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is it possible to have untreated ADHD but good grades?

dubyawhydubyawhy Posts: 266Registered User Junior Member
I think I have ADHD. I have all the symptoms and stuff...but I get pretty good grades. In fact I had a 4.0 last semester. Does this mean my chances of being diagnosed and treated are small? I mean, doctors are used to seeing kids with ADHD do badly in school, not well.

I live in a country that doesn't really diagnose ADHD(China) but I have the opportunity to go back to the states and see a doctor. Should I even bother?
Post edited by dubyawhy on
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Replies to: is it possible to have untreated ADHD but good grades?

  • ShrinkrapShrinkrap Posts: 11,636Registered User Senior Member
    "Technically", the diagnosis currently requires significant impairment in two or more settings, and the symptoms causing that impairment needs to be present before age 8. That's technically. Your milage may vary. How would you use the diagnosis? Just curious.
  • dubyawhydubyawhy Posts: 266Registered User Junior Member
    Well if I don't have a problem, then I won't need treatment obviously. But if I do, then I think I would want medication, seeing as the next two years are quite important for my future.

    Is it common for ADHD to remain unnoticed and undiagnosed till older age? I only lived in America till I was about 7, when I moved to China. My parents don't know what ADHD is, so if symptoms were present before, then they might've just written it off as being slightly more inattentive than other children. Local doctors here don't even have "ADHD" as a legit condition...so yeah.

    The thing is, is that I'm not "hyperactive". I fall asleep in classes frequently and am tired a lot during the afternoon, and have trouble concentrating on just about everything I don't have deep interest in (i.e. everything besides video games). I get sidetracked every 20min while doing work, and am stuck doing homework longer than most people. I'll literally spend 4pm to 12pm doing work that my friends are done with a lot faster. But that's fine because 8pm-3am is usually when I'm the most productive and have the most energy.

    I don't really procrastinate - I'll sit down with my homework right after I get home from school, but I'll only do it intermittently in a medley of facebook, music, skype, video games and random internet reading.

    Does this sound like ADHD?
  • ShrinkrapShrinkrap Posts: 11,636Registered User Senior Member
    Depends on who you ask. Having "a problem" is relative.

    http://www.cdc.gov/ncbddd/adhd/prevalence.html

    This one is confusing,,,,

    http://www.biomedcentral.com/1471-2296/11/11

    Are you sorry you asked?
  • swans004swans004 Posts: 372Registered User Member
    I'm an SAT tutor who specializes in ADHD students, and I get this question ALL the time. Yes, it is absolutely possible to get good grades when you have untreated ADHD. Intelligent students tend to have enough brain power to compensate so they can manage to pull off better grades despite the challenges.

    Many people are never diagnosed until adulthood, so that's not unusual at all. The hyperactive symptoms usually subside or disappear by the time people reach adolescence, and the inattentive type symptoms begin to predominate. To get a good diagnosis, you should be evaluated by a physician (preferably psychiatrist) and be tested by a neuropsychologist.

    The thing to remember is that there are a number of other conditions that can have similar symptoms, so problems concentrating aren't necessarily indicative of ADHD. That's why a thorough workup is important. Taking ADHD meds when you don't have it can cause a whole host of problems, so you want to be certain you've got it.

    Good luck. Feel free to PM me if you have other questions.
  • rockstar45177rockstar45177 Posts: 18Registered User New Member
    Above^^^^^^^

    the heck with what swans 0004 said. Don't listen to that person.

    I was diagnosed with ADHD when I was 8 years old and my parents took me to a psychiatrist who put me on a whole bunch of meds which had horrible side effects.

    All mes have side effects that cause more problems to your body and mind that the actual problem that they were designed to solve in the first place. Just read the adderall thread to see proof of this.

    I am telling you there is hope though. There is a natural way to treat ADHD and for that matter any LD or even biopolar disorder.

    It's called Neurofeedback and unlike meds it is used to treat the source of the problem and not the symptoms like most meds do. And as a result you don't have to be dependent on them to function. After 40 sessions of NFB the changes are permanent and long lasting.

    Look for a neurofeedback provider in your area.

    I personally now and more enthusiastic , motivated, can read a whole book in a day.Highly focused and my mind just feels faster. I never get head aches or nightmares and sleep like a baby. My IQ has even increased a lot.

    All that with NO SIDE EFFECTS

    let's see a pill that can do that.

    feel free to PM me or post below if you have any more questions.

    Patrick
  • LonghaulLonghaul Posts: 2,303Registered User Senior Member
    I am a parent to 2 ADHD inattentive kids, spouse to ADHD undiagnosed adult and mom to one kid who is non-ADHD but is having "pre-teen mush" brain issues lately.

    Many high IQ can certainly go untreated and have good grades. Some, like my DH, will choose occupations that will permit them to never be dx or require treatment. However, once we had ADHD kids, the lightbulb went on and he could see how he has always had it.

    Medication alone does not solve ADHD issues.

    Shinkwrap has a great point -- what will you do if you do have ADHD?
    Can you get accommodations in China? Can you get the medication? Should you begin with a book and attempt to follow coping mechanisms before seeking a diagnosis?

    My 12 yr old son started to have procrastination issues, forgetfulness, focusing issues. He is NOT ADHD, but following the steps his siblings use to cope with their ADHD has helped him with his organizational issues. The difference in my kids is that the ADHD kids cannot consistently follow the organizational steps, even with reminders, and have everything fall into place.
  • tarmirieltarmiriel Posts: 229Registered User Junior Member
    I have ADD. Before diagnosis, I had very good SAT scores (although my math score, as might be expected, was lower). I had fairly good grades. I go to a very difficult school and get most of my work done on time. After going on medication, I'm less anxious. I now rarely end up hating myself for not accomplishing something that I really really wanted to accomplish (studying for a test, doing hwk that won't be checked/collected, etc). I think faster, am less sidetracked in class, can concentrate in noisier environments, and generally don't feel as helpless and upset, which was really damaging before. So it's definitely possible. There are a ton of ADD kids in my school, some of whom do well and all of whom are very intelligent; I guess I'm a little biased in that I frequently see ADD kids with SAT scores well over 1900 get treated.

    I don't know if what you're describing is ADD -- I really wouldn't be able to tell you. My psychiatrist told me that what clinched my diagnosis is my huge discrepancy between my verbal IQ (very high) and my math IQ (above average), which showed up in a test I took at the age of 4 and in later tests as well. Supposedly that type of discrepancy is frequent. Have you noticed it in yourself? That might be a clue.
  • YoHoYoHoYoHoYoHo Posts: 1,261Registered User Senior Member
    To OP, it sounds like you are either a regular kid who gets distracted, or possibly borderline ADHD. But part of the diagnosis of ADHD is that is must impact your life (such as grades) in 2 separate situtations (such as school grades and home chores). Thus, it would seem more like you are a regular kid who gets distracted and it's not worth the risk of taking meds. Try to get to bed earlier, study in a different location, set a schedule to try to follow etc, etc
  • hsgurl94hsgurl94 Posts: 26Registered User New Member
    yes its possible to have adhd and be a straight a student, i have add and i get a's and take AP classes. However, im able to get a's through accomidations. Chances r that if u have straight A's u only have a mild case of add if at all.
  • 3togo3togo Posts: 5,229Registered User Senior Member
    edited June 2012
    OP, I'm far from an expert but I'd say it's certainly possible to have ADHD and get good grades. I'm 53 and when I was a kid I believe virtually noone was diagnosed with ADHD and I certainly believe the condition existed and people had it ... and a lot of those folks managed to muddle their way through and do OK. Having proper knowledge and intervention probably could have made their lives easier/better but it wasn't really an option back in my day ... but it is now .. and anything that helps people function "better" is good in my book.

    And yes, I'm pretty sure I have (undiagnosed) ADHD or something like it. In grade school while getting good grades I was constantly getting negative feedback about my behavior and my study/learning habits (which pretty much read like the ADHD symptom list). I've done very well for myself with three big caveats ...
    * I am very smart (in the SAT sense of smart) and during my K-12 years I could overcome all the other stuff with brain power
    * When I started college I almost flunked out ... I eventually learned some coping mechanisms (on my own not with any help) because I needed to to survive ... this was the VERY HARD way to do this. Understanding my issues and being given options and suggestions would have been a MUCH BETTER way to go
    * I've done fine in my job and my relationships ... however I do not think I've reached my potential ... and to be honest, not very close ... and the same behavioral shortcomings have limited me throughout my life.

    Bottom line ... yes, someone can make it without getting help ... but why not see what is out that might help ... it may allow you to achieve more or to get where you're going a little easier.
  • vidgirlvidgirl Posts: 18Registered User New Member
    I have ADHD and my school won't let me have accommodations because I do too well haha. Does that answer your question? It's totally possible, though I think, at least in my school, there are not a lot of kids like me
  • LearnerforlifeLearnerforlife Posts: 78Registered User Junior Member
    I've been diagnosed with ADHD, and it's honestly no big deal. Yeah, I fidget a lot, and I'm very outgoing, but I have a 96 GPA with honors courses, so it doesnt seem to do anything to me.
  • lifelonglegolifelonglego Posts: 1Registered User New Member
    >>Well if I don't have a problem, then I won't need treatment obviously. But if I do, then I think I would want medication, seeing as the next two years are quite important for my future.

    Is it common for ADHD to remain unnoticed and undiagnosed till older age? I only lived in America till I was about 7, when I moved to China. My parents don't know what ADHD is, so if symptoms were present before, then they might've just written it off as being slightly more inattentive than other children. Local doctors here don't even have "ADHD" as a legit condition...so yeah.

    The thing is, is that I'm not "hyperactive". I fall asleep in classes frequently and am tired a lot during the afternoon, and have trouble concentrating on just about everything I don't have deep interest in (i.e. everything besides video games). I get sidetracked every 20min while doing work, and am stuck doing homework longer than most people. I'll literally spend 4pm to 12pm doing work that my friends are done with a lot faster. But that's fine because 8pm-3am is usually when I'm the most productive and have the most energy.

    I don't really procrastinate - I'll sit down with my homework right after I get home from school, but I'll only do it intermittently in a medley of facebook, music, skype, video games and random internet reading.

    Does this sound like ADHD? <<

    I was just diagnosed and that sounds a lot like me (except without moving to China). I got pretty good grades in school, but I was always spending way too much time working on things. I didn't think to get help until my grades started slipping this year. I was put on medication, and it helped a lot. I, fortunately, didn't really have any side-effects, besides a little bit of appetite suppression, which in my case was more of a benefit.

    If you are diagnosed and are put on medication, or given some alternative therapy, you will probably see how bad things really are (assuming you do have ADHD). I had a relatively mild case, and a day with medication is completely different (and less productive) than a day with medication.
  • AerobugAerobug Posts: 773Registered User Member
    I have ADD, and I've come to realize its all about motivation.
    I could literally sit around doing nothing all day and be content, but I get great grades because I do my schoolwork at school or an environment strictly set aside for work (eg. A desk) and my brain gets less distracted, and I allow myself to become motivated.

    I didn't do so well in school until sophomore year, but now I'm doing extremely well.
  • AlexHarperAlexHarper Posts: 510Registered User Member
    I got diagnosed with ADHD this year and I am 15. Signs in girls do not appear until about age 12 and boys it appears around 8 for a diagnosis. I do not use medication and I do not get special treatment by anyone. I am taking 5 honors classes 4 APs and 2 college classes as a sophomore and I have a 3.9 unweighted GPA.

    So the answer is yes. You need to stop dwelling on the fact that you Might have ADHD and push yourself to succeed

    Sent from my ADR6425LVW using CC
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