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Confusion - need refined dx AND treatment!


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Hello. This net search is a random shot in the dark after having been in many different therapeutic situations (okay, had many therapists) and currently, to some decent effect, on two medications (fluoxetine 80mg/day - yes, 80 - for OCD, and methylphenidate, 20mg 2xday).

What I really feel hasn't been addressed - going back to when I was a child (oh, God, how cliche') is that I often become very confused and interpret almost everything in life differently from most of my peers and colleagues. As an example, I work in special ed and have for 12 years (no accident, I feel very passionate and militant about helping children actually have a decent childhood despite learning difficulties!).

Specifically, for instance, the completion of academic tasks (as in, knowing what to do to help the children - which implies understanding the point of the lesson myself). The problem is that I almost never do - yet my colleagues - all of them - just jump right in as if the thing to do is so intuitive and needing of no explanaiton.

THAT'S the problem! I need EVERYTHING explained! (from childhood). "You said *wash* the dishes!!! You didn't say to dry them and put them away!!!" - this through very confused tears and blindingly angry at my parents for being angry with me.

Today: "I don't know how to "adapt" this book - What do you mean? Do you want me to do this part with him 'hand over hand', or should I have prepped these materials for simple choice-making"...

I know that that is shop-talk, and I know this post is getting pretty lengthy. And that is in fact a very good demonstration of why this is so hard. I can't just say "look (co-worker), I'm dyslexic - I cannot read this. Why didn't we have a meeting beforehand so I knew what to do?" or "Hey! I'm blind - I cannot SEE when Jeffrey is being self-injurious". Okay - that last one was ridiculous as, unfortunately, a blind person would have to have a different type of assignment.

Anyway - what I'm having trouble with is exactly the same thing that is impacting my ability to pose a simple and clear question here. See all of the words above?

THAT is how much clarification *I* need to "get it".

Um....I hardly EVER have the luxury of that much clarification. My "formal" diagnoses are Obsessive Compulsive Disorder and Executive Dysfunction, and a history of Hydrocephalus and the accompanying (4) pediatric surgeries.

Anyway - I'm tired of being confused and tired of needing things explained over again - especially that, when I finally DO understand, I'm frequently very angry that the issue/task could not have been explained "a-b-c, tada!". Once I get it, I *GET* it and am an instant expert. But the path to that ease and competence and confidence has always been very, very painful - to the point that I was twice suicidal in college.

Well, despite my, ahem, compulsive urge to continue, I feel that I have reached the point of diminishing returns as far as further elaboration is concerned. Do you think you can help?

Thank you very much.

-Stan Shura

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Guest ASchwartz

As I was reading your post the term OCD did occur to me, not because of the length of your post but because of the lack of clarity. Even now, I am not sure of what question you are asking or if you are asking a question.

I will point this out to you: Obsessive thinking is often caused by anxiety. Are you and anxious person?

Also, because you posted in the ADHD forum do you suspect that you have ADD?


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  • 3 months later...

my first thought reading your post was, that sounds alot like the way i think. i have always had issues with th way things are explained, and i am made to feel stupid because i didnt get it the first thousand times. the only "diagnosis" i have is depression. so i know that isnt gonna help much, but i think i have ADD. 2 of my kids do, and i have alot of the signs. but, who knows... just want to say that you definatly are not the only one out htere....

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Guest ASchwartz

Hi StanW and Crazymomof4,

You both seem more than a little critical of your selves and I guess that is due to having been criticized most of your lives for needing explanations.

Be kinder towards yourselves.

I have no way of knowing your diagnoses. Certainly, ADHD is always a possibility and, Stan, hydrocephaly and pediatric sugeries probably affected you, but there are many things that could require someone to need to have things explained many times. First, so what, there is nothing wrong with needing explanations, at least, I do not think so. The problem is that too many parents, teachers and others lose patience with people. It's akin to talking to someone who has hearing loss: everyone seems to get angry when the hearing loss person does not hear!!!

So, ADHD, depression, anxiety, learning disabilities of various types, and etc. can make it difficult to hear what the intructions are and to complete the task.

I always encourage adults and children to ask questions in order to clarify. Many of us have learned to avoid asking questions for fearing of appearing "stupid." I know what that is like, it feels humiliating, but it is still better to ask.

For example, I have never been good at remembering names when I first meet people. I tried, for many years, to hide that. Now, I no longer hide it and, in fact, when meeting people, warn them that I will be asking their name again and again. :)


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Hi all

I too suffer with these problem's.

I remember when I first came on this site and written in one of the forums. The only problem was, that the next day, when I viewed the site again, that I'd forgotton which forum that I'd written in.

It also made it worst because I'd just learnt how to use a Computer then, so everything was new to me. I didn't even know how to get of the forum site?

I remember explaining to Mark, what my problem was, and asking for his help in regarding my issues.

If you look, you probably still get to see that post that I had written. Just look at it, and then you won't feel as bad. There's alway's someone worst off than yourself, and in this case, I can say that is me!

Take care!


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Have you ever had any neuropsychological testing? It seems from your report that part of the issue, from a functional cognitive (thinking) perspective is that you have a failure to generalize from one situation to another - your thinking is a little more on the concrete side of life rather than the abstract. And there may be some difficulty you have shifting your attention from one thing to another, which would make it hard to learn new things, becuase your attention would remain stuck on the thing you're paying attention to and not free to shift to seeing things from a new perspective. Neuropsychological testing would help to tease out how you function in terms of how your brain works, in comparison with other people who have known brain problems and people who are "normal" (for lack of a better word). This sort of testing is rather specialized, and somewhat expensive, but it could maybe be of some help to you to help you better understand not what your diagnosis is, but what sorts of problems you have compared to people who don't have problems with shifting attention and that sort of thing. The testing might also suggest things you can do to help you compensate for the difficulties you are having.


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Maybe it wouldn't be a bad idea, to go and get tested for Dyslexia? That's how I found out I had Dyslexic! By having memory problem's and getting confused and frustrated all the time. I had a MRI Scan, Blood test, and I was Assessed for Dyslexic.

Just a thought! Paula shut your mouth!


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