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Do I Have Adult ADD?

Question:

All of my life I’ve been “different.” I seem able to work my best when I’m swamped with several things but unable to concentrate or focus when there is only one thing to do. I become anxious and just generally nervous. I often think I am the only one not included in group activities at work. Then, for a while, I’ll know that’s just not true and I feel fine.

I can’t seem to get organized either at work or at home and this is and has always been a huge issue both personally & professionally. I have had thoughts of suicide but not all the time or not as a problem I dwell on. When I have the thoughts it comes quickly and does obviously pass.

I’m not in a constant state of depression although I often have weeks at a time where I seem unable to do anything but lie around and think very negative thoughts, but then I also have weeks at a time where I get just 2 or 3 hours of sleep and get up wide awake feeling like I must indulge in something physical like building doll furniture in my kitchen.

At 1:00 AM as it’s too early to go start up my saw on the back porch. While promiscuous in my younger years now my problem is with impulse spending even when I know I don’t have the funds in the bank. Then I go through a guilt period. I’m always exhausted.

Am I just crazy or is there something manageable wrong with me?

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Answer:

Please understand that it’s impossible to make a diagnosis over the Internet. However, we can talk about some of these things and understand them better. In addition, please consider going into psychotherapy to get a proper diagnosis and appropriate treatment.

Some of the symptoms you mention do fit the profile of ADD, Attention Deficit Disorder. For example, having difficulty getting organized at work and feeling depressed are typical of ADD. However, you mention symptoms that are equally reminiscent of Bipolar Disorder or Major Depression.

For example, having sucidal thoughts, feeling exhausted, lying around all day for days at a time and not sleeping are symptomatic of Bipolar Disorder. In fact, it appears that you cycle between feeling depressed and having no energy and staying up all night and wanting to build things late at night.

It can be difficult, at times, to distinguish Bipolar Disorder from ADD. That is why you need a professional opinion that you can get in a face to face interview with a clinical psycologist or psychiatrist. A licensed clinical social worker can serve the same purpose. This is an important diagnosis because it dictates the kind of treatment you will get. For example, the therapy varies according to diagnosis as does the medication.

Let’s not leave out the possibility that you are dealing with Major Depression.

Please seek a professional consultation in order to get help with this. The fact that you have struggled with this your whole life means that it’s time to truly learn how to deal with it and no longer allow it to interfere with your life.

Best of Luck

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Comments
  • Guilhem

    Hi, I know after reading a lot about it online that ADD has been widely studied in north america, but I believe in some countries in Europe, it hasn t been quite documented. I believe I have something close to adult ADD based on descriptions, but the doctors and psychologists I see all diagnose me with a different illness, that is never the same, and never ADD. And they don t really seem to have heard of it.

    Living in Europe does feel like you are in a developping countries (to me) sometimes.
    Anyhow. Good luck you all.

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