Worried I may get misdiagnosed with anxiety after evaluation

Home Welcome to the ADDitude Forums For Women & Girls Worried I may get misdiagnosed with anxiety after evaluation

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    • #108179

      Hi, I’m fresh to the forums and am pre any diagnosis of ADd. Though I am pretty convinced I have inattentive ADD.

      I recently went in for my neuropsych evaluation. The interview portion left me in a panic. I didn’t think to bring a list of what I think is wrong with me and so the interview lasted about 20 min and the dr narrowed in on that I didn’t get in trouble as a kid for acting out and I didn’t describe well my symptoms that are impacting my work and daily life. The Dr said they need to review the evaluation but that it sounds like I just need to take care of an anxiety issue. This dr does not specialize in add or adhd treatment.

      I’m in my 30’s with an advanced degree. My work has been adding more responsibility to my plate and I feel like I’m on the verge of breaking down. I can’t seem to get my sh** together in terms of focusing on getting 1-2 things done a day. For example today I wanted to do two very specific things. Instead my mind raced and I did a bunch of random crap online. Now I feel deflated and guilty.

      The question I’m trying to get out is, is it worth it to reach out to the Dr. about my concerns for not accurately describing my symptoms or just wait for the analysis and seek a second opinion depending on the results? What would you do in this situation?

      A family member was recently diagnosed with inattentive add and our symptoms are nearly identical.

    • #108270

      I’m in my 30’s as well! I was diagnosed finally back in September and it has been life changing. When I saw the Dr who performed my evaluation he explained to me briefly at the end that he thinks it may be more anxiety and depression. The thing is I have been treated off and on for depression and anxiety all my life and I knew at this point it wasn’t what was holding me back. I needed the chance to be believed. During my evaluation the way I answered the questions leaned towards ADD/ADHD the combined type and from talking about past life experiences. But during the math section I did really well, even above average for some. I explained to the Dr that we were sitting in an extremely quiet room that has no distractions, that I was excited at the prospect of finally getting diagnosed so I could take care of it and that I love math/numbers. I said so yes right now in this moment I performed well. I said I just want the chance to see if this is it and if it’s not I’ll go back to working on depression and anxiety. He said he needed time to review all the information he had compiled. When I got my results they stated the ADD/ADHD combined type diagnosis and suggestions moving forward. But it does state in there that if the ADD/ADHD medication didn’t work to seek care for anxiety and depression. Since taking ADD/ADHD medication I have not had any bouts of depression. I have had moments of sadness, but not depression. I realize that’s only 5 months, but normally in the span of 5 months I would have had bouts of depression at least a few times. I still have anxiety but as my life improves, my anxiety drops. I told you my story becuase I firmly believe in standing your ground, especially at our age. Life/time are of the essence.

      What I would do in your situation:
      Write down every point you want to make with the Dr.
      Keep each one brief and to the point.
      Call the Dr up and request either a face to face or over the phone conversation. The reason being you have a few concerns regarding your evaluation.
      If you don’t think your struggles are anxiety based remember to make brief points as to why.
      What you ask and explain doesn’t have to be perfectly said, it just has to be expressed giving you a peace of mind that you covered everything you wanted to cover.

      Once you get your results from this Dr just remember you are the only one who completely understands your struggles in life. If the results don’t reflect what you feel is right. Seek a second opinion.

      • #108277

        Also forgot to mention that I’m happy that you are seeing an improvement in your life after diagnosis! It must be such a relief.

    • #108274

      Thank you so much for your input.

      I like the idea of writing everything out and in detail before making the next move. I’m really so new to the idea that what I thought were anxiety struggles my whole life are potentially a result of having ADD. Many of the articles and forum posts resonate with me so so much and I just feel like I didn’t speak to that well in the evaluation at all. And my interview time with the Dr. was so short after such a lengthy battery of tests, he didn’t really go into depth in any line of questioning. It almost felt dismissively short.

      It’s a big lesson learned on my end, but I failed to prepare for the interview portion to have my symptoms clearly outlined. Hopefully, someone reading this can learn from my mistake!

    • #108383
      Penny Williams

      If this evaluation doesn’t turn out the way you thought it should, then seek a second opinion. Just make sure it’s someone who specializes in ADHD and is fully knowledgeable about adult ADHD.

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

    • #115905

      When I had my evaluation there was mention of my anxiety, but it’s very common especially in women to have anxiety and depression because of ADHD.

      It sounds like the person doing your evaluation doesn’t really understand how ADHD can present in women and girls. I was a quiet child, daydreamy. As long as I did my homework, then everything seemed to be fine. Even though I often struggled to follow the class or understand properly. I think I was quite middle of the road and seemed to do okay. So I didn’t stand out as having any problems.

      But throughout my life I’ve struggled with organisation, lateness, procrastination and forgetfulness. But I also went on to get a degree in my late 20’s after originally dropping out of university in my early 20’s. I believe I was able to get the degree because I really really wanted it. Also, it was the only thing I had to concentrate on at the time.

      My diagnosis was inattentive ADHD. I can really recommend the book Delivered from Distraction by Edward M Hallowell and John J Ratey. Which is often mentioned a lot when people discuss ADHD. You’ll see from that book that there are many different symptoms in ADHD and that we might not have them all. I often talk about myself as being a mass of contradictions 🙂

      I’ve struggled with anxiety and panic attacks my whole life, to a severe level. I recently started CBT therapy and we turned a bit of a corner the other day when my therapist and I made the connection with the fact that it’s possible that my phobia and surrounding anxiety is actually a coping mechanism for my ADHD as it seems to particularly flare-up at times when I’m under a lot of stress.

      If it makes you feel any better, I was going to tidy my room (it’s in such a mess), read my book and do some drawing, but I seem to be on these forums reading posts. I did get some washing done though, so that’s something 😀

    • #116026
      Dr. Eric

      Wait until you get the eval results and see what it says and why…
      If we knew the results of an assessment before we did everything, we wouldn’t need to do everything.

      If you worry about an anxiety conclusion, communicating your worry before the results are analyzed and reported isn’t going to effectively convince them that you don’t have the disorder most closely related to worrying.

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