Help with getting a diagnosis
I’m 24 and in law school, and I need help. The majority of the daily assignments are approximately 40 pages of reading per class (and then discussing the readings in socratic lectures), often adding up to 80+ pages plus other assignments and studying. I have a HORRIBLE time trying to focus on the readings. I’ll begin reading, but my mind wanders somewhere else, even if I’ve eliminated all distractions. I’m frustrated with myself constantly because I catch myself not focusing and have to redirect myself, but even then I might read a sentence over and over and not comprehend a word. When I can manage to focus, I can understand the reading assignments easily, but it can take me hours to get through even ten pages because I just can’t consistently focus. I’m frustrated, my brain is getting fried, I’m struggling to meet deadlines, I hardly have time to actually study because I’m spending so much time just trying to do the basic reading assignments… I’m really worried.
I went to my campus psychology center to get tested for ADHD. They found my IQ is high, so I’m capable of understanding the materials, although I displayed a processing speed much lower than my other IQ category scores. On the ADHD tests, I scored average, low, or borderline, but the scores apparently weren’t low enough to be considered for an ADHD diagnosis. Furthermore, I don’t remember my childhood well, but I’ve been told I was a very well behaved child with no obvious behavior issues. The center interviewed my mother to see if she knew more, but she reported I was literally a perfect child (which is likely influenced by an unhealthy attachment to her children and a variety of her own mental illnesses and disabilities). I was told I do not have ADHD, but am just studying ineffectively, and was given campus resources to learn better study skills.
After weeks of vigorous (obsessive) research, I feel pretty convinced that I have primarily inattentive ADHD. Looking back, I can see what look to me to be signs all along: never paying attention in class; constant fidgeting habits all my life; dislike of reading because it’s difficult to focus on; erratic train of thought; difficulty paying attention when someone speaks to me; and when I reached a level of academics in late high school and undergraduate college that I could no longer pass without paying attention, I struggled immensely to learn better study skills and get through assignments, taking hours to do an assignment that would take others much less time to do. I have a lot of good coping skills, which I believe helped me remain successful in life and academics up to this point (using a planner religiously, finding ways to switch tasks a lot so I’m not bored, giving myself study breaks, etc.), but now that my academic career hinges on being able to do long, often boring reading assignments, I’m struggling a lot…
I know this is long and very personal, and I’m sorry for that. I hope it’s not repetitive of someone else’s ask; I looked through the tags and didn’t see anything similar. I see a therapist for anxiety and depression already, but she has been out of town for weeks, and I intend to talk to her about it when she returns, but right now I’m so consumed with anxiety and frustration over this issue that it’s even harder for me to focus on the work I need to be getting done. I would really like some guidance, if anyone is willing to help. Am I just self-diagnosing incorrectly? If my experience sounds like it could actually be ADHD, what can I do? I don’t have a lot of money to spend to go to lots of different providers looking for help, but I’m desperate. Are there any tips for managing the kind of issue I’m struggling with?
Any help at all would be greatly appreciated!! Thank you!
I am wondering if audio recordings of the readings would help you with that part.
Followers, do you have any other ideas?