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Old 07-04-12, 07:41 PM
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My path to Diagnosis/Treatment

So Iím sitting at home bored out of my mind and trying to find something to do. So I decided to share my storey in seeking treatment and such as it happens. For some who donít know me I will try to start at the beginning (Iím very new here as a poster). My goal here is to track my progress and share with others what I have and am going through in the quest to seek a diagnosis and treatment as I go through the system and hope that it will help others understand all involved in the process.

I want to warn you in advance this is a long read but I hope it gives you a brief background on who I am. Also know I took some time doing this with the idea that it would help me discuss things (jog my memory) with the psychiatrist I am scheduled to see.

First about me:
Iím a 26 year old male who lives in the state of Oregon, I had a standard education (more or less) and after living on my own for a number of years. I found myself moving back in with my parents while I try to get things in order. I will try to save you the boring parts, but what I mean by Ďin orderí is I found myself in a good chunk of debit and failing in college (see below for more info about schooling). So option One, was to move back in with them pay some things off. Or option two was to continue my bad ways and habits to just fall behind even more.

All throughout elementary school, middle school and high school, I have always felt out of place. In elementary school I was in a special education class to help develop better speech habits (or something like that). While this wasnít a true special education program it was more to help struggling students catch up. Then I also had my reading helper once a week (yeah this was in the age where schools got real funding in the area). From there I seemed to pass most my classes (there wasnít a real Ďgradeí though). But needless to say I never fell behind either. Fast-forward to the 5th grade.
As I advanced through school so did my responsibilities. I remember constant student teacher conferences where I would hear my teacher say something like Joey (not my real name) is missing lots of homework, or is always drawing in class. I even got in trouble once because I was drawing swastikas (please note I had no idea at the time what they were), and letís just say that opened a whole new can of worms. Shocked my parents didnít believe my teachers as they saw me do the homework themselves (even helped me with it). So we would go home and search and sure enough there was my homework still in my bag completed, I just hadnít turned it in. While the topic of ADD/ADHD never came up my teachers at the time suggested I join some kind of activity to help me burn off some of my energy. A year later I joined the cub scouts. So things seemed fine, I was your standard elementary school kid you could call it. Active imagination, full of energy and always getting into trouble. Lol

Then came middle school, my first year (6th grade) was a nightmare. The short version here is I went from a play land to a dungeon in my mind. I was no longer allowed to play as you could put it. As far as I saw it I was locked in a jail all day and was trapped. There were even days where I would Ďmiss the busí just so I had to walk the 5 miles to school. As for my grades, it was a mixed bag. Every class I took through middle school was either a complete thrill or a flop. What I mean by this is it 100% depended on the teachers style. Were they hands on or a lecture type. The ones where I was hands on (sciences, math (some), and arts) I excelled. Then there were my lectures (history, math, English lit.) which were a complete failure. Well after a few years in middle school it was time for me to graduate to high school.
So after graduation and a summer off it was time to start high school. Once again I found myself in a new school, surrounded by new people and a new environment. And needless to say, it was quite overwhelming. But I survived (barely). There are lots I can comment on here but I donít know all what is worth sharing and what is not. So to make things short, I dabbled in drugs, constant skipping of class and just general boredom, my freshman year. The weird part was I seemed to do better in class when I was high then when I wasnít. But, that all came to a screeching halt when I was busted by the school police officer. After a suspension and a few meetings with the principal and vice principal it was decided I would follow up with a substance abuse counselor and they would let my school know if I was a threat to reoffend or how to proceed.

Later that week I was taken to see this specialist and went through a gauntlet of questions regarding school, social/personal life and in the end he came to the conclusion that I was just a kid experimenting at the time and to not worry about it. But he also hinted at the possibility of focusing issues in school (as I was getting better grades high then I was when I wasnít). But from there I donít know what happened as I canít remember. But needless to say after a 10day vacation from school I was back attending classes like I was in the past. My sophomore year is when things really changed and I got the opportunity to choose some of my core classes teachers, and with that freedom I seemed to succeed more then I had been in the past. In the end I was able to work out arraignments with some of my teachers which allowed me to be their teachers assistants (and get credit), gave me the freedom to let my mind wander and learn/focus on my own pace as I was seeing them for an extra period a day essentially). With that help I was able to undo some of my past grades and mistakes to graduate onetime in 2003. That following year it was time to start college.

I opted to start with community college to keep costs down and get a 2 year degree. Before I would continue on with my bachelors. My first two terms I decided to take things easy and work on a few electives and adjust to the college life/work load. My third term I ramped things up with some sciences and more in depth classes. Thatís where things began to fall apart. I found myself in an anatomy and physiology class and unable to focus, it ended in a very very very sold F and my first hint again that something is not right here. So save you some boredom I started my associatesí degree in fall of 2003 and just finished it in fall of 2010. Please note there was a 3 year break in there because in the end I just couldnít deal with things and I came to the conclusion college just wasnít for me. In the end what changed my mind and forced me to go back and finish things is because at work I have hit that glass ceiling and wonít be able to go anywhere without a promotion.
So fast-forward some more to 2010 and me deciding it was time to finally get things worked out and truly find out what is wrong with me and why Iím having issues with school and such. I am going to just copy and paste my introduction here as it will save me some time in saying hello. (Did add a few things after reading it some more.)

Quote:
So who I am: Well I am a 26 year old student *gonna be 27 this month* and avid photographer. What got me to this site is a rather mixed maze of directions though.

A few years back I went to see my GP about some issues I was having in college. And while I have never been a model student I also haven't been a failure either. After the visit I was told 'I think you are depressed' and was handed a scrip for an anti-depressant and sent on my way. From there I spent the next year trying I don't know how many different drugs to help make me feel better. But in the end the side effects were worse than just being down.

On a final visit I explained nothing was helping and am about to give up when he suggested I go see the mental health department. So he put in a referral for me. And I talked to a LCSW about what was going on. From there I saw a therapist in person and discussed my issues, where the idea/possibility of ADHD was brought up again. But there was not much more he could do for me but refer me back to my doctor as he was not allowed to diagnose only interview. With this info I went back to my GP and he flat out said 'I'm not comfortable giving out stimulants. blah . . . blah . . . class 2. . . blah. But here is some welbutrin. And the appointment was over. While I say 'blah' I am sure there was more to it I just didn't catch what he was saying (at the time). I started in on the welbutrin and stopped not 2 weeks later as the stuff made me very yucky and zombie like as my partner would put it.

Having lost faith in him I said, screw it (but in a few choice words). And started my own researches (which lead me here). Tried a few behavior changes and such and things got slightly better. I finished my term and also finished my associates degree (took 5 years /shrug) But itís done.

Fast forward to now: Earlier this year I registered to attend an area university and needed to take some placement tests to see where I sit and what I remember. You know the standard math, science, etc. kind of stuff. Well the first test I needed to take was a math test. And it was a very simple 25 question test that should take about an hour. But I had enough time needed to complete it. Well 2.5 hours later I finished. Then it was the science one (2 hours), and the reading comprehension (another 2 hours). All of which I was told could be done in an afternoon. Yeah were they wrong lol.

But it again got me thinking that while I have learned to cope with my possible ADHD, it was clear it was rearing its ugly head still. So just this last week I revisited that appointment I had two years ago. Come to find out I was to be referred to a Therapist (one that deals with ADHD). So I went to see my GP (a new one this time) and had the news 'broken' to me. (Yep so I was referred to a mental health department just to be referred me to my gp which referred me to a new mental health department). SO here I am now getting ready to call and make an appointment with referral in hand to a specialist in my area. And am hoping for the best, but only time will tell. My biggest worry is I am about to begin dropping 15k a year on my bachelors degree and will get nowhere with it.
So please note I am 100% skeptical of self diagnosis but from my past job history and school issues something in the back of my head has been saying over and over to get it checked out. I have my gpdoc and the two licensed clinical social workers I talked to feel the markers are there.

I received my referral yesterday from my insurance to see a specialist that deals directly with youth, adolescent and adult ADHD. And from the googling I have done on him he appears to be the real deal and knows his stuff. So finally years in the making here I am, sharing my story with everybody and am very nervous/apprehensive, but at the same time very excited to see what he feels as I need to get this worked out.
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  #2  
Old 07-05-12, 06:32 PM
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Re: My path to Diagnosis/Treatment

Ok the thing you need to realize is that they are not there to help you. All they can do is prescribe you meds or not. That entrance exam you took, I failed it twice and on the third time they let me in. I had to compete with many international students to get into what I thought was a local public institution. That was an early life lesson of things to come. Anyhow, these coucilors and doctors are there for reasons of credentialism and protectionism.

They concolidate power only to themselves so you fall victim to their dogmas and such. They are not there to help and can't provide you any real solutions for the issues your having. All they can do is write you a peicce of paper granting you medication. You don't want to leave with Prozac. Also, mentioning weed is the absolute best way to not get treated. I understand you really think they are there to help you. Only you can help you.

If you over confuse and cloud the reasons why you are seeing them, you are likely not to end up with meds but anti depressants or counciling.

You don't want to focus on how you did drugs and skipped class. You want to focus on how you got bad grades and couldn't focus. You could get a 'bad' doctor who will put there own slant on things or not like the way ou look etc. they hate weed with a passion.

It's almost weekly people come on who need the help the most get refused and most of the forum members applaud the decision. I nderstand why ADHD users tend to use weed more than the average population. Anyhow, I'm just trying to help you help yourself. You need to secure meds. If you don't youll runs yp getting burned out like me at 35 years old and pushed out of his career and a failure in life. You need to save yourself at your age.

And whatever you do, do to a get a job in the private sector. You may not last. Many of us are casualties on the forum. I'd highly recommend teaching or a job that's guaranteed for life. I highly recommend teaching due to all the vacation, salaries, pension, early retirement, and part time working hours. I promise you may not make it in the private sector if you really have ADHD. Another thing, make sure you pay more for disabilit in your insurance. Mental illness and other co morbids often hit around the mid 30s. Bosses will hate ou, you'll get laid off. Eventually you'll always be out of work, and then pushed out of your career. That's what happened to me and it can happen to you. Take the safety precautions now. Get into teaching, make sure you have additional disability benefits with your provider. Pay more for them because the likely hood of needing stability is greatly increased with ADHD. And be thankful you live in the US where you have such easy access to such things.
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Old 07-05-12, 08:30 PM
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Re: My path to Diagnosis/Treatment

Thanks for the reply. As for the past schooling/drug use, yeah i understand where thats coming from now.

As for the where to work thing. I actually am looking at going into education (i figured my creativity would do wonders). That or engineering where I can construct things and work in team environment (something i excel in). Currently i do work in the private sector and things go fine for me as my manager was very hands off. But i was tending to get micromanaged quite often (so things got accomplished). That said i was just promoted and my issues/struggles are that much worse. But i have taken some time management clases in the past year so things are getting better. Just seems no matter how i try they don't improve like i should. I saw the above counsler two times and he seemed to think my depression was related to lack of productivity/not getting things done (hence the referral) but he still would like me to follow up with him from time to time (so i have the option of attacking things from both sides).

As for something interesting. I was digging through the forums last night and was reading the thread about past performance in school (perception vs reality). And i came across my kindergarden, 1st, 2nd, and 3rd grade progress reports from school. As from what i am reading and seeing at around 8 years old is the 'proper' time to seek a diagnosis. And in them i am seeing a common trait. Needs to pay attention in class, talking out of turn, and could be doing better in specific areas.

That said i am thinking that they will be helpful come the time i meet or go in for a meeting with the doc i was referred to. Or would this be wrong?
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Old 07-06-12, 02:22 PM
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Re: My path to Diagnosis/Treatment

Simply making the doctor aware of this should be enough - most people can't easily lay hands on their elementary school records! (Although, if you're questioned about it, you're fortunate to have them on hand.)
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Old 07-06-12, 02:47 PM
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Re: My path to Diagnosis/Treatment

I rarely go the doctors, last time I went I mentioned I had adhd on my way out, he said it was a bit late now, i'm not sure if he meant my age or the fact it was the end of my session.
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Old 07-06-12, 04:04 PM
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Re: My path to Diagnosis/Treatment

Well today i received my authorization letter from my insurance company (kaiser) to get up to 6 visits with the person i was referred to within the next 6 months. I am assuming i will need an additional referral after those 6 months, but don't know. Also received a call from the pdoc yesterday, but was unable to answer it. Message said he would call back later today.
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Old 07-14-12, 09:39 PM
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Re: My path to Diagnosis/Treatment

My appt with the pdoc is this coming week. There is lots of nerves and fear running all through my head. But i suppose that is normal as well.

Also just had my mom come into my room with the authorization letter from my insurance company in tears. Guess I forgot to tell her i was going back to get this addressed (she knew about the past depression issues) as i was getting ready to go back to college and needed to address it before it became an issue again. And after a short talk explained things to her again and did the standard, yes mom i am fine. No mom i am not suicidal, no mom I'm not on the anti-depressants blah blah. Reninded her the anti-depressants were not addressing my core issue (reason i stopped them in the first place) and was just following through with the referral from a year and a half ago. etc. Well she said she found the letter earlier in the day (i just had it laying on the desk not hidden), and was in a panic all day worrying about me >.<

That said all is quite on the home front. Now if i can get my head to settle down some to go into my first meeting with a clear mind (lol like that will happen)
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Old 07-15-12, 12:19 AM
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Re: My path to Diagnosis/Treatment

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Originally Posted by k1dj03y View Post
My appt with the pdoc is this coming week. There is lots of nerves and fear running all through my head. But i suppose that is normal as well.

Also just had my mom come into my room with the authorization letter from my insurance company in tears. Guess I forgot to tell her i was going back to get this addressed (she knew about the past depression issues) as i was getting ready to go back to college and needed to address it before it became an issue again. And after a short talk explained things to her again and did the standard, yes mom i am fine. No mom i am not suicidal, no mom I'm not on the anti-depressants blah blah. Reninded her the anti-depressants were not addressing my core issue (reason i stopped them in the first place) and was just following through with the referral from a year and a half ago. etc. Well she said she found the letter earlier in the day (i just had it laying on the desk not hidden), and was in a panic all day worrying about me >.<

That said all is quite on the home front. Now if i can get my head to settle down some to go into my first meeting with a clear mind (lol like that will happen)

Nothing like having to comfort your mom when you are the one who needs comforting!

You'll have a huge weight lifted once the dust settles!
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Old 07-15-12, 03:20 AM
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Re: My path to Diagnosis/Treatment

I'm also on the journey to diagnosis, my psychiatrist got me on an anti-depressant, and it feels like a big slap in the face because I've been having ADHD problems ever since I was 4 years old! I need to show him my report cards in my next visit (next month). Gaah!! Having my ADHD so hyperfocused on getting my diagnosis and having to wait this long really drives me crazy! lol
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Old 07-15-12, 05:33 PM
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Re: My path to Diagnosis/Treatment

I must be a lucky person, I set up a doctors appointment on monday/tuesday for thursday at a psychologist, imagine my surprise when I found out that they do not give out prescriptions. I DIDN'T GET THE MEMO! Anyways, I didn't learn this till the end, I gave her a list of my symptoms, a few exaggerations, I planed to exaggerate more but she asked all the right questions. She took it all and by the end I felt like she would have robbed the pharmacy for me. Then that's when she hit me with it, she told me that she cannot write prescriptions, my heart literally sank, I needed this medicine, I had to try it, I was having anxiety over the whole thing all week and she laid this bomb on me. She told me to go to my regular doctor with her diagnosis and get a prescription from them, of course me being a 21 year old, I had never been responsible enough to have a doctor I call my own. Luckily she said after seeing the look on my face that she would give me the number of her personal doctor, since she had built up the trust already I just had to walk in with the assessment and it would go pretty good considering I did not have a Primary Care Doctor. Of course I call to set up an appointment the next day right when they open, and what do I hear? No new patient appointments till September, are you kidding me? Luckily I remembered that I had a skin rash about a year back and went into a doctors office, although I didn't go there for a yearly physical surely they would take me back? I got an appointment that day and got my prescription. All I can say is it helps to be able to show a good support system, I am married, I am in the military, I have never used drugs, cigs, alcohol, or any substance because of addiction. In the end I was as honest as possible, throwing 1 exaggeration that was probably key in my diagnosis, I do not know if my own father actually has ADHD, but I highly suspect it, and that was enough. People trying to scam for drugs like this makes it so hard, not recognizing it as a parent makes it so hard. I feel for all of you who really have a problem and can't get the help you need, I am not sure if I really have ADHD, I could have convinced myself, but being on Adderall for the past 3 days has truly changed my perspective on myself. It made relationships better in a matter of hours, it made me actually hold my tongue on my thoughts. So, I wish everyone like you, like me, good luck in getting past the ********, I did not realize how difficult it is for some.
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Old 07-17-12, 06:24 PM
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Re: My path to Diagnosis/Treatment

Well just got home from the pdoc visit and he seems to agree with me (quite a relief), and that its most likely inattentive adhd. That said he is starting me on 18mg Concentra and having me step it up slowly to watch for possible side effects, and will see me again in about 2 1/2 weeks for a follow up and such. Said if this dosent help/work then we will look at a different class/family of stimulants.
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Old 07-17-12, 07:44 PM
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Re: My path to Diagnosis/Treatment

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Originally Posted by k1dj03y View Post
Well just got home from the pdoc visit and he seems to agree with me (quite a relief), and that its most likely inattentive adhd. That said he is starting me on 18mg Concentra and having me step it up slowly to watch for possible side effects, and will see me again in about 2 1/2 weeks for a follow up and such. Said if this dosent help/work then we will look at a different class/family of stimulants.

I'm glad you've got a plan....it must feel better knowing that a professional agrees with you and can help!
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Old 07-17-12, 08:33 PM
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Re: My path to Diagnosis/Treatment

yeah and one that actually listened. That was the key i think here and he was willing to talk. He also suggested a few things to look into at my university that may help and i will be looking into them once the term starts.
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Old 07-20-12, 09:23 PM
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Re: My path to Diagnosis/Treatment

Well I am on day 4 now. And here are how things are going. Day 1 I made the mistake if taking an 18mg tab at 5pm. I wanted to see what the drug would do to my system and had the next day off. Well I spent the rest of the night tossing and turning until 1am or so. The next morning (day2) I took one at 7am and noticed no effects. Day 3 I had to work a late shift, so I slept in until 9ish am. And upped the dose to two (so 36mg in the AM), things seemed ok I suppose until around 3pm when it began to wear off. Then came the headaches. Nothing out of the normal for me as i am a heavy coffee drinker. So to me it was like a coffee withdrawal headache I suppose. None the less work was not fun. And made the rest of the evening drag on forever.

Here I am on day 4 and am working another late shift. So I woke up around 8 but put off taking the 36 mg until 1pm. With the idea it will last most of my work day. And I think that did it (kind of). As the first half of my shift things were going great. (holding conversations with co-workers). Finishing those tasks I put off because I "didn't have the time", and am able to zero in on what has to be done. But here it is 6pm and I still have 4 hours to go, and I can feel myself coming down and becoming more cluttered.

My pdoc did warn me that with the ammount if coffee I drink on a given day the effects might be shorter lived then the 8-10 hours. And I wouldent notice the full effects until I reached the higher dosages.

This is leading me to think I might do better at 72mg split up into twice a day (from the forum searching at least). Like an am dose before work and a afternoon dose around lunch. But time will tell as I continue to step up slowly. I am also going to contact him to see what he thinks of this all after 10 days in or so.

One big side effect I have noticed is when it first kicks in I have a "mind fog" that lasts 30 mins or so. Where my mind/thoughts are jumping from one idea to another at the same time. Oh and slight constipation (which I'm dealing with through extra fluid intake). The constipation issue is a known side effect. But the "mind fog" is the one that concerns me, as my job can be quite high risk at times. So I will need to monitor that one closley.
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Old 07-20-12, 11:11 PM
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Re: My path to Diagnosis/Treatment

You're gonna hate this, but you should seriously consider quitting caffeine. As I've found out recently, it's a complete wild card.

It has a synergy with other stims. I think the interaction with reuptake inhibitors like adderal or vyvanse is much more severe, but it's still going to push your adrenaline levels all over the place.

On top of that, caffeine acts directly on other neurotransmitters (adenosine) that regulate how tired or wakeful you feel. That can make it really, really hard to sort out what effect the stimulants are actually having. Caffeine gives you an initial rush of adrenaline as a side effect of messing with adenosine, but it's a one shot deal with a quick burst. If you're a habitual coffee drinker, you'll only get an adrenaline rush if you chug a bunch at once. If you just sip it throughout the morning you may not even get much of an adrenaline release at all.

I quit caffeine a month ago and found that I had to double my dose of vyvanse to get to an effective level of dopamine again. It completely removed the up and down roller coaster of stimulation I normally felt when I was still slugging down a large coffee every morning.

Don't get me wrong; I'm an addict, and I love caffeine with all of my being, I just don't think it works very well with these meds.
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