To wonder if I have ADHD...(45 Posts)
I've got a GP appointment in 3 weeks, but in the meantime I wondered if any other MNers had personal experience of a late diagnosis and whether any of the following sound familiar:
- Was constantly in trouble at school, but low level stuff like talking too much, not completing homework, distracting others, arguing back etc. No one concerned at the time, still managed to do OK at school.
- My family apparently thought I was going to be some kind of child genius (only found this out recently) as I talked very early, could read at 3 etc. I actually turned out to be pretty academically average. I feel like I have really good ideas but they don't seem to translate...
- Have always felt like a low achiever and like I'm not making the most of what I'm good at.
- Chronic procrastination despite how stressed it makes me, e.g. I wrote 6,000 words of my first dissertation the day before it was due in, whilst vomiting in the bin.
- Always thought I could have/should have done better at school/university/work but was just too lazy. Every single report ever said 'could do better'.
- I've always been pretty quick on my feet, really good at exams, but poor at coursework etc. that requires extended focus.
- Lots of risky behaviour as a teenager/young adult (drugs etc., though this was not unusual for my peer group)
- I get really fixated on a particular idea (from we need a new bathroom cabinet, to we should move house) and obsess about it endlessly...
- I waste money constantly on fines, parking tickets, not remembering to return things, losing receipts etc.
- I was diagnosed with depression at 15 and have been on Fluoxetine ever since...
- I have loads of sensory 'issues', was a toe-walker (still am). Can't bear competing noise etc. etc.
- I frequently feel completely over-whelmed
- My energy levels vary dramatically from one day to the next.
- Although I can be spontaneous something like a cafe/shop being closed can completely ruin my day (especially if I was obsessing about needing to buy a particular thing etc.)
- I appear very confident and socially out-going but can't stop talking when anxious/nervous and often blurt out things that are inappropriate/private. Friends just think I'm a bit outrageous and generally find it funny, but I often feel hideously embarrassed about it afterwards.
- I massively over promise.
- When stressed I can be paralysed with indecision about tiny things like what to eat.
Anyway, sorry this is hideously long (classic verbal diarrhoea). There's quite a lot of other stuff, but basically IABU to go to the GP or does this just sound like normal, everybody stuff and I'm just looking for an excuse for being a bit useless...
I had an adult diagnosis. Also work as assistant psych. Does sound adhd like but obviously impossible to tell over the Internet! The best test for ADHD is a qbcheck which gives a really good indication of whether it's likely a person has ADHD. Some NHS trusts do them.
Def worth going to GP although adult ADHD referrals varies from area to area.
Some family history, cousin was diagnosed as a child (he is nothing like me though... and has a PhD from Oxford). Also, I don't know my Dad but from the limited information I have - he was super smart and from a very academic/privileged background (grandparents met at Cambridge etc.) but got expelled from at least one private school and left his degree course just before finals (he also obviously freaked out and ran away from having a child!) so maybe something going on there?
Thank you any, that's helpful. I'm not even sure if pursuing a diagnosis would be helpful as I imagine there may be limited support available... It's good to know which assessments to ask for though and I would consider going private if I thought it would be helpful.
Obviously, no-one can confirm a diagnosis on here but with some exceptions I could put a tick against most of what you've written! I was diagnosed at 45 well over a decade ago.
It was not hugely recognised in adults then. My GP knew next to nothing about it, even in children, so I went to my appointment and took the line that I had something, I suspected it was ADHD, but whatever it was I needed to know. I also, up to that point, had been told at various times I was just depressed and been prescribed Citalopram, which frankly, made bugger all difference. Living with undiagnosed ADHD and a lifetime of low self esteem, failure to 'achieve' anything of significance career-wise despite apparently being of above average intelligence and wondering why I couldn't do the simple stuff that others seemed to manage, was obviously enough to make me depressed.
I've written elsewhere on here that I used to have really vivid nightmares which would make me wake up screaming and scare the crap out of my exH. Post-diagnosis I've had occasional bad dreams but nothing like the 'screamers', thank goodness, especially now I have a 'senior bladder!
Also, there is a tendency to think that all will miraculously be solved and calm and smooth with a diagnosis. Nope. The only difference was I spent less time wondering WTF is wrong with me, because now I knew!
And there is no guarantee that medication will miraculously turn things around either. Some people see a massive difference, some don't. Some meds work better than others, some might make a difference for longer than others. Everyone is different so it's trial and error. Also it can take a long time to be seen by a psychiatrist after referral.
Back then my GP agreed to prescribe meds if I got a diagnosis privately, as that was the quickest way to get whatever it was confirmed. I tried methylphenidate and an extended release version of it but didn't really feel any lasting benefits. I stopped bothering with meds and got on with life.
That all changed when the menopause struck - all my ADHD-ness worsened and the prover ial wheels fell off!
Went to my new GP (I'd moved and separated from exH). Referred to my local ADHD clinic and now under a shared care arrangement.
And it is common to go through a sort of mourning period; to mourn what might have been.
Some days I just can't think - my brain won't comply. Some days I have moments of total overwhelm.
LOL at verbal diarrhoea - I've no idea what that is off course...
I had an adult diagnosis too, and could have written Mousetolioness's post.
From my experience, I would suggest that you have specific examples to talk to your GP about, especially going back to before you were 7 years old and continuing through to adulthood. Also remember that you have to be given a referral, as most GPs aren't qualified to give an ADHD assessment - only a specialist can say you do or don't have it.
You don't specify if you are female, but on the assumption you are, I found this link to be incredbily helpful when a friend shared it with me (but be warned if you're the emotional type - some of it made my cry as I recognised myself!)
The page is quite old but the content is still relevant. If you think most of this fits you (only 1 didn't fit me) then it might be a handy checklist for behavioural examples to mention to the GP.
Thank you so much mouse I really appreciate you taking the time to write such a helpful detailed response. I'm actually wondering if I might be peri-menapausal myself and that has worsened the symptoms to the extent that I can't dismiss them any more. I have STONKING word-finding difficulties! I'm in my 40s so not expecting any life changing interventions at this point, but some added insight and some strategies would be good.
It's really good to hear I'm not just imagining there might be something there. So again, thank you.
Thank you tremble. I just had a quick read through and it does all seem very familiar! I probably would be the emotional type, but I find the Fluoxetine tends to keep a plug in it (not sure if that's a good thing or not really....)
Okay. DD started self harming at 15. Cutting and poisoning. Needed psychiatric care. Fluoxetine, propranolol, anxiety, depression, therapy.
At 17 after a crisis psych assessed for ASD and ADHD. I never wver thought she was ASD. She has some traits but not enough for a diagnosis. She did have ADD. Suddenly all piecea fitted together. The raw intelligence, the occasional soar and the inconsistency and inability to finish.
She still took 11 GCSEs all A and A*. Once diagnosed and medicated she got 4A* A'Levels. Oxbridge now.
V high functioning, v good at masking. Nearly managed a full head fuck. Diagnosis came in time. She will always be anxious and prone to depression.
She is getting better and better at self management.
Despite an od there was no NHS support whatsoever. The system sucks.
mousetolioness, are you me?
I was diagnosed in my mid 40s but I found methylphenidate to be life changing stuff. My whole life has undergone a total positive transformation since the diagnosis. I mourned the life I could have had if I'd found out earlier, but better late than never. I'd encourage you to push for a specialist psychiatrist referral.
Your description lists a lot of me.
I received a surprise, but helpful DX of adhd when I was turning 32 I think. Cant do the maths.
Thank you. Its really helpful to know which routes to push for. I wasn't sure what would be the most appropriate onward referral. I think if a diagnosis proved appropriate it would generally be a positive thing for me just to know that there are reasons I seem to fine life a bit harder than most of those around me and maybe I'm not such a chronic under achiever after all...
A lot of what you said does sound ADHD like and hopefully you can get the answers that you are looking for
Be wary of tests like the qb test though if used in isolation. I am a psychologist and the use of this test is not really great practise as it doesn't account for a lot of other factors (life experience, personal history) or other things that can present as adhd. It's fine to use supplementary but not in isolation and I don't think it is the best diagnostic tool IMHO so please ensure that they do take other info
Your doctor should discuss lots of different things with you (prob not the gp but when they refer you) and ask about your history etc. It sounds like you are very reflective so should be able to give them a really accurate history and representation
ADHD in girls (similar to ASD in girls) is also under diagnosed and they are starting to be more aware of this now in adults. There are some support groups local to me so hopefully also near you (they consist of adults who support each other and also are considering offering support to local schools for pupils who really struggle with their symptoms of adhd)
Best of luck with it all x
I'm almost 40 and was referred at the beginning of the year. It was a mental health link worker at my gp practice who referred me, might be worth seeing if you have one at yours who you could chat to. I've had antidepressants pushed on me since I was 16 which have given me little benefit and found out recently that I also have a bpd diagnosis on my record, although wasn't told at the time. I strongly disagree with it and plan to have it removed. Interestingly the article pp linked to above mentions that.
I've had an initial telephone assessment and am waiting for appointment. The service is busy in my area and the link worker said awareness of adhd in adults is growing massively.
I would definitely ask for a referral if I was you
I took concerta xl and found it helped with hyperactivity and a little with impulsivity.had just switched to elvanse wjen I got pregnant so currently trying to manage brain fog and adhd fog which is hard. Ohtheroses I'm like your daughter, high anxiety, and flt like a failure. A lot of it was due to being intelligent enough to know what I should be capable of but all the simple everyday stuff just overwhelming me.
Hidingin to be honest I found just the diagnosis itself a relief as it explained so much about myself that I've always hated. I don't feel like a failure anymore, I know some things I do are just due to the ADHD. I still get down about it because its still hard but I don't blame myself anymore when things go wrong which makes a huge difference. For that alone it was worth it.
My Dr told me to go privately and then get the psych to do a shared care plan with him, as there is no adult service in our area.
I also used additudemag a lot, as they have some good tips, and there someone on you tube who does really good adhd friendly videos (short and quick and gets to the point!) although I've forgotten her name at the mo!
How does the medication help? What changes have you noticed?
You sound so much like me and I have often wondered about this myself.
High potential which didn’t translate to achievement- started two different degrees and spent all of the second wanting to change so then did a Masters in a completely different subject. I actually got a PhD but decided I didn’t want to be an academic and am now in university admin. I like it, and am fortunate to have great colleagues, but I look at similarly ‘smart’ friends from school who applied themselves, stuck in, got Oxbridge degrees and now earn about 6 times my salary. I have always struggled at sticking with anything. PhD was hell because concentrating, really intensely focusing, is hard for me.
Like you I have a depression diagnosis and have been on sertraline for 8 years. I smoked for 10 years and still struggle without it despite quitting 4 years ago. I can’t stand competing noise, it makes me feel anxious and sick. My behaviour as a teenager and young adult was far more impulsive and reckless in terms of drink, sex and drugs than all of my friends.
I was having this thought myself just today. Will follow this thread - how have the people who were diagnosed late actually found it helped?
Can I jump in and ask a question to those who have a diagnosis? What difference does medication make to you? Does it mean you are able to organise/concentrate/ be less anxious?
I've always felt there is something wrong with my brain, and having read this thread and followed some links realised I have so many of the symptoms listed, it's actually made me feel emotional as I've just always thought I'm just rather stupid and useless.
Paradoxically I think I have it. Crap at school but flew at work. I run on adrenalin and am not prone to anxiety or depression but have taken a lot of work related calculated risks. I struggle with noise. What I could have done with a bit more self discipline. Addictive personality but have controlled the cigs and booze.
I can't believe I've found this post. I identify with every single point made by PP- the underachievement, impulsivity, risky behaviour, parking fines, debt, disorder, over promising, depression diagnosis etc etc etc.
My eldest son has ADHD & people have always said we're effectively 'the same person' but I've never extrapolated that out to consider whether a diagnosis might benefit me.
I'm 45 now & approaching the menopause & the comments made by a PP about the menopause worsening their symptoms rang true. Just recently, I've found myself paralysed by a combination of brain fog/panic/an inability to hold a thought in my head, I can't cope with the thought that this might be how my brain works now 😫
I'm going to make a drs appointment to discuss this ASAP.
A lot of what you said sounds to me like you could have ASD.
I hope the GP appointment is helpful
The DVLA are bringing in new law that if you are ADHD or autistic you have to declare it on your driving licence. This would put me off getting diagnosed. It could effect insurance premiums. My son is probably on the ADHD spectrum but as his childhood was spent in a not very progressive country he never got a diagnosis, now Im glad henever got labelled if the Government is going to start being prejudiced in this sort of way.
I've been referred by my GP (just a couple of weeks ago) and am waiting for an appointment. Ironically, I spent a lot of time seeing a psychiatrist about my lack of oomph and permanent procrastination, and they were trying to rule out ME. I've been on antidepressants most of my life and so much of ADD/inattentive ADHD is horribly familiar. Menopause has led to atrocious word fail which is embarrassing for an English graduate.
Wow ten I'm pretty shocked by that! I think it might put me off a bit too...
I'm actually a bit worried I'll never make it to the GP. 3 weeks is a long time for me... If I follow my usual pattern I'll obsess about this for a few days more, including constant googling and boring anyone that'll listen (then regretting it), then get bored of the whole idea...
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