ADD / ADHD Community
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Hi, i've always been very absent-minded and scatter brained, but i've never thought i could be ADD until my friends brought it up to me. I'm a 19 year old pre-med major at Baylor. I've noticed that I don't follow lectures at all. As hard as i try, a few sentences in and i've lost complete focus. I was sitting in the car with my friend, just having normal conversation, when she asked me if I had ever considered being tested for ADD. She said I kept asking questions over things we had just talked about, as if I didn't hear anything she was saying. I try really hard to listen, but whenever my friends have conversations with me, I even have trouble following that. When I read from my text book, I can read a paragraph once, then read it again and take notes, and still not retain anything that i read. Sometimes when i'm reading i'll get really lost. When I talk, my friends say out of nowhere, almost mid-sentence, i'll just start talking about something completely off topic, and then they'll ask me about it and i won't remember what I was even talking about. I've always been like this, i've never been tested. I mean, I feel like a lot of kids my age are like that. Testing is so expensive, and i've racked up some serious medical bills for some other issues this year already.. But my grades are suffering, and i feel like i'm getting more and more absent-minded. What do y'all think?
11 Responses
209987 tn?1451939065
My kids call it "zoning out".  I've been doing that most of my life...since I can first remember anyway.
I was 28 when they finally gave it a name...before that it was called " just needs a spanking", "needs a lickin", " needs the electric cord", etc.
My report cards were filled with "She needs more sticktoitivness" and other such malarkey. They just didn't understand that no matter what I did, or how many straps I got, I just couldn't "pay attention".
There are other symptoms that go along with ADD, but that is definitely one of them.
Sorry to say, but you would need to see a doctor or a psychiatrist to be properly diagnosed.
You could simply be suffering from a lack of vitamins...or suffering from something much more severe...that's why it's important not to self diagnose when suffering from attention problems.
There is a chance that you have mild narcolepsy as well...this would also explain the changing of topic mid sentence.
So many possibilities.
You have mentioned that you have just seen a doctor for other medical problems...you didn't mention what they were, but is it possible that these other problems are causing this?
Brain injury, anxiety, depression are other possibilities.
Your age can play an important factor too...like you said...so many others your age suffer from these issues...and it's a well known fact that the teen years can be pretty harsh...so many hormones acting up, etc.
Again, sorry to say, but the only way to know is to see a doctor.
189897 tn?1441130118
   Tschock is absolutely right.  Your symptoms are classic ADD, but other things could also cause these problems.  You might want to check out totallyadd.com.  Its an adult add site.  Check out the videos - very entertaining with a lot of good info.
  This is something that a good college like Baylor should be able to handle and help you with.  Start with your counselor.  You are definitely not the only one going through this at the school.  The testing should be done by them.  I know that in public schools testing can be forced through federal laws and I would think (but not positive) that something like that would be true for any college that accepts federal funding. Hope this helps.  
757137 tn?1347200053
Nowadays there is a great emphasis on academic excellence. Anyone who does not achieve the desired level seems to be sent off to a therapist or counselor, or whatever. In any case, he is considered abnormal in some way.

I reject this way of thinking. In the first place some people are simply not academic. They may excel in a dozen different ways, but not academically. There is nothing wrong with that, so, mothers and fathers, live with it. The class dreamers may turn out to be artists or landscapers. One in my family turned out to be an excellent chef.

It is unfair and unhealthy to judge a child by his academic performance.
973741 tn?1342346373
Do you feel a child that doesn't meet academic guidelines should be left alone?  They shouldn't attempt to help improve their skills?  In highschool, if one does not seem to going the direction of secondary education/college, it is at that time they should identify another path for themselves.  Trade school can be a blessing and in our school district, this is encouraged to be a family discussion at that time.  Up until then, kids are encouraged to learn along with their class so that they can . . .um read the recipe . . . and add the ingredients if they go the chef route.  
I disagree that kids are sent to therapists or counselors for not being academically inclined.  

My thoughts are that most parents are doing what they can to help their child and I admire that.  
973741 tn?1342346373
baylor bear, you obviously are an intelligent person as you are a Baylor student (not a shabby institution) and had the credentials to get in there.  University studies are quite different than highschool.  Big lecture halls are at times difficult to stay focused.  I would tape record the lectures and see if this helps.  I also found outlining the lectures helped me a good deal as well.  

Bouncing around in conversation is pretty common.  If you never got back to your original topics or if the tangents made no sense, you'd probably hear about it from those you converse with.  They'd keep bringing you back and occasionally get annoyed.  

I agree with sandman's idea that looking into what add is all about is helpful and Baylor probably has many resource for those that find themselves there having a hard time adjusting to study skills needed for college.  

I do wish you luck and hope that you are able to get your md some day!
973741 tn?1342346373
Hi there,  another idea to make things easier in lectures is to get there a tiny bit early and sit in front.  Coffee???   I had my first coffee freshman year of college.  Don't give up on yourself or let this make you doubt yourself, it is a change from highschool.  Talk to someone on campus for study/class tips, sit in front, tape record, outline and do your best.  It will be okay!  good luck
1699033 tn?1514116733
Here is another suggestion to mull over while you are getting your testing done because I definitely believe you should be tested for it.  What direction you take after the diagnosis is up to you.  You are an adult, if you did try medication I'm sure you would be able to judge whether it is working or not pretty quickly.  

Livescribe makes something called a smartpen.  My son uses it and he has ADHD.  You can record the lecture (as long as the class size is small and you are in the front) while you are taking notes using their special notebooks.  Then you can listen back, correct your notes, add to your notes, download it to the computer, make a study guide, etc.  It is pretty cool actually.  It is kind of pricey but I think it does help.  

And just so people know, I have no affiliation with Livescribe whatsoever.  So I'm not hawking something I own stock in :)  Just something that works.  
757137 tn?1347200053
"I disagree that kids are sent to therapists or counselors for not being academically inclined."

That does not appear to true, at least on on this forum. the whole business of "focus" and "distraction" points to that, followed by parents who are pleased when medication results in improved scores at school.

I would never say that we should not encourage our children to do their best. But that is not the same as expecting each of our kiddies to be an academic shining star. Because of the emphasis on school performance I grieve for the abandonment of the child as a complex and delightful entity.

I think that many of the behavioral problems of the poor student have to do with trying to force a round peg into a square hole. It is much more productive, and surely better for the child, to accept him and love him for what he is. If we observe carefully we will find hidden talents. And these are what should be encouraged. It would certainly make for a much happier kid.

973741 tn?1342346373
So, you are saying that this woman is having issues because the expectatio of her intelligence was too high?  Her issue is emphasis on school performance?  A freshman at Baylor?  She was academically gifted enough to be accepted to Baylor and having gone to a large university myself, I remember well what those huge auditorium lecture halls are like.  Having difficulty there has nothing to do with straight intelligence so I don't see quite understand the application of your basic thought process here.  But that is okay.  

So, then is your advice to this young woman to drop out of college?  She just must not be smart enough to be there and her parents should have recongnized that years ago?  I guess I just am not agreeing with ya.

Seeing a counselor as I think many have issues transitioning to a large college atmosphere and going from regular classrooms to huge lecture halls make sense to me.  
973741 tn?1342346373
Anyway, I think as a parent that I do love my kids regardless of things like performance.  My attempts to help my own child had much to do with his own desire to feel and be like everyone else.  HE wanted that.  I can not lie, I was humbled I don't know how many times by his behavior, but he is my boy and I'd love him regardless.  

If we as parents can help our children, I'm not sure why we wouldn't want to do that.  I've not medicated my child but have found other ways to help him.  Had I denied his diagnosis though, he'd not be where he is at now.  Is it my vanity that creates the urge to help him?  My demand for academic excellence?  Really.  No.  He was sad and I wanted to help him.  

Anyway, it is always a big subject to discuss and all opinions are valid.  

But I do relate to a freshman in college who wants to do well and struggles with the changes that follow the transition to a university.  Wishing her luck
757137 tn?1347200053
You can be extremely intelligent, but not be academic.

I do not know the woman who posed the question and, like everyone else, her situation is unique. My comments might be considered as more general, based on observation and an intense interest in the welfare of children. The family is in the medical community and its related professions. One member deals with children with academic problems and another with programs for gifted children.
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