View Full Version : Adult ADD self diagnosis - Help with Dr.

02-25-12, 01:38 PM
I'm 32, male, diagnosed officially last year with an anxiety disorder and put on xanax (my first time ever to a psychiatrist and on those types of meds, never pain meds either, just prilosec for heartburn). I took the xanax for a few months and the nervousness basically subsided enough and I stopped taking it.

However, I have always (well at least since about mid teens) had problems with getting organized, finishing projects, starting new ones, being late for work (corporate type job), being introduced to people and NEVER remembering what their name was they had just told me. Happens in a lot of conversations, I really try hard to focus on what they are saying and it does register but then it's gone a second later. Forget sitting in meetings at work, I'm just not there and can't pay attention to anything. Noise distractions really bother me, sometimes I have to go to a meeting room by myself to work.

I never pay my bills on time even though I have the money, collectors are after me. Made some horribly impulsive decisions in my life. Definitely a few one night stands. Speeding, accidents (three last year). But no tickets in a long time but I still drive 100 mph to work (cause I'm already late).

So last year after stopping the Xanax prescription and researching my symptoms I tried a roughly two week 'trial' of 30 mg Adderall IR. I would split them into 1/2's and take one when I woke up and one sometime after lunch in early afternoon. I did this as if it were a prescription, not to get high. I couldn't believe the change in myself, I was just so clear headed and TCB - taking care of business. I didn't think I had that in me to do what I accomplished in those two weeks, it would have probably taken at least 3 months normally, if ever. It was amazing and my boss noticed the vast improvement and encouraged me to keep it up.

Well the 'trial' ended and I basically slowly over the next few months reverted back to the mess that I was before with stacks of unopened mail and usual ADD symptoms that I have researched online. I took some of the online tests and passed for Adult ADD, fwiw.

I made upcoming appointments with two different psychiatrists who treat Adult ADD to try to get officially diagnosed because I really think the Adderall helped. Maybe a different type of drug would help even more, I have no idea as I'm new to all this, but I do know Adderall made me feel normal and productive and positive for the first time in many, many years.

Just wondering what anybody thinks of this and if I really do have ADD or what I should say to the Dr.'s? Should I tell them about my Adderal 'trial'? I don't want to seem like a drug seeker but if the drug works and it's under supervision, I don't know, I just need my life back.


02-25-12, 02:09 PM
welcome baneadd!
I can definitely identify with a lot of what you've said, especially in regard to stacks of mail, unpaid bills (had my electricity cut off in January for the first time because I assumed the bill was on auto-pay), lateness to work, etc. I'm still in the diagnosis-process more or less as I just started on my first ADHD med early last week.
But I've noticed a lot more clarity and motivation with my new med. Hoping you find the answers you seek and the help you need!

02-25-12, 02:53 PM
Thanks for the welcome and glad to be here. I've had my cable and phone cut off too!

If you don't mind, what med did they start you on? How does the diagnosis process go?

02-25-12, 04:27 PM
Well as I've found the last month or so of being on these forums - the diagnosis process can be much different for each person- it depends on what type of doctor they go to and even where they live.
In my experience, I asked my GP for a referral to a psychiatrist that works with ADD. I got an appointment pretty quickly. I should mention that I've struggled with depression for almost half my life but the last couple of years I started getting the feeling that it wasn't just ongoing depression.
When I went to my appointment, I was first seen by an in-take type person who asked me a few questions and then orally gave me the basic ADHD quiz. Then she discussed with the psychiatrist and then I went to talk to him.
He asked me a few questions as well and then had me start on Focalin XR at 20mg.
He didn't totally diagnose me and I'm hoping to get a full diagnosis at my next appointment on Monday.

02-26-12, 04:15 PM
I would be honest and explain how m,uch adderall improved your life and go from there.

02-26-12, 05:23 PM
I want to tell them but I'm afraid it will set off the red flags of a drug seeker and it is also my first visit to each dr. Then again I don't want to go on a trial of multiple meds that don't work. Anti-depressants make me feel horrible so I know those don't work. Thanks again for the advice and I guess I'll see how it goes.

02-26-12, 06:10 PM
I would be very careful about mentioning that trial of adderall to your doctor. My psychiatrist, for example, made it very clear that if I had any history of drug abuse (even smoking pot in the past and especially using amphetamines) he cannot prescribe any stimulants (he said he was hiding behind 'the law' but i think it was more likely his own rule). So if you come across someone similar and you are honest with them, they may put that in your files and you may have more problems with other doctors in the future.

If I were you I would just let him lead the process, answer all his questions, explain all the symptoms and how they make your life difficult (give specific examples of school, work, relationships) and fill out all the questionnaires. At the end of the visit you will know what he thinks and if he concludes it's ADHD, he will be taking about options you have and might prescribe something straight away or may request some more tests.

Overall, I think it's safer to go with whatever diagnostic process your psychiatrist usually follows and let them come to their own conclusions. If you come and say "i think I have ADHD and I need Adderall", the doctor may 'unwillingly' try to disprove your self-diagnosis and instead of focusing on symptoms consistent with ADHD, he will explore those that are incongruent just to prove you wrong.

Your doctor might of course be one of these who value honesty and are less prone to disconfirmation bias but I don't know if testing that assumption by mentioning self-medication is worth risking a 'drug addict' label in your papers.