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Anyone gotten ADD as an adult?


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I seemed to have developed ADD like symptoms somewhere between now and my last hospital visit. My psychiatrist believes I do, although I keep telling him i've never had any problems growing up , and he asks me quite alot. I have always been super attentive. I read that this doesn't normally show up in adult life. Is it true?

 

I take Wellbutrin and it is helping immensely. 

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I thought Ihad adult ADD, and my doctor/psychologist did too, but in hindsight my lack of focus was more a result of dissociating, needing to process things that had been happening to me, and not caring about the things I was doing. So, I made all these plans for my school, worked a lot of hours, wanted to read all these books and do all this stuff,  but my heart wasn't into it and half my brain was processing trauma at any given time anyways, and because of my (then undiagnosed) PTSD I couldn't tolerate being fully present so I was always checking in and out, only staying present for as long as I needed just to get by. IDK if that helps you but that's what was going on with me when I got my adult ADD diagnosis.

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Wasn't diagnosed until adulthood but looking back I was the "smart kid who just didn't apply myself."  Maybe it's something else but regardless of what the actual diagnosis is, if something helps; go with it.

 

I also have anxiety and depression but my add meds seem to be helping with that.

 

Best of luck sorting it all out.

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Late reply OP: both Schizoaffective and ADHD greatly affect Executive Functioning (paying attention, organizing things, strategizing, managing time, remembering things). And if you are having issues with these symptoms specifically there may be other reasons besides ADHD - like Negative Symptoms of the Schizoaffective or Depression.

 

ADHD is commonly over diagnosed in children and under diagnosed in adults; mainly because the old ideology that it is simply a "young boys syndrome" and disregarded in girls, adults (especially people born before the year 1990), and anyone who doesn't fall under the "hyperactive child" mold (the Inattentive types). However ADHD still requires symptoms be present since childhood because it is a Neurodevelopmental Disorder, and occurs during brain development.

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  • 2 months later...

Never thought I had it until I got my intake for therapy and I was told ''this sounds a lot like ADHD'' and boom, I got (traits of) ADHD and BPD.

Looking back I have always used so many techniques to deal with the ADHD symptoms. Always making lists, keeping a school diary since I was very young, writing everything down, etc. A lot of trouble falling asleep, being very sensitive to sound, always thinking about everything and having a hard time remembering instructions when given only orally at school, but I thought I just had to deal with that... The impulsivity, procrastination, being easily distracted and finding it hard to let anyone finish their sentences, and lack of structure in my days got more intense when I started to live in my own I guess.

 

But I was ''smart'', and creative like everyone in my family so yeah, I never thought it was abnormal. My mum is great with structure (though she can let go of it too) by herself so when I was little I always knew what was going to happen, which is great. I still totes love it when I get to a meeting and the leader tells us beforehand exactly what/when/where... so relaxing.

 

I do think it's funny that my mum doesn't really buy the ADHD thing, but she's talking to me for a long time with a lot of emotions etc., and the television or radio is on, she just looks at me like ''should I turn the tv off?''. I can concentrate on things but don't make it too hard on me haha.

Edited by Sawi
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Hi, Sawi, welcome to CB. I saw you were in chat earlier.

 

I didn't get diagnosed with ADHD until I was 28. I have inattentive type. It explains a lot about me as a kid. I was considered very bright, and bored with schoolwork, so they always gave me extra stuff to do to keep me occupied. Later in life, that was brought up as being ADHD-like, and a few docs were surprised that it was missed for so long. I take ritalin now, and it really helps.

 

Adults can have ADHD. I'm familiar with a bit of what you mentioned: impulsivity, procrastination, etc, being "smart" and creative.  Inattentive type, which is more common for women, can get missed. 

 

Crazystore has a lot of good books on ADHD. 

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Hi San,

 

Nice to hear your story on this. 28 is pretty late indeed, but I was 24 too so yeah... 

 

I actually expected that I would be diagnosed with ADD, but the doctor said he considered me to be a mixed type, so both the hyperactive/impulsive as well as inattentive part. The BPD is also heavy on the impulsivity, so it's hard to say how impulsive I will be when I will recover from BPD. We'll see.

 

I was never bored in school actually. I liked school. Probably because I'm ''smart'' but not ''that'' smart? Maybe because I have to write down everything and pay attention closely and that takes energy. I am also used to actively look for variation. I think I found that in books. When I was in highschool, I was involved in the school magazine, I did theatre, poetry, and was in a politics club and worked as a journalist. I was involved in a Harry Potter fan community, I was broadcasted on the radio a few times, traveled througout the country to meet friends, had several penpals. Always busy and happy to do all sorts of stuff.

Here in the Netherlands, that is pretty uncommon, to be so active in highschool. But you know, it seemed natural for me. We just need a lot of stimulation and new things and experiences, makes us happy, right? I do find it hard sometimes because I want to do everything and everything is just so interesting to me. I cannot imagine being bored. The downside is that it frustrates me that I lack the time and energy to do everything I really want to do and I'm afraid that I miss out on so much that I could experience... but I need time to stabilize and take care of myself as well. You can only do that much, and when you have some other mental illnesses... well.. you know.

 

At the moment I'm working in a callcenter. The work is not repetitive (yet, because I work there a month now), there is enough stimulation and variation so to say, and I guess I can focus good enough. I did not expect that it would go so well.

But I am aiming to get a PhD project so that means a lot of studying, and the downsides (procrastination, focus) will come up again and I will have to think about medication. I do realize now that I want a PhD project in which I can do practical as well as theoretical stuff. Variation is very, very important. But a PhD in psychology is mostly sitting behind a desk though... *sigh*

Edited by Sawi
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I thought Ihad adult ADD, and my doctor/psychologist did too, but in hindsight my lack of focus was more a result of dissociating, needing to process things that had been happening to me, and not caring about the things I was doing. So, I made all these plans for my school, worked a lot of hours, wanted to read all these books and do all this stuff,  but my heart wasn't into it and half my brain was processing trauma at any given time anyways, and because of my (then undiagnosed) PTSD I couldn't tolerate being fully present so I was always checking in and out, only staying present for as long as I needed just to get by. IDK if that helps you but that's what was going on with me when I got my adult ADD diagnosis.

 

i think this is what I have going on too.  I am constantly driven to distracting myself online.  Just the idea of sitting by myself without a computer nearby, would make me antsy.  But I have had Major Trauma happen, and as a lot of it related to my parents action - instead of being able to feel that anger and do something about it - which makes me very anxious about the consequences, I have to distract myself.  Its like I have a gnats brain sometimes, but maybe I've leaned on it as a coping mechanism too long.

 

That said I have read that trauma damages the frontal cortex, so it is harder to make decisions and carry through with things.  So I think that is part of it.  I really wish I had my frontal cortex back, and did not have to disassociate.  

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  • 2 months later...

Brain damage from things like seizures and head injuries can cause symptoms almost identical to ADD in adulthood, FWIW.

 

This is interesting to me, because my ADD (or most of my ADD-like symptoms) did not appear until after 12 treatments of ECT, which is just really medically controlled seizures. Very interesting. Just another piece in the puzzle of me trying to figure things out.

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  • 4 weeks later...

I can't say I really got ADD as an adult, it was more diagnosed as an adult.

 

At least since the age of 5 I'd been "making careless mistakes", "impulsively talking", "being klutzy", etc. etc. etc.

 

It only came to blows when I was 23 and on the job, made a $10,000 non-refundable order on behalf of my lab... all because I failed to match the requisition number given with the description the lab tech put in (he mismatched them and I should have gone asking which item he really wanted... and just guessed by the order number.  D'oh.)

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  • 4 weeks later...

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