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Do we have ADHD? | Dr. Gupta & Friends Podcast with Kate O'Connell

In this episode we go over Kate O'Connell's ADHD test to see her results and if we have ADHD.

Kate O'Connell (00:00):

Okay. So I'm Kate O'Connell. I'm a licensed clinical mental health counselor, a licensed CL clinical addiction specialist, and the clinical director at Gupta Psychiatry and Wellness.

Dr. Mona Gutpa (00:13):

And my name's Dr. Mona Gupta. I'm a psychiatrist and I founded Gupta Psychiatry and Wellness in Raleigh, North Carolina. We work together and we actually like each other too. So that's a plus.

Kate O'Connell (00:26):

So this is one of the perks of my job is that during downtime, a psychiatrist can assess my adhd.

Dr. Mona Gutpa (00:35):

So that's what we're gonna do. We're gonna test her. We're gonna actually, she's already taking a test. It's called, it's actually a psychological test that she takes on the computer and she sat on the computer for about 45 minutes. Mm-hmm. <affirmative> did this series of questions. It's not really questions, it's like games

Kate O'Connell (00:49):

Almost. Yeah. It was kinda fun.

Dr. Mona Gutpa (00:52):

It's kind of fun, but it's stressful. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>, like, I think it's stressful. Cause I, I I get bored in the middle of me. Right. But you finished it. I did. Um, it did indicate you did meet criteria for adhd. Um, in that there's different, there's below average and average. It sounds like you probably hit some of the below average. I don't have that test with me right now, but typically if you came into my office, we would have you do that test. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>, if you're having some kind of issues with your attention, you may not think you have adhd, but this helps to confirm the diagnosis. Anyone can gimme a bunch of Right. You know, symptoms, but this is confirming it. Right. Could

Kate O'Connell (01:25):

We actually pause? Can I get my test? Sorry, listener.

Dr. Mona Gutpa (01:37):

Like I'm gonna take too, and I'm gonna ask this <affirmative>.

Solomon (01:44):

I can hyper,

Dr. Mona Gutpa (01:46):

But that's adhd. Yeah. Or like watch. Okay. Just wait, wait. You're

Solomon (01:50):

At six, eight hours straight.

Dr. Mona Gutpa (01:53):

Oh, I know that's, You have adhd. Do not even think you have nothing else, but you just show it to me and I'll go through it.


Okay. So I'm gonna ask a bunch of questions, Okay? Mm-hmm. <affirmative>, she's trying to pull up her adhd, um, testing and I'm gonna go over it. Um, this is gonna be informative for not just you guys, but informative for Kate and myself. Um, I grew up in a house with a psychiatrist and, and you would think that my mother would've said I had ADHD because I clearly did. Like, if someone were to say, Hey Mona, we need a chair, could you go get one? I would go outside and I would get everything and talk to everyone except come back with a chair. And when I would come back, they would say, Hey, where's the chair? And I would say, Oh yeah, I forgot that. So, um, and then later, you know, I realized, and I was always kind of a, I was like an A student if I tried, but I was like a B student. Easy, but could have been a straight A student. Does that make sense? Mm-hmm. <affirmative>, like I just kind of did everything. Yeah. Just enough, you know? Or procrastinated. Yeah.

Kate O'Connell (03:06):

Like a C or B student.

Dr. Mona Gutpa (03:07):

Yeah. Like we could have been better students, but it was like, almost like, uh, you know, like mm-hmm. <affirmative>, like I wait until last minute, procrastinate, procrastinate, procrastinate, you know? Right. And not be organized.

Kate O'Connell (03:19):

And then I'd get into avoidance.

Dr. Mona Gutpa (03:21):

Right. Cuz you're like, why would I do that? That just seems

Kate O'Connell (03:23):

So stressful. You're also scared.

Dr. Mona Gutpa (03:25):

Yeah. Cause you're like so late now. Yeah. You know, like, Right. Whatever. So did you get the testing?

Kate O'Connell (03:31):

No. Cause

Dr. Mona Gutpa (03:32):

Okay. I, Well we're just gonna move on and, um, I'm gonna, I, I'm a le a little focused today, but both of us, Are you medicated? Cuz I'm not medicated.

Kate O'Connell (03:42):

I'm unmedicated today.

Dr. Mona Gutpa (03:43):

Okay. So that's the other thing with ADHD is we forget to take our medicines <laugh>. But anyways, um, what I really like about having ADHD is I really do believe it helps us be more visionaries. So like, if you are artistic, um, you'll find that are people who are artists, people who are musicians, CEOs, um, they tend to be, have ADHD qualities and it's because they're able to think three dimensionally. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>. So that's like, I do feel like I see

Kate O'Connell (04:16):

That's what I like about you is that you're positive about it.

Dr. Mona Gutpa (04:19):

I think it's a superpower and if anyone thinks it's not a superpower, they're wrong. They're wrong. Cuz it is a superpower. Some of the brightest people have adhd. Having ADHD doesn't make you dumb grades do not define us. You know, and I try to remember that when I'm looking at my kids' grades. <laugh>, <laugh> because ADHD is also 75% hair, um, inherited. Right. So it's 75% chance, that's a huge chance. So if you have a parent with adhd, you are a high chance of having a child. Maybe. I found it. So she found her testing and um, I

Kate O'Connell (04:52):

Got a four out of

Dr. Mona Gutpa (04:53):

The Oh, on the as srs. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>, She got a four. Um, but the spatial planning looks like you're, or

Kate O'Connell (04:59):

Maybe a five. I got a five outta six.

Dr. Mona Gutpa (05:01):

She struggles with rotations, struggles with double trouble. I mean everything was kind of low, average or borderline. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>, uh, or just, you know, um, low. So I mean, a lot of your cognitive assessment actually goes to show that you do probably have ADHD and we'll probably have to like, have this pulled up to be able to explain it to people. But it's really interesting cuz it goes through each of like different things. Spatial planning, um, you know, verbal reasoning, uh, digit spans, feature match. And we can kind of show people this if they have questions. Mm-hmm. <affirmative> getting put an example on our website. But it's interesting. So basically this is kind of giving me the ability to say, your story matches up with your testing. Right. Cause otherwise people could gimme any story. Right? Right. So this kind of gives me the added backing that you're not just trying to get Adderall.


Right. Does that make sense? Um, cause people like to abuse it. So we're gonna talk about, so I went to this lecture the other day and it was with this amazing doctor who's well known in the ADHD world. He's been, you know, at Harvard and, uh, he's been all these big universities and he did research and he's, you know, talked about ADHD with, um, the government and whatnot and got a lot of accolades over the years. Um, so anyways, he talked about 20 things to remember about a person with adhd. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>. So what I'm gonna do is I'm gonna ask you questions. Actually, I'm not gonna ask you questions, I'm just gonna tell you this and you can say yes or no. Okay. Okay. They have an active mind. ADHD brain doesn't stop. No. On and off switch. There are no breaks that bring it to a halt. It's a burden. And one must learn to manage. Do you feel your mind is constantly active?

Kate O'Connell (06:48):

Yes. It's hard to shut off unless I'm exhausted.

Dr. Mona Gutpa (06:51):

I would say that yes. For me too. They listen but don't absorb what is being said.

Kate O'Connell (06:58):


Dr. Mona Gutpa (06:59):

That's like a 100% for me. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>, like, people will talk straight to me and I may be somewhere else. Right. And I remember in high school being called an airhead. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>, because that's, I would just blank out while someone was

Kate O'Connell (07:13):

Talking to me. Yeah. I was called a blonde.

Dr. Mona Gutpa (07:15):

Okay, there we go. You know? So both of us were called such nice things. Yes. And blond is fine. Like, that's okay. You know. Um, airhead not so much, but I think blond kind,

Kate O'Connell (07:24):

Delicious candy

Dr. Mona Gutpa (07:25):

The best. Yeah. <laugh>. Exactly. It's such good candy. Okay. Number three. They have difficulty staying on task. Yes. That's instead of keeping focus on what's in front of them. People with add stare at the colors and the paint on the wall. They walk, they're like walking through e labyrinth. They start moving in one direction, but keep changing directions to find the way out. They just cannot. Yeah. I can give up. I, I would panic in elaborate. I can't <laugh>. Oh gosh. Yeah. Like I would panic. Okay. Number four, they become anxious easily. Ding, ding, ding, ding. Yeah. I'm the most anxious person you ever meet.

Kate O'Connell (07:59):

That's for me.

Dr. Mona Gutpa (08:00):

Yeah. Yeah. So we're both anxious. Um,

Kate O'Connell (08:04):

I feel like I've been doing better with my anxiety

Dr. Mona Gutpa (08:07):

While those YouTube videos have helped, right? Yes. You've calmed down a lot. I don't know what you're doing, but it's amazing. Yeah. Your anxiety's so much better. My anxiety is through the freaking roof.

Kate O'Connell (08:18):

So it's reaffirming or affirming or affirming to know that you're noticing it

Dr. Mona Gutpa (08:23):

Too. No, you're so much calmer. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>, even in this conversation. You're the calm one. I'm the anxious one. I'm like, Oh, what do we do next? What do we do next? Like, I am the most anxious person and I know my life is kind of tumultuous right now, but I am, I worry about everything. I worry about worrying. I worry that I'm gonna be anxious.

Kate O'Connell (08:42):

Right. You know what mean that worrying is bad for my health and now I'm stuck in a worry.

Dr. Mona Gutpa (08:46):

Yeah. Spiral. And I'm so sick of worrying that I, I'm just, I don't wanna worry. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>, I wanna run away, but there's nowhere to run away, you know? Yeah. Okay. That's okay. Everyone knows my business. Okay. Number five. They can't concentrate when they're emotional.

Kate O'Connell (09:01):


Dr. Mona Gutpa (09:01):

Ding, ding, ding. What that means is if something worrisome is going on, if they're upset, a person cannot think of anything else. They're just like stuck in that, you know? So it makes concentration at work, conversations, social situations. Impossible. I would agree. Like if I feel really stressed about something, I can't mm-hmm. <affirmative>, I have to get past that first, right? Mm-hmm. <affirmative>. Okay. Number six. They concentrate too intensely. Um, well, Solomon, who helps us make these podcasts, he just talked about being hyper focused for six and seven hours. Um, that would be an example, right? So I think you do that too. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>, when you're really into something, you can concentrate, right?

Kate O'Connell (09:37):

Yeah. I think probably cuz I'm more negative and I see you're more positive. I'm more negative. So I think that's actually a really great feature. Hyper focus. I feel like I catch that hyper hyperfocus wave. Not a

Dr. Mona Gutpa (09:56):

Lot. It makes us feel good cuz we feel like we're accomplishing something. Right? Like, for me, I'm like, Oh my God, I accomplished so much today. But if anyone came and interrupted me, I wanted to rip their head off. Mm. You know, like, my kids will come to me and I'm in the middle of a text and I can hyperfocus on a text like nobody's business. And I'm like, What? You know, and I feel horrible, but that's the real thing. So I can hyper focus on things like work is my problem. Mm-hmm. <affirmative> number seven. They have difficulty stopping a task when they're in the zone.

Kate O'Connell (10:24):

Yes. Yes. Well, I don't know when the zone's going to come back.

Dr. Mona Gutpa (10:28):

Right. So I'm like scared that you're gonna lose the zone, right?

Kate O'Connell (10:31):


Dr. Mona Gutpa (10:31):

<affirmative>. Okay. They're unable to regulate their emotions for a d d. Their emotions are flying, walled wild out of proportion cannot be contained. Um, they need extra time to get their systems up and running properly. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>? Uh, I think I have that. I have I, well, other people would say that I get really upset mm-hmm. <affirmative> if things don't go a certain way. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>, do you?

Kate O'Connell (10:55):

Um, I get mixed reviews online.

Dr. Mona Gutpa (10:59):

You're pretty calm though. But I think you get anxious in

Kate O'Connell (11:01):

Those situations. Yeah. I don't,

Dr. Mona Gutpa (11:03):

You don't try not fly off a handle. Yeah. They have verbal outbursts. <laugh>, I get verbally. Outburst.

Kate O'Connell (11:11):


Dr. Mona Gutpa (11:12):

I do. I'm sorry. I'm sorry Kate. But I just get so stressed and I then I get crazy. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>. I know. Ok. Um, do you have that?

Kate O'Connell (11:20):

I dunno if

Dr. Mona Gutpa (11:21):

I really No, I'm gonna check. No, but so far I've forgotten. Yes. Nine. You've you and you've got eight. Yes. Eight yeses. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>. Ok. They have social anxiety. Yes, I do. I do. You, Isn't that funny that we have social id? Anxiety?

Kate O'Connell (11:34):

Yeah. Like

Dr. Mona Gutpa (11:35):

Everyone thinks I'm like, miss blah blah, blah. I talk to everyone. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>. But

Kate O'Connell (11:38):


Dr. Mona Gutpa (11:39):

I hate going anywhere. Yeah. Do you know that about me

Kate O'Connell (11:43):

Sometimes? Yeah. I, you know that about

Dr. Mona Gutpa (11:45):

Me. You can tell that I like, avoid it like nobody's business. And then I go and I, I'll be the, then I'm the center of

Kate O'Connell (11:51):

The party. I know.

Dr. Mona Gutpa (11:52):

Isn't that that weird?

Kate O'Connell (11:53):

There's so much

Dr. Mona Gutpa (11:54):

Fun. No, I'm fun once I go there. But going there is like deaf.

Kate O'Connell (11:58):

But if you went all the time, maybe you wouldn't be as fun as you are.

Dr. Mona Gutpa (12:03):

Oh. Is that what it is? I don't know. I just, I love doing things when I'm doing what I've done when I'm in it. But going to it is, it is really hard.

Kate O'Connell (12:13):


Dr. Mona Gutpa (12:14):

I dunno. So social anxiety, you both have that check. They're deeply intuitive.

Kate O'Connell (12:20):

I feel like that's true for both of us,

Dr. Mona Gutpa (12:23):

Actually. Yeah. Inspirational trait is what makes creative geniuses, inventors. Artists, musicians, writers thrive in the zone. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>. And I would say that Solomon who's behind the camera is also Absolutely. He is. He is great at whatever he does. Right. You know? Yeah. Um, they think out of the box. Yes. We all think out of the box. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>, I'm gonna check it. Yes. For all of us. They're impatient and fidgety. Mm-hmm.

Kate O'Connell (12:51):

<affirmative>. Yes.

Dr. Mona Gutpa (12:53):

The come sitting. You're sitting. Okay. Um, they are, Oh, do you troll your

Kate O'Connell (12:58):

Hair? Cause I do.

Dr. Mona Gutpa (12:59):

Yeah. I It says that too. Trolling your hair, bouncing your leg up and down. Yes. Need constant motion. It's like zen for them when they're moving. Like, you know, we need to do this to like self, so.

Kate O'Connell (13:09):

Right, right. It's the bilaterals. Yeah. Like talk about an emdr that's, Oh,

Dr. Mona Gutpa (13:14):

Tell me

Kate O'Connell (13:14):

About that. Selfing is the, with the, the back and forth motion. Like, you know how with emdr it's like this. Yeah. The listener can't hear, see this, But it's just moving your finger back and forth or listening to like a sound. Go back and forth. Even time, even tempo can be self soothing.

Dr. Mona Gutpa (13:35):

What is, what is EMDR for

Kate O'Connell (13:37):

Listeners eye movement.

Dr. Mona Gutpa (13:39):

Rapid. Rapid desensitization. And it's used for,

Kate O'Connell (13:43):

For trauma

Dr. Mona Gutpa (13:44):

Specifically. And it really helps, right? Yeah. It takes that physical away from the emotional.

Kate O'Connell (13:48):

It does.

Dr. Mona Gutpa (13:49):

It's pretty amazing. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>, you know, cuz people who have had traumatic situations, they don't typically wanna reopen that wound over and over again cuz they feel it, right? Mm-hmm. <affirmative>. But this is a way to kind of take the feeling away from the talking Right about

Kate O'Connell (14:04):

It. Yeah. I mean it's interesting cuz you don't have to go through every single detail of the trauma, but let's talk about that later.

Dr. Mona Gutpa (14:12):

Another one. Okay. Okay. Sorry. That was mm-hmm. <affirmative>. You're

Kate O'Connell (14:16):

Seeing it in live action. Mm-hmm.

Dr. Mona Gutpa (14:17):

<affirmative>. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>. They're physically sensitive. Pencils feel heavy in their hands. Fiber on their,

Kate O'Connell (14:22):

Gosh, that's you. This is the reason why I can't do individual therapy. Okay. More. Why? Why? Because I don't know when it's gonna happen, but I'll have some type

Dr. Mona Gutpa (14:32):

Remember you in your pajamas. Yes. God. First

Kate O'Connell (14:36):

Of all, like with the physical, like at in therapy I'm okay. And like in assessments it's fine. And like if I can get into, like if we're doing something specific in the therapy session, it's okay. But when I'm just listening, sometimes something physical will start to bother me. Either it's like a tag in the back of my shirt and then I'm trying not to like pick at it.

Dr. Mona Gutpa (14:57):

Then you over concentrate

Kate O'Connell (14:59):

On that. Yeah. And then it starts to feel really uncomfortable. And I almost have like a mini panic attack, like all over my body. It's this like sensory, sensory, sensory, like sensory yuckiness is the only that I could describe

Dr. Mona Gutpa (15:12):

It. And you just, you almost need to

Kate O'Connell (15:14):

Get out. And the pajama thing, when we went to Asheville, so I didn't realize this was a perk, but I can't wear a pajama twice. And I,

Dr. Mona Gutpa (15:24):

And everyone wears their pajamas

Kate O'Connell (15:26):

Twice. Yeah. I, Cause

Dr. Mona Gutpa (15:27):

No one wants to do laundry like that.

Kate O'Connell (15:28):

Right. If I slept in it for more than two

Dr. Mona Gutpa (15:32):

Hours. But you can wear the same jeans.

Kate O'Connell (15:34):


Dr. Mona Gutpa (15:35):

That doesn't make any sense. Okay. Well there you go. Um, number 15, they are disorganized.

Kate O'Connell (15:43):


Dr. Mona Gutpa (15:44):

Yes. For me. Yes. Um, they have piles. Piles are their favorite method of organizing. Oh my gosh. I have so many piles.

Kate O'Connell (15:52):

I hate, I hate

Dr. Mona Gutpa (15:53):

The piles. I hate piles. I wanna un pile and somehow I pile again. Oh my Do you do that? Yes. Like I un pile to pile. Mm-hmm. <affirmative> like I, I have piles and then ipi them into another pile. But now I have two piles.

Kate O'Connell (16:09):

Pile on piles.

Dr. Mona Gutpa (16:11):

Yes. Okay. Okay. Number 16. They need space to pace when talking on the phone or having a conversation. People with a d d think better when they're in motion. Movement is calming and brings clarity. Yeah, Absolutely.

Kate O'Connell (16:22):

Makes sense.

Dr. Mona Gutpa (16:23):

Yeah. So that's a check. They avoid tasks. Mm-hmm. <affirmative> making decisions or completing tasks on time is a struggle. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>. Yes.

Kate O'Connell (16:33):


Dr. Mona Gutpa (16:34):

Yeah. And they overthink. Hmm. The excess and dwell in the depths of their own mind. <laugh>.

Kate O'Connell (16:40):

I never do that. Ever.