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Undiagnosed ADD
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indianawmn7798 posted:
I have noticed issues with 95% of the symptoms that were described here on the website. My 8 year old son was recently diagnosed with ADHD and in going through the symptoms with the clinician I started to realize that most of those symptoms fit many of the reasons why I am not very successful at work. Easily distracted; inability to sustain attention; difficulty finishing paperwork; frequent shifts from one activity to another; procrastination; disorganized work habits; forgetfulness in daily activities; failure to complete tasks.....I literally dropped my jaw and thought "that is what I have been suffering with for years...." I was also dyslexic as a child (so my mother tells me) and I often have struggled with that as well. I think maybe it is a part of the possible ADD symptoms but I have not gotten that far. I always struggled with school, work, and social situations and have a history of Dysthymic Disorder which symptoms are persistent sadness, sleep problems, insomnia, feelings of guilt, loss of interest and energy (which I experience all of) and it generally is mild when I do experience it. I notice the low points come more frequently and combined with undiagnosed ADD and dyslexia I am sort of lost as to where to go. I have tried one or two medications that did help with some of the symptoms of the Dysthymic disorder but nothing to treat the ADD which at that time was not even in the picture. I am on the verge of losing a job that I desperately need and I have been struggling to perform at my job for the past year and I slowly notice the symptoms getting worse. My previous boss (same company, different time frame) noticed the same issues with ADD that I am having now and that was back in 2005. The more specific things I have going on at work are: inability to focus, struggling to pay attention to work related tasks, organization, following directions, and not completing work related tasks that have a time constraint. I don't do these things on purpose. I have a calendar now that I check on a daily basis but even with that I feel very unorganized all the time.


Sorry for rambling, just needed some advice, where I could go, things I could try to manage it before I get myself into therapy (if needed) and finally get this under control.
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Gina Pera responded:
Hi Indiana,

You are about to lose your job, you say, and your young son has been diagnosed with ADHD.

This is not the time for tips for "trying to manage it." This is the time for some serious attention what might be a lifelong manifestation of ADHD in your life.

Please consult the physician who diagnosed your son and ask where you can get an evaluation.

For many people with ADHD who describe symptoms such as yours, there is not going to be a "therapy" for resolving them. The inability to focus, pay attention, follow directions, etc. are neurocognitive symptoms best addressed by physical strategies, including medication, good diet, sleep, and exercise.

Of course, everyone needs the last three, but people with ADHD often have a hard time regulating those activities due to...untreated ADHD's problems around organization, initiation, motivation, etc.

So, please don't let your ADHD trick you into thinking that you'll "figure this out" or you'll find a website with some handy tips that will miraculously improve your life.

You cannot procrastinate on this, as you seem to realize by writing this question. Your child depends on you to get your own ADHD under control, so you can help him. Studies show that parents with untreated ADHD have more problems parenting effectively, especially when the child has ADHD.

So, please do as the flight attendants say and "put on your oxygen mask first" so you can help yourself and your child.

Good luck,
Gina
 
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tempstudent replied to Gina Pera's response:
Hello Gina:
I am a current college student taking a course titled, "Teaching Students with Learning Disabilities" and we are taking a look at ADHD in individuals ranging from young children to adults.


I am very impressed with your response to Indiana. I really liked your statement, "So, please do as the flight attendants say and 'put on your oxygen mask first' so you can help yourself and your child." I have learned that many adults are finally diagnosed with ADHD shortly after one of their children are diagnosed. The adult parent recognizes the symptoms and can completely relate, they have an "Aha!" moment.


I really liked your stern, but extremely intelligent response. It was very insightful for me to review the WebMD ADD/ADHD Community board.
D. Thomas


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