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Could i have ADHD/ADD?
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Could i have ADHD/ADD?

Hi, I'm 15 years old, and i'm thinking i might have ADHD/ADD?
I'm having a lot of trouble concentrating, i tend to "zone out" pretty often. I can't keep track of conversations with more than one or two people, because my mind wanders onto other things.
I try hard in school, and am a good student. I have an 80 average right now, but it's because i try really, really hard when i study. Im a tactical learner, which is the only way i can learn. It helps cause after about 5 hours of studying, i get a unit in a subject memorized. But when i'm trying to do subjects with equations ( math, physics, etc) , it's a struggle. I'm pretty shy, not outspoken like a typical add/adhd victim would be. I'm always fidgeting. playing with my hair, tapping my feet, and i have this habit of ripping up paper into little pieces that im not using. I also have a hard time finishing tasks. In class my mind wanders, and as much as i try to concentrate and listen to what'd being taught, there's so many things bouncing around in my head, I always gradually fade away, then get stuck when i try to do the work. I get frustrated easily, and cry when i do get frustrated or stressed. I always try to find things that interest me, lfor example painting. But after a few days i quit. My mom tells me i'm lazy, but i'm not! It stresses me out so much that I come off like that, when I really want to stick to what im doing. I don't get a whole lot of sleep. some nights i can sleep for 8 hours, but some nights it's about 4 hours. I wake up about 5 times every night, and have "weird feeling" dreams, where i always feel very panicked. Is it ADD or something else?
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Avatar_m_tn
  On this one, I disagree with allmymarbles completely.  
First, no one can tell you if you have ADD or ADHD with certainty based on what you have described.  Not even a psychiatrist specializing in ADHD would make that assessment based on a paragraph of information.  To make that kind of an observation is based on personal bias - simply because there is not enough information given to make a definitive statement.
  So now I will go with my own personal biases based on a lot of years working with kids with ADHD/ADD.   Remember that this is my opinion.
  Your examples are very consistent with ADD.  You can check this link on Medhelp -
http://www.medhelp.org/medical-information/show/2157/Attention-deficit-hyperactivity-disorder-ADHD?page=1#sec_3761    - for symptoms or just google it.
   Another source which I think that you will find very interesting is this Utube video by a young lady with ADD in which she describes her situation  and symptoms.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rybVzoKOwWA
   Personally, I have found that frustration was a key factor in helping to identify a person with ADD.  Essentially, they were always intelligent, but not performing at the level they expected to.   Many times they had outstanding standardized test results in elementary school in the lower grades, but the scores began to drop as the subject matter and length of tests increased.  As school got harder, they had to study more and more.  In short they were putting in many more hours than their fellow students and not seeing the results.  Many times they would take a test - knowing the information- and when they got it back found out that they had made many simple mistakes because they lost concentration.  Worst of all, they would have friends who were getting better grades and they knew that they were smarter and studied harder then their friends.
     I could go on and on, but each and every example that you have mentioned I have seen in kids with ADD.  In a way its sad - If you were the hyperactive little boy, you probably would have been identified in the first grade.  But because you had the intelligence and the desire to try and overcome your problems (and also girls get overlooked a lot), it was not noticed.  There are a lot of adults in this world who tried going through high school and college with undiagnosed ADD and are now paying a huge mental price.  Its no joking matter to them.  Which is why I don't think that it should be lightly dismissed as a "puberty" trait.  Why anyone would want to condemn you to these problems without seeking a more informed guidance is beyond me!
   If you really do have ADD, it is super important to find out.  In the first place, medication does not have to be used.  But if you know what you have got, then its a heck of a lot easier to deal with it.  There are better study techniques that can be employed.  If you are diagnosed you would qualify for a 504 special education plan that would give you more time on tests.  It would also explain to teachers why you might "zone out" in class.  It can even give you more time on SAT's etc.
    Once you have looked at all the information (and I have got a feeling that you have been doing some research or you wouldn't have come to this site), you need to figure out whats next.  One thing that may help is the book,  "The ADD/ ADHD Answer book," by Susan Ashley.  You might want to share it with your parents.  
   I would definitely talk with your highschool counselor and seek their help in ways to approach your  parents.  I would think that your parents would like to know that you are not lazy, but actually have a condition that can be dealt with and would explain what has been going on.
   Of course, all of this is based on my opinion that you exhibit many of the characteristics that I have seen in my own students and have read posts about on this site for the last 3.5 years.  I could be wrong, but then you would also have a better feeling for what is going on and how to deal with it.  Good luck - and if you have any other questions, please post.
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11 Comments Post a Comment
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757137_tn?1347200053
No, you are not ADD or ADHD and, believe me, you don't want to be misdiagnosed as having it. They employ addictive drugs that would have a seriously bad effect on you because you do not have the malady. You are a decent student and can memorize - not ADD. So you are a bit restless and fidgety. Those are personality traits. Maybe someday you will put them to good use. Also you are newly into puberty and undergoing many emotional changes. Take it from an old lady - there is noting wrong with you, my dear. Enjoy your teen years and keep doing well in school.
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Avatar_m_tn
  On this one, I disagree with allmymarbles completely.  
First, no one can tell you if you have ADD or ADHD with certainty based on what you have described.  Not even a psychiatrist specializing in ADHD would make that assessment based on a paragraph of information.  To make that kind of an observation is based on personal bias - simply because there is not enough information given to make a definitive statement.
  So now I will go with my own personal biases based on a lot of years working with kids with ADHD/ADD.   Remember that this is my opinion.
  Your examples are very consistent with ADD.  You can check this link on Medhelp -
http://www.medhelp.org/medical-information/show/2157/Attention-deficit-hyperactivity-disorder-ADHD?page=1#sec_3761    - for symptoms or just google it.
   Another source which I think that you will find very interesting is this Utube video by a young lady with ADD in which she describes her situation  and symptoms.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rybVzoKOwWA
   Personally, I have found that frustration was a key factor in helping to identify a person with ADD.  Essentially, they were always intelligent, but not performing at the level they expected to.   Many times they had outstanding standardized test results in elementary school in the lower grades, but the scores began to drop as the subject matter and length of tests increased.  As school got harder, they had to study more and more.  In short they were putting in many more hours than their fellow students and not seeing the results.  Many times they would take a test - knowing the information- and when they got it back found out that they had made many simple mistakes because they lost concentration.  Worst of all, they would have friends who were getting better grades and they knew that they were smarter and studied harder then their friends.
     I could go on and on, but each and every example that you have mentioned I have seen in kids with ADD.  In a way its sad - If you were the hyperactive little boy, you probably would have been identified in the first grade.  But because you had the intelligence and the desire to try and overcome your problems (and also girls get overlooked a lot), it was not noticed.  There are a lot of adults in this world who tried going through high school and college with undiagnosed ADD and are now paying a huge mental price.  Its no joking matter to them.  Which is why I don't think that it should be lightly dismissed as a "puberty" trait.  Why anyone would want to condemn you to these problems without seeking a more informed guidance is beyond me!
   If you really do have ADD, it is super important to find out.  In the first place, medication does not have to be used.  But if you know what you have got, then its a heck of a lot easier to deal with it.  There are better study techniques that can be employed.  If you are diagnosed you would qualify for a 504 special education plan that would give you more time on tests.  It would also explain to teachers why you might "zone out" in class.  It can even give you more time on SAT's etc.
    Once you have looked at all the information (and I have got a feeling that you have been doing some research or you wouldn't have come to this site), you need to figure out whats next.  One thing that may help is the book,  "The ADD/ ADHD Answer book," by Susan Ashley.  You might want to share it with your parents.  
   I would definitely talk with your highschool counselor and seek their help in ways to approach your  parents.  I would think that your parents would like to know that you are not lazy, but actually have a condition that can be dealt with and would explain what has been going on.
   Of course, all of this is based on my opinion that you exhibit many of the characteristics that I have seen in my own students and have read posts about on this site for the last 3.5 years.  I could be wrong, but then you would also have a better feeling for what is going on and how to deal with it.  Good luck - and if you have any other questions, please post.
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973741_tn?1342346373
I would say that it is very difficult to say from a snippet of information what exactly is going on with someone.  One of the things I noticed in meeting undiagnosed folks after the school years is that those adults felt like they never quite fit into their own skin.  They never felt quite right throughout the years and sometimes couldn't put their finger on exactly why.  Turns out, they had an issue with their nervous system or brain chemistry in general that never was diagnosed.

Sandman is quite right in that ADD can go on for a long time without being diagnosed while adhd is caught earlier simply by the difficulty with disruption that those who have it make.  My niece sounds very much like you and she was diagnosed her freshman year of high school.  She is feeling and doing better.  She was a B student as well but knew something was amiss.  Her diagnosis explained a lot.  Good luck
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Avatar_f_tn
the paragraph about being frustrated because my friends dont study and get better marks than me fits me perfectly! I have to study about 8 hours for a regular unit test, and when we get our marks back, i get lower then them! its really unfair, and it never made sense as to why I had to study so much, while everyone else spent maybe an hour at it! i never realized it was a symptom of ADD. thank you so much! your answer was so, so helpful:)
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Avatar_f_tn
Hey! coming from another teen with ADD i think I can help you.

the first thing is the fact you have noticed these patterns and are willing to admit it- it takes a lot for someone to step back and evaluate themself. the symptoms you have are ones I had. Basicly its zoning in and out, mind wandering, hard time concentrating, frustration from all the hard work you put into classes but grades do not represent effort, and frustration over academic life and also frustration in yourself.
To me, these symptoms are pretty big ones that you have ADD. a common mistake people think is that if you have ADD, you have the H componet (hyperactivity). that is not true at all. I do not possess the hyperactivity componet, which is why I think I was tested so late ( i was diagnosed as a teen). this may be why you are just noticing symptoms now in high school because things like concentration and work load are raised significantly.

My suggestion would be to research ADD and see if symptoms listed are ones you possess. I didnt even realize half of my symptoms untill I was tested/medicated and realized how bad they were!

now with the emotional aspect, a side effect of ADD is emotional unstability because of frustration, anxiety, etc. Those symptoms have gone down significantly with me since i have been medicated.

since it is summer, now would be the perfect time to be tested by your doctor or physcologist. if you do have ADD, it gives you 3 months for you and your doctor to go over what medicine to take, play around with dosages, untill you find something that works for you by the time school comes around with work.

good luck! if you have anymore questions about it feel free to ask me! being diagnosed with this has helped me in so many ways
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Avatar_n_tn
My son sounds just like this boy academically accept that he is extremely outgoing and well liked and many friends.  He has come to me thinking he has ADD because he feels he cannot concentrate anymore and zones.. He has also become very scatter brained and disorganized. He use to be straight A student with all honors. Now he is in high school taking level 3 courses  and struggling to maintain A & B.  The decline started in 8th grade with the onset of puberty.  I don't know if these are due to hormonal changes and sleep pattern changes with puberty or if he has an undiagnosed form of ADD.  He is 15 now.    
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Avatar_n_tn
PLease see my reply about my son under maryesch2.  How did diagnosis help you with school?
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Avatar_m_tn
      Well, its not unusual for a bright child with ADD to do very well until they hit something like Algebra or high school honor classes.   You might want to check out these postings.  They are pretty much all from smart people with ADD who struggled through school.
         http://totallyadd.com/forum/topic.php?id=890
      If these ring bells let me know and I will be glad to recommend other material to you.  Best wishes.
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Avatar_f_tn
My daughter is two years younger then you and she has ADD and she does every thing you describe. ADD kids some have a really hard time concentrating on a lot of stuff. And she has the same problem with math! It sounds like you might have ADD ask your mom to take you to a doctor and see if they can help tell you. If you get hyper alot then you might had ADHD.
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Avatar_f_tn
Also my daughter also wakes up in the middle of night and stays up for maybe 20 mins and then goes back to sleep possibly ADD symptoms. She also has a LD in math ask your teachers if you can come in at lunch or recess and have them help you with your work.
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973741_tn?1342346373
Yes, many night time issues can be attributed to nervous system issues.  We have had that with out sensory child.
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