I was talking to a new client a few months ago and she told me - very forcefully - that she has the Inattentive Type of ADHD.
“You have ADD not ADHD, you mean” I asked, seeking to establish whether she knew the difference and how deep her knowledge of the condition was.
“That’s what the psychiatrist said when he diagnosed me, I only have the Inattentive Type of ADHD,” she said in a tone that was brooking no disagreement from me.
There are actually two points that I disagree with the psychiatrist on. Firstly the Inattentive Type are seldom that forceful, so while my new client didn’t have “only” the Inattentive Type, she turned out to be what we call the Combined type - some ADD and some ADHD.
Her “label” indicated that she was somewhere in the middle of the continuum. Around 80% of ADDers have the combined type, the remaining 20% is split between the true Hyperactive Type and the Inattentive Type.
The second, and most important disagreement - in terms of this article - is that she had “just ADD.”
No one has just ADD or ADHD - in any form at all.
We all have at least 2 other conditions that run alongside. These co-occurring conditions are sometimes treated as stand alone conditions, which is tragic.
The two conditions that always run with ADHD are anxiety and depression. These three are like peas and carrots, as Forest Gump would say. It’s important to understand that you might not tick all the diagnostic boxes for them, but you will be anxious, and you will be depressed.
You see, all day we wander around, anxiously trying to remember if we are in the right place, what have we forgotten, what is that person’s name, etc.
As we go through life, it’s made very clear to us that we are not “normal,” while we may be very good at some things we are abject failures at others. So depression quite naturally sets in.
As time goes on, you will eventually tick all those boxes, and then get treated for the anxiety and the depression, while the underlying cause - your ADHD - will go untreated.
There are many other co-occurring conditions with ADHD, a whole glue of labels that you can wear on your chest, if you want.
Whenever I get a chance to talk to any medical professionals, I urge them to at least scan - or check - for ADHD if they have diagnosed Anxiety, Depression, Fibromyalgia, (especially in women) Restless Leg Syndrome, and Irritable Bowel Syndrome.
For context and an overiview of ADHD and Co-Occuring Conditions click here
Know The Jargon - ADHD Acronyms
Here are some of the common ADHD acronyms and what they mean
ADDer - a person who has ADHD or ADD
ADHD - Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorder
ADD - Attention Deficit Disorder
SCT - Sluggish Cognitive Tempo - new name for ADD
ODD - Oppositional Defiance Disorder
CD - Conduct Disorder
OCD - Obsessive Compulsive Disorder
Bi-polar - Bi-polar Disorder, used to be Manic-Depression
SPD - Sensory Processing Disorder
PTSD - Post Traumatic Stress Disorder
SAD - Seasonal Affective Disorder
ACT - Action Consequence Trigger - monitoring forms devised and supplied by Living ADDventure®