View Full Version : New therapist doesn't believe in adhd?


Dimes
04-15-11, 12:13 PM
I was diagnosed by a psychiatrist mid january (I'm 18 if that's relevant, probably isn't, though) and referred to a therapist for help with addiction problems.

My therapist says adhd is 'overdiagnosed' and she thinks there's almost always a different underlying issue. Furthermore, she said she doesn't see many of the signs in me. However, she said it is important to keep taking medication for it, because my risk assessment skills are horrendous. I am getting mixed signals.

Does this mean I don't have adhd? My own faith in the diagnosis is shaky at best. Also, is it wise to continue seeing her? I find it odd that she doesn't think adhd is a 'real' condition. Other than that she's been very helpful though.

Thanks!

selita
06-27-11, 11:41 AM
That's definitely mixed up... If anything, ADHD is underdiagnosed. Yes, sometimes something else is the problem, but that's usually only the case with children... not with adults with a long history. If you had the signs of ADHD when you were a kid, and still do now, you almost certainly have it.

When I started reading stories about other people with ADHD, they sounded like me. Not all of them, but many of them. That's the surest way to know. It's possible that you were diagnosed with ADHD because of addiction-related issues. There are many things that look like ADHD but aren't. Do YOU find that your medication helps you?

Unless you have obvious hyperactivity, most adult ADHD is invisible to outside observers. The obvious signs -- chronic lateness, procrastination, that sort of thing -- are put down to bad habits or intentional troublemaking. That's a well-known phenomenon where we excuse the bad things WE do (I was only speeding because I was late, and it was an emergency) but blame others for the bad things THEY do (that guy is a terrible driver! slow down, jerk!).

Now, that said, not everything bad that happens in your life is down to ADHD. It can make problems worse, or harder to deal with, but many people with ADHD are able to cope with it. They learn how to keep themselves interested in things, how to study, how to get jobs that work for them. People with ADHD tend to be very versatile and flexible, and enjoy excitement. They also tend to focus on one thing at a time, and find it hard to shift gears before finishing a project. That's a good thing in a lot of situations.

There's a theory that ADHD isn't really a disease, it's just a different way of thinking. (This is sometimes called the Hunter vs. Farmer theory. The idea being that "normal" people would be good farmers and ADHD people would be good hunters. Unfortunately, modern life suits "farmer" types better.) Under this theory, ADHD shouldn't require medication -- it should require lifestyle changes so people with ADHD would be educated and working ways that suited their skills. Unfortunately, that's pretty tough to do.

Whether she believes you have ADHD or not is kind of irrelevant. Not many therapists have a lot of in-depth understanding of Adult ADHD. I did a BA in Psychology and ADHD was mentioned exactly once, in Developmental Psychology class, in regards to elementary school kids. I had to research it myself.

But, in the long term, the point of therapy is to teach you how to cope with your issues, whatever the root of them is.

anonymouslyadd
06-27-11, 11:53 AM
I was diagnosed by a psychiatrist mid january (I'm 18 if that's relevant, probably isn't, though) and referred to a therapist for help with addiction problems.

My therapist says adhd is 'overdiagnosed' and she thinks there's almost always a different underlying issue. Furthermore, she said she doesn't see many of the signs in me. However, she said it is important to keep taking medication for it, because my risk assessment skills are horrendous. I am getting mixed signals.

Does this mean I don't have adhd? My own faith in the diagnosis is shaky at best. Also, is it wise to continue seeing her? I find it odd that she doesn't think adhd is a 'real' condition. Other than that she's been very helpful though.

Thanks!

I does not mean you dont have ADHD. I wish I had seen this thread sooner. If you can, I would find a different therapist. The fact that she doesn't "see" signs is negligent to the fact that she needs to be using some sort of diagnostic inventory (ie Copeland).

For someone in this day of age to say that ADHD is not a real condition is like saying Diabetes isn't real or even cancer.

Interestingly, I would hypothesize some people who are experiencing drug addiction are self-medicating on account of ADD. I think that's what Gabor Mate has said too.

Kaimei
06-27-11, 12:12 PM
I wish I'd seen this post earlier, too.

My advice would be to seek out a therapist who DOES believe in ADHD. At the very least, that person will be educated about it - which means you're much more likely to get an accurate diagnosis, whether it's of ADHD, or something else. A therapist who automatically rules something out because they 'don't believe in it' is biased, and runs the risk of misdiagnosing you because they refuse to acknowledge a disorder.

ginniebean
06-27-11, 12:41 PM
What this means is the therapist is ignorant and needs to be told so in no uncertain terms. This ****es me off and it puts a rock in my tummy.

What frightens me about this is what would this therapist put someone (with a bona-fide) neurological condition.. which means you can't get rid of it by looking at 'underlying emotional issues" the brain architecture is different, no amount of 'therapy' is going to change how the house is built, HOW MUCH DAMAGE do her expectations of what a client SHOULD be accomplishing with her therapeutic woo when her premise is wrong.

I could just smack her/him on the head. It would be damned nice if they'd do the research and quit pontificating within their own paradigm.

trishcan
06-27-11, 07:04 PM
What are your therapist's credentials? If she doesn't have a medical background, she really should abstain from speculating about whether you do or don't have ADHD. I assume you still see your psychiatrist, as you indicate that you're taking medication.

I would ask your psychiatrist for a new referral to someone who has experience working with people who have ADHD (or at least doesn't conclude that no one has ADHD because it's "overdiagnosed"). You should also let your psychiatrist know about the comments your therapist has made, because I'm sure he/she would like to know that this therapist is probably not the best referral for future patients in your situation.

salleh
06-27-11, 08:47 PM
I'm with ginniebean here,......for a therapist or whatever she is, to come out and say she "doesn't believe in ADHD " is just too d*****d bad, it exists, and there are thousands of medically trained psychiatrists who say so ....


heer opinion is worth squat.......really really quickly, find yourself another person......whether or not you have or do not have it is beside the point, this person is denying a medical fact ......and is worthless ....should be removed from the profession....drummed out, and epalets torn off, and should be made to take the walk of shame



overdiagnosed, doesn't exist ....bah humbug ! ........grumble grumble grumble.......people who should know better .,.....SHOULD KNOW BETTER !!!!!

anonymouslyadd
06-27-11, 10:27 PM
What are your therapist's credentials? If she doesn't have a medical background, she really should abstain from speculating about whether you do or don't have ADHD.


Therapists don't have medical backgrounds. A therapist is one of the ways someone can get diagnosed. That's how I was diagnosed. It's certainly not textbook, but it can happen.

trishcan
06-27-11, 10:39 PM
Therapists don't have medical backgrounds. A therapist is one of the ways someone can get diagnosed. That's how I was diagnosed. It's certainly not textbook, but it can happen.

Where do you live? In Nebraska, that's not the case. Therapists can't diagnose unless they have some sort of medical degree. I know that there are certain states (very few) in which that's possible, but I was operating under the assumption that OP didn't live in a state in which that was the case, since the OP was seeing both a psychiatrist and a therapist.

And I'm not bashing all therapists, just those who maintain and share opinions about diagnoses that run contrary to their role in helping their client.

mctavish23
06-27-11, 10:42 PM
It's actually under diagnosed.

Either way, the therapist in question doesn't know dick about ADHD.

Professionally speaking of course. :cool:


tc

mctavish23 (has a License to kick asss)

(Robert)

anonymouslyadd
06-27-11, 10:53 PM
Where do you live? In Nebraska, that's not the case. Therapists can't diagnose unless they have some sort of medical degree. I know that there are certain states (very few) in which that's possible, but I was operating under the assumption that OP didn't live in a state in which that was the case, since the OP was seeing both a psychiatrist and a therapist.

And I'm not bashing all therapists, just those who maintain and share opinions about diagnoses that run contrary to their role in helping their client.

I live on the eastern seaboard. That's really interesting though. I hear ya. I just wanted to point that out. I didn't think you were therapist bashing.:)

anonymouslyadd
06-27-11, 10:55 PM
It's actually under diagnosed.

Either way, the therapist in question doesn't know dick about ADHD.

Professionally speaking of course. :cool:


tc

mctavish23 (has a License to kick asss)

(Robert)

McTavish, do we have any figures on it being underdiagnosed? I want to have something to refute people who claim it is overdiagnosed.

mctavish23
06-28-11, 08:59 PM
The National Comorbidity Replication Study (updated as of 7/19/07),listed the

TOTAL Percentage of Lifetime Prevalence of DSM-IV TR diagnoses for ADHD (N=9282)

at 8.1%

That compares favorably with what you'd find elsewhere; such as looking at sites

like CHADD,CDC,NIH or NIMH,etc.

Hope that helps.

tc

mctavish23

(Robert)

Drewbacca
04-17-12, 12:18 AM
My therapist says adhd is 'overdiagnosed' and she thinks there's almost always a different underlying issue. Furthermore, she said she doesn't see many of the signs in me.

I find it odd that she doesn't think adhd is a 'real' condition.


Um, sorry to reawaken a year old thread, but...

Did she say that adhd isn't real, as you imply at the bottom or did she say that there is usually a different underlying issue, as you say above? Those are two completely different statements after all. Everyone seemed to jump at what you said at the end, that adhd isn't real but ignore the other part.
Personally, I think that it is both underdiagnosed and overdiagnosed simultaneously. There are clearly people that would benefit from ADHD treatment but at the same time, there are a lot of people in which the symptom is being treated as opposed to the cause. Considering that many different illness have similar symptoms as ADHD, it isn't an outrageous suggestion that many cases are misdiagnosed.
If she didn't think that you appeared to have ADHD, I don't see any reason to criticize that evaluation... unless she actually said that ADHD wasn't real, but that's not the impression that I'm getting.
Not to mention, I'd be hesitant to treat someone recovering from addiction with an addictive substance (amphetamines)... so none of this seems unusual to me.

Tylerlee17
04-17-12, 01:15 AM
I was diagnosed by a psychiatrist mid january (I'm 18 if that's relevant, probably isn't, though) and referred to a therapist for help with addiction problems.

My therapist says adhd is 'overdiagnosed' and she thinks there's almost always a different underlying issue. Furthermore, she said she doesn't see many of the signs in me. However, she said it is important to keep taking medication for it, because my risk assessment skills are horrendous. I am getting mixed signals.

Does this mean I don't have adhd? My own faith in the diagnosis is shaky at best. Also, is it wise to continue seeing her? I find it odd that she doesn't think adhd is a 'real' condition. Other than that she's been very helpful though.

Thanks!


First of all, a therapist who doesn't believe or considers a disorder defined in the DSM-IV as over diagnosed is no therapist, they are presenting bias and therefore are putting their beliefs before scientific data. So the easiest way to put this is... find another doctor.

CheekyMonkey
04-17-12, 01:37 AM
The National Comorbidity Replication Study (updated as of 7/19/07),listed the

TOTAL Percentage of Lifetime Prevalence of DSM-IV TR diagnoses for ADHD (N=9282)

at 8.1%

That compares favorably with what you'd find elsewhere; such as looking at sites

like CHADD,CDC,NIH or NIMH,etc.

Hope that helps.

tc

mctavish23

(Robert)

I know this thread is old, but thanks! This information made me more confident in my ADHD. Sometimes I still feel guilty about my deficits and think it is a ME problem.

Dizfriz
04-17-12, 09:24 AM
Where do you live? In Nebraska, that's not the case. Therapists can't diagnose unless they have some sort of medical degree. I know that there are certain states (very few) in which that's possible, but I was operating under the assumption that OP didn't live in a state in which that was the case, since the OP was seeing both a psychiatrist and a therapist.

And I'm not bashing all therapists, just those who maintain and share opinions about diagnoses that run contrary to their role in helping their client.

Trish,

Each state normally sets in its licensing rules who can diagnose what.

Most states that I am familiar with allows psychologists, clinical social workers and clinically trained therapists to make these kinds of diagnosis.

One of the issues is the shortage of board certified psychiatrists especially for children.

To prescribe medication normally does require medical training and only such as a physician, physician's assistant or nurse practitioner can be licensed to do this. (There are a few exceptions). Most medical practitioners do not do therapy thus many have a medical person to prescribe and a non medical clinician to do therapy.

Just wanted to clarify a little.

Dizfriz

Dizfriz
04-17-12, 09:29 AM
Trish,

Each state normally sets in its licensing rules who can diagnose what.

Most states that I am familiar with allows psychologists, clinical social workers and clinically trained therapists to make these kinds of diagnosis.

One of the issues is the shortage of board certified psychiatrists especially for children.

To prescribe medication normally does require medical training and only such as a physician, physician's assistant or nurse practitioner can be licensed to do this. (There are a few exceptions). Most medical practitioners do not do therapy thus many have a medical person to prescribe and a non medical clinician to do therapy.

Just wanted to clarify a little.

Dizfriz

Trish, didn't catch the date. My post is valid but should not been made in this context.

Dizfriz

homestead4u
04-17-12, 09:39 AM
I agree with everyone above you should find a MD with a background in ADHD and take it from there.. Best of luck :-)

bradd
07-17-12, 04:56 AM
Therapists traditionally don't know how to treat ADHD. Their interest lies in the healing of emotional problems. Their training is in the healing emotional problems. With this in mind, I'm not all that surprised by her statement; which to my mind is a hint of her discomfort regarding any expectation upon her, to know how to proceed respecting the ADHD.

ginniebean
07-17-12, 10:53 AM
I was diagnosed by a psychiatrist mid january (I'm 18 if that's relevant, probably isn't, though) and referred to a therapist for help with addiction problems.

My therapist says adhd is 'overdiagnosed' and she thinks there's almost always a different underlying issue. Furthermore, she said she doesn't see many of the signs in me. However, she said it is important to keep taking medication for it, because my risk assessment skills are horrendous. I am getting mixed signalsI .

UGH! Your therapist knows darned well that she is giving you mixed signals. She would lose her licence if she told you to stop taking meds prescribed by a legitimate psychiatrist and so instead of doing that she's undermining your confidence in the psychiatrist and the diagnosis. Pretty damned sleezy bordering on unethical.

I think I'd want to rip her a new one, her response is one of prejudice and NOT based on any research about adhd or even a rudimentary understanding of ADHD. I would most certainly tell her when it comes to ADHD she's incompetent to be making any sort of opinion and to go do her research and stfu. She deserves a Sarah Sweets for sure!!!



Does this mean I don't have adhd? My own faith in the diagnosis is shaky at best. Also, is it wise to continue seeing her? I find it odd that she doesn't think adhd is a 'real' condition. Other than that she's been very helpful though.

Thanks!

Ditch her, she is purposely instilling doubt because her 'theory' is more important than your health. You can trust your psychiatrist and one of the other major problems I see here is that self doubt is very much a symptom of ADHD and this 'therapist' is capitalizing on it whether knowingly or unknowingly. If you go off meds, and 'self' determine you don't have ADHD because of the undermining this woman is doing it can have long term consequences for you and your sobriety. YOU are the one who pays the price for that while she remains a comfy are chair critic who is casually reinforcing her own belief at your expense.


She's gotta go!

oops, didn't read the posts and didn't realise I'd already responded to this post.. well .. consistency at least :D

Dinohuntersmom
05-24-13, 12:51 PM
Perhaps she is feeling that the adhd dx isn't the answer for you. That maybe it's part of the picture, but just one tiny bit of the big picture?

I started therapy for obsessive behaviors and I felt they were kind of dismissed. But it turned out there was so much under it all. I still have the disease of depression and anxiety (I don't have adhd, my son does). But it's a small portion of the total picture. So we put a lot of that on the back burner while we worked through the muck

Modafinilguy
10-13-13, 01:39 AM
Wow that's nothing. I have not only ADHD but also BPD (Both controversial, especially together). I have been told by doctors that neither of my disorders exist and that its all in my head! I've even been told to "try fishing". Various psychiatrists have refused to see me at all (and I don't misbehave at my appointments or anything)

sampson
10-13-13, 11:37 PM
i agree with the therapist actually, adhd is really overdiagnosed and you should do a lot of research on it before you decide you are adhd. she sounds like she does believe in adhd, just that it is overdiagnosed, which there is a lot of evidence that it is.

for example, depression and malnutrition can cause adhd. if you use a lot of marjunaa or abuse other drugs, that can cause adhd symptoms too.

TygerSan
10-14-13, 11:27 AM
i agree with the therapist actually, adhd is really overdiagnosed and you should do a lot of research on it before you decide you are adhd. she sounds like she does believe in adhd, just that it is overdiagnosed, which there is a lot of evidence that it is.

for example, depression and malnutrition can cause adhd. if you use a lot of marjunaa or abuse other drugs, that can cause adhd symptoms too.

While one shouldn't go into any appointment with a closed mind, I find the notion that ADHD is always over diagnosed to be disingenuous. Sometimes it is, sometimes it's under diagnosed. It's all down to a combination of who you see, and where you live.

mctavish23
10-14-13, 03:30 PM
Actually, the current science behind the disorder supports the fact that ADHD is really

Underdiagnosed.

tc

mctavish23

(Robert)

P.S.

Even tho the OP is 2 years old, if this were in the same state where I'm licensed, I'd give the OP the data supporting the above statement + the address of the state Licensing Board; just in case.