JC is a 26 year old single male who began meeting with me in spring of 2016 due to increased anxiety and difficulty concentrating. While he had a long history of these symptoms, he had seen a significant increase more recently in his current job. Later on in our work, he admitted that upon beginning or work together he was hoping for a diagnosis of ADHD and a referral for medication so that he would have “a quick fix” to his problems.
Through taking a detailed history, it appeared that JC was often distracted by racing thoughts, easily bored and not engaging in activities that he enjoyed. He has a high IQ and often felt that he wasn’t stimulated enough to keep his interest.
He had a long history dating back to adolescence of trying to people please and would engage in activities or jobs that he felt other people wanted him to do. He jumped from one major to another in college and had recently applied for and gotten accepted into medical school despite his current interest in IT. After acceptance, JC decided that he didn’t want to be a doctor. He presented as highly anxious, jittery and often ungrounded in session. His mind appeared to race and it was hard for him to stay present in conversations as his mind would wander easily.
While his symptoms were in line with a diagnosis of ADHD, it appeared to me that he was highly sensitive to his environment and others energy. He would talk about being intuitive and could easily sense the emotions of others. He would become overly empathic and try to please or care take for others emotional well-being. This would contribute to his not knowing what he wanted or how he felt as he would get tangled up in what was going on around him.
We began by looking at his intake of caffeine. While his intake of coffee didn’t appear to be excessive, giving his high level of anxiety, it appeared that it may be contributing to symptoms. Client immediately decreased caffeine and at times went without coffee. He came to sessions stating that he noticed an immediate affect; feeling a lot less anxious after cutting down coffee. He decided to switch coffee for herbal tea more often which appeared to help him stay calmer..
We began using meditation and sessions and went over different techniques for grounding. He began practicing mindfulness meditation through the app Headspace. He found that this also began to have a more immediate effect, similar to the affect that he had been seeking when he first came to me for guidance.
Our discussions began to focus on what activities he did enjoy and what career path he might like to take. He decided that consulting felt like the next step for him along his career path and applied for a job in his home state. While the job and interview process was highly pressurized, JC was able to use his grounding techniques, meditation and decrease caffeine intake to successfully move through the process. He was later hired into this position and moved back to his home state to be closer to family.
JC shared that while he initially wanted a “quick fix” to his problems with attention and concentration, he found that the action steps he took during our work were able to help address some core issues rather than focusing solely on the symptom of the problem.
Contact Stephanie for more information on how to schedule a session for therapy.