I think I may have adult ADHD. Help me make the most of my visit to a doctor.
I think I have inattentive-type ADHD. I have a doctor's appointment in a few days to talk about it, and I'd like to go with as much preparation as possible so I can focus on what's relevant. My experience with doctors has been that they best help those who work really hard at being helped, so I would like to know: what should I talk about to have the best chance of a useful diagnosis? (be it ADHD, all okay, or something completely different.)
My main problem is sleepiness. I get into a meeting at work and within ten minutes my mind starts wandering and it becomes physically impossible to keep my eyes open. Then I start hallucinating. It's not sleep deprivation or general tiredness - I can be completely alert one moment but as soon as I'm in a situation where I'm relaxed and not completely mentally engaged, my attention drifts uncontrollably into a sort of meditative trance state and I'm gone. It was the same at school and uni.
I've been tested for sleep apnoea and narcolepsy, but no. I've tried everything I can think of: sleeping lots, not sleeping so much, caffeine, exercise, eating, not eating, exclusion diets, sitting facing the sun, heat, cold etc etc but nothing works. I used to think that the sleepiness thing was inconsistent with ADHD, but I recently heard that a friend of a friend had problems very similar to mine and was cured completely when medicated for ADHD. And I'm willing to try most things.
I have basically no memory. I can keep logical structures (things like computer programs) in my mind, but facts disappear as soon as my attention wanders away from them for a moment. Things like people's names, where I left the keys, what I just walked for a quarter of an hour to the supermarket to buy vanish instantly. I deal with this by leaving sticky notes lying around everywhere, but this isn't ideal.
I've never been able to concentrate. At school and uni I never did any work, but managed to cruise through on luck and the small amount of cramming that I could handle. At work I find myself constantly distracted. When I'm not falling asleep, I'm finding it almost impossible to stay sitting in my chair. The Internet is a curse. Somehow I've managed to cruise through this as well, but it's getting worse and it's going to cause real problems for me one day. Actually I'm surprised I've gotten away with it so far. Despite all of that, though, I do have pretty decent videogame skills.
I was horribly hyperactive as a child. Really unmanageable. I would run around screaming, bite other children, plough into my teacher's legs with my fists. I calmed down a lot at about 6 but was still kind of ratty for a few years after that.
I can't drive. I mean, I can operate a car and steer it down an empty street, but as soon as there are a few other vehicles on the road my brain gets overloaded with information and I pretty much rely on luck to avoid hitting things. I wrote off my first car when I was 19 and almost killed myself.
In fact any kind of multi-tasking is right out. I can't do anything productive if there's music on, for example - the music steals enough of my attention that there isn't any left to do anything useful with.
So far, everything in my Internet Doctor self-wikidiagnosis seems to fit with inattentive-type ADHD. But I'm worried about one of the diagnostic criteria, which is clinically significant problems in two areas of life. Despite my issues with sleepiness and distraction, I managed to do okay at uni and I've never been fired from a job. I think I hide my problems pretty well. But there does seem to be something wrong with me, even if it's not ADHD. Most people can drive a car, for example, and although I can deal with the distraction thing to some extent with self-control, I can't stop myself falling asleep.
Damn, that's long. Sorry. A few quick details: 30 years old, male, Australian, no other relevant health problems. I have read this
Any help would be great, thanks.