Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Wednesday, March 31, 2010 TannerFrostburg, Community Member, asks

Q: I think I have ADD and do not know what to do.

I have been experiencing symptoms of not necessarily ADHD, but more of just ADD for about 5 years, I am currently 16 and in college and this is the portion of my life when I need the most focus possible. One of my roommates has been diagnosed with ADD for quite some time, and he is prescribed 70 Mg Vyvanse. I told him about my problems, and even though I know it is illegal, he gave me one of his pills and told me to take it and see how I react. I took it and it was the best I have done in class, since I can remember. I was able to pay attention through all of my lectures and take very good notes, while not getting distracted or bored. So, I wanted to know who I should go to either my family doctor, or the psychiatrist in town to tell them about my symptoms. As well as telling the doctor about my problems, I wanted to know if there are any suggestions on ways to tell my mom about my issues without her thinking I just want to score some pills, because she has been non-stop watching the news and there is all this news about teenagers finding new pills to abuse, because in the past when I have talked to her about my anxiety she kind of thought that is what I was trying to do since I have had some problems with marijuana in the past. I also wanted to know if it is a good idea to tell the doctor about my experience with the 70 Mg Vyvanse and how it made me feel the best I have felt in a while. Also, I was wondering if it is abnormal for the Vyvanse to help with anxiety, because I usually have a lot of anxiety in public situations, along with some mild panic attacks (have not seen a doctor about this issue either), but when I was on the Vyvanse I was outgoing and it seemed as if I wanted to talk to as many people as possible. Any responses would be appreciated. I am just at a stand still and am wondering what to do.

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Answers (2)
Eileen Bailey, Health Guide
3/31/10 2:34pm



Thank you for your question and welcome to


I am not a medical professional and would not be able to give you medical advice. I can attempt to answer your questions based on my personal experience from raising a son with ADHD and from speaking with other parents.


You may want to start by taking some online screening tests. Although these are not meant to be used for diagnostic purposes, they can let you know whether you should seek medical care. These tests may also let you print out a copy of the results, which would give you information to share with the doctor.


Some family doctors have experience with ADHD and feel comfortable diagnosing it, however, a psychiatrist is probably more familiar with teen and adult ADHD, so you may want to start with the family doctor but find out how much experience he or she has in treating ADHD and move on to the psychiatrist, if necessary. Some insurances will require you to start with the family doctor and obtain a referral. You will have to check your insurance coverage for specifics.


As far as discussing the use of your roommates medication, of course, I cannot condone that as it can be quite dangerous to use a medication that was not prescribed to you. You will need to decide whether or not to reveal that information.


As far as talking with your mother, you may want to use either the results from the online screening to start the conversation or go through the screening test with your mother (you can do it twice, once without your mother and then again with her). You may also want to show her this site and find some articles that explain ADHD and help her to learn about it and why you think you may have it.


For more information: 


ADHD - Online Screening Tests for ADHD


ADHD - Asking for Accommodations in College


Self-Advocacy in High School and College


When to See a Doctor for Teens with ADD


10 Tips for People Newly Diagnosed with ADHD


Questions to Ask Your Doctor Before Beginning Medication


Differentiating ADD and ADHD: Diagnosis, Symptoms and Treatment


I know this is a lot of information, but try to read through. Please check back and let me know how you make out.



rememberme7, Community Member
4/ 7/10 8:51pm

I was diagnosed with ADD at the age of 16, which is how old you are (right?). Sp hopefully this helps...

You should probably see if you can get diagnosed and you can be eligable for accomodations in school and all that jazz. I get exam accomodations and help with time managment and stuff and it helps soooo much.

The doctors and phsychologists won't make a big deal out of it if you contact then for a diagnosis, if worst comes to worst they say you don't have ADD, if they say you do then you can work to improve on it, so it's sort of a win-win thing.

And just because they say you have ADD doesn't mean you have to get it, it took me 2 years to decide that I wanted medication so if that's an issue for your mom you can just tell her that getting the diagnosis doesn't automatically mean your going to go and get pills so perhaps that will help her relax more knowing that you just want to get the diagnosis to make sure you get the best in life and not so that you can do drugs

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By TannerFrostburg, Community Member— Last Modified: 02/20/13, First Published: 03/31/10