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  1. #31
    Blah Orangey's Avatar
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    This is kind of unrelated to the OP, but can a person have adult ADHD if they had good grades and were generally well-behaved as a child?
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  2. #32
    Senior Member compulsiverambler's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Orangey View Post
    This is kind of unrelated to the OP, but can a person have adult ADHD if they had good grades and were generally well-behaved as a child?
    Yes. High intelligence and/or good support and hard work can compensate in the academic arena to the extent that grades can be quite good, just not as good or painlessly achieved as if the symptoms weren't getting in the way, especially in the younger years before demands for efficient productivity start coming too thick and fast. As for disruptive behaviour, if you look at the DSM-IV criteria, you'll notice that you don't have to have any symptoms of hyperactivity at all to get a valid diagnosis, because there are three subtypes, only two of which consist of hyperactivity. Plus in a few cases even where there is a natural inclination towards some level of hyperactivity, anxiety and depression, and personality factors and even physical ailments can suppress that to a large extent. Personally, I'm at my least fidgety and restless and fast-talking when anxious, and I was constantly anxious at school. Adrenaline slows me down. It's the other way round for most neurotypicals, so most people tend to misread my body language.

  3. #33
    Blah Orangey's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by compulsiverambler View Post
    Yes. High intelligence and/or good support and hard work can compensate in the academic arena to the extent that grades can be quite good, just not as good or painlessly achieved as if the symptoms weren't getting in the way, especially in the younger years before demands for efficient productivity start coming too thick and fast. Also, if you look at the DSM-IV criteria, you'll notice that you don't have to have any symptoms of hyperactivity at all to get a valid diagnosis, because there are three subtypes, only two of which consist of hyperactivity. Plus in a few cases even where there is a natural inclination towards some level of hyperactivity, anxiety and depression, and personality factors and even physical ailments can suppress that to a large extent. Personally, I'm at my least fidgety and restless and talkative when anxious, and I was constantly anxious at school. Adrenaline slows me down. It's the other way round for most neurotypicals, so most people tend to misread my body language.
    Thanks for the info. I've decided to see someone to either confirm or disconfirm adult ADHD (inattentive type), and in gathering material for my case, I went back through my childhood grades to see if there were any signs that I might possibly have been afflicted back in the day. Well, my elementary school grades were nearly perfect (except handwriting), and I don't remember ever having to put much effort into getting good grades or anything. But I faltered in middle school and early high school. I've heard that with girls of the inattentive type, their symptoms might not show up until early adolescence? I don't know...somehow I think my good track record in the 7-10 age range is going to be a big obstacle to diagnosis.
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  4. #34
    A Benign Tumor PoprocksAndCoke's Avatar
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    ^Me too. Straight A student who won all the academic competitions, up until middle school.
    "In order for the light to shine so brightly, the darkness must be present." -Francis Bacon

    "No matter how dark the moment, love and hope are always possible." -George Chakiris

  5. #35
    Senior Member compulsiverambler's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Orangey View Post
    Thanks for the info. I've decided to see someone to either confirm or disconfirm adult ADHD (inattentive type), and in gathering material for my case, I went back through my childhood grades to see if there were any signs that I might possibly have been afflicted back in the day. Well, my elementary school grades were nearly perfect (except handwriting), and I don't remember ever having to put much effort into getting good grades or anything. But I faltered in middle school and early high school. I've heard that with girls of the inattentive type, their symptoms might not show up until early adolescence? I don't know...somehow I think my good track record in the 7-10 age range is going to be a big obstacle to diagnosis.
    Don't just look at the grades. Other signs include be failing to listen properly even when motivated to, desperate to even, and being spoken to directly. Losing things frequently, being late frequently. Forgetting instructions too easily. Find out what all the signs and symptoms are. It could be something else, depression for example, absence seizures.

    You're right, at the moment the criteria include at least some symptoms being present before the age of 7. This might get changed when the new criteria are written up, as there's no evidence that the symptoms are different in any other way when starting later in life. ADHD brains (certain parts of them) develop at a slower rate and often don't ever finish completely, leaving the person with a few cognitive skills only as good as an adolescent's by adulthood, and it's not known exactly how that happens. The way I see it, there's no reason a brain couldn't develop at a normal rate until a certain age and then start slowing right down. By adulthood, that person would have the same problems as someone with a more classic case history. Hopefully, if it does turn out that you have, in effect, ADHD with a late onset, you can find a doctor who'll treat you the same as any other patient with the same current symptoms. Not sure where you're from but my understanding is in the USA that shouldn't be too hard.

  6. #36
    Blah Orangey's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by compulsiverambler View Post
    Don't just look at the grades. Other signs include be failing to listen properly even when motivated to, desperate to even, and being spoken to directly. Losing things frequently, being late frequently. Forgetting instructions too easily. Find out what all the signs and symptoms are. It could be something else, depression for example, absence seizures.

    You're right, at the moment the criteria include at least some symptoms being present before the age of 7. This might get changed when the new criteria are written up, as there's no evidence that the symptoms are different in any other way when starting later in life. ADHD brains (certain parts of them) develop at a slower rate and often don't ever finish completely, leaving the person with a few cognitive skills only as good as an adolescent's by adulthood, and it's not known exactly how that happens. The way I see it, there's no reason a brain couldn't develop at a normal rate until a certain age and then start slowing right down. By adulthood, that person would have the same problems as someone with a more classic case history. Hopefully, if it does turn out that you have, in effect, ADHD with a late onset, you can find a doctor who'll treat you the same as any other patient with the same current symptoms. Not sure where you're from but my understanding is in the USA that shouldn't be too hard.
    Well I don't really remember my childhood all that well, so what I thought or felt at the time is really all a mystery to me. Also, I didn't go to preschool or kidnergarten, so I don't have any sort of record for that age period (which would have been from 5-7).

    My parents say I was always well liked by the teachers and well-behaved. I was always pretty messy, though, and there was an incident in the 3rd grade that might be indicative of ADHD-like symptoms. We were taking a state aptitude test, and the teacher (apparently) had instructed us to only complete one section of the test during the given time period. Well, apparently I just didn't even realize that these instructions had been given, and I finished the entire thing in one sitting (hyperfocus?). The teacher took me aside afterwards and told me that it looked like I was going to get bad grades because I couldn't follow simple instructions. Anyway, I was worried and told my parents, and they went down to the school and blah blah blah. I was pulled out of that school a week later.

    And I was always sort of in la la land. I remember being yelled at by my parents a lot for "being careless" and "not caring enough to pay attention to what I'm doing" and "being disrespectful." Of course, one of the problems is that when I ask them about all of this now, they always deny it and insist that I was a perfect angel child. This won't be helpful to my diagnosis, either, I assume, because they need third-party confirmation, right?

    Anyway, thanks for all of the good info, compulsiverambler.
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  7. #37
    Senior Member compulsiverambler's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Orangey View Post
    Well I don't really remember my childhood all that well, so what I thought or felt at the time is really all a mystery to me. Also, I didn't go to preschool or kidnergarten, so I don't have any sort of record for that age period (which would have been from 5-7).

    My parents say I was always well liked by the teachers and well-behaved. I was always pretty messy, though, and there was an incident in the 3rd grade that might be indicative of ADHD-like symptoms. We were taking a state aptitude test, and the teacher (apparently) had instructed us to only complete one section of the test during the given time period. Well, apparently I just didn't even realize that these instructions had been given, and I finished the entire thing in one sitting (hyperfocus?). The teacher took me aside afterwards and told me that it looked like I was going to get bad grades because I couldn't follow simple instructions. Anyway, I was worried and told my parents, and they went down to the school and blah blah blah. I was pulled out of that school a week later.

    And I was always sort of in la la land. I remember being yelled at by my parents a lot for "being careless" and "not caring enough to pay attention to what I'm doing" and "being disrespectful." Of course, one of the problems is that when I ask them about all of this now, they always deny it and insist that I was a perfect angel child. This won't be helpful to my diagnosis, either, I assume, because they need third-party confirmation, right?

    Anyway, thanks for all of the good info, compulsiverambler.
    If that does happen, try looking for footage that demonstrates what you're remembering. The weird thing with me was, my mum and I were both sure that I hadn't been hyperactive as a child except for excessive fidgeting, but then we watched a video of us all and we noticed I ran at every opportunity instead of walking anywhere. Neither of us remember that, and we were surprised at the difference in activity levels between me and my normal younger sister, who was always naughtier and extroverted and should have been the bouncier one because she was five years younger. All I remembered clearly were the inattentive symptoms, because they always caused more upset. I was diagnosed with the primarily inattentive subtype because my hyperactive symptoms had never met the full official criteria, as I think they would have if I hadn't had such anxiety, but whatever, it's all treated the same ways. But anyway, yeah the point is people do seem to forget what they were like, so it's worth looking for any evidence you can think of.

    My teachers always told my parents I was an angel too. They never mentioned how much time I spent in the bathroom (as refuge) or how little I seemed able to get done per minute for no apparent reason or any of the other inattentive symptoms they'd moan at me for, because I was polite and obedient and with the kind of pupils I shared classrooms with, that tended to be their main concern. Don't let this stuff put you off getting checked out. Current symptoms count for a lot and there are neurocognitive tests as well that should help if they can't be sure at first. I had to have the tests because the picture was complicated as well.

  8. #38
    pathwise dependent FDG's Avatar
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    Yes, you should all get on amphetamines. That is surely going to be much healthier than some inattentivness.
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  9. #39
    Minister of Propagandhi ajblaise's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Orangey View Post
    This is kind of unrelated to the OP, but can a person have adult ADHD if they had good grades and were generally well-behaved as a child?
    People with high IQ and ADHD supposedly develop more coping methods to deal with it, so the ADHD can become more masked. That could be the case with you.

    You might find this interesting:

    INTELLIGENT BUT INATTENTIVE

    Yet another obstacle to diagnosis is that many individuals—particularly those with high intelligence—develop coping strategies that mask ADHD impairments; they may perform adequately in school as children but meet with difficulties during college and adulthood. Thomas E. Brown, PhD, assistant clinical professor of psychiatry at Yale University School of Medicine, noted that some adults seek evaluation and treatment for ADHD despite apparent career success—even completing law or medical degrees—because they feel they are not reaching their potential in their jobs and social relationships. These intelligent individuals, noted Dr. Brown, not only provide an opportunity to assess ways in which ADHD impairments interfere with cognitive functions but may shed light on the neuropsychologic nature of ADHD.

    Dr. Brown and Yale colleague Donald Quinlan, PhD, collected data on 103 adults with ADHD (ages 18 to 63) who scored 120 or above on the Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale-Revised, placing them in the top 9% of the population in terms of intelligence. Most of the patients were male (72%) and had predominantly inattentive or combined-type ADHD. Nearly all were high school graduates, while 56% had a bachelor's degree and 22% had a doctoral degree in medicine, law, or other fields. Yet 42% had dropped out of postsecondary education at least once; some had returned and dropped out multiple times because of difficulty meeting academic requirements. A similar proportion of subjects (41%) were significantly underemployed at evaluation, often in unskilled jobs.

    "Despite superior IQ, many subjects showed impairments on IQ subtests sensitive to attention and concentration problems relative to their high scores on other verbal subtests," Dr. Brown reported. For example, on a test of verbal memory (the Wechsler Memory Scale-Revised Logical Memory I), 77% of subjects scored below the 60th percentile and 23% scored below the 25th percentile.
    ADHD in Adults: Are the Current Diagnostic Criteria Adequate?

    Can I ask this though, what are you looking to get out of a formal diagnosis for this?

    I went to get a diagnosis before for the sole reason to get a cheaper and a more reliable source of adderall in college. I probably do technically have ADHD Inattentive though.

  10. #40
    Senior Member compulsiverambler's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by FDG View Post
    Yes, you should all get on amphetamines. That is surely going to be much healthier than some inattentivness.
    Live in my brain for a day and then tell me what's preferable. And frankly, the numerous statistics comparing the outcome of those given the drugs versus those not given the drugs speak for themselves about how healthy the two options are.

    You know the drugs used to treat ADHD are also used by some doctors to help brain injured patients recover, don't you? Not only do they alleviate the symptoms of post-concussive syndrome, which are the same symptoms ADHD patients have, but they think they help the damaged parts grow back more quickly. I don't think that's a coincidence. Especially as it's also been found that children given ADHD drugs are more likely to have their brain catch up to a normal stage of development by adulthood.

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