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ADHD Adults

Do I have ADHD

Hi there,

I am wondering how to tell if I actually have adult ADHD. I am 22 yrs old and just started teaching at an elementary school. My friends have always joked in the past about me being adhd because i could never sit still long enough to watch a movie. I always brushed it off. But now I just dont know. At school i can get started on my lesson plans because i am overwhelmed. I am extremly disorganized and jump from one task to the next. I cant watch a movie or sit still. I always need to be moving.

Is this Adhd or is it simply that I am a more hyper person? I did well in school and college because learning is easy for me… but I still felt disorganized and one step behind everyone.


You have certainly identified with some of the symptoms of ADHD, however there are definitely good reasons why a formal diagnosis of ADHD needs to be made by a professional, one of which is that ADHD is quite difficult to diagnose!!

My suggestion is that you have a look online and do some research of your own about the symptoms of ADHD.

If you scroll down to the bottom of this page, there are some “free printables” which include information about adult ADHD symptoms to get you started.

If, after learning more about ADHD, you really think that you may have it, it would be worth considering visiting a psychologist who specialises in ADHD. They will be able to give you a formal diagnosis, and could discuss the various treatment options which could assist you. (Plus, if they don’t think you have ADHD, they may well still be able to discuss some strategies for assisting with the characteristics that you have that cause you some difficulties).

Good luck!

Posted by Kim3663 on Dec 09, 2012 at 11:10am

The fact that you did well in school makes me think you may not have ADHD, other things can cause restlessness. I would definitely have a psychiatrist evaluate you before you jumped into the vast swimming pool of medication. Most people like myself have no doubt about whether or not they have ADD.

Posted by Rancher John on Dec 09, 2012 at 5:58pm

I bothered to get the formal diagnosis at age 50 because I wanted to try treating it. With a son already diagnosed and Hallowell’s books in hand I was already pretty sure I had it. Once you know what to look for in yourself it becomes startling obvious. Of course, once you start to look for anything you’re bound to find more of it.

Posted by ADDedValue62 on Dec 09, 2012 at 6:48pm

Hmm. 4 copies of my reply. That’s interesting.

Posted by ADDedValue62 on Dec 09, 2012 at 6:48pm

You should look into combined Giftedness with ADHD. That’s what I am and therefore I didn’t fit the typical ADHD stereotype and I did well in school. Don’t assume that doing poorly in school means you don’t have ADHD. Good luck.

Posted by EAM on Dec 10, 2012 at 2:14am

I would just like to respond to Rancher John’s post.

With respect, I completely disagree with most of that post.

“Most people” is an extreme over-generalisation. Yes, some people have very obvious ADHD, myself included. But having a large extended family, many of whom I suspect have ADHD (and some who have been diagnosed as such), I have seen first hand that it comes in many different forms and levels of severity. Unfortunately, there is no blood test which can definitively say “yes, you have ADHD” (it would make life much easier if there was!!), and consequently there is frequently doubt about whether a person has ADHD.

I also find it quite disappointing that even people with ADHD have fallen for some of the common misconceptions about ADHD, one of which is that people with ADHD don’t do well at school.

I have ADHD (absolutely no doubt about it!!). I have just finished my fourth year of a combined Arts / Law degree, and am on track for Honours (i.e. due to getting very good grades).

I’m certainly not saying that school is as easy as a walk in the park for people with ADHD, but I absolutely refuse to accept that having ADHD prevents people from achieving great things, whether academic or otherwise.

It is believed that Einstein had ADHD.

Posted by Kim3663 on Dec 10, 2012 at 4:25am

Reply posted to a duplicate conversation thread:

ADHD is a plausible explanation for your hyperactivity and overwhelm.

One excellent, and cost-effective, way to explore this more deeply would be to read Delivered From Distraction by Hallowell.

If that resonates with you then you need to locate a competent health provider who can render a diagnosis and, if necessary, a treatment protocol.

You have a great advantage if learning is easy.

-Posted by John Tucker, PhD, ACG. ADHD Coach

Posted by ADDConnect Community Editor on Dec 10, 2012 at 7:28pm

Reply posted to a duplicate conversation thread:

Any diagnosis-label tends to be a loose lasso around a cluster of symptoms which may loop in things that do not apply and may miss things that do.  ADHD has much cross-over with dyslexia and dyspraxia and a diagnosis will involve a comprehensive assessment by an appropriately qualified professional (and don’t assume that all psychiatrists/psychologists are knowledgeable in this field). The assessment process will seek information from partners, parents etc and draw on data from school reports as well as home life.  I’d expect to see chronic difficulties in organisation (forgetting/losing everyday objects), a school career annotated by “a bright lad but.. doesn’t apply himself/fails to hand homework in/ can be talkative/disruptive” and signs of self medication in adulthood like excessive use of red-bull/nicotine/caffeine.  The problems also need to be life-long and enduring - ADHD doesn’t come and go.  A diagnosis won’t tell you how to fix the issue however - what you’ll need to find is ways to work around the difficulties.  When I was a teacher I found marking pupil homework really difficult and writing end of term reports - it was easier for me to design a computer program to do each than sit there hour after hour doing it manually!  What I have found is that different times of days are better for certain tasks - I work best later in the day for creative and interpersonal skill based tasks - if I have to do tedious admin I get up early in the morning (say 6am) and knock it out in a blast of an hour or two tops.  Best to keep the social media programs and email shut off until you’ve done enough to permit yourself the distraction.  When you find a task difficult, you need to be patient and compassionate with yourself and look at internal motivations (promising yourself a treat when you’ve successfully completed a task block).
In conclusion then, a diagnosis is only useful if you need access to medication and or reasonable adjustments/accommodations under disability law - overcoming the difficulties involves working with a coach or therapist to identify the problem and to “create the conditions that make success possible”.
Hope that helps smile

-Posted by grrlAlex

Posted by ADDConnect Community Editor on Dec 10, 2012 at 7:29pm

Reply posted to a duplicate conversation thread:

THanks so much..

-Posted by Questioning

Posted by ADDConnect Community Editor on Dec 10, 2012 at 7:30pm

Reply posted to a duplicate conversation thread:

I think it is great you are addressing these issues now when you are so young.  There are a few online tests you can take right away.  I took these and read Scattered Minds, by Dr. Lenard Adler, before I met with my doctor.  I truly believe you need to be your own advocate and learn as much as possible.

I too had extreme hyperactivity.  At this point,I truly believe low dopamine levels are to blame.  You can actually get a blood test from our doctor to check your dopamine levels.  That would be a shortcut as there is a short list of diagnoses for low dopamine levels.

I can tell you 5 months ago my hyperactivity was a 10 on a scale of 1-10.  Now 5 months later, I am down to a 1.  I started on medication and went down to a 4.  Then added therapeutic doses of vitamins, minerals, fish oil, amino acids and daily exercise andI have gone down to a 1.  I have cut my meds down to just one dose in the morning and no longer take antidepressants.

It feels incredibly empowering to be in charge of my body, finally.  It is a daily commitment and so freeing.  Here is a great article on dopamine deficiency/ADHD.

Good luck on finding your answers and figuring out what works for you.

-Posted by Mitzi

Posted by ADDConnect Community Editor on Dec 10, 2012 at 7:31pm

Hi, “Do I have ADD.” You’re probably going to want to get tested by a professional psychiatrist, if you have a job with health insurance, see if it’s covered, and if it is, now would be a great time to do it. If not, maybe your parents can help you out with the money (it’s expensive.)

I should add that “doing badly in school,” while a symptom for a lot of people, didn’t apply to me, and neither did “has trouble holding down a job”—unfortunately, no one ever thought to look for ADD-Inattentive (turns out I’ve been compensating for it all these years.)

If you’re smart, motivated, and like a lot of aspects of school, you could easily end up doing well while still having ADHD.

Definitely read the Hallowell book. But based on what you’ve said—if you’re having trouble sitting still for movies you enjoy, and having trouble starting lesson plans even though you enjoy teaching—I’d lean strongly towards yes.

Hope this helps.


Posted by gregm91606 on Dec 13, 2012 at 12:47am

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