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Sent April 3, 2019

Start with our self-diagnosis post. It will take you through the basic process that a clinician would follow in an assessment (minus some of the testing that they do).

To find out more about the diagnostic process, check out this page of our FAQ.

When you go to talk to your doctor about a referral, take a list of the things you struggle with due to your ADHD, and talk about them in real-life terms. For example, you’re late for everything no matter what you do, and you lose your keys multiple times a day.

-J

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Sent April 3, 2019

I think most people only get a vague idea of what they’re reading if they skim. Also, I think a lot of ADHDers end up skimming stuff.

My thought on this is that it’s more to do with how someone processes written language than ADHD itself.

Followers, what do you think?

-J

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Sent April 4, 2019

How long have you been seeing this psychiatrist? Testing is not necessary for a diagnosis, it’s just common. Some clinicians are experienced enough with ADHD that they can assess someone through therapy sessions and conversations, and don’t need to do any testing.

If you’re uncertain about the process used, you can ask how they made the decision to prescribe that medication at your next appointment.

-J

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Sent April 5, 2019

There’s usually some type of assessment done, but if you have an existing relationship with a clinician who is experienced with ADHD you may not need any testing. 

I suggest you discuss this with your psychiatrist. Tell them about the symptoms that you’ve been noticing, and ask them if they think it’s possible that you might have ADHD.

Now, they may say that those symptoms are just due to your anxiety and depression, and that’s totally possible. The thing is, it’s also possible that they’re due to ADHD and the anxiety and depression are partly due to undiagnosed and untreated ADHD. That’s where the assessment could be useful.

-J

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Sent April 5, 2019

I can understand how frustrating this must be for you. I hate it when people claim to be things they aren’t!

Here’s the thing: do you know for a fact that she wasn’t diagnosed with ADHD? Not everyone who has it is fidgety, and some are pretty good at focusing (or looking like we’re focused) on specific types of tasks that we find rewarding. Also, if the diagnosis is just new, talking about it a lot is how some people deal with it and get used to it.

I’m not saying she for sure is telling the truth. I have no idea. There are just a lot of possibilities.

Next time she says something about it, say something like “Oh, hey, you know, I have ADHD too. It’s really hard for me to [thing you struggle with a lot]. What’s your biggest ADHD-related problem?” If her answer seems to fit, ask her about her assessment and who she saw for the diagnosis and so on. If this brings out that she doesn’t have ADHD after all, you are then in the free and clear to tell her to STFU and stop lying. If, on the other hand, she actually does have it (including if she’s self-diagnosed), you may now have a new ADHDer friend, and that’s always awesome!

-J

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Sent April 5, 2019

Honestly, that Russell Barkley lecture on YouTube about how ADHD is a disorder of intention is the best explanation of what’s going on that I’ve heard. So find that and link everyone to it.

And don’t tell them about your treatment choices if they’re going to be judgmental. Jerk-faces get no input.

-J

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Sent April 6, 2019

1. No, ADHD is not a branch of autism. They are both neurodevelopmental disorders, and there is some overlap of symptoms, but they are separate conditions (so far as we know right now, at least).

2. It was called ADD first, and then in the DSM-IV, they changed its name to AD/HD and described three types: Inattentive, Hyperactive/Impulsive, and Combined. So usually what you have is people with Inattentive ADHD will use ADD, while people with Hyperactive/Impulsive ADHD will use ADHD. I have Combined ADHD (meaning I have enough of both sets of criteria to qualify for both diagnoses), and I use ADHD in writing and ADD in talking (because it’s faster).

3. Perfectionism is separate, but can be a result of the criticism ADHDers receive for their oversights and so on.

4. A ruler can help keep your eyes on the right line. Taking notes can help you remember/learn what you’re reading. If you’re reading online or on an e-reader, often an add-on like Beeline Reader or a font like OpenDyslexic can help a lot with keeping your focus where it’s supposed to be.

I hope these answers are helpful!

-J

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Sent April 6, 2019

Not usually that extreme, in my experience. More like neutral and then a spike in one direction or the other.

Followers, what’s your experience of ADHD-related mood swings?

-J

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Sent April 7, 2019

This is one of the limitations of the medium, I guess!

I’ve been thinking about adding a YouTube channel to our repertoire. If I do this, the videos probably won’t have my face in them because you don’t want to see that all the time. (Also, that would require me to get a good video camera.) Rather, I’ll probably put together PowerPoint presentations and do voiceover. (I do have a decent speaking voice, and as a musician I’d rather spend money on a good microphone anyway.)

Another option is a podcast (I’d still get to buy a good microphone, bonus).

I could also try to make infographics and memes with some of the most popular information in them.

Let me know which of these options you’d like me to try and put together. If you think they’re all great ideas, which one would you find the most helpful? (Note that I would do transcripts of all podcasts and videos, so if you aren’t great with watching stuff but love to read words, you would still get to do that.)

-J

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Sent April 7, 2019

Absolutely! You’ll find a breakdown of the steps for this kind of thing in this post.

If you need more accountability than just your own personal deadlines, line up your beta readers (the people who will help you with editing, down there at the end of the linked post) ahead of time and tell them when you’re expecting to have something for them to read. Sometimes having that external accountability is really helpful for stuff like this!

-J

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