elleanon

My Forum Comments

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  • in reply to: I get frustrated with fake adhd #139759
    elleanon
    Participant

    I am in my thirties and just in the process of receiving a diagnosis. A lot of people wouldn’t believe that there is anything wrong with me because on the surface I look fine. When I was seeking a diagnosis, a friend told me that everyone has difficulty, but that I function, so what’s the issue? What they see is that I was able to complete two degrees, I can get to work on time (people don’t consider you as having a time management issue when you arrive inappropriately early) and I can function with a basic routine (but god help me if something throws me off). I have OK social skills in a serious environment and I appear to be a serious, articulate person.

    My problem is mild, but it also isn’t. What people don’t know is that it’s had an enormous impact on my life. I struggle socially because I can’t regulate the appropriateness of my behaviour and I can’t adapt to new situations readily. That is the reason why I am so serious and boring all the time. It’s the safest way to not say poorly considered or weird things, although people don’t like me either way. My self-esteem suffered and my anxiety and depression are a problem that leads me to be unmotivated and impulsive. I have been constantly been dismissed as being stupid, incompetent, lazy, uncaring, weird, even though I scored as high as the superior range in some of my cognitive functions. I could never understand why I performed OK academically (and much lower than I should have given my effort, interest, and facility with the subject), but how I couldn’t do basic things. Rejection and failure are a bitch for anyone.

    I chose my first degree because it was what I loved and wanted to study. I chose the second because I wasn’t able to do what I wanted with the first one; problems with executive function and attention limited what I could do. I drudge through a job that I never really wanted, just because I felt like I could at least do that. But now it turns out that I can’t do that job either. I was very underemployed for a long time and it looks like I might have to go back. People don’t understand when I say that I can’t do basic things or when I worry about my performance at work. It hurts to have a reasonably high level of intelligence and motivation but to be unable to realize our vision in the world. To be unable to exert ourselves and to see the result.

    All I am saying is not to be so quick to judge. You may have a serious case of ADHD that affected your academic performance, but others have a different or milder profile while still having a legitimate issue. And I guarantee you that there are things you can do that others with the same disorder cannot do. You don’t necessarily know what others are going through, nor what they have sacrificed just to appear to be functional. Everyone has a different profile, different demands and differing strategies for dealing with it.

    • This reply was modified 1 year, 9 months ago by elleanon.
    in reply to: Career in Medicine – Struggles with ADHD #139747
    elleanon
    Participant

    You know, I think maybe talking to other doctors would be the best thing for you. I am a social worker with the same profile of difficulties, and I can understand why it’s not possible to use the usual methods (ex: recording patients). Often you have to digest information in disorganized or distressed forms, sometimes chaotic conditions, and be able to do a quick analysis. The working memory issue almost creates a bottleneck that means you might leave out details in your analysis and only realize after. I know that there are doctors who suffer from ADHD and I think they would be the best people to make concrete suggestions in consideration of your actual demands.

    Hallowell Centers might be useful (Edward hallowell is a Child Psychiatrist with ADHD. I believe he still sees patients). Maybe a psychiatrist specializing in ADHD might be willing to give you some executive coaching. Reach out to your supervisor or chief resident who might be able to put you in touch with their friends who have ADHD. I think another MD with ADHD would be in the best position to coach you.

    The lawyer above has presented a really awesome strategy. I think a lot of patients would be happy to repeat a story to their doctor, as many complain that doctors don’t listen. No one could make that complaint about you!

    in reply to: Career in Medicine – Struggles with ADHD #139746
    elleanon
    Participant

    “I get people to tell me their story twice and I explain that I’m not going to take notes or ask any questions during the first round. During the second round I’m going to take notes, ask them to pause and also ask questions. This technique helps me and I also use it in my private life. ”

    This is great advice!

    in reply to: University problems – stuck! #139745
    elleanon
    Participant

    I don’t know if this will help at this point, but I would point out that a lot of has worked for you. You were admitted once, you do have very strong grades, you do have parents who are coaching you and supporting you through your education. Top 10% is excellent, regardless of whether it yields admission. Zoom out a bit and look at the big picture because I get the sense that you are hard on yourself for not fitting into a mold. But ADHD people don’t fit a mold and they may need to be strategic about getting what they want.

    21 is not too late to study medicine at all. In North America, candidates must complete a degree before they can apply to medical school, so people don’t go into medicine until they are 22 or older. I know people in Europe who completed Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees before applying to medical school. There’s a benefit there in terms of maturity and in terms of general knowledge about the world. You’ll know yourself much better and that will help make you a better doctor. As long as you are doing something that builds towards your goal, I think you’ll be ok.

    Studying a year of law isn’t a bad idea either. Doctors do have legal responsibilities, so you’ll definitely benefit from having a legal foundation to apply when you are actually a doctor. I think virtually any subject could be useful when you’re a doctor, particularly if you choose a subspeciality.

    Don’t give up. You sound like a highly intelligent person, with a barrier to overcome, but with an IQ like that, I am confident that you will.

    in reply to: Phone addiction affecting everything. Advice? #139744
    elleanon
    Participant

    I have this issue too. Smartphones are hard to break away from. I am still working on a fix. One thing that has helped is to log out of all my social media. This means that I have to a) remember all my f***ing passwords, b) prevents me from being able to refresh compulsively. Basically, it creates a barrier that gives you time to think and makes it harder for you to do it.

    Depending on when you use the phone, I suggest keeping it far away from you. I sometimes go on as soon as I get up, something that is so unhealthy. Try to keep the phone in another room where you’ll have to go get it.

    in reply to: Feeling like a failure and a hot mess… #139742
    elleanon
    Participant

    I am not an expert, but my understanding that anxiety disorders can produce ADD-like symptoms. The psychiatrist would have to evaluate you to properly distinguish what is affecting your cognition. The OCD makes me wonder if your compulsions or obsessions might be taking up a lot of mental space and either worsening your ADD symptoms or mimicing ADD symptoms. Similarly, stress from school could be worsening things too.

    I also wanted to be a psychologist and didn’t get diagnosed until years later, even though I suspected that I had an issue. I performed moderately well academically and even had some good references. I did extremely well on my GREs (96th percentile in Psychology subject exam), but I was inconsistent. My undergraduate thesis wasn’t great and my professor didn’t like me AT ALL. I worked in a lab where I made inattentive mistakes that affected the research results (MAJOR no no!). My social skills were weak, so I couldn’t reach out for mentorship or advice. I knew when I graduated that I couldn’t do a PhD, despite my strong scores in some areas making it possible for me to be admitted to a less competitive school, and I bowed out and drifted for much too long.

    My executive issues, in combination with adverse living conditions due to a parent’s mental illness, meant that I had a lot of bad living, social and emotional habits that I was also unlearning during these very formative years. All of it took too much from me. I really wish that I had taken time away to mature and resolve some of these issues, so that they weren’t all affecting me at once. I would have had less failure and heart break.

    My advice to you is to think about what you need to create the conditions for success. You are still young and you have possibilities ahead of you! If you need time, take a bit of time away from school. It will be easier to justify a semester or year off than to justify poor grades. Your junior and senior year grades will weigh very significantly in your applications to graduate school. Take time to talk to a psychologist and try to create a plan forward. You may need to do things a bit differently to achieve what you want, but I am confident that if you plan well, you will achieve it.

    Best of luck to you!

    in reply to: Feeling like a failure and a hot mess… #139743
    elleanon
    Participant

    I am not an expert, but my understanding that anxiety disorders can produce ADD-like symptoms. The psychiatrist would have to evaluate you to properly distinguish what is affecting your cognition. The OCD makes me wonder if your compulsions or obsessions might be taking up a lot of mental space and either worsening your ADD symptoms or mimicing ADD symptoms. Similarly, stress from school could be worsening things too.

    I also wanted to be a psychologist and didn’t get diagnosed until years later, even though I suspected that I had an issue. I performed moderately well academically and even had some good references. I did extremely well on my GREs (96th percentile in Psychology subject exam), but I was inconsistent. My undergraduate thesis wasn’t great and my professor didn’t like me AT ALL. I worked in a lab where I made inattentive mistakes that affected the research results (MAJOR no no!). My social skills were weak, so I couldn’t reach out for mentorship or advice. I knew when I graduated that I couldn’t do a PhD, despite my strong scores in some areas making it possible for me to be admitted to a less competitive school, and I bowed out and drifted for much too long.

    My executive issues, in combination with adverse living conditions due to a parent’s mental illness, meant that I had a lot of bad living, social and emotional habits that I was also unlearning during these very formative years. All of it took too much from me. I really wish that I had taken time away to mature and resolve some of these issues, so that they weren’t all affecting me at once. I would have had less failure and heart break.

    My advice to you is to think about what you need to create the conditions for success. You are still young and you have possibilities ahead of you! If you need time, take a bit of time away from school. It will be easier to justify a semester or year off than to justify poor grades. Your junior and senior year grades will weigh very significantly in your applications to graduate school. Take time to talk to a psychologist and try to create a plan forward. You may need to do things a bit differently to achieve what you want, but I am confident that if you plan well, you will achieve it.

    Best of luck to you!

Viewing 7 posts - 1 through 7 (of 7 total)