Do you have important but not urgent health appointments that you keep meaning to schedule?
These types of appointments are the ones that can get put on the back burner because there isn’t an external deadline, and you aren’t in pain.
You aren’t alone!
Booking doctor’s appointments (annual check-ups, dentist, optician) and scheduling tests, such as blood tests, etc.) can easily get pushed aside when you have ADHD.
It can feel like a mystery because not booking them weighs on your mind and doesn’t feel good.
Here are 9 reasons why it’s challenging to book your health appointments when you have ADHD.
1. Task Initiation:
Initiating tasks can be difficult when you have ADHD. Even though booking a medical appointment might seem like a ‘simple’ task (and it might be for a neurotypical brain) it isn’t for you!
The initial step of picking up the phone or going online to make the appointment can feel like a big, overwhelming task.
Emotions play a big part in task initiation, too. For example, taking that initial step can be difficult if you are feeling anxious or have rejection sensitivity.
2. Document organization.
Being organized might not come naturally to you. So, keeping track of the documents you need for medical appointments, such as insurance cards, referral forms, or medical history, can be tricky.
The thought of finding the documents you need before you book your appointment can feel like a big task in itself.
Some people with ADHD have sensory sensitivities. Touch, texture, smells, sight (including harsh lighting), and sound can all trigger sensory overload. This can make waiting rooms, medical environments etc, feel uncomfortable.
If you have sensory sensitivities, it makes sense why you’d delay or avoid booking a health-related appointment.
4. Phone Anxiety
Making phone calls to schedule appointments can be anxiety-inducing for many ADHDers. You might have found creative ways to avoid this in other aspects of your life, for example, texting friends and emailing co-workers. However, for some health-related appointments, the only way to book an appointment is to pick up the phone.
5 Rejection Sensitivity Dysphoria (RSD):
Lots of people with ADHD experience RSD. RSD is when you have an intense emotional response if you think another person is rejecting, criticizing, or disapproving of you.
RSD can deter you from making phone calls or taking part in situations where you think potential rejection or negative outcomes could happen.
For example, you might play out the worst-case scenarios, such as being told there is no availability for you or, being in trouble somehow or being judged for not booking the appointment sooner.
Forgetfulness is a common symptom of ADHD. You might have every intention of booking an appointment and then completely forget.
You might remember a few hours later, but it’s evening when no one will be there to take your call.
Or you might remember days or weeks later and perhaps feel bad that you forgot.
Managing your regular life responsibilities can be overwhelming for many people with ADHD. One reason is that it takes you much more energy than a non-ADHDer to do ‘life’.
So the thought of adding extra tasks, booking the appointment, and attending the appointment in addition to your everyday life feels overwhelming.
8 Executive functions
Booking a medical appointment requires planning and decision-making, remembering to make the call and finding an appropriate time for the appointment.
These steps can be challenging for you because ADHD can affect executive functions. Executive functions are cognitive processes that manage and regulate various higher-level mental activities.
Procrastination is a common ADHD trait. You might postpone making appointments (even though you know it is important) until it becomes urgent.
You have remembered that you need to book the appointment, but are intentionally delaying or postponing it and doing something else instead, either another task that feels easier or something fun.
Procrastination can cause a lot of guilt and shame for ADHDers, so if you are reading this and feeling shame, be kind to yourself. Remember that you have a condition that makes taking action hard sometimes.
Knowing the reasons WHY
Knowing the reasons behind WHY a task is hard for you is helpful because you understand that your challenges do not reflect your abilities or character.
After reading this article, you might feel ready to start scheduling those appointments!
If, however, you’d like some additional help, September’s theme of the month (inside the Untapped Brilliance Club) gives you everything you need to catch up on your health appointments.
We kick start with a Wellness Warrior Workshop.
- Create a checklist of your outstanding appointments.
- Lift any shame you might have that you have a backlog because that gets in the way of taking the practical action steps.
- Learn why ADHD can make it challenging to book and attend your appointments…understanding WHY also helps you take action.
- How to find the health professionals in your area if you don’t have a go-to person at the moment.
- How to attend the appointment (rather than canceling or be a no-show).
- How to avoid boredom in the waiting rooms.
- A simple system to follow so that you can remember and do the post-appointment actions, e.g. filling out a form or booking another appointment.
- And lots more.
Then for the rest of the month you’ll have accountability as you make and attend your appointments.
Ready to catch up on your health appointments? >>>>>> Click here to learn more and enroll!