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Welcome to a group of people that understand your pain.

I'm going to do my best not to make my response too long, because I tend to do that, but if I do go long, try to bear with me.

I'm not a doctor, let alone a psychiatrist, but it seems to me the likelyhood is high that you suffer from the inattentive subset of ADHD. Allow me to address some of your symptoms and then some of your concerns and we'll see if we can make you feel a little better.

As a sufferer of the inattentive subset of ADHD, I tend to [i][B]daydream constantly[/B][/i]. I find myself many times daydreaming in the middle of conversations with other people, thereby missing the gist of the conversation and having to fake my way through by pretending I heard what was said. I often find myself daydreaming while I read, sometimes getting through multiple pages before I realize that my mind was elsewhere and that I have no memory of what I had just read. I find myself daydreaming when I'm listening to music, realizing that my mind was elsewhere and I've missed my favorite part of my favorite song. I daydream at work, which is why I take 10 minutes of break during my shift, while all the other guys take a full hour, so I have time to do the same amount of work everyone else does.

I get bored [i][B]very easily[/B][/i]. I often have to take breaks when reading, writing, watching dvds, playing games.

I am [i][B]not hyperactive[/B][/i] at least not in the classic sense. I do move around in my seat a lot and murder my poor fingers/fingernails by constantly biting or picking at them, but I've never had trouble sitting all day playing games or watching movies (just having to switch from one to the other a lot because holding my attention can be somewhat tricky). I honestly wish I [i][B]was[/B][/i] hyperactive, as if I were, I may not have the weight problems I have today.

I do suffer from depression from time to time, not because I have a depressive disorder, but because my life sucks so hard as a result of my ADD. When I'm depressed, I do [i][B]use food to stabilize my mood[/B][/i]. It's a form of self medication. Food releases endorphins and other neurotransmitters that make you feel better. As my life gets worse due to my ADD issues, my depression deepens and I sometimes [i][B]have trouble getting motivated to leave the house[/B][/i].

As mentioned above, I do have weight problems, and have had from a very early age. You'll find that many inattentive (not hyperactive) ADD sufferers do have weight problems because we have poor impulse control, leading to very poor dietary habits, complicated by lack of activity, and we learn to self medicate with food, which leads to weight gain and depression, which leads to more eating to make ourselves feel better, which leads to more weight gain and more depression, etc, etc, etc.

In the early years of school, I was [i][B]smart enough to compensate for my lack of attention[/B][/i]. Many ADDers are exceptionally intelligent, and do well in their early school years despite their inattentive problems. Don't let the fact that you were a B student convince you that you weren't showing symptoms, it's precisely the fact that inattentive ADDers are so smart and are not hyperactive that makes them so hard to diagnose. For myself, I honestly didn't really start to struggle in school until High School, and didn't truly fail until University. Decent grades do not mean absence of ADD.

To answer your question, though, ADD is always present in childhood. If you can honestly say that you did not suffer from ADD symptoms by the time you were 7 or 8 years old, you do not have ADD.

Yes, depression and anxiety and a number of other mental health issues can cause attention problems, and should be explored. That said, if traditional antidepressants aren't working for you, it may be appropriate to treat depression with the same stimulants used for treatment of ADD. Talk to your doctor about that, you may find common ground. Adderall will not kill you. It is a stimulant, like most ADD medication, and as such there is risk of addiction and abuse, especially by people with sloppy impuse control (like people with ADD), but if you're careful and perhaps have someone, whether it be your doctor or a significant other monitor your use, the risks associated with Adderall or Ritalin or Dexedrine or any of the others is very low.

Unfortunately, the only way to get treatment is to put your trust in the medical establishment and hold your breath. [i][B]Educate yourself[/B][/i] about ADHD and the various other conditions that you suspect or have been told that you have, and think critically about your symptoms. Demand that your doctors/psychs be able to explain to you [i][B]why[/B][/i] they feel you have a particular disorder, and make sure that you're satisfied with their answers before you begin any course of treatment.

Continue to use this board as a resource. You may find that responses are sometimes slow in coming, but we are all ADD, so cut us a little slack and don't get the feeling that we're not interested. :)





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