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To wonder if I have ADHD...

(45 Posts)
hidinginthetoiletagain Mon 04-Mar-19 19:55:08

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...

Drogonssmile Mon 20-May-19 21:24:37

Sorry for resurrecting a slightly old thread but I thought of it today when I received a letter saying my referral for autism assessment has been accepted. I just have to wait for an appointment now.

I'm delighted, I've wanted this for so long! (I'm 37).

Anynamewilldo2 Wed 06-Mar-19 18:04:48

Hiding some things ARE typical of life, but it's about figuring out the extent to which it affects and impacts on you.

Pretty normal for someone to be a little impulsive for example, but with ADHD it gets a bit more extreme. Finding the line between what's normal and what is ADHD is where an assessment comes in, and it's why you need a professional to assess.

If it's impacting on your life negatively then it is worth investigating, even if you don't go on meds. Knowing the root cause of your behaviour can be a relief, and finding ADHD appropriate strategies is better than stabbing in the dark and hoping that the next thing or the next will help you manage.

Anynamewilldo2 Wed 06-Mar-19 18:00:26

Mouse that's so funny because I also realised I have loads of strategies I've been using to manage my adhd for years before I knew I had it!

Roffle it's tricky to explain what the meds feel like, but basically I'm uncomfortable in my skin, I'm literally always on the move, or if I'm sitting I've got a leg tucked under me, im fiddling, I'm speaking non stop. I'm also highly impulsive and when I get an idea I can't let go, even if it's completely bonkers. I also find it hard to focus and get distracted super easily. On the flip side if I get absorbed in something I can't pull my attention out and will stay up Til wild hours or miss appointments bc I lose track of time. There's more but basically I find on medication it slows me down a bit so it gives me a bit more time to process and think. I am also less 'jumpy'. My mindfulness in the moment is slightly better and I can focus on conversations wihout getting quite as distracted. It's not perfect, and I definitely still have to have strategies on top of that, but it definitely helps.

hidinginthetoiletagain Wed 06-Mar-19 10:26:59

The more people who say it sounds like them the more I think maybe it's just me/life???? Maybe I'm just intellectually average, lack the will power to lose weight (like a million other people) and possibly should have known my limits and stuck at one child (however much I love my second born). Talking to my friends I can tell they're pretty cynical about the idea, they say they have all the same challenges I do and that's just life. I guess only an objective professional can unpick it all....

GiveMeAllTheGin8 Wed 06-Mar-19 09:37:35

Following as this sounds exactly like me. It was mentioned to me while studying by my tutor who referred me to the counselor.
The counselor told me that I’d come this far that I was fine and didn’t need “a label “.
How I wish I went further as I was constantly told in school to stop chatting, stop fidgeting, pay attention and was always forgetting books and homework.
Was always told I could do better, I knew I could but would get bored of trying!

PinguForPresident Wed 06-Mar-19 09:09:45

My husband was diagnosed with ADHD last year aged 46.He got his diagnosis within a couple of weeks of first enquiring, by doing it privately. He has BUPA cover through work and this covered him up to the point of diagnosis. We had to pay for his first couple of months of meds (about £150), and his psych managed to get him a couple of free follow-up apointments by citing co-morbid clinical anxiety.

Is the private option possible for you? We were told waiting time of 18-24 months for NHS diagnosis.

Meds have been life-changing for my husband. Truly amazing. He is like a different person, and all for the better. I can't recommend seeking diagnosis highly enough. We genuinely don't care in the slightest about the DVLA notification thing as the benefit to the lives of our whole family by him being diagnosed and medicated are immeasurable.

His symptoms were a lot like your list, BTW. Chronic underachiever since childhood despite very high IQ (career has come on in leaps and bounds since diagnosis!). Risky behaviour, drug use in teens/20s, long term depression/anxiety. Hyperfocus. Appalling working memory. Classic symptoms.

Our daughter was diagnosed with ADHD aged 10 last year as well. I'm so glad she won;t have to go through life wondering what's wrong with her. I doubt my husband will ever completely unlearn/unpick all the harmful coping mechanisms that allowed him to function with untreated ADHD.

Zoflorabore Wed 06-Mar-19 09:01:58

Oh and I have fibromyalgia too so always tired and in pain which doesn't help, and I'm fat grin

I've got a doctors appointment today at 10.20 ( unrelated to this ) and am going to mention it.

Weirdly, I took da to his yearly appointment at Alder Hey in January and he has a new consultant. He seemed quite intrigued by me ( can't describe it any other way! ) as I was reeling off dates for certain things connected to his diagnosis etc and he asked me if I have been diagnosed with anything! When I told him I think I have ADHD he seemed to agree and obviously said that he cannot diagnose me and that I need to see someone in adult services.
When the consultant's report came through it mentioned that "X's mum is rather gifted" in the first paragraph which I found amusing.
Made me think though. He's obviously seen something in me.

hidinginthetoiletagain Wed 06-Mar-19 07:54:43

Haha mouse you didn't sound 'right up yourself' at all smile. Even if I don't have ADHD, we certainly have a lot on common! The 'blurt fear' being one of them!!

ricky thank you, I think exercise would help, but I feel so chronically exhausted most of time I just don't know how I'd fit another thing in! When I was younger (and didn't have children....) I used to swim and go on really long walks. I find 'rhythmic' exercise to be the closest thing I can get to meditation. I'm pretty fat these days (which is apparently quite common in people with ADHD I was surprised to discover) and think attempting any kind of class or gym/trainer type thing would be setting myself up for failure. (Like lots of people gym fees is one the many ways I've wasted hundreds of pounds over the years....).

Mousetolioness Wed 06-Mar-19 06:54:50

I also think I have quite an immature streak too and if asked my head age I'd put it at around 24 most days. And 15 when I'm sitting in the back of the car with my parents grinLOL.

Mousetolioness Wed 06-Mar-19 06:49:43

I definitely have verbal diarrhoea - I'd like to shorten that to 'VD' too, but can't, for obvious reasons.

Mousetolioness Wed 06-Mar-19 06:46:11

I think quite a few adults realise they have ADHD when they go through the process of having a child diagnosed for a disorder.

My blinding light moment came about through reading an article in a woman's magazine. A story about a mother who realised she had it when her child was being diagnosed. I got really excited as so much of her experience growing up was just so familiar! And then, in typical for me fashion, I somehow just forgot about it. The moment had passed and other stuff took over. A whole two years later I came across that magazine in my car and it all went on from there!

Hiding, your description "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..." is also so spot on for me, and no doubt many others too. It made me laugh. It also makes me mourn a touch for all the things I over-thought and procrastinated over to the point of boredom and then left undone.

I would urge you to stick with it even if you find the services in your area have a long waiting list.

The second time around when my privately obtained d's would not do for my current GP as the prescribing process entailed shared care, I just 'parked' the matter until the appointment with the ADHD clinic was given. Then I 'parked all thoughts until nearer the appointment time.

Parking things is my strategy for coping when things can't go as fast as I'd like. It removes the frustration.

Also, after dx I realised I'd been devising strategies for managing living on a day to day basis.

Also, I don't know how true this will be for you and the others on here, I've always felt like an 'outsider', always on the periphery of things looking in. I did my own thing really until I was about fifteen when I made a conscious effort to closely watch my peers to see what they did, what made them 'normal'. That helped me to fit in better when I went to uni, as I'd developed a pretty convincing 'front'.

After diagnosis (dx) I think I allowed the real me with all my 'lovely' ADHD aspects to surface. I found I felt more at home with me and much less bothered about fitting in. So it reduced a self-imposed stress I'd been putting myself under.

Zoflorabore Wed 06-Mar-19 05:48:54

I am convinced I have ADHD. I'm a 41 year old woman and have a 16yr old ds with Aspergers and my 8yr old dd is just like me.
I have diagnosed OCD, anxiety and "traits of EUPD" which is common as a misdiagnosis according to several things I've read. I'm not and have never been suicidal or attatched to people and I don't feel I fit the criteria for that at all.

Will be watching with interest.

Mousetolioness Wed 06-Mar-19 05:40:22

I'm really sorry... just re-read and I realise I sounded right up myself with my last couple of posts - end of a long work day - bloomin' brain blurts.

Rickytickytembo Wed 06-Mar-19 04:25:59

Well done for seeking this out OP - I hope you are able to get help. Do you exercise a lot? A few friends with ADHD are able to manage their symptoms with regular exercise (like daily long runs). Thought it worth mentioning as it's an easy one to start doing and will likely be helpful, whether/not you do end up with a diagnosis.

BeekyChitch Wed 06-Mar-19 01:12:25

This post really resonates with how I feel all the time. However, I am not ADHD diagnosed and don't think I have ADHD. Hope your GP is able to give you some
Good advice. You're taking the correct steps! Good luck!

DoNotTouchTheTree Wed 06-Mar-19 00:44:05

According to the DVLA website, ADHD is not 'notifiable' condition, so there is no need to tell them. Personally speaking, I'm sure I'm a better driver since being officially diagnosed, as I can manage my time better than I could before, so I'm less likely to be late, distracted and rushing.

Mousetolioness Tue 05-Mar-19 23:28:18

I'm sure it has always been a requirement to tell the DVLA but now you can be fined.

Mousetolioness Tue 05-Mar-19 23:23:00

I didn't hesitate to declare my ADHD to the DVLA and it hasn't affected my premiums.

blackteasplease Tue 05-Mar-19 22:45:13

You sound alot like me OP.

cheesenpickles Tue 05-Mar-19 22:33:44

Yikes, just read OP's post and this sounds like me to a tee. I always wondered if I was on the spectrum or had ADHD myself.

hidinginthetoiletagain Tue 05-Mar-19 22:19:57

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...

TooManyPaws Tue 05-Mar-19 22:10:55

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.

tenredthings Tue 05-Mar-19 21:58:22

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.

Bipbopbee Tue 05-Mar-19 21:54:23

Hi Op,
A lot of what you said sounds to me like you could have ASD.
I hope the GP appointment is helpfulflowers

JesusHChristOnABike Tue 05-Mar-19 21:47:39

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.

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