ADHD Answers

I’ve finally got over the denial that I may have adhd, but now I don’t know where to go from here…

Hey there! I’m so sorry that you are struggling. There are a lot of treatment options out there for ADHD. Unfortunately, there is no easy answer for how to deal with it. So what now? Well, therapy would absolutely be a good place to start, whether it’s through Betterhelp, or another agency! If cost is a concern, put your location + community mental health into google, and a low cost agency (who often works on a sliding scale with payment as low as zero), should pop up. I wish there was an easy, overnight magic wand type answer for you. I would also recommend seeing a psychiatrist! Doing therapy and medication management can help you learn about your symptoms and develop skills to heal. It’s not an easy path, but neither is the one you are on if I’m reading you correctly. If you need help right away, the crisis text line at 741741 might be a good place to start. You just text that number “start” and someone talks to you pretty fast. It’s a great way to get some help in the short term, and you don’t even need to be in crisis in that moment. The National Suicide Hotline is also a good resource, and again, you don’t have to be in crisis to reach out and benefit. And both are open 24 hours a day! And are free! Their number is 1-800-273-8255. Betterhelp does have financial aid available if you qualify, and you can reach out to them at contact@betterhelp.com.   So what is therapy? How can therapy help you? Well, a worksheet that I like to use has the following information. Psychotherapy is a process that many believe is shrouded in mystery, but it doesn't have to be that way. Therapists are normal people who usually chose their profession because they care about other people, they're good listeners, and they want to help. What does a therapist actually do, and how can they help me?Therapists act as a neutral party who can listen and try to understand without judgment. Therapists help you learn about yourself by pointing out patterns and giving honest feedback. Therapists teach specific techniques and strategies to deal with problems. Therapists can refer you to additional resources in the community that might be helpful. Therapists provide a safe place to learn and practice social skills.You won't be annoying your therapist, whomever you choose, by being present and working to change and grow as a person. It sounds like you have a lot going on, and therapy really can help you sort through everything.  Every therapist on Betterhelp has a different theoretical orientations. Some use CBT. Others use REBT, EMDR, or other various evidence based practice.   What are the limitations of psychotherapy?Therapists should not tell you what to do or try to direct your life. Think of the proverb: "Give a man a fish, and you feed him for a day. Teach him to fish, and you feed him for life." Therapists will help you learn to solve your own problems, rather than solving them for you. Some mental illness cannot be managed by psychotherapy alone. If medication is recommended, it's probably important. Benefiting from psychotherapy does require work on your part. Speaking to a therapist for an hour a week, and then pushing it out of your mind, probably won't do you any good. Complete homework, practice your skills, and legitimately try the recommendations you are given. Therapists cannot be your friend after starting a therapeutic relationship. Therapists generally like their clients, and would love to get to know them better, but ethical rules prevent the formation of relationships outside of treatment. It isn't you, it's just that the therapist could lose their license! Therapists cannot read your mind. If you hide information, or are dishonest, you're wasting your own time and money. You might also consider seeing a psychiatrist, to see if medication can help with some of your symptoms.Therapy is a great way to help you sort out the why’s and how’s behind what you are experiencing. A therapist can help you figure out what you want to change, and work with you develop a plan for change. It’s okay to seek help. You can change. It takes a lot of time and there isn’t a magical wand. You have a lot of deep seated core beliefs that drive your being. Learning to address and change them, and process them is a lot of work, but it can get done, and you can get better. You deserve to find happiness in your life. You deserve to be relieved of the burdens that you are carrying alone. Therapists are there to listen.  A therapist can really help you process what is causing your thoughts and feelings and help you develop coping strategies. Something to remember when learning coping skills is that they are skills. Skills are something we develop over time and sometimes, new skills that we are still learning don’t quite work effectively, and that is okay! The more you practice, the better you get! An alternative to therapy might be downloading an app like Mindshift (which is free) or Unwinding Anxiety (which is subscription based). Both of these apps contain tools to help you learning calming skills to manage your physical symptoms (such as rapid breathing) and learn to quiet your mind. Google also contains a wealth of information on coping skills. While these apps won’t do much to challenge your cognitive distortions, or core beliefs, they can help in teaching you those important emotional regulation skills. Ultimately, it’s hard to help you figure out what to do without knowing more about you and the situation. You’re in a tough spot, but you will get through this. You are not alone. Remember, you’ve survived 100% of your toughest moments so far in life. It’s okay to need some help to move forward. Therapy can really help you figure out how to change your life for the better. It can really help you change what you are experiencing. Luckily, Betterhelp makes getting matched to a therapist pretty easy, if you want to go this route. If you don’t click with the first therapist you match with, it’s easy to switch counselors until you find one that really works for you and your needs. Finding the right therapist is key. I wish you the best of luck!
(LMHC, MCAP, (FL), LMHC, (WA))
Answered on 01/21/2022

I feel like something is missing. like something is fighting with my adhd please help.

Hi there! Thank you for reaching out and being willing to share some of the struggles you are facing right now. I know it can be hard to open up and be vulnerable so thank you for trusting us with this part of your life.   To start, I am wondering if or when you were officially diagnosed with ADHD. ADHD can have symptoms that mirror and look very similar to other diagnoses, it might be helpful to meet with a psychiatrist that can help you with an official diagnosis.    It sounds like you are struggling at times with anxiety. You mentioned the feeling of being overwhelmed and listed several things that contribute to this feeling, such as people in the room, the tv, the dishes, etc. I would encourage you to begin to explore what might be overwhelming about these situations. Could it be that you have a hard time thinking with so many things going on all at once? Would it be helpful to manage the things in your control, such as the volume of the tv. I often encourage my clients to look at what they do have control of in situations that feel overwhelming and manage those the best they can. The areas we do not have control of can feel a bit trickier to manage our anxiety around these, however when it comes to the things we do not have control over, we can either begin to look at boundaries that may need to be established, or ways to regulate ourselves in those moments.    Regulation would be the second thing I would encourage you to begin practicing. Often we do not see the need for regulation skills until we are faced with overwhelming emotion. I encourage my clients to practice regulation skills even when they are not faced with a moment of panic, or a moment of feeling significantly overwhelmed. Practicing when you are already somewhat regulated will give you a bit of a foundation that will be easier to utilize when you are in the midst of anxiety or being overwhelmed. It sounds like a mindfulness practice might be a good place to start for you. Mindfulness is not only a great way to relax, regulate and recharge, it also helps train your mind to focus. When we are in the midst of panic it often feels as though your thoughts are going 500 different directions in one second. Growing in a the skill of focusing will allow you to sort those thoughts and focus on one thing rather than letting anxiety or whatever else might be affecting you at that time run away with your thoughts.    I hope this gives you a good place to start when you are looking at how to regulate your emotions and thoughts when you begin to feel overwhelmed. I would also recommend discussing your concerns further with a mental health professional that can help you properly sort through the areas that are causing the most difficulty in your life right now.    Take Care,  Bethany Oxford, MSW, LCSW    
(MSW, LCSW)
Answered on 01/21/2022

How can I become more articulate in my thinking, speech and writing?

I am so sorry to hear that you are struggling with articulating your thinking clearly. It will be important to recognize when your feelings have a purpose versus when they do not.  We of course want positive feelings in our lives, but sometimes negative feelings are there for a reason and we need to live out that purpose in order for it to get better.  If we do not live out the purpose of our feelings, it likely leads us to feel worse.  For example, something as simple as having anxiety about needing to get the chores done has the purpose of getting us motivated to get the chores done.  Therefore, if we do not live out that purpose and the chores remain undone, that can lead to more bad feelings, such as, “I am lazy” or “I am worthless.”  This is a simple example of how if we do not pay attention to our feelings and live out the purpose, they can become much, much worse.  So, I would encourage you to try and separate out the thoughts that have a purpose from the thoughts that do not have a purpose and are more intrusive.    For the ones that do have a purpose, it can be helpful to allow yourself to think through the anxious thoughts because anxiety has a nasty way of going to the worst possible scenario.  If you can wrap your head around that scenario, it can make it less scary.  For example, I had a client that was very anxious daily about being single for the rest of his life.  Thinking to that extreme is clearly anxiety and it just lingers there.  So, then he was able to think through that scenario and come up with a plan to make it less scary.  He then came up with that if he really is going to be single the rest of his life, which is highly unlikely, he is going to work towards being able to live close to the ocean since that is a dream of his.  Thinking about it now does not make him as scared because he recognizes he could be happy with that. So, try to think through specific things you are anxious about that have a purpose and make sure you have a specific plan on how to improve those things. For example, having a specific plan for how to address specific anxieties you have that make it hard to articulate well.      Intrusive thoughts tend to not have a purpose and it can be really helpful to try and overpower those before they are accepted as truths.   We can have power over our thoughts and I want to help you not engage in these thoughts that make you so upset.  The easiest example of this that I can think of is if I went skydiving.  If I went skydiving I would have some obvious, rational, anxious thoughts.  If I really have a desire to skydive though I will need to not engage in those thoughts.  I might have thoughts such as, "My parachute could fail, I will hit the ground, I am going to pass out, etc."  However, since I really want to follow through with skydiving, I would want to stop those thoughts in their tracks with, "I know this is going to be really fun, they inspect the parachutes ahead of time, people hardly ever get hurt doing this, etc."  By focusing on those thoughts and not engaging in the others, I would be able to follow through with skydiving. Try to sort through any thoughts that get you down about yourself and that you can’t handle all of this and try to overpower those.  These types of thoughts are very common when dealing with this kind of lack of following through with plans.   As you do those processes it can be helpful to validate yourself as someone of worth and that has been able to get through challenges in your past.  Something that could be helpful for you is what I like to call centering thoughts.  These are thoughts that are predetermined and unique to you for you to turn to in low moments.  They need to be powerful enough to bring you back to your center.  It is important that these thoughts are accessible for you to look at when you need to.  Some clients prefer to read and re-read them and some prefer to write and re-write them until they feel better.  I have clients that write these somewhere they will see daily such as their bathroom mirror or phone background, while others simply have them in their phone to pull out when they need to.  An example of a centering thought would be from a client I had that related to nautical themed things and her thought was, "I will not let this sink me."  Another example is from an Olympic skier that actually had difficulties with negative thinking getting in the way of her performance so she went to therapy.  She mentioned that she learned about centering thoughts to battle all of the people telling her she “should be” or “should do.”  To battle those thoughts, she uses the simple centering thought of, “I am.”  She can then remind herself that she is good enough, that she is confident, and that she does want to still compete, which really affirms her own feelings and not others.  Hopefully you can come up with something that helps validate your worth and abilities to move forward.       I hope that some of this is helpful and that you can apply it to your circumstances.  I hope that you can lean on some family and/or friends through this.  Doing so can help take weight off of your shoulders as well as hopefully get some valuable advice from them. Try to take the healing one day at a time and adding one positive thing back into your life each day. I wish you all the best and I hope that you are staying safe.
(MA, LPC, NCC)
Answered on 01/21/2022

I'm having trouble with procrastination and motivation

Hey there! I’m so sorry that you are struggling. You sound like you’ve had a lot of stress in your life lately. I would recommend that you maybe get an assessment for ADHD. You have a lot of distractions and a therapist might be able to help you come up with a plan to work with your brain in order to figure out how to get things done. Unfortunately, there is no easy answer for how to deal with it. So what now? Well, therapy would absolutely be a good place to start, whether it’s through Betterhelp, or another agency! If cost is a concern, put your location + community mental health into google, and a low cost agency (who often works on a sliding scale with payment as low as zero), should pop up. I wish there was an easy, overnight magic wand type answer for you. I would also recommend seeing a psychiatrist! Doing therapy and medication management can help you learn about your symptoms and develop skills to heal. It’s not an easy path, but neither is the one you are on if I’m reading you correctly. If you need help right away, the crisis text line at 741741 might be a good place to start. You just text that number “start” and someone talks to you pretty fast. It’s a great way to get some help in the short term, and you don’t even need to be in crisis in that moment. The National Suicide Hotline is also a good resource, and again, you don’t have to be in crisis to reach out and benefit. And both are open 24 hours a day! And are free! Their number is 1-800-273-8255. Betterhelp does have financial aid available if you qualify, and you can reach out to them at contact@betterhelp.com.   So what is therapy? How can therapy help you? Well, a worksheet that I like to use has the following information. Psychotherapy is a process that many believe is shrouded in mystery, but it doesn't have to be that way. Therapists are normal people who usually chose their profession because they care about other people, they're good listeners, and they want to help. What does a therapist actually do, and how can they help me?Therapists act as a neutral party who can listen and try to understand without judgment. Therapists help you learn about yourself by pointing out patterns and giving honest feedback. Therapists teach specific techniques and strategies to deal with problems. Therapists can refer you to additional resources in the community that might be helpful. Therapists provide a safe place to learn and practice social skills.You won't be annoying your therapist, whomever you choose, by being present and working to change and grow as a person. It sounds like you have a lot going on, and therapy really can help you sort through everything.  Every therapist on Betterhelp has a different theoretical orientations. Some use CBT. Others use REBT, EMDR, or other various evidence based practice.   What are the limitations of psychotherapy?Therapists should not tell you what to do or try to direct your life. Think of the proverb: "Give a man a fish, and you feed him for a day. Teach him to fish, and you feed him for life." Therapists will help you learn to solve your own problems, rather than solving them for you. Some mental illness cannot be managed by psychotherapy alone. If medication is recommended, it's probably important. Benefiting from psychotherapy does require work on your part. Speaking to a therapist for an hour a week, and then pushing it out of your mind, probably won't do you any good. Complete homework, practice your skills, and legitimately try the recommendations you are given. Therapists cannot be your friend after starting a therapeutic relationship. Therapists generally like their clients, and would love to get to know them better, but ethical rules prevent the formation of relationships outside of treatment. It isn't you, it's just that the therapist could lose their license! Therapists cannot read your mind. If you hide information, or are dishonest, you're wasting your own time and money.Therapy is a great way to help you sort out the why’s and how’s behind what you are experiencing. A therapist can help you figure out what you want to change, and work with you develop a plan for change. It’s okay to seek help. You can change. It takes a lot of time and there isn’t a magical wand. You have a lot of deep seated core beliefs that drive your being. Learning to address and change them, and process them is a lot of work, but it can get done, and you can get better. You deserve to find happiness in your life. You deserve to be relieved of the burdens that you are carrying alone. Therapists are there to listen.  A therapist can really help you process what is causing your thoughts and feelings and help you develop coping strategies. Something to remember when learning coping skills is that they are skills. Skills are something we develop over time and sometimes, new skills that we are still learning don’t quite work effectively, and that is okay! The more you practice, the better you get! An alternative to therapy might be downloading an app like Mindshift (which is free) or Unwinding Anxiety (which is subscription based). Both of these apps contain tools to help you learning calming skills to manage your physical symptoms (such as rapid breathing) and learn to quiet your mind. Google also contains a wealth of information on coping skills. While these apps won’t do much to challenge your cognitive distortions, or core beliefs, they can help in teaching you those important emotional regulation skills. Ultimately, it’s hard to help you figure out what to do without knowing more about you and the situation. You’re in a tough spot, but you will get through this. You are not alone. Remember, you’ve survived 100% of your toughest moments so far in life. It’s okay to need some help to move forward. Therapy can really help you figure out how to change your life for the better. It can really help you change what you are experiencing. Luckily, Betterhelp makes getting matched to a therapist pretty easy, if you want to go this route. If you don’t click with the first therapist you match with, it’s easy to switch counselors until you find one that really works for you and your needs. Finding the right therapist is key. I wish you the best of luck!
(LMHC, MCAP, (FL), LMHC, (WA))
Answered on 01/21/2022

Is this a concern and should I get checked for adhd? Or am I self diagnosing?

Hello Ying Yang,   Thank you for reaching out on The BetterHelp Platform with your question: Is this a concern and should I get checked for ADHD?  Or am I self diagnosing? I can see that you are experiencing symptoms of frequent job moves/losses, inability to stay on task, struggle with procrastination, insomnia, easily distracted, difficulty focussing despite efforts to do so - all of which would indiciate that you have symptoms of adult ADHD. I will share some information about how to get tested and what you can expect from an ADHD screening.  I will also include details about available treatments. The impact of untreated ADHD can be significant in a person's life and have a devastating effect on their self-esteem. No matter how hard the person tries, they seem to fall short and not know why. Whether it's difficulty meeting deadlines for work, remembering important information in relationships, or other challenges, the impact of ADHD doesn't stop in childhood and it can often go unrecognized.   An ADHD screening can give you the answers you need. For many, a diagnosis of ADHD can be of great relief as it affirms the struggles that the person has been experiencing for many years. Difficulties maintaining attention, filtering out distractions, and controlling impulsive behavior can be  challenging, but an ADHD evaluation can be the first step toward treating your symptoms properly.   Understanding Adult ADHD   It used to be thought that ADHD was a disorder of childhood, but we now know that's not the case. Most cases of ADHD persist into adulthood and not all of these individuals are diagnosed early. Undiagnosed ADHD symptoms can interfere with your ability to keep a job, manage friendships and romantic relationships, spend your money wisely, and take care of your health, among many other facets of adult life.   ADHD is thought to be caused by low levels of dopamine and norepinephrine in key areas of the brain responsible for controlling behavior and attention. ADHD is not something you can just "snap out of," and attempts to do more may only aggravate matters.   Symptoms can fluctuate throughout the day, depending on the demands of a person and the stimulation from their environment. For example, it's not uncommon for people with ADHD to "hyperfocus" for long periods on highly stimulating activities, such as video games.   How ADHD Is Diagnosed   There are three different types of ADHD recognized by the medical community: primarily inattentive, primarily hyperactive-impulsive, and combined type, the third being the most common. For a doctor to diagnose ADHD, a person will need to display at least five of the nine symptoms outlined in the DSM-5.   How Can I Get An Adult ADHD Screening? People usually seek an ADHD diagnosis when their symptoms are seriously interfering with their lives in one or more areas. You may have tried everything to be on time for appointments, keep track of important papers, remember deadlines, and control your impulsive behavior, but nothing quite seems to work. If you think you may have ADHD, it's worth it to seek out a formal ADHD screening test to give you an answer. There's no reason to fight against your brain or deny that the symptoms are real. Some people worry that an ADHD diagnosis means that they'll be labeled somehow and never be able to feel normal. They might be in denial and think that "trying harder" is all they need to do. But this attitude leads to burnout and depression quickly. It's far better to seek out an adult ADHD assessment and confirm your condition so that you can treat it effectively.   Online ADHD Test   If you're curious whether you have ADHD, you can take an ADHD online test as a first step. An ADHD online test should never substitute for a doctor's diagnosis, but it can help push you in the direction of seeking out a formal diagnosis if you're not sure. If your answers suggest that you may have ADHD, the next step is to schedule an evaluation.   Who Can Perform An ADHD Evaluation?   An ADHD evaluation is usually performed by a psychiatrist, psychologist, clinical social worker, or other behavioral health professional. Your physician may also be able to perform an ADHD evaluation. Some insurance companies require that you visit a psychiatrist to be able to have stimulant medication.   Not every doctor is familiar with ADHD in adults, so you may have to search around for a professional who can give you a proper diagnosis.   If you're not sure who to call, you can either perform a search on your insurance company's provider directory or contact your area's local behavioral health office. Simply typing in "ADHD testing near me" can also yield results.   What To Expect At An Adult ADHD Assessment   While every doctor has a different evaluation process, there are general steps you can expect. Prepare for your appointment by writing down your concerns and any questions you may think of. Your doctor may request your medical records before your appointment. If you see a physician, you may have your blood pressure and heart rate checked and blood tests performed.   During an ADHD assessment, your doctor will interview you to gather information about your symptoms and medical history. During the interview, your doctor will ask how your symptoms are affecting your daily life, work, and relationships as well as the onset of the symptoms. Make sure to bring your notes and have an open conversation with your doctor. The more information that you can provide, the clearer the diagnostic picture will be.     The interview portion is the most important part of the evaluation. In some cases, you may have to return for a follow-up visit so that the doctor can gather all the information required to make a formal diagnosis. You may also need to return to the office every month or few months if you are prescribed medication for follow-up visits. Please consult with your doctor or primary care physician before considering any medication options.   Several conditions can present with symptoms similar to ADHD, such as depression and anxiety. Many untreated adults with ADHD develop co-morbid conditions. Additional medication or therapy may be recommended if a co-morbid condition is identified.   When Should I Get Tested?   Maybe you're asking yourself what the benefit of getting tested for adult ADHD would be. If you feel that you have a good handle on your symptoms of disorganization, distractibility, or impulsiveness and don't think you would benefit from a formal diagnosis or treatment, then that is a valid choice. However, if you feel that your symptoms are getting in the way of your ability to be successful and causing you significant stress, a professional ADHD screening can help on multiple levels. One, it can give you relief and validation in knowing that there's a name for what you've been struggling with. Second, you can begin treating the condition. Many research-backed treatments can minimize the impact of ADHD in your life.   It's also crucial to rule out any other conditions that might be causing your symptoms, whether they're of physical or neurological origins. For example, lead poisoning or sleep apnea may cause symptoms that are like those of ADHD, and a doctor will want to rule out any other possible cause.   You may be able to receive accommodations for work or school under the Americans with Disabilities Act as ADHD is considered a disability. Examples include a workplace coach, extra time to complete reports or physical adaptations such as being allocated to work in a separate office. However, these accommodations are rare.   Treating ADHD   Many people with ADHD struggle with eating healthy and getting enough exercise. With so many alluring impulse buys at the grocery store, busy schedules that leave little time for cooking, and difficulty with motivation, it can be hard to keep up with healthy habits. However, a proper diet, with a focus on protein, fruits and vegetables, and whole grains, combined with regular exercise every week, can make a drastic change in the level of symptoms you experience.   Research has shown, though, that the most effective treatment known for ADHD combines multiple strategies. These include stimulant medication, cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), and diet and exercise adjustments. Your doctor should be able to give you specific recommendations to help manage your condition. Stimulant medication is effective in up to 80% of cases of adult ADHD. Stimulants work by increasing the amount of dopamine and norepinephrine in the brain. Stimulants are carefully monitored due to their abuse potential and need to be taken every day. Any stimulant medication should be started at the lowest dose and monitored for side effects until the optimum dosage is reached.   Not everyone decides that medication is right for them, and that's okay. Lifestyle changes, as mentioned above, and therapy can make an enormous difference when it comes to managing ADHD symptoms. Seeing an in-person or online therapist has been shown numerous times to have a beneficial effect on symptom management for adults struggling with ADHD.     How BetterHelp Can Support You with Your Symptoms   BetterHelp  can assist you if you have a busy schedule or don’t want to leave your home for therapy. You can be matched and connect with a licensed, experienced therapist to help you manage your ADHD symptoms and reduce any negative impact on your life and relationships.    I wish you the best of luck with what you decide to do next.   Best Gaynor
(MA, LCSW)
Answered on 01/21/2022

Can you develop ADHD as a young adult?

Hello J, To give you the short answer, yes, you can be diagnosed at any age with ADD/ADHD. ADD/ADHD is typically diagnosed in younger children, and it not typically developed in adults.  So, you would have had symptoms most likely way before this current occurrence. Now onto the longer answer to give you some more information to maybe think about. On this platform, BetterHelp, we cannot give you an “official diagnosis” and I would encourage you to seek a consultation with a medical practitioner if you are looking into medications. The severity of your symptoms and how long you have been experiencing them needs to be taken into consideration. A true diagnosis is looked at for a length of time, across multiple settings, and to what degree they are affecting your life. For you to go from one active job to a desk job is not significant enough to justify this type of diagnosis. So, if there is more to it than what has been shared here, then I would say please be sure to follow up with your doctor. Based on what you have shared, it sounds more like adjustment anxiety, especially if this is a new career field and you have a new set of professional expectations. This is more common than you might think where often people will change from an active job to desk job and then they are having a hard time adjusting initially to this drastic change. Something that might help you is getting a standing desk and taking a few breaks to go walk and collect your thoughts. Now aside from that, a thought sometimes we are used to in active jobs is that you need to constantly be doing something or else it looks like you are not working. Now in a desk job, how do you show you are being productive and getting your work done? Also, do you find yourself worrying about doing a good job and showing your boss you know what you are doing? These thoughts could also be contributing your inability to focus. I find it too often where people are feeling a sort of way and then thinking that this is not normal and then the do the thing all of us medical and psychology professionals dread: they turn to the internet to self-diagnose. Nothing good comes an internet search on symptoms you are self-conscious about, and it turns in to a self-fulfilling prophecy of then telling yourself this is wrong with you. Now a very simple explanation could be that your mom has symptoms so it would be natural you could too but, feeling like you have something is not the same. I would recommend giving it some more time before jumping straight to thinking there is something wrong with you. You have these feelings for a reason, and you are meant to try to work through them. It’s only when they cause major negative affects on many aspects of your life and not just a work, that then I would say it could be something more. In the meantime, do you best to work through them and take a moment to think that there may actually not be anything wrong with you and trying to work from that narrative instead of “I can’t do this so I must have something wrong with me.”
(MA, LMFT)
Answered on 01/21/2022

How to get doctors to hear that I have adhd and not just anxiety

I'm so glad you reached out for guidance by asking your question. I am sorry you were frustrated with outcome of your appointment in which you were not diagnosed with ADHD. I actually am working with a client who has the exact same situation except for the doctor feels they have depression and not ADHD. So we are working on the depressive symptoms right now and if they continue or if they get better and he still feeling like ADHD is happening he's going to revisit it. I know it's frustrating when you are feeling things and they're not being heard by medical professionals. It may be worth exploring that anxiety that your doctor mentioned as there's a huge overlap between trauma and ADHD symptoms. The only difference is that trauma is not treated with medication were ADHD is treated with medication. Stimulants are the most used for my medication for ADHD. My question to you is how do you respond to caffeine? Does it create energy for you or does it not have an effect on you? That is a simple little method to kind of see if the symptoms could be ADHD related or trauma/anxiety. It never hurts to talk through your trauma with a trained counselor who can help you deal with the symptoms you are dealing with right now. Unfortunately with ADHD there's not an official test so to speak it's just a checklist and that can make it hard to get diagnosed. Again there are many strategies and support groups that you could reach out and join to help mitigate the effects that you feel the ADHD symptoms are causing in your life presently. If there is Trauma in your background though it would be very important to treat that first. Again I know it is frustrating as you were just trying to help yourself get better. I encourage you to reach out to a counselor and work through the areas of concern that you were dealing with and to talk about the symptoms of the ADHD that you feel relate to you. I wish you the best of luck on this journey!
(M.Ed, LPC)
Answered on 01/21/2022

Do I have ADHD?

Hi Elio, Thank you for your question.  It takes courage to reach out and ask questions to help better yourself and get insight on what you may be feeling.  ADHD can be difficult to diagnose because many of the symptoms associated with it also reflect anxiety.  Much of this determination is dependent on how long you have experienced these symptoms and the intensity of them.   The anger and frustration you are experiencing may also be rooted in anxiety and not as result of ADHD.  In addition, you share concerns regarding social disconnections.  All these symptoms would lead more to a diagnosis of an anxiety related disorder but can’t rule out ADHD without more information.  A diagnosis of ADHD is more formally done through neuropsychological testing and the use of Vanderbilt evaluations to determine if the criteria is met but we can compare symptoms of the two here.    Physical Symptoms of Anxiety: ·      Digestive dysfunction ·      Easily fatigued ·      Restlessness ·      Muscle tensions in neck and shoulder ·      Headaches ·      Heart palpitations Psychological Effects of Anxiety: ·      Difficulty concentrating ·      Anger outbursts ·      Avoidance of social situations ·      Irritability ·      Feeling on edge ·      Racing thoughts ADHD: ·      Inattention ·      Easily Distracted ·      Lack of sustained focus on non-preferred tasks ·      Difficulty finishing tasks ·      Poor short-term memory (i.e. difficulty following a series of instructions) ·      Impulsive (acting without thinking of the consequences) ·      Hyperactive (fidgety and/or difficulty sitting still)   In addition, many individuals diagnosed with ADHD often have a dual diagnosis of an anxiety disorder.  This is often due to the frustration caused by the symptoms of ADHD that lead to low self-esteem and persistent worry that leads to inability to manage stress and anxiety symptoms.  Finally, Elio, there is nothing “wrong with you.”  Having struggles with emotions does not mean there is something wrong but more that there has been an emotionally response to experiences you may have had or currently have in your life.  Your courage to reach out for answers warrants validation and in the long run if it becomes possible to seek therapy, you could greatly benefit from technique and skills to manage and challenge the symptoms you are feeling.  I hope you find help in the answer provided that will lead you to making healthy changes.         
(LCSW, MSW)
Answered on 01/21/2022

Can an online tool describe if a person has ADHD symptoms or not?

Hello. It is hard to say the validity of online tests in general, as their are so many out there. For a general rule, most of those tests are going to be "unofficial" and surface level at best. Two assessments that are used as screening tools by professionals are the ASRS-5 (Adult ADHD Self Report Screening Scale for the DSM-V) or the Wender Utah Rating Scale.  The ASRS-5 score can be combined with the Adult ADHD Self Report Screening Scale v1.1 Symptom Checklist to obtain a 18 item DSM symptom inventory for further likelyhood of diagnosis.  These are available online through a google search and do not cost any money.  These assessments can be administered by anyone and they are NOT diagnoses-- they are indicators of the likelyhood of ADHD. If someone scores high enough then further evaluation is needed from a licensed and specifically trained doctor/psychiatrist. Once you meet with a professional they can take into account others factors in your life and make a determination as to whether you have ADHD and to what degree it impacts your daily life.                   Once your doctor/psychiatrist makes a determination you have a few options for treatment. Chemically there are medications such as Ritalin, Strattera, or Vyyvanse. Some medications are narcotic based stimulants to help you be able to focus and follow through with tasks. They can impact your sleep and eating habits so that is something to be mindful of. Please honestly discuss any known issues with self/family history of substance abuse, what medicines you take regularly, or medical concerns such as high blood pressure or cardio issues.  Not all medications are narcotic and can have helpful results so be sure to discuss options/concerns fully with your doctor. Medication is not the only approach either. There are many counselors that specialize in Adult ADHD behavioral therapies and take in to consideration your diet, exercise, and daily decompressing tools you use. There are many factors involved and many approaches to how you make improvements in your life. I think a well rounded approach using multiple methods would be most effeftive. Just be sure and use a licensed professional that has experience with ADHD and has your long term best interest at hand. Not just someone that wants to dismiss you and throw a pill at you  and call it a day.       Best wishes and always ask questions!!!
(MHR, LPC)
Answered on 01/21/2022

I need to know if i have adhd or not. Please help me.

HI I am so sorry that you are having problems with what you think may be ADHD. When did you start to suspect that you have ADHD? I know that it can be very challenging to deal with. My husband and two children all deal with adhd as well. There are certain things that you can do to help you to cope but first I want to encourage you to see a doctor. If you do not have health insurance your county should have mental health services for free or reduced cost.  Can you tell me what your specific symptoms are? The strategies can be very specific to what symptoms you have. For example, one thing that is very common is executive dysfunction. This is what happens when you have something that needs to be done but at the same time you have  no motivation to do the things that you need to do. Sometimes on the outside this can look like depression but it is not really. One thing that you can do to combat this is to set small goals for yourself and then once those goals are met you can try to reward yourself with something like a movie or doing something that you enjoy.  Also I would suggest trying setting timers when you have to do something set a timer to encourage you to stay focused on that task until the timer goes off. Once you reach that time you can take a break and or switch tasks. The reason why this often works is that people with adhd is that you can become hyperfoused on things. This means that when you start to do something you loose track of time and tennd to get absorbed in what you are doing. The timers therefore can help you to keep your mind on time. One other thing that I want to mention that often comes with ADHD is called rejection sensitve dysphoria. This happens when you may get slight criticism or negativity from someone and you take it to mean something far worse. For example if you are told by someone that they think something may be done better a different way, but you take it to mean that the person think you are stupid.  All of these things can make ADHD very hard to deal with but with the right coping skills it can be manageable.
(MA., LCMHC, NCC)
Answered on 01/21/2022

Can I get a assessment at better help?

Hi there! Thank you so much for reaching out to the BetterHelp platform for some clarity on being assessed for a mental illness and or diagnosis.  I also think that you have gotten a great head start by doing research on your own about Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorder (ADHD) and by reflecting on current and past experiences.     While BetterHelp is an incredible platform to gain self-knowledge and awareness, cater to your mental health needs, and learn a variety of different coping mechanisms through solution-focused therapy and professional support, we are not eligible at this time to diagnose clients. In order to be diagnosed, I suggest getting a psychological evaluation conducted by a doctor or a psychiatrist in order to come up with a plan of action.     All that to say, I can understand that living with features of ADHD come with it's hardships; however, please know that there are also some strengths that go along as well! Because women with ADHD, in particular, typically have heightened emotional reactivity, this can also work in your favor. It can mean that you are passionate about things, and that you are able to empathize with those around you. In addition, creativity and thinking outside of the box are other positive attributes! While I know it can be easier to maximize on our faults, try not to lose sight of the good!   I hope you have found this information to be helpful, and again, I highly recommend reaching out to a specialist whom which is qualified to evaluate and diagnose you. If you are looking for therapeutic support along the way, which is always a helpful tool, please don't hesitate to reach out to the BetterHelp team to be matched with a therapist that is knowledgeable in supporting those with ADHD, or to just address your mental-health concerns. I can assure you that there is a wide variety of different therapists on this platform that support all different types of needs, and after filling out a detailed questionnaire about yourself, the algorithm will match you with a therapist that best suites your needs on an individual basis. Thank you again for reaching out – it takes bravery to express your concerns and seek support, so I commend you for beginning your journey to healing! Please remember that are not alone! Take care, and I wish you the best of luck.    Best, Talia
(LPC, M.Ed, NCC)
Answered on 01/21/2022

How can I deal with studying, completing assignments for University when I have ADHD?

I have to give you a lot of credit, having made it this far with ADHD and not having had the help and skills to manage it. First and foremost I am glad that you have asked this question now and before it becomes completely unmanageable. Having ADHD already feels like a lot of anxiety, but the additional stress of feeling out of control and like everything is scattered can only add to the anxiety.  I imagine that you are feeling overwhelmed and maybe starting to fall a little bit behind. Because the addition of that stress from falling behind can make you start an anxiety spiral, I would ask you to look into any accommodations that the school can make to give you extra time until you have this ADHD more under control. That might mean a letter from a family doctor or a conversation with someone at the university medical center, but there should be some assistance for students with ADHD and other issues that make learning difficult.   of course, the first thing that most people will say about ADHD, especially when you are in college, is that a medication is the first step. ADHD is one of the few medications that will show an immedicate improvement and you would be able to tell a difference in the way you function as soon as you take it. You will be able to focus and get things done and it will not feel like the world is so scattered.  I do not know if you have access to medication, but that is something you can usually get from a primary care doctor or maybe the university medical clinic.    In addition to medication, time management will be key. Making a detailed calander in your phone, with alarms reminding you of events will definitely help. For instance maybe you need to schedule time for you to study specifically for each class, and time each day to work on a certain project. It can be helpful as well to be as organized as you can be, maybe try color coding notebooks based on subject, or keeping things in specific places and labeling everything. If you are able, it can be helpful to make a chart or wall Calendar and you can highlight the events on the calander in the color that coordinates with that subject.  Talking to your individual professors about having ADHD and needing to sit closer to the front of the class and asking for extra time may also be helpful.    Medication and being as organized as possible will be the best way to manage having ADHD in college. Since this is not your strong suit, if you no someone who is very organzed, maybe they can help you get started and show you some tips. Once you have a handle on the chaos and the disorganization, it will be much easier to move forward.  Of course, therapy is always helpful, but is not necessary in this case, unless there are other issues that have going on for you. 
(MA, LPC, LLP)
Answered on 01/21/2022

I overthink, challenge, and question everything I do. How CDO I improve my concentration?

Thank you so much for asking this question.  I understand how frustrating it can be when you're trying to make decisions, stay focused and are unable to. I would suggest a few things; one it may be time to re-look at the systems you have in place to help you manage and organize the things that you are taking care of. Often times when we move into new seasons things that used to work for us previously, no longer work for us currently. This is because we are no longer the same people that we were so we require different things in this season. That may mean you need more time to rest and balance your tasks so that you are able to be more efficient and more focused. Additionally you may need to add in different organizational structures that allow you flexibility and focus. This could look like chunking tasks, taking 15 min brain breaks throughout the day, making lists, or updating your planner.  Secondly, part of why you are questioning /challenge everything you do may be due to an underlying fear of making a mistake or a fear of not being able to handle any particular thing. So building trust in your ability to make decisions will aid in not feeling like you have to constantly second quess yourself. Remember it's about progression not perfection, and mistakes don't mean you failed, they are an oppurtunity to learn. Give yourself grace and know that you are doing well.  Lastly I'd like to add the importance of stress management. Because you are constantly challenging yourself to grow, you also need time to rest and recharge. This will help you to feel more focused and not stretched too thin. Something else to consider is, are you using being busy to avoid dealing with difficult emotions? This can also affect your ability to focus and connect with those around you. Something that you could do to help with this is doing a brain dump. This is where you would list out everything you are feeling, concerned about, need to do, etc. Freeing up space in your brain and allowing you to focus in on the task at hand. This is also really good to use before bed time as well. I hope that this answer helps. 
Answered on 01/21/2022

I'd like to get an ADHD/ADD assessment done but don't know where to go. Any suggestions?

Thank you for your question! Getting an ADHD assessment can be tricky, especially during COVID. While BetterHelp does not complete assessments or diagnoses, your therapist can help direct you and provide therapy that can help you manage your symptoms. The first way to get started is to talk with your primary care physician. They can help you with a referral, if you need one, to a psychologist or psychiatrist who can complete a full ADHD evaluation. Additionally, depending on where you live, you may be able to discuss medication options with your physician directly or you may have to seek an evaluation from a specific type of provider. You may also want to check with your insurance company to see what is covered by your policy and what doctors may be accepting new patients in order to make an appointment. Most doctors are on a waitlist right now, so getting on that list as soon as possible can be a great move. Before your appointment it is helpful to write down some specific ways you are struggling and examples of times these struggles have affected your day-to-day life. This will help your doctor make an accurate decision on the next steps to take with an assessment. One thing that is important to note is that ADHD and Anxiety are often seen together. Seeking therapy can help you identify if you are experiencing either of these concerns and how to respond to each or both symptom sets.   With or without a diagnosis, you can get help for your time management concerns through therapy. Because there are three types of ADHD: inattentive, hyperactive, and combined type, the things that you find difficult may not be the same as other people diagnosed with ADHD. Working with a therapist can help you individualize your plan to meet your specific needs. Time management contains a lot of smaller skills, and a therapist can help you identify which skills you may need help learning and which skills you may already know how to do but may need help motivating yourself to do them.   There are a few things that can help generally for people diagnosed with ADHD. One tip is to try using a schedule and a routine as much as possible. This helps makes things more predictable and decreases the bandwidth it takes to remember your schedule or where you need to be on a certain day. For more specific skills, such as estimating the amount of time it takes to complete a task, you can compare your ideal schedule and your actual schedule, or what really happened in your day, to help you learn how much time certain tasks take for you to complete. There are many ways you can build your skills to make your life easier to manage and therapy is a great way to get started on learning these skills.
(PhD, BCBA-D)
Answered on 01/21/2022

Is it possible that as an adult female, I have un-diagnosed ADHD?

There seems to be a growing number of adult women who present with symptoms of ADHD that may have been previously undetected or undiagnosed. This is likely due to more attention traditionally given to the outward symptoms of behavioral and hyperactive tendencies of young boys, and a lack of focus on girls who may have successfully masked their symptoms when younger. The prevalence of adult women sharing their experiences in social media may be calling attention to a problem that may be more common than previously thought. Adult women are being encouraged to seek help for potentially undiagnosed adult ADHD when seeing their own experiences and challenges in the list of problematic signs and symptoms to watch for. We must be aware of and rule out other factors that may be at play: hormonal changes caused by pregnancy, perimenopause, and menopause, normal aging, depression, anxiety, career burnout, chronic health conditions, childhood trauma, and other phenomena that may present similarly to ADHD. Some overlap of symptoms occurs across physical and mental health conditions. For example, the perfectionism and people pleasing tendencies you mention may be a result of experiences you had as a child with parents or other adults in your life who were critical of your performance in school or sports. You may have had to work extra hard to please them and perform at a level that was sufficiently acceptable to them. Maybe your work was never good enough for them, and you are so perfectionistic that you are fearful of failing and end up procrastinating. Fast talking may be a result of being around people who may have been impatient or rushed, and you felt you had to talk fast to be heard and to avoid their anger or frustration. We are products of our environment and upbringing, and many of the behaviors and habits we display as adults were developed in our childhood to protect ourselves to feel safer in a chaotic or toxic household. Once we reach adulthood, these behaviors don't serve us as well, and we discover we need to shed them to live a healthier and more balanced life. This may not be your case at all, and you may have grown up in a very nurturing and loving household. However, it is important to think about and rule out other things in your background that may contribute to your current challenges. If you are concerned you may have undiagnosed adult ADHD, it is very important to seek an expert who is licensed and trained to evaluate and accurately diagnose you to ensure you receive proper treatment. I think more attention must be given to the seemingly increasing number of women who suspect that they may have undiagnosed ADHD. This is a topic I am exploring further in the current literature to effectively work with clients who need help and guidance in this area through therapy and self-exploration.     
Answered on 01/21/2022

Can adults have adhd?

Dear Lili,   The answer to your question is YES, adults can have ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder). Adults can benefit from ADHD treatment (both medication and non-medication). In the last ten to twenty years or so, there has been more and more research about how beneficial it can be for an adult who suspects they might have ADHD symptoms to get an official evaluation by a doctor or psychologist.   Here is a common scenario… Let’s say there is an adult who has always struggled in various areas of life. Maybe they had trouble in school, with staying focused, being organized. Maybe their grades suffered because of these difficulties, and they became discouraged somewhere along the way and concluded that they must not be smart. Maybe they have continued to struggle as an adult to get organized, manage time wisely, finish projects, meet goals, or just generally “get it together.” All of this has likely lowered their self-esteem, as they think it is “just them,” that if only they were smarter or tried harder they would succeed and not come up against these roadblocks.   And there might be even more going on for this hypothetical person. It could be that they have had a hard time in friendships or romantic relationships. Maybe they have been accused by friends and significant others, “You never listen to me!” They might care deeply about the people in their lives, and want to listen, but find that their mind is always wandering no matter how hard they try to focus. This person might have made some impulsive decisions they regret. Others might have scolded them, “Why can’t you just THINK before you act?” And they wonder that too. They want to be responsible and make good decisions. But sometimes they find themselves acting before they have thought something through completely. Maybe this same person is chronically late for work. Maybe they have had a greater-than-usual number of fender-benders or other car accidents. If they have gotten in the habit of drinking more than they should, or experimenting with other substances, it could be because they always feel on-edge and are trying to calm down. Or it could be because of feeling like they are failing in so many areas despite their best efforts. This could be leading to feelings of depression, which they try to ease with the use of substances.   And then let’s say that this person (like you) reads or hears about ADHD, and thinks, “Hmmm, that sounds a lot like me!” They get evaluated, and are indeed diagnosed with ADHD. They realize that everything they have struggled with can be traced back to this one source that has impacted their life in so many ways.   This actually happens so commonly that there is a book about ADHD called: You Mean I’m Not Lazy, Stupid, or Crazy?! The Classic Self-Help Book for Adults with Attention Deficit Disorder. The authors are Kate Kelly and Peggy Ramundo. And here is the link to find it: https://amzn.to/3EwaTkO Discovering this fact about themselves can be really life-changing for a person. It is not that their difficulties with focus, time management, organization, or impulsivity go away just because they know the underlying cause. But they are now in a better place to address those issues. They might start therapy and learn to practice techniques that have helped others with ADHD. This can mean learning new habits and strategies for harnessing and directing their attention. Or maybe they work with a life coach – there are many who specialize in working with people with ADHD. Or perhaps they work with their doctor to try treatment with medication. Or a combination of all of the above.   Here are a couple of last points to be aware of:  ADHD manifests in different ways for different people. Many have the trouble paying attention that I described above. For others, their primary issue is difficulty sitting still. They have a need to be in constant motion, a feeling of being driven like a motor – literally hyper-activity. Other people have difficulty in both areas, and this is known as the "combined type" of ADHD.   Finally, be careful not to assume that someone does not have ADHD because you have seen them be able to concentrate deeply on some activities and topics at some times. Although the name indicates a deficit in the ability to pay attention, the condition could be more accurately described as attention inconsistency. Yes, people with ADHD do have trouble focusing, but they are also able to hyper focus on activities or subjects that capture their interest.  A prime example is a young man I worked with who told me about how he read the entire Harry Potter series over one Christmas break as a child. (I use this example frequently when talking to people about ADHD, because it is such a perfect example of the ability to hyper focus.) When school was in session he might struggle to focus on and retain the information in one paragraph of a textbook. This discrepancy is often confusing to those who struggle with ADHD, and can be easily misunderstood by parents, teachers, and employers as well, who conclude that the person can obviously concentrate when they want to, leading to the false assumption that their difficulty is due to just not trying hard enough. It is important to remember that it is not a matter of trying harder or caring enough about work or school performance; it is due to the brain's capacity for engagement with a particular topic.   Lili, I hope this has been helpful to you in your consideration of whether to further investigate if you might have ADHD. I also recommend looking at this website:   https://www.additudemag.com/category/manage-adhd-life/   It has a wealth of information and great articles about everything from evaluating your symptoms, to helpful tips for increasing your ability to maintain focus and follow through with goals and projects. And please note that any tips you read about here can be useful for anyone who struggles with focus and attention, whether they have been formally diagnosed with ADHD or not.   Best of luck to you!   Julie
(LCSW)
Answered on 01/21/2022

How to deal with self esteem and stress

Hi Wi wi.  Thank you for taking the time to ask a question here on Betterhelp.  You said that you are 21 years old and have intense anxiety and ADHD.  You noted that you can't stand before a group of people and get panic attacks when you do.  You also stated that you're not confident, lack self esteem and hate yourself.     If you are having thoughts of suicide and are in the United States, please reach out to the National Suicide Prevention Hotline at 1-800-273-8255.  It operates 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.  If you are outside of the United States, please reach out to Betterhelp for resources, or, google crisis resources in your country.  Please also remember that Betterhelp is not set up to handle crises.  If you have an emergency, please call your local emergency number.  Now on to your question...    Wi wi, upon reading your question, I felt deflated.  How do you feel?  Having intense anxiety and ADHD, those are BIG things to be dealing with.  How are you handling those things?  Are you taking medication?  Are you trying to use any coping skills on your own?  I know many clients that are around your age I end up working with try reading books, hunt endlessly for answers on the internet for months or even years for answers or follow the advice they find on social media or from influencers.  Sometimes these things work temporarily.  But, often times, someone who has been diagnosed with ADHD and anxiety needs help from a professional.  ADHD and anxiety can be treated with therapy and medication or therapy without medication.  Have you tried either or both of these things?  If not, would you be willing to try one or both of them?  A therapist would help you to work on the symptoms you are experiencing, to build self-esteem, to find coping skills and techniques to make things that are hard easier (such as standing in front of large groups of people) and to decrease panic attacks.           I'm also curious...have you been officially diagnosed by a professional such as a licensed professional counselor, a psychiatrist or psychologist with ADHD and anxiety?  If so, what did they recommend in terms of treatment for you?  I hope you are planning on following up on their advise.  If not, I would highly suggest you think about starting to work with a therapist to improve what you are experiencing.  Things can only get better once you reach out Wi wi!
(LPC-S, LCPC-S, MS)
Answered on 01/21/2022

Undiagnosed ADD and college

Thank you so much for reaching out and started this journey. I understand not having the capacity or financial ability to seek the formal diagnosis or treatment but we can work on ways to neogate what you are dealing with.  There are mutiple things that are invovled with executive dysfuntion. Your working memory and there are ways to help improve this. Little things like breaking down task and into smaller task. Making list and being able to achieve completation. Emotional Control, which Cognitative Behavioral Therapy can help with this. Being able to identify the action, behavior and outcome. Being able to improve focus is   another thing that is invovled with executive dysfuction. Learning how to improve focus is important to improve the problems you are describing. Another one i being able to break down and start task without feeling stuck or unable to get things moving in a postive directions. Being able to figure out the motivation that you need in order to move past the thought or idea that this needs to be completed. I think this is an important task in college, especially a career   path that you are on, 40 hours+ of week is alot and it important that its completed. Another function is is being able to plan and organization of these tasks. For you education, all these tasks are vital for you career, and education. This is important for studying and to complete the requirements of your career path. With CBT you can lean ways to improve you memory, and ability to focus. Learning to focus on the moment and not about 5 minutes from now. Something as simple as a rubber band around your wrist and plucking the rubber brand help keep your in that present tense state of mind. This can reduce the level of stress that you are currently under sounds like it is alot. Being to attend to self care is another important thing to consider. If this not something that is being able to be apart of your day and week it can increase stress and your abiltiy to tolerant this.  Self care and being in the moment are important stratgedies to help these issues.         
(LCMHCS, CCS, MAC, ;, LCAS, CCMC)
Answered on 01/21/2022

How do I know if I have high functioning type inattentive ADHD or am I just overwhelmed?

Thank you for reaching out for some guidance on this matter. Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) can be quite a challenge to diagnosis, especially in adulthood. Most adults at some point or another do experience some mental exhaustion for one reason or another and symptoms can be very similar to that of ADHD, as well as many other disorders. A couple things to consider...   1) When did this start? Most adults who suffer from ADHD had symptoms as a child as well, but that were overlooked, because lets be real--- kids can have symptoms without having ADHD. Typically, if it is overlooked in childhood, those symptoms will become more dominant in adulthood and depending on the symptoms (in this case inattentive type) will start to cause difficulties in day to day tasks.    2)What is the difficulty level? If you pull out the DSM (diagnostic statistical manual) literally anyone can have some of the symptoms. I know while I was in graduate school it was common to be studying disorders and think "Oh snap, I have that" but the difference is that those symptoms were not causing clinically significant impairments. So forgetfulness, inattention, high energy, distractions, time management, etc--- we all have that--- but to what level?   3) Here are some common symptoms both traditional and those that are outside the traditional (hot topic). Do you have these? Ability to focus, forgetfulness, missing details, avoiding tasks that take mental energy, losing things, not listening, zoning out, starting tasks but not finishing, easily distracted, difficulty sitting still, uncomfortable without stimuli, interrupts, poor time management, difficulty keeping things clean and/or organized, difficulty doing or remembering basic life skills (brushing teeth, showering, using the bathroom), and more.    After asking yourself those questions if you feel like this could be you, I would suggest talk with a therapist. ADHD is managable, but because some symptoms are more dominant in some than they are in others, it is important to work on building skills that work for you specifically. If you feel like this isn't you, but are still concerned about possible mental exhaustion, I would also suggest talking to a therapist. Mental exhaustion is very real and can cause a lot of difficult unwanted symptoms--- a therapist can help you manage those and get some relief, so definitely worth trying out. Good luck on your journey!
(MS, LMHC, RPT)
Answered on 01/21/2022

Do I have ADHD?

If you are wanting to get checked out or diagnosed for any mental or medical condition, it is always best practice to get that diagnosis and/or prescription for treatment from a licensed mental health or medical professional that is qualified to give you that diagnosis and/or prescription. Advice or observations from family and friends are good places to start and can be helpful, but they wouldn't be able to give you an official diagnosis and/or prescription for treatment unless they themselves are licensed mental health or medical professionals qualified to make those decisions. Attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder has official diagnostic criteria that must be determined by a clinician legally able to make that decision. That being said, it is important to note that in mental health sometimes what looks like one condition could really be part of another condition, especially if certain symptoms are demonstrated in isolation and/or taken out of context. For example, if a person was unknown to have diabetes and showed emotional dysregulation due to low blood sugar levels, a person might assume they were just "crazy" or angry, etc. without knowing the person's medical history. Sometimes symptoms like inattentiveness or poor memory could really be related to other underlying causes like depression or insomnia that can mimic those ADHDlike symptoms, but when taken in context would not necessarily lead to a diagnosis of ADHD. This is why it's important to seek out licensed, qualified professionals to make official diagnoses if you are concerned about particular conditions you may or may not have. My rule of thumb when it comes to ruling out or confirming particular observations from concerned people close to me is that if I get similar suggestions or complaints from two or more parties (especially if those parties are unrelated) then it's something I need to get checked out by a licensed, qualified professional. That way, if my condition turns out to be what was suspected or something more concerning, I can call on that/those professional(s) to help me with referrals to social assistance programs and/or other professionals that will help me be able to best manage my condition. Better Help has licensed clinicians that are contracted to provide treatment, but it is not the setting where diagnoses can be officially made for clients suspecting or seeking specific diagnoses or prescriptions for medication/medical treatment. My recommendation is to seek out that diagnosis from your primary care physician or have them refer you to someone that is qualified to assess for and diagnose ADHD or whatever other condition you would like to rule out or confirm.
(MS, LMFT)
Answered on 01/21/2022