View Full Version : First Appoint with Psychologist - RANT!

06-06-05, 10:44 PM
Ok, here's a description of my first appointment with a new psychologist. I began explaining that I have done an immense amount of research on ADD/ADHD due to my daughter's diagnosis 4 years ago. During this research I began to see many of my own behaviors and have serious suspicion that I, too, may have it. When I was explaining my absolute inability to organize, my constant trouble with getting places on time (which he said was due to a setting the clock problem), the constant feeling of being overwhelmed, and all the other various things I mentioned that I tend to read as a form of relaxation and also escape. It is something I do to avoid all of the other things I must do but can't get organized enough or motivated enough to do. After mentioning the reading thing he told me that people with ADHD are not able to read like I do so that makes him have serious doubts that I have ADHD. He did say that since I do display so many other signs of ADHD that he would be giving me the Wexler IQ test, whatever that is. Anyway, I am just so darned frustrated. The last time I tried to get dx and treated the only things the docs want to focus on is all the anxiety and subsequent depression I feel. Usually I hit these really hard times when my husband is deployed, but also have a hard time when he's home. The only difference is that when he's home I don't feel like I am in the middle of a crisis because he's here to take over some of the responsibilities of the household -- like paying bills because I forget to that. When left on my own with my 3 kids everything seems to fall apart, all of my compensations fly out the window and everything just gets to be overwhelming. Also, because my Dad will call me with reminders for some really important things (besides wake up calls) he said that my parents "infantalize" me. Ok, what-the-heck-ever! They do this because I ask them to so that I don't forget.

Oh and here's another thing. He asked me what I thought was the problem if ADHD was ruled out. So I said Anxiety Disorder with Depression (a previous diagnosis). Then he said well what about the disorganization and I said ok so I am a big slob! I was getting really frustrated and angry. I am so sick of being placed in the poor little military wifey with too many kids category. I am an intelligent person with an above average intelligence. I feel compelled to learn something new constantly and consider myself fairly well-read. I have taken anti-depressants and anti-anxiety meds in the past and they have NOT helped. I have been to therapy for for anxiety and depression and also couples therapy. I have read books by Hallowell, Solden, & Ratey. I have surfed the net so much my head spins. I have a pretty good handle on things and yet I find myself unable to get organized, be ontime, feel prepared when trying to deal with school administration for my children, can't keep a job, get bored so easily can't attend church or any other function that requires me to sit still and listen for more than five mins, lose track of time, have trouble maintaining social relationships, feel as though I am different and/or I stand out from others and the list could go on and on. So what I can read for more than 5 mins without losing concentration? ACK!:mad: I am not happy right now. Why did I bother to get a babysitter and drive 45 mins for that? So, that was my session and it stunk out loud!!!!

06-07-05, 12:01 AM
He was wrong about the reading Stacy. I am confirmed dianosed very ADD-inattentive and I read obsessively. I read myself into other worlds and places. I read everything that keeps still long enough.

When he does your test, there are other tests that should be done also.The whole testing thing should take 2-3 hours. Of course I can't remember what the other kinds of test are called! They would be listed in one of the books you mentioned. And the diagnoses using iq testing has to do with standard deviations from the norm. If your iq comes out high (and ADDers often do) he may have to slide the bar upwards to see the deviation. I'm not sure that I am describing this very well... Hope you see what I mean.

Anyhow, frustrating as it was, at least it is a start. Good luck with the testing.

06-07-05, 12:49 AM
Thanks, whiteraven, for the encouragement. I am going to my next appointment armed with questions about the testing process. If I don't get any satisfactory answers then I will seek another opinion.

Thanks again!

06-07-05, 10:10 AM
I am also diagnosed inattentive ADD and I love to read. I hate starting new books but I love to be into one and could read for hours. Not at night though, at night I read 2 pages and fall asleep. Sorry it didn't go well but hopefully the testing will show him what the problem is.

Keep your chin up!

06-20-05, 02:13 PM
My ADD wife is also an avid reader. Before I was up to speed on ADD it seemed like a big contradiction - how could she concentrate well enough to read a novel cover-to-cover in one sitting, but not focus long enough finish various necessary tasks? Now I understand.(sort of :) ). It sounds like your shrink is the one who needs to do some reading. Good Luck.

06-20-05, 02:46 PM
When I was diagnosed, I was told I had a subclinical form of ADHD because I read well. That was several years ago.

I was the kid with an open book on my lap instead of paying attention to the teacher. It took me many years to stop feeling guilty about reading a book instead of doing other things.

Now kids are "bribed" with rewards for reading. :faint:

06-21-05, 01:47 AM
Personally, I would look for a second opinion anyway.

I can't see how the psychologist could rule out ADD because of one thing he views as a discrepancy. We can do so many things and certainly we are capable of reading. I read all the time......but I am distracted. It just takes me longer.

It looks to me that you are seeking validation and treatment for something you feel certain your have...being ADD. You have a daughter with ADD. It makes sense to you and it does to me too. He should be more receptive to your concerns.

Maybe he is concerned about too many adult cases being diagnosed. And maybe he is being very cautious.

I had depression and anxiety. It was under control when I was tested for ADD. But I understand that undiagnosed adult ADD can lead to depression and anxiety.
I took an ADD test when I was diagnosed but not the IQ test.
Is it possible for you to talk to the same doctor your daughter saw?

I hope you feel better about your next appointment. Take care.


07-12-05, 05:52 AM
Think most (uninformed) psychiatrists see adhd as a much less urgent or debilitating problem then depression or anxiety. As soon as you mention any other problem that might co exist with the ADD then they put ADD on the back burner and decide they need to deal with these other "more important" issues.

I had a doctor do this she even asked me what was more of a problem for me at the moment ADHD or Depression. I told her the ADHD was causing a much bigger problem, in fact the only reason I was depressed was because I couldn't control the ADHD problems. So of course what does she immediatley start talking about -- How to treat my depression. She must have been thinking about what to make for dinner that night while I was talking because she sure wasn't listening to me LOL

For anyone that is looking to get diagnosed and can't find a specialist I'd suggest mentioning your biggest problems or concerns first. If you are going to find out about ADHD then just talk about that. You can always talk about depression, anxiety, or whatever later on if that doctor winds up being a good match.

Seems like a lot of doctors have ADD when it comes to listening to their patients

07-12-05, 10:35 AM
Good point Kiddo. You can seek the advice of the best psychiatrist in the world, but if the good doctor hasn't opened a book about ADHD in twenty years, it is an aggravating waste of time and money.

07-14-05, 11:28 PM
In the last month or so, it's been a living hell for me with my meds not working. I've said this before but the irony is inescapable. Today went fairly well so we'll see what tomorrow brings.:)

While I wouldn't wish this (ADHD) on anyone, I know that having ADHD gives me an advantage over a practitioner who doesnt have it.

07-14-05, 11:43 PM
I would love to see a doctor that was an actual ADHD sufferer. All the book knowledge and training in the world can't make up for first hand experience. Who wouldn't prefer to talk to someone that really gets it.

McTavish sorry to here the past month has been so difficult, but glad to see things may be getting better for you. I'm off of meds myself at the moment so I definatley understand. Life is challenging enough when the meds are working. When they stop it can be a nightmare. Hang in there.

07-14-05, 11:47 PM
Thank you. I will.

My hope is that the meds will work well enough for me to get the paperwork done. It's overwhelming as it is. If my meds dont work, then I literally can't do my job from a cognitive standpoint.

Good luck to you as well.

mctavish23 (Robert)

07-15-05, 12:13 AM
I would love to see a doctor that was an actual ADHD sufferer.
I have had the opportunity to listen to doctors with ADHD a few times and the experience is a real morale booster. My definitely not ADHD friend and I attended an excellent lecture by one such doctor and as we were walking across the parking lot, I asked my friend who the doctor reminded her of. My friend replied, "You, of course." and went on with discussing the lecture. Priceless.

07-15-05, 12:35 AM
I just wanted to update everyone on my situatuation. The therapist that I referred to in the original post did not work out. What I am about to type is not meant to offend any men who practice in the mental health field so don't take it that way, ok. I saw that therapist just one other time and the whole time I was sitting there I just felt that he was being very condescending and giving me the same old label of -- stressed out woman syndrome (otherwise, known as I really felt he was taking a very chauvanistic point of view & it ticked me off. It also didn't help that he kept replying with "of course you feel that way you have 3 small children." And when I couldn't tell him about recent workplace experiences (especially since I haven't really worked in a typical setting in 10 years) he said he wasn't certain as to what I needed him to do, but he thought I could benefit from several hours of IQ testing. He never once mentioned any evaluations or childhood histories or family histories. In short, I left feeling angry and frustrated.

So, tomorrow, I am seeing a woman who has ADD herself. She usually works with children, but she's making an exception for me because I am at my wit's end. I am very excited about it and really feel that I am finally on the right road.

I'll let all of you know how it goes.

07-15-05, 01:23 AM
Hmmm . . . chauvinistic and doesn't like small children either. AND YOU LET HIM LIVE! :eek:

Anyone who works with children, but made an exception for you might be worth spending time with.

07-15-05, 06:51 PM
lol.....none taken.:)

Just remember that "good therapist's are "born" and not educated." You can't teach someone empathy, instincts and insight in grad school (or anywhere else).

My experience is that most of the therapist's I come across at meetings, workshops, etc. are pretty much "with it" in terms of ADHD in general.

The young man I sat next to at the Treatment Plan Writing presentation during the Minnesota Psych Association's Annual Meeting in May, really impressed me. He had as good a grasp of ADHD as anyone I know (includng me).:)

As far as therapist's go, it's more a matter of personality than training when it comes to being able to connect with people. Then you get into the training part in terms of keeping up with the latest research to stay on top of what's going on in diagnosing and treating ADHD.

s golden, I hope you can find someone that you can connect with.I enjoy your posts.:)

07-15-05, 11:22 PM
I had a wonderful appointment today! The therapist and I really connected and she does believe I am ADHD. She suggested I speak with my medical doc about starting wellbutrin for the time being and we'll see how that goes. Also, she thinks I may be experiencing some fatigue issues in addition to some other symptoms related to hypothyroidism so she suggested I request a thyroid panel plus a diabetes test (my mother's side of the family is rampant with diabetes). I had already given her my childhood history via a letter my mother wrote to her so we did discuss some of my childhood history and some my adult history to present time. I left feeling like this person has my best interests at heart and she will function as a therapist and coach for me. Over all I felt good after my appointment.

07-16-05, 12:38 AM
Stacey, that's great news.

07-16-05, 10:48 AM
Hi Stacey --

Your story is such a great example of a good patient-doctor relationship.

So glad you found a doctor you can work with, Ann