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I was diagnosed with ADHD yesterday

Discussion in 'The Pub' started by Supplied, Apr 22, 2007.

  1. The conclusion to the 22 page report by the psychologist was:
    The High level of thought disturbances shown is attributed to Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder and occurs in the absence of any psychotic features.

    Key indicators in clinical history and current behavioral characteristics indicate a diagnosis of Attention Defecit/Hyperactivity Disorder - Combined Type.

    A few of the characteristics are a bad combination on a motorcycle, but for me it is a lot worse driving a car, especially in heavy traffic. I now have to wait until the 11th of May to start getting treatment, but i'm almost there.

    I also found out that the psychologist had administered the WAIS-III IQ test (involving 13 sub tests) on me. My first response was a very long F word, followed by if I had known i'd be having an IQ test i wouldn't have had such a big night the night before, and would've payed more attention, avoiding a few careless mistakes, or passed on a few question i couldn't be stuffed with.

    But In the end that didn't make much of a difference cause I ended up with a score of 131 which is in the 98% percentile. Psychologist said you're a mensa candidate with those results.

    From what i learnt there are many characteristics in ADHD. A lot of people posses those characteristics to a certain degree. It's when you posses a lot of them to a higher than normal extent, which affects your work, home, and social life, a diagnosis is given. This has affected all areas for as long as I can remember. I've always known there was something wrong, i just couldn't figure out what it was. It got to the people where I felt i had to seek professional help. The first psychiatrist I saw was IMO not a very good one. He knew nothing about ADHD, when I told him I suspected it he got he book and read asked me the questions in the diagnostic criteria. My scores placed me as a prime candidate, but he chucked me on anti-depressants and said come back in a month. I could see myself seeing him for a long time or going to other shrinks and getting more and more frustrated because nothing would be getting resolved.

    The only psychiatrist who can diagnose this is a specialist in the field. I finally got a GP to refer me to one. I knew myself with 100% certainty that I had ADHD on the 5th of Feb. I got the official diagnosis yesterday, the 21th of April. Treatment begins the 11th of May. For a disorder which included characteristics such as low patience and high level of frustration, the wait has been excruciating. I had tro wait over 7 weeks for an appointment, followed by 2 psychiatrist visits and 4 clinical psychologist visits. It didn't seem like it during the wait, but now that I have the diagnosis, the relief is worth the wait!!!

    The majority of the population think this is a disorder which only affects children. It doesn't. Some people never grow out of it. I am one of them, because i'm 28 years old. The consequences of this have messed me up considerably. This explains why i've been the way i am my whole life. I can now see my strengths, and I understand and can deal with my weaknesses. And I know know this is something i can easily handle.

    I've included the diagnostic criteria below. This test alone cannot confirm a diagnosis. I had to got though A lot of tests including this one. But it gives you a rough idea.

    The year 2000 Diagnostic & Statistical Manual for Mental Disorders (DSM-IV-TR) provides criteria for diagnosing ADHD. The criteria are presented here in modified form in order to make them more accessible to the general public. They are listed here for information purposes and should be used only by trained health care providers to diagnose or treat ADHD.

    DSM-IV Criteria for ADHD
    I. Either A or B:


    Six or more of the following symptoms of inattention have been present for at least 6 months to a point that is disruptive and inappropriate for developmental level:


    1. Often does not give close attention to details or makes careless mistakes in schoolwork, work, or other activities.
    2. Often has trouble keeping attention on tasks or play activities.
    3. Often does not seem to listen when spoken to directly.
    4. Often does not follow instructions and fails to finish schoolwork, chores, or duties in the workplace (not due to oppositional behavior or failure to understand instructions).
    5. Often has trouble organizing activities.
    6. Often avoids, dislikes, or doesn't want to do things that take a lot of mental effort for a long period of time (such as schoolwork or homework).
    7. Often loses things needed for tasks and activities (e.g. toys, school assignments, pencils, books, or tools).
    8. Is often easily distracted.
    9. Is often forgetful in daily activities.

    2. Six or more of the following symptoms of hyperactivity-impulsivity have been present for at least 6 months to an extent that is disruptive and inappropriate for developmental level:


    1. Often fidgets with hands or feet or squirms in seat.
    2. Often gets up from seat when remaining in seat is expected.
    3. Often runs about or climbs when and where it is not appropriate (adolescents or adults may feel very restless).
    4. Often has trouble playing or enjoying leisure activities quietly.
    5. Is often "on the go" or often acts as if "driven by a motor".
    6. Often talks excessively.


    1. Often blurts out answers before questions have been finished.
    2. Often has trouble waiting one's turn.
    3. Often interrupts or intrudes on others (e.g., butts into conversations or games).

    2. Some symptoms that cause impairment were present before age 7 years.
    3. Some impairment from the symptoms is present in two or more settings (e.g. at school/work and at home).
    4. There must be clear evidence of significant impairment in social, school, or work functioning.
    5. The symptoms do not happen only during the course of a Pervasive Developmental Disorder, Schizophrenia, or other Psychotic Disorder. The symptoms are not better accounted for by another mental disorder (e.g. Mood Disorder, Anxiety Disorder, Dissociative Disorder, or a Personality Disorder).

    Based on these criteria, three types of ADHD are identified:

    1. ADHD, Combined Type: if both criteria 1A and 1B are met for the past 6 months
    2. ADHD, Predominantly Inattentive Type: if criterion 1A is met but criterion 1B is not met for the past six months
    3. ADHD, Predominantly Hyperactive-Impulsive Type: if Criterion 1B is met but Criterion 1A is not met for the past six months.
  2. I was diagnosed with ADHD when i was 9 , ive been living and dealing with it day in and day out for 12 years now, you really do get used to it and learn strategies to cope with it to an extent but the bad part is the general reaction you get when someone hears the word 'ADD' they automatically assume your going to run around the place destroying things and your going to be a handful and your a general problem. I know most people will think 'hey we dont treat people with add like that' but they do they quite often just dont notice how they are around us

    I found out a few years ago that i also have Aspergers , which really did explain so much for me after i researched it , i always knew the ADHD diagnosis didnt fit completely.

    Mate if you ever feel the need to talk to someone who might be able to understand where your coming from better than others who havent been in the same situation feel free to drop me a line

    Have the doctors told you what medication ect they might want to try you on?
  3. Thanks for that Gremlin. I noticed a few posters on Aspergers in the clinic, but never really looked into it, cause the ADHD one fit me so welll. Good to hear you got an accurate diagnosis in the end :)

    The psychologist said the medication is up to the psychiatrist, probably not stimulants to begin with cause of the way they a regulated here and in NZ, but whatever it is, it'll be coupled with some behavioural therapy.
  4. good news!
    be extra careful if you start meds, and make sure you have a loved one/friend keeping an eye on you in the beginning. lots of trial and error involved in this illness.

    btw - mensa sucks, been there done that....it costs you to know you answered some questions right :?
  5. I wasns't diagnosed until after my first born was! Growing up, I was just a bugger of a child who needed a spanking! (According to all of those perfect mothers with perfect children!) Well that didn't work! What did was maturity & learning to channel my energies into other activites! My son has also learnt this he's great with things physical but not book learning! I have the ability to do both but I need to be motivated in which ever I need to do!

    As for riding & driving I can focus when I know that my life & that of other road users depends on it! I've never done the medication unless you count alcahmahol as medication, hey I do! lol!
  6. There's a very high correlation with mental illness and high IQ. Welcome to both clubs.

    I find, like lady yamaha, it's far easier to concentrate on the motorbike than in the car in traffic. The knowledge what can happen if things go bad tends to sharpen the mind pretty well.

    At least you know there is something that cna be done to help you.

    Good luck.
  7. That's great news for you Supplied.

    I replied to you in a previous thread about my son and Ritalin etc.

    If you take Ritalin and you calm down and start to think clearer, that is basically a 100% diagnosis right there.

    My son was also regarded as bordering on genius after the IQ test.

    He has decided to live drug free and if something gets his interest, he can really focus now and maybe he will be one of the lucky ones and "grow" out of it. I somehow really don't think you grow out of a chemical imbalance in the brain (and that is all it is!) but just learn to deal with your thoughts and processing.

    Ritalin is not addictive (but maybe a "dependant" chracter may have trouble) and there is no coming down effect like anti depressants.

    Good luck mate and you will find it a lot easier now you have a "plan"

  8. Thanks and I will! I know my GF and housemates will onto that one :)

    I'm sure it does, but it'll be a well needed ego boost for me since I dropped out of high school, and never finished my tafe course. And I know it'll make mum & dad proud! :LOL:

    Had the same upbringing. It kept me in-line, but it's had its side-affects. I find that i love to read and learn, but i hate to study. I don't see the point in having to memorise things when you can google it in seconds, or have reference books at hand. Since I see it as a waste of time, there's no way I can motivate myself to focus on it. Give me a problem to fix where i need to learn stuff for it, and i'll speed read back and forth across numerous books and website while retaining what i need, and discarding what doesn't apply.

    I've learnt that only when we're interesting in something will our brain produce adrenalin which we need to concentrate. I'm working on that one :)

    Thanks! I honestly feel like i'm going insane if I'm stuck in a car in traffic. Especially when the lights turn green and each car takes a few seconds to take off. I can lane-split in a motorbike which gets rid of that. As much as people hate this, if it's a very hot day, the heat causes me too much discomfot, which causes me to lose concentration, and makes me irritable. I'm safer squidding it in these cases because i'm more confortable and not hot, which gives the the ability to really focus and ride with extreme caution because i'm fully aware of the consequences of falling off (I hope this doesn't start a squid debate - ie drive a car, use PT etc)

    Thanks aswell! I recall your post and I really appreciated it :). While a lot of people were pouncing on the drugs thing, I was looking for ADD feedback, not drug use.

    Nice one about your son!. Good to hear you both understand what's going on. Have yet to take Ritalin, but I get that affect from ICE, Speed and some pills - I've only taken Class A drugs a handful of times, but i recall the change it had in me.

    I'm hoping to get onto Ritalin to see the affects. Long term I want to be drug free, but i think a quick fix is required to get some things started. I've already started making improvements to my diet, and taking recommended supplements like Omega 3 and L-Tyrosine. I've noticed an improvement on L-Tyrosine, but i also stopped smoking pot around the same time, so it could just be that.

    While i know I have an addictive personality, I also want to manage this successfully. I've abused pot a few times, but it doesn't taken much effort to get off it. I wish i coudl say the same for nicotine. Knowing how hard it is to kick that one, i avoid use of anything else habit forming.

    And thanks again. I still can't get over the relief I feel with the official diagnosis. That mighty have been my biggest issue. The rest will sort themselve out in time :)

    Now i'm off to trivia, pity a highly analytical mind answer question like what was playing on channel nine at 7.30 last thursday... or which sports star retired last week etc, but they make a huge parma! :grin:
  9. I'm delighted to hear the news, Supplied.

    It sounds to me as though you're pretty self-aware, so now you're moving from the 'WTF is wrong with me' phase to the management of the condition, I reckon you'll do fine. You'll have a good idea of how you're travelling from day to day, and what you need to keep things tracking along nicely.

    You'll keep us updated on your progress, I hope.

  10. Hi Supplied, i'm no doctor. i support medication where necessary. i'm also very wary of allowing the medical community to label you, medicate you and take control of your life for the rest of your life. i suffered with depression on and off for 20 years, i've been diagnosed as bipolar twice (the only times i went to psychs and asked). i worked through a lot of issues over that period and had two short stints of anti-depressants, but if i'd listened to those psychs i would've been dependent on them and those anti-depressants for the rest of my life and never worked through what i needed to to be free. another spin on the below:

    ALTERNATIVE INTERPRETATION: classic signs of being "right brain cerebral" (as opposed to right brain lymbic or left brain cerebral/lymbic). probably means your more creative than structured in your thinking. so's 25% of the population. this is not necessarily a sign of dysfunction, just different to how they think.

    ALTERNATIVE COURSE OF ACTION: practice meditation. start with 1 minute a session. build up to 3 then 10-20. it'll settle down both your body and mind.

    ALTERNATIVE COURSE OF ACTION: Have a read of "Emotional Intelligence In Action" by Marcia Hughes et al. Impulse Control is one of 15 competencies of Emotional Intelligence. like the other 14 it can be practiced and developed. there are three exercises in the workbook to help.

    do what you need to do but also be aware there are different ways of interpreting the results and alternatives for dealing with the symptoms.
  11. I agree. There's no 'magic bullet', but lots of ways to manage things. Some will work better for you than others, some combination of things may work best for you.

    Provided the diagnosis is correct (an important proviso), medication may well be very helpful to you. But pills by themselves are unlikely to be as effective as (eg) pills + meditation + regular exercise.
  12. well said. my nephew was diagnosed with adhd when he was 9 he is now 15 and you wouldnt even know he has it. my sister didnt like the idea of having him on medication, but he went on it. he was totally out of control, he has been much better now that he does yoga,plays sports and keeps his mind active. he is a great athlete and is soo full of energy and if u let that energy build up he bursts. he has done so many bad things(wont go there) but his main problem is if he doesnt keep active he will be the same as he was when he was 9.alot of people were saying it was a lack of discipline but they were wrong, it is a very real problem and should be taken seriously (he is now off the drugs and coping well)
  13. Cheers Gromitt! I'll keep this thread updated with any new progress that i'm making. I'm currently trying to quit smoking after 13 years. A combination of will-power, nicorette, caffeine and smacking my head on the desk (lightly cause I hear i should avoid any damage to my frontal lobes ;) ) seems to be working ok. I figure what use is intelligence and a analytical mind if I can't get it to stop a habit which costs a lot of money and affects my health! The only benefit is that nicotine is a stimulant which helps me think clearer; but so's caffeine. So now i've increasing my caffeine intake which really helps with the cravings. And once i'm over the nicotine addiction, i'll have a look to see if i've ended up with a caffeine addiction instead :)

    Hey Carri, thanks for the advice. I know a lot of symptoms can be alleviated by relaxing. The only problem i have trying meditation is if I close my eyes and try to relax I just see constant images flashing through my mind faster than I can make out. They have no pattern or order, and i don't have any conscious control over what I see. I once tried waiting them out by relaxing and not letting them bother me, I gave up and opened my eye eventually, and noticed almost an hour and a half had passed since i closed them.

    Thinking about something else or opening my eyes stops this, trying to relax or not think about anythings starts it up again. The more tired I get, the slower the images appear. I know there's no point trying to sleep when that's happening, because even though I am calm, I start to get very bored, and I don't deal with boredom very well :)

    Excercise will help, I just have to wait another week or so for my hands to fully heal after a fall to take up martial ats or even bike riding. In the meantime i walk on average about 25,000 steps (cheap pedometer) a day at work, and i carry around PC's and monitors as often as I can.

    My biggest concern is my motivation and distractability because since saturday i've felt more relaxed than I can previously recall :) And I've gone through 2-3 months of taking martial arts classes 6 -7 times a week, having a very healthy diet; but i would still struggle to go to classes because i find the repetition very boring and I would have no interest in studying. But that was almost 2 years ago, and now i know what's going on, so it might be a different story.

    That's where i feel medication will help, because the first time I tried ICE was the only time in my life i really wanted to study. I know medication is a quick fix for that one, but i'll take it!!! I can't make any career progress without further study. Once i've gotten whatever studying I need to do out of the way, I'm sure i'll be able to work out the rest naturally.

    I'll also be looking at behavioural therapies as part of my treatment, and relaxation techniques will be part of that. I'll see how I go with that and excercise combined.
  14. I love it how everyone who has an IQ test on the internet is "Mensa material"
  15. I love how some people make ignoranus generalisations about everyone on the internet :)

    Were you speaking from experience?
  16. :wink:

    In all seriousness, I hope things improve/keep going well for you. I'm no stranger to "mental illness", having spent time in a place called "The St Kilda Road Clinic" when I was a younger lad.
  17. Cheers, I think i'm at the point now where I can't see things getting worse :)
    I hope your time at the clinic helped instead or worsening the situation and that's all's well now, or on the way there at least :)

    (I was reaching for the mouse to click submit and I knocked my can of Red Bull off the desk, and I was able to catch it before it even dropped the length of the can. And it got me thinking there's usually a positive to the negative. I have bad coordination, but i have very fast reflexes to make up for it. I have poor endurance, but excellent recovery times. I hate to cook, but love cheap junk food and Hungry Jacks vouchers rock!! (i'll work on that one :)) So it balances itself out. I just have to stop focusing on the negative side of things, and take pride in the positive.

    End ramblings for now :)
  18. Thats good and im glad thing wont be getting worse. And im even more glad you have loving, careing people around you like your GF and housemate to help you with this diffucult time.

    I know when medical things like this that you cant controll affect your driving/riding. My brother when he was a kid had Epilepsy, and he was so looking forward to getting his licence. He has to be Fit-Free for 2 yrs preior to being able to go for it and have a medical certificate stating this. And just a week before he was going to take his test he had a fit in the bathroom. It Crushed him and he had to wait another 2 yrs. An he loves his cars/bikes. On the good news though, Constant medication treatment he was taking his whole life from growing up as a kid, after 20 yrs of medication he is now all clear. Doesnt need to take medication anymore and basicaly doesnt have epilepsy anymore.

    How will your medication affect you? Will it totaly fix things for you over a long time?