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When It’s Not ADHD … How Do You Power Through?

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I had a bad bout of terrible focus issues last week that boggled me. Nothing has changed with my medications and my routines were generally the same. Nothing out of the ordinary was going on. Stress, for sure, but that’s been the state of affairs for quite some time. Yet the level with which I was veering off-course concerned me. I have a theory about it, not based on anything but my own personal experience: Sometimes it’s not going to be my ADHD. Sometimes there’s something going on at home that’s distracting. Sometimes I’m just not that into my job at the moment, and that’s okay. Sometimes I’m battling other medical conditions with symptoms that resemble ADHD symptoms. Here’s what I keep in mind when I’m feeling like this.

I’m Not A Doctor, It’s Not On Me To Know

Quick story: I was really jarred yesterday when a dermatologist who was about to operate on my baby asked at the last minute if I preferred to wait to see if a recommended procedure actually really needed to happen. While I appreciated the gesture (while also being a little freaked out), I did not go to medical school and I rely on the opinions of those who did. I know it’s a double-edged sword, that doctors get it wrong, and many ignore the patient’s will at their peril. But for me, when it comes to my mental health symptoms (and putting my daughter under the knife for God’s sake), I leave it to the ones with the fancy pieces of paper. In the case of my mental health, that means not seeing a general MD for advanced mental health issues, not Googling my symptoms, and sure as hell not diagnosing myself. Perfect example why: I recently suspected my depression had come back. My therapist encouraged me to bring it up at my next psychiatrist appointment. I did this and, after further examination, we determined it was an anxiety issue. I was eating and sleeping just fine, which typically isn’t the case when one is depressed. Yet the anxiety explanation made complete sense, as did the recommended course of action.

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But My Instincts Matter & I Need To Speak Up

Regardless of what’s causing your distraction – or any other mental health issues – listen to that voice and tell your mental health care provider. These are data points that are incredibly important for them to know, and early detection can save you a lot of turmoil. You may wonder to yourself “oh, it’s probably just PMS or hormones” or “oh, I just got the blues and it’ll pass.” Fair enough, but if you get this persistent inkling that something isn’t right – speak up!

So back to the original problem at-hand. Why the heck was I so off-course last week? Honestly, I just don’t know, but it didn’t feel ADHD-related. It could be burnout, it could be my health. Sounds like something to bring up at my next appointment, but for now I’ve seemed to have bounced back.

Do you ever have days where you just can’t get it together and it may not be ADHD at all? How do you muddle through?

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