Is your splitting headache actually a migraine? Probably not. “It is only really seen in about 12 percent of people,” says Amir H. Barzin, DO, UNC School of Medicine Assistant Professor, Family Medicine. “A migraine is usually associated with nausea and/or light or sound sensitivity and usually goes through stages.” Those stages include irritability, depression, or euphoria up to 48 hours before a migraine; seeing bright circles or hearing ringing in your ears; the throbbing headache itself; and subsequent exhaustion. Migraine or not, it’s a good idea to figure out what’s causing your headaches, especially if they’re recurring. Dr. Barzin suggests creating a headache log: “A patient can write down when they have their headaches, what they are doing, the foods they ate, any possible triggers (stress, loud noises, bright lights), how long the headache lasts, any treatments tried and the effectiveness of the treatments.”
Studies suggest that ADHD is overdiagnosed in children, and this can be a problem with adults as well. Characterized by inattention, hyperactivity, and impulsivity, true ADHD often impacts work and relationships, according to WebMD, and a diagnosis requires the presence of multiple symptoms. “Depression is more common in the general population,” says Dr. Wang, “and its signs—such as chronic forgetfulness, difficulty concentrating, lack of motivation, mood swings, low self-esteem, procrastination, substance abuse, and workplace issues—are also seen in adult ADHD.” He suggests seeing your doctor before jumping to any conclusions. Other possibilities for ADHD-like behavior can include anxiety, undetected seizures, thyroid problems, drug or alcohol use, and even sudden life changes. Don’t miss these health symptoms you should never ignore.
Chronic fatigue syndrome
If you’re tired all the time, it may feel like you have a chronic condition—but it’s probably not this one. Also known as myalgic encephalomyelitis, chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) affects between 836,000 and 2.5 million Americans, according to the CDC. Aside from experiencing exhaustion for at least six months, you would also likely have flu-like symptoms, brain fog, and unexplained muscle or joint pain—and you would feel worse after even mildly exerting yourself. So, what could your seemingly constant fatigue be attributed to? If it’s not your lifestyle—e.g. too little sleep, too much stress, or obesity—it could be a wide range of medical conditions, including a sleep disorder, a heart or lung problem, anemia, mononucleosis, lupus, or a mental-health issue.