So I recently started to recognize a lot of the behaviors associated with ADHD. I was and still am in doubt whether I have ADHD or not, but some specific events caused me to ask my doctor to refer me for a diagnosis. I was actually doing quite OK-ish this year, after having struggled with self-worth, short depressive episodes and mild trauma in the recent past. But I noticed that I started to have trouble focusing again as the newness wore off after my career change. And I got called out by my friends for “acting ADHD”. Which did not sound unusual at all.

So I got the referral, went through the intake with shrink 1, did an adult ADHD diagnosis with shrink 2. The diagnosis involved me and my mom answering questions about the presence of ADHD symptoms now and in my early childhood (5-12 yo). Basically, now I do have almost all of the characteristics, though they often are erratic (no problems studying, huge difficulties with household tasks, work productivity varies orders of magnitude day to day) and often not noticed by others (my average productivity in a month is great, though many days I feel shit due to not being able to do what I am supposed to).

In childhood, no symptoms were found. Zero. Partly because everyone in my family is forgetful and mom picks up stuff after everyone all the time, I was constantly reminded/pushed/supported and did not really have the opportunity to forget things (though I still did) and partly because like now, many of these things happen in my head and are not noticeable in the averages that others see. Except when I’m talking too much and interrupting people but I guess thats acceptable when children do it.

Maybe I don’t have ADHD. Maybe it’s something else. Maybe the shrink misunderstood me.

But I feel shit right now. The title is what I had pre-planned to say to people about the outcome and if they say again “don’t act so ADHD”. I can say it with a laugh and everyone thinks I’m funny and quirky.

But the truth is, I feel misunderstood. I feel like a failure for having fallen into an ADHD phenotype even though I am hugely privileged and have none of the baggage so many people here do. No childhood trauma, no school/grades problems, no poverty.

I can’t help but feel that my behavior is my fault, as is wasting health professionals time, who could have helped someone who actually needed it. Shrink 1 is on “long-term sick leave” now. She got stressed by me clicking things constantly during the (remote) interviews. Another thing to feel guilty about.

Best case now is that they diagnose me with some sort of anxiety disorder now. I have been reading a book on autism that I found and it somewhat satisfies my yearning for closure and community in what the author finds, but it also makes it extra painful that I don’t have that.

I don’t have ADHD, I just am super annoying. And I need to deal with that and it’s not actually all that funny.

I’m sorry for the wall of text. Thanks for sharing your stories and memes and goodbye!

  • Tippon
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    522 months ago

    She got stressed by me clicking things constantly during the (remote) interviews.

    What in the everloving fuck did she think was going to happen on a remote interview for an ADHD diagnosis!?

    Don’t feel any guilt for that. At all.

    • @F04118FOP
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      192 months ago

      She has ADD herself apparently. There’s so many comical mistakes that the whole clinic made that I could fill a few sketches.

      • @sramder@lemmy.world
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        212 months ago

        You didn’t do it. There’s got to be some additional factors here, other stuff going on for her. They don’t let you into the field if one bad patient can knock you out of commission.

        • @4am@lemm.ee
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          122 months ago

          Second this - if she actually was really upset specifically with that, it could have been that the clicking was the last straw in a long line of issues and she broke on that moment, but that isn’t your fault, you didn’t do all that other stuff to her; and you certainly didn’t cause it all on your own with this one incident.

          Do not blame yourself for her absence. Her problems are not yours.

      • Semperverus
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        112 months ago

        Its a known fact that two ADHD people in the same space can easily piss eachother off. Its particularly notable in parents with ADHD raising kids who inherited it from them. The good ones dont let their kids see (much) of the stress, but they struggle hard. This happens to a lesser degree with other people too.

  • @JustZ@lemmy.world
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    2 months ago

    Look, ADHD is a constellation of symptoms that are statistically shared by people who generally benefit from similar treatment, given a name basically only for paperwork and insurance purposes. The DSM is a statistical manual, not a checklist. A diagnosis doesn’t mean anything, other than maybe insurance coverage. You’re still going to be who you are. Good news though is you can change who you are, and change how you think, regardless of whether you have a constellation of shared symptoms diagnosable as ADHD or not.

    My advice is: get to know yourself and what you need each day to be mostly content, without any comparisons to what others are doing or want to be doing. If you don’t know what you need you aren’t going to get around to working toward what you want, and will likely find yourself searching for something and coming up short.

    For me, anything I or anyone else ever blamed on ADHD has been a product of thought processes I learned as a child and which are no longer helpful as an adult. My reward center was all fucked up from generations of family members who used guilt, shame, harsh words, and loud voices, to motivate themselves and others. That’s not violence, shame and guilt are no less traumatic. Maybe you relate, maybe not.

    With effort you can change your thoughts processes. Tell yourself what you want to believe, and especially what you already know to be true. Make a list of your strengths and repeat them to yourself as often as you can. Make a list of things you want to be true and are working toward and repeat them to yourself as often as you can. Or listen to self affirmation videos on YouTube and use other people’s power thoughts. It will change the way your brain makes connections and make t easier and easier to change the way you think until it becomes the only way you think. This is more or less the concept behind CBT.

    You’re on your way already; said you are recognizing behaviors and habits that you want to change. You can change them, even with a constellation of symptoms diagnosable as ADHD for insurance purposes.

    The longer you go bearing the burdens of such symptoms–whether it’s blowing deadlines, abandoning tasks, or annoying people by getting too excited sometimes–the more ingrained these unhelpful thoughts processes become; i.e., thoughts of helplessness and distrust in yourself, and you develop a limited mindset, or learned helplessness. The brain is a muscle, and any line of thinking, for better or worse, become easier with repetition. ** And I wouldn’t wish a lifetime of stimulant use on my worst enemy.

    E: Couple more thoughts.

    Any problem I’ve ever had with procrastinating or impulsivity, hyper focus, inattention, anger, or sadness, has been a result of an inability in the moment to adequately manage my emotions. You do not procrastinate because you literally lack the willpower or motivation to get the task done. In fact, I bet you are using significant willpower to avoid feeling how you are afraid you may feel if your fears about the task come true, and what that may mean about you. Maybe you relate maybe not. If you do, know that you can retrain your reward center by reframing the nature of the tasks and what they mean to you; I found it empowering to realize that much of life is suffering and we can either suffer the discomfort of hard work or the discomfort of avoidance and shame. Start giving yourself prizes of like going to a nice restaurant or making ice cream sundaes, a cigar, a hike, or whatever, when you achieve small, measurable goals, and just keep doing it, trying to focus your mind on enjoying the rewards and reflecting on what actions you took to earn them.

    Exercise, too, has been huge for me, for managing emotions, thinking clearly, regulating all the fight or flight and stress hormones that only exacerbate my least helpful thought processes.

    • @F04118FOP
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      42 months ago

      Thank you for your help!

      I relate to a lot of what you say, have also been doing exercise and meditation with mixed results. I tried CBT a few times, filled out schemas and all that, but the logical arguments and affirmations that should help me let go of the negative thoughts seemed pointless in the moment when it went south. I guess persistence is key. Sticking with something is hard, but this does seem like it is really worth it. I am going to have another talk with a psychologist to see what can be done to help me and will definitely bring this!

    • @skulblaka@startrek.website
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      32 months ago

      This is more or less the concept behind CBT

      My brain knows that this stands for Cognitive Behavioral Therapy and is a wonderful and essential tool for lots of folks the world over.

      My heart says the internet has damaged me.

  • @flooppoolf@lemmy.world
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    152 months ago

    Bapa, you can always get a second opinion.

    I’m pretty bad at forgetting memories, like I can remember almost all of my life so far, I just can’t remember to do things on time.

    When they did that test on me I remembered how often I would piss myself at school because I would wait last minute to go. That was a huge sign for the psychologist.

    Oftentimes I was bullied. Got in trouble for not paying attention, etc. (Give the Wender Utah rating scale a try)

    Adderall won’t change your life completely, it’ll make things easier, but it is ultimately up to you to implement small habits to make things easier.

    You’re not annoying, you just like to talk. Find people who like to listen. It can be hard nowadays what with all the intricacies of life. But there are plenty of people out there.

    Don’t lose hope. And most importantly love yourself. You’re a beacon of light for your community. More often than not the people with ADHD tendencies are the ones who fight against the things that bring others down. Yes we are seen as an inconvenience, but fuck if I care, I want to make the world a better place, no matter the cost.

    You’ll run into bumps along the way. But eventually you’ll find yourself. Promise.

    • @F04118FOP
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      52 months ago

      Thank you for your support! I will use the anger and frustration to do more good. Love that vibe! I will do some more organizing work for the effective altruism club. I hate injustice and I will gladly and proudly be an inconvenience if it saves a few children from malaria. Or animals from suffering.

      Loving myself is much harder.

      • @flooppoolf@lemmy.world
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        32 months ago

        It’s a slow and arduous process for sure.

        Eventually you’ll grow comfortable with yourself and it will make directing all that passion much easier.

        Unfortunately it is an expensive and long process. One psych had me under his Quetiapine, Fluvoxamine, Xanax spell for about a year. Convinced me that I was an anxious mess and that the only way out was to shut out my family. (That was a biiiig lie, family is what has kept me from doing terrible shit, they’re who is there when no one else is. Sometimes it is difficult for them to understand you but all in all they will almost always want what they think is best for you.)

        Another tried telling me that I didn’t really want to become a doctor and that I was just depressed because of the intense undergrad classes. I’m 10 months out from finishing what I started. (School is hard and is that way to prove that you really want what you want, nothing comes easy. But remember that changing your mind is always an option.)

        And finally a sweet and understanding psychologist helped me realize I was just a bit ADHD. Made me realize all my angst about not ever connecting with women was normal for me as a person. (He never outright told me I was gayer than Elton, he just explained that ADHD was not at fault here and to give myself space to think about what I really wanted) I began adderall and started getting the grades I wanted first. Then after that part of my life was fulfilled I was able to fulfill myself with a mostly happy (temporary) relationship and saw that hey it’s all good. I’m not broken. I no longer worry about seeking romantic happiness, as I have seen that it all comes by itself.

        Now I just focus on being better at cleaning up after myself, getting acceptable grades, and helping people get better. Been off the adderall for about a year now and only go to my primary for it whenever the need arises (studying for hard exams)

        Just remember that it is amphetamine and it is an addictive substance. The same goes for other stimulants of different classes. Many people have used it and learned to live without it successfully.

        Every process is different but I guarantee that if you see this through you’ll find what you need.

        Best wishes ❣️

        • @F04118FOP
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          32 months ago

          Thank you so much for sharing your story and for your support! It is helping me more than you know, I really needed it. I am feeling better already, will try to go to sleep now. Thanks again for your time!!

          And also, I am so so proud of you for how you got through this all ❤️

  • @sanpedropeddler@sh.itjust.works
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    2 months ago

    The boundaries of what is considered ADHD are arbitrary. You don’t have what is generally considered to be ADHD (at least according to your therapist), but that doesn’t really mean anything. Brains are complicated and they don’t always work how naming conventions want them to.

    You are experiencing ADHD symptoms to a point where it is materially impacting your ability to live your life normally. That, at least to me, is a disorder.

    Any method of managing ADHD symptoms will probably help you. Of course without a diagnosis you won’t have access to ADHD medication, although its very possible that wouldn’t be the solution you’re looking for in the first place.

    Here’s an alternative title that’s a little more positive: “I don’t have diagnosed ADHD, science simply hasn’t caught up to my brain yet.”

    • @F04118FOP
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      92 months ago

      Thank you for your support! It sounds plausible but I find it hard to self-diagnose and go against the science and impartial judgement. I am skeptical of claims of disorders and diseases that are not scientifically verified, and should hold myself to those same standards, at a minimum.

      Maybe you’re right though. Until then, todoist, pomodoro and the occasional super strong coffee will have to keep me on track.

      Again, really appreciate you taking your time to reply. It helps me more than you know ❤️

  • @Shelena
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    102 months ago

    Not sure whether this is useful to you, but I recognise a lot of what you are saying. For example, the being able to do a job until the newness wears off and it gets boring and the huge difficulty with doing household tasks, etc.

    I was diagnosed with CPTSD en intellectual giftedness and this explains my symptoms. I do not seem to have ADHD as I get extra active if I take ADHD medication. Most intellectual gifted people do not believe that they are intellectually gifted. I am still sceptical about whether I am, because I feel far too dumb. So, even if you do not feel gifted, it might still be something to check out if you want.

    • @Thorny_Insight@lemm.ee
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      42 months ago

      I am still sceptical about whether I am, because I feel far too dumb.

      Guess who doesn’t feel dumb? Stupid people.

      I think that Dunning Kruger effect plays a role here aswell; when you’re dumb you don’t know what you don’t know so you feel like you know a lot. Then as you learn more about shit you also learn how much you don’t know and thus become less sure about your knowledge even though you may be above the average. It’s pretty similar to impostor syndrome.

      I’m one of those people who don’t really consider themselves to be particularly intelligent but at the same time most other people don’t seem smarter than me either. Statistically half of the world’s population is dumber than average so just because someone is above the average that still doesn’t exactly make them genious either. The way I reason this to myself is that I’m not “smart” as in I know a lot of things. What makes me different from many other people is the way my brain works. I seem to have the capability to not get invested into ideas and rather can take few steps back and observe things more analytically by using logic and reason rather than emotions and feelings. This doesn’t mean I don’t feel the emotional reactions aswell but I just usually don’t get captured by them.

      • @Shelena
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        22 months ago

        That sounds very similar to what my psychologist told me in the beginning when I had trouble believing I am intellectually gifted: “you are smart enough to know when you make mistakes.” I think you are definitely right. I am always focused on trying to find mistakes or stuff I do not understand or that I do not know that I do not know (that one is the most interesting). So, I spend much of my time on thinking about that. So, often I feel like I make mistakes all the time and do not know anything.

        Also, I work in academia with a lot of very smart people and I was comparing myself to them instead of the general population. And with other people, I don’t know. It is just not the way I view them. Most people can do a lot of great stuff that I cannot do. For example, my neighbour makes these really nice bags by hand and I am in awe by them. And I look up to her because she can do that.

        I agree that what makes you smart is the way you think, not the knowledge you have. Although I do think that being smart often comes with a lots of curiousity which makes you gain a lot of knowledge.

        I am a very emotional person, but, like you, I am able to detach and analyse. I think that is even an important part of my job. It is really nice your brain works like that as well! It is a valuable thing to be able to do, I think.

        What I like to do most is design stuff and being creative. I design systems as part of my work and in my free time I draw and I write. And when I do that I get in some kind of creative flow where I have like a 1000 ideas and I just know what to do intuitively. That is the thing I love to do most. Unfortunately, I do not get to spend a lot of time on that in my work. There is always too much other stuff to do. But I try to do design as much as I can. Apparently, the need to be creative can be part of intellectual giftedness as well.

        That is the nice part. But it also has some downsides. I am very easily overstimulated. I have issues with attention, especially for ‘boring’ tasks. I have a low tolerance for my own mistakes and I am too perfectionistic. I am insecure. I have trouble respecting hierarchy (I think this is a good thing, but some people don’t). I am very emotionally sensitive and I was able to mask my CPTSD for years, leaving me without help and treatment for it. I think some of that stuff I found recognisable in what OP said.

  • kellyaster
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    52 months ago

    flooppoolf mentioned you can get a second opinion, and I’d like validate that idea.

    The diagnosis involved me and my mom answering questions about the presence of ADHD symptoms now and in my early childhood (5-12 yo).

    So. My thinking is that you weren’t tested for ADHD, you were given a survey to assess symptoms. Symptoms are important to recognize, but they don’t always paint a complete picture of what’s really going on.

    For my diagnosis, I had to take a barrage of tests that took 3 hours to complete. The testing session was comprised of several timed tests on reflexes, short term memory retention, attention span, logic, vocabulary, math, and an IQ test. The last three might have been part of the IQ test, now that I think about it. This was a couple of years ago so I know I’m forgetting a lot of details, but it was intense. The report I got later with the diagnosis was huge and contained a ton of data and confirmed yes, I have ADHD. So yeah, ADHD (I have the inattentive, not the hyperactive type) is quantifiable.

    For what it’s worth, when I was a child I also didn’t have the typical symptoms of ADHD. It is possible to have ADHD and exhibit no outward symptoms when you’re a kid, it presents differently in people for a variety of reasons, I was told. It only became obvious when I was an adult. That’s just my experience, anyway.

  • QualifiedKitten
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    52 months ago

    As I read other people’s comments, my diagnosis experience seems somewhat unique. I may be misremembering the exact sequence of events, but I’ll try my best.

    As a young kid, I did okay in school. My report cards often noted that I did really well on the tests, but I often forgot to do my homework, and since homework was a large portion of the grade, I had lots of Bs and Cs. On the standardized testing we did each year, I’d score well above my grade level on everything except the listening portion, which was just average. In junior year of high school, I made it a point to have no missing assignments. Even if I didn’t finish my homework, I’d still turn something in, and suddenly I had straight As.

    Around the time I was 18, I began trying a variety of antidepressants, mostly SSRIs.

    I was probably 20 years old when my parents suggested that I see “Dr. Feel Good”. In their experience, he handed out prescriptions like candy, so he’d probably give me whatever I asked for. When I went to him and explained my struggles and how I felt they were indicative of ADHD, he told me that I couldn’t possibly have ADHD since people with ADHD don’t get depressed. I think he did end up giving me a 30 day prescription though, and suggested I find a more specialized doctor.

    I think it was after that that I began seeing a psychiatrist. The psychiatrist again put me on an SSRI, I think Zoloft. I took it for a while, but eventually got fed up and just stopped taking it. I think it was when I told him that I stopped taking it that he finally gave me a prescription for Adderall. Or maybe my time with him overlapped with the next paragraph.

    Somewhere around that same time, I had dropped out of university and decided to take classes at the local community college while I figured things out. Somehow, I learned that the community college offered learning disability testing, so I signed up. From what I remembered, I did really well on everything except (surprise, surprise) the listening portion. I was told that my results indicated that I have an “auditory processing deficit”. I eventually wound up taking the test results to a new psychiatrist, and they put me on Adderall right away.

    Honestly, I’m still not totally sure if I’m “officially” diagnosed as ADHD, but I’ve moved around a bit and changed doctors a few times, and 15ish years later, I’m still getting ADHD meds.

    All this is to say that there’s lots of doctors out there that won’t take you seriously, and/or have outdated understanding of mental health, so whether or not you have ADHD or anything else, don’t give up until you find a solution that works for you.

  • @Buffalobuffalo@lemmy.dbzer0.com
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    2 months ago

    Try not faking ADHD you annoying degenerate. s/ If you discover you’re unable to stop faking you can accept the measure of your symptoms. The wide scope of ADHD and the degree of any behavior impacted is gunna make it difficult to give a nice certain concise diagnosis. Getting any treatment or whatever isn’t likely depriving the specialist from treating others, too.

    Someone with a great support network constraining the negative impacts of the condition would probably do well just like you. I bet one’d find an equitably poor experience if that network was lost. Still the same person. If the treatment is of benefit for one it’s justified for the other.

  • @NightAuthor@lemmy.world
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    32 months ago

    Watch some Russell Barkley YouTube videos, assuming you’re able to, and then think again about the opinion of that one psych.

    • @F04118FOP
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      12 months ago

      There’s a lot of videos, some 2 to 3 hours long. Could you link one that is relevant to your intention?

      • @NightAuthor@lemmy.world
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        22 months ago

        The long ones are worth the watch in my opinion, I was just like “oh that’s me, that makes sense… that explains a lot” and was intrigued throughout the whole 2.5hours of the talk on things parent should know.

        But this video is slightly shorter at 1.5hours, on specifically the state of and issues with adult adhd diagnostics right now.

        https://youtu.be/JLKCzEDqGa0

        The research update videos are a bit hit and miss engagement-wise but his more comprehensive talks I find endlessly fascinating. I wish I could find the 5minute segment of the parents video that was mentioned to me, bc it’s what then got me looking for more of his content.

        He’s actually objectively in the top ~5 experts on adhd around the world.

        • @F04118FOP
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          Thanks, that is a nice information-dense talk! I downloaded the audio using newpipe and listened to it during a cycling trip today. Lots of “oh wow” moments for me even in the first 30 minutes.

          • The age of onset should not need to be below 12: it just needs to happen during development, typically up to 24 yo. For me the onset was just after 12, between 13-16, with a significant worsening when my environment changed around 20.
          • half of the people with ADHD had an onset of symptoms after 12 yo (how did they measure this?)
          • recollectiona from childhood are very unreliable. Recollections from parents too.
    • @F04118FOP
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      22 months ago

      None regularly. Only when it gets really busy in my head and I really have trouble focusing, I take a really strong coffee, which reasonably often calms me and helps to focus.

      I only do it when nothing else (exercise, outdoors walk, sugar) works and only if it is really really bad, so once per 1 or 2 weeks. If I were to drink coffee every 2 or 3 days it would probably stop working.

      • @surewhynotlem@lemmy.world
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        42 months ago

        There are very very few conditions where adding a simulant makes people calm. It’s basically ADHD or… I can’t think of a second one, but I’m not a doctor.

        When most people drink an extra strong large coffee, they are bouncing off the walls. I’m ADHD, so when I drink that same coffee, I sit in a chair and am productive.

        I will also add that asking parents to provide input about your childhood traits is not a good way to diagnose ADHD in adults. ADHD is genetic. So that doctor was asking a possibly undiagnosed ADHD mother about their kid. That mother has 50 years of coping mechanisms and has no concept of what normal looks like. You weren’t bouncing off the walls any more than she was, and she thinks she is normal.

        • @F04118FOP
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          12 months ago

          Thanks for your insight!

  • @bionicjoey@lemmy.ca
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    12 months ago

    There are lots of different ND things out there. Just because you didn’t get the diagnosis you expected doesn’t mean you don’t have something