Question #21: “I’ve Always Had Problems With Motivation And Staying Focused On Tasks. Do You Think I Have ADHD?”

15 Jan

A great question I recently received from “Antsy in Anchorage.” Well,  AIA, it’s perfectly understandable that you’re concerned about these symptoms you’ve had your entire life. ADHD is a serious disorder that seriously impairs millions of people across the world if left untreated– the majority of the time without the sufferer ever being aware of having been afflicted with the disorder to begin with. The good news is, there are many treatment options available, with a wide variety of quality prescription drugs such as Adderall, Ritalin, Concerta , and many others. First things first. We must determine whether or not you actually have ADHD. It is essential that you read this, from the American Psychiatric Association’s Diagnostics and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders. After reading it, you’ll have a better idea as to whether or not you really do have ADHD, and after you’ve reached your conclusion, I will give you some options as to your next course of action at the bottom of this post.

DSM-IV Definition
Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder

Essential features:
A. Persistent pattern of inattention and/or hyperactivity-impulsivity that is more frequently displayed and is more severe than is typically observed in individuals at comparable level of development.
B. Some hyperactive-impulsive or inattentive symptoms must have been present before seven years of age.
C. Some impairment from the symptoms must be present in at least two settings.
D. There must be clear evidence of interference with developmentally appropriate social, academic or occupational functioning.
E. The disturbance does not occur exclusively during the course of a Pervasive Developmental Disorder, Schizophrenia, or other Psychotic Disorders and is not better accounted for by another mental disorder.

Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder Predominantly Hyperactive-Impulsive Type: This subtype should be used if six (or more) symptoms of hyperactivity-impulsivity (but fewer than six of inattention) have persisted for at least six months.

Diagnostic Criteria for the three subtypes of Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder according to DSM-IV:

A. “Persistent pattern of inattention and/or hyperactivity-impulsivity that is more frequently displayed and is more severe than is typically observed in individuals at comparable level of development.” Individual must meet criteria for either (1) or (2):

(1) Six (or more) of the following symptoms of inattention have persisted for at least six months to a degree that is maladaptive and inconsistent with developmental level:

Inattention
(a) often fails to give close attention to details or makes careless mistakes in schoolwork, work or other activities
(b) often has difficulty sustaining attention in tasks or play activity
(c) often does not seem to listen when spoken to directly
(d) often does not follow through on instructions and fails to finish schoolwork, chores or duties in the workplace (not due to oppositional behavior or failure to understand instructions)
(e) often has difficulty organizing tasks and activities
(f) often avoids, dislikes, or is reluctant to engage in tasks that require sustained mental effort (such as schoolwork or homework)
(g) often looses things necessary for tasks or activities (e.g., toys, school assignments, pencils, books or tools)
(h) is often easily distracted by extraneous stimuli
(i) is often forgetful in daily activities

(2) Six (or more) of the following symptoms of hyperactivity-impulsivity have persisted for at least six months to a degree that is maladaptive and inconsistent with developmental level:

Hyperactivity
(a) often fidgets with hands or feet or squirms in seat
(b) often leaves seat in classroom or in other situations in which remaining seated is expected
(c) often runs about or climbs excessively in situations in which it is inappropriate (in adolescents or adults, may be limited to subjective feelings of restlessness)
(d) often has difficulty playing or engaging in leisure activities quietly
(e) is often “on the go” or often acts as if “driven by a motor”
(f) often talks excessively
Impulsivity
(g) often blurts out answers before questions have been completed
(h) often has difficulty awaiting turn
(i) often interrupts or intrudes on others (e.g., butts into conversations or games)

B. Some hyperactive-impulsive or inattentive symptoms must have been present before age 7 years.
C. Some impairment from the symptoms is present in at least two settings (e.g., at school [or work] and at home).
D. There must be clear evidence of interference with developmentally appropriate social, academic or occupational functioning.
E. The disturbance does not occur exclusively during the course of a Pervasive Developmental Disorder, Schizophrenia, or other Psychotic Disorders and is not better accounted for by another mental disorder (e.g., Mood Disorder, Anxiety Disorder, Dissociative Disorder, or a Personality Disorder)….


…you didn’t even read it all, did you AIA? Just skipped to the bottom, right?  I knew it. You unfocused little son of a bitch. No, you don’t have ADHD, you’re obviusly just fucking lazy. And no, I don’t have any more dexedrine, I sold the last of mine to the high school kid living in the apartment below me, which was obviously a huge mistake, because the little cocksucker kept me up all last night playing his shitty Techno Trance Remix Shit Storm Cacophony Mashup Genre music or whatever the fuck it is you kids are listening to these days.

You know what? You’ve really pissed me off now, AIA. Here I sit down earnestly trying to answer your shitty little question and it turns out you’re just an unmotivated, aimless little drug-seeking piece of foxtrotting shit. Get the fuck off my blog right now you whiny, indolent little shitbucket.

Hope that helped, AIA.

Have a mental health problem? That’s no problem at all! I’m a certified advice columnist and former psychiatrist! Just email me at absenteedaddy@gmail.com, and I’ll get that stinkin’ thinkin’ right out of that head!

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2 Responses to “Question #21: “I’ve Always Had Problems With Motivation And Staying Focused On Tasks. Do You Think I Have ADHD?””

  1. absenteedaddy January 22, 2011 at 12:29 am #

    Glad you like me, Cassie. Daddy likes you, too. There’s a hot tub at this new local gym that just opened up, and I have a 1 week free admission card. Whaddya say you and me make use of that. I can bring 1 guest.

  2. Cassie January 16, 2011 at 7:03 am #

    Yay, a new post! You crack me up!

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