Can “inattentive” ADHD actually be AS?

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LisaM1031
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29 Aug 2020, 6:52 pm

Since my researching Aspergers Syndrome, I’ve come across a lot of information on Comorbidity and overlap with ADHD. I’ve also read through some ADHD articles to try to see how the two disorders relate. What seems odd to me is that there is apparently this “other” type of ADHD, the “inattentive” type, which has very little in common with the hyperactive and combined types and actually looks like a different disorder all together. Just from what I’ve seen, this type seems WAY more like ASD than ADHD. Here are some differences I noticed.

It’s not just that they’re not as extroverted as their ADHD counterparts. They’re often described as extreme introverts, daydreaming and passive. I saw one man claim online that his avoidant personality disorder was a side effect of his “inattentive ADD.” This seems like a real stretch to me and really doesn’t make a lot of sense.

Rather than being easily bored and desiring change, they often dislike change and prefer to stick to a routine. Too much going on stresses them out.

Instead of being impulsive, they tend to be overly cautious and risk averse. This seems to go against the core of what ADHD is, which is an executive function issue, including impulsivity, poor planning and disorganization.

They tend to have slow processing speed and reaction times.

I wonder if a lot of people diagnosed with this “other” type of ADHD are actually misdiagnosed Aspies.



Joe90
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30 Aug 2020, 12:15 am

I'm diagnosed with ADHD as well as Asperger's.

A lot of people think that ADHD means a naughty, disruptive child. But that's a stereotype, just like it's a stereotype to say that autism means Rainman.

I was very hyperactive as a child (and as an adult) but I don't think hyperactivity is a common autism trait because everyone else I know who is on the spectrum wasn't hyperactive as children or as adults. Hyperactivity can indicate that the child may have some sort of a disorder (and I'm not talking about ordinary hyperactivity in typical children), and if hyperactivity was a common trait of autism then a lot of autistics would be recognised and diagnosed earlier.
Yes, I know I was diagnosed with Asperger's in childhood but I'm an exception.

I belong to an online support group for adults with ADHD, and you'd be surprised how many people are actually as affected by their ADHD as what Aspies are affected by their autism.


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kraftiekortie
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30 Aug 2020, 12:19 am

I probably have “inattentive” ADHD.



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30 Aug 2020, 12:21 am

my first separate-from-schizoid dx was ADD [inattentive subtype ADHD]. strattera helped me, though.



LisaM1031
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30 Aug 2020, 12:30 am

Joe90 wrote:
I'm diagnosed with ADHD as well as Asperger's.

A lot of people think that ADHD means a naughty, disruptive child. But that's a stereotype, just like it's a stereotype to say that autism means Rainman.

I was very hyperactive as a child (and as an adult) but I don't think hyperactivity is a common autism trait because everyone else I know who is on the spectrum wasn't hyperactive as children or as adults. Hyperactivity can indicate that the child may have some sort of a disorder (and I'm not talking about ordinary hyperactivity in typical children), and if hyperactivity was a common trait of autism then a lot of autistics would be recognised and diagnosed earlier.
Yes, I know I was diagnosed with Asperger's in childhood but I'm an exception.

I belong to an online support group for adults with ADHD, and you'd be surprised how many people are actually as affected by their ADHD as what Aspies are affected by their autism.


You’re right in that hyperactivity is more of an ADHD stereotype rather than an autism one. It’s been mentioned in some sources that a lot of people with the “inattentive” type aren’t hyperactive at all and may even be HYPO-active. This is just one difference, in addition to others mentioned, that makes this sub type seem more in line with ASD than ADHD.
I’m aware that a person can have the executive functioning issues of ADHD and not be hyperactive, but reading some descriptions of the “inattentive” type as a whole, I would swear I was reading an Aspergers description. Someone else in this thread also mentioned that she has the inattentive type in addition to schizoid personality disorder, another disorder with AS like features.



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30 Aug 2020, 12:35 am

I was also diagnosed with "inattentive" ADHD. Taking Strattera for it drastically changed my life.


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auntblabby
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30 Aug 2020, 12:36 am

Romofan wrote:
I was also diagnosed with "inattentive" ADHD. Taking Strattera for it drastically changed my life.

you are fortunate your insurance covers it, only "cadillac" plans do.



kraftiekortie
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30 Aug 2020, 12:37 am

AuntBlabby is a man who looks nothing like his avatar.



auntblabby
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30 Aug 2020, 12:48 am

kraftiekortie wrote:
AuntBlabby is a man who looks nothing like his avatar.

except when i am in costume :santa:



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30 Aug 2020, 11:36 am

I was diagnosed with both and they look so much alike I have no idea which symptom is part of what. But medicine for ADD never worked for me.


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Joe90
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30 Aug 2020, 11:38 am

I have both inattentive and hyperactivity.


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auntblabby
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30 Aug 2020, 11:38 am

the frontal lobe stimulants did work for me but made me cross and hot/sweaty, 'cept for strattera which enabled me for the first time in my life to be simultaneously alert yet relaxed, cooly aware of my surroundings. i miss it.



LisaM1031
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30 Aug 2020, 12:41 pm

While researching different neurodiverse conditions, I guess I was lead down a bit of a rabbit hole regarding ADD/ADHD. A lot of “experts” claim that it’s under diagnosed in adults but I’m wondering if it’s actually overdiagnosed. It seems like literally EVERYTHING can be twisted to be a sign of ADHD and a lot of it contradicts. I can give a ton of examples for this but won’t since it’s a bit off topic from my original post. Also a lot of things are passed off as ADD traits that can be signs of multiple disorders.



Joe90
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30 Aug 2020, 1:22 pm

LisaM1031 wrote:
While researching different neurodiverse conditions, I guess I was lead down a bit of a rabbit hole regarding ADD/ADHD. A lot of “experts” claim that it’s under diagnosed in adults but I’m wondering if it’s actually overdiagnosed. It seems like literally EVERYTHING can be twisted to be a sign of ADHD and a lot of it contradicts. I can give a ton of examples for this but won’t since it’s a bit off topic from my original post. Also a lot of things are passed off as ADD traits that can be signs of multiple disorders.


Asperger's can be overdiagnosed these days too. It seems so many people think, "oh, I'm introverted, I worry a lot and I have depression, could I have an ASD?" and then they go and get diagnosed with it by a professional, and if you argue, they say "but every Aspie is different". Yes every Aspie is different but there's still got to be a line drawn somewhere.

We could start a separate thread on this. :wink:


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LisaM1031
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30 Aug 2020, 1:49 pm

Joe90 wrote:
LisaM1031 wrote:
While researching different neurodiverse conditions, I guess I was lead down a bit of a rabbit hole regarding ADD/ADHD. A lot of “experts” claim that it’s under diagnosed in adults but I’m wondering if it’s actually overdiagnosed. It seems like literally EVERYTHING can be twisted to be a sign of ADHD and a lot of it contradicts. I can give a ton of examples for this but won’t since it’s a bit off topic from my original post. Also a lot of things are passed off as ADD traits that can be signs of multiple disorders.


Asperger's can be overdiagnosed these days too. It seems so many people think, "oh, I'm introverted, I worry a lot and I have depression, could I have an ASD?" and then they go and get diagnosed with it by a professional, and if you argue, they say "but every Aspie is different". Yes every Aspie is different but there's still got to be a line drawn somewhere.

We could start a separate thread on this. :wink:


I agree with what you are saying and that introversion does not automatically equal ASD. In most cases I think introversion is just introversion. I guess my confusion about ASD VS ADHD-I is how this type seems to be defined differently depending on the source. Some seem to think it’s the same as ADHD, just take away the hyperactivity.

Others claim that that’s not entirely accurate and the behaviors are often polar opposite, with additional traits that seem to look more AS-ish. Even the TYPE of inattention is different. One is more scattered, unfocused while the other is more lost in their own world to the point of being cut off from their environment. This second type is sometimes also described as “sluggish cognitive tempo.”



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30 Aug 2020, 3:26 pm

I was classically autistic when young. Then became Aspergian later.

I’m not a total introvert. I’m an “over-sharer.”