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Discussion Forum > Video Test for ADD -- Unofficial

I mentioned earlier that I have ADD and suspect many others here have it. It's not an illness, although sometimes medication can help. It's a description of common patterns, and a pointer to a good box of tools for those who have those patterns, as opposed to the tool boxes for other patterns (although there is much overlap, both in the tool boxes and comorbidities (where someone fits more than one pattern).

Anyways, for those who wonder, here's a test from one of my favourite sites.

Full disclaimer is here. Then go to the video. (The other link is boring.)

http://totallyadd.com/do-i-have-add/

It includes many strengths of people with ADD, and many things that most people don't realize are part of the pattern (but are well-known to us ADDers).
August 10, 2016 at 21:20 | Registered CommenterCricket
Cricket:

Thanks for this post, I missed it the first time around. I took the test and passed with an A+!
February 1, 2017 at 13:32 | Registered CommenterMichael B.
Thanks for the post!

I took the test and it seems I may have ADD- inattentive sub-type. I am going to do some more research and see if I can tweak my systems to be more ADD friendly.

Jennifer
February 1, 2017 at 17:09 | Unregistered CommenterJennifer
7 out of 9, and 8 out of 9 on those tests. A lot of those symptoms I only recently realized were issues because I became very stressed and started noticing what things were making me stressed, including taking on every available task for myself. I knew I had a lot of the Inattentive side but not the Hyperactivity and Impulsivity, although I think they show up differently in me because I am also introverted in most situations.

I think my attempts to compensate for this is what draws me to this site (and books etc about similar topics), but also the way I use them (ineffectively) could be a result of ADHD. In another thread I wrote:

"I think the problem is that I have been using these systems to try to force myself to do things. [...] But I think in the long run, you can't keep forcing yourself to do things for long."
February 2, 2017 at 18:45 | Unregistered CommenterDon R
TotallyADD.com also has a lot of information on how it changes as you age. Adults with hyperactivity don't bounce around the classroom, but are constantly fiddling with paperclips.

Don:

Introversion has nothing to do with ADHD. For a great book on introversion / extroversion, read Quiet by Susan Cain https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/8520610-quiet

I'm an introvert. When with others, I'm "on," so have to be alone to recharge. Same with my father. We can both socialize and work as a team just fine, and even crave it at times, but when we need to recharge at the end of the week, we cocoon.

Changing systems frequently is a well-known ADD trait. There's a balance. Often enough to keep it new and exciting. Long enough that we actually get the work done. (ADHD has a great video about lists.)

I find focusing on how good I'll feel after getting things done (including little steps) helps. If I won't feel good about getting them done, maybe they're not important enough to do.

My teenagers are both on meds. The same med works differently in each of them, but it helps. They're both old enough that they can experiment for themselves. I tried a different med (different doctors have different preferences), and it made me more hyper. Plus hyper-focus on something mostly irrelevant. Some meds for some people, a low dose makes you more hyper and a higher dose works well, yet they start you on a low dose to check if you can tolerate it, so people judge it too soon.

My family is filled with high-functioning ADDers who earned advanced degrees and have decades of great work history, all from before ADD became a thing, so no meds or accommodations.

(Mom swears I can't tell, and besides, they're high-achievers so can't have it. After several years of reading and talking with my kids' counselors, I know a bit about it. Not enough to diagnose, but enough to see the signs.)

Avoid the books that say, "You can treat ADHD without meds." They are usually against meds and have quick fixes that don't work. The books that include a chapter on meds, including their problems and limitations, also have chapters on everything else.

As for forcing yourself, maybe you need a break. Or a way to tie things to your core values and goals. Or a way to limit those goals. (Putting something on my hibernation list is traumatic, but a year later I wonder why.)

I've been working on mindfulness and self-compassion lately. Accept that there is a problem. Forgive myself (rather than deny or get mad at myself). Let myself be sad or upset if I feel that way. Learn. Use what I learned to do better next time (which might mean a safety-net or even not doing it again; I don't drive when tired). Very different from a pity-party or letting myself off the hook.

Also ask yourself about low-grade depression. It's hard to be motivated about anything when depressed. That's pretty much the official definition (as opposed to the popular definition of crying all the time). I can always tell when another depression cycle threatens. My productivity drops and my enthusiasm becomes forced. I try to keep all the balls in the air, not stepping back enough to realize there are just too many. Then I have a few good days and think the cycle's over, and add even more balls. Then crash. For me, dealing with the depression is more important. I have good tools for the ADHD, but no motivation or confidence to use them when depressed. Just like ADHD, there are many treatment options, and each person responds differently. I will, however, suggest asking about CBT, meditation, and self-compassion training. They really helped me, and many studies show they work better in the long-term than meds. So, worth asking about.
February 3, 2017 at 22:39 | Registered CommenterCricket
Thank you for your reply Cricket. I actually have that Quiet book although I haven't finished reading it. I have a lot of unfinished books. :)

What I have been reading is The Hoarder In You. It's written for people who are clutterers and not just people who are really bad hoarders.

Let me back up and explain why I've been getting a lot out of that book and several other sources lately. I had been really stressed a couple weeks ago so I started paying close attention to what was stressing me. After some thought and not driving myself so hard I realized "it's ok to not have time". I really can't do it all. I've started letting go of To Dos.

I'm also straightening up around the house and getting rid of things that I've been holding on to as potential projects for when I get the time. It's a bit like the dismissal project or weeding the lists but in the physical world. In fact one of the mini-hoards (or pseudo hoard, which is when someone isn't throwing something out because there might be some good stuff mixed in) I have is a stack of notebooks with lists from various systems and other notes.

In other words physical objects are a lot like todo items on a list. Both represent potentially major time commitments.

I ran across a concept somewhere about clutterers/hoarders vs those people who seem to keep their places nice all the time. One will see some things to do (pull the weeds, wash the dishes) and will just do them while others will just take a mental note that they must do it and not do it (and there can be anxiety / mental issues about doing it which causes that).

You mentioned imagining how good it would feel to get something done as a motivator. I can relate to that because there was an inspiring description of an orderly house in the book that I've been keeping in mind as I mentally separate out tasks that either get me toward that vs things/todos to eliminate which are basically clutter/hoarding of tasks which would take up too
much time and would be better off just dismissing.

I've been doing that with a few concepts like "not living in the past" and not underestimating the time and energy that is represented by things I want to do (and things I own to do them with).

Another thought was from a Tim Ferris podcast I recently listened to which was that before he buys something he'll think about how that would affect what he does on a typical Tuesday. If I think about my typical Tuesday night right now it would probably be (besides work) cook some food (or buy fast food), watch YouTube, surf the web, maybe play a bit of a video game, maybe read but probably not. Most likely I'm not going to be taking on all these ambitious projects that I like to daydream about but not do most of the time. If I do something, there's probably room for ONE motivated project, not dozens in the queue.

Ok so that was kind of a brain dump of ideas I've been thinking about lately. I've heard of CBT (David Burns' books are great. I love the case histories in "When Panic Attacks".) Meditation is something that Tim Ferris points out that so many of the experts he interviews recommend. Dan Harris's book about it was interesting. I haven't serious practiced it though. Haven't heard of self-compassion training so I'll google that now.

Thanks again for replying because sometimes I wonder if I'm making any sense to others on this forum. I've edited this to hopefully make it coherent. :)
February 4, 2017 at 5:54 | Unregistered CommenterDon R
Tried the test, scored 9 and 2. Interesting. I much broader test previously and only scored 25% on that one.
February 5, 2017 at 22:32 | Registered CommenterAlan Baljeu
edit for clarity: I took a much broader online test previously...
February 8, 2017 at 1:43 | Registered CommenterAlan Baljeu
I feel like Mark's new system will be very much in line with the way I've been thinking lately. Get rid of the stuff you're not actually using, and get rid of the To-Dos you're not actually doing. Just saw the blog posts about it (natural selection), so I'm going to start that now.
February 8, 2017 at 17:41 | Unregistered CommenterDon R
edit: Also, the idea that you don't use the system to force yourself to do things.
February 8, 2017 at 17:43 | Unregistered CommenterDon R
ADHD Test at Different Times

It's worth looking at different times in your life. The first time I did a 100-point test, I couldn't answer several questions. Now the answer is this, but last year it was that, and farther back it was something else, so I took the test three times. Back in high school, living with my naturally-organized mom and high-acheiving ADHDer Dad, I scored 40/100. Didn't have it. Ten years later as a stay-home mom with two pre-schoolers, 60/100. Definitely did. With two primary-school kids, 50/100, borderline.

ADHD Tests vs Your Life

The true test is whether it impacts your life. The tests are useful to quantify how much of a problem it's causing, and to highlight patterns.

Hoarder in You, Zasio : Now on my GoodReads list.

Yep, items representing projects (hopes, dreams). I hadn't put it in those words before, but, yep, it fits. I have 3-feet worth of paper from years in fanfic group that I left 5 years ago. I want to go through and consolidate their comments so I can do a final version of my novel and put it up for general reading. That assumes a) I'll actually do it and b) those comments are still valid. Definitely a pseudo-hoard.

My craft pile. Wasn't too bad until I joined the NeedleCraft guild four years ago. So many nice projects I want to finish. Time spent actually making something is valuable.

Mental note vs actually pulling the weeds. Yep! And then there's whether now is really the best time to pull those weeds (and their roots, and the one beside it). Definitely some anxiety about getting distracted.

Typical Tuesday. I like that.

When Panic Attacks, Burns : Now on my GoodReads list.

Meditation

I've added reviews in GoodReads to all the meditation and mindfulness books I've read, and even have a "recommend to others" shelf. The Buddha said there are 84,000 ways to meditate, but some ways are better to start with than others.

https://www.goodreads.com/review/list/41762783-sandy?shelf=recommend-to-others
There are a few books on that shelf that I haven't yet read, but are highly recommended by people I trust. One a month is my limit if I actually want to get anything out of them.

CBT seems very straight-forward, but having worked with a therapist for a while, it's also very subtle. She'll ask me about things I'd never think about examining.
February 14, 2017 at 18:50 | Registered CommenterCricket