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Welp... ADHD, here we go.

lemonspeaks profile image
14 Replies

I'm a psychotherapist who has had zero idea that I have ADHD. Yesterday I was diagnosed with ADHD, combined type. You'd think I would've sensed this within myself, but my clinical team assumed it could be pinpointed as chronic complex-PTSD. It's been an interesting 24 hours feeling seen by the Ted talks I've listened to and the podcasts I've immersed myself into today, but I'm feeling strange about how unseen I've felt by my parents, teachers, employers, and friends for the past 37 years. Luckily my fiancé has been awesome, because he was the first one to point out this might be a thing. Now that I know though, other than meds, I have no idea where to start.

14 Replies
BlessedLady profile image

You need to see a psychologists. Trying to treat yourself is Not a wise thing to do..

FindingTheAnswers profile image

Welcome! Check out ' Delivered from Distraction' by Drs Hallowell and Ratey (there are a lot of other books, but this one seemed to be written about me.

dodsonadhdcenter.com/reject... You may have to put this address into your browser as it often doesn't work on a search engine.

A question I need to ask is, what questions will you now ask the people you see professionally? How can we spread thru the mental health field, as to make them more aware of ADHD? I've given Therapists information over the years, but it seemed they didn't look in to what I gave them. I often thought that Mental Health pros are constantly reading new or updates to conditions they help treat, and were just on overload from trying to keep up with all the literature that they come across.

Your struggles with years of undiagnosed ADHD and along with your profession, will allow you to help A LOT of the people you see in your work. You can be 1 of the best ADHD Mental Health Pro available. Thank you for your honesty.

wtfadhd profile image
wtfadhd in reply to FindingTheAnswers

“A question I need to ask is, what questions will you now ask the people you see professionally? How can we spread thru the mental health field, as to make them more aware of ADHD”.

someone else posed this question but it was exactly what i was thinking too!!! bc in grad school, it seems like we learn about every single diagnosis Except ADHD.

and its interesting bc many ADHD experts do not believe that psychotherapy is an effective tool to treat ADHD bc once we, as adults, learn that we have had ADHD, the answer to all the “ why” can be traced back to having undiagnosed ADHD n using neurotypical behaviors as the benchmark for everything.

again, welcome to the tribe☀️

lemonspeaks profile image
lemonspeaks in reply to FindingTheAnswers

Yes I love this! I've already referred three of my clients this week for ADHD testing, because the more their trauma heals, the more the ADHD symptoms are manifesting since they're not being masked by their trauma responses. When I told my own doctor and therapist, neither of them thought I fit the criteria, but I knew that something was still off and all the trauma therapy I'd done personally and professionally wasn't helping the fact that I just couldn't mail a stamped letter, or how I'd forget to eat or drink water for hours, or interrupt my own clients when they're talking and getting really excited out of nowhere. So reading this comment is very validating because as a therapist, I can't recall any training I've been given so far that has been useful in assessing possible adults with ADHD, especially for women. It's been reduced to anxiety, depression, or mania, which may be present and part of it, but completely different than what's going on in an ADHD brain!

Chickadee1 profile image
Chickadee1 in reply to lemonspeaks

My counselor is the one that recognized the ADHD in me (she told me she has it too - maybe that's part of why she recognized it - almost right away...) - I had no idea it was that... it's so validating to have a reason for the struggles and why stuff that I thought "should" be easy is hard for me other than "moral failing" or just not being good enough... Your clients with ADHD will be lucky to have you because you will understand where they are coming from...including the ones like me who were undiagnosed for years... Good luck on your ADHD journey and thanks for sharing here.

Betsy74 profile image

do focus on yourself first here, not how your diagnosis can help you help others, that may help later - but for now the train of getting your head around this, and a while load of what ifs are about to hit you! Whilst having an answer is for the most part great, I still find myself grieving for what may have been, then feeling guilty as I have achieved so much without knowing - it’s quite the journey. Good luck.

lemonspeaks profile image
lemonspeaks in reply to Betsy74

Thank you! This is very validating and encouraging to read. I've almost felt silly for grieving and feeling sad, and also not sure how to talk to any of my family and friends about it. It feels like they don't get it, which they probably don't. Hugs to you Besty74!

ChuckMemphis profile image

I was dx at 51. Puts your whole life in perspective. And there is definitely some grieving that goes along with realizing what "could have been." I've been masking through overachieving, but felt unsettled all my adult life. Now, I'm embracing it -- and Wellbutrin -- and feel a sense of calm and quiet I have NEVER felt before. Look at this dx as a new start.

lemonspeaks profile image
lemonspeaks in reply to ChuckMemphis

Thank you! I appreciate your response and sharing of your own story. It's only been a few days, and already it's been a wild ride.

emiL1234 profile image

I want to follow your story, I am curious.

The beginning of your journey is exactly like mine. It's been 2 years, 8. different professionals, 4 brands of pills ( of course none of these psychiatrists, neuropsychologists and doctors etc helped me when I needed feedback) and still, no one can tell for sure if I have ADHD. I could write a book about the ridiculous interactions I had with professionals, and I completely lost trust 2 weeks ago when I met a psychiatrist with about 20 years of experience who asked me 3 questions that are so basic that I understood that he knows fuckall about adhd. I am now the queen of doubt. I would like to tell you to GIVE UP and at the same time, I'd like to tell you that you can call me anytime if you wanna talk about this!!!! I found out in the last years that nothing is better than talking to a stranger. Professionals have been of no help at all for me. GOOD LUCK!

Stonesfan profile image

Late dx @ 61

Now 62, I tried stimulant meds but they made me feel too "buzzed" (echoes back to a misspent youth with recreational drug use)

Now I use nootropics, microdosing & a weekly CBT session. I think I am nearly done with CBT.

Hominid711 profile image

Betsy is right. Be a patient for a while and complain, be sad, mourn and don't feel guilty fgs! Time to switch sides and let go. Go on the meds - they help - consider combination with a/d if you feel that it might help and that you've suffered enough and have therapy if/when you feel like it. Go for walks outside or think of another way to get fresh air and a little exercise once you're ready. No pressure. You will get better. Eat and sleep. Have conversations with f&f if/when/once you think you want to and let it be me-time. My family don't want to get it either. Maybe they will one day when they've looked into their own psychology/psycho/neuropathology. Best of everything from a fellow health professional!

lemonspeaks profile image
lemonspeaks in reply to Hominid711

thank you! The support is much appreciated. I agree that it would be nice for family to want to get it. Today it made me realize no one I care about has said “how are you since being diagnosed? How does adhd affect you? What’s your experience like?” Oh well.

Flip-Turn profile image

I hear you. I dx myself at 58 & my psychiatrist agreed to subscribe Ritalin in addition to the wellbutrin & Effexor I was already taking. As I learned more about ADHD, I was like OMFG. Why did I spend 20+ years in therapy and never heard ADHD mentioned? It is unforgivable that our lucensed practitioners are so uninformed.

The upside is that now I know why I talk too much, lose my keys and feel sad about missed opportunities.

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