View Full Version : About to have 4th session with Psychiatrist, dissatisfied...


Spaztron
02-09-12, 03:34 PM
Hi everyone. Recently I began seeing a psychiatrist, after experiencing suicidal ideation, general anxiety, despression, restlessness, endless self-doubt, and self-critical thoughts. I have pretty low self-esteem, and I have motivation problems. Basically, I don't take care of things in my life that need to be addressed, as I'll have problems beginning tasks, or if I've actually begun them, I have a tendency to abandon them.

I began seeing a Veteran's Affairs psychiatrist. Initially, I saw my practitioner for anxiety/depression. She prescribed Lexapro. It improved my mood for about a week, but after that it did nothing. I quit it after a month, when my psychiatrist told me to after our first session. Even with SSRIs, I still would think about all of the **** that troubles me, finding my thoughts spiraling down until I became completely hopeless, and I'd end up on the floor of my living room, reluctant to move, or accomplish anything other than numbing the thoughts with alcohol and/or marijuana.

So far, he has simply asked me difficult questions and I have responded as best I could. It benefits ms little, as he is clearly just getting to know me after only 3 sessions. I understand that, and it is fine. So far, he thinks I have an anxiety problem, and he seems to have implied that I have some arrogant views.
I proposed to him that it may be adult ADHD, but he disagrees based on the fact that I always was an A/B student throughout school. However, it's been proven that intelligent people can suffer from ADHD as well, and I told him that I never studied, often forgot homework, and have always had a consistent problem with procrastination. Although my marks were good, the comments always contained a criticism of my work ethic, or forgetfulness.

A friend of mine, who was diagnosed with ADHD, and is admittedly much better educated than I am, gave me the idea that I may share the same affliction. He says that adult ADHD sufferers often seek help because of anxiety/depression. I understand that he is biased, however, we have spoken at length regarding our symptoms and general thought processes, and I tend to agree with his assessment. I've always believed I thought about things differently than others, not better, or worse, but just differently. I've always been noticeably more forgetful than my peers, and incapable of punctuality, or sometimes forgetting to show up to commitments entirely. I don't make plans with friends, anymore. I've actually cut almost all commitments out of my life, that don't correspond to my weekly routines. That wasn't a conscious decision, but "I don't make plans" is a phrase I've continually uttered over the years, in response to invitations of any kind.

He gave me some of his adderol to try, and it made me feel a lot better. More confident, less obsessed with my own negative thoughts (suddenly I could shrug off worrisome thoughts, whereas before, I couldn't stop myself from thinking of them), and capable of focusing on the present, instead of having my mind drift off to other things, like fantastic day dreams, future possibilities, or endless analysis of myself and others. I am a little reluctant to tell my therapist that I've used these drugs without prescription, as he could misconstrue my search for a diagnosis/solution as an attempt to get a prescription for recreational use.
I am also concerned that because he is a VA doctor, he is constrained by budget and bureaucracy, and he is mostly experienced with war trauma patients with PTSD, et cetera.

What should I do? I do not have insurance to see another doctor outside of the VA. I think I need to come up with a way of presenting my experiences in a way that would get him to more heavily consider my self-diagnosis, without it coming off as drug-seeking behavior.

I plan on continual visits, but I'm afraid I might not be getting adequate help, and I'm getting frustrated that I continue to be just as upset about myself, life, and humanity, as I was back when I first saw my practicioner. I'd like something more than having him tell me things about those topics that I've already realized on my own, but have been incapable of internalizing and acting on.

Your feedback and thoughts on this matter are appreciated. I'd also like to hear from you if you have a similar experience to mine, with regard to symptoms and troublesome thoughts, and what your opinion is as far as his assessment goes.

Spaztron
02-09-12, 03:56 PM
I read some of the stickies. Some of the information I found there was even more descriptive of me (esp. inattentive type). As someone suggested, should I print out this list and bring it to my psychiatrist? I was hesitant to even bring up ADHD in the third session, feeling it was inappropriate to discuss something self-diagnosed, and I was afraid of being perceived as a hypochondriac. He asked me to describe the symptoms to him. I tried to list them off, but forgot a good number of them.
I find it's really difficult for me to express my thoughts to him, clearly. Or in general, really. I can hardly conjure up memories and recite them to him as examples of why I might have ADHD. I'm so forgetful, that it probably looks like I'm just trying to make something up for an answer. That's why I'm asking for advice for my next appointment.

mjoy79
02-09-12, 04:12 PM
Hello. I have yet to be ADD diagnosed as well. I have my appointment on Monday. Its my first psych appointment where I feel like I really need to be able to describe in detail the problems I am having and I have had for so long. I've suffered from depression for so long that I don't remember what its like to not feel that way. I have always wondered why my depression has lingered as long as it has with no real explaination why and antidepressants only help for so long.

If you can't get the answers you're seeking from this doc is there a way to go to someone else? I'm not suggesting you find someone that will diagnose you with ADD just because you think you have it. But I think a lot of doctors dismiss things either because they don't have all the info or because of their knowledge that may not include all the real facts. Some doctors still think ADD applies to school-age boys only.

I have that hypochondriac fear too - that I'll be dismissed or just put on a pill to get me to go away. But I'm finally realizing I need to stand up for myself and stop suffering needlessly. I wish you the best of luck in your next appointment and hope you can effectively communicate what you need to say.

I'm currently preparing a list of my current symptoms as well as some memories from childhood along with medications I'm taking and what I've taken in the past. I plan on bringing this with me to my appointment to remind myself of what I need to say. Maybe that will help?

Lunacie
02-09-12, 06:01 PM
Try telling the doctor that you have a friend with ADHD who thinks you
seem likely to have it to. And that you've done some reading and you
think it may be possible. So ... "what do you think, doctor?"

Yes, it may be helpful to print out a list of symptoms - and add how you
think you're affected by them - and give that to the doctor.

Spaztron
02-09-12, 06:10 PM
I already did as described in your first paragraph. He seemed to brush it aside by saying "we'll continue to assess that, but you definitely have a problem with anxiety." Not that that was necessarily a complete dismissal of my suggestion, but we didn't talk any further in depth about it.

I guess I will bring the list. I just feel it's very presumptuous and unconvincing. Anyone can get on the internet and research something, or compare a checklist to their own life. I just feel like I really have to find some way of convincing him. *shrug*

Lunacie
02-09-12, 06:39 PM
I already did as described in your first paragraph. He seemed to brush it aside by saying "we'll continue to assess that, but you definitely have a problem with anxiety." Not that that was necessarily a complete dismissal of my suggestion, but we didn't talk any further in depth about it.

I guess I will bring the list. I just feel it's very presumptuous and unconvincing. Anyone can get on the internet and research something, or compare a checklist to their own life. I just feel like I really have to find some way of convincing him. *shrug*

So remind him that he was going to assess the possibility that
you have ADHD, and ask if he's come to a conclusion. If he says
he doesn't think you have it, ask him to explain just why he thinks
that.