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Re: Unsure of ADD
Jul 20, 2009

You certainly suffer from attention problems. The question of whether these issues are caused by ADHD cannot be answered easily. ADHD is a condition that has to present itself in early childhood, it's not something that one develops later in life (excepting cases of brain injury). The symptoms of ADHD can also be caused by a number of other physical and emotional issues. For example, the effects of various sleep issues and depression can easily look like ADHD.

The simple fact that you've managed to gain entry to the IB program tells me that your attention problems are likely new, or that you've done exceptionally well at coping with these issues. Don't get me wrong, achieving at a high level does not, in itself, rule out ADHD, as many ADHD children and adults do manage to do very well for themselves, but it's important to define whether this problem has been ongoing for the long term, or if it's something relatively new. Look also for changes in routine, especially regarding exercise and sleep patterns, and note any physical or emotional ailments you may have suffered.

Finally, see a doctor. At the end of the day, self examination, no matter how detailed, cannot result in a diagnosis of ADHD. Whether it be a mental health professional or simply your family doctor, diagnosing your attention problems must be done by a professional. That said, don't resign yourself to their care and stop thinking for yourself. Educate yourself about ADHD and the various other issues that may be present. Challenge your doctor on diagnoses that don't make sense, given your symptoms. Expect that your doctor explain [I]how[/I] you fit the diagnosis provided. Make sure that you're satisfied with the answers you're given, and be active in determining your treatment; it's your quality of life that is at stake, not theirs, so make use of their expertise and make your own decisions.

Best of luck.

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