Affraid to Pursue treatment.

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    • #110838

      Hello all, I am a 26 year old young lady and I am beginning to notice some questionable things. I have always noticed a difference in myself in comparison to my peers but I have always been ashamed of saying anything. This makes me feel very inadequate. Growing up, I have managed to cope or to hind from some of my differculties however I am now seeing them sort of worsen or maybe I am just not coping any longer.

      I am getting worried about this affecting my job performance. I am moving up in my career and this change is requiring me to focus more for accuracy and to communicate better. I am doing quite well at my job now however I am affraid this May begin to affect me.

      I have been experiencing focus issues. I will be typing something and zone out and forget what I was doing. This also has been happening more with conversations. I am finding myself having a very hard time collecting my words. It’s like I know what I want to say but I can’t seem to gather the words right away.

      What really has me concerned is what happens something when reading. I had a word that I recognized, I knew what it was, seen it before, read it before but I could not read it at that moment. It took me probably 10-15 seconds to read it.

      Anyway, I don’t know what I should do. I’m affraid to see anyone. I don’t want to jump from psychiatric doctors to get a diagnosis when I know it’s ADD after years of dealing with this and doing some research but I also don’t ever want to be viewed as ‘just wanting controlled substance.’ I live in Ohio and substance abuse is a real problem which I am sure it is in many places.

      Suggestions? Comments? I kinda of just needed to get this out. I haven’t shared this with anyone. Not even my fiancé.

      • This topic was modified 2 years, 9 months ago by wilschr10.
    • #110901

      So my situation is a bit different than yours, but it is pretty neat that we are both going through a fundamental problem of living with ADHD: it changes over time, it is confusing, and it can make you feel very misunderstood (even to yourself, at times).

      I want to tell you my story of “Getting Help” just so you understand that you are not alone, and you are taking a big step in confronting the problem. And it is a problem that should be taken seriously.

      It may get worse if you avoid it; not because your brain health gets worse necessarily, but because the weight of constant self-criticism and feelings of defeat can be crippling if you let ADHD run wild.


      I am a 26 year-old man that has known about his ADHD for a looooong time. Since college graduation, a part of me knew that I was going to need more help as an adult with ADHD. But my brain, of course, has a mind of its own. It chose to get lost in all of this new-found sun-shining freedom of the adult world instead of addressing a duller, less-exciting reality. My ADHD brain doesn’t like the concept of “rules” or structure, so when the structure and jam-packed schedules dissolved, it was like letting an untrained dog off of a leash. I kept running after it, disillusioned in the thought I could keep up. As it got further away, so did my stability.

      Out of sight, I ignored this for a while. I kind of enjoyed the break from routine. But over time, “Procrastination in the Face of Life-Altering Decisions” became one of my best skills.

      It’s not the (ignorantly labeled) *lazy-type* or *unmotivated-type* of procrastination, though.
      It’s Incidental Procrastination. Incidental to a disorder that needs further treatment if I am going to live a stable life, because just taking medication is not cutting it.

      The ADHD brain has it pretty easy, whereas the ADHD person has it pretty hard.

      My brain often thinks to itself:

      “Why would I focus on something so enormous and scary if i could just focus on the birds singing outside instead? Or on the sound of the ticking in the AC unit? Or on the way that the sunlight casts ever-changing shadows as the tree branches move in the wind? Or on the beeping sound coming out of the fire detector because the batteries have been dying for two months? Why not just focus on one of those things instead?”

      That, unfortunately, doesn’t work out for me when I am desperately trying to stick with one thought. It is exhausting.

      Oddly enough, it wasn’t problems with “sticking with one thought,” or the problems in my relationship stemming from my unaccountability and “flakey” behavior, or my unstable jobs, or my unstable finances, or my unstable moods, that ultimately, that FIIIINALLY got my attention.

      It was a suitcase that had been sitting half-unpacked on my closet floor for a month and a half.

      I don’t know what my ADHD brain found so convincing in that suitcase, but it surrendered to the truth.

      I need help.



      Whatever your “suitcase” is, listen to it. Get help.

      Don’t say “tomorrow,” because let’s be realistic…..

      I don’t know what time zone you are in, but if it is daytime I would say start with a phone call to GP [right now] to schedule an appointment. While you wait for your appointment, take some time to really think about *how things are* in life right now. If some things aren’t good, ask yourself why. Do that, repeatedly, until you find a common thread that ties all your issues together.

      If you’re like me, it may be useful to right a bullet-list of things you struggle with before your appointment. It can be awkward if they ask you what’s up / what’s wrong, and your brain is rapid-firing the same answer “I can’t focus” over and over. Have some answers to obvious questions written down to remind yourself of your problems and their cause, because you may have trouble identifying them on the spot.

      At this point, they may offer an RX or offer a referral to a psychiatrist or psychologist. I would push for psychologist, as they do not have the end-goal of “throwing stimulants” at anything that resembles ADHD.

      I am not bashing stimulants–I take them daily. However, with that said, you absolutely should be nervous about starting medication. Take it from me, a misdiagnosis and improper medical treatment is NOT a pleasant experience. It is dangerous, yet it happens all the time — especially with people with ADHD. On paper, it can look like other severe illnesses that are treated entirely differently.


      I’m bored of writing this (haha), and you’re likely bored of reading it, so I will leave you with my simple advice:

      Get help today.

      • #111986

        the two things i find still (at 64 yrs old) make my ADHD symptoms worse are anxiety and self criticism and punishment.I learned and now teach mindfulness – not the sitting for hours kid of meditation but the self compassion and gratitude positive thinking being in the moment kind of mindfulness. Mindfulness helps me notice when I have drifted, when i am stressed and allow me to use breathing to relax and forgive myself for not being perfect but do you know what – no one else is either- and whatever our ADHD struggles are often there are equivalents going on in other people which are invisible to you. Once i recognised that and also that the most judgmental and critical people are the most unhappy ones inside then i stopped worrying about them a lot more than i did before when i always thought it was my fault. YOU can make progress in your career by recognising that you have unique talents just like everybody else and focus on them instead. i have done lot of workshop and lectures and written lots of books and articles on this kind fo approach to life for those with or without ADHD and they do really work.
        Mindfulness helps me to reduce anxiety , stay unstressed, return to focus as often as i recognise i have lost it without h punishing myself, feel comfortable being me, accept i cannot get everything right all the time because no one can and just keep starting at the beginning in each moment – or from wherever i left off. Did you know that even people with no ADHD still lose focus and make mistakes – it is true lol. xxxx

    • #110993

      randomly my relationship with the medical community is really sensitive due to some bad experiences I had as a child. I am trying to get help on this but I definitely feel skeptical of everything I’m being told and sometimes resent myself for medicalizing my problems.

      A funny thing is I don’t resent other people for getting medical help with mental health issues, and I even encourage them to do just that. I’m not sure why I hold myself to a different standard. Some of it has to do with this feeling that I just suck and why should anyone else care. Maybe that’s something else for me to work on.

      • #111469

        Thanks for reading my post and I do agree that putting this off is not good. I mean I have been doing that for years just thinking like “forget about it, your okay.”

        I just have a hard time because I do t think they will take me seriously. I don’t know what but it’s apart of my shame. Like my job is taking care of other people who need help or can’t help themselves so how then am I the one who needs help?

        Sometimes I do feel like if this is ADHD that some how will make me less functional or inadequate to do what I love. I am most likely just over thinking it as I always do.

        Anyway, I am actually doing what you said. I am constantly thinking about this and what’s all going on but I have yet to actually write them down. It makes it real so I’m hesitant.

        Thanks for your input. I am in contact with a psychiatrist. No appointment yet though.

    • #111295

      I have felt the way you feel. I’m 24 and just got my diagnosis this past January. In high school and college I literally had the same reason for not pursuing a formal diagnosis and treatment- I didn’t want to look like I was just asking for drugs. And the reality is, I wasn’t just looking for drugs. I was looking for help and I had (good) reason to believe drugs would be part of that.

      Unfortunately the process has been a bit excruciating so far. I pride myself on my work a lot, but I’m failing to thrive at a new job. I know I’m capable of handling the job really well, but I just can’t seem to make myself “do the things!” That’s what drove me to pursue a diagnosis and treatment.

      But like I said, I was diagnosed at the beginning of the year and Im not on stimulants. My psychologist wanted to deal with my depression first. But even with years of CBT under my belt and the help of an SSRI, I’m still having the same struggle. I’m just as depressed, but I’ve spent $3,000 out of pocket for psychiatrist appointments and 2 hospitalizations (for suicidal thoughts). And a lot of time off work.

      Get help, but brace yourself for the fact that help may come very slowly, and you almost definitely wont walk out of your first appointment feeling like you’ve found a solution.

      And if you fear judgement, really try and find an ADHDspecialist because they will not judge you.

      Good luck

    • #111472

      Thanks for your post and replay. I hope all is going better for you. Seems like you have felt with much more than I have.

      Seeking a ADHD psychiatrist was my first thought as well because they know the signs and symptoms well along with other things so I have found one I want to pursue. Just waiting now.

      • This reply was modified 2 years, 8 months ago by wilschr10.
    • #111609
      Penny Williams

      It could be ADHD, or stress. I’ve had every symptom you described when my stress is high and I’m overwhelmed, and I do not have ADHD. The only way to know what is impairing you is to seek an evaluation.

      Free Handout: How to Prepare for Your ADHD Evaluation

      ADDitude Community Moderator, Parenting ADHD Trainer & Author, Mom to teen w/ ADHD, LDs, and autism

      • #111636

        That’s true, it could very well be stress or both. Only think is I have been dealing with these type of issues since I can remember in Elementary. I was actually bullies and teased for it. I then begin to ignore my issues and try to be as normal as I could and avoid situations that would cause me embarrassment

        The difference here is, I now have a possible explanation on why these things happen. I guess I’m just facing it.

    • #112049

      I gravitated toward jobs that allowed me to be up and down, be outside and inside, be in charge of things. That all helped me. I spent my entire career in staffing. I was involved with new companies every day, new employees, new sales challenges, and events that kept me interested. I thrived in that type of environment. I knew sitting at a desk all day on a phone was not going to be a successful career for me. I put my ADD and Hyperactivity to good use.

    • #112185

      My name is Patricia. This site ADDitude has been a god send for me no one except people on these post would know the years I have suffered from the symptoms described here. Thank you all for the courage you have shown posting your fears. You have truly changed my life. I have the same concerns as you as far as seeking treatment I just do not know how to begin.

      Thank you!!! so much.


      • #112266

        You are absolutely right. This site have definitely helped me feel more “normal” or not alone. Thank you for responding to my post. I do appreciate you taking the time and reading my troubles. I hope things here help you as it has for me.

    • #112188

      Dear “wilschr10”

      Hello, my name is Doug and I’d like to share a different perspective with you on ADD/ADHD than any of the other folks who’ve written have, so far. Let’s begin with a simple question, “wilschr10”: “What is the meaning of a foot on a piece of wood?” (That’s an important question, and one you may wish to remember, for future reference, when situations like this one arise in your life.)

      And the grande epiphany (answer) is… “A foot on a piece of wood, by itself signifies nothing, except that which we take it to mean!”

      So, for example (to extrapolate on something that Anthony Robbins once said) if you’re all alone and it’s late at night, and you’re absolutely certain that you’ve locked all the doors, and you hear a one of the back steps creak, that creates one kind of meaning for that “foot on a piece of wood”, doesn’t it? But then again, what if you’re five years old and bouncing up and sown on a long, springy sheet of plywood that has one end on the ground and the other on a log? (Can you picture it? “Boing… boing… boing…” Big fun, right? And pretty safe, too, huh?) …Or, what if it’s that you’re in your middle school gymnastics class, and have finally mastered the art of walking from one end to the other of the balance beam? …Or what if it’s that you’ve come so far in your Karate classes that every time your sensei holds up a board, you’re able to kick it in half? …Or what if it’s that you’ve realized that you can do the Sunrise Salute asana in perfect mindful stillness whiile standing on a seesaw that’s being used by a bunch of noisy kids on a playground?

      In other words, what might it be like if you tried looking at you as just “you”, and not some preconceived version of you that’s only acceptable (and therefore, not stress-inducing) if you’re viewed from a certain perspective, or with a specific set of rules and regulations? Granted, this is a bit radical, but it can also be pretty emancipating, if you give it a chance.

      Another cool insight is that ADD/ADHD isn’t (or at least, doesn’t need to be) some horrific diagnosis, to be dreaded and hidden from view, any more than you would fear identifying something as a potato. Yes, it’s a potato; no, it’s not a thick, juicy, perfectly-grilled steak, like all of the other steaks in the room, but if you frame it (bake it) in a way that works for _you_ like , and maybe add just the right amount of salt and pepper, or butter, or sour cream and chives, or bacon (or any combination of the above), you may just discover that it can compliment those steaks pretty nicely, while still being very different than they are. (And if you do, at some point, discover that you’re among the many, many “potatoes” in this world, I think you may also discover that we’re among the most intriguing, exciting, adaptive, creative, and profoundly loving/caring/feeling and intuitive people on the planet!

      Oh, and that fiance of yours, whom you haven’t shared this with, yet? Well, if he or she didn’t already know what an incredibly strange, beautiful, magical, and just plain _different_ individual you are, and how wonderful your differences make you look and feel to him or her, do you really think they’d want to devote the rest of their lives to loving you? No, clearly, “wilschr10”, you’re an absolutely incredible woman, and what would it be like if it turned out that maybe, just maybe, a significant percentage of what makes you so incredibly brilliant, beautiful, vibrant and precious to the world are the very things you’re most afraid of confronting? And what if it turned out that the reason you’re having so much difficulty remembering what the definition of “the” is is that you were put here on Earth to accomplish far greater things than you’ve ever dared to consider? Who might you be willing to let yourself be, or become, if one day, you awoke to discover that, while you were sleeping, all of the “should’s”, “must’s”, “can’t’s” and “have to’s” in your life had become null and void, and were no longer of any use to anyone?

      And who am I, to be sharing all of this with you? I’m a 58 year-old male ADD’er, who frequently experiences the exact same symptoms that you’ve described — in fact, just last Friday night, while onstage with my cover band (I’m a professional drummer, among many other things), the band was waiting for me to count off and begin Stevie Wonder’s hit, “Do I Do”, but I never even saw or understood it on the set list (which was printed out in 20pt Helvetica Bold (all caps, no less; black ink on a white page), my eyes and mind went straight tothe next number on the list, “Mustang Sally” (which is _considerably_ slower and far less syncopated, and feels nothing at all like the one I should have seen and counted off!) And you know what? These things DO happen, and will happen, and guess what? It really sucks when they do, but you know what? Life goes on, and people either get over it, or don’t, but we all make mistakes, and sometimes, if we’re lucky enough to be in a place and time where we’re able to be fully present with our mistakes, then who knows? A great new design, or invention, or song or novel may come from it!

      And believe me, when I say that, because I am a (primarily self-taught) professional drummer, published author, poet, designer and photographer, an inventor, songwriter/lyricist, an award-winning jewelry designer and genmstone cutter/cut designer (all self-taught), an innovative massage therapist and medical massage practitioner (and developer of a truly painless deep tissue massage modality) and about to launch the non-profit foundation I first imagined at age 12, to help ADD and Asperger’s kids from poor families get musical instruments and lessons, and, if I’m to believe both my fiancee’s and daughter’s frequent estimations and reminders, a great dad and a loving, devoted, thoughtful and generous partner/lover/future husband.

      I’m also almost always late, disorganized as all hell, frequently flustered and/or embarrassed by my inability to keep up to pace with others around me and to efficiently juggle all of the “stuff” of life, but, ultimately, a great guy who’s constantly finding new ways of adding value to the world around me. I’m far from perfect, “wilschr10”, and you don’t need to be, either. But if given half a chance, I can blow your mind, and I’ll bet that the same can be said of you!

      • #112268

        This post literally just brought tears to my eyes. I have looked at these “problems” I deal with in such a dark light it never occurred to me that it can be a strength and not a weakness. I want to say that you are amazing amd really helped me think different.
        I really appreciate you taking the time and encouraging me like you have.
        I am actually having a not so good day and a lot of what has happened today I questioned wondering if everything that went wrong because of me. Was I not paying enough attention or an I just unorganized. Maybe both but I definitely needed this. I feel like I can smile again and not feel shamed. Like you said it is very radical but I am game for that. Thanks so much for your post.

    • #112189

      P. S.: I didn’t realize there were that many typos until after I’d already hit the “SUBMIT” button! (FWIW, I typed that entire entry into my cell phone with the tiny little Bluetooth keyboard I’d gotten my daughter, for use with her iPad Mini, and, well…what can I say? Big fingertips, little targets! 8^D!!! )

      • #112270

        Hi again, you!

        Truly, the honor is all mine. The easiest way tgat I can think of for us to chat (or talk, since that’s my preferred means of communication) would be for you to email me relax “at” massage horizons “dot” com and just use “ADDITUDE” as your subject. I’m with clients until about 8, but if you’ll send me your first name and contact number, I’ll gladly try you then.

        All my best,

    • #112218

      Hi, I’m a 29 year old woman who was diagnosed in November of 2018.

      A few things led to it taking this long:
      * Thinking it was something else (depression, just being this way in general, possible autism)
      * Feeling ashamed. This was due mainly down to a combination of not feeling “bad enough” to warrant a diagnosis, and several trusted people in my life who should have known better telling me that I “don’t have ADHD, because you’d know about it”. Additionally, I was terrified of what my GP would say. How would they believe me when I’ve gotten so far in life already? Unfortunately I’m very much AD, not HD, so I don’t show classic symptoms which made me feel like a fraud for many years. Which leads me to…
      * I’m AD, not HD. I was hyper as a kid, but then all kids are. As a result, and I guess because despite struggling a lot in school with workloads (always late, always truant, generally hated school despite being bright) I constantly slipped through the nets for diagnosis of these things. I only got a dyslexia assessment last year because I can read and spell with no issues, but was nevertheless told that I’m borderline dyslexic (symptoms are explained by my ADHD) with a particular issue relating to symbols.
      * The state of mental health care in the UK. I don’t know where you’re based, but ADHD diagnosis where I used to live cost £400, and that’s £400 I didn’t have as a student. I can’t say how lucky I was that when I moved to a different area of the UK, I was able to get my ADHD diagnosis and treatment funded due to my NHS GP being able to apply to a special funding body. All my ADHD stuff is handled privately and it’s incredible. If you have to pay for this, then pay for it. If you’re in the UK, the NHS can only do so much before it’s handed off to private clinics anyway. If anyone reading this is UK based I’m happy to talk through my experience with you.

      When I got my positive diagnosis it made me as angry as it did relieved, as I realised how long I’d gone without the help I desperately needed all of those years. I understand your hesitation, especially on the “how will I be perceived?” side, but I tell only people I know are mature enough to understand. No one else needs to know as far as I’m concerned. I’m not sure how I’ll tackle this once I’m in employment (I’m currently a PhD student), but again, I’d only divulge this information to people who I KNOW have an understanding of the issue. Sadly, too many people learn about ADHD/ADD from TV shows, hence why we’re expected to all be running around the room like headless chickens.

      I’ve taken 3 different ADHD meds now:
      * Lisdexamfetamine (elvanse, vyvanse)
      * Dexamfetamine sulphate (dunno what the band name of this is, sorry!)
      * Medikenet XL (ritalin), literally started this today!

      I’m happy to talk to you about the effects and side effects of these if you’d like to know more. 🙂

      Good luck, get help. You deserve help and are entitled to it. As the leaflet in my ADHD meds says: “this is not your fault”.

      • #112269

        Thanks for your post and I would love to talk more about what’s helping you and side effects. I often feel like what would be the point of getting help when I have come this far and also what if medications alter my personality. I know this is a common misconception tho. I have a lot to learn.

        I have also been more of a person who like a natural approach however at this point I am open to oral medications if it helps. How can we chat?

      • #112281

        Hi again “wilschr10”,

        If you’d rather just go to and reach out to me through the contact form or leave a voicemail (but not text) for me on the number you see listed there, I’ll be more than happy to follow up with you that way; I’m just not open to publishing my number here.

        Thanks for understanding.

      • #112362

        Hi Wilschr10!

        I thought there was a private messaging system here but I guess not! I’m happy just to chat here if you like?

        I haven’t found that the ADHD meds have affected my personality, which is good, as that’s something that’s put me off taking antidepressants in the past. I’m a bit similar in that I don’t like to be chemically dependant on things, however I’m very scientific minded so I’m happy to take medication which is proven and I can research myself. One thing that rested my mind about this was that my doctor said I didn’t have to take the meds every day, but rather just on “work” days so I don’t get dependent.

        I’m currently studying on a PhD programme, and to get to this point has been a constant struggle, so I really don’t believe I can go any further without extra help. I don’t know if you’ve had a similar experience, as I know ADHD symptoms can sometimes be beneficial, especially in creative industries, so perhaps it may feel as though you’re coping depending on your job/occupation? I guess you need to consider what you “need” the meds for. If like me, you feel like you’ve hit a wall, then I’d say absolutely go for it. If you think maybe the drugs would hinder you in some way, perhaps not. But do bear in mind that you can stop taking them and things will return to normal!

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