View Full Version : Unconvinced with diagnosis I don't have ADD


Firestorm
11-15-14, 09:13 PM
I only started thinking I might have ADD recently when I did some reading. I have OCD, and intrusive thoughts can divert attention to the point where you could effectively have ADD even if you really don't. The thoughts diverting my attention are often not the intrusive, disturbing thoughts, however. I initially assumed these were nevertheless somehow caused by OCD.

I also have Aspergers, and the psychologist I see is both a general psychologist but also specialises in Aspergers. I told her I thought I might have ADD. She went through the list of symptoms from DSM and I scored very high on inattentive and low elsewhere, and as a result she thought I might have ADD.

She then reviewed the results of IQ tests taken in my teens (I am 36 now) and said my results did not show the indicators one should see in a person with ADD. I said my concentration was far better at that age. She decided then to do another IQ test. So recently I did the adult Wechsler, which I had previously done the junior version of.

After looking at the results my psychologist has concluded I could not have ADD, on the grounds that certain questions in it are very sensitive to concentration, and that the level of concentration I showed would not be possible in someone with ADD.

From my reading about the condition I find this very unconvincing. What I've read indicates people with ADD do not have poor concentration all of the time and that level of interest plays a big part. The questions the psychologist referred to involved concentration for quite brief periods of time. The assumption seems to be that no one with ADD can concentrate intensely for short periods of time, and I don't know where she's getting that information. The questions, or some of them, involved storing something in short term memory, doing some sort of calculation, then returning to the initial piece of information. I would say this is hard for most people but if you have an excellent memory remembering the initial information would be easy and wouldn't require good concentration. I see the questions as more related to memory than concentration.

From what I've read it sounds like a lot of psychologists do not agree with the idea of diagnosing whether someone has ADD solely based on a test. Sounds like tests are often involved, but reviewing symptoms with the person and people they know is a major part. Add.org says:
'DSM-V specifies the diagnostic criteria for ADHD but provides no specification for how clinicians should acquire the information needed to determine if these criteria are met.. There also continues to be no recommendation for any specific diagnostic test that should be used routinely.. ADHD remains a clinical judgment that clinicians make based on the information they obtain using the methods they choose to obtain it.'
My psychologist said that often people on the autistic spectrum have symptoms that mimic ADD, but would not fit the criteria for ADD as the symptoms would not be clinically significant. Actually clinical significance was required in DSM-IV but not anymore. The current requirement isn't as stringent. It is also quite open to interpretation and I can imagine in the less severe cases not all psychologists would agree if a person has it from the symptoms.

I have all the symptoms of inattentive in DSM-V: poor attention to detail, making careless mistakes, poor at following instructions, problems with organisation, avoidance of tasks requiring sustained concentration, forgetfulness and bad listening skills.

I will briefly describe my concentration to see if it sounds like I have ADD. My concentration was somewhat of an issue when I was younger but deteriorated in maybe 2005 or 2004 and I think got even worse some time after that. I used to concentrate really well when I saw a movie. For years I have regularly paid attention to less than 2/3 of a movie, often much lower. This has nothing to do with the movie being boring. My mind seems to almost always find things it wants to think about more. I have often tried hard to pay better attention without huge success. I go to music concerts and struggle to pay attention. I compete at a high level in quizzes and often do things like see shows or go to zoo talks to get information. I want to listen well to learn more but often struggle to listen much more than half the time, which causes a lot of distress. I often go periods of a couple minutes or more in social chit chat where I don't listen to anything being said to me. Again, this is not always due to the other person boring me. I daydream a lot.

In the course I'm doing most of the time the teacher talks I don't listen. I wish I could change that through effort. As examples from above indicate, my concentration is often terrible even when I am interested, but certainly when I'm not it's worse. Reading boring material taxes my brain a lot more. I often have a dull head ache at my course. Sometimes it gets so bad that when I try to read a sentence my brain refuses to read, or my head hurts as I read and I start feeling uncomfortable or suddenly experience intense anxiety levels for no particular reason. Though sometimes in class I then check my email, and my head immediately stops hurting. So being boring and requiring concentration taxes my brain a lot more. I enjoy the quiz study I do, and only when done in huge amounts do I experience the same physical symptoms I just mentioned. My concentration has generally got progressively worse during the course and a lot of days I spend almost no time working.


Should I see another psychologist for a second opinion?

Batman55
11-16-14, 12:51 AM
TL;DR please, for those of us who cannot concentrate enough to read a very long post!

fracturedstory
11-16-14, 01:30 AM
Psychologists, eh? Sorry if anyone here is a psychologist it's just that I've been through the same thing as I believe the OP has.

Problem 1: In Australia psychologists aren't really qualified to diagnosed ADHD. In the States they seem to be but here for some reason they're not. My psychologist was anti-meds too.

I relate to the movie thing a lot and I can concentrate at times too. I was pretty awful at my IQ test, except for anything image related.

I recommend you get a referral to see a psychiatrist from your GP. If you think your ADHD symptoms are frustrating enough to need to find some solution to best overcome them then you might want to try medication, which only a psychiatrist can prescribe.

I used to get a lot of headaches when reading too. I got my eyes checked and then was prescribed reading glasses. It takes the headaches away and I can read for maybe 30-50 mins tops. It's very hard for me to concentrate on reading without any ADHD medication though.

Good luck. I'm seeing my psychiatrist next month to try another med. I would really like to read again.

Little Missy
11-16-14, 05:38 AM
Don't even get me started on psychologists...:eyebrow:

Pilgrim
11-16-14, 05:44 AM
Yeah psychologists .

Maurice
11-16-14, 10:20 AM
Yes, get a second opinion. You certainly convinced me. :D

michaelaisabell
11-16-14, 10:59 AM
I'm not going to say you do or don't have adhd.
Ppl with adhd can concentrate! If it's something we are interested in.
The test about recalling facts is done because ppl with adhd have a poor working memory. I few years back I was given this test before I even considered adhd ( I thought I was rapid cycling bipolar) and I was only able to recall 1 of the words.

Firestorm
11-16-14, 08:56 PM
Thanks for the responses. The test had me scoring very high in short term memory, I think around 130 IQ level. However I would argue that in life my short term memory is not good at all. Due to distracting thoughts (some of which is just OCD) I forget a lot, and I was often not listening well in the first place. Furthermore, in the IQ test I was trying to remember using memory techniques whereas in life I don't do so. I'm starting to work through a memory book so that my brain does this automatically and I function better in life however.

Also my short term memory is quite variable depending on the type of information. The test involved memory of numbers, which people like myself with non-verbal learning disability are particularly good at remembering. My visual memory was previously tested by the psychologist and shown to be poor.

dvdnvwls
11-16-14, 11:59 PM
IMO, tests given without distractions must be nearly useless for determining anything about an ADHDer's degree of inattention.

Pilgrim
11-19-14, 06:27 AM
Go to a Psyciatrist . I would be interested in the association of autism ,OCD and ADD.
Find one that really knows ADD. They all say they do. What would you like to solve in this situation?

fracturedstory
11-19-14, 07:15 AM
IMO, tests given without distractions must be nearly useless for determining anything about an ADHDer's degree of inattention.
During my test the ticking wall clock was very distracting.

Little Missy
11-19-14, 07:42 AM
During my test the ticking wall clock was very distracting.


I have never had to take any diagnostic tests but if I had to hear a clock ticking during one I probably would have run screaming from the room to get away from it.

Firestorm
11-20-14, 08:21 PM
I recommend you get a referral to see a psychiatrist from your GP. If you think your ADHD symptoms are frustrating enough to need to find some solution to best overcome them then you might want to try medication, which only a psychiatrist can prescribe.


Ok. Does a person have to be diagnosed as having ADHD for a psychiatrist to be allowed to prescribe medication? Or can they prescribe for a person who has some symptoms but not enough to receive diagnosis?

Mishka
11-20-14, 11:21 PM
I have never had to take any diagnostic tests but if I had to hear a clock ticking during one I probably would have run screaming from the room to get away from it.

I'm with you on that one - I would have one of my impulsive blow ups or run out

adammb
11-25-14, 08:33 PM
I had the same problem. It really is about finding the right psychiatrist.
I went to five different ones before finding one that actually treated me as human.

I could not believe how awful these psychiatrists were.I go to them desperate for help, pay hundreds of dollars, and they did not even take me seriously.

The first one sat there staring at me, and told me to diagnose myself. Being so desperate for help, I played his immature game, only have him to tell me did not think i had ADHD, offering no supporting evidence or argument for his evaluation and then sent me away.

Second was even worse. It was at a special ADHD clinic. They put me on some computer screening test for accuracy vs processing time. Results said i was mentally retarded. In her words 'Was your mother very sick or in some kind of accident while she was pregnant with you?' She told me my problems were untreatable.

Eventually the fifth actually listened to me, and she was absolutely shocked that i had not been diagnosed earlier.
I left her office that day feeling as though I had been reborn, i cried so much, it was amazing. Ever since then my life has been getting better.

I still have problems, there are also parts of my personality that were constructed to deal with my problems, that i no longer need, so there is a bit of a loss of identity. Though us ADHD people tend not to have a strong sense of identity anyway, since identity is a thing of the past, and ADHD people only live in the present. This is a good thing in my case, otherwise i would deeply regret the 35 years that i completely wasted prior to beginning my treatment.

Sorry, i got completely carried away, just keep trying is what i am saying, it is worth it.

I see you the same age as me (im 35) and you live in Australia, if you are willing to come to Melbourne i could offer further advice about getting diagnosed at our age

sean85
12-14-14, 02:50 AM
I had the same problem. It really is about finding the right psychiatrist.
I went to five different ones before finding one that actually treated me as human.

I could not believe how awful these psychiatrists were.I go to them desperate for help, pay hundreds of dollars, and they did not even take me seriously.

The first one sat there staring at me, and told me to diagnose myself. Being so desperate for help, I played his immature game, only have him to tell me did not think i had ADHD, offering no supporting evidence or argument for his evaluation and then sent me away.

Second was even worse. It was at a special ADHD clinic. They put me on some computer screening test for accuracy vs processing time. Results said i was mentally retarded. In her words 'Was your mother very sick or in some kind of accident while she was pregnant with you?' She told me my problems were untreatable.

Eventually the fifth actually listened to me, and she was absolutely shocked that i had not been diagnosed earlier.
I left her office that day feeling as though I had been reborn, i cried so much, it was amazing. Ever since then my life has been getting better.

I still have problems, there are also parts of my personality that were constructed to deal with my problems, that i no longer need, so there is a bit of a loss of identity. Though us ADHD people tend not to have a strong sense of identity anyway, since identity is a thing of the past, and ADHD people only live in the present. This is a good thing in my case, otherwise i would deeply regret the 35 years that i completely wasted prior to beginning my treatment.

Sorry, i got completely carried away, just keep trying is what i am saying, it is worth it.

I see you the same age as me (im 35) and you live in Australia, if you are willing to come to Melbourne i could offer further advice about getting diagnosed at our age

I can relate to your problem completely as I come from India and here most of the psychs doesn't even know what ADD properly is.My first two psychs diagnosed me for depression disorders without listening to my concerns about concentration and problems of distraction.They simply told me that since I do concentrate well on television and some other things I could not have ADD.
My third psych did a proper evaluation on me and concluded that I indeed have ADD and no signs of major depression disorder and indeed made clear that all the underlying depression had been caused by ADD itself.Although now I am currently with a fourth one essentially since medicines were almost not helping me much and I had to find a good therapist with no meds.

Firestorm
02-02-15, 11:30 PM
So I went to see another psychologist for a second opinion. He did not pronounce an opinion until the second session but concurs that I don't have ADHD.

Again I am not entirely convinced, though on reflection I think how I described myself was sometimes not fully accurate or could give the wrong impression. His opinion was that anxiety was the cause of the poor concentration. It was more the second session where I gave examples of distracting thoughts, and it could have been mistakenly inferred that I was always anxious when I had the thoughts. Sure many of the thoughts are OCD intrusive thoughts but could just as often be pleasant thoughts. He wanted a recent example, and I mentioned some thoughts while at an opera. What I mentioned could have sounded like anxiety was the cause, and I think he used mainly this example for diagnosis. While I did have intrusive thoughts at the opera others were not and I wasn't remotely anxious while having those.

One other thing that could have led to him making the connection was the mention that my OCD started getting much worse in 2004 when for some reason the medication stopped working near as well. I thought that this coincided with the worsening of my concentration, though indicated I wasnít sure about this. I do believe the worsening happened over the course of at least two years but did not mention this. I also didnít mention that when my anxiety got worse in 2004 it was nowhere near as bad as the years before going on medication. OCD came full blown in 1996. Of course with intrusive thoughts my concentration did worsen then, however it was only those thoughts. From 2004 there was a worsening in concentration with thoughts that werenít OCD. Daydreaming got worse.

I do not believe anxiety could be the only cause, even if it sometimes is. If it is the cause my ability to concentrate when intrusive thoughts werenít present should have been worst in 1996 which was my most stressful year. While the OCD got worse in 2004 after a few months on medication (I was diagnosed late 2003) it wasnít as bad as how things had been prior to medication, so I canít see anxiety as causation. What I donít think I explained well is that loss of concentration can just as easily be due to anxiety than not.

The other reason he didnít think I had the disorder is that my school history didnít suggest it because I did not get into trouble at school. I thought inattentive ADHD was the subtype that doesnít involve behaviour problems.

He did however say that taking amphetamines with my anti-depressants would be a disaster. Is that true?

Pilgrim
02-03-15, 08:12 AM
I'm not a doctor but from what I know the last 2 things are wrong.
It's hard to sort of separate certain things out that you are saying. I can't stress it enough but ditch any psychologist.
Find a Psyciatrist that specializes in ADD. I've noticed most of them say that they treat ADD. I don't know how good they are though.
I would google the hell out of it.

tinybike
02-03-15, 09:37 AM
During my test the ticking wall clock was very distracting.
During my test someone had a PUPPY in the room.
I honestly can't imagine anyone not scoring at least inattentive that way. I'm combined, though - puppy didn't have anything to do with my impulsion hehe.

Corina86
02-03-15, 05:49 PM
I don't know if you're ADHD or not (from your posts you seem to have quite a lot of symptoms though), but the people you went to don't seem to have a clue either. As Pilgrim said, go find a psychiatrist, not a psychologist- they aren't qualified to diagnose you with anything.

Also, there are no conclusive tests for ADHD- it's one thing to sustain attention for a short period of time in a quiet room with another person watching you, it's another to pay attention to a 1 hour lecture in a crowded classroom.

Amphetamines with anti-depressives work very well for a lot of people. Stimulant medication can increase anxiety for some people, but not for everybody and anti-anxiety meds should help with that.

Anxiety based disorders (GAD, OCD) are common comorbids of ADHD and plenty have both (I have anxiety and ADHD- PI). Yes, anxiety can cause concentration issues, but, in that case, lower anxiety due to drugs should lower your ADHD symptoms. If the symptoms persist even when you're not feeling anxiety, then it's not just anxiety.

Firestorm
02-03-15, 06:37 PM
Thanks guys, well I think I will go to a psychiatrist then. This guy also said that medication often makes people's concentration worse, even though they self-report as being better.

As some Australians have commented they might be able to advise me of a good psychiatrist. I live in Gosford. Anyone know a good person in Sydney?

Firestorm
02-03-15, 06:38 PM
Oh, and this guy did NOT perform any sort of test of my concentration when I saw him. It was just asking questions.

Lunacie
02-03-15, 06:53 PM
It seems to be very difficult for adults to get a dx of ADD in Australia.

One of our posters works in the mental health field there
and has been battling the system for several years.

Firestorm
02-03-15, 09:37 PM
It just occurred to me that the two psychologists attributed the concentration problems to different other disabilities. The psychologist I've seen for years thought it was due to Aspergers, as apparently people with this often have some symptoms that mimic ADD. She never mentioned anxiety as playing a role. The other psychologist thought the problem was due to anxiety.

Pilgrim
02-04-15, 08:21 AM
Thanks guys, well I think I will go to a psychiatrist then. This guy also said that medication often makes people's concentration worse, even though they self-report as being better.

As some Australians have commented they might be able to advise me of a good psychiatrist. I live in Gosford. Anyone know a good person in Sydney?

Can you PM me ,if that is cool.

TurtleBrain
02-04-15, 03:38 PM
After i was diagnosed I also wondered if I had other conditions too, but I really didn't really fit in with another diagnosis. For example, I don't have OCD because I don't have the life-controlling anxieties that OCD people experience. Perhaps my sense of humor makes it easier for me to handle things better than OCD people can. My mind is way too all over the place to become so "obsessive compulsive". Perhaps I have a little general anxiety, but not enough to be a full disorder.

I was diagnosed by a psychiatrist by the way.

Fortress
02-04-15, 09:36 PM
You CAN focus on a short test even if you have ADD. Just like you, I had not much problem focusing on the memory tests since it felt like one of the most important moments of my life. In my case, my ADD manifests by a short-lived or absent attention span and interest in regards to whatever is not particularly motivating to me. In regards to what IS, I am absorbed in my focus.

For myself, amphetamines do the trick because then I can sustain an interest in something and then I can do a lot of things I normally could not try doing for 5 minutes to save my life. It's saved my *** in school all last year, and I've finally figured out that I should use them throughout the semester and not only on exams and on panic catching-up days.


By the way, I've been having major anxiety issues, and coincidentally was told by a psychiatrist, like you, that my issues stemmed from psychology and anxiety issues and not ADD. Years of therapy and personal development later, my anxiety is much lower but the ADD is still there, so yeah f*** psychiatrists. When you come into their office with the idea of ADD they try hard as they can to refute it, maybe to feel special about not diagnosing anyone with it or because they think you're after drugs. Still, look into the anxiety issues separately while you pursue the ADD one. Anxiety DOES amplify if not cause ADD symptoms. You can always message me if you want to talk about it, because I know a lot about anxiety and sense of identity issues.


P.S. Not saying you DO have ADD of course as I can't tell over the internet, but it's possible you do despite what happened

oldtimer
03-26-15, 12:50 AM
Firestorm, your doc is as dumb as a door nail. Only a complete fool could say something like this

medication often makes people's concentration worse, even though they self-report as being better.

He feels his patients are not capable of assessing their own concentration or they try to get approval my claiming the meds worked. What a warped person! The guy is to ill to be helping other persons and is woefully ignorant in his expertise. Stimulants make the ADD brain function near normal with the right drugs at the right dosage. Amen a world expert on ADD can measure your defect using a brain scan then measures it after taking stimulants and the defect is gone. They have been doing this for over a decade so your guy doesn't read what he should be reading.

I am certain the more and better the stimulant the brighter my focus. I rarely need high focus so coffee and Ritalin are fine. If my job is on the line, adderal or dex is required.

Why don't you try this free ADD placement test?
http://thesoulhealers.org/2014/01/know-your-add-type-dr-amens-free-questionnaire/

An IQ test was a waist of money. ADD bore easily. When they are board they are inattentive. If the test was a challenge you might have gone into hyper focus. So the test could never prove ANYTHING!
The guy that wrote the above test wrote a book Healing ADD. If you take the test and think it was a good test you might want to read the book.

Firestorm
04-06-15, 12:09 AM
A member recommended a psychiatrist to me. Someone else told me about a specialist clinic in Sydney. I decided to go down that route, and have booked a diagnosis at the Sydney Cognitive Development Centre in early June (they have a long wait!).

They had me do a 64 question pre-test on reported symptoms which I've sent to them. In addition to an interview they will be doing about half a dozen tests measuring different facets of attention. My mother will come to the appointment with me. My memory of my earlier years regarding symptoms is hazy so that should be of benefit. I will also bring in report cards and results of previous psychological tests.

icarusinflames
04-25-15, 09:11 PM
I think it's wrong for professionals in the mental health industry to have narrow and simplistic views on what type of person can have a disorder. That doesn't sound like a very good diagnostician and it sounds to me like someone you could waste years with in talk therapy that goes nowhere. But what may be at play here is that they may have a "It's not ADHD" standpoint because they don't want to put you in the direction of taking stimulants. But I heard that the treatment is essentially the same for Aspergers. I believe they are prescribed stimulants. The big talk on the news these days is how much college students (and also high pressure business men) are abusing psycho-stimulants that are normally prescribed for ADHD. So again, ADHD gets to be the fall guy .... and it's a medication that is prescribed for other psychiatric issues. Aspergers is a diagnosis you already have, if you want to try the stimulants. You just need to see a Psychiatrist, and I hope you find someone who can help you sort out whether it's Aspergers or ADHD or both. I believe that in our cases, knowledge literally is our power. When we are denied access to this necessary information about our own minds, we can't really make the right choices that lead to empowering our own lives. So I would definitely make sure you pursue that.

daveddd
04-25-15, 09:23 PM
are psychologists something different in other parts of the world, because the perception of them in this thread is incorrect in the us at least

i believe mctavish and dizfriz are both psychologists

icarusinflames
04-28-15, 11:30 AM
It seems to be very difficult for adults to get a dx of ADD in Australia.

One of our posters works in the mental health field there
and has been battling the system for several years.

I wonder if it wouldn't be just as well then to take the diagnosis of Aspergers in Australia if they suggest it since the treatment is largely the same for medication? Or is that a bad idea?

That's kind of crappy that Australia has such a negative attitude to ADHD. It seems to me that any country mostly made up of immigrants would be unusually higher in ADHD. I have a running theory that the people most likely to immigrate would be the ones who don't have a job anyhow and are looking for novel risky situations such as travelling across the world. Plus they may not miss their family as they will forget them, and their families may be glad they are gone. (I am totally joking, but I honestly am wondering... if there is a connection as all my family immigrated to the U.S, between the period of the 1910's to 1940's... and there's a lot of ADHD behavior in my family.

Firestorm
06-02-15, 08:24 AM
I have the appointment for diagnosis tomorrow! Probably of little surprise is that it only occurred to me on the weekend that if I had an appointment out of town lasting several hours at 2pm it would be impossible for me to go to work at 5pm. Lucky I managed to get off work.

bizarre101
06-07-15, 01:14 PM
the psychiatrist i went to refused the tests.
only if i would insist, they may perhaps arrange for that.

meantime, i think the tests are for kids mainly.
when you are an adult, your life-history may tell that you are adhd...

sarahsweets
06-08-15, 04:54 AM
What kinds of tests did they refuse and what were they for?


the psychiatrist i went to refused the tests.
only if i would insist, they may perhaps arrange for that.

meantime, i think the tests are for kids mainly.
when you are an adult, your life-history may tell that you are adhd...

Firestorm
06-20-15, 09:04 AM
I went for the testing. I was paying poor attention for many of the tests because of OCD thoughts and thought I had done well below average at just about everything. I fully expected to be told I had ADD but to my surprise I did well above average in most tests! They say I scored too high to have ADD.

I guess I do not know well enough to say whether people with the condition really cannot score what I did. I would have thought that many of the tests were too short. I also would have thought that many also tested short term memory, and that my good short term memory (when I'm paying attention!) could have more than compensated for the attention issues. I also hear that some with the condition do improve in adulthood and not meet diagnostic level. Is it not possible that this is the case with me?

They claimed my concentration issues are caused by OCD and poor visual processing. I am not convinced the latter has any role, and at the moment while OCD does play a big role, I don't think it is the main culprit. The main reason for my inattention is related to stimulation and low boredom tolerance. Perhaps they are resistant to seeing this as they have already decided I don't have ADD and such a reason sounds like ADD?

someothertime
06-20-15, 09:24 AM
Diagnosis may or may not assist here.

Neurocognitive pidgeon holes have the potential to overvcomplicate, falsly steer and even underestimate or overlook potentialities.

What i'm trying to say is..... keep your eyes on the prize, which often is not the/a diagnosis in itself. facilitation and self understanding maybe... which can come from treatment of pertinent areas...... but seldom realies on any one thing.


peace!

Lunacie
06-20-15, 09:47 AM
There is no test for ADHD. Testing only tells part of the story.
Evaluations like the Connor's evaluation can help fill in the story.

Do you have any paperwork (report cards, employment evaluations)
that show you've had problems all your life?
For an adult, history speaks louder than any test.

Batman55
06-21-15, 01:01 AM
Do you have any paperwork (report cards)

Every single one I have says "Needs to try harder" or "needs to apply himself"

:D

Pilgrim
06-21-15, 03:22 AM
Every single one I have says "Needs to try harder" or "needs to apply himself"

:D

Same as me, said that or if the teacher didn't like me it said 'disruptive'.
I felt guilty that I was imposing like that so I became good at sport and that made me settle down. Teachers liked me after that.

Skyf@ll
06-21-15, 04:59 AM
A universal awareness of ADHD would help greatly towards an early diagnosis, the longer it goes unnoticed the less chance of DX.

When I was at school- unless they had to physically scrape you off the ceiling with one of those meter long rulers you had no chance.

I was inattentive big time. I remember the teacher had drew a shape on the board and went round everyone asking how many sides it had. My head was in the clouds at this point with my hand pressed against my cheek....all I could hear was 4....5....4....4..silence.....whooossh. The nutter threw a god damn book at me and missed me by inches (Funny how I can remember that so clearly but forget where I put my keys/wallet)

That's what you were up against then, a bit better now in schools I think.

Firestorm
06-21-15, 07:14 AM
Do you have any paperwork (report cards, employment evaluations)
that show you've had problems all your life?
For an adult, history speaks louder than any test.

We brought my report cards in and they looked at them beforehand. I haven't looked at the reports for a while, and obviously don't remember them near as well as I thought as what they pointed out in the reports made me sound very much ADD! Stuff about not handing in homework and missing classes.

I have worked with them in two sessions since, which has included neurofeedback, adjusting my brain waves. There was definitely some effect for a day or more, though they say the effect lasts longer with more sessions. They are trying to treat my specific symptoms, so aren't treating me any different than if I had been diagnosed as having ADD. This is a good thing.

I am going in tomorrow, and will fill them in on some things I may not all have told them, to show why I see lack of stimulation as the problem. They obviously have the impression that I procrastinate with all tasks. Actually it's with tasks that don't interest me. If I don't succeed in convincing them that stimulation is the issue most likely I will go to another clinic.

sarahsweets
06-21-15, 07:23 AM
If they havent diagnosed you with adhd, what are they treating you for? I ask because those kinds of treatments can be a huge expense and not quite that successful. I just want you to be aware that they are are in the business of making money too, and I dont want you to get bamboozled.

We brought my report cards in and they looked at them beforehand. I haven't looked at the reports for a while, and obviously don't remember them near as well as I thought as what they pointed out in the reports made me sound very much ADD! Stuff about not handing in homework and missing classes.

I have worked with them in two sessions since, which has included neurofeedback, adjusting my brain waves. There was definitely some effect for a day or more, though they say the effect lasts longer with more sessions. They are trying to treat my specific symptoms, so aren't treating me any different than if I had been diagnosed as having ADD. This is a good thing.

I am going in tomorrow, and will fill them in on some things I may not all have told them, to show why I see lack of stimulation as the problem. They obviously have the impression that I procrastinate with all tasks. Actually it's with tasks that don't interest me. If I don't succeed in convincing them that stimulation is the issue most likely I will go to another clinic.

Firestorm
06-21-15, 09:15 AM
They are treating attention, organisational skills, time management and anxiety. One of their tests picked up something I already knew, that I have visual processing problems. They referred me to an orthoptist for this, who I see tomorrow to work on this.

I don't think I was really exposed to things that would test my attention and anxiety the day after the first neurofeedback session. I was after the second session, and noticed much less difference. Even the clinic now thinks they programmed the neurofeedback wrong and plan to do it different tomorrow, though cautioning that this may not work and might make my anxiety worse.

One criticism I have of one of their tests is that it was done in a different room with something beeping about every ten seconds. Not sure if that is always the case, because if it is that means it is a test with distractions.

Little Missy
06-21-15, 09:26 AM
Oh my goodness, that constant beeping sounds tortuous.

sarahsweets
06-22-15, 04:37 AM
Is this process expensive?
They are treating attention, organisational skills, time management and anxiety. One of their tests picked up something I already knew, that I have visual processing problems. They referred me to an orthoptist for this, who I see tomorrow to work on this.

I don't think I was really exposed to things that would test my attention and anxiety the day after the first neurofeedback session. I was after the second session, and noticed much less difference. Even the clinic now thinks they programmed the neurofeedback wrong and plan to do it different tomorrow, though cautioning that this may not work and might make my anxiety worse.

One criticism I have of one of their tests is that it was done in a different room with something beeping about every ten seconds. Not sure if that is always the case, because if it is that means it is a test with distractions.

Firestorm
06-22-15, 06:44 AM
Pretty cheap by psychologist standards! $130 for a two hour appointment with the neurofeedback. If it doesn't look to help much I'll look at other options.

someothertime
06-22-15, 09:29 AM
Someone posted earlier on that your treatement issomewhat getting dictated by who your seeing.

This is both pro and con. Psychologists are not equipped to do much more than they are doing now.... dealing with symptoms and non-medicinal treatments. This is *part* a major.... no the major part of treatment.... and my post actually encouraged focus here....

When it comes to diagnosis and medication only Psychiatrists here can make that call..... and of them..... i'd say 60% are "open" and maybe 25% well versed enough to do it very effectively.

If / when you decide to see one..... seek out one of those 25%..... i can help if need be...... you may wish to ask your current medico's who there contacts / upstream connection are in this area.



Peace!

bldt
06-22-15, 11:31 AM
I only started thinking I might have ADD recently when I did some reading. I have OCD, and intrusive thoughts can divert attention to the point where you could effectively have ADD even if you really don't. The thoughts diverting my attention are often not the intrusive, disturbing thoughts, however. I initially assumed these were nevertheless somehow caused by OCD.

I also have Aspergers, and the psychologist I see is both a general psychologist but also specialises in Aspergers. I told her I thought I might have ADD. She went through the list of symptoms from DSM and I scored very high on inattentive and low elsewhere, and as a result she thought I might have ADD.

She then reviewed the results of IQ tests taken in my teens (I am 36 now) and said my results did not show the indicators one should see in a person with ADD. I said my concentration was far better at that age. She decided then to do another IQ test. So recently I did the adult Wechsler, which I had previously done the junior version of.

After looking at the results my psychologist has concluded I could not have ADD, on the grounds that certain questions in it are very sensitive to concentration, and that the level of concentration I showed would not be possible in someone with ADD.

From my reading about the condition I find this very unconvincing. What I've read indicates people with ADD do not have poor concentration all of the time and that level of interest plays a big part. The questions the psychologist referred to involved concentration for quite brief periods of time. The assumption seems to be that no one with ADD can concentrate intensely for short periods of time, and I don't know where she's getting that information. The questions, or some of them, involved storing something in short term memory, doing some sort of calculation, then returning to the initial piece of information. I would say this is hard for most people but if you have an excellent memory remembering the initial information would be easy and wouldn't require good concentration. I see the questions as more related to memory than concentration.

From what I've read it sounds like a lot of psychologists do not agree with the idea of diagnosing whether someone has ADD solely based on a test. Sounds like tests are often involved, but reviewing symptoms with the person and people they know is a major part. Add.org says:
'DSM-V specifies the diagnostic criteria for ADHD but provides no specification for how clinicians should acquire the information needed to determine if these criteria are met.. There also continues to be no recommendation for any specific diagnostic test that should be used routinely.. ADHD remains a clinical judgment that clinicians make based on the information they obtain using the methods they choose to obtain it.'
My psychologist said that often people on the autistic spectrum have symptoms that mimic ADD, but would not fit the criteria for ADD as the symptoms would not be clinically significant. Actually clinical significance was required in DSM-IV but not anymore. The current requirement isn't as stringent. It is also quite open to interpretation and I can imagine in the less severe cases not all psychologists would agree if a person has it from the symptoms.

I have all the symptoms of inattentive in DSM-V: poor attention to detail, making careless mistakes, poor at following instructions, problems with organisation, avoidance of tasks requiring sustained concentration, forgetfulness and bad listening skills.

I will briefly describe my concentration to see if it sounds like I have ADD. My concentration was somewhat of an issue when I was younger but deteriorated in maybe 2005 or 2004 and I think got even worse some time after that. I used to concentrate really well when I saw a movie. For years I have regularly paid attention to less than 2/3 of a movie, often much lower. This has nothing to do with the movie being boring. My mind seems to almost always find things it wants to think about more. I have often tried hard to pay better attention without huge success. I go to music concerts and struggle to pay attention. I compete at a high level in quizzes and often do things like see shows or go to zoo talks to get information. I want to listen well to learn more but often struggle to listen much more than half the time, which causes a lot of distress. I often go periods of a couple minutes or more in social chit chat where I don't listen to anything being said to me. Again, this is not always due to the other person boring me. I daydream a lot.

In the course I'm doing most of the time the teacher talks I don't listen. I wish I could change that through effort. As examples from above indicate, my concentration is often terrible even when I am interested, but certainly when I'm not it's worse. Reading boring material taxes my brain a lot more. I often have a dull head ache at my course. Sometimes it gets so bad that when I try to read a sentence my brain refuses to read, or my head hurts as I read and I start feeling uncomfortable or suddenly experience intense anxiety levels for no particular reason. Though sometimes in class I then check my email, and my head immediately stops hurting. So being boring and requiring concentration taxes my brain a lot more. I enjoy the quiz study I do, and only when done in huge amounts do I experience the same physical symptoms I just mentioned. My concentration has generally got progressively worse during the course and a lot of days I spend almost no time working.


Should I see another psychologist for a second opinion?
I don't know if this will help or if it has been mentioned before but I was seeing a therapist for a while and she told me phychologist criteria in diagnosing ADD/ADHD is different then a psychiatrist.

Firestorm
06-22-15, 11:39 PM
I just noticed in the receipt that the person I'm seeing is a 'Provisional Psychologist'. Is that often a bad sign?

namazu
06-23-15, 12:55 AM
Not necessarily.

That means (at least, in my experience) that they've completed their doctoral program and internships, but haven't yet passed the licensing exam (maybe just because of when it's administered, or the results haven't come out yet). For this reason, they must work under the supervision of another licensed psychologist until they get their license.

I started seeing my best (so far) psychologist when she was still in the "provisional" stage. I had to sign something indicating that I understood that she was being supervised by another psychologist and that they might share information or something to that effect. Shortly thereafter, she was licensed and no longer provisional.

On the one hand, someone new to the profession will have less clinical experience than someone who's been practicing a long time. However, someone newer to the profession may also have more up-to-date training than someone who went to grad school 40 years ago. And psychologists have to do a lot of clinical work prior to licensure. Depending on where that work was done, it may be quite relevant (or quite irrelevant) to your situation.

My read would be that the "provisional" status isn't inherently good or bad, but you might want to ask about their training, clinical experience, and supervision. And regardless of whether they're new to the profession or whether they've been in practice 40 years, if you feel your concerns aren't being addressed, it's worthwhile to seek a second opinion.

EDIT: I missed that you're in Australia. What I said above refers to US training programs. I don't know if Australian terms are the same or not. OK, I just looked it up (http://www.psychologyboard.gov.au/Registration/Provisional.aspx)-- it appears to be similar, i.e. someone who's had some training, but is completing additional work before seeking certification to practice independently. However, it sounds like in Australia people can apply for provisional status without having first completed a doctoral-level training program, which I don't believe is the case in most states in the U.S. In Australia, it appears that provisional status is required to begin clinical training.

someothertime
06-24-15, 10:07 AM
I don't know if this will help or if it has been mentioned before but I was seeing a therapist for a while and she told me phychologist criteria in diagnosing ADD/ADHD is different then a psychiatrist.

In Aust, Psychologists have very little crossover into biological realms. Other than inquiry, encouragement or referral in a limited few... in Aust they almost always work on a behavioral / experience level..... Often, and in our case, this can leave their quiver and our treatment somewhat limited or "sans-totalite"....

There are a few who "specialise" in ADHD.... though, again, it's almost a given that your getting/got treatment/diagnosis by a Psychiatrist.

Pro's and cons of both, the middle is where it's at ;)




someone who's had some training, but is completing additional work before seeking certification to practice independently.

yup, always worth asking them tho'.... they'll either be at the beginning ( on the way ) or in limbo ( stalled studies or alike ).... neither has much bearing on skill but may raise further questions re: monitoring / provinence...