Do I have ADHD

My daughter was recently diagnosed with inattentive ADHD a few months ago. She was performing very poorly at school and I ruled out ADHD as I didn’t realize there was an inattentive type. When I looked online at the 9 signs of inattentive ADHD I could see that my daughter strongly exhibited all of the 9 signs.

I went through the process of taking my daughter to see a paediatrician, having a series of questionnaires to be completed by myself, my wife and my daughters teachers at school. The questionnaire results showed a strong theme of inattention, distractibility along with poor academic performance particularly incompletion of school assignments.

The paediatrician had determined with these results that she was borderline inattentive ADHD. Being a frustrated parent I said that I would like to get her to try the medication to see if there is any improvement in her symptoms. The paediatrician accepted my request and put her on 15mg Vyvanse.

Prior to my daughter starting the medication I decided to do quite a bit of research and become a little concerned about some of the horror stories regarding the side effects of these meds. I decided that before giving the meds to her that I would trial a 30mg dose of Vyvanse myself to see what she may experience.

Upon taking the med I could not believe how motivated I felt to get things done. I felt the way that I have wanted to feel for most of my life. I have spent countless money on stimulants and nootropics over the last 20 years in an attempt to improve both my motivation and focus to achieve better outcomes at work and chores around the house. Nothing I have tried even comes close to achieving the benefits of vyvanse.

I then started to think that maybe I also have inattentive ADHD and went through the online 9 symptoms of inattentive ADHD in relation to myself. I can see that I have all of the 9 symptoms of ADHD but to a much lesser degree than my daughter. I have been able to successfully complete a double degree at university, hold down a senior managerial job for the last 20 years.

Some of my ADHD traits are:

  1. Lack of motivation to get much done.
  2. Distracted by any noise in my environment.
  3. Hyperfocus (obsess) over certain ideas that I later look back on as being ridiculous.
  4. Have trouble watching new movies as I find it difficult to understand what is happening so I tend to watch movies that I have seen before so I know what is happening.
  5. Poor short and long term memory. If you ask me to repeat a sentence I would be able to repeat a sentence of no longer than 6 words.

I also have a physical disability that gets worse with age. I am now 45 but expect that I will need a walking frame by the age of 50. My current job is a manufacturing manager and requires me to be able to walk around machinery which is becoming increasingly challenging as my condition get worse. I have already fallen over at work a number of times luckily without no major injuries.

Should I talk to my daughter’s paediatrician about an ADHD diagnosis given my situation. I don’t think that I would bother if I didn’t have my physical disability as I don’t think that my ADHD symptoms are bad enough to warrant medication however I think that my brain needs to be functioning better going forward in order for me to be able to offer more value to my existing employer or any future employer given I cannot perform my role physically as well as an able body person could.

A change in career is an obvious option however I am unlikely to get anywhere near the salary that I currently am on given that I am in a specialized role and any change in career would be limited to a job that does not require much walking.

Since taking the intial 30mg dose of Vyvanse I have tried another 6 doses of Vyvanse at 30mg on each occasion and found that the result is the same. I become a highly driven individual where I am much better at work, able to complete more household chores and am a better parent. It is a game changer and would give me a more fulfilling life. No longer would people see me as being lazy. I see no negative side effects.

By the way my daughter has been on the med for a few months with amazing results. The transformation in her schooling is unbelievable. Before she was going to drop out of school at age 15 and now the possibility of going to university is a reality.

What would you do?

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I personally would not experiment with medication without first speaking to a doctor and having that medication prescribed for me. This for both sound medical guidance and to ensure that I do not run afoul of the law. Depending upon the laws that you are subject to you could run into a problem. Vyvanse is a Schedule II “Controlled Substance”.

A true story: I know of someone who is taking a prescribed anti-anxiety medication which, given its chemical formula, What is a controlled substance. This person took an overdose in a suicide attempt. The police arrived at this person‘s home along with an ambulance. The police inquired as to what substance this individual took. Without thinking, and have no reason to be knowingly concerned, the information was provided. The next day while this person was in the hospital a police officer called saying that they were coming to the hospital to present formal charges to this patient. The law on the books contained the legal provision to charge a person with a felony if they took a prescribed medication in excess of the Doctor’s official instructions (as would of course be printed on the bottle). It turned out that the judge who reviewed the situation was a stickler for detail and insisted that that provision be enforced. After this person was discharged from the hospital she had to appear in court; she had legal representation; charges were imposed to be removed from the record if there were no further legal troubles.

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A couple of typos before . . . Oh well . . .

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I agree with @Brooklyn. You should never be taking prescribed medications without professional advisory. It’s an all around bad idea, and you could get a lot of trouble. Stimulations are controlled substances for a reason, as there’s been massive issue of people abusing it as a “work drug” and whatnot. Everyone who takes these type of medication reports being more focused or motivated.
To be clear, you’re not being accused of anything. I just wanted you make sure that the info reached you :slightly_smiling_face:
That being said, pursing a diagnosis is a good idea. It isn’t uncommon for parents to get diagnosed right after their kids do and a doctor may have access to helpful resources you wouldn’t know about otherwise. I would take some time to reflect first.
Here’s what I asked myself:

  • why am I doing this?
  • what do I know?
  • what am I expecting to get out of this?
  • what areas in life are effected by my ADHD/ what accommodations do I need?

Hope this is helpful, and good luck with everything!

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You are right. I was a little naughty and won’t be taking any more of this med. The process for diagnosing ADHD seems to be a little vague. If it was more clear cut then I would be more comfortable being prescribed medication should a medical professional see fit.

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My diagnosis came from a similar story to yours. I am a little younger than you and my son was diagnosed a couple of years back. When we met with her she suggested that myself and wife look into seeing if we had ADHD because it’s reasonably hereditary. This is when my wife looked at me and simply said that it was me. She had been doing a heap of reading on ADHD and could see many of the symptoms in me.

So my advice is go and find a good psychiatrist/psychologist that is a specialist in Adult ADHD avoid generalist doctors because unfortunately there are plenty that have no idea about ADHD in adults and many that have outdated views and education on the matter. And work through the diagnostic process. This can take time and money.

There are not really any tests that can diagnose ADHD. It’s a clinical diagnosis so the process needs to be followed.

And like everyone above has said stop taking the medication. It is reasonably high risk in older people. Cardiovascular risk and blood pressure need to be checked and monitored. Plus they need to rule out any other problems that could be causing the symptoms. During my diagnosis I have had 5 ECG’s a stress echocardiogram, and 2 rounds of ambulatory blood pressure monitoring. O and an MRI of my brain. All because I have white coat syndrome(My blood pressure goes up when I visit the doctor).

And I certainly would not be telling anyone that you have taken the Meds. As mentioned before almost everyone has a short term positive experience when they take stimulants. You will almost immediately be labeled as drug seeking and depending on your local laws maybe they would have to report it and that could effect your child’s access to medication.

I am similar to yourself in the fact that I have a good career and could manage to keep life together. But with medication this is now so so much easier.

The other thing I will mention is have a good hard think about what you want from and will be getting from a diagnosis. There is still a lot of stigma around ADHD and as a responsible adult you might just find that with medication you will become aware of things about yourself that need work or that you might not be happy about. And trust me that is hard work.

The pills are not a magic bullet and after a time the drive that they provide can fade and you are just left with the clarity and calmness. Back at your old energy levels but with a clearer vision of what you should / want to be doing and may not be able to achieve.

This is a long reply but you sound like your story is similar to my own. And by no means am I trying to suggest it’s a bad idea to get it checked out. If nothing else you will have a better understanding of your brain at the end of it all

If you suspect that you have ADHD go and work through it with a good DR.

M

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Wait so like people always say like if you try the ADHD medication and it works then you probably have ADHD, but if It works for everybody then… I’m confused

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It doesn’t “work for everybody” per say. Someone with ADHD will be affected by meds differently then someone with out it, but a non-ADHDer will still be affected positively.
A Brain might say that they feel more calm, while a non-Brain might be more energetic. Does that make sense?

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My wife says the same about me.

My daughter’s paediatrician didn’t really seem to go through much of a diagnostic process with her. It looks like she really based her decision on the feedback from all the questionnaires and 3 half hour conversations with my daughter.

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I didn’t think that a doctor would prescribe medication unless there was evidence that either one’s work or school performance was suffering.

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The questionnaires are usually the starting point for diagnosis. The three half hour chats will then have explored grey areas in the questionnaire results and checked that the real live person matches what is said in the questionnaires.

That’s how my diagnosis was done too, except the chats were longer because as an adult I had accumulated other symptoms as well by then, so I was given an extra set of questions and an extra interview.

About the trying meds, I agree it’s risky because of blood pressure issues etc but I understand it came from the feeling of wanting to find out firsthand what you are giving your child. I suppose that’s a byproduct of the way adhd and adhd medication is perceived in general, though. If your daughter had a kidney problem or some other more clearly physical symptoms you would probably not have decided to test her medication on yourself. This is food for thought, for me!

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Those steps are part of the diagnostic process. Its a clinical diagnosis like i mentioned before so its based of the interviews and such. Your daughters problems at school and other information form part of the diagnosis. My son had a couple of interviews a bunch of questionnaires and some psyco metric testing to check IQ and for any other learning difficulties as part of his diagnosis. His process took about 2 months mine took about 12 with 2 different doctors. If you are interested i have shared that story in a different post you could try search for it.

In adults particularly those that seem to be managing its a little more complicated because we have had time to develop coping and management strategies over time. One of mine was because of a deep dread and fear of being late i would allow lots of extra time to be places. This would drive my wife crazy because i would be hounding her to leave an hour or more early for different events that simply just didn’t need that sort of allowance. Obviously this wastes lots of time day to day. So once i was taking medication i was able to correct this behaviour because i didn’t need all that extra time to be ready. I am still early for most things because it can be challenging to correct a life time of habit particularly one that has generally yielded a positive set of outcomes.

Just because someone appears functional it doesn’t mean that the learnt behaviours to achieve that don’t have a heavy impact on your day to day life. Treating the condition if its there can give a successful person the bandwidth to live a fuller better life. Some work situations that would rock or stress me before i can now navigate smoothly. And some of my personal relationships are better also particularly with my ADHD son. Because now i have the mental calmness to look at whats going on and adjust my reaction taking into account his challenges and knowing that he isn’t just being a pain. My loving wife has always had that ability and has always made allowances for me sometimes being difficult but now she understands why i can be a handful. And this alone to a caring empathetic person can be enough to justify their effort. But sometimes i know she would like to beat me with a lump of wood.

Thats why i recommend finding a good specialist adult ADHD doctor. They have the experience and knowledge to look a little deeper and connect the dots. And just remember high IQ or having the ability to manage your symptoms one way or another dose not rule out ADHD. It just means that your one of the lucky ones that was able to work through any issues before they derailed your life. Its the cost of those strategies and behaviours that need to be looked into.

M

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