March 5, 2010 3:10 PM Subscribe
I was diagnosed as being gifted and having ADD when I was a young child. I've been in denial about both of these things for most of my life, and now I'm nearly 30; help me understand them.
posted by anonymous to health & fitness (15 answers total) 16 users marked this as a favorite
I was diagnosed with ADD in the late 80s by a psychiatrist. Part of the evaluation included an IQ test, which I scored very highly on (especially the verbal portion). The administering psychologist observed "abnormal subtest scatter" and speculated that it didn't fully reflect my native IQ due to attention and memory problems.
After elementary school, I chose (along with my parents and the psychiatrist) to stop taking medication. I also stopped seeing psychiatrists and psychologists, and stopped telling my teachers I had ADD. I disliked school and was an underachiever (perhaps a deliberate one). I wanted to be like everyone else. I graduated in the middle of my class, with a GPA in the 2-2.5 range. I was never a behavior problem.
I went to a land-grant college and majored in CS. I didn't put much effort into the first two years, during which I had a GPA of ~2.5. In my junior and senior years I discovered that I'd do better if I took notes in class, did the homework, and studied a little bit before tests. My GPAs during those years ranged from 3.5 to 4.0, and at graduation I had nearly a 3.4 GPA.
Since then I've had a steady job as a software engineer (with all of the expected promotions), though I'm usually bored and dissatisfied with the work. I manage my finances well, I don't use drugs, rarely drink, and I can't say that I'm reckless. I don't feel like I fit the stereotypical adult ADHD profile, though I am messy and have trouble focusing on my work, which I attribute to disinterest and dislike, since I seem to do ok with the odd task that interests me.
I had an Adult ADHD assessment a few years ago, and it came back as inconclusive. I wasn't terribly impressed with its methodology, as it relied too much on my subjective opinion of myself, or with the psychologist himself for that matter.
I'm already seeing a therapist who I like, but he's not an ADHD guy.
ADHD is defined as a cluster of behaviors, which are speculated to have organic causes. Is it possible that I displayed ADHD behaviors without the organic causes because I was a gifted child in the wrong environment? I'm a little confused since I lack most of the typical adult ADHD behaviors, and my grades actually improved as I encountered harder material.
Could mild depression in a child be mistaken for ADHD?
I've found very little information about ADHD in high-IQ adults. Can anyone point me to some good resources? I'm not looking for cheerleading stuff. Personal testimonials are fine (and emails welcome).
Are there any support groups (online or off) specifically for high-IQ adults with ADHD?
Are there any psychologists or psychiatrists who specialize in or have a lot of experience with high-IQ adults with ADHD? In the Minneapolis/St. Paul area?
My apologies for the "high-IQ" phrasing. I can't think of a better way to put it, since gifted sounds odd when applied to adults. I'm not bragging, and I'm actually pretty ambivalent about my intelligence.
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