I have two questions that might be related or overlapping..
1) I'm 21 and since year 1 in primary school, I've been struggling to stay focused.. My teachers have always went mad because "I don't focus"..
It has always been hard for me to finish my homework, or my studying without my mothers help; she has always set the plans and helped me arrange my time.. She has usually sat next to me and read my studies with me.. Otherwise, I'd get totally dissociated, not to mention the total lack of motivation to do anything..
I think I'm also smart enough to succeed because my grades have always been good and I was among the top students in my class..
But when I finished high school, things got harder.. I joined the med-school, and now I'm in my 5th year.. I spend every year doing nothing, I have got no will at all to study, my daily routine is a mess, I always fail to follow a plan, I'm always bored, I don't listen in classes, sometimes I don't even attend because I know it's boring and that I won't be able to focus..
And the few weeks before final exams are like hell to me, I get so stressed and I never finish studying and end up succeeding by luck! My average score is B ( I must be too smart to achieve this!).. Even in vacations, time just slip away without using it properly! I often forget what I'm planning to do!
So is this ADD?? And if so, would taking stimulants improve my case??
2) My second problem is that I get intrusive distressing obsessions so often, I can never block them and they really stress me out.. Some of them are inappropriate or so absurd, others are religious concerns, I know they are silly and they never stop! Sometimes inappropriate images pop up, even in my dreams! I wake up filled with disgust and guilt as well! Sometimes I panic!
I don't remember when that started, but probably 2-3 years ago..
When we studied OCD this year, It was as if the doctor explaining my problem literally! However, I was never obsessed with tidiness and my room is a mess! I'm only obsessed with cleanliness if it's preceding prayers.. Sometimes I wash a lot before praying even if I'm sure I' clean!
I started taking Citalopram a month ago, 10 mg/day, I still obsess, but less often and they're not as persistant as before... So is this OCD? Should I increase the dose?? Shall I stay on medication forever? I read that ADD medications can cause OCD symptoms, what should I do??
Please help me, and sorry for the long entry! But REALLY need help!
Hi Sara, even though I am not a doctor, I have been on this site long enough to develop a pretty good set of resources that may be helpful to you. However, I am on vacation right now and many of my good sites are on my home computer. If you would check out my recent posts here - http://www.medhelp.org/posts/ADD---ADHD/cant-sit-still/show/1795537#post_8274132 You will find some good adult ADD links.
In answer to your questions. Yes, what you describe is classic ADD and stim meds would improve your condition. I would think that your school's medical/psyc staff would be well used to your situation and could provide some help. You certainly cannot go on the way you are going now.
OCD is a common co-disorder. Many times it is a defensive psychological reaction to AD/HD. I have not really seen much to suggest that ADHD meds cause it, if the person has ADHD. In fact, it usually helps. Here is an interesting study that just came out on a situation somewhat like yours - http://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/769424?src=nl_topic
Hope some of this helps. Please let me know if I can be of further help. Best wishes.
Hey Sara, thought I might be able to help because I've had ADHD my whole life, and OCD (but since OCD has been severe in my immediate family, this was addressed at a very young age.)
Many people confuse OCD with cleanliness, but this is not always the case. However, I have never met another patient of OCD who has ever reported living in a messy room per se- there is usually some overarching form of organization to it even if it appears messy. Self-living space is a good indicator of OCD. Here are some common symptoms that I suffer from that I could explain to you if you'd like:
1. Obsessive counting of ANYTHING: cars passing, my own breath, surveys of people of a certain category in each room (e.g. 5 white people, 6 black people in this room), my own steps, # of times someone says a particular phrase or word.
2. Obsessive cleanliness: unease/fear of disease, germs, odors. Cannot touch trash cans or door knobs or railings.
3. Obsessive organization: doesn't always make sense and doesn't always make the room "more organized". Things must be neatly arranged in categories.
4. Some people obsessively check something: for example, you leave the house and must return to check the light is off in the kitchen.
5. Some people obsessively hoard things.
Stimulants may help you in school, although approach them with caution and do not turn to them as a permanent solution. Stimulants improved my OCD symptoms, and allowed me to actually read assignments and such. After a while, you learn that you can wean off the stimulants as they guide your life in the right direction. I would recommend Ritalin, and then Adderall (adderrall) if Ritalin does not work, as Ritalin seems to be a little less intrusive in terms of side-effects and such.
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