View Full Version : Anyone else had a similar experience?


ChRoTa3
12-29-16, 05:06 AM
So obviously I'm not asking for a diagnosis but any advice or stories that are similar to mine would be greatly appreciated.

Mental health has always been really stigmatized in my family. After discussing these sorts of things with my friends in college (I'm now a junior), I decided to go get some help.

I went to my family doctor and was diagnosed with depression. She immediately and somewhat forcefully suggested I go on an SSRI which I politely refused. I've seen some of my friends on them and I've read too many bad stories to ever want to go down that route. My visit with her made me feel very uncomfortable so I decided to switch doctors a few months later.

My second physician diagnosed me with depressive-anxiety and gave me Wellbutrin 150 XR and alprazolam .25. I took the Wellbutrin as prescribed for three months but it made me incredibly irritable and seemed to exacerbate symptoms like forgetfulness, trouble concentrating and motivation to start or finish projects. I jokingly compared it to Alzheimer's at the height of these negative effects. The alprazolam helped a lot with insomnia--I know it's not advised to be used for it but it helped--and the panic attacks I would occasionally get from what I describe as stimulus overload. I spoke with him about these things and he took me off my alprazolam, kept me on the Wellbutrin and strongly suggested I go to the local psych hospital. I wasn't comfortable with the latter and he didn't seem willing to try any other treatment, so once again I switched doctors.

The third doctor I am now visiting was suggested to me by a close family friend. I explained to her that I felt as if I've been misdiagnosed because so far none of the previous treatments seemed to work and my previous doctors were fixated on particular symptoms like depression or anxiety rather than the triggers. She didn't diagnose me with anything during my first couple of visits because we had yet to establish a relationship, but she did prescribe a fraction of the alprazolam my previous doctor had. I didn't think that would be too big of a deal until I started having panic attacks more frequently. I've yet to discuss that with her because I'd honestly rather manage through them by some other means. The prospect of developing a benzo dependency or addiction scares me. To help get to a more accurate diagnosis and consequently a more effective treatment, I started keeping a journal of symptoms including everything from alcohol use to consumption of OTC stimulants like caffeine and nicotine. After sharing that with her, she gave me trazodone to help with insomnia then mentioned that I may have an attention disorder but my dyslexia complicated it making her feel unqualified to help.

I was more disappointed than concerned by with this because I have an appointment with a psychiatrist as opposed to a general practitioner in a few days. I've been doing a lot of research on everything from bipolar disorder, adult ADD, depression and anxiety disorders, and I'm rather convinced that my doctor's tentative diagnosis is correct. Bouts of depression or anxiety are almost always triggered by ADD symptoms i.e. forgetfulness, trouble concentrating, lack of motivation, impulsive behavior.

Has anyone else had similar experiences with their doctors?

peripatetic
12-29-16, 03:11 PM
i had a different mental health path, but i did want to post to welcome you to the forums :)

journalling/tracking is always a great idea.

sarahsweets
12-30-16, 11:53 AM
So obviously I'm not asking for a diagnosis but any advice or stories that are similar to mine would be greatly appreciated.

Mental health has always been really stigmatized in my family. After discussing these sorts of things with my friends in college (I'm now a junior), I decided to go get some help. good for you!

I went to my family doctor and was diagnosed with depression. She immediately and somewhat forcefully suggested I go on an SSRI which I politely refused. I've seen some of my friends on them and I've read too many bad stories to ever want to go down that route. My visit with her made me feel very uncomfortable so I decided to switch doctors a few months later.

I understand the hesitancy but you shouldnt believe everything you hear or read. Remember, very few people feel the need to share the good experiences they have- its the bad ones that stick out. However if you feel the doc was forcing them on you then its good that you switched. What kind of doctor was it?
My second physician diagnosed me with depressive-anxiety and gave me Wellbutrin 150 XR and alprazolam .25. I took the Wellbutrin as prescribed for three months but it made me incredibly irritable and seemed to exacerbate symptoms like forgetfulness, trouble concentrating and motivation to start or finish projects. I jokingly compared it to Alzheimer's at the height of these negative effects.
Wellbutrin can be very agitating for some-it was for me so youre not alone.

The alprazolam helped a lot with insomnia--I know it's not advised to be used for it but it helped--and the panic attacks I would occasionally get from what I describe as stimulus overload. I spoke with him about these things and he took me off my alprazolam, kept me on the Wellbutrin and strongly suggested I go to the local psych hospital.
I dont understand this. What kind of doc was he? Did he feel like you were a danger to yourself or others? Why did he take you off the xanax if it was helping?


I wasn't comfortable with the latter and he didn't seem willing to try any other treatment, so once again I switched doctors.

Even though its legit you have to be careful with this pattern and furnish each doc with previous medical records or else it looks like doctor shopping.

The third doctor I am now visiting was suggested to me by a close family friend. I explained to her that I felt as if I've been misdiagnosed because so far none of the previous treatments seemed to work and my previous doctors were fixated on particular symptoms like depression or anxiety rather than the triggers.
Even if you have adhd, treating the anxiety and depression is always a first. Is it that you have zero anxiety and depression issues at all? Or is it that you may have these issues but want them to focus on the adhd possibility?

She didn't diagnose me with anything during my first couple of visits because we had yet to establish a relationship, but she did prescribe a fraction of the alprazolam my previous doctor had. I didn't think that would be too big of a deal until I started having panic attacks more frequently. I've yet to discuss that with her because I'd honestly rather manage through them by some other means. The prospect of developing a benzo dependency or addiction scares me.
So you do have issues with anxiety? Thats at least something the other docs got right.

To help get to a more accurate diagnosis and consequently a more effective treatment, I started keeping a journal of symptoms including everything from alcohol use to consumption of OTC stimulants like caffeine and nicotine. After sharing that with her, she gave me trazodone to help with insomnia then mentioned that I may have an attention disorder but my dyslexia complicated it making her feel unqualified to help.

Was this a psychiatrist? I dont understand what the dyslexia has to do with it. To my understanding to "treat" (wrong word) dyslexia- an OT or is it PT would be the one to do that? My son has both dyslexia and dysgraphia- and he got both OT and PT in school.

I was more disappointed than concerned by with this because I have an appointment with a psychiatrist as opposed to a general practitioner in a few days.
This will be the fourth doc right?

I've been doing a lot of research on everything from bipolar disorder, adult ADD, depression and anxiety disorders, and I'm rather convinced that my doctor's tentative diagnosis is correct. Bouts of depression or anxiety are almost always triggered by ADD symptoms i.e. forgetfulness, trouble concentrating, lack of motivation, impulsive behavior.

Yes, these things you mention can be as a result of untreated adhd but they are certainly not "almost always triggered by adhd symptoms". Its very good that doctors try to rule something else out.
You have been to many doctors who all say similar things? What kind of diagnosis do you think you have and what kind of treatment are you looking for?

ToneTone
12-30-16, 02:27 PM
Well, it sounds like you are on the journey, thinking, observing, noting your symptoms and paying attention to your reactions to various medications.

People seeking treatment lie along a continuum ... from passive and going along with whatever a doctor says ... to extremely skeptical and critical and doing a lot of research on their own

I am naturally on the same end as you ... the picky, aggressive-researching type of patient. But I've moved away from that--and I'm positioning myself more in the middle--and here's why.

If I am too quick to reject a doctor's recommendation, then basically I'm limiting the amount of wisdom I can tap into. What I want to do is tap as wide a range of wisdom as I can ...

To use an analogy, there is an insight from job seeking that says friends are often less helpful in helping people find jobs than acquaintances and even strangers. Why? Because our friends probably inhabit the same world as we do. They know the same jobs we know of ... and if we're having trouble finding work, we want to connect with people who know OTHER niches and jobs and opportunities. And that's where random meetings with acquaintances and even strangers can be more helpful ... because these folks are likely to know niches outside the niche we and our friends occupy.

Same with my mental health. The best therapists I have ever worked with are those who helped me in ways I would not have imagined before I worked with them. I don't mean their insights were a little different from the insights I had before seeing them. No, their insights were from universes I simply had never visited before I began working with them! In other words, their insights and help was totally outside my normal range of thinking.

So I try to keep an open mind when a doctor suggests something along a track I wasn't thinking. I'm not saying we should be completely passive. But if I'm struggling, that probably means that the answers/solutions lie outside my normal mode of thinking ... or else I would have solved the problem.

You seem a bit quick to dismiss SSRI's ... I know a lot of people who have benefited from them ... short term and long term ... for depression and anxiety ... people with different personalities and very different lives.

You mention triggers for depression. Are you talking like PTSD moments? ... Often people with depression are those (like myself) who are vulnerable to turning lots of events into depression. It's not the triggers that drive the depression for a lot of people. It's the vulnerability to depression that creates the triggers. Anxiety and depression can cause ADHD-like symptoms (inability to focus or concentrate or feel motivation) ... that's one of the challenges of diagnosing ADHD.

Glad to hear you found a psychiatrist you seem to like. Good luck.

Tone

ChRoTa3
12-30-16, 07:22 PM
good for you!


I understand the hesitancy but you shouldnt believe everything you hear or read. Remember, very few people feel the need to share the good experiences they have- its the bad ones that stick out. However if you feel the doc was forcing them on you then its good that you switched. What kind of doctor was it?

That's very true about people typically share the bad experiences. She was an RN.


I dont understand this. What kind of doc was he? Did he feel like you were a danger to yourself or others? Why did he take you off the xanax if it was helping?

He felt I was a danger to myself. I had a traumatic experience a few weeks prior that I shared with him. He wasn't understanding the difference between thoughts and intent. I realize that's kind of semantics and one can lead to the other, so I don't blame him for suggesting what he did. I just felt uncomfortable returning to him after the next couple of visits. He was a general practitioner. If anything, I feel like seeing a counselor would have helped speed up the healing process after that trauma; however, I was depressed and disinterested in seeking medical help for awhile after that.


Even though its legit you have to be careful with this pattern and furnish each doc with previous medical records or else it looks like doctor shopping.

I inform my docs of any previous practitioners I have seen. They can't really help me if I am not honest with them.


Even if you have adhd, treating the anxiety and depression is always a first. Is it that you have zero anxiety and depression issues at all? Or is it that you may have these issues but want them to focus on the adhd possibility?

Keeping a journal really made it clear to me that bouts of depression or anxiety are almost always triggered by ADHD symptoms affecting my life. Neither of them come on randomly or persist for months.


So you do have issues with anxiety? Thats at least something the other docs got right.

Yes but since that visit I've changed jobs and moved out of a toxic environment. It's been a few months and I have noticed a decrease in my anxiety levels. I am interested to see what the psychiatrist I'm visiting soon has to say about this.


Was this a psychiatrist? I dont understand what the dyslexia has to do with it. To my understanding to "treat" (wrong word) dyslexia- an OT or is it PT would be the one to do that? My son has both dyslexia and dysgraphia- and he got both OT and PT in school.

No, she's a general practitioner. I told her about scheduling an appointment with a psychiatrist, and I think she was just wanting to wait. I have another appointment with her about a month after my psychiatrist. She's been incredibly attentive and helpful.


This will be the fourth doc right?

The third doctor I saw was a general practitioner that I am staying with. My upcoming appointment is technically with my fourth doctor but he is also the first psychiatrist I've visited.


Yes, these things you mention can be as a result of untreated adhd but they are certainly not "almost always triggered by adhd symptoms". Its very good that doctors try to rule something else out.
You have been to many doctors who all say similar things? What kind of diagnosis do you think you have and what kind of treatment are you looking for?

I feel like treatment for my attention problems would be most beneficial for reasons stated above. The psychiatrist I am visiting also does CBT which is something I am open to trying.

ChRoTa3
12-30-16, 07:31 PM
You mention triggers for depression. Are you talking like PTSD moments? ... Often people with depression are those (like myself) who are vulnerable to turning lots of events into depression. It's not the triggers that drive the depression for a lot of people. It's the vulnerability to depression that creates the triggers. Anxiety and depression can cause ADHD-like symptoms (inability to focus or concentrate or feel motivation) ... that's one of the challenges of diagnosing ADHD.

That's a great analogy! If my psychiatrists suggests it, I guess it's something I should at least entertain.

No, I can't say that I have PTSD. By 'triggered' I meant that there will be important dates or assignments that I will completely forget about. Socially, this sometimes ends up with a friend or relative getting upset or something like that. Academically, I'll end up taking a zero and feeling really down for a week or so, or I'll remember the assignment a few hours before it's due resulting in an anxious, hasty writing session.

ToneTone
12-30-16, 10:28 PM
And let me guess: when you have a mishap or a major forgetting of an event, you come down pretty hard on youself ... and you feel awful ... is that the depression you're talking about?

Definitely treating depression and anxiety might help here. You might be forgetting because you are so preoccupied with anxiety and depression. Many of us here don't flat-out "forget" key appointments .... though that happens. Many of us can't get ourselves to the appointment on time even when we remember it and know about it. I pretty much can remembrer 99 percent of my appointments and deadlines. The challenge is to get myself into gear ... and that has taken a lot of work and experimenting and therapy ... and definitely the lowering of anxiety and depression has helped.

Sounds like you are on the path towards some good treatment. Just keep an open mind ... because depression and anxiety can impair all kinds of functioning ... Example: part of what antidepressants or therapy does is help people not fall into a deep funk after a mishap. So some good meds and therapy can help even after a mistake ... help us to be more compassionate, realistic and just plain fair to ourselves. So hang in there.

Sounds like you're moving forward!

Tone

Tone