Something eye catching and original

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welshwizard
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Something eye catching and original

Post by welshwizard » Thu Mar 02, 2017 9:25 am

Hi all,

So I had an Ed Psych assessment this week, and although the report won't be back for a while, she seemed pretty convinced I'm dyspraxic. I'd had my suspicions, but didn't (and don't) know a huge amount about the condition other than the clumsiness thing (which is me all over). My Ed Psych was dyspraxic herself, so was able to fill me in on her own subjective experience a bit - she described it as the "doctor who" condition - because dyspraxia can make you feel "lost in time and space", which I quite liked. :lol:

I'd booked the assessment because my own suspicion was that I might have ADHD(PI) - I still think that I might, and I'm sure I've read that the two things are not infrequently comorbid. I'll have to wait for the report to see what the psych thought in detail. The bulk of the assessment seemed to be psychometric (mostly the WAIS), without a huge amount of history taking, but it did show a huge discrepancy between processing time and working memory compared to verbal IQ, and a smaller but still significant discrepancy between verbal IQ and performance IQ. I'm skeptical about using IQ tests for diagnosis, but I have to admit that differences like that between domains must indicate something. I've been referred for an ADHD assessment through the NHS as well, but adult waiting times in my area are in the months to years.

Anyway, this is my introducing myself thing. I'm 32, a second year medical student on a four year course. I struggle with organisation, procrastination, forgetting things, daydreaming, and becoming bored/distracted easily - and I've always put all this down to personal failings on my part. But since I've been trying without much success to improve on these things for my entire life, I started wondering if there was something going on other than pure laziness. Thing is, despite what some people in my life have told me, I know somewhere deep down that I'm not lazy. I try really hard, I honestly do. In the past, at the same time that some people have been telling me how unmotivated and lazy I am, others have told me how hard I work and how they were impressed that I didn't give up. (I don't think I'm particularly good in that way myself, but I am stubborn).

I also am, and have always been, infamously clumsy. I walk and run funny (although still managed to join the army and pass the training, despite comments on my funny marching - they usually just hid me in the middle of the platoon during parades... I struggled to run fast enough for the fitness tests, but I made it through.) I drop things. I walk into things. I never learned to tie my shoelaces properly (but I learned a trick - making two loops and tying them in a normal knot does the same thing as the fancy rabbit and holes thing that normal people do). I took forever and a lot of patience on behalf of my long-suffering driving instructor to learn to drive, and I have to force myself to take it easy on the roads (despite a love of going fast) because I know I'm still not a great driver.

I can though, with practice, perform examinations and procedures on patients without hurting anybody. What I'm really struggling with at the moment is organising myself to learn the huge amount of information med school demands - I'm good at the working stuff out bit, terrible at the rote-learning bit (and in anatomy in particular, that's a big bit). I've joined here to try to learn how other people find ways around their own struggles, in the hope that I can improve on the things I struggle with. That and the whole mutual support thing.

Tom fod
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Re: Something eye catching and original

Post by Tom fod » Fri Mar 03, 2017 10:40 pm

Hi and welcome

I'd heard that ADHD is present in around 50% Again I think there is a notion that it's sometlhing people grow out of.

Think everyone has propensity to be lazy but in many senses we have to work harder and be very tenacious. If that fails memtal jealth can suffer. I think stunborness has its place but we neesd to choose our battles carefully.

That's my 2ps worth
Tom
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With a foot full of bullets I tried to run faster but I just hobbled on to the next disaster.
(from Peter and the Test Tube Babies, Foot Full of Bullets)

welshwizard
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Re: Something eye catching and original

Post by welshwizard » Sun Mar 05, 2017 10:43 pm

Tom fod wrote:I'd heard that ADHD is present in around 50% Again I think there is a notion that it's sometlhing people grow out of.
I think that notion is generally held about DCD as well, but the evidence suggests that it's not always (or even usually) the case. At any rate, I'm no expert on either condition - it's just that I feel like the issues I have seem to fit the picture.

Tom fod wrote:Think everyone has propensity to be lazy but in many senses we have to work harder and be very tenacious. If that fails memtal jealth can suffer. I think stunborness has its place but we neesd to choose our battles carefully.
I definitely can be lazy, but I feel that sometimes I don't do things because I've completely forgotten, or because I'm hopelessly disorganised, or because I get distracted easily and have difficulties with attention, and it gets chalked up to laziness. It might be laziness, I don't know. It feels a bit like when I had a depressive episode a few years ago, and some people tried (in a genuine attempt to be helpful) to get me to 'pull my socks up' and 'snap out of it' - it was a lot easier to 'snap out of it' on fluoxetine. Once I had the support of medication, I was able to put other things in place (exercise etc) to manage my mood, but without it, I didn't have the strength. In the case of my problems with procrastination, I don't know - is it pure laziness or is there an element of something else? Whatever it is, I'm trying to get around it so that I can achieve what I've set out to achieve. Whatever the cause of my issues, I'm mostly interested in functioning better - whether that's by doing things differently, external structure, therapies, or medication, doesn't matter so much to me - I just want to be able to become a competent doctor.

Stubborness has got me through in the past when I didn't have much else left. It's helped me keep trying even when I thought there was no hope, just so nobody got the satisfaction of seeing me quit. There's probably healthier ways to get through life, but I don't have a lot of self esteem, so I make do with what I've got :lol:

otis_b_flywheel
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Re: Something eye catching and original

Post by otis_b_flywheel » Tue Mar 07, 2017 12:49 pm

Hi there,
I'm impressed that you're studying for a medical degree as a likely dyspraxic, and making quite a good fist of it if I read you right. I wish you all the luck that's going.
I'm also interested that you're taking fluoxetine. I've recently started on a prescription of this too. Whilst the side-effects haven't been as bad as expected, it's been three and a half weeks since I started the course and it's only now that I'm beginning to notice some possible subtle changes in behaviour - though perhaps that's not an unusual time scale. It's good to know that you've found that the drug has helped you to "snap out of it". If you don't mind my asking, how long did it take to kick in for you and how long have you been taking it?
Your past experiences are in parallel with mine - some people accusing me of being lazy, others (probably in the main my friends / people who know me better) appearing amazed at how much effort I put into things (I don't think I do particularly, by the way).
Best wishes
Tim
Tim

"I may not be perfect, but parts of me are pretty awesome."

welshwizard
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Re: Something eye catching and original

Post by welshwizard » Tue Mar 07, 2017 1:20 pm

Hi Otis,

I'm not taking fluoxetine anymore - but it was very helpful at the time. I took it for about 6 months. Although I surely have depressive tendencies and risk factors - low self esteem, negative thoughts, a hesistancy to share feelings etc., I'm not depressed at the moment, and I can manage my mood fairly well through lifestyle (I'd have no hesitation about using medication again if I needed it though).

3-4 weeks is exactly the amount of time SSRIs (like fluoxetine) generally take to show an effect. Don't worry, that's completely normal and expected. Glad it's starting to help. :)

Tom fod
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Re: Something eye catching and original

Post by Tom fod » Wed Mar 08, 2017 10:27 pm

welsh wizard wrote: I think that notion is generally held about DCD as well, but the evidence suggests that it's not always (or even usually) the case. At any rate, I'm no expert on either condition - it's just that I feel like the issues I have seem to fit the picture.

I definitely can be lazy, but I feel that sometimes I don't do things because I've completely forgotten, or because I'm hopelessly disorganised, or because I get distracted easily and have difficulties with attention, and it gets chalked up to laziness. It might be laziness, I don't know. It feels a bit like when I had a depressive episode a few years ago, and some people tried (in a genuine attempt to be helpful) to get me to 'pull my socks up' and 'snap out of it' - it was a lot easier to 'snap out of it' on fluoxetine. Once I had the support of medication, I was able to put other things in place (exercise etc) to manage my mood, but without it, I didn't have the strength. In the case of my problems with procrastination, I don't know - is it pure laziness or is there an element of something else? Whatever it is, I'm trying to get around it so that I can achieve what I've set out to achieve. Whatever the cause of my issues, I'm mostly interested in functioning better - whether that's by doing things differently, external structure, therapies, or medication, doesn't matter so much to me - I just want to be able to become a competent doctor.

Stubborness has got me through in the past when I didn't have much else left. It's helped me keep trying even when I thought there was no hope, just so nobody got the satisfaction of seeing me quit. There's probably healthier ways to get through life, but I don't have a lot of self esteem, so I make do with what I've got :lol:
Rather than growing out of it I believe it is possible to learn coping strategies that enable us to mitigate and mask the fact we have the condition. Unfortunately change and the stresses this can bring can mean these strategies become less effective.

I can certainly admit to procrastination and I believe sometimes this may be an avoidance strategy where I'm worrying unnecessarily and unwilling to bite the bullet/take the bull by the horns. The other thing I have a tendency to do is to set very high exacting standards which are difficult/impossible to sustain and hating myself for not measuring up. That's not to say I don't have 'can't be bothered days' followed by 'I wish I could have done that differently' days. That said I can understand why you feel a lot of pressure to get things right as this in many ways an understandably necessary 'requirement' of your chosen profession? That said there is a degree of importance to making the right decision quickly based on the information available.

Persistence is good but sometimes you have to look for a different way. A bit like pulling at a push entry door. These 'issues' are not the exclusive preserve if the Neurally Diverse but I would say the effects are magnified for us.

Hope that provides some food for thought as I think knowing/understanding ourselves is an important part of developing coping strategies and maximising our potential.

Please do feel free to question/challenge here as my understanding is subjective.
Tom
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With a foot full of bullets I tried to run faster but I just hobbled on to the next disaster.
(from Peter and the Test Tube Babies, Foot Full of Bullets)

welshwizard
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Re: Something eye catching and original

Post by welshwizard » Wed Mar 08, 2017 11:01 pm

Tom fod wrote:
welsh wizard wrote: I think that notion is generally held about DCD as well, but the evidence suggests that it's not always (or even usually) the case. At any rate, I'm no expert on either condition - it's just that I feel like the issues I have seem to fit the picture.

I definitely can be lazy, but I feel that sometimes I don't do things because I've completely forgotten, or because I'm hopelessly disorganised, or because I get distracted easily and have difficulties with attention, and it gets chalked up to laziness. It might be laziness, I don't know. It feels a bit like when I had a depressive episode a few years ago, and some people tried (in a genuine attempt to be helpful) to get me to 'pull my socks up' and 'snap out of it' - it was a lot easier to 'snap out of it' on fluoxetine. Once I had the support of medication, I was able to put other things in place (exercise etc) to manage my mood, but without it, I didn't have the strength. In the case of my problems with procrastination, I don't know - is it pure laziness or is there an element of something else? Whatever it is, I'm trying to get around it so that I can achieve what I've set out to achieve. Whatever the cause of my issues, I'm mostly interested in functioning better - whether that's by doing things differently, external structure, therapies, or medication, doesn't matter so much to me - I just want to be able to become a competent doctor.

Stubborness has got me through in the past when I didn't have much else left. It's helped me keep trying even when I thought there was no hope, just so nobody got the satisfaction of seeing me quit. There's probably healthier ways to get through life, but I don't have a lot of self esteem, so I make do with what I've got :lol:
Rather than growing out of it I believe it is possible to learn coping strategies that enable us to mitigate and mask the fact we have the condition. Unfortunately change and the stresses this can bring can mean these strategies become less effective.

I can certainly admit to procrastination and I believe sometimes this may be an avoidance strategy where I'm worrying unnecessarily and unwilling to bite the bullet/take the bull by the horns. The other thing I have a tendency to do is to set very high exacting standards which are difficult/impossible to sustain and hating myself for not measuring up. That's not to say I don't have 'can't be bothered days' followed by 'I wish I could have done that differently' days. That said I can understand why you feel a lot of pressure to get things right as this in many ways an understandably necessary 'requirement' of your chosen profession? That said there is a degree of importance to making the right decision quickly based on the information available.

Persistence is good but sometimes you have to look for a different way. A bit like pulling at a push entry door. These 'issues' are not the exclusive preserve if the Neurally Diverse but I would say the effects are magnified for us.

Hope that provides some food for thought as I think knowing/understanding ourselves is an important part of developing coping strategies and maximising our potential.

Please do feel free to question/challenge here as my understanding is subjective.
These are excellent insights and very much appreciated. The Ed Psych said some similar things, and I know that awareness of limitations is something I do need to work on.

Ironically, pushing on pull doors is something I do quite a lot....

Tom fod
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Re: Something eye catching and original

Post by Tom fod » Wed Mar 08, 2017 11:15 pm

I think we can become a little obsessed about Limitations and clean forget to appreciate ourselves for what we do well.
Tom
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With a foot full of bullets I tried to run faster but I just hobbled on to the next disaster.
(from Peter and the Test Tube Babies, Foot Full of Bullets)

welshwizard
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Re: Something eye catching and original

Post by welshwizard » Thu Mar 09, 2017 12:39 am

Tom fod wrote:I think we can become a little obsessed about Limitations and clean forget to appreciate ourselves for what we do well.
Haha, learning to appreciate myself is definitely something I need to work on. I agree though, it's easy for people to underestimate what they're capable of.

welshwizard
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Re: Something eye catching and original

Post by welshwizard » Fri Mar 24, 2017 8:41 pm

Had my report back a couple of days ago!

It's quite long and comprehensive, but the summary reads:
On the basis of evidence from this assessment, (welshwizard) presents as a student with specific learning difficulties of a dyspraxic nature including relative weaknesses in working memory and processing speed. He exhibits attentional and concentration difficultes consistent with a profile Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD).
So on the basis of this, I guess my suspicions of ADHD weren't completely unfounded; it looks like I may have both dyspraxia and ADD (or ADHD Primarily Inattentive, since 'ADD' isn't actually in the DSM/ICD). It's not a medical diagnosis, although I'm still chasing that (not so much for the dyspraxia, seeing as there isn't much in the way of medical treatment available from what I understand), but it does mean that some support should hopefully be available from the university.

I'm feeling positive about this. I've got a name for my difficulties, and I've been having some small success with strategies for starting to deal with them. I think I've got a bit of a slog ahead of me, but hopefully, I now have a direction and some answers.

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Re: Something eye catching and original

Post by Ram » Mon Mar 27, 2017 7:35 pm

welshwizard wrote:I'm feeling positive about this. I've got a name for my difficulties, and I've been having some small success with strategies for starting to deal with them. I think I've got a bit of a slog ahead of me, but hopefully, I now have a direction and some answers.
Love the positive attitude. I wish I'd been like that when I got mine. Also this paragraph beautifully and concisely explains to all naysayers the great value in getting a diagnosis.

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