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Attention Deficit Disorder

Do you have clinically diagnosed Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD)?  

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"It is primarily characterized by "the co-existence of attentional problems and hyperactivity, with each behavior occurring infrequently alone" and symptoms starting before seven years of age." ~Wikipedia description

 

In Layman's terms, it means you can't focus. Whether you have to move at all times or else can't focus, or you just can't focus in the first place. Personally, I have trouble remembering a lot of things that aren't considered important to me. I also, have the worst time trying to get myself to focus without the help of medication. Carrying conversations with me can be utterly entertaining all the way to outright annoying due to my constant subject changing. Oh, and I can't tell stories well at all. I also love using ADD as a reason why I procrastinate so much, but half the time it truly is the reason behind it.

 

So, my question to you all. Well, first state if you have ADD or not, but afterwards, tell me anything you can think about the like. I'm particularly interested in ways to keep your mind occupied. I have a bunch of unconventional ways, of course, I'll list later. But also, how does your particular form of ADD affect you?

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I've never been tested, but I'm pretty sure I have some sort of it. Everything that you mentioned that happens to you happens to me as well (not counting meds.. since I haven't been officially diagnosed).

 

I remember last year trying to pay attention in AP Biology. I was interested in the topic, I really was, but my focus was.. well, nowhere really. My teacher actually "woke me up" one time from staring at a brick on the wall. Apparently I had been staring at that one spot for 15 minutes. I don't even think I was thinking about anything. Just staring at that one brick. o-o

It still happens too. Someone will just shake me or snap their fingers in my face and be like "Hello? Earth to Jessica? Why are you staring at the floor?" and I'll just be like "..huh?"

 

Maybe I don't have ADD and I'm just strange. I don't know. :P

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I have a mild case of ADD, but I do tend to space out allot and forget things. My sister often jokes around because I can go up and down the stairs to get something, and keep forgetting if its more than one item. Writing sticky notes to remind me and taking medication helps. I also think my ADD and forgettfulness might have something to do with my depression as well. .w.

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I was tested and diagnosed with it many years ago when I was a kid.

Edited by Nectaris

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Well, I've found that certain medications can cause depression. I had that trouble too. Lately I haven't been taking my medicine due to that. Of course, it's a doctor approved choice. When I do take my medicine, I also take my prescribed medication for depression. Never alone.

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Well, I've found that certain medications can cause depression. I had that trouble too. Lately I haven't been taking my medicine due to that. Of course, it's a doctor approved choice. When I do take my medicine, I also take my prescribed medication for depression. Never alone.

I've tried going without medication, it doesn't help in the least.

 

One of the problems with ADD (come to think of it, depression too) though is that it can run in a family. My dad has ADD, my brother has ADD besides myself. It keeps one hoping we don't inherit anything else that could be harmful.

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i'm more than shore that i have it. i can't focus on anything long enough i have to right notes down and place them in front of me. it's very frustrating because people get very mad because of it.

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Not sure, but it seems that I do have some of the symptoms. I don't have problems focusing on stuff usually, but sometimes I forget things unsure.gif

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I was diagnosed with ADHD as a kid.

 

If you want me to pay attention to you and you are not interesting to me, I had sure as hell better be able to fiddle with something or doodle or I will space out and not pay you any mind.

 

 

Also, kinda interesting how everybody just talks about it like "Oh, I can never pay attention to anything."

 

Anybody besides me have issues with hyperfocusing?

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Oh gods.

 

I believe that this disorder exists. But what I hate (speaking from a teacher's perspective) is how it has become a label. Far, far too quickly is almost any unruly child 'diagnosed' as having this when in actuality they are rude and misbehaving. And the sheer number of students who will claim they have ADD without any actual diagnosis as an excuse...

 

It goes in the list of things such as dyslexia and dyscalcula; show me a psychiatric evaluation saying you have it, I will believe you. If you are self-diagnosed, I will take it with a large pinch of salt.

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I was diagnosed with ADHD when I was a kid, around 5 or 6. I took Adderall for it for about seven years. I stopped taking it when I was 12 or 13. I haven't had any pills/treatment for my ADHD in about four years.

 

When I was younger, I couldn't pay attention to anything or anybody. I was always fidgeting, tapping my feet, wringing my hands, toying with the hem of my shirt, among other things. If I got especially bored, I'd get very destructive; tearing up paper, pencil-topper erasers, anything I could get my hands (or teeth) on.

 

I slowly grew out of destroying things, and I can focus a bit better now, but I still fidget via tapping my feet, continually popping my knuckles, toying with my pen/pencil, etc.

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How do people get diagnosed? I wouldn't even know where to start.

I know I have trouble sitting still and paying attention. I can't sit still for more than a couple minutes and doing something like getting a haircut is near torture. I'm a bit afraid of finishing some of my basic classes for college because I don't think I will be able to pay attention in them. I'm already having trouble in classes as is.

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I am related to someone who is diagnosed ADHD. There's a really big difference between that and the people who just think they have it. Just throwing it out there.

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I may or may not have it, but I'd never use it as an excuse. My psychology professor and two therapists have suspected it, but neither of the latter were willing to test me because it wasn't "severe enough" to warrant testing. Just like everything else they suspected me of.

 

Biggest symptom is what caffeine does to me. I actually used to drink a stiff cup of coffee to go to sleep, but I quit all sources of caffeine except for the rare piece of dark chocolate. I also tend to forget what I'm saying mid-sentence, so I hate talking to people face to face or over the phone. Online I can always look at what I was writing and usually figure out what I was saying. I also have to be moving non-stop, usually manifesting in one knee bouncing without end, often both going at once.

 

There were other signs, but eh, thoughts too scattered.

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Oh gods.

 

I believe that this disorder exists. But what I hate (speaking from a teacher's perspective) is how it has become a label. Far, far too quickly is almost any unruly child 'diagnosed' as having this when in actuality they are rude and misbehaving. And the sheer number of students who will claim they have ADD without any actual diagnosis as an excuse...

 

It goes in the list of things such as dyslexia and dyscalcula; show me a psychiatric evaluation saying you have it, I will believe you. If you are self-diagnosed, I will take it with a large pinch of salt.

Oh yes, this exactly.

It disturbs me because I find myself becoming skeptical of anyone in real life who claims to have been diagnosed, which is completely unfair to those with actual disorders. I hear claims of bipolar all the time too, even self diagnosis of MPD (which is sooo 30 year ago).

 

Outside of that controversy, I've not been diagnosed with ADD or the like and don't believe I have it.

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Diagnosed with both ADD and ADHD, they tried concerta and ritilan for it. I was started on concerta as a young child and was put on ritilan once I hit 4th grade and promptly stopped eating. I never felt hungry any more and couldn't force my food down because it would come back up soon after. That was also when I turned into an emotional zombie. I couldn't feel anymore. Eventually I started pretending to take it only to throw it in the trash when my mother wasn't looking so that I could function throughout the day. I couldn't focus on anything, even things I was interested in, but at least I could eat and feel, right?

 

Also disclaimer, don't go off your meds unless you're absolutely sure it's not helping. Consulting a doctor first is always a good choice. If the doctor is worth their salt they'll be understanding about it and may suggest a lower dose or simply let you go off it completely and see where it gets you. I talked to mine about it and they agreed that it would be better to see where I got without the meds. I haven't taken them since I started high school.

 

 

I hate how much the disorders are thrown around, though. Not being able to concentrate on things you're not interested in, especially as a young child, is normal. Some things are boring and naturally won't hold your attention.

 

I personally require a few things in order to focus on something in particular. I have to do something with my hands. Popping my knuckles, drawing, squeezing a stress ball, SOMETHING. The more I hone into that activity it seems the more I remember from class. I also need a "sidebar connection" as my parents call it. I'm one of the people who enjoys the company of the class clown, because their distracting comments actually help me remember the context of the situation down the road. The last one is that I tend to assign voices to what I read. If I haven't heard that person's voice, I'll make up another one, but otherwise I need that voice or else everything I read will look like "words words words words on a page words". Most of the time I'm able to associate my teacher/professor's voice with the text, but not always, and then no matter how many times I reread a sentence it will always look like "words words words".

 

Which means yes, I assign voices to every post I read on the forums =P Most of you are in this weird no-accent monotone, though if you often reference where you're from you have the stereotypical accent til proven otherwise. Anyone that's on here who's voice I've heard, though, I read in their voice.

Edited by JaziandCo

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Oh gods.

 

I believe that this disorder exists. But what I hate (speaking from a teacher's perspective) is how it has become a label. Far, far too quickly is almost any unruly child 'diagnosed' as having this when in actuality they are rude and misbehaving. And the sheer number of students who will claim they have ADD without any actual diagnosis as an excuse...

 

It goes in the list of things such as dyslexia and dyscalcula; show me a psychiatric evaluation saying you have it, I will believe you. If you are self-diagnosed, I will take it with a large pinch of salt.

I know. It's also becoming a BS excuse for parents who don't feel like managing their kids. "Sorry that he's destroying your store, but he has ADD/ADHD so I can't control him. I need to shop now, so you'll just have to put up with him."

 

And the general belief that "can't pay attention = ADD" really makes it hard on people who genuinely do have it, because we're not just using it as an excuse to get away with crap like a lot of people are.

 

It pisses me off.

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It's a really hard disorder to live through - I've got it. I get ticked that a lot of people around me think it's cool and 'fun' to be all, "oh yeah, I procrastinate aaaalll the time, and I get distracted; I must have ADD!' and it's like, no, you don't. It's a really hard thing to live with, especially if you have Major Depressive Disorder and social phobia.

 

You forget all of the time. You have to constantly be reminded of appointments and due dates or else they'll slip your mind right before/after they pass. You get distracted so easily that doing a simple chore like laundry is hard. Relationships with friends and family becomes strained because you constantly interrupt what they're saying - not that you mean to do it; it's impulsive. Talking to people, if you're shy, becomes even more difficult and you feel horribly exposed and awkward every time you want to say hi to a stranger. Studying is nigh impossible for long periods of time. It shows up in your grades. Professors think you slack off or that you don't try hard enough, even if you do. You try and try to pass classes and do homework - the areas that you're weak in (math for me) are the hardest to deal with, because with the added distraction, it's a struggle to understand the material. Some nights I'll be drowning in math homework and want to break down in tears because I just can't do it.

 

It really does suck butts. I was diagnosed with it when I was 5 and have another neuropsych testing appointment for my official adult diagnosis (even though the several psychiatrists I've seen are convinced I have it). Testing for ADD isn't as it's cracked up to be, guys. It's 8 hours of rigorous questions, IQ tests, surveys, etcetera. I'm not looking forward to it.

Edited by Katie92

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I'm diagnosed Aspergers, and I do suffer from attention problems occasionaly (I was well into my teens before I was actualy capable of watching an entire movie in one sitting). So it wouldn't suprise me if I had elements of ADD with the Aspergers, or if ADD was co-morbid.

 

Not ADHD, though. Not really much hyper-activity my end.

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I was diagnosed with ADHD in fourth grade, and put on medication for about a month. However, like with Jazi, I just kind of became a zombie, and I was taken off it and it was replaced with more schoolwork xd.png

 

-shrug- I'm a bit fidgety and flighty, I need about a dozen things at once to keep me properly occupied. I always have to have something to occupy my hands, and I'll often make things out of twist ties or pipe cleaners if I can find them xd.png If I actually have it, then I have it and I'm working through things on my own. If not, I'm just a twitchy scatterbrain working through things on my own.

 

Not much of a difference. -shrug-

 

 

ETA: Heh, Jazi, I do the voice thing too.

Edited by Dr. Paine

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I've got ADD, diagnosed when I was a kid. Without meds, it doesn't matter how hard I try, focusing on anything - even if it's interesting to me or pertains to me or I NEED to for class - and getting started on/completing projects is extremely difficult and requires massive amounts of willpower. I've gotten a lot better at remembering to do things, but I used to be really bad about it. Taking notes? Forget it, all my notes end up covered in drawings. And I don't mean a few doodles. I mean COVERED IN STUPIDLY DETAILED DRAWINGS. That was a very small sample out of several photobucket albums with 30-40 images of scanned notebook drawings each. And I didn't even scan half of them - just the ones I thought were the most interesting after going through my notebooks at the end of the school year.

 

I'm taking meds for it now, though, which has helped a lot. I can actually focus on things for more than ten minutes and finish things that I start. I actually cleaned my whole apartment. Yes, ALL the things. :P And it's helped me with getting lab work done, too.

 

Which means yes, I assign voices to every post I read on the forums =P Most of you are in this weird no-accent monotone, though if you often reference where you're from you have the stereotypical accent til proven otherwise. Anyone that's on here who's voice I've heard, though, I read in their voice.

 

You mean normal people don't read like this? Because I do this too, except I read everything in my voice unless I know the actual person's voice. Maybe this is why everyone seems to read faster than I do. :S

 

Edit: As far as keeping my mind occupied, I got abnormally good at this all throughout my childhood, due to general lack of friends. I'm very good at playing out elaborate story scenarios in my mind. Some of my best and most exciting storywriting has been done without any actual writing involved. XD

Edited by AngelKitty

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You mean normal people don't read like this? Because I do this too, except I read everything in my voice unless I know the actual person's voice. Maybe this is why everyone seems to read faster than I do. :S

"Normal" people do that, too.

 

Your notes remind me of my notes : ) But I'm not ADD and I took notes at the same time.

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In my honest opinion, I think ADD is just an excuse for bad behaved kids to be bad. Yeah maybe some people get more distracted then others. This doesn't mean you have some type of disorder, I think it all depends on how you are raised, and what is taught to you.

 

Maybe ADD exists.. But I don't agree how it is labeled.

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How do people get diagnosed? I wouldn't even know where to start.

I know I have trouble sitting still and paying attention. I can't sit still for more than a couple minutes and doing something like getting a haircut is near torture. I'm a bit afraid of finishing some of my basic classes for college because I don't think I will be able to pay attention in them. I'm already having trouble in classes as is.

This sounds similar to how I am. If I can, I usually choose to multitask, because I often become distracted even from doing the things that I enjoy. I've always been like this, but only began to suspect the possibility of having ADD (but not ADHD) a few years ago - might be the same as Tikindi said, because of the comorbidity with Asperger's.

 

Focusing just on one thing, like my mentors/teachers would always say (instead of multiple tasks at once, which is usually shrugged off as a bad idea) just doesn't work for me. Yes, I can get work done, but better so, if I can switch to something else every few moments. If I may only work on one thing, then it's torture, both because I have difficulties focusing on just one thing and because I feel stressed about the possibility of not doing everything well enough.

 

As far as I know, where I live, it's pretty unlikely that you might get diagnosed for either, if you're an adult, and even if I did get a diagnosis, I would by no means use it as a bull**** excuse to not do things - quite the contrary, I've always seen it that way, that if you have a certain quirk, then you have to work harder to at least somewhat battle its influence on your life.

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Oh gods.

 

I believe that this disorder exists. But what I hate (speaking from a teacher's perspective) is how it has become a label. Far, far too quickly is almost any unruly child 'diagnosed' as having this when in actuality they are rude and misbehaving. And the sheer number of students who will claim they have ADD without any actual diagnosis as an excuse...

 

It goes in the list of things such as dyslexia and dyscalcula; show me a psychiatric evaluation saying you have it, I will believe you. If you are self-diagnosed, I will take it with a large pinch of salt.

^ This, this and this.

 

I'm a professional who assesses for ADHD amongst other things. I also have a child with severe ADHD.

 

You would not believe the amount of parents I see who swear their little cherub has ADHD, yet they show no parental boundaries, their child sits in front of a TV/screen all day, they feed their child crap and they don't enforce bedtimes.

 

If you do all that your child may well present as ADHD to the casual observer but that does not mean that your child has ADHD.

 

A child with ADHD will eat the healthiest diet out there and still be hyperactive.

A child with ADHD will have parents that have firm boundaries and consequences for breaking those boundaries and the child still still be hyperactive.

A child with ADHD will be able to do a 4 mile run and still have enough energy left at the end of it to do another 4 mile run.

 

AD(H)D exists, of that there is not doubt. But it sadly has become a catch all for crappy parenting. The real ADHD kids suffer as a result.

 

 

@Wookieinmashoo

How do people get diagnosed? I wouldn't even know where to start.

 

A proper diagnosis should be done in conjunction with a multidisciplinary team which contains a child psychiatrist, a psychologist, and educational psychologist, a speech and language therapist, and an occupational therapist. The child should have reports done from all the above plus a general health/development check done by a paediatrician, a report done by the teachers, a Connors Rating Scale done by someone like ME (!), observations of the child in a variety of settings, interviews with the parents and sight and hearing checks done by ophthalmologists and audiologists. Then and only then should the team get together and discuss their findings. That is when a diagnosis takes place.

 

It should not be done by parents, teachers, counsellors, or even a single professional on their own.

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