Not Diagnosed Yet

I’ve thought that I might have ADHD for probably 20 years. I just turned 39, so when I was a kid they just said things like, “She’s really smart, but she stares out the window in class.” “I don’t get it - she does so well in Math, but when it comes to History she completely studies the wrong thing and doesn’t know what part to focus on.” I was in the Gifted program and getting 90’s on Math and 30’s in History.

I’ve been down/depressed the last few weeks, and I’ve been wondering if part of it is my frustration with my possible ADHD. I’ve thought about seeing a psychiatrist for depression, but then I’ve seen people say how they really had ADHD when they thought they had depression. So now I’m not sure what to do.

I could see how that could be the case - sometimes things feel like overwhelm and my usual go-to saying is “Nothing I do is ever enough.” I’m a foster parent to a toddler I’ve had since birth (going to be adopting). I’ll have the social worker say my house isn’t clean enough. I’ll spend hours organizing and think that it still isn’t enough. I’ll be calm during his tantrums, and then if I lose my temper after hours of calmly redirecting him, I’ll think I’m terrible.

At work (and other places), I’m frequently frustrated with my communication, so I think this part could be ADHD. I’ll think I’m being crystal clear about communication, but I’m just not getting my point across. It happens with people in a variety of situations, so I’ve come to accept that it’s just me. So right now, I’m not communicating clearly with my boss what all of the issues are (I just started a new job and was hired basically to fix a mess). Yesterday I spent 20 minutes saying what the issues were, and then got back from him that the results were that things weren’t moving forward and asked why. Meanwhile I felt like I had just spent the last 20 minutes explaining why, so at that point I just shut down mentally. I saw the future of them firing me even though I’m working hard, simply because I couldn’t communicate the issues I was coming across.

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I’d say go ahead and seek evaluation and help.

For me, I sought help for depression/bipolar disorder and over time we arrived at the ADHD diagnosis as well. It took about a year and a half for my providers to arrive at that point, but since then it has been worthwhile.

ADHD and depression can happen at the same time, and getting treatment for one may also allow treatment for the other. For example, I took Wellbutrin (an antidepressant) to help with my focus before I switched to a stimulant.

Plus, having the support of a therapist and psychiatrist can be useful in tackling the depression and also managing the symptoms of ADHD. Regardless of whether or not you get an ADHD diangosis or medication right away, it’s still worth seeking help. At least based on my own experience. :slight_smile:


I second @quietlylost in the suggestion that you go see the doctor. They can evaluate for both depression and ADHD (or at least refer you for testing). You could have one or the other or both at the same time or possibly even some third thing you hadn’t considered. You don’t have to have it figured out on your own before you go. They can help you find those answers


You may well have both - untreated ADHD certainly makes you more susceptible to depression and anxiety.

Virtual hugs and sympathy sent across the world. Life will get better. But definitely get help.