March 2, 2021 at 8:56 pm #195537LM87Participant
After a few years I finally got the nerve to schedule an evaluation for ADHD, which is next week. I’m very nervous.
I’ve had problems for a very long time. I remember always getting in trouble during grade school for not paying attention, talking, etc. I always got pretty good grades, but as I got into high school I had a lot of problems with procrastination. It was so hard to work on projects or get projects done (I stayed up all night writing my term paper the night before it was due). These same things followed me through into college. One thing I think really helped was that we switched classes each hour so I didn’t feel “stuck” in one place for too long.
I worked at a call center after high school and hated every minute of it. I felt bored and constantly distracted, couldn’t focus to do the work required, and got in trouble for getting up too often because I felt so restless.
Once I entered nursing school where we had 4 hour blocks with one 10 minute break per session. I had problems maintaining attention, thoughts elsewhere, procrastinating homework again. However, it was easy for me to pick up missed information because my classmates and I had frequent conversations about lessons. It started being enough of a problem that I saw my physician about it. I was told that I don’t have a problem and need to apply myself and focus better – then was told to lose weight and I’d feel better (college life, right?). I felt so dumb for even thinking anything was wrong because it was my own fault apparently.
A few years ago I brought it up to my physician (different than first one but I’d been seeing for several years). I was told that it was just excess stress and my depression making it hard for me to focus and to try stress relieving measures.
Now, it is just me and my daughter at home. I still have significant problems with losing things (keys, phone). My water was shut off last month because I forgot to pay the water bill. I finally remembered to put it in the car and just kept forgetting to drop it off. I can’t get anything organized in my house post separation (still working on organizing and cleaning a year later). I have also been in trouble at work for being late frequently (happens multiple times per week, usually I lose track of time in the mornings or because I lost my keys or phone). My stress level is almost non-existent (except when I get stressed because of my scatterbrained self) but nothing external. My depression is effectively being treated with Wellbutrin, so I know that isn’t contributing.
I am just terrified that I will not be taken seriously and told it’s just stress or “you’re a Mom, you’re supposed to be forgetful”. I’m also worried about saying outright that I think I have ADHD because of x, y, and z because I’ve read about how providers don’t like to diagnose ADHD as an adult.
Are there any suggestions to make sure I get the most out of my appointment? Any ways to help get my concerns heard without getting the “it’s just stress” response? I am just so nervous about not being taken seriously.
Thank you so much!
March 3, 2021 at 12:25 pm #195549Dr. EricParticipant
Try to zen out and not overthink it.
If you have an appointment with a professional that diagnoses ADHD for a living, you will have a different experience than a general medical doctor.
If you overthink the evaluation or get too meta by wondering why a certain question was asked and what the correct way to answer it is… at best, you stress yourself out for no reason at worse you show anxiety over anything else going on.
99% of the time, your first thought when a question is asked is how you should answer.
You WILL be asked things not related to ADHD. That is apprpriate. We do not have blood tests that allow you to test positive for ADHD, so the assessor will need to systematically rule out alternative explanations (if they are good).
March 3, 2021 at 1:05 pm #195560Penny WilliamsKeymaster
I’m linking articles that explains what to expect — I find that when I’m anxious it helps to know what to expect:
Make sure you bring any documentation from your pat, like comments on childhood report cards, troubled work history, or whatever you have.
ADDitude Community Moderator, Parenting ADHD Coach, Podcaster & Author, Mom to teen w/ ADHD, LDs, and autism
March 14, 2021 at 3:38 pm #196188michael petanParticipant
Be calm. Remember that there are very few experts out there a diagnose is just that an observation. Be aware of “snap judgements” and quick responses to put you in a category with a label. Read Gabor Maté, MD Scattered Minds. Reading it will shed light on your perceptions and personal reality. Lots of tools out there to help organized a scattered mind, some use a digital watch with an alarm even, plus journals. Your stress as a single father alone can make on simply BATTY to say the least. I wish you love and luck and patience, i meditate a lot, 3 times a day, break up my mind running away from me.
March 19, 2021 at 11:17 am #196212Dr. EricParticipant
Any update on how it went?
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