Should I maybe get evaluated for ADD or ADHD?
posted by hegemone to health & fitness (14 answers total) 6 users marked this as a favorite
I'm starting to wonder if I need to make an appointment with my primary care physician or ask for a referral to a psychiatrist to be evaluated for ADD or ADHD. History: since childhood I've had a hell of a time buckling down to focus. In particular, schoolwork: I was not an unintelligent child, but I sometimes lagged behind my classmates in completing things because I could not make myself concentrate. Examples: I became a voracious reader and loved books later on in elementary school, but the unstructured, go-at-your-own-pace reading comprehension exercises assigned to us during 2nd grade meant I was going at a frickin' snail's pace, because it was, y'know, soooo boooring and my 8 year old brain could not manage to stop checking out. Unlike reading, math never got easier, because my attention span for any given problem was flea-like. Short assignments took an unreasonable amount of time to finish, because I'd be repeatedly distracted by... anything else my brain could think of that was more interesting than this long division problem.
When I was 12, a cousin my age was diagnosed with ADD, and there was some discussion about that being something I might have, but while my issues were problematic, I was still actually an okay student and it was never anything that was severely debilitating my progress.
But my issues with focus and concentration are still around. I'm now 30, and in my last semester of my undergraduate degree. I've maintained a good GPA and am still a decent student, but I think I could have done so much better these past few years. I'm a TERRIBLE procrastinator, extremely avoidant about assignments I'm not really interested in, to the point where I will just not check my email for several days in a row to avoid emails from partners or profs. To fulfill my last few credits, I'm doing research with a prof, which involves some unstructured paper writing on my part, which I'm way, way behind on. And it's not even like it's a difficult paper? I just can't bring myself to work on it. (I actually should be working on it right now.)
Prior to returning for my undergrad degree, I was working as a receptionist. There was some amount of paperwork that I completed as part of my daily routine and I could have easily taken on more work, but instead it took me a really long time to complete easy but monotonous tasks, because there was always something I needed to look up on the internet, or Metafilter to refresh, or email to check, or whatever. Anything to avoid working on actual work for more than ten minutes at a time. I actually think probably made existing issues with concentration worse.
So, I can identify that I have issues with a) lack of structure to keep me on task, b) focusing on things that I find monotonous or boring, and c) procrastinating and avoiding things that I know I'll have trouble concentrating on, d) I also, embarrassingly, every few months will let unpaid bills pile up. Not because I can't pay them, just because I... don't want to deal with it? I don't know. Again, it's like I just can't bring myself do just open the envelope, take out my checkbook, and write the check. It's... dumb. I think everyone sort of has some of these things, do some degree or another, right? So it possible that I'm simply extremely mentally undisciplined and need to start some meditation regime or something? Or does this sound like it could be an ADD or ADHD thing? I'm basically doing alright in life, I keep my apartment clean, I'm generally healthy otherwise... I just wonder if I could be doing better.
Hivemind, your thoughts, please? I'm not trying to oversell my case here, but should I make the call to the doctor?