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Why It Might Not be ADHD

comparison exhaustion negative emotions negative thoughts Dec 11, 2021
A stressed woman stares at her laptop holding her forehead by Pexels of Pixabay
Nearly every Woman Physician I have worked with in the past 3 months has told me that they think they have ADHD.
New onset ADHD at age 45 as a Physician working through a global pandemic which has led to staffing shortages, shut downs, etc, while also possibly being responsible for little people or other loved ones at home, and social unrest. Really?
Don’t get me wrong, I know ADHD exists. And I know that is exists in adults, including adults with symptoms for many years not diagnosed until later in life. 
When I hear woman after woman tell me that she now has ADHD, even though she didn’t struggle more than most with years and years of higher education and professional training, I’m curious.
What’s in a label?
The benefits of a label, particularly ADHD, is possibly a sense of relief. It’s possible that the idea that you have this diagnosis working against you, which you could choose to treat with medication, or simply choose to treat with the label/limitation/disability of how it works against you is tempting. When we label, we can sometimes relax. Or choose to worry or choose to stay stuck. We can say, “I can’t get anything done because….”
But what is the downside? The downside is we might stop looking at our thinking and our circumstances and feeling like we have any control. We might give up. We might put ourselves in a box and remove possibilities for our life because “I can’t, I have ADHD.”
What is another possibility here?
Full disclosure, I have absolutely slapped a label on myself or others and felt like “that’s it, nothing more I can do here, it’s xyz thing, which means xyz outcome.” But then I wasn’t curious. I didn’t look deeper. I got comfortable with the limitation.
The harder work, the ultimately more freeing work, is to ask, what is another possibility here? It is possible that I am overwhelmed, exhausted, and anxious, and therefore can’t focus? Is it possible that I have taken on (or had things put on me) that are beyond my current bandwidth?
Could it be that doctoring during a pandemic and dealing with constant loss and coping with shortages and trying to bolster others is just a little much right now?
Before you label yourself, consider the alternatives. What would you say to your best friend experiencing what you are experiencing right now? Would you rush her off to her doctor for stimulants? Or would you give her a hug, and tell her that she’s doing an amazing job? That it’s no wonder it’s tough to focus right now.
Can you choose to look at yourself with the same kindness and compassion that you would give to a friend, and really listen? It might be ADHD, but it might just also be brain overload leaving you with an empty bucket. Overloaded circuits.
If this sounds like you, I invite you to get curious, possibly with some help:
When did this start?
Was it always this way?
What happens when I let my brain think that is true, this is ADHD?
You might surprise yourself if you give it a real look.

Hi There!

I'm Megan. I'm a Physician and a Life Coach and a Mom. I created this blog to help other Physicians and Physician-Moms learn more about why they feel exhausted, burned-out and overwhelmed, and how to start to make changes. I hope that you enjoy what you read, and that it helps you along your journey. And hey, if you want to talk about coaching with me, I'm here for that too! I offer a free 1:1 call to see if we are a good fit. Click the button below to register today.

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