More Than ADHD?

By Kristina Randle, Ph.D., LCSW

I’m not sure what’s wrong with me. Hi I’m 25 but i have been dealing with my issue my whole life or as far back as I can remember. I get really mad really quick, I get hyper, short attention span, low trust with everyone, I remember events and people that never happened or aren’t real but I can tel you in great detail what took place or what this person(s) looked like, sometime I feel like I’m watching myself as if I’m at the movies, I seem to have missing periods of time on some days, I do thing but don’t remember doing them,I’ve had thoughts of killing myself thru out my life, the thoughts in my head sometimes sound like a shopping mall during the holidays at time, I can’t handle being places like the mall even on a day when theres every little people in the mall i start to panic. I’ve been told by a few teachers I have ADHD but it seems more then that. I just really want to know what might be wrong with me and not having any medical inssurance to get check out doesn’t help. I true just want to know why I am the way I am. I’ve never know were to look for help and i’t interfering with my life so I ask you please help my to under stand my issue.

A. You are correct. What you are experiencing seems to be more serious than ADHD. You presented a number of symptoms that are concerning but not necessarily indicative of any one particular diagnosis. I understand that you do not have medical insurance but there are low-cost or no-cost facilities such as community mental health centers where you can be evaluated by a psychiatrist or other mental health professional.

While I am not able to offer you an online diagnosis I can say that your symptoms are concerning. They may be indicative of possible psychosis. Psychosis is a generalized term that indicates a break with reality. In your specific situation, remembering in great detail events that did not occur is a possible sign of psychosis. The positive news is that you are aware that those events are not real. The major concern is that eventually you will lose the ability to differentiate reality from unreality.

On the other hand, you may not be psychotic. Some of your symptoms have a dissociative amnesia and depersonalization quality about them. For example, dissociative amnesia symptoms include missing periods of time. Depersonalization is often described as being able to “watch yourself” as though you are outside of your body looking in. It also seems that you are experiencing a high degree of anxiety and possibly depression. Depression and anxiety usually go hand-in-hand.

The symptoms you have described are serious and are negatively impacting your life but they are treatable. It is entirely possible that if your symptoms had been treated earlier they may have not progressed. That is why I am advising you to strongly consider visiting your local community mental health center for a psychiatric evaluation and treatment as soon as possible. Usually the phone number for your local community mental health center can be found in the yellow or white pages. You also may be able to locate a therapist by checking this directory. I wish you the best of luck. Thank you for your question.

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Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 10 Dec 2009

APA Reference
Randle, K. (2009). More Than ADHD?. Psych Central. Retrieved on October 31, 2014, from http://psychcentral.com/ask-the-therapist/2009/12/10/more-than-adhd/

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