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Adult Diagnosis & Treatment This forum is for the discussion of issues related to the diagnosis of AD/HD

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  #1  
Old 09-08-05, 01:26 PM
dbr2 dbr2 is offline
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diagnosis question

I have a question regarding psychological tests --tests conducted when I was in ninth grade by a psychologist with a doctorate at a community mental health center. A few years ago I was diagnosed with ADD by a psychiatrist who has been teating me for GAD and OCD for about 20 years.

Questions : Is anything to be gained if these tests (which ran the gamut from projective tests to free-association) were to be analyzed now? At the time the tests were given, it was believed that ADD disappeared at pubery--and I had already reached puberty before the tests were given. I am wondering if a competent clinician could now look at these tests afresh--apart from the assumption that ADD disppears at puberty--and see if there were any ADD indicators lurking in the results.

I am now 44. Since these are tests already administered, I am wondering if the cost of an evaluation of them would be less than a fresh administering of them.

My psychiatrist--I've never told him of these tests-- said he would put my ADD diagnosis in writing, and I suspect that from his perspective, the tests probably would not affect his diagnosis. Is that sufficient to settle the diagnosis? I am doing better on Adderall than I did before the ADD diagnosis. I am wondering if this whole question is a manifestation of my OCD : obsessively worrying that I might not have ADD and yet am still taking Adderall. Maybe it's guilt because I feel better from taking a stimulant.

Any help or advice is appreciated. Thank you in advance.

DBR
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Old 09-08-05, 01:57 PM
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First things first! Welcome to the forums, dbr!

I sure there's someone at the forums who can give you a more complete answer, but while you're waiting I'll throw in my 2 cents! You might learn something interesting from those tests and it's always fun to understand more about yourself. You'll have to decide whether the costs is worth it or not. As you'll read here frequently, checklists top tests in diagnosing AD/HD. As far as the constantly questioning yourself about whether it's AD/HD or not, that might be an OCD thing or not (if it is I'm a bit OCD myself, since I question myself all the time). I expect it also has a good bit to do with the fact that you were diagnosed at 44 (same age I was). Seeing yourself through the lens of ADD takes a good bit of getting used to and that may be why you're still questioning it. I've found that visiting these board and reading books about AD/HD have given me a lot of reassurance as I recognize familiar things. Probably no test is going to completely ease your mind. I found that talking to a therapist about my doubts and feelings about meds and being diagnosed was real helpful.

I'm glad the Adderall is working for you. Let yourself enjoy feeling better. You're responsibily taking care of yourself -- not abusing speed!

Take care,
Scattered
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Old 09-08-05, 05:48 PM
mctavish23 mctavish23 is offline
 

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Hi,

Welcome to the Forum. I work with kids at a rural Community Mental Health Center in Mn.

Tests are "good (valid)" anywhere from 6 mos to one year. None of the tests you mentioned are for ADHD.

The current evidenced based (research substantiated) practice for diagnosing ADHD in adults involves the use of checklists and corroboration from family, spouse,etc.In addition, other things to consider would be grades or transcripts, driving record, including accidents and how many jobs have the person has had over the years.

In trying to diagnose adults, there are a number of problems.For example, the oldest person in the sample population used to develop the criteria was 16yrs. old. In addition, the sample was weighted more towards boys.

Having said that, the diagnostic criteria were all emperically derived and are indeed valid for the diagnosis.The thing is the clinician must understand the intricacies involved in using the criteria with adults.

This is from a teleconference in March on diagnosing ADHD in Adults :

Symptoms of Inattention Often Manifest Differently in Adults (than kids):
(Symptoms)........................................ ............................................ (Adults)
Difficulty paying attention....................Remains the same.

The key to this is to understand that for both kids and adults, there is something called "hyperfocus." That simply means that if we (ADHD's) like something we can do it all day long. So this would be for things you don't like or aren't interested in.

Examples: meetings, reading certain topics and paperwork.

Doesn't listen (when spoken to directly)..............................Paralyzing procrastination or No follow through

Can't organize.......................................Slo w and inefficient

Loses important items................................Poor Time Management (that could also be things like being late or missing deadlines, etc.)

Easily distracted........................................ .....Disorganized


I hope this helps some.

Good Luck.

mctavish23 (Robert)
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Old 09-08-05, 10:07 PM
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Wow McTavish, you just scatter your pearls everywhere! And I just run around trying to find and snatch them up before they get washed away into the big cyber ocean. This was a very cool and helpful post!

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Old 09-08-05, 11:15 PM
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You must have seen my office lately.
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Old 09-09-05, 08:49 AM
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Thank you both for responding. After my doc had diagnosed my ADD, I asked him if he's familiar with Dr. Daniel Amen's work. He said that indeed he is and that, in fact, he sometimes uses Amen's questionnaires to help him evaluate ADD. When I told him I had taken them, he asked me if I scored high on the inattentive type--so apparently that is what I have. I believe Amen's test said it was "highly probable" that i have inattentive ADD.

My reason for asking about the tests I was given in ninth grade is the big emphasis on history in making the Dx. But as I mentioned, this doc has been treating me for about 20 years prior to the ADD diagnosis--so it certainly did not seem like a reflex response on his part. And the fact that I had a lot of anxiety in childhood is one factor he was taking into account.

DBR
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Old 09-09-05, 10:26 AM
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Yep, that darn childhood anxiety -- and still here after all these years! I can relate! If you're like me, if you weren't worrying about the correctness of your AD/HD diagnosis you'd need to find something else to worry about. According to Drs. Hallowell and Ratey (Delivered from Distraction) a lot of ADDers organize their thoughts around worry. It's riviting enough to help them focus their minds.

Scattered
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