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How do you know if you have ADD?


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Hello all,

I was diagnosed with BP when I was hospitalized 3 months ago. Been having a hard time getting things done at work. I am wondering how you know if you have ADD. How do you know if medication will help?

I just am tired of being nonproductive!

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I'd agree that getting the BP under control needs to be the first priority. Did you have concentration problems before your episode, and as a child?

The best way to find out is to talk to your doctor about your symptoms and history and then see what he/she would like to do about it.

Anna

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I came to my current pdoc with a 15 yo correct ADHD dx and incorrect MDD dx. The first thing she did after dxing me with bipolar was take me off Adderall, and off I stayed until I was at least fairly stable on bipolar meds. It's too hard to stabilize the mood issues with a stimulant to confuse things. Also, if you are in depressive episode, that may very well cause trouble with concentration by itself. One last thing - I don't know how you are tolerating your meds, but I was a zombie the whole few months I was on Tegretol, and I know Seroquel can be sedating as well. Is it possible that your problem is with alertness and you need either a meds change or Nuvigil?

As Anna suggests, the answer to whether you have ADD or not is in your history. If you've been this way since childhood, you very well may have it, but if this is a recent addition, it's unlikely.

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Agreed with all the above.

However, I went through all sorts of formal testing and whatnot and didn't officially meet some arbitrarily set criteria for AD/HD and was therefore not diagnosed until the age of 22 (I'm 27 now, for reference).

I was the inattentive type primarily whilst growing up (and in us guys that type is rarely seen or appreciated, the normal ADDer is supposed to be "hyper" all the time), so the diagnosis was missed until my career engaged in catastrophic, epic FAIL due to AD/HD (well that and a supervisor who was on my case for no reason, but that's something to discuss in another forum).

Basically my pdoc at the time said that it qualifies as AD/HD if it interferes with my daily activities of living, and since it helped lead to me getting fired, it qualified. Also, of course, as per the DSM, the symptoms shouldn't be better explained by another psychiatric (e.g. MDD) or neurological disorder, so in your case, I would definitely first rule out MDD as the cause of your attention deficits.

I, for one, am still a complete "space cadet" type even whilst not depressed. :smartass:

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