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Melancholya

Should I seek a diagnosis/ruling-out?

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First of all, I am not asking anyone here to diagnose me and I know that none of you can diagnose me anyway.

But I am wondering if anyone can tell me whether my problems are worth asking for a diagnosis about. 

I am wondering if I have inattentive type ADHD. My sister was diagnosed a few years ago and one of her sons is the hyperactive type, I think. 

I have always found it difficult to pay attention in meetings at work. If asked what the meeting was about I was only ever able to give a vague answer. I dropped out of university because I could not listen to lectures. I also couldn't read my textbooks. I would read one sentence or paragraph over and over. Then I'd lose interest and procrastinate. I failed HALF of the papers I did, and didn't have great grades in the ones I passed.

Anything I initially have an interest in, I seem to get bored of quickly.

I feel bored a LOT.

I can't concentrate on things I'm doing if there's music/talking/movement going on around me. 

I recently proofread an entire book for someone and it took me two months because I kept on procrastinating, or finding myself unable to focus on the words. I'd read a page or a paragraph and realise I didn't get the gist of what it was saying. I had to read it multiple times. I couldn't work on it for more than maybe 10-15 minutes at a time? I was always getting up and doing other things and then coming back to it.

I can't remember details to save myself. I forget appointments pretty frequently. I do write stuff down, which helps, but then I often forget to look at what I wrote it on, or I lose the piece of paper/diary etc.

House is a mess 24/7 and I constantly procrastinate on cleaning it or doing anything that requires effort. 

I took my daughter to the doctor last week and was then explaining to my parents-in-law why the doctor wouldn't give any treatment, and they were asking questions and I couldn't remember what the doctor had said. Things that were pretty significant and I SHOULD have remembered. 

At work I used to have to get people to describe things to me step by step, or list out details which I would then write down to keep track of. 

In the past five years I have finished about 2 novels (reading). I pick up a lot of books which I just don't have the stamina to get through. 

I put my phone down and a minute later I can't remember where I put it. I'll be on my way to do something and I'll become distracted by something else, and completely forget the first thing I was going to do.

I have always put all these problems down to depression, despite being medicated for depression the past 13 years. My mood always improved with the meds but never anything else that I thought would get better with depression treatment. Or I just figured it was my personality and I need to try harder. But I never try harder because I get bored or things feel cognitively too hard.

Am I lazy and stupid? 

Does any of this sound relatable to you all? Mind you, I am taking lamotrigine, and I think it has affected my cognition somewhat. I seem to experience a bit of aphasia now. 

I basically feel like a failure at everything because I can't apply myself to or focus on anything enough to succeed. 

Edit: forgot to include that I don't think I had these problems as a kid. Although some of my report cards say that I could do better if I applied myself. I don't remember enough about how I did at school to know for sure. I certainly didn't have hyperactivity and I wasn't disruptive. I know at intermediate and high school I struggled immensely though. 

Edited by Melancholya

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I can relate to all of that. Strange.

For myself, i asked my doc...wasn't high on his priority list as stability given this whole depression + anxiety into bipolar bullshit took precedence.

In all fairness that makes perfect sense

Not sure when you are thinking or seeking to get a DX, but probably would also be a good idea to get you fully stable first.

So yeah, do it, but not right now.

Do you find that this feeds into your depression?

Regardless, one thing at a time. Get your mood meds right before. If you start getting anxiety again, it might be due to not enough busprione, buspirone is not effect, or the stimulants are cranking up the anxiety, etc. Won't be able to tell.

As the bizzaroness continues, is your pdoc an old, tall, grandfatherly jewish man who has been a pdoc for 40+ years?

Edited by argh
answering the question.

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Seems worth exploring, based on what you say. And ADHD can be as debilitating as depression, IMO. My experience though, and from what I've heard this is quite common, at least in the US, is that psychologists tend to not want to diagnose you as an adult if nobody diagnosed you as a child. Even though girls are less likely to be diagnosed because they are less likely to be disruptive, and even though one might be able to function through the relative ease of childhood responsibilities and then run into a huge wall with college, adulthood, parenthood, etc. But it seems worth looking into.

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7 hours ago, argh said:

Do you find that this feeds into your depression?

Well yeah, I have this personal narrative of being a failure, and because of past experiences of not doing well at studying or working, I have anxiety about getting a job and I can't trust myself to try to study again even if it was interesting. So that makes me feel directionless and meaningless. 

7 hours ago, argh said:

As the bizzaroness continues, is your pdoc an old, tall, grandfatherly jewish man who has been a pdoc for 40+ years?

Lolol. I wish. Mine is pretty great though. He's a late 40s serious-faced Chilean man who has the odd moment of warmth and empathy. 

7 hours ago, Unstrung Harp said:

Seems worth exploring, based on what you say. And ADHD can be as debilitating as depression, IMO. My experience though, and from what I've heard this is quite common, at least in the US, is that psychologists tend to not want to diagnose you as an adult if nobody diagnosed you as a child. Even though girls are less likely to be diagnosed because they are less likely to be disruptive, and even though one might be able to function through the relative ease of childhood responsibilities and then run into a huge wall with college, adulthood, parenthood, etc. But it seems worth looking into.

It sounds like it is really complicated to diagnose, especially in women as you say. I figure since my sister was diagnosed then there would be a likelihood of me having it. 

It's probably the depression talking but I keep thinking "maybe I'm just looking for an excuse for being a lazy failure". Maybe I am just a nobody who can't do anything worthwhile. 

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10 hours ago, argh said:

I can relate to all of that. Strange.

For myself, i asked my doc...wasn't high on his priority list as stability given this whole depression + anxiety into bipolar bullshit took precedence.

In all fairness that makes perfect sense

Not sure when you are thinking or seeking to get a DX, but probably would also be a good idea to get you fully stable first.

So yeah, do it, but not right now.

Do you find that this feeds into your depression?

Regardless, one thing at a time. Get your mood meds right before. If you start getting anxiety again, it might be due to not enough busprione, buspirone is not effect, or the stimulants are cranking up the anxiety, etc. Won't be able to tell.

As the bizzaroness continues, is your pdoc an old, tall, grandfatherly jewish man who has been a pdoc for 40+ years?

I have the exact same symptoms @Melancholya !! To a T!! I always was told I was lazy and didn't apply myself. I had to be super super interested in a subject to engage.

I did get assessed/interviewed and had this multiple choice test to get a firm ADD diagnosis, but since I have such a long history of Depression, this took precedence and they said all these symptoms were due to depression 😕 Yet every self-assessment says I'm inattentive. Ggrrrr ....Even though I had inattentive symptoms since I was a child! They never did ADD tests when I was a kid....plus true, girls don't get diagnosed because we usually do not have the hyperactivity element.

Stimulants really help me a lot! They are the only reason I am able to succeed (at school or work) and they counteract many of the apathy symptoms I get from SSRIs/SNRIs.  I was really hoping to get a formal diagnosis, so that it wouldn't be such a PITA to get these meds. I have to jump through so many damn hoops just for Ritalin, its totally ridiculous.

Edited by Blahblah

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I relate to a lot of that. I needed a lot of help to get through college because when I first started I flailed and nearly failed some of my classes. With assistance from the learning center to keep my shit together though I improved immensely. 

I coasted through grade/middle/high school but every report card I got said “needs to pay attention” on it. College is where I stumbled.

I can’t concentrate if people talk a lot unless it’s about something I’m intensely interested in. I couldn’t sit through lectures in college (to keep up I depended on reading the texts and supplemental material in short sittings) and couldn’t remember anything they said when I did go but I can sit through lectures about medical history that I access online and remember everything I hear. That’s one thing about ADD for me, if I’m interested in the topic I’m SUPER focused on it. I’ll waste my day doing things I shouldn’t be spending so much time on. But if it doesn’t interest me, then I can’t seem to focus at all.

I read TONS of books but in an odd fashion. At any given time I read about a dozen books, but I hop from one to the other reading a chapter here and a chapter there. I manage to retain what I read though and never feel lost, even if I pick up a book I haven’t touched for a year. I always finish a book though, even if it takes a year. 

Since I can’t take stimulants I’ve relied on coping mechanisms I’ve picked up over the years through trial and error. If I need to get something done that’s hard for me to focus on I do it in short sittings punctuated by a lot of breaks. I keep a to do list in my pocket of everything I need to get done during the day and cross stuff off as I go. I can’t keep up with diaries, just a single piece of paper that is always on my person (or I keep it visible on the table with a pen next to it). Major cleaning is done every two weeks and I have little chores I do with regularity each day at the same time of the day. Keeping a regular schedule with predictability to it helps me a lot. It also helps I don’t have children to keep up with too so I only have to take care of myself. Keys and purse stay by the door. My house is utterly disorganized to anyone else but I have a good memory for where everything is so I know the chaos well enough to locate items with ease.

I talk really enthusiastically and a lot about subjects I’m interested in and I don’t realize I might be making people uncomfortable because those topics often involve disease and plague. In recent years I’ve reigned this tendency in a bit though. I also tend to change subjects when I talk to people randomly and quickly. Hopping like I do with books. I’ll just blurt out something unrelated and launch into that subject without really realising I’ve switched gears completely. 

Anyway, that’s ADD for me. I’ve been diagnosed since I was 19 and first had troubles in school. When I was a kid it was a lot harder to cope with. I lost and had to replace my keys pretty much every week, my room was eternally a complete chaotic mess, I drew all day and didn’t pay attention in class, I lost every paper the teacher handed out and needed new copies every time. I’d just get up in class and walk around when everyone was supposed to be sitting etc. etc... but I was never diagnosed with anything because I always kept up enough academically that it wasn’t noticed. I also didn’t get in trouble besides the nagging “you need to be more organized/need to pay attention/need to stop losing everything/need to shut up”.

 

   

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11 hours ago, Melancholya said:

Well yeah, I have this personal narrative of being a failure, and because of past experiences of not doing well at studying or working, I have anxiety about getting a job and I can't trust myself to try to study again even if it was interesting. So that makes me feel directionless and meaningless. 

Ok yeah, then perhaps start this process at the next pdoc session.

Wanted to understand if this was causing you enough distress that it was fueling full on depression or not.

So then whatever results you get right now in the absence of an ADHD med won't paint the full picture of if your current cocktail really does work.

Carry on then.

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I think it’s well worth pursuing a diagnosis or rule out. Sounds like me. True, I’ve done workarounds. I use Google Calendar on my phone and set it up to give me reminder notifications—huge help. I have a magnet-held pocket that sits on my waistband and I keep my phone there only to counteract losing it. And so on—many things to help me, although the messy house, disorganized stuff and lack of attention—well, I need meds for that. Of course your situation could be totally different. But my pdoc at first was positive the diagnosis was wrong, but now believes it. I think they don’t recognize it sometimes but meds have really helped me so it seems like something to add to your list of options to consider. 

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