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Yes. You can absolutely have ADHD as a kid without being diagnosed. That's how it happens for a lot of people, especially women, as our ADHD tends to be more inattentive type, so as children we weren't disruptive in a classroom in the same way those with more hyperactivity might be.

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Yes.

I was diagnosed with adult ADHD, and you never would have known it from how I acted as a child. Also, grades are not necessarily an indication. I always had good grades all the way through college, although I was pretty disorganized and inconsistent in my habits. I just powered through with extra effort.

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I was dx'd when I was 45, but went to the pdco because I was depressed and nothing seemed to help much.

When I was a kid, I had all the classic signs, including the hyperactive and out of control part. No one ever suggested that I might have ADHD, but in retrospect, it's obvious. Back in the 60's, I think it was pretty rare for a girl to be diagnosed. I was considered a disruptive kid with a messy desk and poor grades. Report cards usually said something to the effect of "not working up to potential, needs to learn self control, can't sit still, talks to much," etc.

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I wasn't diagnosed until about 45, either. I was not so obvious as a kid. I was quiet and got reasonably good grades. I also sat in the back of the class and joked or otherwise got the louder kids around me into trouble. I was always told that I was a lazy student and that I liked peering out the window too much. By high school, I was cutting class and nearly held back for lack of attendance. My grades weren't that great, either. I did drugs. I liked speed most because of the clarity it brought. More of the not living up to potential stuff. My attendance and effort didn't change much in uni, although I put a little more effort into it in grad school. I am not organized by nature. Being on time has always been a challenge. I meet most the criteria except the serious hyperactivity, which is why no one ever suspected I had ADD.

I was diagnosed by my pdoc after manic/mixed/cycling all stopped and I still couldn't focus well or organize. That interview actually was an outgrowth of conversations with my therapist about the simple things I found frustrating and hard to do. I thought it was loss of executive function because of unchecked bipolar. There might be some of that, but ADHD meds take care of most of my related problems. I just wish my pdoc would let me have a slightly higher dose which is more effective. This is the compromise for bipolar, although there is not freaking evidence that Adderall causes mania. /mini rant

I have a harder time with ADD issues now than when I was younger. I think that's because of A. age, B. meds, and/or, C. bipolar ate my brain.

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if you don't mind me asking, at what point did you seek help for your ADHD and under what circumstances?

I didn't think I had ADHD. I sought help last year at 44 because I was having mood and attention problems and I thought it had something to do with perimenopause. Lo and behold, pdoc diagnosed me with comorbid BP II and ADHD.

It was actually easy for me to believe the BP diagnosis since my symptoms are pretty obvious and it runs in my family, but it took a while to accept the ADHD diagnosis. Descriptions of ADHD tend to emphasize poor grades and job perfomance, and that hadn't been true of me. But really, ADHD is more complex than that. My pdoc eventually convinced me by showing me all my lists of symptoms and correlating them with characteristics of adult ADHD.

I have a harder time with ADD issues now than when I was younger. I think that's because of A. age, B. meds, and/or, C. bipolar ate my brain.

Yeah, that.

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