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confusion_consumed

Could i have ADD or a learning disability?

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Hello, I am a sophomore in college and i have generalized anxiety and depression. I have discussed with both my psychologist and therapist about possibly having ADD or a type of learning disability. I can almost never pay full attention during classes or i find that i haven't been listing and struggle to focus and normally that doesn't help either. Pretty much every time i leave a class i forget everything that was gone over and discussed, its very difficult for me to study and i have anxiety during tests i also can't remember anything i studied when taking the test. I don't think i have hyperactivity, but i have also had depression since my second year of high school and i remember that before that i normally was very outgoing, very talkative during classes (usually getting in trouble) and almost always wanting to bounce out of my seat. I am still very fidgety and am normally always bouncing my legs or tapping on pencils. I have never been tested for ADHD or ADD, but i am scheduled for a test in march but i am scared and extremely anxious about it because i am worried that nothing is wrong with me and its just my brain overreacting to everything. That is just a fear of mine though. I was wondering if anyone could tell me their opinions on this and personal experiences with adult learning disabilities and ADD. I am just wondering how people with it act and think. Thank you so much for reading this lengthy post!!

P.S. I am knew to forums so they do not allow me to view and read any messages sent to me so please just post any opinions or stories to this. 

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hi confusion_confused.  i waS diagnosed with ADHD when i was in 3rd year of my university program. i was 21. 

i got to go to see our uni counsellor and i let them know my depression was a problem and i couldnt focus i class. i said while our mid term exams were going on i was watching everyone quickly writing their English essays. i was prepared for the exams and i still wondered what the heck they had to say that would make them so busy. my essays were too short.

my first step was talking to the prof and she sent me to the counsellor.

they brought a psychologist into the mix and his assistant or whatever she was did the tests. i broke down at one point because i didnt have a clue of what to ansswer on one of the questions. but thats just how i operate when i feel stupid.

the testing really wasnt that bad.

the third appointment i was given the diagnosis and i burst into tears being so relieved that it wasnt in my head. 

i was then given time and a half for future exams as part of my problem was i would have answers or really excellent things to say but my mind was faster than my hands with writing it out and i would lose the thought.

the answer they came up with was ritalin. slow release since it never was enough. they aso gave regular release in smaller amounts meant for study time and exams.

do not fear the testing and results. it will be ok. the testing was actually interesting and in some ways fun. this was 22 years ago so im not sure what tests are like now. but i think you will be ok.

i hope this helps.

natasha

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Hey CC, Welcome to the forum!! 

:welcomeani:

From that it really sounds like ADD or ADHD, and I'm glad you're going to take the test. I understand the worry, and I'm sorry you're worried about it. You have very legitimate reasons to think you might have ADD/ADHD so I doubt anybody will judge you if somehow you don't.

I hope it goes well and you get the help you need!

Best Wishes,

-Jalen

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Was diagnosed with ADD around the age of 30. I've always thought that I was just lazy and unmotivated and never even considered the possibility of a disorder since I am not hyperactive. One day when my psychiatrist mentioned that he suspects ADD it all started making so much sense. When I started taking meds for it it made such a big difference, it was like night and day!

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i was diagnosed at age 20, right before sophomore year of college, because my psychiatrist was like 'you know you sound like you might have adhd' after several sessions of me talking about a variety of things, so it's definitely possible that you have it, especially if you're having these issues even when you're feeling okay otherwise (since depression/anxiety can lead to executive dysfunction/poor memory/inability to focus/etc)

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hi confusion_confused! Your post gives me flashbacks to my college days. Apologies in advance for my long post here, but this topic is near and dear to my heart 🙂.

I was diagnosed with anxiety/depression in my early 20s, but not with ADHD until I was 35 (along with some dyslexia). There were times I could pull off high grades in school, but it was obvious the work was taking me WAY longer than my classmates. Now I see the same issues in my job, as I'm pulling all-nighters as a middle-ager, just to stay on top of things. Ironically, I'm a college instructor now. In my job I see A LOT of students with documented ADD/ADHD and learning disabilities, and very often I see these together. Students are only required to share this with me if they need accommodations, but more often I find them sharing because they just want me to know they're aware they're different and are anxious about being successful in class. I know these feelings myself, all too well.

In case it helps, here are some methods I've used to get through long meetings/classes: 

• Keep a notebook/pen with you at all times. I guess it's similar to the fidget gadgets, but I can relax a little if I'm constantly take notes in a long meeting. Sometimes I'm just writing non-related gibberish or doodling, but it helps calm my jitters. 

• Invest in a planner/system that works for you. Most ADHD specialists seem to encourage paper systems - I agree, but I coordinate my paper planner with a calendar app that gives me daily reminders. At this stage I know full well I won't remember most things, so the automated reminders are VERY important.

• Engage your senses: For some reason, hot drinks help my focus. Sometimes cold drinks. Sometimes it's just something really flavorful, like fruity lip balm. Weird maybe, but it works for me. Honestly, I simply won't go to a meeting without something I can hold (and quietly fidget with), even if it's just a water bottle or notebook. 

• Focus on a stretch or physical activity about every 15 minutes. When I'm in small meetings where it's more obvious, I do small stretches like with my hands, wrists, neck, etc. I even set timers. If you're able to, schedule a break during class to do something more active, like a walk down the hall or sprint down some steps. Hopefully your instructors give you breaks!

For learning in general, I really recommend a recorder of some kind (if you're in a college, there's an accessibilities department that likely will be able to provide you with one). Also: color code everything! Develop a system for learning material outside of class - if this is a struggle, reach out to someone at your college so you can get in touch with a specialist to help you. ADD/ADHD is a recognized ADA disability (in the US anyway), so accommodations and assistance are out there for you. Don't be ashamed to ask for help, that is the BEST thing I've ever done!!

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First of all, you need not worry about anything. Just feel lucky that you have diagnosed your condition at an early stage as many fail to diagnose it. To improve focus and mood, you need to work on your negative thoughts. I have read somewhere that “you are what you think the whole day.” Negative thoughts **** people silently. Just think if you are getting so many troubles from these thoughts, why are you letting them produce in your mind? Always think positive. If you feel happy, you will perform well. Cognitive behavioral therapy is the best treatment for ADHD.

It works and I have tried it for social anxiety and have seen positive changes. Other things that can make you feel happy are cleaning your apartment regularly, exercising regularly, learning new skills and eating a healthy diet. If you have any questions, you can ask without hesitation.

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