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Tones of existence
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey guys, I need a bit of help. I've self-diagnosed myself mentally for a fair few months now; in some ways it has helped me find out who I am, but other times it feels like I am count around in circles, like the self-diagnosis and therapy is the actual thing that is making me crazy inside, rather than working things out. I've thought I've had Social Anxiety (I think it's just a mild performance anxiety now), Seasonal Affective Disorder, Bipolar Disorder, Internet Addiction Disorder and Depersonalization (which I do sometimes experience with marijuana).

Now I think I have ADHD, and the more I think about it, the more it makes sense - for both having a low attention span and wanting attention on myself. I procrastinate so much; at first I thought it was because my fear of failure when I try it, judging myself, and perhaps this is relevant, but sometimes I put off tasks that I know I need to do, I know that I can do if I try but I just procrastinate on the internet hours on end. I love to read books - I'm currently up to page 170 of 'Nineteen Eighty-Four' - but I can never sit there for too long and read, because my mind wanders so much and I am so susceptible to daydreaming. In uni lectures, I wander off and just start doodling or daydreaming.

I've always rushed tasks since a child; teachers would tell me or put in my reports that I need to listen to instructions more carefully, be slower paced etc. My dad always tells me that I go "too fast for him" when showing him things to do on the computer. When I was learning piano from a piano teacher, I would always rush the songs; now that I still play, I always tend to play too fast and need to consciously make the effort to go slower - this greatens with anxiety, mind you. And I can type like 150 WPM, and I think this has some thing to do with the fact that I was originally rushing things.

Sometimes, and indeed especially with the aid of marijuana, I am daydreaming so much that I feel out of my body. Depersonalisation, they call it. I don't think that's the term I would use when sober, but experiences with marijuana heighten this (since I think marijuana brings out the subconscious; it is more profound). Like, when high especially, I feel like my internal thoughts are completely different to the personality I portray to the outside. I've got a notebook where I write down my inner monologue thoughts, and that's been a lot of help. I actually realised one night whilst high on cannabis that my internal monologue voice is distinct from my actual voice I hear, which again the sound is different to the way others hear it.

And, of course, even though I'm introverted, shy, am not always so outgoing etc (alcohol lessens this), I want the attention to be on me, positively anyway. When I was young I would always aim to the top of the class, just so I can get recognition from my peers. I would stand up and yell "finished "when I completed a task, rushing as fast as possible. My mum (passed away when I was 12) made me out to be the best and the centre of the universe, always telling me before I went to sleep I am the "best boy in the universe" etc. When marks became less important compared to popularity, I tried all that I can to be accepted by anyone willing to do so. I often update my Facebook status with witty or deep messages so I can get comments/notice, but at the same time this separates myself from the real life me. Especially when high, I think the universe revolves around me. I sometimes get socially anxious that this is negative, and people are gossiping about me and that I could read minds, thinking negative of me. I get angry when people aren't paying attention to me, but I also am very introverted and self-conscious that I don't always make the effort to do so. When I was a child, I would hyperactively have feelings of being the "special" one in the group.

I jump from one thought to another so much when high, but also at the same time I can concentrate on one idea for much at a time, but then I feel guilty for dwelling on something for too long. This is why I quit weed about two months ago, although I did it for the first time last night since then. Maybe that's why I'm thinking too much about this?

Sorry that I rushed this or haven't explained things thoroughly, I have to go to a friend's house soon. Do you think I have ADHD, or am I just human and thinking too much; ultimately I am someone who just needs to train my brain? I mean, if I really force myself I can do something, but some days are harder than others. I guess today is one of the harder ones. Should I see a GP who accepts mental disorder (I went to my family GP who refused to believe in Social Anxiety)?
 

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It seems to me that it's very possible you have ADHD. I have a lot of the same problems. I wasn't aware, though, that craving attention from others is a component of ADHD (but then, there's still a lot I don't know about it myself).

Like you, I also love to read, but I have a very hard time sustaining my attention on what I'm reading. I usually forget what I read very quickly. There are too many books that I've read, but remember absolutely nothing about. I still manage to read a lot (having much too much free time helps), but I don't read very well. I just don't have the attention span or the memory to read as deeply and as sensitively as I wish I could. There aren't many things that I'm passionate about, so it's very frustrating that I have a disorder that impairs my ability to do one of the few things I genuinely enjoy.
 

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Tones of existence
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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks for that, anonymid! Somebody told me that if I truly had ADHD, I would find it very hard to even sit through movies and TV shows which I enjoy. Sometimes this is true, especially through a long movie, but usually I can manage quite easily. As for remembering the books story, I can do that pretty well as well, it's usually the physical description of characters which escapes me and I subsequently make up my own appearances in my head which often contradict what the author intended them to look like. :p
 

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I'm terrible when it comes to movies; I rarely ever bother even trying to watch movies because of my ADD. I just can't keep my mind from wandering, and I'm always missing important plot points and details. At least with a book, I can read at my own pace, put it down for a minute while my mind wanders, reread a paragraph that I haven't paid attention to, etc.
 

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It depends. I've been diagnosed with inattentive ADHD and often I avoid movies because committing 2+ hours is difficult for me. If you're really interested and into the movie though, it's not too difficult. With books, I can read pages and pages and then realize I haven't really absorbed a single word that I've just read! This makes it take really long for me to get things done. In college I had to re-read everything at least 3-4 times to get a general idea of what it was all about.

But one of the most obvious problems I have is with conversations. Somebody will say something to me, and it might remind me of something else, which I'll start thinking about, all the while the conversation is going on. Coupled with the SA fear of telling them I haven't been paying attention to them, I usually have very little idea what was talked about, and any time I've been given instructions, it's a nightmare. If instructions with more than just a single step aren't written down for me, I'm almost definitely going to mess it up.

ADHD has a lot of diagnostic criteria though and I can't think of any mental disorder more inappropriately self-diagnosed than ADHD. Nobody can focus perfectly 100% of the time, and if you ask 10 college-aged kids whether or not they think they have AD(H)D, most of them will probably identify with it.

You REALLY need to get a professional assessment for something like this. Like anxiety, this is another area where everybody sort of falls on a spectrum and it only becomes clinically significant if it's creating serious problems in areas of the person's life.

Just a little PS: Rushing things isn't really a problem for me. My dad says the same thing when I show him things on the computer, but that's totally unrelated. I'm just used to operating at a much faster speed than he can absorb things at, and while I KNOW how to use a computer by understanding how things work and how menu structures are typically set up, etc - basically figuring things out every time I use the computer - he needs to do everything by MEMORIZATION. But, like I said, my ADHD is classified as predominately inattentive. That means I don't have the hyperactive symptoms... I'm actually very lethargic. So it may be a hallmark of hyperactive ADHD, I don't really know.
 

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Tones of existence
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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Wow, great posts! Thanks guys! I think if I did fall into a criteria of ADHD, I would probably more fall into the inattentive type as well. I think I got confused that a criteria of ADHD is to want attention from others, rather than having a short attention span.
 

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Let me re-iterate the that self-diagnosing ADHD is not a good idea. With some mental disorders, like depression, it's fairly easy to diagnose. But you really need to spend a few hours with a specialist detailing your problems and your history all the way back to early childhood to make a strong diagnosis.

Hyperactive ADHD is already way overdiagnosed because it's an easy way to label kids with behavioral problems. Inattentive types tend to fly under the radar more often, but a suspicion of inattentive ADHD is not a good substitute for a professional diagnosis. However, a lot of the biochemical differences in people with ADHD - that is, deficiencies in dopamine binding - are also implicated in social anxiety. So it's not really a stretch nor necessarily a coincidence if somebody has both.

All I'm saying is that it's just important to get a professional diagnosis because almost ANYBODY who reads the criteria can come to the conclusion that they have some form of ADHD - which is obviously not the case in the majority of instances.
 

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It sounds to me like you have inattentive ADD, but I'm obviously not a doctor so I don't know that for sure. But I have the same disorder, and it's characterized largely by careless mistakes in work, procrastination, a tendency to daydream or nod off, and forgetfulness in daily activities. I do all these things, which is why I'm convinced I have it, and I've read that inattentive ADD commonly leads to SA. You and I have very similar problems. I think we should both seek professional counsel on this, because if we can overcome the ADD we may be able to overcome anxiety as well.
 

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It sounds to me like you have inattentive ADD, but I'm obviously not a doctor so I don't know that for sure. But I have the same disorder, and it's characterized largely by careless mistakes in work, procrastination, a tendency to daydream or nod off, and forgetfulness in daily activities. I do all these things, which is why I'm convinced I have it, and I've read that inattentive ADD commonly leads to SA. You and I have very similar problems. I think we should both seek professional counsel on this, because if we can overcome the ADD we may be able to overcome anxiety as well.
It's really important to see a psychiatrist who specializes in these things. I finally got a professional diagnosis about a month ago, after a very long time of suspecting it, but from what he told me, the vast majority of people who come to see him thinking they have ADHD do not, so it's vitally important to get a proper assessment rather than simply convincing yourself you have the disorder. Studies have shown that individuals are very accurate in self-diagnosing disorders like depression, but very poor at self-diagnosis of ADHD, and even anxiety disorders are much better confirmed by clinicians. You can be relatively accurately diagnosed with depression within 5-10 minutes, but for ADHD you need to sit down with a clinician for a few hours or so and discuss a LOT.

When I expressed concern over the fact that anxiety disorders and ADHD (as mentioned previously, I'm the inattentive type) seem to have opposing treatments (tranquilizers vs stimulants), he said that it's unfortunate but it's very common for somebody with ADHD to develop anxiety and mood disorders later on in life (ADHD by the current definition has to be present before the age of 7). Especially with social anxiety it makes sense, as dopamine deficiencies have been implicated in both disorders.
 

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Tones of existence
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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Hi guys! Over 5 months on, and I am determined to make an appointment with a GP, talk about my anxiety and suspicion of ADD/ADHD (inattentive type) and get a referral to a psychologist or a psychiatrist! :)
 
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