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Do I have ADD?
An_251090 posted:
Hi there, I'm an 18 year old female who recently graduated HS. I think I have ADD, but would like outside opinions before I do anything about my speculation.

First of all, I was never diagnosed a child. Throughout my childhood before I reached highschool, my parents and teachers never suspected anything like that in me. Then again, they may not have been looking and/or noticing the signs. The symptoms had only become obvious when I began highschool, and I can easily look back and see the signs.

Here's some examples:
Concentration . I'm awful at paying attention to things. Whether this is in class, at home, playing sports or anything. During class if my teacher was taking far too long to explain something or talking about things I thought were 'useless', I would stop paying attention and doodle mindlessly on paper, stare out windows or just get lost in my own little world. I would often miss a lot of what the teacher said. This also transpired into home life, it's virtually impossible for me to sit down and watch tv without getting up every few minutes. I also can't watch movies without getting up and walking around. I'm an avid computer game player but recently I've had trouble playing them for more than half an hour without getting bored.

Having said that, I'm also impatient. I get anxious, fidgety and annoyed when I have to wait too long for something. Waiting for something to load on my computer is agonising. I get angry and frustrated if it doesn't happen within minutes. During school if the teacher was taking too long to explain something, I'd get annoyed. When I'm waiting for things like important phones calls or for someone to come to my house, I can't do anything while I wait. I'm anxious, I pace around and don't concentrate on doing anything for longer than five minutes. I try to watch TV but end up getting up and doing something else.

I'm restless. I can't sit around, I gotta get up and do something all the time. I constantly tap my foot, shake my leg or tap my fingers while I'm sitting down. I can't handle being bored, it drives me insane and makes me more restless and impatient than anything in the world. Being bored also hinders my concentration even when I'm trying to do something interesting!
TL;DR I have symptoms of ADD that have become more prominent later in life.

Do you think I have ADD? Is this worth checking out, or am I seeing something in nothing? Advice, opinions and questions are all welcome!
inquisitivemarie responded:
Hi An,

Although I will not have my degree until this summer, I have focused my dissertation on adult ADHD and am working toward specializing in ADHD assessment (i.e. formal diagnosis through testing) and treatment (primarily through therapy). It does sound like you are endorsing a lot of symptoms that are characteristic of ADHD. I would strongly encourage you to get tested. It can be pricey, but I believe it is worth it. Also, If you have insurance, part of this fee should be paid for you and there are also low cost clinics that provide these services). I believe going through the process of assessment and diagnosis is invaluable because: A) being diagnosed is often therapeutic in itself for the ADHD population you will become eligible for accommodations such as extra time on test, copies of another student's notes (who usually gives them to the teacher who gives them to you if you are concerned about others knowing you have ADHD; by the way, essentially no one will know you have it unless you tell them, including your teachers because you can decide when to discuss your dx with them) C) you get additional support from student services which can really come in handy D) there are many effective treatment options for ADHD, which you will not have the opportunity to access without being tested and diagnosed. E) if you have ADHD, learning you have it is the first step to overcoming any obstacles it may present you with; it may also help you to become aware of strengths you have that may be related to the diagnosis.

PS i'm actually trying to complete a report for an assessment I recently completed, so this was written quickly (i seem to have gotten distracted). i apologize for any typos, i hope it helps!


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