Reply To: Could I have ADHD

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Hi Had90!

I have recently been coming to terms with my own diagnosis of inattentive ADD. Your post really resonates with me, as I have been very similar with my own habits and feelings. I am a major procrastinator. I even procrastinate getting ready to the point where I am chronically late for almost everything, even though I REALLY want to be on time and will even sprint to my destination just to save a minute or 2. From an early age (around 10) I felt independently internally motivated to get good grades, and since, I have always been a top student. One of my elementary school teachers expressed concern to my mother that I wasn’t listening to her, and believed I might have impaired hearing. We got my hearing tested and it was just fine. I learned not long after about different styles of learning (hands on, written, auditory, etc) and I acknowledged immediately to myself that I “wasn’t an auditory learner at all”. That’s all I’ve believed it was from elementary school until university. Even when I got diagnosed, I felt like I was faking my diagnosis, because some of the key symptoms weren’t matching up. I don’t lose important items very often. I get great grades. But I’ve realized that what i have, is effective compensatory strategies. I don’t lose items because they are in their spot (if they aren’t, then I will not remember where I put them, as I would not have been paying attention). I get great grades, because I use procrastination as a tool for motivation, allowing me to hyper focus, whereas if I gave myself more time, i would not be able to do it, I would end up just daydreaming or getting distracted by something else entirely.

Sometimes labels can do more harm than good, and I’m a prideful person who didnt want to have anything “wrong” with me. Typically a diagnosis of ADD will only be given if symptoms are having a significant negative impact on your functioning. But i seem to manage quite well on the outside. I LOOK like I’m paying attention when people are speaking to me, but then I miss important details, or perhaps everything. I am I good student that goes to all my lectures because that’s what students are supposed to do, but I have never listened an entire lecture in my life. 90% of the time I dont even know the topic. Sustaining attention is too hard, it feels impossible unless I’m incredibly interested in the topic. I can take notes for hours without even acknowledging what I’m writing, and when I read it later (last minute) to study, it is always entirely unfamiliar new information to me.

I don’t know if that is helpful to you, but i thought it may sound familiar.