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Old 06-30-2018, 10:20 PM   #1
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Default What kind of ADHD is this?

I coped some years with this, never trusted that someone else could solve it for me, but as of lately I learned that talking to people can give you some great insights!

I think the problem could be nested under the psychological/mental problems. I believe that I am spiritually in a good place & physically fine except from a bad diet(& not as much exercise I wouldíve liked). Socially/Family-wise I am also in a good place. So giving the following aspects, I suspect my problem is in the mental department.
So I have been diagnosed with ADHD (at a later age because I could cope with it because of above average intelligent, said the psychologist), but I feel like itís a bit different than the typical ADHD-patient (I could be wrong). I think I also suffer from perfectionism (either I do it perfect or I donít do it all). Combined with my very analytical thinking and eye for details always, every task that I try to do becomes instantaneously an overwhelming mess, which often causes me to procrastinate. Coupled with the fact I cannot seem to prioritize (i.e. I donít see the core of the task, everything is equally important + I can get lost in whatever catches my attention) & my natural broad interest make it worse. So I am all over the place with my thoughtís and actions.

I think stemming from the fact that I was always overwhelmed and had so many thoughts(I overthink & analyse everything). It seems I learned my self to write everything down. And coupled with the eye for detail, I really write EVERYTHING down, even things that are not relevant, but I still have to write it down.I think maybe I rely so much on my notes, that I stopped thinking creatively & logically. I always think somewhere in my notes I will be able to find it or reconstruct what I was doing, but because I work in such details and lack structure/organization, Itís very hard to use these notes again. I suspect here we also have something to do with anxiety/ocd as a underlying cause. I have an history of (social) anxiety attacks, that are almost completely gone now (thank God). I also save everything like websites, files etc. I always also have around couple hundred tabs open. As a kid I tried to save every google image of Dragonball z. I donít know why I did that, maybe afraid that I was not going to have internet anymore. Everytime I try to undertake a task I reminded that somewhere I have notes (scattered) about this, but I can never retrieve them and I donít even try (because I am afraid of all the other millions of things I will see in my mess). But being an perfectionist I donít finish the task, because I canít find all my notes.

Now in addition to this everybody has a workflow/skillset to manage their lives. I completely lack structure in my life and/or realized too late that I need structure elements in my life. I donít have a taskmanagement system, I donít really have an calender system (every diary I ever tried to keep, became an cluttered mess). Itís almost like I forgot how to study, because I am so overwhelming myself and so overthinking. I analyse every action that I do now, which sucks a lot of mental energy.
These factors above combined have caused an unimaginable clutter in my life. To give an idea: maybe 10.000 notes, thousands of bookmarks, no really organizing folders & study files, Having pictures all over the place.

I want a reset button & clean all the clutter, so I can let go of my past, because in this clutter a part of me is hidden. So I want to reread everything: Whatsapp chats, websites, my thoughts/notes, my ambitions, my lessons etc, clean my emails(up to thousands), organise everything etc. But my problem is how can I find the time to retreat, process everything en let go of my past. Everyday really feels like I have to take on all the weight of the past. I can never focus on the future. I cannot make steps, I am afraid to undertake any actions, because I feel like I havenít organized en read my relating notes on the matters at hand.

Ironically, as I am typing this I realize, itís these same issues described above, that are overwhelming me to clean everything & to bring structure in my life and to find te focus to solve this problem. Itís the same procrastination that comes, because I am already (anticipating) anxious of the amount of mental effort itís going to take me. I have identified some key principles: 20/80 rule, focus on the main body of the task, find a structure in life, make habits, etc. but somehow I cannot seem to get a good flow. I donít know what the starting point is.

What do you guys think?
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Old 07-03-2018, 12:28 PM   #2
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Smile Re: What kind of ADHD is this?

Hello humpalumpa: I see this is your first post here on PC. So... welcome to PsychCentral! I hope you find PC to be of benefit.

I'm sorry I'm not able to answer the question you posed in your title. This sounds sort-of similar to hoarding behavior to me except that it is apparently "informational" or perhaps "intellectual" rather than physical, if that makes any sense. I can see where some of this probably relates to ADHD... but not all of it. (But then I'm certainly no expert on any of it.) Perhaps this reflects some combination of ADHD plus OCD?

I see you posted this in the ADHD forum. There is also an OCD forum that may be of interest. Here's a link:

Ultimately I think what is going on here is something that would have to be determined by a mental health professional... a psychologist or psychiatrist. (I see you did consult with a psychologist at some point along the way.) Perhaps other members, here on PC, will have had some similar experiences & will be able to offer some insights.

Here's a link to an article, from PsychCentral's archives, that discusses ADHD in adults & also provides links to other ADHD-related articles:

And then here's a link to an article by our host Dr. John Grohol, Psy.D. on the subject of OCD:

There is an OCD screening quiz you can take as well. Here's a link to that:

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Old 08-07-2018, 11:58 PM   #3
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Default Re: What kind of ADHD is this?

My son did psychotherapy many years ago when he was in middle school. It helped him with coping skills, time management, deal with emotions and organizational skills. He is an adult now and does really well. However he will not drive. Heís afraid of getting distracted. My son takes the bus to work. He does not mind riding it.
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Old 08-08-2018, 05:42 PM   #4
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Default Re: What kind of ADHD is this?

I have ADD and it all seems kind of "normal" to me. Stemming from the same origin. I am good but at the same time bad at organizing. So the end result is horrible. I just don't want to do the work. But I know in my head where everything goes and I am good at making categories. Black and white thinking is common too, fear of total disaster so everything must be perfect. My place is full of notes that some crazy person wrote and I'm the only one living here. Also I hoard some types of data.

People NOT living like this are weird.
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Old 08-18-2018, 11:02 PM   #5
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Default Re: What kind of ADHD is this?

humpalumpa, I am not sure what "type" of ADHD you describe about yourself, but I can actually identify with many things you mentioned. It is almost scary how some things you describe were as if you were spying on me or reading my mail (it hit that close to home, though I know you weren't stalking me). Actually, it was your first post that prompted me to join this online community (something I typically don't do).

I am diagnosed as ADHD (primarily inattentive) with some anxiety on the side. I see ADHD as a really tricky thing, especially since it's often not certain what's driving what, as far as co-morbid issues are concerned. I have found that most all of my issues, somehow or another, are driven by my ADHD - usually some kind of coping mechanism to satisfy my high intellect, under-stimulated brain (I am a little uncomfortable referring to myself as high intellect).

I plan to return to this particular thread, so that I can better explain and share my experience (it may take me a bit to explain it, with all my over-analyzing, procrastinating perfectionism). I don't know how helpful it will be, but I think you may find it shocking how very similar our issues actually are.

Thank you for your post.
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Old 09-01-2018, 08:34 PM   #6
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Default Re: What kind of ADHD is this?

My 15yo son recently had a neuropsych done as well. He crashed and burned after labor day weekend last year upon embarking on his 1st couple of weeks at a really intensive AP level high school. Transferred over to the public hs albeit still in honors classes but went into utter refusal. Which led to a third transfer, testing, summer credit recovery and just beginning his second year with a school that has copies of this report and the means to get him skills he needs.

Your OP struck me because of the iq but low organization and perfectionism and an inability to know how to sort papers/files/emails etc. He has social anxiety as the predominant dx with combination adhd and adjustment disorder. I sit with him each week with his guidance counselor. The dx came over the summer so the lessons in learning to organize/focus have only just begun.

Tip from yesterday was regarding his inbox. He has last years emails sitting there. (this is a public but online school 1st in this state only 5yrs new). His assignment is to click on last years and hit archive. They will still 'be there' but out of sight. One of his teachers has a project for him to work on called a focus board. I haven't sat and looked at that assignment yet to give you the tip from it. But I'm sure it's something of a useful tool.
ADHD was the big surprise of the testing. I think even the Dr from that office was surprised, gathering how he focused in our meeting on showing me the part of the test that brought this to light. If there is 1 thing that I do know about adhd is that it is neurological in scope. I say this because when I would see either my neuro or pdoc there were patients that I knew outside their offices that came in because of adhd and they weren't seeing my pdoc, the only pdoc there. I'm probably digressing. I am glad to see adhd being posted about like this because as a mom it gives me a little insight into feelings/emotions on the topic and how I can be a better supportive caregiver.
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Old 09-01-2018, 09:00 PM   #7
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Default Re: What kind of ADHD is this?

Meant to say....Combination Type ADHD

And it wasn't a focus board, it's called a Vision board. Excuse the funny lines on this image. It's what happens when I photograph a computer screen. I cropped out everything but the meat and potatoes of the assignment I heard about from the guidance counselor. vision board.jpeg
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Old 09-28-2018, 10:35 AM   #8
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Default Re: What kind of ADHD is this?

Hey there.

I have no medical experience so I don't really have a clue what type ADHD you'd have. My own ADHD knowledge is dated by almost a decade from when I was first diagnosed at 20. I'm here on this site (and seeking help professionally also) as I'm trying to learn and deal with anxiety and other issues I hadn't addressed for myself throughout my twenties.

Recently I've been very shocked to realise a lot of things that trigger my generalised anxiety (social anxiety especially) is my ADHD impulses, and things that halt my everyday progress to "functioning normally 9-5 stuff" is my inability to organise and focus consistently (shocking procrastination and guilt until I want to do it, then over-do it when I finally do). I felt I could relate a lot to what you were saying, except the intelligent and educated part (can't focus enough to get through uni).

I have similar problems with saving things, leaving tabs open, numerous external drives saved with junk from 15 years ago (I don't consider myself to be a hoarder but I'm very sentimental). For myself in those situations I saved what I 100% treasured and could account for without searching for a day (my reasoning because the stuff you love you generally remember location or something at least) and bite the bullet and trash what else I could before my thoughts got too deep. It was both a great feeling of loss and also one of a load off the shoulders... but what to do after that as to not accumulate more junk (halfarsed memories) may be how you use your electronic devices? (I still have a lot of beloved junk around still). Is closing the tab, and reloading it again when needed an option? Instead of having it there, or bookmarking it?

Finally you sound highly functioning but unsatisfied with your situation, is it because it's not the status quo of holding down a job, or are you just tired of it all in a sense? Is there something wrong with constantly changing jobs?Perhaps there are jobs that incorporate change you could look into as a changing constant? It sounds interesting to me (not my own bs but the different trades you have been employed in).

Where do you start? I think you've already started! Keep asking questions you feel are important to yourself and trying to be objective. Seek out specialists if possible and keep an open mind. Don't beat yourself up where things are out of your control or ability (abilities can change, just because you can do something one day doesn't mean you can the next and vice versa).

Sorry for the mass of rambling and questions. Some of these questions are open ones that have been on my mind, please don't read too deeply into this as I am just typing my thoughts as food for more thought. If any of this can be used as advice I'd be surprised but happy Thanks for your post!
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Old 09-30-2018, 09:51 AM   #9
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Default Re: What kind of ADHD is this?

Your experiences are very similar to mine too, and both myself and my children have moderately severe ADHD. So take that for what it is worth.

Although ADHD use to be broken into inattentive and hyperactive subtypes, current research is finding that the subtypes (as well as the ADD/ADHD label) are not accurate and its all really one condition with variances based on genetics and comorbid traits. ADHD is caused by dopamine uptake inhibition (which is why we have trouble with focusing unless we get really excited about what we are doing, which then we usually hyperfocus. So each person's chemistry and frontal lobe development affects the "type" of ADHD more than anything.

ADHD is caused by an under-developed pre-frontal cortex, which in turn affects our executive functions (such as time management, emotional control, hindsight/foresight, planning & organization, working memory, etc). Every ADHDer has varying degrees of compromised executive functions, so we are all a bit different and some worse than others, but we all share the focus issues from the low dopamine (which is why stimulants work well for most of us).

The other component is comorbid traits (such as OCD, ODD, anxiety, Tourette's, dyslexia, autism, etc). Most ADHDers have on average 2 comoribd traits, and interestingly enough they are inherited (along with the ADHD), so families tend to display the same co-morbidity traits.

Of course, find an psychiatrist or physician who specializes in atypical learning disorders and executive functions and get properly diagnosed. Stay away from primary care (unless they understand the importance of ayptical diagnosis and screening and recommend you to the right person) and nuerotypcial therapies or treatments. They will do more harm than good.

Good luck.
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