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flippydippy 01-09-19 12:26 PM

Advice for talking to doctor?
I'm new here and very happy I found this forum. I am 43 and kind of self diagnosed myself around 6 months ago. I talked to my PCP and a therapist about depression, and as I read different things I realized I think I have ADD. I had never even considered it because I thought people with ADHD/ADD were kind of all over the place and I am very calm and laid back.

It has opened up a new hope for me. I hate to admit this, but a friend gave me some Ritalin and I took some 10 mg pills for a few weeks and it literally changed my life. I felt like I could sit and do things like a normal person. Typically I can literally sit in front of my computer for an entire 8 hour work day and space out or end up surfing the net. After many weeks of this in a row, it leads to feelings of uselessness and self hate. I could only barely feel the Ritalin, but I could sit at my computer and accomplish what I was doing that day for work. I wanted to cry because I have struggled with this my entire professional career (there are also similar problems at home). I have even had issues with my work performance that were noticed by my manager of not getting things done on time or spacing out altogether.

I didn't feel comfortable telling my doctor about the Ritalin because I didn't want to get in some kind of trouble or have him judge me or think I was just looking for meds, but I talked to him about my suspicion of having ADD. He was VERY hesitant to prescribe anything, but he did prescribe Wellbutrin, mostly for depression.

Also after reading a lot of things, I don't love the idea of going on stimulants, but it may be worth it to feel "normal". But how can I explain this to my PCP? I tried describing all of my symptoms and sharing the results of the Dr. Hallowell survey and he kind of just dismissed it and moved on.

Alphawave 01-09-19 01:47 PM

Re: Advice for talking to doctor?
I understand why you're hesitant about telling the doctor about the ritalin experience.

I was diagnosed at 42 and it has been life changing for me for only good reasons.

I did tell my psychiatrist that I'd tried ritalin that wasn't prescribed to me (it didn't work) and that Strattera did work. She didn't take any regard to that when it came to a diagnoses. Your doctor may likely feel the same?

Could it also be likely that your doc may not be familiar with adhd and that's why they're reluctant to prescribe?

Whatever happens I would advise you to keep pursuing the fact, that you feel you have a mental illness, and that you feel it is adhd, and go from there.

sarahsweets 01-11-19 10:51 AM

Re: Advice for talking to doctor?
What is it with the Hallowell scale or whatever its called? I see it referenced all the time but do not know much about it. Some doctor's will freak out and others will be more understanding. Your best bet is to be straightforward about wanting to try medication. Although you should really be seeing a psychiatrist for it.

flippydippy 01-11-19 11:45 AM

Re: Advice for talking to doctor?
My therapist recommended taking the Hallowell test just as a starting point for us to discuss it. I know you can read into just about any of those online "quiz" type things, but reading through there I found myself identifying so much with some of the feelings described. Then I actually started thinking things like "hey, maybe I'm not just an idiot for being forgetful or for not retaining conversations even when I try really hard" etc.

She hasn't mentioned referring me to a psychiatrist, although we talk more about depression and life stuff than ADD typically. The Wellbutrin does seem to help somewhat and my doctor went along with my request to increase me to 300mg so I'm hoping it continues to help. I seem to have more energy and I had more focus at first, but things have kind of tailed off. I still have more energy than before (at first I was staying up late doing laundry and other things I never had the motivation for before, but it isn't like that in month #3 anymore) but what good is energy if I can't focus to accomplish anything?

sarahsweets 01-12-19 05:26 AM

Re: Advice for talking to doctor?
Its concerning that not only does this article mention his blaming adhd on the US being violent but that the article has multiple issues.

JellyBelly 01-14-19 06:39 PM

Re: Advice for talking to doctor?

Originally Posted by sarahsweets (Post 2013096)
Its concerning that not only does this article mention his blaming adhd on the US being violent but that the article has multiple issues.

It's also curious that he espouses medications and their safety but doesn't take medications himself.

JellyBelly 01-14-19 06:44 PM

Re: Advice for talking to doctor?
Go the the CADDRA (Canadian ADHD Resource Alliance) website ( and look at the information there - far as i recall there are diagnostic checklists for patients, providers, and family members. It might help to go through that and bring it in for your doctor to look at. Bear in mind this doctor might not be comfortable with ADD diagnosis and treatment so s/he might need time to digest everything you bring in. Most important is to find out if they are even open to it. I have met a lot of doctors who have bizarre opinions and biases and are just not even open for discussing the issues. And no amount of literature or 'expert' testimony will alter that.
It's hard these days to find good doctors who not only treat ADD but are willing to learn if they don't know a lot.
Hope some of this helps.

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