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Adult ADHD or Autism?


My cousin who is 29 years old was diagnosed with JME (Juvenile Myoclonic Epilepsy) at the age of 14. Recently, she is wearing a hearing aid because she says she can't hear and concentrate properly (though the doctor advised her she doesn't need to). She has communication 'blackouts' and sometimes she just keep quiet when I'm asking her something as if she is lost in some thoughts. She told me that this problem started when she was around 18 years old, she also have this behavior called 'stimming', in her case, she has a habit of finger-flicking/moving in front of her eyes. This has considerably reduced as she is older now. But when she does it, it's usually when there's a bright light or particularly when it's day-time (usually when she is anxious with something like for a job interview or expecting to call someone new). She is kind of obsessed with lists and journaling. For instance, she likes to carry a notepad to write/quote words from daily conversations. Sometimes while watching TV-series or movies. She is very involved when it comes to empathy and understanding the perspectives of human conditions but is very blunt and direct to her close friends/family members.
When she is engrossed with her work, she skipped her meals a lot of time, she is quite forgetful when it comes to her eating routine. She has also told me several times that the one thing she can't stand is: spontaneity/surprises.
It could be that she is just an introvert, she has abandonment issues as a kid and was also in an emotionally-abusive relationship years back ago. However, I have genuine concern for her and would like to hear whether she needs to see a doctor for adult ADHD/Autism? Or is it possible to exhibit such stimming behaviours without autism? She lives in a developing country where mental health awareness is quite low. I am obviously not educated enough but would like to hear what others have to say regarding my question.

1 Responses
189897 tn?1441130118
COMMUNITY LEADER
   People with adhd or add will do fidgeting as a way to help them focus.  This could be what she is doing.  I do not know how this stimming would relate on the autism spectrum.  
   There are a number of things you mentioned that could relate to ADHD/ADD - like hyper focus, obsession (a means of compensating), lack of restraints (saying what you are feeling without thinking).   And it sounds like she is also anxious (and maybe depressed) which are very common co-disorders for adult.  And, of course, the inability to concentrate is the most obvious sign.
   One problem is that AD/HD does not suddenly start at 18.  However, I have seen plenty of adults who because of their intelligence, did not realize they had AD/HD until much later in life.   And until somebody really pointed out the symptoms of AD/HD did not think they had a problem earlier.
  The following link might be helpful on the symptoms of adult AD/HD.
          http://www.additudemag.com/slideshow/20/slide-1.html
   I do not know if the medication she is taking for her Epilepsy could also cause some of her symptoms.  This should be looked into.
  If you go to the site I mentioned above and put "adult adhd" into their search box.  You will get lots of helpful topics.
   My experience with developing countries has been that the more you can do your self via the internet, the better your chances of success.
   Please let me know if I can provide any more information.
    
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