I might be able to get an evaluation now, but...

I’ve been waiting for literal years so that the waiting lists in my city will open and unfortunately they still don’t take new people. What changed however is that I am now having a job and I was able to save up quite a bit. Originally I wanted to use this money to improve my content on social media and give myself some momentary happiness - but now I thought that maybe I should use this money to finally get an ADHD diagnosis. I found a clinic very close to me that is run by AFAB therapists who also struggle with ADHD (the prices are not 100% clear and I would need to ask) and I also found a professional online-evaluation for 500 bucks. But now with the chance to get some answers being so close I start to second-guess myself. I don’t relate to all experiences that people with ADHD go through, especially in childhood. What if I spend over 500 bucks just to realise that all this has been depression all along, what if I actually didn’t WANT to do the things and this is where the frustration comes from? What if I am actually just lazy and trying to find an excuse because I relate to a condition that is in itself highly relateable to people? Will I make a fool out of myself? Will I waste my money? Should I wait until I am in a better head space until I consider a diagnosis? Maybe I will feel completely different as soon as I move out…

Those are the things that are going through my head right now. I know that getting an evaluation is very important for me as I struggle with the same issues for YEARS and they make me miserable. But at the same time it’s this feeling of… do I actually WANT answers? Do I want certainty?

Just needed to get this off my chest…

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Your ambivalence about what to do . . . and why to do it . . . is understandable!

Would knowing be helpful? Regardless of outcome?

Obviously, only you can figure that out!

But you are in good company . . .

As much as I would agonize about decisions . . . taking a leap of faith . . . and then deciding “YES” or “NO” and then DOING SOMETHING (rather than continue to sit on the fence) . . . was usually helpful.

And if you decide “NO” . . . with this question . . . you can revisit the question. But until you do . . . if you do . . . accept the fact that you made a decision. In the meantime . . . don’t beat yourself up!

:sunglasses:

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Welcome back to the HowToADHD forums @Iceblueblossom !

And congrats on getting such a good job!

I also don’t relate to what a lot of people with ADHD experienced in their childhood. But in fact, it’s not the exact same for any of us.

Generally, I did well in school, liked school, and was not seen as having problems by most of my teachers (besides a few who noticed some inattentiveness, and my 6th grade teacher who kept my accountable for many missing or incomplete homework assignments).

I can, however, look back on my youth with my new knowledge about ADHD, and I can very clearly see how it presented.

  • In early grades, I would finish many in-class assignments early, and then I would daily dream and miss the transition to the next thing.
  • I did get my homework done (most of the time), but it was done in a near panic on the bus to school (in elementary school), or in the passing period between classes (in Jr High and High School). I hid these struggles from my parents and teachers, not out of shame (for the most part), but because I felt like getting the work done was my responsibility.
  • The signs were there, but the only person who was aware of all my struggles was…me.

However, it was many years of struggles in college and career and marriage that made me realize that I had consistent problem in all areas. The only common factor in all the areas where things just weren’t working out right was…me.

But I refused to believe that I had some character flaw, that I was just lazy or a serial procrastinator, or that I just didn’t care. Why? Because I knew that I did care, very much in fact! And because I knew that I worked very hard on trying to overcome the issues that appeared like laziness and procrastination.


Don’t shortchange yourself @Iceblueblossom ! You’re here because you’re not lazy, you’re not deflective, and you don’t have a character flaw. You’re here because you refuse to give up on yourself, or to stop trying to find answers to what makes you live and work the way you do.

Maybe there’s some other root cause for you that’s not actually ADHD. Some other conditions can have a similar appearance, but may have a different root cause (from hypothyroidism, to early childhood trauma, to traumatic brain injury). But I believe that it’s better to know for sure.

And, if you seem in any way like you have ADHD, whether you have a diagnosis or not, you are most certainly welcome here.

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@j_d_aengus @Iceblueblossom

:+1: ABSOLUTELY . . . :sunglasses:

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Okay guys, update:
After talking to a friend with ADHD and getting some other opinions I made the decision to spend the money.

This morning I called and I am now officially on a waiting list! They told me I will have my first appointment in 2-4 months!!

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Well… I got surprised today… I got a call from the clinic and they say I can start my evaluation NEXT MONDAY…

Honestly, I am extremely nervous - I hope everything goes well!
But the therapist sounded extremely kind and supportive so that is already a +.

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Something to keep in mind is that the evaluation is a process. Be patient. You may not get a diagnosis right away.


For me, it took about 6 out of 8 counseling sessions (over 8 weeks time, because my counselor already had a vacation scheduled when she took me on as a client).

  • Of course, there’s also the fact that I was seeing her for treatment of anxiety (her specialty), and my request for an ADHD assessment was a secondary matter.

A few days after my initial ADHD diagnosis, I was at my doctor’s office for an annual physical, and he gave me a questionnaire to fill out. Within 40 minutes of arriving at the doctor’s office, I had a second ADHD diagnosis, and a prescription (for anxiety meds, because that was the other diagnosis I got at that time). Note: my doctor had access to my counselor’s notes, so I don’t know how much of his diagnosis was based on the questionnaire, how much on the notes, and how much from my conversation with him about my attention struggles.

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Seems better to have 3 sources of information . . . i.e. 3 :brain::brain::brain: (ADHD or NOT) . . . 3 heads to put together . . .

When evaluating children for ADHD, a long standard protocol has been to gather input information from “the home” . . . “the school” . . . and “the child” . . .

Seemed right then (whenever,“then” was!) . . . seems right “now”!

My opinion FWIW :sunglasses:

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Yep! I was told that the evaluation will take 3-5 sessions from now on (depending on how much is needed).
Yesterday I was already there to fill out questionairs about both symptoms for ADHD and other mental illnesses. It was honestly alot, it took about 1 hour to finish everything. But that also made me feel like they are really trying to scan for every other possible explanation at the same time, which I am very thankful for.

It is really amazing that you got a second opinion about this matter! It seems like they really did their job properly!

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I think my doctor wanted to be sure, in order to prescribe me medications. He started treating me for anxiety first, and after a month my anxiety symptoms were well controlled.
Then, he had me do the questionnaire again, to get a more accurate baseline of my ADHD (and confirm that my ADHD symptoms weren’t simply caused by anxiety), and then he started me on ADHD medication.

I went off the anxiety meds after a few months, when my doctor and I both agreed that I could stop taking them.

Later on, I was happy to realize that treating my ADHD with effective medication (which for me is the non-stimulant atomoxetine) helps to keep anxiety from building up again. (I still experience small bouts of anxiety, but no where near the level I was dealing with when I first got my diagnosis.)

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I am happy to hear that your diagnosis went smoothly in that way that that it was possible to make sure the symptoms are not caused by anything else! Especially considering that the right diagnosis made it possible to find just the right medication for you and essentially made treating both things at once! Which is amazing!

Honestly the question of whether things can be caused by a mental illness is what I am worried most about. I’ve been in therapy for 4 years now and unfortunately my depression has been pretty resistant to treatment (I didn’t follow through with therapy plans as much as I maybe needed to) so I don’t know whether it would be possible to see a version of myself without depression (especially since the appointments are super close to each other). I hope that it will still be possible to figure out the real cause of things.

As much as I try not to think about whether I ACTUALLY have ADHD or not this thought crosses my mind every single day (obviously). And especially today when I met up with my friend I “only” forgot what I wanted to say once or twice and was actually listening to her speaking for hours, no problem (though it being very casual and us walking around a park definitely helped). I think I should really try to just let go and do the professionals do their job and believe I am in good hands. Not even sure why I am sharing this right now, it just feels like my anxiety needs a place to go.

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I count myself fortunate that when I finally sought a diagnosis it went so well.

Still, I wish that somebody, anybody in my life has suggested that I get assessed for ADHD. Many people were aware of my struggles with attention, distraction, forgetfulness, all the Inattentive traits.

I still deal with small bouts of anxiety, or even depression occasionally.

Today, I am feeling a little “down”. Not like I’m in a depression, but like I might be starting to fall into one. It’s good that I’m aware of it, because I know that I can try to head it off. (For me, anxiety has always been a bigger problem than depression, but I know that my mom and other family members have struggled with major depression that could last for weeks at a time.)

I know part of the reason is that I’ve been letting myself get distracted on my phone, instead of doing the things I need to be doing.

I’m glad you mentioned walking around a park. I’ll walk down to the park with my kids. That should help.

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(The outing to the park is definitely helping my mood! :grin: I am feeling much more my regular self.)

The kids and I brought a few Nerf blasters to the park with us. When we first arrived, we were the only people there. Then, some other kids arrived. There were just enough toys for one for each kid. That worked out perfectly!

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