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TherapistMarryAnn, Therapist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 5822
Experience:  Over 20 years experience specializing in anxiety, depression, drug and alcohol, and relationship issues.
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I am a 31 year old male, very fit very healthy. Exercise and

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Hi I am a 31 year old male, very fit very healthy. Exercise and eat well. Have stopped drinking alcohol. I have a very introverted nature. I have been diagnosed with severe depressive disorder. My gp thinks I may have other mental health problems, bi polar (there is a family history) and anxiety disorders. I have felt something wasnt right since my early teen years. I started smoking cannabis around age 17, I have always thought it makes me feel normal. Since starting medication for depression I have not touched it. Lexapro 20mg worked very well for depression symptoms, but exacerbated anxiety badly. Then lexapro 40 mg took my anxiety through the roof. I am now tapering off lexapro and starting with 30mg cymbalta and 0.5mg xaxax if needed. I feel like I some kind of permanent menral health problem. I am very intelligent and despite always maintaining a high distinction level in three separate university degrees have always dropped out. Is it possiblei have an attention deficit disor
Hello, I'd like to help you with your question.
Given your range of symptoms, it might help to get a diagnosis with a therapist or psychiatrist, if you have not already. A therapist can help sort out what diagnosis you do have and can either confirm or rule out ADHD. Your medications could also be monitored and changed as needed according to your diagnosis.
It is possible you do have ADHD if you have trouble concentrating. The issue, however, is that difficult concentrating can be attributed to many other disorders, including anxiety and depression. For adults who have the disorder, it is characterized by trouble concentrating, organizing tasks, remembering information and completing work on time. Up to 10% of children are diagnosed with ADHD and 60% of those carry the disorder into adulthood.
The criteria for Adult ADHD is different than with children. Here are some common symptoms you might experience with the disorder:
Chronic boredom
Relationship problems or Marital Difficulties
Tendency to overlook details
Not paying attention during conversations, inability to listen well (in any conversation)
Easily distracted
Emotional difficulties
Medications can do wonders to deal with the disorder if you are diagnosed with it. The medications work by stimulating the pre frontal cortex of the brain. This area of the brain remains in a less mature state (ability to organize) and has trouble dealing with the impulses from the central part of the brain where wants and desires emerge. The medication simply "wakes up" the pre frontal cortex further and allows it to function as it should.
These medications do have some side effects such as possible sleep issues and changes in appetite. However, for short term use, they are usually considered safe.
If you do have ADHD, you can also use self help and support groups along with medications and therapy to help control your symptoms. Here are some resources to help:
You Mean I'm Not Lazy, Stupid or Crazy?!: The Classic Self-Help Book for Adults with Attention Deficit Disorder by Kate Kelly, Peggy Ramundo and Edward M. M.D. Hallowell
I hope this has helped you,
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Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Hi kate, thankyou for your response. I experience all of the above syptoms. But having only recently sought help for the first time I am stressed that I may be losing my mind. I am starting with a psychiatrist in the next week. My general practioner is excellent. I am married with two beautiful children, and since starting higher dose lexapro have felt my tension and anxiety increase massively. How does the process of mental health disorder diagnosis work? My gp simply treats my symptoms. I also have restless leg syndrome if that is relevant.

You're welcome!
Mental health diagnosis is very similar to how your GP examines you physically except with mental health, it is emotional. The psychiatrist you see will ask you a series of questions. Usually, this includes questions about your childhood, any traumas or abuse you may have experienced, physical issues, stressors and current emotional status. Your reaction to the medication will also be considered. The mental health exam also includes questions that will confirm or rule out any diagnosis you may possibly have but especially the depression, anxiety and possible ADHD.
Contrary to popular belief, most GP's are not trained to do more than a simple mental health exam. So seeing a psychiatrist is a great step to take to be sure of what you may have.
It is highly unlikely you are losing your mind. People who fear losing control rarely ever do. It is more likely that it is your medication making you feel that way, or your symptoms. Once you are diagnosed, the psychiatrist will address your medications and help you find appropriate treatment.
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