Anonymous
Anonymous asked in HealthMental Health · 7 years ago

ADHD or ADD, depression, or something else?

I am a 19 year old male that just failed out of college after the first semester of my second year. I am confused as to what exactly is wrong with me, and I feel like my symptoms fit in with those of ADHD and, now, depression. My parents are trying to get me into a psychiatrist to determine what, if anything, is wrong with me, but, since winter seems to make a lot of people depressed, nobody is taking new patients in, so I am forced to wait for a while to be diagnosed. For this reason, I am asking the yahoo answers community if someone knows a thing or two about psychiatry and is willing to help. Below is a description of my life in school as i grew up.

As a young child, I was the favorite student of almost every one of my teachers, as I was one of the smartest and most conscientious kids in almost all of my elementary school classes. Despite this, I was always the last person to finish tests and quizzes. Writing was never something I excelled at; as a matter of fact, I would always take the longest out of all my classmates to write papers. My homework assignments were difficult for me, but my parents helped me understand them better. I made it through elementary school with all As and was one of the best students in the class at mathematics, but I could not finish the placement test for honors math in time.

In 6th and 7th grade, I made As in all my classes, but my homework took at least three times longer than what it took the other kids because I was unable to focus on it. The only reason I did not give up on my homework was because my parents stayed would not let me(thank goodness). About once a week, I would forget about homework assignments until I was lying in bed with thoughts racing through my head, but I rarely told my parents when this happened because, if I did, I would get lectured and scolded about being more responsible. In eighth grade, as subjects became more foreign to my parents and me, such as algebra, I began to struggle.

In high school, I made a 3.8 GPA, but i was up until midnight almost every school night doing homework because I kept getting off track and could not sit still in my room for longer than 20 minutes, having to constantly walk around to avoid getting irritable. My only form of motivation to do my homework assignments was to not get lectured or yelled at by my parents. Many people, including my “friends”, called me “socially awkward” because I was extremely quiet in groups larger than me and a couple other people. Freshman year, irritated with my inability to focus, I became mildly depressed and resorted to inhalant use to help me feel better. I stopped this after a few months because it was hindering my ability to focus even more. At the end of my junior year, after 3 years of not having a single girlfriend or even "fling", I became depressed and had a hopeless feeling of insecurity, so, in an attempt to help it, I began smoking pot with one of my two true friends. It helped the depression significantly, but I only smoked about once or twice a week because I was afraid of my parents catching me. The rest of the summer was full of drinking and smoking with my best friend and his girlfriend's group of friends because it was the only way to alleviate my growing depression.

When college came around, I was sure that I could handle my, but, even though I stopped smoking and drinking before I got there, I was unable to focus and prioritize work, often forgetting about assignments or getting so distracted that I would take hours to do a simple math worksheet that I had learned in high school. I finished freshman year with a 3.0 GPA (after dropping Physics II second semester to lighten homework) in classes that I would have made all A's in if I had focused and remembered to homework assignments. My only A's were writing classes because I would take a couple of Vyvanse I got from a friend and pull all nighters to write the essays (which were the only grades). Sophomore year, I changed majors to business to try to make things easier, but the classes were much harder because I had no previous knowledge about the classes I was in and I also had no more Vyvanse access, so writing was virtually impossible. I fell behind and after being unable to catch up, I gave up and did not go to class or take exams (including finals) and began to formulate a method of suicide. Luckily, my parents and I talked things over before I did anything drastic. I got into an argument with them and punched a hole in the wall in a blind rage. Does anyone know if this aligns with a certain mental disorder?

Thanks for reading

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  • 7 years ago
    Favorite Answer

    Let me first provide a toll-free 24/7 helpline for those who are feeling suicidal: 1-800-273-TALK (8255).

    You may be having symptoms of depression and/or ADHD. Please, however, do make an appointment with a board-certified psychiatrist for a proper diagnosis (or "diagnoses" - plural). You may want to take a "leave of absence" (or "medical leave") from school until getting a handle of your current (and past) issues. You'll most likely need documentation from a medical doctor or licensed mental health professional if wanting to take a "medical leave".

    I have social anxiety myself which may cause a person to feel more self-conscious in social situations than the average person, as you'd mentioned from back in high school. Please do let the psychiatrist and/or licensed therapist know of all the symptoms that you'd posted here.

    With regard to the inhalant use, you're smart to have stopped. My friend actually has a severe BRAIN INJURY from huffing at the age of 12, now in her 30s.

    The chemicals in products used for huffing are actual POISONS that were never meant to go through the bloodstream.

    For more info re: the dangers of huffing - National Inhalant Prevention Coalition: http://www.inhalants.org/

    If you're attending college away from home, please talk to your parents about moving back home. After you get some outside professional help, and if or when you're ready to re-enroll in school, perhaps you may consider the local community college. Attending on a part-time basis is a viable option, too, as the workload can be less overwhelming.

    For students (or workers) with disabilities (that has been diagnosed by a licensed health care or mental health professional), they're usually eligible to receive "reasonable accommodations" which is according to the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) of 1990. The student may receive classroom accommodations such as getting longer time on exams and/or a separate room for taking the exams (usually with a proctor). The school's "office of students with disabilities" (or a similar name) should have more information.

    This website may have some local counseling agencies: http://findtreatment.samhsa.gov/ and can click the second link (which is for those without a drug and/or alcohol addiction) and proceed from that point.

    Their toll-free 24/7 *referral* hotline: 1-800-662-HELP (4357).

  • 7 years ago

    Sounds like with your previous work that college was just way more to handle. Which it is, for most students. There's just so much more, and you're more dependent. You don't get "babied" as much when you're a college student. You have to get up and go on your own. Sit down and do your work. Nobody is making you do it, and that's what makes it harder. Some teachers don't even care if you show up to class as long as you do the work. You may have a very minor form of ADD, but it sounds like a counselor could help you stay on track rather than medication. I almost failed middle school, and barely passed high school. I went to community college, then to a university, then back to community college. And I feel like I have ADHD. Not because I can't focus on school work, but because of outside things that also contribute. If you have ADHD it wont just be your school work that's affected, it would be a lot of outside things.

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