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Avatar universal

Is this ADD?

I'm a 22 year old student going to a university. I've been formally diagnosed with OCD and depression. Ever since I got to school, I've been experiencing symptoms that I just assumed was OCD-related, but hearing some friends with ADD talking about their experiences has got me wondering.

When it comes to writing a paper or studying for a test, man, I have a lot of trouble doing it. I usually try to give myself 12-18 hours to write a paper, since I have a lot of difficulty starting it and - once started - I find it really hard to keep my attention focused on it. I don't know how to describe it. It's like my mind suddenly starts overflowing with energy, and I can't keep myself still or focus on anything. If I ignore it, eventually I get so bugged out that I can't do anything except scratch myself or jump up and down. It sounds stupid, but it really *****. It makes me feel like I'm losing my mind, since I can't get it to cool down and focus.

It gets a lot worse when I'm more stressed out, or when I haven't had decent sleep. When I'm in the middle of an OCD attack, it also gets worse, which makes me think it might be just a manifestation of the OCD?  

I find my classes to be really easy; I can't ever focus on lectures so I don't usually go to them, but I get good grades (especially since a lot of classes just repeat the same info over and over). I'm also doing research, and when I turn stuff in my instructors seem to like it. It's just getting there that is like hell for me. I can't take classes that have something to be done each week; for those classes I always forget to turn in weekly homework (or post discussion questions or whatever). I have a desk job, but I get a lot of the same issues; my boss used to call me out on it (since it would be hard for me to give my 100% focus on a task for an extended period of time), but now he knows not to look over my shoulder and I'll get it to him.

I've been in a couple of relationships, and it's been a problem there too. I can't ever remember certain holidays (Valentine's Day is probably the worst), birthdays, or just random events/facts that they ask me to remember. One guy broke up with me because I couldn't ever remember to text him as much as he wanted. Sometimes I do this thing where I "check out" of a conversation. I don't know how to describe it; it's like I'm there one second, then in my head the next, and then suddenly back in having missed a bit. Usually I can get away with it, but sometimes they'll ask be a question and I can't answer it, and it makes me look stupid.

I've been to the health clinic here, and they tell me that it can't be ADD since it doesn't negatively impact my grades. They think my symptoms (including my OCD) stem from depression, so they've put me on anti-depressants for a number of years now, with results ranging from nothing to making me suicidal. They tell me I just need the right combination of pills, but I'm questioning their explanation, so that's why I'm here.

Sorry for the novel. Any thoughts?
2 Responses
189897 tn?1441130118
    Its absolute BS that, "it can't be ADD since it doesn't negatively impact my grades."   I have see posts here from intelligent people all the time going through the same thing that you are going through.  In fact the depression rate for adults with ADD actually rises due to their continual struggles.   "The ADD/ ADHD Answer book," by Susan Ashley (p.64).  And on p.67 she says that 10 to 17% of kids with AD/HD also have OCD which really compounds there struggles with homework, etc.
    For a lot more info you might want to check out totallyadd.com.  Its a site aimed at the adult with ADD.  You might want to start with this link about having a high IQ and ADHD - http://totallyadd.com/adhdandhighiq/
   I really can't tell if you have ADD or not - even though the symptoms are highly suggestive.  You are going to need a good psychologist or psychiatrist to do that.  If I can be of further help, please post.
Avatar universal
My husband is  medicated and he thinks he and I believe might be wrongly diagnosed, he is a straight A student and every year is on the Honours and Deans list. He finished and graduated from university with 3 different degrees because he couldn't decide what he wanted to do. He applied to Med school and decided not to go because of circumstances and now works as a Mechanical engineer and started in a very high stature based upon his knowledge. He still struggles with staying focused and not over-thinking everything. He struggled with many of your similarities throughout university. They also tell him he is not ADD but treat him for other symptoms.

Q: Do you get  grades while your medicated or unmedicated or both?

The reason I ask is maybe your grades are high because of your OCD medication.

My son is ADHD and use to get poor grades and well below average on anything he does for school . ; where before he explains trying to do homework or write a test was like trying to clean a messy room and he didn't know where to start.

However, within days of taking his medication he excels and transforms as new student and now gets A's on everything. He tells me he can actually locate the information in his mind now that  he is taking his medication.
Now, my son also finds classes very boring and he already knows how to do what the teacher is teaching during class so he gets distracted and loses interest and he would rather be doing something else.

On a side note:
I am not a doctor and can't tell you anything but my personal opinion. I would just go back to your doctor and ask to be re-tested and if you are still not satisfied ask for a second and third opinion from other doctors.
Good Luck.

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