View Full Version : Finally made an appointment


SouthOfNowhere
01-24-17, 07:25 PM
I followed through with the decision I made Friday night and am scheduled to see a doctor this coming Thursday morning.

I'm just going to see my general physician at the moment, as 1) he takes my insurance and 2) from what I understand, seeing a psychiatrist will get me diagnosed, but they won't be able to prescribe me anything. My line of thinking is that if he has to refer me to a psych doctor, my regular physician will at least be up to speed and able to prescribe once the psych doctor has diagnosed me. Am I at least somewhat correct in that line of thinking?

However, because of the fact that this is the first time in 34 years I've done anything to actually try and treat this, I'm second guessing things. I've been doing a lot of reading this weekend, and I keep seeing all the things that my ADD has possibly been holding me back from or causing me to struggle with, and I'm feeling cautiously optimistic that I might be able to get some control over it and maybe approach life in a more purposeful way. Because of that, I really *really* want to get this diagnosed and start getting treated with as few delays as possible.

So I guess all I'm trying to figure out is whether this is the right way to go about it, or should I also be trying to make a psych appointment as well? As far as seeing a general doctor, what should my expectations be, if any? I've got a list of questions I should ask, but is there anything else I should have on hand to be as prepared for this as I can?

Thanks!

sarahsweets
01-25-17, 05:25 AM
Why do you think a psychiatrist cant prescribe medication? If anything they are more qualified to prescribe meds then your family doctor.

Little Nut
01-25-17, 09:24 AM
Maybe thinking Psychologist.

A list guy here, so to keep me focused, on-topic, and help to pass-on everything I want to I would make a list. Problem/symptoms in one column and real life instances where that symptom caused you problems in life. The more examples the better, but make sure objective. Make a copy for the Doc and review the list. If like me, start the list a week or two beforehand and keep it with you. This way as problems occur or something comes to mind, you can jot it down before you forget about it.

GL and Let me Know How it Turns Out, -LN

ToneTone
01-25-17, 04:41 PM
Just to clarify the terms:

A psychiatrist is an MD who can prescribe medicine ... and increasingly that's all they do ... (in the old days, they used to do the talk therapy as well) ...

A psychologist or counselor is the person for therapy and counseling .... they are not MD's ... so they cannot prescribe medicine ...this is all about talk and problem-solving ... and most of the time you meet the person weekly.

I think most of us here find that a good psychiatrist is the nice road to take.

And yes, ADHD comes with some much pain and so many issues, that going to see a counselor ALSO is an excellent idea. Medication does not undo lack of confidence or a history of failure. That's the task of therapy ...

Also another element of therapy (for some people with some therapists) is the coaching angle ... people with ADHD often benefit from day-to-day, practical living tips ... some therapists are good at that ... some aren't ...

I go to a psychiatric nurse practitioner for medication ... and I go to a separate therapist. My therapist is good at working through failure and pain and frustration ... and he's a good coach as well.

Tone

SouthOfNowhere
01-25-17, 05:10 PM
Why do you think a psychiatrist cant prescribe medication? If anything they are more qualified to prescribe meds then your family doctor.

Maybe thinking Psychologist.

D'oh! I did mean psychologist... nertz. I live in a small town, and there aren't any psychiatrists nearby. There's a couple of psychologists in town who take my insurance, but no psychiatrists unless I make the 40+ minute drive to the city. Just trying to keep things simple/local unless necessity dictates otherwise.

Thanks for the advice, Little Nut. I'll try to get something started to take with me tomorrow morning.

Johnny Slick
01-25-17, 07:26 PM
My psychiatrist still does psychotherapy. I will grant you, he's also super duper expensive and not covered by my insurance plan, but still... those guys do still exist.

Little Missy
01-25-17, 07:49 PM
D'oh! I did mean psychologist... nertz. I live in a small town, and there aren't any psychiatrists nearby. There's a couple of psychologists in town who take my insurance, but no psychiatrists unless I make the 40+ minute drive to the city. Just trying to keep things simple/local unless necessity dictates otherwise.

Thanks for the advice, Little Nut. I'll try to get something started to take with me tomorrow morning.

Some of the psychiatrists in MT travel around to offices and are available on sliding scales. :)

aeon
01-25-17, 09:10 PM
My GP specializes in ADHD (among other things) so no psychiatrist needed...he's a one-stop shop.


Cheers,
Ian

SouthOfNowhere
01-26-17, 03:33 PM
Well, the doc put me on Wellbutrin for now until I get in and get a formal evaluation by a psychiatric doctor. He said he'd rather not go to the extremes of a stimulant right away, especially since I haven't been diagnosed as an adult.

I'm a little nervous about going to a psychiatrist, mainly because my doctor commented that the fact I was able to complete high school and college didn't suggest that I was very affected by ADD. I had more than one teacher tell my parents I'd be a great student if I would only apply myself and pay attention. I got through college by having a major I was genuinely interested in, and did great in those classes. The other required education classes, I didn't do as great in but managed to pass. -Partly because I was very good at the art of BS-ing my way through term papers. The other part is because my dad was scary as hell, and telling him he paid a lot of money for me to fail a class was enough of a motivator to force me to focus when my grades were on the line.

I know what's wrong with me. I'm just worried that my being able to succeed at some things in spite of it will count against me. It's kind of ironic: I spent so much time worrying about not wanting to get help and being put on medication, and now I'm worried that I *won't* get those things.

Little Missy
01-26-17, 07:55 PM
My GP specializes in ADHD (among other things) so no psychiatrist needed...he's a one-stop shop.


Cheers,
Ian

Yeah, mine too. But I have had a myriad of psychiatrists in many different states. And states of mind.

ToneTone
01-26-17, 11:07 PM
I haven't encountered that problem.

I think psychiatrists know that lots of people can excel in some area and still suffer major deficits that can be debilitating.

Lots of ADHDers are college graduates ... or did well in school at various points.

In my experience psychiatrists know this FAR MORE than general practitioners or even psychologists.

It's basic to most psychiatric training that ADHD is real, that is debilitating, that it comes frequently with depression or anxiety ...that it puts people at higher risk of addiction, higher risk of accidents of all types ... And it seems to be the consensus among psychiatrists that the condition is UNDER-diagnosed.

In my experience, it's therapists and counselors who are more likely not to take ADHD so seriously ... or think it may only apply to severely disabled people.

Good luck.

Tone

Little Nut
01-27-17, 11:46 AM
List guy here still says make the list and then work the list. -LN

Johnny Slick
01-27-17, 12:01 PM
Well, the doc put me on Wellbutrin for now until I get in and get a formal evaluation by a psychiatric doctor. He said he'd rather not go to the extremes of a stimulant right away, especially since I haven't been diagnosed as an adult.

I'm a little nervous about going to a psychiatrist, mainly because my doctor commented that the fact I was able to complete high school and college didn't suggest that I was very affected by ADD. I had more than one teacher tell my parents I'd be a great student if I would only apply myself and pay attention. I got through college by having a major I was genuinely interested in, and did great in those classes. The other required education classes, I didn't do as great in but managed to pass. -Partly because I was very good at the art of BS-ing my way through term papers. The other part is because my dad was scary as hell, and telling him he paid a lot of money for me to fail a class was enough of a motivator to force me to focus when my grades were on the line.

I know what's wrong with me. I'm just worried that my being able to succeed at some things in spite of it will count against me. It's kind of ironic: I spent so much time worrying about not wanting to get help and being put on medication, and now I'm worried that I *won't* get those things.Yeah, I wanted to reiterate what others are saying: being able to graduate HS and college is not a "red flag". It's an accomplishment which you were able to do in spite of your condition. I'm in the same boat - I had horrible grades in high school, spent forever getting my 2 year degree at the local community college, and then got through real college (with pretty good grades, I should add). I had to make compromises, primarily to my health, in order to do this and in ways I didn't really understand until after my diagnosis, but just because a lot of people with ADHD drop out or go to prison doesn't mean that you have to do those things in order to have it.

I do want to add that just knowing that you have this condition I think does help. I will grant you that my own period of time between my doctor broaching the subject with me and putting me on meds was not very long so I can't really give you specific advice as to how to deal with the diagnosis without the treatment, but I can say that just the diagnosis alone made a lot of sense out of my life. I think that people who don't have it, especially, just plain do not get how many different things it can affect both primarily and secondarily.

kilted_scotsman
01-27-17, 12:55 PM
it's therapists and counselors who are more likely not to take ADHD so seriously
This is true, however the reason is that counsellors & psychotherapists usually use a different language for describing how someone presents.

To add to the confusion different types of therapy use the same words to describe different "ways of being" in the world, and have different frameworks to describe the reasons for these behaviours.

ToneTone
01-27-17, 01:01 PM
And I should make clear that though I've encountered therapists who didn't get ADHD, I eventually found others who did take the condition seriously.

In fact, it was a therapist who got me ultimately to get diagnosed with ADHD in the first place.

I also think ADHD is so debilitating that it amplifies any other mental health weakness or problem. So generally getting healthier, less anxious, more resilient, more self-forgiving ... practicing better social skills and communication and self-talk ... all of those areas help with my overall functioning.

I was carrying huge amounts of family baggage and pain and perfectionism and fear of failure and black-and-white thinking ... and releasing so much of that baggage in long-term therapy has cleared my brain of a lot of cobwebs ... and allowed me to think a lot more clearly and effectively. Therapy has also lowered my anxiety, which frankly, I didn't know I had until it started to decrease.

Tone

sarahsweets
01-28-17, 08:05 AM
I'm a little nervous about going to a psychiatrist, mainly because my doctor commented that the fact I was able to complete high school and college didn't suggest that I was very affected by ADD.
Your doctor was acting like an as*hole for saying that and has zero knowledge of how adhd works. Personally I would find a new one.

I had more than one teacher tell my parents I'd be a great student if I would only apply myself and pay attention. I got through college by having a major I was genuinely interested in, and did great in those classes. The other required education classes, I didn't do as great in but managed to pass. -Partly because I was very good at the art of BS-ing my way through term papers. The other part is because my dad was scary as hell, and telling him he paid a lot of money for me to fail a class was enough of a motivator to force me to focus when my grades were on the line.

I graduated by the skin of my teeth with a BA in English Lit due to my interest and some very understanding professors. At the time (1997-1998)
It was rare for a 21 year old to be married and have a baby. I even brought my son to class a few times and I remember my 16th century Eng professor Dr O, walking around holding my son while he lectured because he was fussy. Back then it just wasnt a pro-moms in school world and without professors like that I wouldnt have made it.

I cant stand it when doctors fail to take into consideration the coping mechanisms we can have. Thats like saying someone with vision issues shouldnt have done well reading and withholding proper corrective lenses. Like "well, you were able to read so I dont see how you need glasses"-ignoring the fact that they had to hold a book an inch from their face to do it.


what's wrong with me. I'm just worried that my being able to succeed at some things in spite of it will count against me. It's kind of ironic: I spent so much time worrying about not wanting to get help and being put on medication, and now I'm worried that I *won't* get those things.

I hate it that we have to prove why we succeeded despite a disorder. There are not many disorders and conditions in this world where sucess is called into question the way ours is. Most people and doctors praise a disabled person's ability to do well, not withhold treatment and criticizing them.

SouthOfNowhere
02-24-17, 02:24 PM
So I had my psychiatric appointment and she told me what I pretty much knew going in, and that was that I have ADD. She did commend me on being able to get through high school and college, and said that I'm not as severe as some other cases are.

She prescribed me 7 days of Vyvanse, and I'm currently on Day 4 of taking it. I'm not exactly sure how I'm supposed to feel while I'm on it... I seem to be able to make myself focus a little more easily, although my urge to procrastinate is still there. (I think that's probably more a personal problem, though)

I was working on a project the other day, and I felt that urge that "I'm bored, I want to turn my attention to something else". However, it felt like I was able to just push that thought away... the urge was there but it felt like maybe my brain recognized that it wasn't productive to what I was doing at the time?

I'm supposed to call the doctor today and let her know how I'm progressing on the medication, and she'll decide whether to keep me at the same dosage or whether to switch me to something else. The only problem is, I don't know how much I should be "feeling" the effects, so I don't know if this is exactly the dosage I need, or if I should be on something stronger. I guess overall I just don't feel that much different from when I wasn't on the medication... but maybe that's the point? I feel like for every answer I get, I manage to find just as many new questions. :/