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Old 05-11-18, 10:45 AM
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Anxious about first appt with psychiatrist

I have made an appointment to see a Psychiatrist at the end of this month. My husband, normally supportive in other areas, thinks it is "a mistake". I have tried to explain to him why I want to see someone (without outright telling him that I think I may have inattentive ADD), and he has written off the issues I've had as "quirks". But I have come to believe that they are more than just that, and it is hard to fully explain to him exactly what it is like having them.

For as long as I can remember, I have had issues with concentration, daydreaming and experiencing difficulty completing tasks in a timely manner, if at all. My report cards from primary school mention that I "switch off" and "rarely complete set work". My hearing was tested (no issues) to see if this was the reason I didn't seem to be listening. I had and still have a terrible pen-grip (I hold my pen like a left-handed person would, but with my right, so I often end up with ink on my hand and down my arm), which they tried to correct with no success. I have always been disorganised and messy and until the final years of high school, a mediocre student, often losing marks simply because I didn't hand in work on time. By my last 2 years, I was doing well, but it was a struggle - I spent hours at night and on the weekend sitting around "studying" - alternating between actually studying and drifting off onto other things. This was pretty much how I managed to complete my degree, taking hours and hours to do what I now know others can complete in shorter time. I did well, but I had the luxury of being able to study full time - if I'd had even a part time job, I suspect I'd had been screwed.

Entering the workforce was a challenge - I found myself working a lot of unpaid overtime to keep up. True, some of my jobs were genuinely demanding for everyone, but I found it very difficult to meet targets that others were reaching, even with the added overtime. I would try to make myself knuckle down - try to focus - but nothing seemed effective. I've kept jobs because I can do some tasks very well (I'm very good at building rapport and I have the kind of job that requires that), and by just putting in the extra time to get the work done.

I now have 2 kids. I can't sit for hours at work trying to get a normal workload done - I have other, normal commitments. I need to work out how to get things done during my regular work day. And it's hard. It even feels impossible. Sure, if you got someone to hold a gun to my head I could probably focus and get it done. But that would probably disturb my colleagues somewhat.

A few weeks ago, I came across a description of someone with the same issues as me, and OMG - I became quite obsessive with the googling. The inattentive subtype sounded so much like me - but what if I was just reading too much into it, like people read into their horoscopes?

I'm very nervous about my appointment. I'm worried my husband will be right - it will be a mistake. I worry that I may try a medication and it will make things worse. What were your experiences at your first appointments, and what quirks did you find out were actually symptoms?
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Old 05-11-18, 06:41 PM
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Re: Anxious about first appt with psychiatrist

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Originally Posted by NotSureYet View Post
A few weeks ago, I came across a description of someone with the same issues as me, and OMG - I became quite obsessive with the googling. The inattentive subtype sounded so much like me - but what if I was just reading too much into it, like people read into their horoscopes?

I'm very nervous about my appointment. I'm worried my husband will be right - it will be a mistake. I worry that I may try a medication and it will make things worse. What were your experiences at your first appointments, and what quirks did you find out were actually symptoms?
Your situation is not that much different from mine in that I learned about ADHD kind of by chance and then was totally surprised when I read about it on the Internet.

About 6 or 7 years ago, an adult friend of mine told me that he has ADHD and just out of curiosity, I decided to google it. I think that I was probably a little surprised, because I didn't think that adults had ADHD. In my mind, based upon what little I had read over the years, ADHD had something to do with hyperactive children who were given Ritalin.

So, when I started reading about ADHD on the Internet, I was really startled by how many of the problematic behaviors that were described were very similar to mine. And I learned that you can have ADHD without ever having been hyperactive. The stuff I read about hyperfocus really jumped out at me, too. Then about a year after that when I was visiting my parents, my mother sent a bunch of my old things home with me including an envelope that had all my old report cards from Kindergarten through high school with all the teachers' comments, and those were a real eye opener for me as well. It was not too long after that, because of mounting difficulties I was having in my life, that I finally had my doctor refer me to be evaluated for ADHD. It was an important step in finally getting help, and I wish that this had happened years earlier.
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Old 05-12-18, 04:45 AM
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Re: Anxious about first appt with psychiatrist

It sucks when our loved ones do not believe us. Does your husband suffer in certain ways because of your issues?
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Old 05-12-18, 09:42 AM
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Re: Anxious about first appt with psychiatrist

I don't think I'm allowed to say how I was diagnosed but it was by accident. I did something I should not have done.

Speed is something I have problems with at work as well. I'm working on it. But I'm dead set on not losing any quality while doing it. Once I went on medication I did get a big boost in that regard.

But as for diagnosis, there is no harm to seeing someone about it. You will answer some questions and explain your symptoms. I always believe in being prepared so I'd make a list of symptoms you are concerned about with you so you don't have to remember them all. Worst case you are told you don't have it (or best if that's how you want to look at it). Or that maybe you have some other disorder. Whatever the case that appointment is just your starting point. You can then decide a course of action based on the outcome.

As for medications I've been on 2 stimulants and neither have made me worse. A few weird side effects. The dry mouth, oh my goodness. It was horrible. If you have ADHD the stimulants will almost certainly help and if you don't you'll just feel really hyped up and focused and possibly anxious. The best part of stimulant ADHD meds is they work as taken. It's not a build up in the system. So you will know within a day/few days if it is working for you. No long term commitment.

As for quirks... I'm a giant Venn diagram of mental illness. I can't tell what causes what anymore. But the improvement I gained from the medication is that I'm way more calm, focused, and engaged as well as being able to retain what I've just read/watched better. Oh and I don't almost fall asleep sitting up anymore. That's a plus. So I guess the opposite would be my quirks.
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Old 05-12-18, 08:07 PM
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Re: Anxious about first appt with psychiatrist

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Originally Posted by sarahsweets View Post
It sucks when our loved ones do not believe us. Does your husband suffer in certain ways because of your issues?
Yes! Eg. I zone out very soon after he starts talking to me if the topic is not of interest to me. Even if it is something that should be of interest to me, such as types of loans we could have gone with when we bought our house, and I'm trying to take it in. He pretty much takes on all the mental load for that stuff, and I know it bothers him sometimes. But he has never known me any other way and I guess my plusses outweigh the annoying bits.
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Old 05-13-18, 06:02 AM
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Re: Anxious about first appt with psychiatrist

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Originally Posted by PoppnNSailinMan View Post
So, when I started reading about ADHD on the Internet, I was really startled by how many of the problematic behaviors that were described were very similar to mine. And I learned that you can have ADHD without ever having been hyperactive. .
I don't want to self-diagnose, but reading information on the internet and some of the experiences of others on this forum, even for such a short time, makes me feel hopeful for the first time in my life that things I thought were just crummy parts of who I am might be able to be addressed.
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Old 05-13-18, 06:09 AM
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Re: Anxious about first appt with psychiatrist

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If you have ADHD the stimulants will almost certainly help and if you don't you'll just feel really hyped up and focused and possibly anxious. The best part of stimulant ADHD meds is they work as taken. It's not a build up in the system. So you will know within a day/few days if it is working for you. No long term commitment.
That is really reassuring, that if I am prescribed meds it won't take me long to work out if they are effective or not. It makes me a lot less worried about trying them.
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Old 05-13-18, 09:37 AM
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Re: Anxious about first appt with psychiatrist

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That is really reassuring, that if I am prescribed meds it won't take me long to work out if they are effective or not. It makes me a lot less worried about trying them.
Hi NSY, IMVHO You are right that you can in a short time determine if the meds are effective, but many people seem to have unreasonable expectations for the time it takes to evaluate. Many seem to think it is like taking an aspirin tablet. In a few hours or maybe a day they will be able to evaluate how well it works. In reality the time is several weeks up to a month to make an initial evaluation. The meds have a big impact on the body and the body slowly compensates to the change. After it all lines out then you can evaluate the situation. Was it effective? Was it effective enough? How long did effects last? Did they last long enough? Any lingering undesirable side effects? Can I live with the side effects? Then you "3 little bears" it. Dose too low, dose too high, dose just right? If you change your dosing (how much, how many times/day) you have to go through the whole thing again and wait for your body to equilibrate before reevaluating. GL, -LN
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Old 05-13-18, 10:04 AM
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Re: Anxious about first appt with psychiatrist

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Originally Posted by NotSureYet View Post
I have made an appointment to see a Psychiatrist at the end of this month. My husband, normally supportive in other areas, thinks it is "a mistake". I have tried to explain to him why I want to see someone (without outright telling him that I think I may have inattentive ADD), and he has written off the issues I've had as "quirks". But I have come to believe that they are more than just that, and it is hard to fully explain to him exactly what it is like having them.
Sometimes its hard for those closest to us to see our struggles because they are used to cleaning up our messes and handling things for us. This dynamic can make them feel purposeless when you take that away from them- so they are resistant or skeptical about the change. You know yourself the most so stay the course.


Quote:
For as long as I can remember, I have had issues with concentration, daydreaming and experiencing difficulty completing tasks in a timely manner, if at all. My report cards from primary school mention that I "switch off" and "rarely complete set work". My hearing was tested (no issues) to see if this was the reason I didn't seem to be listening. I had and still have a terrible pen-grip (I hold my pen like a left-handed person would, but with my right, so I often end up with ink on my hand and down my arm), which they tried to correct with no success. I have always been disorganised and messy and until the final years of high school, a mediocre student, often losing marks simply because I didn't hand in work on time. By my last 2 years, I was doing well, but it was a struggle - I spent hours at night and on the weekend sitting around "studying" - alternating between actually studying and drifting off onto other things. This was pretty much how I managed to complete my degree, taking hours and hours to do what I now know others can complete in shorter time. I did well, but I had the luxury of being able to study full time - if I'd had even a part time job, I suspect I'd had been screwed.
OT would have been good for the pen grip thing, PT too. Keep that in mind as a possiblity even though you are an adult.


Quote:
A few weeks ago, I came across a description of someone with the same issues as me, and OMG - I became quite obsessive with the googling. The inattentive subtype sounded so much like me - but what if I was just reading too much into it, like people read into their horoscopes?
I wouldnt say you are reading too much into it but be open to having something co-morbid- or even something else, like adhd combined. A good doctor will screen for that and very often we have comorbid issues along with the adhd.
Quote:
I'm very nervous about my appointment. I'm worried my husband will be right - it will be a mistake. I worry that I may try a medication and it will make things worse. What were your experiences at your first appointments, and what quirks did you find out were actually symptoms?
Why is your husband so hell bent on being negative and saying its a mistake? How could it be. At the worst- you are told you do not have it- at best you are diagnosed and given a way to move forward. I am trying to wrap my head around his attitude. Do not be afraid of medication or believe the propaganda of sites and blogs that say stimulant meds are the worst and turn you into a drug addict. Those tend to pop up when you look for info but they are not true. Yes, its possible you may try a new med and it wont work or make you feel crappy but stimulants are fast acting. You will know right away if one is not right for you.
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Old 05-14-18, 09:07 AM
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Re: Anxious about first appt with psychiatrist

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Originally Posted by sarahsweets View Post
Sometimes its hard for those closest to us to see our struggles because they are used to cleaning up our messes and handling things for us. This dynamic can make them feel purposeless when you take that away from them- so they are resistant or skeptical about the change. You know yourself the most so stay the course.


Why is your husband so hell bent on being negative and saying its a mistake? How could it be. At the worst- you are told you do not have it- at best you are diagnosed and given a way to move forward. I am trying to wrap my head around his attitude. Do not be afraid of medication or believe the propaganda of sites and blogs that say stimulant meds are the worst and turn you into a drug addict. Those tend to pop up when you look for info but they are not true. Yes, its possible you may try a new med and it wont work or make you feel crappy but stimulants are fast acting. You will know right away if one is not right for you.
We both studied psychology and learned strategies for dealing with depression, anxiety etc. I use those in my job with clients, and for myself in my job. If I told him I was seeing a psychologist he would be supportive and encouraging. He cannot understand why I am seeing a psychiatrist instead, who is likely to suggest medication. But that is what I am hoping for, if the psychiatrist makes a diagnosis of ADD!

I can understand where he is coming from in a way. I come from a family with lots of anxiety, depression etc, and they always see medication as the only option. Ever. They won't consider CBT as an alternative or even as something to provide further improvement with the medication. It has been getting frustrating for me when I see a family member whose medication is no longer helping him and they are all just resigned to the fact that he will now be miserable, without trying anything else. Maybe he is worried I'll end up the same.

But I don't see medication as some evil. Out of my family I am probably best at managing anxiety, using techniques I have learned. But I feel like I need something more to deal with the other issues. And I've seen clients who have got the best out of other types of therapy after commencing medication, because it put them in a better position to do so. A bit of both can be magic.

He knows that I am terrified of illegal drugs (I'm convinced I'll die if I try them), so he'd have to know I'm not after a legal alternative that would make me high or something 😆
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Old 05-14-18, 09:13 AM
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Re: Anxious about first appt with psychiatrist

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OT would have been good for the pen grip thing, PT too. Keep that in mind as a possiblity even though you are an adult.

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My avatar is a sample of my handwriting out of a notebook. I can write neater, but it takes time and still doesn't look great. Plus I have a habit of tracing over letters while I'm thinking/fidgeting, which makes some look very bold.
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Old 05-14-18, 10:55 AM
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Re: Anxious about first appt with psychiatrist

The difference between people resorting to trying only medication and not anything else like CBT and people who are on medication for adhd is that meds are a FIRST line treatment for adhd. The science backs this up. When it comes to depression and anxiety sometimes behavioral therapy and stuff like CBT and DBT will work.
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Old 05-14-18, 04:29 PM
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Re: Anxious about first appt with psychiatrist

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We both studied psychology and learned strategies for dealing with depression, anxiety etc. I use those in my job with clients, and for myself in my job. If I told him I was seeing a psychologist he would be supportive and encouraging. He cannot understand why I am seeing a psychiatrist instead, who is likely to suggest medication. But that is what I am hoping for, if the psychiatrist makes a diagnosis of ADD!

I can understand where he is coming from in a way. I come from a family with lots of anxiety, depression etc, and they always see medication as the only option. Ever. They won't consider CBT as an alternative or even as something to provide further improvement with the medication. It has been getting frustrating for me when I see a family member whose medication is no longer helping him and they are all just resigned to the fact that he will now be miserable, without trying anything else. Maybe he is worried I'll end up the same.

But I don't see medication as some evil. Out of my family I am probably best at managing anxiety, using techniques I have learned. But I feel like I need something more to deal with the other issues. And I've seen clients who have got the best out of other types of therapy after commencing medication, because it put them in a better position to do so. A bit of both can be magic.

He knows that I am terrified of illegal drugs (I'm convinced I'll die if I try them), so he'd have to know I'm not after a legal alternative that would make me high or something 😆
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The difference between people resorting to trying only medication and not anything else like CBT and people who are on medication for adhd is that meds are a FIRST line treatment for adhd. The science backs this up. When it comes to depression and anxiety sometimes behavioral therapy and stuff like CBT and DBT will work.

I've gotta agree with Sarah here.

Having adhd can certainly increase our irrational disturbing thought patterns.

It's not the disturbing thought patterns that are causing the adhd symptoms.

Anxiety and depression can be a reaction to chronic illness, they do not cause
the underlying chronic illness.

And adhd is a chronic underlying physical disorder. Research has proven that
those with adhd have some underdeveloped areas in the brain, have brains
that do not make the best use of dopamine and seratonin, much like having
diabetes and having a body that does not make the best use of insulin.

It's not a mental behavorial thinking way of looking at things.
It's a real physical problem with the way our brains work (don't work).
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Old 05-14-18, 06:51 PM
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Re: Anxious about first appt with psychiatrist

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I've gotta agree with Sarah here.

Having adhd can certainly increase our irrational disturbing thought patterns.

It's not the disturbing thought patterns that are causing the adhd symptoms.

Anxiety and depression can be a reaction to chronic illness, they do not cause
the underlying chronic illness.

And adhd is a chronic underlying physical disorder. Research has proven that
those with adhd have some underdeveloped areas in the brain, have brains
that do not make the best use of dopamine and seratonin, much like having
diabetes and having a body that does not make the best use of insulin.

It's not a mental behavorial thinking way of looking at things.
It's a real physical problem with the way our brains work (don't work).
Convincing him that there is an underlying condition is probably going to be the challenge. I feel like I've been managing some of the reactions to my symptoms (and fairly well), rather than the cause of them - because I didn't know they were symptoms. I've been treating them as ""quirks", even though they have made life difficult.

My appointment is on the 29th of this month. I've been waiting for weeks and I am excited to perhaps get some answers.
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Old 05-14-18, 07:43 PM
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Re: Anxious about first appt with psychiatrist

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Convincing him that there is an underlying condition is probably going to be the challenge. I feel like I've been managing some of the reactions to my symptoms (and fairly well), rather than the cause of them - because I didn't know they were symptoms. I've been treating them as ""quirks", even though they have made life difficult.

My appointment is on the 29th of this month. I've been waiting for weeks and I am excited to perhaps get some answers.
Hearing it from the doctor works better for some skeptics.

My son-in-law accepted the autism diagnosis for his youngest daughter,
but he never accepted the adhd diagnosis for his oldest daughter.
Even after attending several therapy sessions.
Ironically he probably had adhd himself.
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