ADD / ADHD Community
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Avatar universal

Many symptoms. ADHD?

I am a 19 year old who has had a long list of odd symptoms for as long as I can remember. I have never really thought about ADD/ADHD however as I didn't realize some of the issues were associated with the disorder.

I would like to get peoples thoughts as to whether or not this list of symptoms seems to fit the bill for ADHD, or if perhaps it is something else. I clearly plan to see a doctor soon but would still like to gather as much information and ideas as possible.

My earliest memories of these symptoms come from my elementary-middle school years.

I was (and still am) a very bright student, especially in the fields of math and science (currently studying Aerospace Engineering at a prestigious university). In my earlier years (easier work load) I never had many problems but as time went by I would find any shortcut possible to get the job done without much effort. Procrastination might as well be my middle name. I was always able to get by without studying much at all; I made it look easy.I was in the GATE program for gifted students.

I am not sure exactly what sparked the attention but I also had some negative attention in elementary school. I recall a women pulled me out of class several times and took me to a room full of toys. I can't recall my thoughts on the issue at the time, but in hindsight there was obviously more to it than a simple break from class to chat with someone. I also recall my mother had a book in my late elementary school time about raising a "spirited" kid.

I have a much better memory of my symptoms after this time period. Throughout middle/high school (and even today, although I now live out of the house) my relationship with my parents has been a roller coaster. I talked back often, would get worked up easily over nothing and often times blow a small argument into a massive fight involving screaming, cussing and running away. Often times I felt bad afterwards, but still couldn't control my impulses. I have overreacted similarly with other people such as friends, however its MUCH rarer and never even close to the same level.

Another issue that I have had is overwhelming tiredness during the day. Regardless of whether I get (my earliest memory of this problem is early highschool, I can't seem to recall it happening before but its possible, it still persists today in my college classes) 3 hours of sleep or 9 hours of sleep, if I have a full block of classes (9-2, or even 9-12) I can usually make it through the first and last class however somewhere in-between I either need to skip, or sleep. I often find myself going to my 11am class somewhat motivated to pay attention, and then finding myself either resting my head, or playing with my phone. Similarly in 11th grade of HS, I often slept during my honors history lectures and then transferred to the regular class, which had many of my good friends in it, and noticed I no longer felt as tired. In HS I would push myself to stay awake because class attendance had much more importance on your overall grade, and the smaller classes meant the teacher was more likely to notice and call you out for not attending. Now that college has arrived this issue has created a serious struggle just to go to certain classes because of where they fit into the day. If my plans for the day are something that interests me, I have no such problem.

I have noticed I am extremely impulsive, often making sudden decisions (drug use for example, or a decision to stay up late to do something) even when its really not a great time (exam/paper around the corner).

I tend to have insomnia. If I force myself to go to bed its often not too much of a problem. The issue is deciding to go to bed. Even as a type this right now, I realize I was EXHAUSTED around 11am but decided to lay on the coach to eat, and watch a movie/surf the web instead. Occasionally when I do get into bed, I have trouble sleeping due to a feeling of my brain working on overdrive. This is especially prevalent before big days, such as a motorcycle race (my pastime/obsession), although I feel its fairly common to have trouble sleeping when nervous or anxious for something.

I have another issue that somewhat relates to my insomnia. I find I need to be around people, especially those close to me. At school I'll often go out of my way to be with friends. Late at night I'll feel a desire to stay up way later than I should be just because a friend is a studying or hanging out and I'd rather be with them then in bed.

One of the more recent issues that has really become a problem is losing things. I often forget where I leave things such as keys, credit cards etc... I also often end up finding them in odd places, without explanation for why I had put them there. Most times when this happens I get quite angry, especially if its something important, and will often times impulsively react, sometimes by throwing something or slamming something.

I am quite tired and thats about all I can think of, but if anybody takes the time to read the novel I just spit out, let me know your thoughts.

14 Responses
189897 tn?1441126518
   Having trouble sleeping, impulsiveness, losing things, lack of organization, not remembering things - are all pretty classical signs of ADHD.  Of course, the whole relationship with the parents thing if caused by you constantly getting into trouble (and negative attention in elementary school), is also a sign of ADHD.
  If you want to gather more info, two sites aimed at the adult ADD sufferer that you might want to check out are totallyadd.com and http://jeffsaddmind.com/for-first-time-visitors.  While they are aimed at ADD adults, that's pretty much where most adults are at.
  If you are going to see a doctor I would go to a psychiatrist.  But whatever doctor you go to, make sure that they are experienced in dealing with AD/HD.
   As for your last post, kind of sounds like a form of anxiety attack to me.   Given that you have taken the time to post this, I would imagine that this whole matter is beginning to weigh you down.  
    By the way, it is not uncommon for very intelligent ADHD people to get through high school just due to innate intellligence, and then have problems in college simply because the course content is difficult enough that you either have to listen in class or study at night.  There are techniques to help with this, but since you never had to use them before, its kind of a new world for you.  Also I would think that your college counselor might be able to help you with this.  This is not uncommon.  It would not hurt to ask your counselor if they have any resources to help you.  Hope this helps.  If you have any more specific questions, please post.  Best wishes.
Avatar universal
Forgot to add that I also struggle to keep organized notes. I find myself every semester saying I'll be more organized, and getting nice divided binders and notebooks, only to find myself shortly resulting to not writing down any notes at all and keeping papers loosely in folders with no order whatsoever.

PS: Another post about organization reminded me about this, I literally clicked backspace and went to my post (10 seconds tops) and forgot what I was going to post. Didn't recall again until I looked at the post that made me think of organization in the first place.
Avatar universal
I am so sorry you are feeling this way.

Doctors like to put people on drugs for ADD and ADHD  and Bipolar. They don't do all the work they should do. Belive me . There are many who are told they have ADD OR ADHD OR BIPOLAR. But they don't .

A good Doctor will run blood work and send you out for a EEG Sleep deprived.

Some people act out and have a hard time with things because they are having Seizures and don't even know they are having them.

My Son was put on Adderall and Then Concerta because his Teachers at School thought he needed them . These drugs can cause  Seizures.

Later I found out he was having Seizures in his sleep and that is why he was having a hard time . He also had a hard time going to sleep at night and would be wanting to sleep durning the day at times. Also would forget things.

I think you should get an EEG and blood work done . And make sure you don't sleep much before the test so you can sleep while the test is being done.

good luck.

also Vitamin B6 and B12 along with Omega 3-6-9 Vitamins are good for your brian.
Avatar universal
it sounds like you have a lot on and alot of it does seem to be because you are exhausted you need to get into a routine of when you sleep eat and get up and go to bed forgetting where things are mood swings will all ease when you get enough sleep yes its great to be around friends but you need me time to sleep and relax before you go to sleep it will help you fall asleep better you mite need to go to the doctor with this to get help with maybe some sleeping tabs since its bein goin on so long and just to get expert opinion best of luck its doesnt sound like adhd to me and im studying special needs but talk with your doctor and look up adhd on internet see what signs are yourself
Avatar universal
Had a strange occurrence last night. Went to bed and suddenly felt as if my heart was racing, I thought I was having a heart attack. The strange thing is I was unable to move or open my eyes, yet I felt awake. Next thing I know I'm up and fine, just scared. Years ago I felt a similar awake but unable to move feeling (no heart racing) while on vicoden for an injury.

Went to bed and had it happen again.

Third time I went to bed was the worst. The heart sensation was twice as intense, I could've sworn I fell off my bed and was moving all over, I even thought I screamed and half expected someone to come find me on the floor. Next thing I know I'm up and in bed, seemingly not having moved an inch. An hour later (4am) I finally went to sleep for good, albeit it, on the couch watching tv.
Avatar universal
Trying to go to bed tonight, this time with a sleeping pill.

Just had three more instances of it.

Did some reading on sleep paralysis and its basically your body either enters REM before you're ready or starts to wake up while still in REM.

So now as I try to put this all into the big picture.
Narcolepsy could explain the night terror due to REM starting at an earlier time. It can also explain my restlessness during the day and a need to fall asleep in inappropriate places. Doesn't really explain my short tempter and outbursts, or tendency to loose things but that could just be me.

I need to wake up in around 6 hours for a very important family event. Guess I'll try once more and see what happens.

I might even start a timer when I lay down and see what its at after I have an episode, so I can tell whether it was on my way into sleep or out of it.


Avatar universal
ok from what you have said you need to get in and see a Nueroligest. You could have Narcolepsy  or you could be having Seizures. Only a Nueroligest will be able to test you to see what is going  on.  

I have a friend who has Narcolepsy and it took time for her to find out what was going on .She takes Medicine for it ever day.

write everything down and take to Doctor .Also if you could get it on video so that Doctors could see what is going on that would help them help you.

sleeping pills is not a good thing,. Sence you don't know what is going on yet.

189897 tn?1441126518
   Few other quick thoughts.  You have an important family event coming up.  That can produce anxiety and sleep problems.  Is so, you may soon stop these kinda of panic attacks once the event has passed.  I have found that exercise is very useful to help with sleep and anxiety  for that matter.  Just getting out a taking a nice long walk and listening to some good sounds can make a difference.
   By the way, I have seen several studies that show that sleep apnea can produce ADHD like symptoms.  In fact, there have been several posters on here that have had sleep apnea, been treated and their daytime behaviors definitely changed.  Has anybody ever commented about you snoring or breathing loud at night?   "Regardless of type, an individual with sleep apnea is rarely aware of having difficulty breathing, even upon awakening.[3] Sleep apnea is recognized as a problem by others witnessing the individual during episodes or is suspected because of its effects on the body (sequelae). Symptoms may be present for years (or even decades) without identification, during which time the sufferer may become conditioned to the daytime sleepiness and fatigue associated with significant levels of sleep disturbance."  Wikipedia.
    It is worth checking out.  Best wishes!
189897 tn?1441126518
   Oh, and I agree with dollyn about the sleeping pills.  Really try and make that a one time thing.  They only treat the effect, not the cause.
Avatar universal
My father has sleep apnea... not sure if that increases my chances.

Stress could've caused the sleep paralysis/panic attacks I suppose but I am more concerned about my tiredness during the day, which has been going on for years.

PS: Had 3 or 4 more sleep paralysis issues last night, all within a short amount of time. I am thinking I am going into REM too early, rather than the alternative of REM remaining too long after waking up.

Also, I took the sleeping pill and was still up 4 hours later... well only because of the attacks. I didn't feel drowsy when waking up.
189897 tn?1441126518
   Lets put it this way, if you aren't sleeping well at night - you will be tired all day.  Check out this link - http://www.sciencedaily.com/videos/2005/0801-tired_teens.htm
189897 tn?1441126518
  forgot to answer your question,  yes, your chances of also having sleep apnea increase a lot if your dad has it.   And, of course, if you are also a large person, your chances really go up.
   One easy thing to try is to buy the Breathe Right nasal strips (you see a lot of the pro football players using them) and wear it at night.   It would only help one of the things that cause sleep apena, but its an easy, cheap experiment.    
   Let me know how things go.
Avatar universal
I talk to my friend . And she said that you can get upset and mad and lose things. Along with anxiety. If you have Narcolepsy. Due to the lack of sleep and not knowing what is going on with you.

So I still say seeing a Neuroligset is the best thing you can do for you. And she also said that they use some of the same drugs as they do for add and adhd.

It may take time to find the right drugs to help you and the right Doctor who knows what they are doing.
Avatar universal
Neither my father nor myself are large people.

Thanks guys, I will see a doctor soon.

Last night I felt like going to bed early and hopped into bed around 11:30. Probably a record for me.

I didn't feel like I was able to immediately go to sleep but would estimate I passed out by 12. At one point I was awake and felt like it had been maybe an hour since I had gone to sleep, not sure how to explain it but it just didn't feel like I had gotten much sleep at all (or even gone to sleep) but when I looked at the clock it was 4:20am.

Alarm went off at 9:30. Ended up snoozing until 9:50. Feel okay, not exhausted, but brain is still cloudy and I wouldn't mind getting back in bed. Unfortunately an exam I have at 11am feels otherwise.
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