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Hey there, Wendy:

I just read your post, and I figured I'd try to provide some insight and (hopefully) a little pertinent advice.

I was recently diagnosed with ADD by my psychologist, with whom I've been meeting for the last several months, and a subsequent psychiatrist, who has prescribed meds to treat the symptoms. I'm 28 years old, and I can't explain the sense of relief I've experienced knowing that my personal "shortcomings", if you will, are textbook manifestations of ADD.

You described your educational successes as being atypical, which I believe is accurate. I, personally, struggled through college, despite the fact that I was very capable of producing the expected quality of work; it was my inability to focus on the scholastic tedium that posed the greatest obstacle. It's fortunate that you are able to achieve the goals to which you set your mind, such as your schooling, but it is obvious that you consider your inattentiveness and ease of distraction to be serious issues.

I am definitely not one to qualify your behavior as symptomatic of ADD, and if you believe that this is a possibility, then you must seek professional counseling and therapy in order to confirm or deny the disorder. A book (concerning ADD, called "You Mean I'm Not Lazy, Stupid or Crazy?!: A Self-Help Book for Adults With Attention Deficit Disorder")
was given to me by my therapist for my perusal stated that ADD is often misdiagnosed as depression. This is due to the fact that ADDers often have a deflated sense of self-esteem caused by their repeated failure to achieve that which they consider themselves capable. Does this sound familiar to your situation? I know exactly how it feels to be frustrated by the fact that you see yourself falling short of accomplishing goals which you KNOW you are within your capacity to attain... but for "some" reason or another you simply just don't get it done. You know WHAT and HOW to accomplish something, but rarely see it through its course, to its fruition. This is all a very good source of anxiety and depression for an ADDer.

If your family has a history of ADD, then there is absolutely no good reason not to look deeper into this issue. This is a neurological dysfunction, a physical phenomenon, and sometimes the apple don't fall too far from the tree in these matters.

I'd recommend picking up the book I mentioned above. It will help you realize in what ways, if any, your life is affected by ADD, and how to go about dealing with it. Talk to your family about their experience -- they are a great sounding board for you to relate to your own personal experience.

I hope this helps, if even just a little. As difficult as it may be to admit having a psychlogical disorder, it is, conversely, just as cathartic to realize how it affects your life and what steps you can take to manage it.

Good luck -- it can only get better from here!

-- Nacho

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