(If you wish to see the useful adult ADHD info, scroll to the bottom of the post.)
I started therapy again
I started seeing a therapist who specialises in ADHD.
Why I decided to seek therapy again:
- I want to find once and for all, since I’ve suspected for MANY years that I have ADHD
- To tell my husb that there officially IS a reason behind my behaviour which frustrates him so much
- To prove to my husb that I’m NOT making up imaginary illnesses/mental conditions
- I want to be a functional, productive human being who can make a sustainable income, bring home some bacon and relieve my husb of being the sole breadwinner
- I want to seek treatment, and get meds if I nhave to (not that meds are the be all and end all, of course)
- We had a big argument and my husb finally relented on footing the therapist fees so I can get diagnosed “since I’m so convinced that I have it” (what he said)
I talk about more about my “ADHD issues” here.
Related reading: Therapy
My new ADHD therapist
My new therapist conducts sessions out of his home, due to age and arthritis.
He sent me 9 questionnaires and 1 observer questionnaire to submit prior the first session. I gave it to my husb.
Some of the questionnaires included those for ADHD, Aspergers, Highly Sensitive People…
I was not comfortable doing so many questionnaires, since I didn’t understand what some of the questions meant and most of the questions I tended to want to answer “it depends” instead of Yes or No. But there was no in-between answer available. I get nervous giving as accurate an answer as I can >_<
Also, now I realise I give answers for what I hope/want (aspirational answering?) instead of the truth. I would downplay what I think were my weaknesses.
My first session
It was held on 13 July. He went through the questionnaires with me and told me that based on the results, I was borderline ADHD.
I started to tear.
I finally received some sort of validation—from a professional!
Though he told me this was not meant to be a diagnosis. I got confused.
I think I was desperate for him to say:
Yes, you’ve got full blown ADHD, and I’m going to prescribe you some meds!
I also wish he didn’t refer to my answers so often, because I think they don’t paint an accurate picture.
What bothered me
The first session with any therapist is always an introductory time where both parties get to know each other.
There were some things that didn’t sit well with me:
1. He said he is a “scientist”; he looks at the facts, etc…
Prior the appointment I told him about my discomfort with the tests and he did say the results won’t be definitive. But when he spoke to me during the session, he based it on the results of the questions. I really wish I could throw all the questionnaires away and start from scratch. That or I really think I have ADHD and really want to be diagnosed, so I’m afraid the answers are going to point otherwise.
2. He said “I hope this won’t make you cry…”
A major thing I learned from Steve is that you feel what you do (no right or wrong feelings) and you are supposed to have the freedom to express them. I had to slowly learn to be ok crying in front of other people. It’s a huge deal to me that now I am not ashamed or afraid or embarrassed whenever I cry at CoDA, which I do, very often. When he said that, it felt like a red flag to me. I had the impression he has issues with crying.
3. He is in his 80’s
Maybe I’m being picky, but his age could be an issue (besides the fact that he seems close to death!) but also in the way he may view things.
4. A few other points
- He seems really interested in Aspergers. He mentioned Anthony Hopkins being diagnosed late in life, and even he himself. Not that I am adamant that I don’t have it, but I don’t want to be convinced that I do if I don’t.
- He did not greet me by my name at all. (I don’t know why this is important to me.)
- He insisted on asking me why I teared up when he said the words “because you have ADHD”
I don’t know why I have so many negative observations!
In the past, my general modus operandi is to fall in love hard and fast and then get disenchanted later (which is far from healthy behaviour). Be it people, places, things or jobs…
Possibly I’m afraid this new therapist can’t give me what “I want”?
My husb has remarked before: So if you’re found NOT to have ADHD, will you revert to behaving “normally” again??
I have been hurt by him saying this a few times 🙁
I’m not hell bent on getting diagnosed for an imaginary illness. I sincerely think I display the symptoms that have been widely published and talked about.
Let’s see how the next session next week will pan out.
Last thing, the therapist gave me some information. I will reproduce it here in case anyone finds it useful/helpful…
Related: Adult ADD or ADHD
(This info below was given to me at therapy.)
Handout for adults with ADHD/ADD
Defining ADHD: a neurodevelopmental disorder characterized by problems with attention and/or hyperactivity and impulsivity.
Conditions sometimes co-existing with ADHD in Adults:
- Anxiety Disorders (Generalized Anxiety D., social phobia)
- Substance use/dependence, pathological gambling, sex and love addiction (I used to drink but stopped after finding out it was what Codependents do to loosen up)
- Mood Disorders (Depression, Dysthymia, Bipolar D., cyclothymic D.)
- Personality Disorders (antisocial P.D.)
- OCD (in about 25% of ADHD) (Yup, I think I’ve OCD. I was surprised this is on the list.)
- Impulse control disorders (Disruptive Behavior Disorders; (Conduct
- Disorders (violating rights of others), Oppositional Defiant D., Borderline PD.
- Learning Disabilities. (Dyslexia. ADHD likely present if there is a discrepancy between IQ and academic achievement)
- Poor organizational skills (read Covey’s Seven Habits) (My disorganisation is on and off)
- Conflicted relationships with peers, spouses, and authority figures (Sounds like codependency if it’s peers, and authority figure problems are from troubled childhood, i.e., abuse, trauma, etc)
- Tics and Tourette’s Syndrome
- Sleep Disorders (Big YES to this one!!!)
- Autism spectrum conditions e.g Asperger syndrome
Driven to Distraction, HalIowell, E. M., & Ratey, J. J.
Delivered from Distraction, Hallowell, E. M., & Ratey, J. J.
Taking Charge of Adult ADHD, Russell Barkley
You Mean I’m Not Lazy, Stupid or Crazy?!, K.Kelly, P.Ramundo, and E. Hallowell
The Mindfulness Prescription for Adult ADHD, Lidia Zonwski
7 Habits of Highly Effective People, Stephen Covey
ADD in Intimate Relationships, Daniel G. Amen
Is it you, me or Adult ADD?, Gina Pera