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Jean
Jean, Psychotherapist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 433
Experience:  Masters degree in counseling, Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW)
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Ive always had a hard time starting school projects or homework

Resolved Question:

I've always had a hard time starting school projects or homework and once I've started my mind wanders constantly and I'm a terrible procrastinator and extremely forgetful. I used to get in trouble constantly with my teachers for interrupting and being a "class-clown". My parents blamed this on the fact that we moved around a lot and so simply waved these things off. Now I'm 23 years old and still have a hard time concentrating and remembering things. Conversations I had with someone the previous day or directions on how to get somewhere. I've tried changing my diet, taking Fish Oils, Vitamins, caffeine, I have a work out routine that I follow 5 days a week and try to get the recommended 8 hours of sleep to help. Nothing I've done seems to be working and I'm very frustrated. Been doing some research online and all these symptoms point me to having adult ADD, even down to my lack of self worth because I can't get things done in a timely manner and am constantly forgetting things. And IF I do have adult ADD I don't know how to approach this with my parents to get help, I don't think they believe that it's a real thing. Just another excuse. But I have been trying and nothing is working. Help!
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Mental Health
Expert:  Jean replied 1 year ago.

Jean N/20pluscounts :

Hello, so sorry to keep you waiting so long. Welcome and thank you for your post tonight.

Jean N/20pluscounts :

When we evaluat for Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) we include asking about a history of these symptoms from childhood. Often those diagnosed with adult adhd have a long history of these symptoms.

Jean N/20pluscounts :

Hello, are you available for a live chat?

Customer:

Hi yes sorry I'm here

Jean N/20pluscounts :

Thank you for joining me!

Customer:

thank you for helping me!

Jean N/20pluscounts :

Something to consider is to take an on line assessment and copy off the results for your parents to see.

Customer:

I've taken a few, one on WebMd others on misc sites

Jean N/20pluscounts :

Often it's a lack of information for parents, or trouble admitting a problem. It's hard for parents to acknowlege this sometimes.

Jean N/20pluscounts :

You identify the classic symptoms.

Customer:

Yea I think it's getting to the place of admitting a problem.

Jean N/20pluscounts :

Does caffeine help?

Customer:

only in that it keeps me from feeling sleepy

Customer:

I did OK while at home with school more because my dad would constantly breath down my back to do my homework and check in on me constantly. But as soon as I got into college and was on my own I flunked out because I didn't have that constant reminder around, I would forget about assignments that were due and even tests.

Jean N/20pluscounts :

Often if a stimulate helps it can be one indication of adhd- often with adhd caffeine tends to do what an adhd med. would do- on a small scale, of course- help one concentrate etc. It's a big first step admitting the problem and having a heart to heart with your parents. Maybe an evaluation with a psychologist would provide you and your parents more info. Have you talked to your parents recently. Do you need their permission/insurance etc. to get an assessment?

Customer:

I am on their insurance which is why I feel I need their help with this process.

Jean N/20pluscounts :

Of course

Jean N/20pluscounts :

You may first have to educate them a bit on this. Web Md or psychcentral is also good website for more info. Being really honest with your parents about your struggle.

Jean N/20pluscounts :

Ask them if they can set a time aside to talk- are you living at home?

Customer:

I just moved back home a few weeks ago and re-enrolled in classes this semester. I'm really struggling focusing when I'm studying.

Jean N/20pluscounts :

I get the sense you have tried all the natural things we would recommend, often meds do really help. Even a trial to see what sort of response you have. You sound like you are "doing your homework" on this one-

Customer:

I've been really frustrated with my lack of energy and focus and so did a lot of googling for what I can do to help bring those energy and focus levels up. The diet, the exersize, the vitamins (plus my mom has always been about her natural remedies and vitamins)

Jean N/20pluscounts :

Approaching your parents with "I'm struggling, and I need...." Maybe prepare something ahead of time to "educate" them, and share your symptoms. Maybe they would agree to further evaluation at least once they really understand how you are struggling. Further evaluation won't hurt. They can be part of the process and ask any questions they may have.

Jean N/20pluscounts :

I could see where your mom may be a bit hesitant since she's into more "natural".

Customer:

Right, and I tried her approach. Upping my vitamin D, B12, C intakes and tried Fish Oils (I don't like those at all)

Jean N/20pluscounts :

If your parents know how much thought and work you have put into this- they may take note. You can validate your parents too- they do have good intentions- but may lack information about this. Something like biofeedback can help- brain training stuff.

Customer:

I am willing to try that as well, new techniques to life. I just felt like I hit a brick wall and didn't know where to go from here.

Jean N/20pluscounts :

There are programs being used to train the brain- so to say.

Jean N/20pluscounts :

Lots of new brain research out there- very fasinating.

Customer:

I did find a site in my searches, ummmm learning Rx that talked about retraining the brain

Jean N/20pluscounts :

Do you worry about your parent's response? Do they realize how hard you are trying to cope with this "naturally" but hitting a wall? It's not a weakness- it's an obstacle, challenge.

Customer:

I'm not sure of their response entirely. I don't think they know that I'm struggling so much because I am not very open with them. I've expressed frustrations in my lack of focus and my mom is constantly trying to tell me directions to things and I have to remind her that in order for me to remember them she has to write them down or I'll forget.

Jean N/20pluscounts :

The first step may be more of a formal evaluation by a psychologist. First finding out who the providers are for your parent's insurance. Psychology Today website is a good place to "find a therapist, psychologist" in your area. I'd say you've done your best on your own and need some outside intervention. You are waving your surrender flag HELP!! right?

Customer:

Yea

Jean N/20pluscounts :

Be brave and talk to your parents- prepare ahead of time with sharing the information, symptoms etc.

Jean N/20pluscounts :

You could write what you want to say ahead of time- just like a research paper- omg- more homework right!

Customer:

haha right, I should probably write down a list or something. Otherwise when it comes down to it, I just don't remember everything.

Jean N/20pluscounts :

If you take an assessment that you can score and copy off for them, maybe a couple of them- this can provide more specific info. for them. Right must get it "organized" to sell it!

Customer:

and that's a huge part of the problem! Organization is a huge issue for me. I see it now that I've been doing research that I've had this for a while, even down to my school desks and lockers...

Customer:

oh and especially my back pack. And my mom would organize it for me all the time. Didn't matter, within the week it would be undone.

Jean N/20pluscounts :

Do emphasize your feelings, struggles, battle with this- and telling them you want to talk to a psychologist- at least to rule it out- no one says you have to take meds if they recommend it- there are other alternatives. Getting the diagnosis is a big first step. If it's not adhd you take the next step- whoever does the eval will have recommendations. It's also okay for your parents to be skiptical and have lots of questions. Asking them to read a bit more about it at least can answer some questions.

Jean N/20pluscounts :

As you have become an adult, parents not always looking over your back or organizing for you- you notice it being more of an issue.

Jean N/20pluscounts :

I suppose you could just ask straight out if you could see a counselor for "issues" vs. trying to convince them.

Customer:

that's true... I have been wanting to talk to them but didn't know how to start or broach it with them.

Jean N/20pluscounts :

How could a parent deny when their child says "I need someone to talk to, I'm struggling". Maybe they would allow you to make your own appointment. A counselor could help you explain it to them if adhd is the issue.

Customer:

right and I know they'd want to help

Jean N/20pluscounts :

Yes, your parents want what's best- for sure!! Simply a child saying, "I'm not happy and I want to talk to a counselor etc." can be enough. A counselor may help you come up with some ways to better organize, structure yourself. If you go on psychology today website look for counselor who specilizes in adhd. Most therapists work with most "disorders" or diagnosis- adhd is a common one we see often.

Jean N/20pluscounts :

It's worth your time to at least rule it out- vs. wonder, struggle, and wonder and struggle some more- as you are.

Customer:

right, thank you!

Jean N/20pluscounts :

You can find those answers- you've taken a big step in looking more into this- good job organizing that!

Customer:

I just know that I have to do well in school and even sitting in a quiet room working on a subject I'm interested in my mind is wandering. I needed to do something!

Jean N/20pluscounts :

Best wishes to you- things can get better- and they will- you sound motivated- that will get you far. You've done some good work looking for the answers- it can bring up more questions- but that's okay.

Customer:

I am ready to be in a real career & not working these hourly minimum wage jobs anymore. Education is the key but there's no point in going if I'm just going to flunk because I can't ever focus on my studies. Very motivating.

Customer:

Thank you so much

Jean N/20pluscounts :

Let me know if I can assist you again- Would you be so kind to rate my answer okay or higher so I can get credit. Much appreciated! Nice job doing this work when you are young- I see some "older" people, much older who struggle so long without intervention- they are relieved when they find help and answers.

Customer:

Will do, again thank you for helping me!

Jean, Psychotherapist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 433
Experience: Masters degree in counseling, Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW)
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Jean
Jean
Psychotherapist
332 Satisfied Customers
Masters degree in counseling, Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW)