Published on 12, July, 2020
I was diagnosed with Asperger's about 17 years ago. Sometimes I notice ADD traits in myself.
I've got 4 books on the go at once, it's rare for me to focus on one thing.
When I'm online I'll have about 25 tabs open at the same time. I struggle to remember what I'm interested in or doing because I keep thinking of something else I want to do. That's why all the tabs are open, to remind me of things I've been doing or reading about.
Would this indicate I should seek a diagnosis of ADD or is it a standard overlap that many people experience?
It’s interesting that you’ve mentioned this as I often pick up on ASD traits in people with an ADHD diagnosis. I think that it’s relatively common for the two to occur together.
Although medication is first line action with ADHD, it's only one option going forward. 10% of ADHDers don't respond to medication treatment, and another 10% can't tolerate the side effects (I seem…
I think in the old DSM-4, it prohibited the simultaneous diagnosis of both disorders. But because they discovered that there could be significant comorbidity among different disorders, DSM-5 allowed simultaneous…
I seem to have some ADD traits. I mentioned this to someone and their immediate reaction was that I was definitely not ADHD. But, you know, the more I reflect on my childhood, the more I detect hidden moments of intense hyperactivity, largely away from the gaze of family. So you might also want to consider ADHD, because you might as well see the whole picture for yourself; even if you never talk to specialists about it.
When I had an assessment, I would say it was quite clear to both myself and the diagnostician that I probably had quite a list of comorbidities; but none exactly acute. The diagnostician decided to only use the label Asperger's/ASD. The given reason was that as I live very far afield, a long list of associated issues might lead local ASD-unaware GPs into trying to treat only the stated side issues; given that they wouldn't know where to start on ASD, but would feel that they could do something about something like ADD; such as medication. Neither of us would consider medication a good idea, especially as I've experienced decades adapting, reasonably successfully, to my side issues.
I think you will find that the suggested overlap is quite commonly acknowledged by both specialists and their subjects. I doubt that it would be worth seeking a further diagnosis. It is probably enough to self-identify as such, and just keep going with the adaptations you have detailed.
I see your point about how secondary diagnoses could distract attention from the most important one.
As you say it's good to be self-aware. I also wouldn't think medication would be a good idea for me due to immune system issues.
If you have a GP who is worth talking to about these things, I would recommend that you at least have a chat with her/him about your suspicions and also bring up your concerns about the effects of all the different types of medication which are used to treat ADD/ADHD. An ADD diagnosis would perhaps be a good thing to discover because you will have identified one of the things which has caused you problems throughout your life and be able to receive treatment for it.
Your GP will at least have access via PC to all of the information you need so, what have you got to lose?