Do I actually have ADHD?


Hello dear inattentives, hyperactives, chaotics, dreamers, all-over-the-placers!
Glad to be here, it seems like such a friendly forum. First of all, excuse my english, it’s not my mother tongue :yum:

I’m slow, I’m a huge procrastinater, I often stare blankly into space, I’m often lethargic, confused and most of the time my life takes place in my mind. It’s as if I had a really bad connection to the outer world and it was like that ever since I was a kid. As I had a lot of struggles with my psyche in the past I thought: yeah, how convenient would it be if many of my problems had a name? That’s why I decided to let myself get diagnosed. And well it seems that I do have ADHD, inattentive, for sure. SEEMS, as my doc emphasized that the tests are never 100% reliable.

After several hours of relieve (yay! I’m not lazy, dumb, … I have ADHD!) my brain began to question the whole diagnosis. I mostly had good grades in school and sometimes I’m good at concentrating. My thoughts don’t jump that wildly. Maybe… the ADHD symptoms are due to anxiety from childhood on? Or my parents never taught me to deal with life? I also stumbled upon the not so nice term ‘sluggish cognitive tempo’ (SCT). Yeah well that’s like 100% me. But is that ADHD? It seems like little is known about SCT and I’m so confused.
I really hoped that after the diagnosis I could just relax but I’m overthinking more than before. :exploding_head:

I’m on methylphenidat since a week now but besides kinda feeling high and some anxiety and rebound I can’t tell any difference in my concentration. Did anyone experienced similar doubts?



At first you should write it down when or how the meds are working and any side affects… i would think… i am not Doctor. But I believe by what i have read from others meds may have to be adjusted until it feels right…



Do you have it? Ask a doctor. If a doctors says that you do, then, are your symptoms going to be the same as everyone else’s? Absolutely not! ADHD presents in a wide variety of ways, and our own wide array of coping mechanisms and intelligent solutions to life’s problem-solving challenges mean that every one of us experiences and displays it differently.



Honestly, I was going to quote the parts of your text which related to my own experience with ADHD. But as I started to collate and perform triage on each part to see which was more relevant to my thought process, I realised that pretty much the whole thing is.

There is very little in what you wrote that I can’t relate to.

So in summary…




Thanks so much! It’s so good to see that there others who feel similar :blush:
My next appointment is in several weeks, so I have to cope with my doubts alone till then. Thats really exhausting, my thoughts drive me crazy at times.
How did it all go down for you? Are you certain now that you do have ADHD or are the doubts still prominent?

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You’re not alone at all. There are millions who are like you. Many of them are right here. Bash out your thoughts in these forums any time you like.

I found out about ADHD last year, before that there was no doubt at all. I didn’t have it.

I hadn’t heard much about it, and what I had heard was all guff, and related to hyperactivity.

I present as more the inattentive type. So it never really occurred to me that I might have ADHD (a few moments maybe, when I joked that I might be a little hyperactive, mostly when I was enthusiastic about something).

When I finally came across an online test, and ticked all the boxes, I knew I had it. But I guess part of my brain didn’t want to accept it, even though I felt relieved that I had some answers finally.

I went two or three days completely ignoring it. I just carried on as normal, gave my brain a bit of time to adjust in the background. Then I hyperfocussed all over it. That’s when I found Jessica’s TEDx talk, and it really hit home. Shortly afterwards I found this forum.

I guess I don’t really have any doubt that I have ADHD, but I suspect that I have some other beasties rattling my cage as well. So my doubts are more that I haven’t been able to draw a solid line around my own definition just yet. And doubts about a course of treatment which will work for me. Also doubts about my ability to improve my life.

I’ve never heard of SCT, but what you described was my life for a long time. Some parts of it have improved over time, but many parts of my ADHD are quite subtle, like a gorilla hiding behind the curtains, and definitely still with me, although I have learned to manage some of the symptoms (in some cases, my amazing strategy is just to ignore them and pretend they don’t exist, but that only works sometimes).

I was also good at school, and could concentrate well. Until I barely graduated high school, and until I couldn’t concentrate.

There are times when I can concentrate so hard on something that nothing else matters. Hyperfocus. It’s symptom of ADHD.

While many people who don’t have ADHD show some of the symptoms some of the time, people with ADHD don’t have all of the symptoms all of the time. There are times when I’ve performed normally, on top of my game.

But unfortunately, I can’t repeat that high performance at will. I’m at the mercy of the chemical soup in my brain, and some days it’s just cold and soggy.

I’d go with what the doctor diagnosed. Stick with the ADHD. To me, it sounds like you have it. There may be some other hitchhikers as well (ADHD attracts other conditions, what they call ‘comorbidity’).

For example depression and anxiety are common, as is OCD and autism spectrum disorder. There are a bunch of TLAs (Three Letter Acronyms) which can cling onto ADHD.

On the one hand you say that your thoughts don’t jump that wildly, but on the other hand you say that you stare off into space sometimes. What do you think about when you stare off into space? Is it like surfing the web, where you start off thinking about one thing, then just ride the wave to wherever it goes? Sounds like ADHD to me.

We are conditioned to think (to want to think) that we are ‘normal’. For one thing, there is no normal. For another, it just masks the things that we don’t want others to notice about us, and it makes us angry or frustrated when we get ‘found out’ as being different.

That’s probably pretty normal for ADHD. Whatever is happening in your conscious mind, there will be much more happening behind closed doors. Just keep riding the wave. You’ll probably have some highs and lows.

I didn’t get much out of dexamphetamines as far as increased concentration goes. Hard to say. But often, people will try one medication then try another until the right one works. Sometimes, nothing will work.

I’ve heard people describe it as like putting on glasses for the first time and being able to see clearly. That didn’t happen for me. That’s probably what I meant when I said I have doubts.

But at least now you have some answers. Go with ADHD unless something better comes along, but it sounds to me like that’s what you have.



I can relate to everything you wrote. I lived all my life thinking that this is normal, everyone is like that, they just manage themself better, I’m not trying hard enough, Stupid, lazy, irresponsible. I made my peace with that.
And then one day I googled: abseninded; hoping to find some tips on how to be better, but what I found was adhd. I was so happy, I hoped that I have it, such a relief, excuse for all my failures! Yay!
But then doctors were telling me I don’t have it, everyone around were telling: yeah I am like that too, oh no you don’t have it, everyone has adhd, you are normal, just try harder. I wanted to proof they are wrong, I’m not lazy, irresponsible or stupid. And I found the doctor, and got diagnosed. Did I felt the relief I was craving? Oh no! I feel so much more confused, anxious and lost. It’s like I opened freaking pandora box of my mind. My mind is blown by all this maybe,what if, how come, why and many more…
My husband keep telling me you are thinking too much, you need to relax, this doctors are not helping you only getting worse, you are making it up. His solution is alcohol. And I honestly tried, but alcohol doesn’t relax me, it makes me feel like I’m loosing control makes me more paranoid and makes my bad emotional self control even worse. Plus after drinking 2 drinks every evening for 3 days in the raw, my liver started to hurt. Maybe it psychosomatic, or I have week leaver whatever, I can’t. And I can’t start medication until I’m sure, and I’m very far from certainty. I should be doing a research or something, but even reading and writing on this forum is exhausting and overwhelming. Let alone the research.
I got so well I’m not being me, that I forgot who am I. I learned so well to suppress every little emotion and thought that now I do it automatically, and I can not stop.



Glad to hear you got diagnosed, @nancyn! But sorry to hear a lot of people (including your husband) aren’t taking it seriously…:cold_sweat::cold_sweat: Hope things work out for you, and that you’ll one day be able to get the treatment you need, whether it’s medicine or therapy…:heart: Good luck, hope you won’t feel too exhausted from us and stop coming to the forum…:sweat_smile:



Welcome to the tribe and let me say… I absolutely feel that doubt! That doubt, especially coming from your loved ones… sucks.

For me it loops back on this thing that is deeply frustrating, I can’t trust myself. If I can’t trust that I remembered to feed the dog or tell my wife that important thing, why should I trust that I am remembering the symptoms of adhd? Especially if others doubt it?

Here’s what I tell myself: do the adhd interventions help? For me meds were a mixed bag but meditation, time boxing bullet journaling and diet improvents have led to big positive changes. And by seeing myself as someone who has adhd it LETS ME FORGIVE MYSELF. That change has been huge because it’s helped reduce anxiety which helps The quality of life and procrastination.

So yea I’ll still doubt it, but I try not to care about the doubts



Zdrastvuitye Nancyn, ochen priatna. Voy gavaritye po Angliski ochen kharasho! (Izvinitye, ya gavaru po Russki tolka nyi minoga). :smile:



Hellooooo :slight_smile:

I was also diagnosed with adhd and have the thing we call sct but sct is actually something similar to adhd so it can be misunderstood but the symptoms you have that seem like sct are caused by adhd :herb:
So in general they are not the same but similar to each other and we can understand this when sct is showing itself with non-adhd brains.
They also have attention problems but their causes and life challenges are not the same as ours.
We have similar symptoms because of our executive function, emotional dysregulation, working memory and self-regulation problems :dizzy:

Happy to have you here and hope I could help :snowman_with_snow:
See you around :raising_hand_woman:t2:

I couldn’t read all of the replays because of my busy schedule so if there is an answer to your question, I am sorry to bother you all :sweat_smile:
I wish all of you a week full of hope and courage :star2:

Never give up on your life :space_invader:

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I really relate to your post. I haven’t been diagnosed but I have been looking for a reason for my problems for a long time. I identified with a lot of things about adhd, like the messiness, disorganisation, getting lost, forgetfulness, but like you I am on the slow side. No one would ever accuse me of being hyperactive! I dont often have thoughts whirling in my brain. Then I found this book about inattentive adhd which is much more like me. However I see thinking has moved on since this book was written and now many believe all the subtypes are more like different aspects of how adhd people behave in certain situations and it changes with age. SCT is now seen as a separate condition, although you can have both it and adhd. But SCT sounds more serious than what I have. I am only a little slow compared to average and I can be fairly quick if I try hard. So now I am questioning again! But having said that I do see how I have a lot of adhd problems in a more quieter style as it were. I do get bored by things for example but I tend to drift off into a daydream. I am much more on the anxious side and hardly ever get angry. I do lack impulse control but its most internal like struggling with my overeating. Or I get very upset with myself but don’t really show it. Transitions are hard for me I will get stuck on one thing and obsess over it. Im often late as I want to finish something.
Anyway do take a look at the book I mentioned, but remember science is moving on from there. But after all the subtypes are still there right now and this is so much like my experiences that I think there is something valid about it, even if it is not 100% correct.

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Good post, InattentivePenguin! Thanks for the pointer to the book and to the various ways ADHD can present itself. And, welcome to these forums. Keep searching, I think, is something all of us would suggest to all of us! I know that my presentations aren’t purely typical of the standardized ADHD behavior; nevertheless, knowing of the diagnosis, and working FROM that, has been very helpful for me in the long run. Whether or not I 100% agree with my diagnosis, or whether or not I intend to abandon modify adjust augment or change it in my ongoing quest, still, I certainly wish I’d gotten it earlier in my life than at 43 years old!