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Added: February 11, 2019
GAD, MDD or ADD? : Generalized Anxiety Disorder Forum
A therapist that I was seeing with my wife for marital suggested to me that I might have ADD, based on some of the problems I told her I was facing at work. I did some research, some reading and answered a few online questionnaires, and had some discussions with my family doctor and with a local psychiatrist.
Based on those discussions and on my reading and personal research, everything points to me having ADD or Inattentive type ADHD (I don’t have much of the H symptoms): I have difficulties staying engaged in work discussions and meetings, keeping track of tasks at work, as well as paperwork and bills at home, I am very forgetful, I get distracted very easily, always start grandiose projects and plans but never seem to finish them, and I am very disorganized at home, my car and at my work desk. At work (I’m a developer), I’m often capable of figuring high level conceptual problems and discussing complex abstract solutions, but I do poorly and get into frequent trouble because I am slow and sloppy, and frequently get blocked on small details and simple mistakes. Many of these symptoms I remember struggling with since my late teens, but they have gotten much worse in the last couple of years (I’m 40).
Several people have told that for some people medication really helps. In fact some described it to me as “It’s like having your glasses off, and then putting them on: Everything becomes very clear and obvious.”
The psychiatrist I was seeing didn’t want to put me on medication before I had a formal psychological test.
The psychologist who tested me said that I definitely don’t have on ADD, based on my results. He tested me for math skills, memory and vocabulary – basically he was saying my IQ was too high for someone with ADD. But instead that I likely have General Anxiety Disorder or Major Depression Disorder (He mentioned the word ‘Anhedonia’). The thing is, I don’t usually feel sad, or suicidal or anything like that – although I do feel down from time to time, I feel it is mostly driven by my failures at work and my constant underachievement more than anything else.
He insisted that my test results were not consistent with someone with ADD, and that moreover ADD improves with age, whereas in my case my symptoms seem to be getting worse. He also mentioned that GAD and MDD can have cognitive and functional consequences similar to what I have, and that most likely I will need CBT, not medication, to address my problems.
Am at loss. My problems at work have always been there (since my days in school) and they are now getting to the point where they are endangering my job. Every single second hand and first hand description of ADD I’ve had describes my own life perfectly, and I thought I had finally arrived at the root cause of my perpetual underachievement. I thought all I had to do was seek treatment and I would be able to get it.
Yet the psychologist disagrees and now it seems like I am headed for several more months of therapy and discussions with psychiatrists before I know what to do.
What can I do? Is the psychologist right? Does high IQ and math ability contradict an ADD diagnosis? If so, why do I identify so squarely with the symptoms of ADD? What can I do? I am getting desperate
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