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Is it possible that I have ADD?

Hello!
I am a female, 18 years old. I have a big problem with concentration and keeping lasting interests.

This has been an ongoing problem for me and most times it makes me feel worthless and incredibly wasteful. I have read many articles concerning lack of focus and concentration and I have gotten the impression that it is an almost inevitable thing with all the readily available variety of distraction today. But since my concentration problem is probably the biggest obstruction in my life that keeps me from completing everyday tasks, I wonder if there is something more there. Other than that, I also have difficulty finding a lasting passion or interest, getting bored too soon.

I have found that even though I have a number of interests and potential hobbies, I can never find a lasting interest and get bored with almost everything I try. When I was small, I really wanted to have a bicycle and it was quite a dream for me to have one. I was sure that I would always ride my bike (I knew how to ride) and was enormously thrilled when my parents bought a bike for me. However, after riding for a month or so, I felt that I no longer was interested and didn't find it exciting at all.
Then, the guitar. It became an absolute dream of mine to become a guitarist - I kept fantasizing about it and was sure I would work hard. My parents bought an electric guitar and also found an instructor to teach me. I started my lessons. After a month or two, I no longer had the motivation to practice and no longer had the interest to be a solo player. In my mind, I wished I wanted it, but I just wasn't interested anymore.
Then, the camera. I am still very interested in photography but find it hard to do anything about it. Before, I blamed it to the fact that I didn't have a good camera but now I have it. Even though taking photos makes me happy, I find little incentive to spend time working on it - I bought a book and started to read it but constantly got distracted and bored and stopped. Whenever I go somewhere that I know will be an interesting place to take photos, it feels like I want to come up with excuses not to take the camera. It's very strange because when I do take it, I rather enjoy using it. I have other examples, including drawing, making videos, writing, etc.
Overall, I do very little to learn about and work on practical knowledge - I'd rather read books, learn about things that are never going to be useful to me, or watch movies/TV shows that on the long run are no use to me. This is the reason why I am afraid of choosing a career, fearing that I will soon lose my interest in it.
Now, that was the first part.

Secondly, I always have and always have had difficulty concentrating and actually finishing something. I have spent most of the day doing things that normally would have taken 2-3 hours. Today, for instance, I had to study psychology for a test I have tomorrow. I started in the morning and now it's 9 pm. I have done about half the work I had planned to do until 4 pm. I found myself fiddling with my phone, daydreaming, and spending hours doing nothing while keeping the appearance that I am studying. And now I am here, writing this when I should be back to my studies. This is an ongoing problem that I have always had and I have tried many things to stop procrastinating. I have put my laptop and my phone away; I have tried to get up and rest for a few minutes every time I felt like I wasn't focusing. I have forced myself, gotten angry at myself, promised myself to be productive but I just cannot control my impulse to do other things that waste my time. My family thinks it's just a matter of motivation and bad habits, so they encourage me "not to get distracted." But I just can't! I also have always thought that it's a bad habit of mine and possible to overcome but now I'm not sure anymore. Could there be a problem definable medically/psychologically? Could I be suffering from ADD? I don't say ADHD because reading about it, I find that I don't really have hyperactivity problems, other than not being able to sit for a long time without moving constantly.

This has made my life stressful, it has made me moody and doubtful about my abilities. I feel like if I don't find a solution to this, I will never be able to achieve anything in life.

Sorry for the long question.
3 Responses
189897 tn?1441130118
COMMUNITY LEADER
   Well, you certainly do have many of the symptoms of ADD or inattentive ADHD.  
   I have many links on the problem, but these 3 are pretty good ones.  And, you might want to consider sharing them with your parents.
       http://www.additudemag.com/slideshow/170/slide-1.html
       http://helpguide.org/articles/add-adhd/attention-deficit-disorder-adhd-in-children.htm
       https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dmeE3qTJRUw

     ADD is definable - you can't be diagnosed unless you meet certain criteria. The second link covers most of the criteria.  And, I can give you the very specific criteria needed.  Sounds like you are in college?  You should have counselors who have experience in this as it is now pretty common for girls to get bypassed if they are not hyper.
      I hope this helps.  It is certainly worth following up on.  I have way too many links to adult women who suffered for years and didn't discover till way to late in life that ADD was what was making them so miserable.
     Please ask if you have any more questions.   Good luck
18724859 tn?1467313596
    I would definitely say this is ADD, based on what both you and I have experienced.

    Like you, I have a ton of trouble focusing on any specific hobby for longer than a month or two. I have around six or seven things I cycle through in a year that I always have on ready, just in case my interest switches.
    I recommend talking to your doctor about getting formally diagnosed, the process is usually done with a few simple tests. It seems like almost all of what you're experiencing can be treated, although I still find it kind of difficult to focus very long on any single hobby/interest.
    I wish you luck!
189897 tn?1441130118
COMMUNITY LEADER
     Great answer.  thank you for taking the time to contribute.  Please take a look at the newest post.  It is very similar.
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