View Full Version : Need Advice: Am I Wasting My Time With A Psychologist?


goldsprinkles
05-24-17, 09:09 PM
Hey all! I'm a newbie here :)

I'm a 30 year old female and I just went to see a Psychologist for the first time last week about hoping to find out whether or not I have ADHD.

The Psychologist said that I needed to have some testing done. Now I only learned very recently from this forum, that there is no such thing as ADD testing. So I'm assuming the tests I'm doing are to rule out other things. The first test that I had was a general questionnaire and interview. The second test (today) was a cognitive test: it consisted of word problems, math problems, and a bunch of patterns with pictures and drawings. Then she said that next week I will be taking a computer test. And after my third test, I may need 1 or 2 more tests.

Each visit costs $100, so I just wanted your thoughts to see if this would be all worth it. Because after all this, I'll have to see a Psychiatric Nurse ($250) with these test report/results and THEN discuss treatment, if necessary.

I found a Psychiatrist who is accepting new patients who specializes in ADHD. But that would be $300 per visit and I would want to cry if I saw him and he told me the same thing about how I need ADD "testing"

I'm not sure what to do :( I didn't expect this to cost so much money *sniff*

Should I just continue with the Psychologist and complete these "tests" or should I hold off and see a Psychiatrist?

aur462
05-24-17, 11:55 PM
Those tests MAY be helpful but in my cynical opinion it sounds like a money grab. I've that computer test with the shapes you are supposed to respond to. I probably got all of them right. I was diagnosed about 40 years later than I should have been. I simply gave my history of symptoms to my p-doc at the time and was prescribed meds immediately. Your mistake was going to a psychologist rather than a shrink.

sarahsweets
05-25-17, 09:02 AM
Hey all! I'm a newbie here :)

I'm a 30 year old female and I just went to see a Psychologist for the first time last week about hoping to find out whether or not I have ADHD.

The Psychologist said that I needed to have some testing done. Now I only learned very recently from this forum, that there is no such thing as ADD testing. So I'm assuming the tests I'm doing are to rule out other things. The first test that I had was a general questionnaire and interview. The second test (today) was a cognitive test: it consisted of word problems, math problems, and a bunch of patterns with pictures and drawings. Then she said that next week I will be taking a computer test. And after my third test, I may need 1 or 2 more tests.

Each visit costs $100, so I just wanted your thoughts to see if this would be all worth it. Because after all this, I'll have to see a Psychiatric Nurse ($250) with these test report/results and THEN discuss treatment, if necessary.

I found a Psychiatrist who is accepting new patients who specializes in ADHD. But that would be $300 per visit and I would want to cry if I saw him and he told me the same thing about how I need ADD "testing"

I'm not sure what to do :( I didn't expect this to cost so much money *sniff*

Should I just continue with the Psychologist and complete these "tests" or should I hold off and see a Psychiatrist?

So you face a possibility of 100$ test ( 4-6 of them) and Psyche Nurse for 250$ your looking at nearly 900$ for these tests which overall have not much to do with adhd. Does your insurance pay some? Because if they do, I would bet the farm that this office is billing your insurance company more than they would actually charge so they get paid more and then you tack on your payments and I can see the motivation for those tests. Plus if you see the doctor, I would also be willing to bet the farm that he will put you through some of these tests or drag the diagnosis out.

Have you tried asking either of them (the person coordinating everything) why these tests are necessary? And then when you are given an explanation that will probably be wrong, ask them why you have to pay so much when there are no definitive tests for adhd. Anyone can google this and i think these doctors' offices bank on this sort thing confusing the patient. We as a culture are conditioned to accept tests for everything.
I would bet that we spend more time on getting tests than we do getting treatment in most cases.
Think about it, once your diagnosis is official you wont need many visits or tests to verify treatment so the way they benefit is to hit you all at once.
If I am not mistaken you are allowed to ask how they bill the insurance company and what their contract agreement for reimbursement it.

I am not trying to poop on your situation I just wanted to give my opinion.
Did you know that in many cases its cheaper to get diagnosed with cancer?

Little Missy
05-25-17, 09:49 AM
Just go straight to the psychiatrist and pass on the rest.

Actually, I would also ask the previous people to kindly refund yours and your insurance companys' money. It is called fraud. They are leading you on and you don't need anything they have to offer nor their referral to see a psychiatrist. They all act like they are brokering up a very highly paid deal for you when they actually have nothing to do with it, except for you to pay them.

And if the person booking your appointment with a psychiatrist asks what you need to be seen for, sweetly say, "That will be between the doctor and myself, thank you."

Impromptu_DTour
05-25-17, 06:01 PM
I mean, especially right now in this day and age, you have alot of reason to be skeptical and wary of being misled. My reply might not be directly helpful.. lol

Should you stop seeing a Psychologist? (ignoring the request for the depth of testing) A pHD might be a doctor of that specialty.. but if you dont jive with them, you simply don't and i wouldnt waste your money.

Many pHDs might have the ability to write prescriptions.. though many dont want to mess with the schedule 2 stuff, the legalities.. and refer out to a psychiatrist.. and do what psychologists do best and stick to the testing, behavioral modification and stuff. Thats what they do best. Not so much in the world of neuropsychiatry. Psychiatry is a different ballgame in that sense. Baseball to Cricket.

ADHD is often misdiagnosed, and theres a huge thing (at least in my area) about anit-amphetamines.. (stimulants across the board really). I think theres alot of reason for this, and dont think its as easy as what people accuse the situations of... but.. Psychiatry has a tendancy to focus on the symptoms.. and base treatement around that. Often i see people who have a "diagnosis" of Adult ADHD.. when really they're just getting treated for symptoms resembling ADHD.

So it comes down to your motives i guess. And Psychologists often have their own approach.. as do Psychiatrists. but at the end of the day.. if you want a pharmaceutical approach, and fix symptoms fast.. the psychiatrist might be less uh.. meticulous, regarding the evaluation to justify treatment? But then again, if you asked either what a MAOI inhibitor was and what they do.. you'd get a faster answer out of the psychiatrist.

If you want to develop strategies and methods of functioning with stronger coping mechanisms that rely less (or not at all) on pharms.. then you're going to be more interested in the psychologist with all the tests.. because the symptoms of ADHD are not exclusive to ADHD.. and often people are thought to have ADHD.. with they could be experience any of a vast number of other challenges, up to and including childhood ptsd and poor coping mechanisms, and a stunted emotional intelligence.. your not going to get much help from a Psychiatrist there.

TL;DR
Psychologist: Longterm; more organic approach, more intuitive (often more expensive) examination covering a broader and more thorough range of possibilities.. less of a lean to pharmaceutical complimentary therapy.. could mean a more accurate "official" diagnosis and successful long term treatment plan.

Psychiatrist: Shortterm; pharmaceutical approach, treat symptoms directly to alleviate the condition, rather than root out the origin. Usually less expensive in my experience.. but dont expect any perspectives on lifecoaching or self-management methods that dont rely on pills.

So if you want to start a treatment plan fast, and hit the ground running.. go to the Psychiatrist.. and later on if you want go to a psychologist for a broader treatment plan. Often they work in tandem.

iDTour

PS. The tests arnt useless.. but no.. they're not always necissary - and many psychologists (and psychiatrists) use different tests. Examinations.. are for the examiner. Not the examinee. Its the interpretation of that exam that you're paying for.. not the exam itself. Depends on how thorough they want to get.. and how comfortable they are rendering a diagnosis that they sign their name to.. with the information they have.

sarahsweets
05-26-17, 12:47 PM
Thats so weird. In my experience Psychiatrists are always more expensive because they have a medical degree and the ability to write prescriptions plus they have that medical-type card that allows them to write controlled substance prescriptions.

I mean, especially right now in this day and age, you have alot of reason to be skeptical and wary of being misled. My reply might not be directly helpful.. lol

Should you stop seeing a Psychologist? (ignoring the request for the depth of testing) A pHD might be a doctor of that specialty.. but if you dont jive with them, you simply don't and i wouldnt waste your money.

Many pHDs might have the ability to write prescriptions.. though many dont want to mess with the schedule 2 stuff, the legalities.. and refer out to a psychiatrist.. and do what psychologists do best and stick to the testing, behavioral modification and stuff. Thats what they do best. Not so much in the world of neuropsychiatry. Psychiatry is a different ballgame in that sense. Baseball to Cricket.

ADHD is often misdiagnosed, and theres a huge thing (at least in my area) about anit-amphetamines.. (stimulants across the board really). I think theres alot of reason for this, and dont think its as easy as what people accuse the situations of... but.. Psychiatry has a tendancy to focus on the symptoms.. and base treatement around that. Often i see people who have a "diagnosis" of Adult ADHD.. when really they're just getting treated for symptoms resembling ADHD.

So it comes down to your motives i guess. And Psychologists often have their own approach.. as do Psychiatrists. but at the end of the day.. if you want a pharmaceutical approach, and fix symptoms fast.. the psychiatrist might be less uh.. meticulous, regarding the evaluation to justify treatment? But then again, if you asked either what a MAOI inhibitor was and what they do.. you'd get a faster answer out of the psychiatrist.

If you want to develop strategies and methods of functioning with stronger coping mechanisms that rely less (or not at all) on pharms.. then you're going to be more interested in the psychologist with all the tests.. because the symptoms of ADHD are not exclusive to ADHD.. and often people are thought to have ADHD.. with they could be experience any of a vast number of other challenges, up to and including childhood ptsd and poor coping mechanisms, and a stunted emotional intelligence.. your not going to get much help from a Psychiatrist there.

TL;DR
Psychologist: Longterm; more organic approach, more intuitive (often more expensive) examination covering a broader and more thorough range of possibilities.. less of a lean to pharmaceutical complimentary therapy.. could mean a more accurate "official" diagnosis and successful long term treatment plan.

Psychiatrist: Shortterm; pharmaceutical approach, treat symptoms directly to alleviate the condition, rather than root out the origin. Usually less expensive in my experience.. but dont expect any perspectives on lifecoaching or self-management methods that dont rely on pills.

So if you want to start a treatment plan fast, and hit the ground running.. go to the Psychiatrist.. and later on if you want go to a psychologist for a broader treatment plan. Often they work in tandem.

iDTour

PS. The tests arnt useless.. but no.. they're not always necissary - and many psychologists (and psychiatrists) use different tests. Examinations.. are for the examiner. Not the examinee. Its the interpretation of that exam that you're paying for.. not the exam itself. Depends on how thorough they want to get.. and how comfortable they are rendering a diagnosis that they sign their name to.. with the information they have.

dvdnvwls
05-26-17, 01:14 PM
I think "... with a psychologist" is not a necessary part of the question.

I suggest you look at it like "Is this a waste of time, yes or no", and ignore the styling of the certificate on the wall.

If you are getting what helps you, it doesn't matter who or why.

Pilgrim
05-26-17, 10:24 PM
In your situation I would head to the trick-cyclist. Psychologist isn't what you need.

Just my opinion.

goldsprinkles
05-27-17, 06:43 PM
Hey everyone, thanks for your input. I don't just want a quick diagnosis or medication at all. I just want someone who wants to honestly help me. I think I'll go to my next appointment with her and see how this computer test goes..

sarahsweets
05-29-17, 08:25 AM
Hey everyone, thanks for your input. I don't just want a quick diagnosis or medication at all. I just want someone who wants to honestly help me. I think I'll go to my next appointment with her and see how this computer test goes..

Not trying to poop on your parade but please dont put to much stock into these computer tests. Ive seen them give both false negatives and positves and be really discouraging to people. They are not approved for the diagnosis of adhd. They can help look for other disorders but only if those other disorders are actively being looked for. If it is purely for adhd I am not sure it will be helpful. Be especially mindful if the cost is ridiculous, if its a direct pay issue or you are told no way would an insurance company cover it and its alot of money. In those cases its more about lining the pockets of the doctor.

ItsaRose
05-29-17, 01:28 PM
I recently had a discouraging appointment with a counselor, though she did not have a PhD, she worked within a group that had several PhDs. I went to the counselor to explore CBT in addition to the treatment/medications I was recieving from my current psychiatrist (seeing him for the last 8 years). A huge problem for me has been timeliness, which has caused many problems in my life and unfortunately, I was late to the first two counseling appointments by about 10 minutes. The counselor was visibly disturbed by this and at my second appointment she stood in the waiting room of the center asking 'what was going on' in an effort to investigate why I was late. As always, I was apologetic and I was not expecting her to spend extra time with me or to decrease the amount I was to pay...but I didn't have an answer on the spot at that time, while standing in the waiting room as to why I was late.

The third and final visit I had, I was actually on time...or so I thought. It turns out I was early, though I came at the usual time of the appointment, the counselor informed me the time was 15 minutes later. So I was relieved that not only was I on time, but I was early! That sense of accomplishment in making an appointment on time disappeared when the counselor chose to focus the last portion of the visit on my being late for the PREVIOUS week's appointment. She asked me to think back to the previous week and recall what I was thinking and the subsequent behaviors that caused me to be late. Keep in mind, I was experiencing severe symptoms of depression for a host of reasons and her focus on my being late the previous week did not seem like an appropriate use of my time. As an explanation, NOT an excuse, I mentioned to her that I recently identified myself on the AD(H)D spectrum and my psychiatrist had agreed. She got defensive and asked if I had been tested for it and said the testing was VERY expensive. She could not tell me how much, but estimated it was in the thousands of dollars. She was also unable to tell me where I could get this expensive testing and suggested I Google it or ask my pdoc.

After more discussion, it turns out that not only did she have no adult clients who had this testing, none of the other 8-9 psychologists/counselors at the center had adult clients who had been tested or had been diagnosed with adult AD(H)D. I took her advice and did a Google search to find one center in my area that conducts the testing. Insurance does not pay for any of the testing so it is all out of pocket, with the least expensive test package $1300.00. But that does not include the other fee requirements to first see a clinician before the testing ($300.00) and the clinician after the testing - another $300.00...and they do not bill insurance, so it would be your responsibility to get reimbursement from your insurance carrier. After you've spent close to $2000.00, perhaps more depending on the test package you choose...if you need medication support you will still have to see a psychiatrist, as none of them write any prescriptions.

So yeah, I would have to agree it could very well be a waste of time and possibly money too.

peripatetic
05-29-17, 02:48 PM
i think seeing a psychologist for adhd testing is a waste of time, but seeing a psychologist can be really beneficial in helping identify and work toward goals you have.

goldsprinkles
05-29-17, 11:03 PM
Hey all, thanks again. I decided to reach out to a Psychiatrist who is experienced and specializes in adults ADHD. I emailed him and asked what the usual process to diagnosing ADHD is. I'll hold off on the computer test until I hear back from the psychiatrist..

THANKS everyone so much!

superherobootca
05-29-17, 11:15 PM
A psychologist I know well administers a number of testing instruments that take about 4 hours and costs upwards of $500.

If you found an honest to God specialist that does an evaluation for $300, I would say go for it. However, it is the standard 10 question test, you've been robbed.

Also, know that there are a number of other things that can present as being ADHD, including sleep disorders, allergies and asthma, sight and hearing issues.

sarahsweets
05-30-17, 03:54 AM
A psychologist I know well administers a number of testing instruments that take about 4 hours and costs upwards of $500.
There are no tests or testing instruments for adhd.

Swissy
05-30-17, 02:00 PM
My diagnosis consisted of a 5 min conversation, one visit. Went back monthly twice. Now every 3 mos to get prescriptions. In my opinion, perfect. I see a neurologist.

aur462
05-31-17, 05:49 PM
Pdocs are usually best at diagnosing, including efficiency.

My diagnosis consisted of a 5 min conversation, one visit. Went back monthly twice. Now every 3 mos to get prescriptions. In my opinion, perfect. I see a neurologist.

Hi Swissy, can you tell me how you ended up with a neurologist? I have a followup appointment with a neurologist for sleep apnea treatment who's a very smart man. I'm a relatively new patient but thought he may be helpful answering questions regarding ADHD (in a perfect world). I see a pdoc for ADHD, but he's very far from me and I only go every so often.

*Sorry for thread hijack*

Swissy
06-01-17, 06:46 AM
Pdocs are usually best at diagnosing, including efficiency.



Hi Swissy, can you tell me how you ended up with a neurologist? I have a followup appointment with a neurologist for sleep apnea treatment who's a very smart man. I'm a relatively new patient but thought he may be helpful answering questions regarding ADHD (in a perfect world). I see a pdoc for ADHD, but he's very far from me and I only go every so often.computer tests to brain scans and ended up
*Sorry for thread hijack*

After the 3rd time my PCP suggested ADD and said I should see a psychologist, I talked to a friend whom I knew had the diagnosis. I told her that I had no interest in talking to a psychologist, psychiatrist or therapist but I was at the point my symptoms were getting the best of me and I wanted her thoughts. She had been through many of those types of docs and all of their screenings ranging from therapy sessions and computerized tests to brain scans and said it was tedious and she understood my resistance. Until she told me about her neurologist, I had no idea they could treat ADD. I went to her doctor and actually asked the receptionist if they diagnosed ADD in adults when I called to make my appointment because I was still skeptical. It was the best thing I have ever done. I wanted help with my symptoms, not therapy, and with a neurologist that's what you get! When you go, ask him if he can diagnose you.

goldsprinkles
09-20-17, 01:11 PM
Hey everyone,

I thought I would update you all. I decided to find someone new because my Psychologist didn't seem to care to have any conversation. She didn't really ask me any questions or talk about anything other than basic demographics. It was just strictly test after test... and upon completion she was going to print out the report and refer me to a Psychiatrist. Anyway I just thought it was a waste of time and money since I was paying out of pocket. (she didn't accept my health insurance)

I went to search for psychologists/psychiatrist/therapist/neurologists within my insurance network and it took me 4 months of to find someone I liked. I just met with her today. I had to fill out a survey and we talked a lot. Long story short: I was diagnosed today and I feel a huge sense of relief that I just cried (how embarrassing) She was so compassionate and I really felt super comfortable. It was such a drastic difference from my other Psychologist.

I just wanted to encourage people not to give up after seeing one professional, because there will be one you connect with :)

She wants me to give Adderall a try, but I need to get an EKG first to make sure that's all okay. If not, then I'm going to be trying a non-stimulant. I'm also interested in doing cognitive behavioral therapy as well.

Thanks everyone for the support!!!!! <3