I don't know if i have ADHD

Hey! My name is Sam. I am 21 years old and I don’t know if i have ADHD. This idea has been floating around in my head for quite some time now. Along with the idea that i might be autistic. However, it’s hard to tell if you are different when you don’t know what typical is. I was homeschooled up until college. Most of my interactions have been with people who are pretty quirky. Which i love. But it makes it hard to see if I’m also just quirky or if there is something more.
I’ve been taking online tests and watching videos on both and even went to my doctor. I keep getting the same results. I have a moderate chance of have ADHD or autism. I haven’t tried going to a specialist or anything to get a diagnosis. My therapist says that i seem normal. I even got a brain scan (for anxiety) and he said that there didn’t seem to be any other factors to my anxiety other than internalized anger. I’m worried that I’m being dramatic or looking for the easy way out of my problems. I feel like being told no would crush me. I don’t want my parents to spend an obscene amount of money to get a diagnosis only to find that it was for nothing.
Another challenge is I already know I have anxiety and am dealing with depression. A lot of my problems could be associated with those.
Some of my potential symptoms are:
Low self esteem. This was before i developed depression.
Difficulty paying attention.
Hard time expressing myself.
My emotions are intense.
I have difficulty writing.
I am sensitive to light and touch.
When excited I like flapping my arms or jumping.
When stressed I tap my ears or compleatly shut down.
I have a hard time with dates and time. I forget to check things. Because of this I haven’t turned in most of the homework of a class that i adore.
Hard time starting anything. I am putting off eating while writing this.
I am forgetful
I am angry all the time. I’m really good about forgetting about it.
I don’t hyper fixate on things or go into depth on one topic. I learn a little of a LOT of random things. The closes thing to hyper fixation might be with reading for fun where i can spend 3-5 hours reading easy.
I mask. All the time. I don’t know what is me and what is a front. I am very conscious of how people view me. I think about how my face is resting when talking to someone. I try to be careful of what i say because i tend to blurt things out. I am very cautious about being inappropriate.
Things make me laugh are often not funny to others.
When comfortable i do not shut up. I talk so much i get annoyed with myself. And i talk fast.

I am sorry this is very long. But i thought i might ask people who actually have ADHD if any of this sounds close and if you have suggestions. Thanks!

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i’m not a diagnostician and i don’t play one on tv.

is your user name inspired by zoboomafoo?

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Welcome to the HowToADHD forums @Samoomafoo !

Well, a lot of the things you listed seem like ADHD &/or Autism traits. The real question is: How much do they impact your life?

You mentioned having anxiety and depression. Did you have the ADHD traits before you had anxiety and depression? (By the way … untreated ADHD can be a contributing factor in having anxiety or depression. It was a factor for me.)


I’ve always had ADHD traits (Inattentive presentation) going back to when I was in first grade; possibly before that. However, anxiety increases the severity of my ADHD. I was diagnosed with anxiety and ADHD when my anxiety was at it’s worst. When my anxiety was under control again, my ADHD behavior was almost unnoticeable by the counselor who diagnosed me. She said she could see why my ADHD was missed for so long (I was diagnosed at 45), and said that I appear to have “mild to moderate” ADHD. I mask well, by long practice going back to Jr High, when I just wanted to “fit in.”

What helped me was:

  1. Treat the anxiety to improve the ADHD.
  2. Treat the ADHD to help prevent anxiety.

From my perspective, it’s been worth all the cost in time, money, andn effort to get the treatment that helped me. I think that’s the case every time for treatment of mental health.

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Papserweight Yes it is! It’s what my family calls me.

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love it! that show was the best.

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@Samoomafoo

WELCOME!

:sunglasses:

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Obviously we can’t diagnose you. But I just went through this myself, am I? Am I not? I don’t want to spend $2700 on a diagnosis! (My psychologist did it for free!).

I just kept learning, thinking about stories and maybe it’s a good idea to write down all the reasons you think you might be adhd and/or autistic and definitely try to get different opinions from medical staff.

My psychologist isn’t an expert in it, and never identified me, but when I told her stories going back to my childhood and she researched it and did some tests she had a strong sense of where I was coming from and was very supportive and I did end up diagnosed.

But she’s the most supportive psych I’ve ever had. My last psych missed half of my life story and kept questioning the validity of my statements.

So I’m just saying maybe explore seeing a psych or GP that knows ADHD and autism and is willing to listen to your story. Might give you more insight, at the very least they shouldn’t dismiss your concerns but talk to you about how it makes you feel, how much it interferes with your life, what kind of help you would like.

If this is possible for you I hope you have success finding someone that listens to you.

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this is key.

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Welcome to the community, @Samoomafoo! My daughter when she was little used to watch Zoboomafoo! Good memories.

I had most of the symptoms you have. But I did hyperfocus on things I loved. Such as reading a 1500 page book in one sitting except for bathroom/food breaks or forgetting to sleep when I read.

See if you can find another more supportive therapist. To me the question is not whether you are “normal” or not but whether you are getting the right kind of help so that your personality doesn’t make your life as difficult.

Best of luck to you!

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Welcome @Samoomafoo ( Samantha).

From the symptoms you have written it would appear you have ADHD & ASD traits .

A psychiatrist who specialises in ADHD, autism will give you a diagnosis and possible treatment.

Anxiety and depression are comorbidities of ADHD.

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