Reply To: Diagnosis

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Hi Cynthia,
You say you’re a masters student… have you gone to talk to your school’s disability resource center?
It seems that there are two kinds of endmembers of diagnoses… the quick version that you usually need to get meds… and the long (expensive) version that schools generally need to grant educational accommodations. It seems like what you are looking for falls mostly into the first category, but either way, I’d start on campus because they are generally very knowledgeable in working with folks with learning differences and ADHD, and also some colleges and universities will provide testing in-house for free for enrolled students. I’d definitely look into their services before you graduate. I got diagnosed right after I graduated and missed out on a lot of help that is expensive once you’re no longer a student. If they don’t provide services through the school, the disabled students office will generally be connected with practitioners in the community who “get it”, who believe in ADHD, and who see a lot of high functioning versions of ADHD. You could get recommendations from them of folks in the community that they commonly refer students to and who students have had good experiences with. It really sounds like you’ve found someone who is not familiar with what ADHD looks like in women. It is fair for folks to be cautious about making sure someone isn’t faking (or misdiagnosed) because of the potential for stimulants to be abused or addictive, so that’s good… but you also need someone who will listen to you and work with you to figure out a plan to get you support. Anyone who says you are smart enough to come up with a lot of coping mechanisms so you must not have ADHD doesn’t get it. Also, they should try to figure out if your depression is comorbid with, or caused by untreated ADHD, if they know enough to work on helping you make that distinction, I’d be open-minded. The words depression/anxiety didn’t really seem the right words for the questions in that category of diagnosis when I got diagnosed… I ranked high there, and low overall because I score low on all the hyperactive questions, but the DSM definition seems to be kinda outdated for diagnosing women and inattentive presentations from what I’ve learned on this website… good luck!