nothing more!

 

XKLX

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Merry   

Wow Smiley that's great progress. It must be such a relief to finally get some answers! All this time you were thinking it was just you being abnormal and failing, and all the time, you had these very complicated issues which were effecting your ability to cope and nobody realized! I really hope you get more support from now on. I feel so sad that you have suffered alone with all of this for so long. FINALLY people are helping you. :)

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smileyK   

it strange really it is relief but at same time shocked that it is ADHD causing many difficulties /issues alongside AS , Mixed Anxiety & Depressive Disorder ,Social Anxiety Disorder which explains anger management issues,emotional regulation issues as well as executive functions which had been left outstanding from AS assessment reports in May 2005 .. it quite hard to take that both AS/ADHD were investigated yet discovered by pure accident of someone seeing 'outstanding difficulties /issues' i ain't rangising much hopes on support services side even though now adding extra issues of ADHD alongside AS ,Dyspraxia M.A.D.D

 

XKLX

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Merry   

Sounds very complicated. No wonder you've gone through so many traumatic times with it all. It must have been so hard for you and it's amazing that you've coped, but actually, you've done really well to still be here and still be as positive as you are, despite what you've been living with all this time! I really hope you do get more support from now on. You've suffered alone for long enough hun. X

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smileyK   

hoping whatever medication we decide is suitable enough for me will calm,relax my system down enough to dampen down restlessness levels which sky high as high energy levels which wipe me out /drain me! i will not be beaten i'm determined be successful no matter what i'm faced with or what letters i have after my name! i have to lol about it or i think i'd be rocking and crying in corner! i'm not going to say i don't have my 'dark times' when could so 'give in and up' but be such an 'easy option' and i just won't do it! after my family hard work/effort throughout the years! i struggle to get up ,fight/battle everyday challenges and again to switch off to go to sleep!

 

XKLX

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Merry   

:) And you will succeed, I'm certain of that. Just takes time and determination, which you've got in bundles! :) I'm so glad Smiley.

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smileyK   

executive functions of multi-tasking at work especially certainly stressful ,choatic ,challenging to manage effectively which increases anxiety and depression further more ... makes me doubt myself even more in job role ... so shakes up low self-esteem not good ;( i rang up ADHD & AS team today to find out where i am for next appointment with clinical nurse and told me tuesday 10th December at 10.30am so hopefully can discuss medication input as affecting my working ability!

 

XKLX

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trekster   

Congratulations on your later diagnosis of ADHD. As someone who has struggled on and off before their diagnoses especially the fibro and EDS, I can understand your anger and frustration at your diagnosis.

 

I've friends with ADHD some of which have been diagnosed in their late 40s. There are a few books which mention a range of what you have.... "that's the way I think" and "multi-coloured mayhem" are ones I particularly like.

 

Benzoates and tartaric acid give me hyperactive and quite angry behaviour so I avoid them whenever possible.

 

Really hope you can find a way of getting the most out of your brain.

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