30/F Just Diagnosed with ADHD-C But…

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    • #110036

      I’m 30/F and have just been told that I have ADHD-C by a psychiatrist who specialises in adult ADHD.

      I’m a bit confused about the diagnosis because I breezed through school with no effort and good grades and finished two bachelor degrees with distinction. I don’t really find it hard to pay attention especially when I’m learning (I love learning about everything). Even when I had a boring and frustrating assignment I completed it without procrastinating too much. I’m good at problem solving, complex reasoning and critical thinking. This is what really makes me question my diagnosis.

      I attended the consultation with the doctor as I’m feeling mentally exhausted a lot of the time, but my blood work is great and my Mum suggested him because he treats my sister who has ADHD-I and learning disorders. I went because even at 30 I do what my Mum says.

      Anyway I think it’s reasonable to suggest that I have some issues with executive function and some signs and symptoms consistent with ASD (but socially I’m still very good). I never really thought I fit in anywhere. I know I’m not “neurotypical” but do I really fit in here?

      If you have a weird or wonderful ADHD story or insight into mine I would love to read it. I’m struggling to get my head around this.

      TLDR – Questioning an ADHD-C diagnosis as I’m quite academic but also feeling mentally drained all the time.

      • This topic was modified 2 years, 11 months ago by Botany88.
    • #110040

      I’m also very good at the things you mentioned, but at some point those things became like an addiction. It was at about your age or a few years younger, that I couldn’t get enough of the work I was doing. I did computer support work. Analysing and solving problems on a wide variety of computer makes and models, for a number of different companies. I was always outperforming my peers, partly due to ego. But I was constantly taking my work home in my mind. After work I was still solving problems in my head that were unresolved during that day, or any day for that matter. I loved the slightly insane pace that I could operate my mind, it was addicting. At the same time, I was also exercising excessively just to make it worse. At some point I was getting the signs of a nervous breakdown. Eyelid twitching, feeling exhausted but not able to shut it down. Then I had cycles of crashing, recovering, crashing. I don’t remember how many times that went on. There’s more but that was the beginning of some serious problems.

    • #110046

      Having ADHD doesn’t do anything to your capacity/ability to think critically, perform complex mental tasks, or solve problems. It’s about your brain’s reward-handling circuitry – it doesn’t quite work right in ADHD people, and that is what drives the behavior and concentration issues. Stimulants more or less make the reward (dopamine) circuitry operate normally. I’m also very good at those things, but often can’t be bothered. Sometimes, though, I’ll get really into a thing and perhaps spend three days doing math to figure out how to properly map a remote control joystick to a robot’s weird steering system that the joystick isn’t really designed to control, and then learn enough C syntax to program the math into the remote control and sensors and stuff so I can drive the robot with the remote control. True story.

      It seems like you are one of the lucky ones in that you were able to develop good coping mechanisms and excel at your studies. Mine were maladaptive, and despite getting myself into a very good university, I barely got out. I always got “but you’re so smart! Why don’t you just apply yourself?” It was insidiously difficult to apply myself, for reasons I wouldn’t really understand until I got my diagnosis at 25 and learned what ADHD was really about.

      If you’re succeeding but feeling mentally exhausted, you’re probably compensating more than normal people, who’d be able to stay on top of things more easily. Don’t be afraid to try the meds – since you’ve already been doing so well without diagnosis or treatment, just think of how far you’ll go with it. 🙂

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