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Sorting Between inattentive ADHD and Anxiety

Sorting Between inattentive ADHD and Anxiety

Hi,

I'm new here. I'm 30 years old, and I've been struggling with anxiety my whole life. It's recently been pointed out to me by a friend in the mental health field that a lot of my struggles might be from undiagnosed ADHD, and the more I read about it, the more I feel like I'm seeing the story of my life on the page, from an inability to pay attention during conversations, to daydreaming, to having trouble picking up informantion verbally, to shutting down when overstimulated.

At this point, I'm 95% convinced that I have it, but the one psychologist I spoke to said that I probably just have performance anxiety (and I'm def crazy anxious). Has anyone else struggled to sort between the two, and what helped you determine that it was ADHD?

Thanks

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If you only have anxiety around one aspect of your life (like maybe only at work, or only during social situations), it's possible it's only anxiety, but the symptoms you've listed and the fact that you've struggled with them your whole life sound a whole lot like hallmark inattentive ADHD to me.

I would definitely suggest finding a second opinion from a doctor who specializes specifically in adult ADHD because it is INFURIATINGLY common for general psychologists to see only the anxiety or depression and miss the inattentive ADHD entirely. The first psychologist I saw did the same thing to me (even though my ADHD presents more as combined type), and it was an incredibly awful and dismissive experience.

One of the things that really helped me differentiate between ADHD and the anxiety disorder I thought I had (in my case it turned out to be purely ADHD and not an anxiety disorder at all) was Sari Solden's book "Women with Attention Deficit Disorder". If you have a sec I suggest taking a look at one of her self-screening tests because it was one of the things that HUGELY resonated with me the first time I saw it and really motivated me to find help (some kind soul uploaded a copy here: centerforattentionmobile.co... )

Good luck with your search!

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I say you get a new psychologist.

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Thank you for your input and the book suggestion! I've actually already come across her book in my readings, and Solden's book is what really convinced me to seriously consider I have ADHD: I felt like I was reading the story of my life.

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I definitely agree with kami then, I think you just had a bad first doctor

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I say you get a new psychologist!

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One more vote for getting a second opinion. Some of the things you noted don’t even make sense from solely an anxiety perspective. I think anxiety can stem from those things you’re experiencing, but they’re likely there in the first place due to the ADHD. So the anxiety could be (at least partially) due to the ADHD.

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So I finally got myself to a second psychologist and I’ve got an official diagnosis. Thank you all so much

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