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Fair enough. I confess: I am an endorser of medications when medications are needed. Your shrink thinks an ADHD med is necessary. Her opinion put me in the "endorser" bucket.

I attempted to answer the title of your thread; "How do I know I have it?" A quick summary: If you experience your listed symptoms 24/7/365.24 and they were evident before your depression and anxiety, and as you think back, the ADHD symptoms existed for virtually as long as you can remember, the chances are good that "you have it."

I can remember having ADHD symptoms since first grade. ADHD *apparently* did not keep me from developing or functioning at the about the same rate as my peers of the same age until HS. My second year in HS is when all hell broke loose. I had no depression or anxiety problems until after my second year in HS.

My shrink felt confident ADHD was the root cause since it came first. He felt that my condition could not be better explained by any other disorder or influence. I did not want to take speed because I couldn't stop my meth-bout until I signed myself into rehab. Damn. Meth bite me good. I really didn't want to get mauled by same dog again. So I opted and paid for an ADHD eval, a battery of tests that span 2 days.

Eval results: I'm am and have been as ADHD as can be.

Were the 2 bills (co-pay) I blew on the ADHD eval a waste of money? NO. I needed more than the opinion of my shrink to know with certainty that ADHD is my problem. Nevertheless, I resisted the "speed" even after my eval. Near bankruptcy both financially and maritally caused my change of heart from resister to embracer of ADHD medication IN MY CASE. The damn speed that once bite me saved my life - certainly its quality and perhaps physically, literally too.

JB, are your symptoms, those you listed, significantly interfering with your ability to function in two or more important life roles such as your work, family, parenting, education, social, and community? The very fact that you are looking for a solution at least suggests "YES." But if not, say for example, you simply want to improve your organizational skills, buy a book or find a web to learn how.

And ...

Eat a balanced diet without any quick burning refined sugars and carbohydrates. Whole grain or no grain. Eat lots of that stuff that real food eats. Green veggies, or any color I guess. Carrots, collieflower, if grows in the ground, eat it. If walks around, eat that too, less high fat cuts. Eat everything that hasn't been processed or poisoned. Evidence recently emerged implicating pesticides as one of the causes of ADHD symptoms.

I eat a good healthy diet up until ~10PM. Then I eat about a megagram of Extreme Chocolate Mouse Track Ice Cream. I can't stop because when I do stop it does not make any difference. On the other hand, if I eat fast foods, I get punished fast and sure. Not surprisingly, I rarely eat fast foods and stay clear of processed food except after 10PM.

Get all the exercise you possibly can. It probably won't be enough unless you are a farmer.

I now work about as hard as a farmer and am experiencing good results.

You must have at least 8 hours of quality sleep most nights. The exercise I'm now getting is helping me to sleep well. I'll bet my improved sleep is the active ingredient.

Go to a heath store and monthly buy a hundred dollars worth of supplements especially fish oil. Does it help me? I'm not sure. It doesn't hurt excluding wallet damage.

In MY CASE, all of the above helpful alternatives don't help enough. I've walked the walk. It is not enough. I must take Adderall to function well enough in all of my important life roles.

I post here primarily for my own benefit. But I also feel an obligation to try to help others avoid the many years of anguish I've experienced, first because my ADHD went undiagnosed until age 53, and then my progress was slowed impart by the abundance of ADHD misinformation within the medical profession. The general public by and large hasn't a clue about the real nature of ADHD or how devastating it can be. They cause greater devastation with their BS labels they put on us.

So, JB, if your ADHD is mild or non-existant, you don't need any more medication. If your symptoms are screwing up your life, they'll continue to screw you up as long as you refuse ADHD medication. The logic is really simple. ADHD is a biological problem that can cause a neurotransmitter imbalance so severe that nothing short of a very powerful drug can kick the see-saw level. I'm accepting the risks in exchange for the benefit of having a quality life - finally. I see little difference than when I subjected myself to chemo therapy a few years back. I accepted the risks in exchange for a few more years of life. If it were not for Adderall, the chemo was a bad decision. There are things worse than death.


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