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Having an adult ADHD assessment need urgent advice

missj3an profile image
21 Replies

Hi there,

If anyone could please take a moment to give me any advice I would be so grateful. I’m 30 female, and recently I discovered what felt like the missing link between how my life has been and I respond to the world around me. This would be ADHD. It has been questioned by a few people in recently.

One of my biggest issues is that due to past trauma and something I don’t quite understand is that when talking with professionals a concrete wall comes down in my brain and I find verbal talk very hard. I know what I want to say, even if I have notes I lose my way.

I understand this has to be done, as I am at crisis point. When I found out about adult ADHD I cried because I never knew other people experienced the same things as me.

A lot of notes have been written , I don’t know if it’s frowned upon but I have taken some ADHD tests that are recommended to show your doctor, is that okay to bring up? I really don’t know where to begin. I’m suffering from a chronic panic attack trying to muddle my way through this.

I ask this, for anyone who has had an assessment that changed their lives or gave you answers, what was the one you said that made you feel listened to? I thought I’d briefly write down my day and the things that start happening the moment I wake up such as if I don’t checklist the medication on my phone with it in my hand I will either forget I’ve taken it or forget entirely. I fell into a very large amount of debt all down to my constant switch between the next project and filling rooms with unopened boxes of things I really have no idea what are for. Great big elaborate ideas. Can’t even go to a thrift store and spend a few bucks, it always has to be hundreds. My head feels full of bees. So many intrusive thoughts, never any time to rest because I’ll go from complete exhaustion to random bursts of energy.

Okay if anyone has any advice at all, please do let me know. I am in this completely alone with no friends. Thank you.

21 Replies
JinxUrit profile image

I'm so right there with you! The thing is, in order to actually diagnose ADHD, they basically test for other things to rule out any other reasons you might be displaying ADHD symptoms. I did an assessment in the last 6 months and she gave me a report that also told me I had some depression and anxiety, I've been treated for CPTSD for several years, but this test said I'm actually doing better then I originally thought. So no matter what you do regarding this assessment, at least you will know exactly what you are dealing with. That may seem scary. But for me, Being a kid who's parents decided I was just lazy and defiant and a liar, finding out All this time is really want my fault, what a relief! When my Dr Told Me that only 10% of the people she assesses, end up having ADHD, usually its something easily treated instead. When she said that I had one of the most classic ADHD brains she'd seen. I Cried like A baby. Everything is going to be OK. The best part is that no matter what you've been through, an assessment is the start to getting better.

theotherside profile image

I dont know about what tests are out there on the internet but during the assessment I took a few years ago they had a test that they administed to me. the test was designed to measure intelligence but it had several parts with half the parts relying on ways of measuring intelligence that don't depend on concentration or focus and the parts on the other half do. normal people measure similar on all portions but those with adhd fail the ones relying on focus. I would expect if you knew some of the questions from looking up the test it would make it less useful.

ADHD33 profile image

Hey! Been there! Congrats on making these moves - it’s huge. Late diagnosis can be life changing in the best way. The first time I took adderall in my 30s I teared up because I finally felt like myself again. What about printing your above post and showing it to the doctor? That way they understand a bit more if you shut down? If they are good at what they do they should understand if you may need time to build trust. Also, when I first saw a doctor I had read a ton of information about adhd - including the diagnostic criteria in the dsm. I came up with examples of the ones that fit my experience and was able to communicate those to my doctor in my consultation. You could print those examples to hand to the doctor and make things go easier for you. Good luck and we’re here cheering for you!!!

missj3an profile image

Thank you all for your kind comments, I really am so grateful.

It went badly. I am heartbroken. I suspected I would have trouble with the age old “you know things like personality disorders mimic certain disorders.” Having a personality disorder seems to ruin any chance of a diagnosis but allows plenty of room for stigma to go on a rampage. Any issues? Personality disorder. Forget looking into other avenues as personality disorder ticks every box.

Yesterday I made the measures of trying to find out if there was a third party type of organisation who could advise me on what happens under these circumstances. Someone went through my notes and advised me it was a medication and ADHD review with view to diagnose. That’s what was written down.

Thé session took place online, I had my notes ready that I spent so very long writing for nothing in the end. The doctor asked what I wanted to talk about and I reiterated what was on my paperwork. When we finished talking mood and I brought up Adhd I was given this response “…..no we wouldn’t need to check you for ADHD your mother*** saw one of our doctors 6 years ago and said that the place you spent your time as a teenager there’s nothing about ADHD on there and you wouldn’t be tested at 30.” *side note, I was taken out of school due to my panic attacks and an unimaginable fear that nobody ever looked into. I was schooled there, I received every type of therapy imaginable, no tests took place.

The doctor she refers to, was a psychiatrist who didn’t believe me when I explained I had grown up in this particular day unit, as a matter of fact, my mother was undergoing chemotherapy and couldn’t attend an appointment with me. The day she did over 6 years ago she was simply asked “was I telling the truth”. During my time at this psychiatric day unit throughout my early teens to late teens nobody ever tested me, nobody spoke about things like ADHD. I tried to press on and say could I give her some examples and she told me she believed she had enough information on me and again repeated it would be impossible for adult ADHD as they look at 12-15 year olds and that I absolutely would have been tested. I never was. So I’m a pathological liar apparently.

It went down like a lead balloon. Worst part of all of this is I believe my mother has ADHD too. Or perhaps the worst part is being refused to be listened to. Being 30, feeling this change and decline and now knowing that there is a name for what I’ve experienced my entire life is heart breaking. It is probably the reason I wasn’t able to manage school like others. So because 1 doctor who no longer works at this place didn’t believe me - they have no notes from my teenage years, they are long archived, so now more than ever wouldn’t it make sense to look into it?

There is no possibility for me to change doctors either. I fully understand things like personality disorders, depression, anxiety can overlap and look like something else, and I rarely spend much time looking up ailments. Yet I find it strange that a number of people unknown to me in professional capacities have asked me about ADHD.

I am at complete loss for words. This isn’t some pie in the sky idea I thought up one day to seek attention and gain something from. I suppose I’ll never get an answer and this isn’t going anywhere. Now I feel ashamed for bringing it up because it seems to have only stuck a further nail in my coffin.

Sfarinaccio1 profile image
Sfarinaccio1 in reply to missj3an

Hope you can get a 2nd opinion, why would that be impossible? My psychiatrists just accepted my past adhd dx w o verifying it FYI

missj3an profile image
missj3an in reply to Sfarinaccio1

Agree with you! Very confused. I was told it *was* for ADHD assessment, to the extent of it being written out for her ready for open and read.

Wow that’s awesome, I think the trouble with my notes is that as a child and teenager I don’t exist - there’s absolutely no record of me being at this place. When I rang them at age 20 they said my file was long gone.

Sfarinaccio1 profile image
Sfarinaccio1 in reply to missj3an

Honestly, not to be extreme, but if you think you need ADHD drugs, you could work that “disappearance” to your advantage when getting a second opinion. The system is about getting you what you need - sample stimulants and see if they help you. Worst case is you take them for a few days and then cast them aside.

BTW, do you have sleep issues? Allergies? Chronic congestion? A recessed jaw, history of insomnia, unrefreshing sleep? There is a relationship between CPTSD/ADHD and sleep disordered breathing (sleep apnea)

Genevieve42 profile image
Genevieve42 in reply to Sfarinaccio1

Wait...what? I didn't know there was a relationship between ADHD and sleep apnea , chronic congestion, unrefreshing sleep, and recessed jaw. How could ADHD be related to congestion, and recessed jaw, etc. I can check all those boxes except insomnia and allergies. Can you recommend any articles or youtubes about the subject?

Sfarinaccio1 profile image
Sfarinaccio1 in reply to Genevieve42

For sure, r/uars is a good place to start. The idea is ADHD is being substantially contributed to by nocturnal sub perceptual arousals due to airway insufficiency (obstructive sleep apnea or upper airway resistance syndrome). There is huge overlap between ADHD and sleep disordered breathing. It’s extremely fascinating. When kids are suspected ADHD these days the first thing done is giving them a sleep study! I’m not saying it’s ironclad but if you have a recessed jaw and ADHD you should strongly consider getting a quality sleep study done - but not all are created equal. I’m happy to help in any way/elaborate further. I was diagnosed with sleep apnea at 26 but know now and am able to trace back it’s impact on my life from a very young age. I wouldn’t have been neurotypical without it, But I would have been much less dysfunctional, IMO.

Sfarinaccio1 profile image
Sfarinaccio1 in reply to Genevieve42

Btw, my only allergy symptom was chronic congestion. Do you have low tongue posture? Mouth breathe? That was me up until I started immunotherapy. Only an allergist can rule out allergies, I went undiagnosed till age 28 ish w severe dust mite allergy

Searchinganswers121 profile image
Searchinganswers121 in reply to Sfarinaccio1

wow this is a very interesting comment! I’m currently in my 30’s have been unregistered to a doctors for the past 3 years since moving home my partner has pushed me to sign up recently so I can get an assessment.

Within all my research I’ve never come across a recessed jaw? I had an overbite as a kid “recessed jaw” which had braces to fix but after a few years it went straight back to being recessed also when I move my jaw side to side it makes a massive bone clicking sound but I’ve never had and damage or surgery to it. My partner also believes I have sleep apnea.

Shamany66 profile image
Shamany66 in reply to missj3an

Please don't feel ashamed - You are hanging in there. it can be a war to find the right Doctor but please get someone to help you. You need a doctor who listens and gets you. I know you are telling the truth.

JinxUrit profile image
JinxUrit in reply to missj3an

You defines need a second opinion. I've been so frustrated with how little some of these doctors actually know. My psychiatrist couldn't give me a proper assessment. The basic tests they do aren't really going to give you a complete assessment. Mine took 2 days. Was done in her office, and there were written, computer and verbal tests as well as she spoke with friends and family. My parents still don't understand that it isn't a behavior problem so their attitude about it is pretty much patronizing. So when my mom told her I SAS just lazy, didn't follow through with any thing and wasn't mature enough to focus on what was a priority she actually solidified the belief that I do have ADHD. But she is someone who specialized in assessments. When I mentioned to my regular doctor that I really needed treatment, Not just needs, she literally ignored what I said and told me "I don't give adults who say they have ADHD Meds. I think they just need to put in the work." I still am getting the run around.As far as having a personality disorder, I discovered that people with Adhd and Trauma, or PTSD, can have symptoms that mimic those of someone with a personality Disorder. I'm actually highly empathetic. But one doctor said she thought I had a personality disorder. 4 therapist after her and they all agree I don't. So see about getting a complete assessment with a doctor you

Oh no!!! Do not give up. It does not sound like this person actually tried to determine whether you have ADHD, nor does it sound like she knows that much about what it could look like in adults or possibly in a less hyperactive presentation (are you inattentive type?). I assume this person did not specialize in ADHD, is that correct? I’m also starting my journey with this at age 35, and everything I have read says that many practitioners are not very familiar with ADHD in adults and you really need to see a specialist who will know what to do with you and actually determine whether or not you have ADHD. For this reason, I am going out of pocket to a specialist on July 7. It is a lot of money, but I was fortunate enough to find somebody who seems great and is quite a lot less than some others I found who cost more (like $1000 or $2000) for an evaluation. This person charges $375 for the initial 90 minutes and has lots of experience in ADHD in adults. If you live near Nashville, TN you should check her out!!! Dr. Cory Savoie.I bet there is someone in driving distance of you. You are not going to feel like this is settled until you find somebody who takes you seriously and knows what they’re talking about… It will probably be worth saving a bit to feel like you and a medical professional you trust have it figured out so you can work together for a plan that will help.

F_RN_Dx_at_39 profile image

I'd recommend you print out what you wrote and take it with you for the doctor or assessor to read.

Shamany66 profile image
Shamany66 in reply to F_RN_Dx_at_39

Great advice.

DesertAl profile image

I also spent many years with my tongue-tied, not able to speak. I would have a thought, I would attempt to express the thought and it would vanish into the vapor. I dove and hide deep inside myself, going silent as a punishment to my partner and casting myself into the depths of self-despair and punishment. All of these actions were derivatives of the shaming

I experienced on a daily basis. If I received a poor report card, I was told I was lazy or lacked priorities. In essence, we are all set up to fail by the normative world.

Cognitive therapy and EDMR work wonders.


illustration of a face with its mouth locked tight.
Shamany66 profile image
Shamany66 in reply to DesertAl

Thank You

Owlbird profile image

Just be you. I’m a clinician (with adhd) & i notice patterns of speech, body movements, eye movement, other observable cues that can’t be faked & can’t be suppressed (for long anyway) when assessing for adhd. Ruling in/out other conditions is part of the process, as JinxUrit said. The provider will ask you lots of questions, so just answer honestly & you’ll be just fine.

Aviarie profile image

Sounds like you have gad generalized anxiety disorder why my crappy brother psychiatrist have to me. Buspirone helps that for me or Lexapro a very tough drug to take

JoBhasADHD profile image

You are not alone. I recognise everything you said and empathise with you. I was only diagnosed in March this year and I’m a 62 year old woman. There are a lot of us finally getting help.

Most of my life, I just thought I had a quirky personality. Counselling is helpful but you need to find one that you can trust and feel they have your best interests at heart. Medication is helping me but it’s not a cure. It’s helping me as I am getting better with money and not interrupting others (so much). I’m still struggling to get started on jobs Im not interested in but my main focus next is emotional regulation.

Hang in there and be kind to yourself. Adults with ADHD invariably have low self esteem and low self image from childhood trauma and not measuring up to the standards of neuro typical people. That we survive at all is a miracle. XC

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