Hello/I need advice!


Hello! Just a quick intro on me, and then asking for some help with getting diagnosed.

I’m a 42 year old mom who teaches performing arts. My son was recently diagnosed, and in my research for him, I have become nearly convinced that I have ADHD As well. I’ve been struggling in recent years, and this diagnosis would make a lot of sense. (I’ve been struggling my whole life, in a sense, but motherhood has really done me in! Lol)

I recently made the choice to get some help (all thanks to Jessica! :heart:), so I made an appointment with a therapist. I’ve only been 3 times, but I’m not sure she’s working out. She has given me no testing/questionnaires, has asked me very little about my achedemic history, and seems to be sold on the idea that my symptoms are due to anxiety. Now, anxiety is CERTAINLY an issue, but I am convinced it’s more caused by my suspected ADHD, rather than the anxiety causing ADHD-like symptoms.

In all my research for my son, I began to realize the traits being described described me as a child. So I read some articles about adult ADHD, and ADHD in women… my mind was BLOWN at how much I related to it all. I learned about the genetic component, and how mine was a common story (your kid is diagnosed, then you are). I took an online test and scored at 75%, and the online test for women I scored a 95%!!!

I had been struggling a lot in recent years with what seemed to be anxiety issues at times (which I believe is playing a part here), but ADHD seemed to be looking like a bigger part of the picture, and perhaps more at the root of the anxiety. (Stress plays a big part, too, but even that seems to be amplified by the ADHD).

So as I said I scheduled in with a therapist. Trouble is, the therapist doesn’t think it’s ADHD. Her reasons are that a lot of my symptoms are present in anxiety, and she doesn’t see a lot of the “hallmarks of ADHD” in me.

But… the hallmarks she listed are more typical of boys. I’ve done a lot of research about adult ADHD in women, and I feel like she’s missing the mark. I honestly feel like she’s misinformed. I also realize, however, that she’s more knowledgeable on the subject than I am, as a whole, I just am not convinced she understands how ADHD presents differently in women. And honestly, I think she missed the mark on adult ADHD altogether. She said most of her clients with ADHD can’t sit still, are bouncing off the walls, can’t focus long enough to converse during a session… but she has no idea how hard I work at that.

I guess what I’m really wanting here is opinions from those of you who have been diagnosed - should I schedule with my GP to discuss this further? Or a psychiatrist? She recommended I try my son’s meds one day and see how I feel. She also recommended talking to my son’s psychiatrist the next time I’m there about myself, or at least the differences between ADHD and anxiety. (I’m not very comfortable with that - would rather keep his appointments focused on him.) She also said I was a “tough nut to crack”, and that she wasn’t sure which one or both were going on with me, but suspects it’s anxiety.

Any advice you might have would be so greatly appreciated!


Oh my goodness, there’s some stuff I’d like to say but I need to be careful not to say things that are not allowed.

I’ll start with the easy stuff that is definitely allowed:

Welcome! :slightly_smiling_face:

No matter how this progresses for you, you are welcome here.

Then about your research: sounds very similar to mine :smiley: (also in my forties, got diagnosed this year).

And instead of getting cross with a professional, i am going to very calmly ask some questions…

Is it professional to advise taking medication intended for someone else?

Is it professional or collegial to advise using an appointment made for one person to discuss someone else?

Seriously, this therapist sounds underinformed and unprofessional. Your alarm bells seem to be going off and I think this is totally justified.

Is it an option to call the receptionist at your son’s place and ask for some friendly advice on getting an assessment appointment fot yourself? I have no idea if they only work with children, but they will probably be able to point you in the right direction at least. As you say, you are not the first and won’t be the last parent of a brain to seek a diagnosis!

Oh, and ADHD is very often comorbid with other stuff. My ‘buy one get one free’ is OCPD, which also includes a lot of anxiety.
My therapist thinks this is caused more by my mother than by the adhd, but I think it comes down ti the same thing : everything I did was affected by the adhd and none of that stuff fitted her game plan/image of how her perfect children should be…

Good luck!


Hello Jann.

Everything above by LfL, quoted for truth!

I think you should move on from this therapist and speak to people who do have experience with ADHD.

Good luck!


Thank you so much for the replies!!

I, too, had issues with suggesting I take my son’s meds (which I did not do, for the record!)

I think I will ask at my son’s therapy appointment this week if there’s anyone there would evaluates adults and try making an appointment, or getting referred to someone.

I guess I’m wondering do a find a psychiatrist? How does one find someone experienced with adult adhd??

Thanks so much for your advice! I’ll keep you posted!!


I really wish more psychiatrist, doctors, therapists, coaches, were more educated about ADHD. Even a lot of Psyciatrists don’t know enough about it and that has been frustrating for me over the years.


This is my concern!! I read somewhere that adults should go to a child psychiatrist for diagnosis! I plan to ask at my son’s office. He doesn’t have an appointment until late next week, so maybe I’ll just call the front desk and ask about it? Idk. It’s so hard!


I don’t know where you are in the world, in UK, most of Europe and North America, the assessment and diagnosis will be conducted by a suitably qualified and experienced psychiatrist, in the UK they are usually assisted by a clinical psychologist too. Adults present differently to children, as do men and women too, so you should be looking for someone who has experience with adult female ADHD, I do think you should ask at the place where your child receives treatment, hopefully they will have some useful advice.


I’m in the states - the hard part is there is really no way to find out if someone specialized in adult female adhd. The only option would be to just call around and ask random places, and then those would have to be ones that take my insurance, which is a whole other battle entirely. :roll_eyes:

I think my best bet is to call my son’s psychiatrist’s office and ask them. I’m hesitant to go to the same place, however, (if they were to offer that there), and I’m not sure why???


I stumbled on this list which may be help in finding an ADHD professional in the US: http://directory.additudemag.com/listing/

You can ask your son’s psychiatrist for a list of therapists that evaluate/treat ADHD. You don’t have to sign up with them!

It may be a good idea to talk to your GP in any case as they should know you are looking into this even if they don’t believe in ADHD. Asking for a second opinion is perfectly normal.

Even if it turns out that all you have is anxiety issues, it may be better to go to someone who understands ADHD symptoms so that they can do a more comprehensive checking.

Good luck!


I dithered for a decade finding a doctor to prescribe my meds because I’d moved to a new place and didn’t know how to find someone. I recently, finally, got a psychiatrist again and am back on meds. I found him by calling my insurance company and asking them for a list of people to call that ACTUALLY specialize in ADHD, instead of just listing it as one of dozens of things they treat. And then, I called each one and asked them questions about who they treated and how much of their practice involved treating ADHD brains. (The insurance company also offered to call some practices, but I wanted to talk to someone myself.) I found a great Psych who treats pretty much nothing BUT ADHD brains. His website and details online all say he treats kids, but he also treats adults.

I’ve never in the past tried asking the insurance company. It worked for me. Maybe it will work for you?


That is a great place to start!


I think a second opinion would be a great idea.


Hello Janna and welcome!

It definitely sounds like your therapist is behind the times or may not as knowledgeable about ADHD as she seems to be. So the thing about a therapist is they technically cannot diagnose. They can suggest you have something and to talk to a Doctor or Psychiatrist, but they cannot diagnose unless they also happen to be a psychiatrist or medical Doctor. So therapy isn’t the place you want to go for a chat regarding diagnosis of ADHD. You want a psychiatrist. Don’t get me wrong though, therapy with a therapist you trust and feels knows what they are talking about, in conjunction with a psychiatrist, has been great for me. I have weekly therapy sessions on top of having a psychiatrist as I do take medication. But I just wanted to clarify that a therapist technically cannot and should not officially diagnose you unless they have the proper credentials for it.

And because I’m a month late to saying hi… HI. How are you? Did you go for a second opinion? You doing okay? :slight_smile: