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.