OMG UPDATE: Question? Answer.

Updated on Friday, January 3

#5658

QUESTION: Waterloo people with ADD, please help! I've never really noticed since it's something that I've always dealt with and never really thought about, but it's recently been pointed out to me by people that what I'm experiencing is not normal.

Basically, I have an extremely hard time thinking about a single thing at a time because I feel like my mind works in overdrive. I always have about 6 thoughts or more whizzing around in my brain at once, in varying degrees of clarity. I have to read something about 8 times before it registers as words because there is always so much going on in my head. This makes school very hard for me. I used to think I just lacked discipline and that I was a shitty student, but I have had multiple people (friends, family, professors) remark that I should get a psych assessment done because I might have ADD. I also was identified as highly gifted back when I was in elementary school and the two often go hand-in-hand, from what I've read.

My question is then this: for those of you who have ADD, does this sound like you? And also, if I go to health services and get a recommendation to get an assessment done, how much will the assessment end up costing me? If I could get diagnosed I think it would make my future a lot easier but I don't want to waste my time and $2k for an assessment if it turns out that I'm totally overreacting. I think I read that psych assessments are covered up to $400 by the school but they are often cost in the thousands.

Another question I have is whether or not those of you with diagnosed ADD find that the use of meds helps you at all. I don't like to take drugs unless I really need to, and I've heard many ADD meds make your whole personality change and cause you to have to change your diet and everything. I'm really worried about what this all means for me.

Thanks in advance!

9 comments

  1. Just go get some adderall

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  2. First of all it sounds like you are well researched on this, and that you would greatly benefit from a quick appointment at Health Services to go over these questions with a doctor.

    I'm sorry I am unable to answer your other questions as I do not have ADD.

    Cheers!

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  3. I have ADHD and what you described is exactly me as well. I won't go into the long boring story, but I too wasted a lot of time thinking I was just a shitty student and lacked discipline.

    I went to Health Services, they recommended me a Psychiatrist whom they apparently refer all ADD/ADHD kids at UW to go to, he has a deal with the university and you pay him $500 for an assessment. From there you give your assessment to your family doctor/health services doctor and you can decide what the best treatment for you would be. It can range from medication prescriptions or coaching of some sort, it's up to you what you think would be best.

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    1. Perfect. Thank you this is exactly what I needed. Cheers!

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  4. I was diagnosed with ADD when I was 14 I believe. Exact same experience, except I wasn't really sure what ADD was and originally went to a psychiatrist for depression.
    My doctor decided to put me on medication, which didn't really change my personality much, nor have I had to change my diet. I need to watch what I eat, though, because one of the side effects of some stimulants is lack of appetite, so sometimes it gets to be 6 pm and I realise I haven't had anything since early in the morning, so that's kind of irritating. (Especially when I'm on campus and everything is closed by the time I realise I need food -_-) I'd say if anything, the medications improve my personality in a positive way. Before I was always just kind of moody, had difficulty keeping up with conversations, wasn't really interested in doing anything, but now I have an easier time talking to people, and things can hold my interest for longer than a few seconds. I'm not sure if that counts as an actual personality change, since I feel like everything is the same, but I've noticed I'm better at keeping friendships now that I can function like a normal person most of the time.

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    1. Thanks, yeah I find that I am a really bad listener and have problems remembering simple details from conversations and so people tend to get irritated by me easily, thinking that I just dont care about them. It's really shitty but hoping this is something I can improve on haha.

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  5. You are my twin haha. Yes what you are describing sounds exactly like me. I have ADD and was diagnosed in grade 12. It didn't cost me anything to get a psych assessment done -it was paid though my high school, and I would assume UW has something like this also. There was a waiting list; it took me a little over a year when I actually had my assessment done, from when I registered. So if I were you, I would try booking an appointment with your doctor (at home or at UW) asap. If they diagnose you, you can discuss with them your concerns about using medication. However, I will say, I used to spend hours laying in bed, consistently thinking of things because one thought would lead to another, and I could never put my mind to rest. Now that I am on medication I fall asleep within 30 mins, and it's grrrreat :) . After you are diagnosed, you can also register with AccessAbility Services at UW This is going to be your golden nugget :) You can get note takers, record lectures, choose to write your exams in separate rooms from your class, get grant $ for tutors ..and lots of other goodies that will help you succeed.
    Hope this helps! (Ps. if you get into AccessAbility Services, Michelle is a really great Advisor)

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  6. In addition to the advice of those above, consider reading Driven to Distraction. It was really helpful for me, in that I determined that I do not have ADD.

    http://primo.tug-libraries.on.ca/primo_library/libweb/action/display.do?tabs=detailsTab&ct=display&fn=search&doc=vtug3291382&indx=1&recIds=vtug3291382&recIdxs=0&elementId=0&renderMode=poppedOut&displayMode=full&frbrVersion=&dscnt=3&vl(1UI0)=contains&vl(397444793UI0)=any&frbg=&tab=default_tab&dstmp=1389203542449&vl(397444790UI1)=all_items&dum=true&fromLogin=true&vl(182972193UI1)=all_items&vl(freeText0)=driven+to+distraction&vid=WATERLOO&gathStatIcon=true

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  7. There's no such thing as ADD it's a scam

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