Testing & Assessments Psychologist
I am a senior general psychologist with 18 years of experience. In terms of ADHD, I usually start with testing and diagnosis as a first step to identifying if a person has ADHD.
I also counsel ADHD clients between the ages of 12 to 70 years old. Long term undiagnosed ADHD might create many unfinished businesses (Both literally and emotionally); form a distorted image of our own self; and cause unhealthy maladaptive behaviors to be our day-to-day coping skills.
Many adults suffer for a long time from ADHD. They have so many unfinished projects, have done hobby courses but lose interest in the middle. They drop jobs. They change academic goals halfway. They walk away from relationships just because it feels overwhelming. They usually do not learn how to deal with their emotions and many accept they have anger management problems.
They may experience chronic bullying and criticism from their loved ones and at work. Many have very low self-esteem even though some choose to act like the opposite. They also constantly feel the need to justify themselves for being late, for not finishing a project, living in a mess or simply not folding the laundry for 6 weeks.
These maladaptive coping skills are the part of their daily life, which causes them to hate themselves even more. Not my words. My clients and my daughter who keep telling me this.
I also work with parents, partners and even sometimes kids of the people who suffer from ADHD symptoms for various reasons. Sometimes it is about learning more and making progress, sometimes it is about restoring back relationships and sometimes it is just about supporting a parent who finds it hard to keep balance and needs a private space to vent.
My aim is to accept these people's feelings. Partners and adult kids of ADHD people are usually full of negative feelings as strong as hatred and revenge. Partners can think this person is lazy, inattentive to his/her needs, because they don't care, are negligent but it is just their neurotypical response. It is my job to help them understand how ADHD-caused behaviour works.
Adult kids may feel abandoned by their parents due to their excessive reckless behaviour and negligence and sometimes addiction. Adult kids may feel abandoned as a child and prefer to cut ties as soon as they can walk away, etc.
So I make sure to value and listen what they feel. Help them voice their suffering. Then address how to create change, give hope and re-write relationship contracts. I don't usually focus entirely on how partners can help the ADHD person. I rather focus on, how they can accept this fact, separate ADHD from the person and learn to live with it. Create their own coping skills rather then trying to fix the ADHD person.
If you are suffering from ADHD or think you might be suffering all alone, testing would be helpful to put your mind at ease and create a pathway to improve your quality of life.