Question about possible ADHD and CCW

Question about possible ADHD and CCW

This is a discussion on Question about possible ADHD and CCW within the Concealed Carry Issues & Discussions forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; Greetings fellow CCW brethren. I've got a serious question that I would like some council and advice on before I make any next steps. I've ...

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  1. #1
    New Member Array RockyMtnLow's Avatar
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    Question about possible ADHD and CCW

    Greetings fellow CCW brethren. I've got a serious question that I would like some council and advice on before I make any next steps. I've been a concealed carry permit holder in the state of Colorado for a few years now. I was recently seen by a physician due to chest pains and during the examination the doc inquired if I had any family history of ADHD. His inquiry was due in most part to my having typed out the patient forms instead of writing them out... he says none of his patients do that. Anyways his inquiry about the ADHD got me to thinking so I started doing a little research. I didn't even know this was something that adults had until looking into it. I do however have many of the classic symptoms. I have a hard time paying attention to details to many things that seem trivial. I'm easily distracted when trying to concentrate on tasks. While some things I'm over-organized on and pay too much attention to the details... in many other things I'm very unorganized. It is getting to a point to where it is affecting my work performance when it comes to meeting deadlines. 99% of the time I'll meet the deadline but it seems that it takes twice the effort or twice the amount of time (overnighters and weekends) to accomplish what I know are simple tasks. It also affects the relationship with the wifey in that many times when we are having conversations I get lost in the conversation and can't remember what she said 5 minutes later. When trying to work on tasks I find the slightest interruptions completely throw me off my groove and it takes what seems like forever to get back in it.

    I haven't been diagnosed with ADHD or ADD (because I haven't seen anyone about it yet). I've never really been considered a scatter-brain (I've always been a great learner and I would think most people I know would say I'm a smart to very smart guy depending on the situation) but my forgetfulness and lack of ability to concentrate on things seem to be magnifying over the past few years when it never really was a (noticeable) problem in the past.

    Since it is affecting my job performance (even if nobody has said anything to me because I put in all the extra effort to make it less noticeable... I still notice it) and my relationships when it comes to communication I would like to get it looked at and taken care of... nip it in the bud! I have a concern though and that is possible effects and outcomes when it comes to my permit to carry (or even own) a firearm. I've always answered honestly when purchasing a firearm or filling out my application for the permit. I've never been committed for anything, I'm not on any mind-altering substances (or really ANY substances for that matter) and I've never been a threat to physically harm anyone else or myself. My fear though is if I go to a shrink (sorry to any of you psychiatrists or psychologists out there, I don't mean it to be derogatory) and it is determined that I do have ADHD and am possibly prescribed something to help get that focus back so I can do better in my job and relationships... am I at risk of losing my ability to conceal carry or even worse... own a firearm?

    I'm a 50/50 carrier... half of me carries because I believe in the 2nd amendment and think it is a right that everyone who can legally exercise should exercise and the other half of me carries because I believe that people are ultimately responsible for their own safety and I want to make sure I'm responsible and prepared in case I ever needed to protect myself or my family with force. So obviously I would hate to lose my status when it comes to owning and carrying a firearm. But I also know that I'm having trouble focusing on things that are obvious to me should be easy to focus on and I can't let it get to the point to where I lose my job because of that and I feel so guilty when I notice it affecting how I relate to my friends and family.

    So while carrying is so important to me in a number of ways, I can't place it on a higher platform than my job and/or my family (even though my family is one of the main reasons I started carrying). Do any of you have advice or knowledge as to what may happen to my concealed carry status if I go see a shrink about possible ADHD? Maybe there are ways to work on it without medications but if I were prescribed something like maybe an adderall (or whatever else they prescribe for that) how would THAT affect my ability to carry?

    I appreciate the thoughts and advice.

    Thanks!


  2. #2
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    Array Bark'n's Avatar
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    Do you realize how many people have a ccw permit with your exact same condition? If I had to guess, I would say tens of thousands if not more.

    The bottom line is, you are the one who is going to be responsible for your actions, not your doctor, or anyone else. If you feel you will be a danger to yourself or others, then don't carry, but just know up front, you're not alone as a gun owner or ccw holder with ADHD or ADD.

    If you have not been adjudicated to be mentally incompetent in a court of law, then you are lawfully able to own guns. If you are a lawful gun owner and meet the requirements to obtain a ccw permit in your state, then by all means, exercise that right.

    This is merely my opinion on this subject and in no way to be construed as medical or legal advice.
    -Bark'n
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    "The gun is the great equalizer... For it is the gun, that allows the meek to repel the monsters; Whom are bigger, stronger and without conscience, prey on those who without one, would surely perish."

  3. #3
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    I just read your post and it occurs to me that even if you are ADHD or ADD you don't seem to be too bad off. Your sentence structure, spelling,grammar, it's a well written post.
    If you do get diagnosed and have to take prescription medicine, you wouldn't be any different to a large segment of the population that carries.
    Carry on!
    I would rather stand against the cannons of the wicked than against the prayers of the righteous.


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    Ex Member Array BikerRN's Avatar
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    As I was reading your post.....................................oh look, a puppy!

    I want to
    Jess_Lynn_SigSa likes this.

  5. #5
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    I would rather stand against the cannons of the wicked than against the prayers of the righteous.


    AR. CHL Instr. 07/02 FFL
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  6. #6
    New Member Array RockyMtnLow's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BikerRN View Post
    As I was reading your post.....................................oh look, a puppy!

    I want to

    hehe... I really feel that way sometimes!

    Thanks for the responses. I guess since I don't know much about ADD besides what I've just recently read about it... I didn't know if it would be considered a "mental illness" or what. That alone leads to trepidation in even wanting to get it addressed but I don't want pride to get in the way.

  7. #7
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    A mental illness is not the same thing as being declared mentally incompetent. Huge difference! Huge!

    I know police officers who are bi-polar, so either they are undiagnosed, their departments don't see an issue or they are under control with their medications.
    -Bark'n
    Semper Fi


    "The gun is the great equalizer... For it is the gun, that allows the meek to repel the monsters; Whom are bigger, stronger and without conscience, prey on those who without one, would surely perish."

  8. #8
    Senior Member Array bunker's Avatar
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    Focus on your situational awareness... your mind is your first weapon. I personally know many professionals that are on Meds that have helped them... find what works with you and keep yourself and your family safe! good luck. Bunker

  9. #9
    VIP Member Array mcp1810's Avatar
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    PBS in Houston recently aired a piece called ADD and Loving it. Check it out. In it they dispel a lot of the myths and talk about coping techniques and mention a few books on the subject. They mention a few folks like Richard Bransom that have been able to turn the condition to their advantage.
    Infowars- Proving David Hannum right on a daily basis

  10. #10
    Senior Member Array ks kid's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BikerRN View Post
    As I was reading your post.....................................oh look, a puppy!

    I want to
    Thats just wrong. Funny, but wrong.

    I looked at the Colorado laws in the past and do not remember seeing anything about restrictions based on a mental capabilities. I would check Co. law and see what is stated.

    Oh, welcome to the forum!
    Last edited by ks kid; December 27th, 2010 at 06:24 PM. Reason: welcome

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by RockyMtnLow View Post
    I was recently seen by a physician due to chest pains
    Right now those are the priority. Make sure nothing serious is wrong.

    and during the examination the doc inquired if I had any family history of ADHD.

    Anyways his inquiry about the ADHD got me to thinking so I started doing a little research.
    Thinking and worrying yourself to death.

    I do however have many of the classic symptoms.
    Let me see, you made it to this point in your life and now are worrying about this?

    I have a hard time paying attention to details to many things that seem trivial.
    Most of life is trivial.

    I'm easily distracted when trying to concentrate on tasks.
    Most of life is boring.

    While some things I'm over-organized on and pay too much attention to the details... in many other things I'm very unorganized.
    You and almost everyone else.

    It is getting to a point to where it is affecting my work performance when it comes to meeting deadlines. 99% of the time I'll meet the deadline but it seems that it takes twice the effort or twice the amount of time (overnighters and weekends) to accomplish what I know are simple tasks.
    There are some things it could be other than ADD, which actually seems sort of unlikely to me. Make sure the ticker is OK and you are OK physically. After settling that stuff, give it some time to rest. I have a hunch you are quite o.k. upstairs except right now possibly you seem excessively anxious. And even that, there is no way for anyone to know from a distance.

    Here's the deal, IMO, and it is worth what you are paying for it. Diagnoses are sometimes made on the basis of fads of the day instead of reality. Lately there has been a lot of talk about adult onset attention deficit. No doubt some folks suffer from it. Also no doubt many are misdiagnosed with it too. The same thing happens with all sorts of issues from unipolar depression to bipolar. Sometimes, its just how you (or the doc) chooses to look at things.

    What I am hearing from you is that you are a successful person and are continuing as a successful person, and you are more than basically together. You don't sound like someone who needs to be seeing a shrink. Chin up. This too shall pass.

    And if it doesn't, talk to a doc--- but not the same one who planted this idea in your head.

    Geez, since when is it a symptom of a disorder that someone types the answers to a page of questions. You want to see a disorder, look at my handwriting and try to figure out what I wrote. I can't even read it. In today's world people are used to typing not writing.

  12. #12
    Senior Member Array mastercapt's Avatar
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    When I was going to evening college, the first class I took was called "Industrial Psycology". The prof did not use a textbook, because in the early 80s, they were discovering new ideas so fast that by the time it was put in print, it was obsolete.
    So, you had to get it all from lecture, and class participation. I made scribble notes (handwriting like a Doctgor) and then typed them when I got home. Did two things: Made it legible and I was learning to type, because my major was business computers. If your Doc says that a sign of ADHD or other mental illness, I must be certifible now, 30 years laster.
    Getting older and loosing my already limited hearing (Birth defect) has slowed me more than anything else.
    Usually, slowing physicall is somewhat offset by lifes experiences making us more aware and/or accurate.
    I'm 64 in 5 weeks; I consider myself slower but wiser.

    The above advice about you are the one responsible; you have to decide if carrying is a danger to yourself or others, then act accordingly.

  13. #13
    Member Array gunshrink's Avatar
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    Me too

    I read your post with great interest - I am 1. ADD 2. PTSD 3. A NRA Certified firearms instructor and CCW who carries 24/7 (more or less) and finally 4. A licensed mental health professional. The problem is we are dealing with two issues here. The first which is something I look at when I do a mental health evaluation is to determine if the individual is dangerous to self or otheres. To do that we look at things like impulse control, level of anger when angry, uncontroled mood disorders, psychosis and all that. The one poster is right. At least half of the people I know are on some type of medication and function very well. It has no impact on their CCW any more than the rest of the population. There are people who should carry and people who should not.... but then (I know about the 2nd ammendment so please ) they should not drive a car, drink, hang out with the wrong people and so on. As an instructor there are some I have given their money back and not had them finish the class just for that reason. Sure, they will most llikely find some class that will take their money and give out a certificate but that is not the way we do business. Ok the other side of that coin are the folks that see mental illness and/or mental health diagnosed people as dangerous and lurking time bombs waiting to go of. While nothing could be further from the truth and they would not do this to anyone else with a mental health diagnosis it happens all too frequently through people with little mental health knowledge and lots of political or legal power. I do a lot of work with returning vets and some of them get withheld permits due to the fact that they "might" be dangerous. Ok so here is the deal: If this is something that is a problem to your functioning, find a qualified mental health professional who is not just gun friendly but gun knowledgeable. While I sometimes feel like a minority, there are a few of us out there who will understand the right to carry and whether or not it will be a good idea for your well being. You may or may not be on medication and if so there are many medications that are used today for ADD or ADHD. They can also sometimes be use for other diagnosis that people act less stupid about. If you do get diagnosed don't broadcast it to others any more than you would any medical condition. They are not medical professionals and many get their medical or psychological knowledge off the internet. You would be amazed at the number of people come into my office already self diagnosed because of something that they read on the net. If you get diagnosed (remember the word if) make sure you have someone who will give you a comprehensive plan and not just medication and make sure the diagnostic process was done in a comprehensive way. The bottom line is like with CCW - tell as few people as possible you carry. Tell as few people as possible you have this diagnosis or medication and go from there. I have people on medication who also carry with no problem. Much of it depends on how it is presented to begin with. If you run into trouble there is an appeal process - first through the lawyer and then through the mental health professional. I have written letters for people in the past that has helped with this and I am sure there are folks in Colorado who can do the same. As one other said, get the help you need as first priority and often the rest will fall in line. You would not fit within the exclusion guidlines simply because you have this or any other diagnosis.

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    Ex Member Array BikerRN's Avatar
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    I knew someone would come along and assist you with your concerns. That is why I went and played with the puppy.

    Biker

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    Member Array gunshrink's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BikerRN View Post
    I knew someone would come along and assist you with your concerns. That is why I went and played with the puppy.

    Biker
    A puppy huh? All I got was a new gun.....
    NRA Certified Instructor, MADFI Certified Instructor
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    XDM 40 Limited, XDM 5.25 Canyon Creek Custom 9 mm

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