Possible inattentive ADHD symptoms

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    • #73797


      I’m looking for some help and advice. I have not been diagnosed with ADHD, but after researching the causes of poor concentration and procrastination online, I came across an article about inattentive ADHD in women which resonated with me.

      I work from home, and I usually don’t buckle down to any effective work until late afternoon. The morning just disappears – I couldn’t tell you what I do with this time! I’m checking articles, getting up and down to deal with trivial things in the flat, making cups of tea or coffee – I don’t know! It’s like time passes differently for me in the morning. Then, at around 4pm, I start to concentrate more easily, and at around 8pm, I feel like my brain is clearing and sharpening, and I find that I work best at this time, sometimes until 1 or 2 in the morning.

      Do any others with ADHD find that they get a concentration boost late at night?

      I also find it stressful to switch between tasks. I usually have two or three projects lined up, but I work on them one at a time (they take about a week each), and I can’t focus on anything else until my current project is ticked off my list. This even extends to replying to emails and doing admin. Parcels wait to go to the post office for weeks. I’ll know we need an ingredient for dinner but I can’t bring myself to pop out to the shop and buy it (and we live in the city on a main street with shops and a post office!). I just can’t switch back and forth at all.

      I really rely on the stress of deadlines to get anything done. My work is usually handed in a day after the deadline, or on the day itself (if I’m lucky). This is getting worse.

      I was a smart child (e.g. I had a reading age of sixteen when I was eight), so I don’t know if this meant symptoms went unnoticed, or if I just didn’t have to learn proper focus and concentration because schoolwork was quite easy for me? I did have, as a child, an obsession with even numbers and symmetry. I gave myself blisters from sharpening all my colouring pencils down to the same length. My mum was also called into school because I kept missing break time as I was trying to get my shoelaces the same length before tying them.

      At school and university, I did a lot of work and studying at night. I hated lectures and felt that I didn’t learn anything from them, preferring to study and learn in my own time, usually by writing things down. I don’t absorb information through listening. I work from home now, which possibly doesn’t help, but when I worked in an office I rarely got any work done before lunchtime. My boss never noticed!

      I don’t know if these things are because a) I have inattentive ADHD which I have always managed to work around, or b) I have never had to seriously learn the skills of concentration and focus. I am educated to postgraduate level and I have a reasonably successful career as a freelance editor in the publishing industry. In the past year, I have been taking on new responsibilities and working towards greater ambitions, and I feel that perhaps I’ve hit a ‘tipping point’ where my problems – whatever they are – have become obvious. I feel like I am massively underachieving, and it’s starting to affect my self-esteem.

      On the other hand, no teachers ever raised concerns about my concentration at school, and neither did my parents. I enjoy reading, which takes focus. If I am working on my creative writing, I can concentrate on it for longer. I can be a little messy, but I’d say a ‘normal’ amount. My home is pretty well organised. I don’t lose my keys and I keep on top of laundry. I don’t tend to lose things. I don’t tend to forget appointments either.

      Does any of this sound like inattentive ADHD? I have spoken to my GP and she is willing to refer me for testing, but I don’t know what to do. I don’t want to waste anybody’s time.

      If you’ve finished this long post, then thank you!

    • #73823

      GP wanted testing for me as an adult, but it is way different than a child being tested. The test would probably show symptoms, but adaptive behavior will show though and may not make your results strong enough to win the argument.

      • This reply was modified 4 years ago by TexAma.
    • #73879
      Penny Williams

      You won’t know unless you are evaluated. It does sound like you may have at least some symptoms of ADHD.

      Those with ADHD can focus and concentrate, when they’re interested or feel urgency, but not when something is important. If you do have ADHD, that explains how you’ve been able to focus on some things and not others.

      Secrets of Your ADHD Brain

      ADDitude Community Moderator, Author & Mentor on Parenting ADHD, Mom to teen w/ ADHD, LDs, and autism

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