First time posting because I can really relate to your symptoms and story.
I agree, you’ve just got to keep trying, find new dr’s and be a loud advocate for yourself. I burst into tears after my first GP appointment (in Australia you have to go GP> Psychologist > Psychiatrist (if you want meds)) because it was the first time I verbalised what I’d been internalising for 28 years, and he told me it’s more likely to be generalised anxiety and basically poo-pooed it. I felt so betrayed and stupid. But, my psych (who I researched and found myself) was amazing and supportive, he’s been working with ADHD for over 20 years. It wasn’t until my 3rd session that he said, “yup, everything you say indicated a strong ADHD trait”… So it does take time.
I can also relate to being an overachiever. For me its driven by this urge to prove to myself I can do things, and that I need to achieve because my self-esteem has been whittled down over the years. I think all this is kind of normal human experience, and its true that chronic stress and lifestyle factors can mimic ADHD symptoms BUT I feel like people with ADHD have this little internal voice that has always known they are a bit different. I describe it as feeling both one step ahead and one step behind.
– don’t go in looking for a quick med fix, or at least don’t let it appear that way to your Dr’s. I honestly believe the only reason my GP hesitantly gave me a referral was because I said I was into yoga and meditation and wanted CBT not meds. They are so wary of drug shoppers.
– don’t look at meds as a magic saviour, I honestly rarely use mine because I feel like it makes me a robot.
– Be careful not to play to the victim sentiments that surround ADHD, it’s so tempting and easy! So many people use their diagnosis as a way to feel special and self-important in the fact ‘their life is harder than others’. That’s all ego bullshit, no point in comparison. Your brain just is what it is. Do what you need to do to deal with it, and you are the best person to know that… even if people with degrees tell you otherwise 😉
Good luck getting your diagnosis, and I hope you are feeling at least a bit of a relief understanding that you are not just lazy and unmotivated!!