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Just wondering about symptoms

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Well first of all I'd like to say that I'm an 18 year old, first year college student, who has been a constant underachiever the past 5 or 6 years of my life in school. and also may I say that; yes, I am dabling with the idea that I may indeed have ADD.

Ever since grade 7 or 8 my marks have been falling, and I have a lot of listening trouble(as in when someone talks to me I ask them to repeat one, twice sometimes three times, with no background noises or anything). I also drift through ideas very rapidly and I sometimes find it very hard to keep a conversation because as my friends are talking about one thing I am thinking about something else, and my thoughts are all over the place. I find the same thing happens in class, and has been ever since, as previously mentioned, in grade 7 and 8. The teacher will be talking and I will just not be there, EVER. No matter how important the class or words are I can not stay focused for more than,say, 10 seconds. Whenever I read my mind always flips past all the words to read the end, and I have no patience for it, where when I was younger I didn't have any trouble with it. It also takes me 3, 4 sometimes 5 hours to sleep EVERY night, as thoughts just rush through my mind from one thing to another and I'm always moving while thinking too may I mention. I've done all the tests on the internet which can help diagnose people with ADD. Some, in particular, say that you should meet about 20 symptoms with a ranking of 3-4 to take it seriously, and I've personally had more than 80 on most.

Anyways I guess what I'm doing is looking for help in what you think. I need some support since my parents are just constantly saying that I'm perfectly normal when I just can't see that being possible, and I think they find it hard to believe where they are both teachers. They think they can't be wrong for the simple fact they see it in class all the time, and when I tell them that people aren't diagnosed sometimes until they are adults they look at me as if I were stupid. Should I see a doctor about this, and if so, will I be asked to talk to a psychologist, or a specialist of some sort? Anyways thanks a lot for reading, I'm eagerly awaiting feedback.

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Hi Guy, I don't have the answers to your questions but the symtoms you explain are very close to mine,

I went back to school 2 years ago to finnish high school, I'm 31yo male, and just found that i couldn't take in the information, though if it's in a book in front of me and i have the time, i could process it no problems.

I also have difficulty listening in social settings.


I'm undiagnosed as well but i believe these are typical trates of ADD


Have a good New Year Mate.

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Guest Jed Shlackman

"Guy," Happy New Year.


Regarding your question about ADD/ADHD diagnosis, it is unlikely based on your description that you would meet full DSM-IV diagnostic criteria for ADHD due to the late onset of symptoms, although you could be given a diagnostic label of ADHD Not Otherwise Specified, which would mean you have ADHD-type symptoms that are impairing your functioning without you meeting the full ADHD criteria. There are numerous factors that could trigger your difficulty with attention, and a variety of potentially effective non-drug treatments. Most doctors routinely prescribe drugs without considering or recommending other treatments. With children, behavior-modification based counseling therapies are often included in treatment recommendations, but with adults I see this as less common, especially since insurance covers psychiatric care more than psychotherapeutic care. In your situation I'd recommend looking into nutritional issues, motivational issues, and also brainwave entrainment through binaural sound and neurofeedback. Based upon your symptom descriptions, it seems like you have a lot on your mind and issues with handling stress, so approaches that help you handle stress and relax adequately could help enable you to have the balance needed to sustain focus on things in an educational setting. Things like massage, aromatherapy, reiki, yoga, tai chi, and other stress-releasing methods can be helpful in this regard, especially when combined with balanced nutrition and exercise habits.


-Jed Shlackman, L.M.H.C.

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