Confused!

Hello, I’m Josh, I’m 23 years old and I think I have ADHD but I really can’t tell and don’t want to waste a doctors time if I don’t.
I’ve known since I was a kid that I don’t fit in and I have done a ton of research and ADHD seems like the reason to me. I identify with so many of the symptoms I see and they effect my life in many ways and many settings.
The reason I am so unsure is for 2 reasons:

  1. I have spent my whole life without a diagnosis and so have spent over 10 years working out ways to manage my “symptoms” to a point where I can manage most days quite well - but a lot of the time I feel like I am masking constantly and it is exhausting
  2. I tend to have 2 settings only: super hyper, or completely tired to the point where I can do nothing, but I don’t understand how I can be tired all the time if I have ADHD. And sometimes when I am that level of tired, I also somehow feel super hyper at the same time like my body is vibrating and wants to do things but can’t, which then makes me really agitated. I also find that while caffeine can make me v v v v v v hyper, sometimes I just flat out need it to function.

If anyone could please help, I feel so lost.

3 Likes

Hi Josh (great name btw . . . per my adult son).

Welcome!

I’m sure the doctor will not mind!

I did until I was in my mid-50’s. Always better to know!

Erratic behavior, fluctuating performance from day-to-day / hour-to-hour (even with the same task) is typical for an ADHD person!

“Masking”? Perhaps not exactly what you mean, but in college and graduate school I felt like a “fraud” . . . I wasn’t really that smart . . . even with diploma(s) in hand I wondered why I wasn’t “discovered”!

Yep!

You’ve come to the right place . . . Not the only one . . . But, imho one of the best!!

If you haven’t already, watch some of Jessica’s videos here . . .

(btw: My son, 43 was diagnosed at age 4 . . . took me a bit longer! But the apple did not fall far from the tree . . .)!

Hope you stick around with us :brain::brain::brain::brain::brain:

3 Likes

I very strongly agree with this but it also scares me. I would rather know whether or not I have it, but then if I am undiagnosed that means it is probably something else and I will have to start from scratch all over again.

Yeah, that probably wasn’t the right word😅. What I meant was that while I can get on with my day to day life, it can be so hard to control what my body wants to do and is not doing and trying not to do, I feel like I am just spending my time pretending to be someone else and it really exhausts me and can be mentally and physically painful/frustrating trying to fight off what my body and brain naturally want to do - but if I don’t I feel like everyone will get annoyed with me and hate me.
That probably made even less sense😅.

Thank you so much for replying and for your kind words, it really means a lot!
I have watched some of her videos already and intend on finding plenty more to watch😊.

1 Like

Certainly, you will eventually decide what you are going to do to unravel the mystery.

If I may, some notes about my son. Like I said, he was diagnosed quite early. He was having all sorts of problems in nursery school [running around the room, etc.]. His motor coordination, along with a whole host of other things, was difficult / delayed. He beat himself up for not being able to ride a bike at the age of five when his next-door neighbor was doing that at three. Before he was evaluated and diagnosed he frequently called himself “stupid“! Once we knew, and explained it to him . . . using simple terms . . . He stopped calling himself “stupid” . . . saying “I can’t” or “It’s hard for me because I have” [and here I forget the exact word(s) he used], whether that was about riding a bike or some other “age appropriate task”!

It took him 3 schools and 7 years to graduate college . . . and the self-labeled “STUPID” kid had a cumulative average of 3.7 (out of 4). He is an electrical engineer.

So I will stop bragging here about my son and just encourage you to keep searching, thinking, obsessing [believe me “I know”!] to fully learn about yourself and put that knowledge to good use!

Barry

:sunglasses:

4 Likes

I think that if you’re wondering and you’ve been looking into it, it’s worth taking the time to talk with someone about it and see if the diagnosis fits.

To your points:

  1. I was diagnosed as an adult and spent my life functioning the best I could with skills that I developed over time like forming structure and routines, finding ways to calm my mind, doodling during meetings, finding jobs that were exciting or required movement, etc. I doubted the ADHD diagnosis because I had been able to “function” for so long. That being said, it was a exhausting to hold it all together. Looking back I realize how much of a struggle it was, and how even with my best efforts I still fell short in things like academics, work performance, relationships, and even life responsibilities (i.e. health, finances, etc.). I think that we learn so many skills to cope with our ADHD that we can often not imagine having it. But, we may, and it’s worth looking into.

  2. I would and still do get tired a lot with ADHD. And there are times of hyperfocus or increased energy too. Not everyone fits the stereotype of the hyperactive whirlwind who’s constantly distracted. Everyone’s ADHD is a little bit different. I found that I would often get tired after a lot of mental effort, or when I was having to interact a lot socially, or even when I would have caffeine. Looking back I got most excited and energetic at times where I didn’t get sleep, there was a new project or a new challenge, or there was something else that was novel and stimulating for my dopamine. I think that there are ups and downs to everyone’s process, and again it’s worth checking out.

If you haven’t done one of the screeners for ADHD yet, you may want to try one. You can do the Adult Self-Report Rating Scale here: Adult Self-Report Screening Scale

Whatever you decide to do, good luck and welcome!

4 Likes

People are so supportive on here, I love it already. Any time I mention it to someone I know I either get: "No you don’t, you don’t have symptom or do symptom, or the classic, “ADHD isn’t real”…

  1. That is so reassuring to hear that because it makes my worries feel so much more valid knowing that other people have gone through the same thing.
    I’m sorry that you had to suffer for so long though, I’m glad you’re now getting what you want and what you need.

  2. I had seen that tiredness can be a big side of it when researching ADHD but I never know what to trust online and what is jibber jabber. It’s good to hear it from someone who actually experiences it, and to hear that it is different for everyone, because that is something that really makes me question it.

I had not. I had done an online quiz thing, but I don’t think it was a very accurate one. Thank you for sending me this, I just filled it out and while I didn’t mark ‘very often’ for many answers, almost all of my answers were in the dark grey areas.

3 Likes

Yeah these forms are great for this reason however i still have my irl friends/classmates that bring me down more than I can be picked up.

1 Like