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Old 11-27-17, 10:04 PM
Hannalee Hannalee is offline
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Should I see a psychiatrist?

Hello,
Been browsing through threads for weeks now discussing symptoms of ADD/ADHD and believe that I could possibly have ADHD. Just some background: I am a 19 year old female currently enrolled in college, working part-time. First, let me describe my symptoms that led me to this conclusion:

-The first and most prominent symptom is lack of motivation and procrastination of almost any task I have to complete. I understand that it must be done and I genuinely want to get the task done but for some reason I cannot bring myself to do it. This leads to my next symptom:
-I am constantly thinking about what must get done and generally overwhelmed from any task, this has led to anxiety and constant worry
-When I do finally start doing homework/studying after hours of procrastination it is near impossible for me to focus on material; I constantly find myself thinking about other things after I’ve “read” a page and realize I did not absorb anything.
-While studying, I have to be in a completely quiet environment with limited activity due to being so easily distracted; when I hear certain noises while trying to study/do homework (people talking, repetitive noise) it’s as if they are magnified and it is the only thing I can think about
-Most days, even when I get plenty of sleep, I feel fatigued (like I am in a fog)
-I have difficulty falling asleep, even when I am tired I will lay in bed for hours before I fall asleep.

Most of these symptoms became very prominent when I started college I guess due to the extra effort that was required. In high school I never did homework/studying and did fine on tests; this gave me the idea that college would be similar (I was very wrong). Since ADHD stems from childhood I tried to think about my childhood behavior but cannot remember what my childhood behavior was like.

I have been to a psychiatrist before and he believed I had a mood disorder and put me on lamictal and lexapro (lamotrigine and escitalopram). I discontinued these medications very quickly because I ended up becoming extremely depressed and felt like a zombie. I was never re evaluated due to missing an appointment and then procrastinated making a new one (And now I am here a year later).

Also, my twin sister and older brother were diagnosed with ADHD as children and I understand that ADHD is genetic.

I feel as if this is worth being evaluated by a psychiatrist. I am just unsure about how I should go about it. I am afraid if I go to a psychiatrist and mention ADHD it will be seen as drug-seeking (due to the fact I am a young college student).
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Old 11-27-17, 11:27 PM
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Re: Should I see a psychiatrist?

Welcome to the forum!

I would see another Dr. and try to get evaluated if you are concerned. Discussing how ADHD like symptoms have affected your life. Express all your issues you can think of and have an open and honest conversation. Let the Dr. decide if you should be evaluated.

I don't think it will come across as drug seeking. If you are sincere and honest with your issues it shouldn't be a problem.

Best of luck!

Last edited by Greyhound1; 11-28-17 at 10:03 PM.. Reason: OCD typo
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Old 11-28-17, 03:01 PM
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Re: Should I see a psychiatrist?

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Originally Posted by Hannalee View Post
Since ADHD stems from childhood I tried to think about my childhood behavior but cannot remember what my childhood behavior was like.
I don't remember hardly anything about what I was like as a child, either. Even up into high school, most of my memories are rather vague. My mother always tells people what a good child I was.

But as Ari Tuckman has pointed out in his book Integrative Treatment for Adult ADHD, "given the high heritability of ADHD, it may very well be that one or both parents have ADHD. If so, they may not see their grown child's symptoms as abnormal. Alternatively, they may defensively protect their own self-esteem by denying or minimizing problems, or by steadfastly holding onto the notion that this is not a disability, merely a different way of being." So I shouldn't be surprised that my mother's memories of what I was like as a child are rather selective.

Fortunately, my mother had saved all my old report cards from Kindergarten forward, and after all that she had said about how good I was when I was little, I was kind of surprised to see that I had received unsatisfactory marks in my report cards, starting in Kindergarten, for things like, "Self Control," "Group Cooperation," "Punctuality," "Completes Work," "Listens Closely to Discussions and Directions," "Uses Initiative," "Begins Work Promptly," "Uses Free Time Wisely," etc.

So, you might want to find out if there are any old report cards that can give more objective information about what you were like as a child.
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Old 11-28-17, 04:32 PM
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Re: Should I see a psychiatrist?

As a former school psychologist in elementary and secondary schools and as a therapist, I found the most important information to determine early symptoms of attention problems or anxiety was by reading teacher comments on early report cards as another person suggested and talking to parents regarding their children behavior from 7 yrs of age to infancy. True ADHD and anxiety manifests itself early, i.e. before 7 because it has a genetic component. A psychiatrist or therapist who deals with ADHD and anxiety would be a good place to start, so that you can have parents fill out checklists or interviews that ask these questions about early childhood behavior. One thing to keep in mind for those who are diagnosed with either of these disorders is that consistent exercise, good nutrition, regular sleep and organized schedules are the first lines of treatment. Many people who have these types of problems who have never been formerly diagnosed often have developed coping skills that help them with their attention difficulties. Such as using a timer to help them focus for a short period of time, rewarding themselves after a period of focused attention, arriving early to appointments to give themselves time to settle down and focus, having bins or predictable areas to keep their keys, phone, etc. in as most ADHD persons are forgetful. Knowing themselves well enough to schedule times that they are the most alert to do work that requires concentration, etc. Using some coffee as a stimulant when needed. (not at night). The list goes on and on. Besides having difficulty concentrating what other symptoms are you experiencing?
Just from reading your post it would seem that you didn't develop study skills as a child because your intelligence and memory were such that you didn't need to. College is a real transition which requires more than good study skills as it also involves life skills which may be causing anxiety which affects your concentration as well as ADHD. My best to you as you seek professional help. I would seriously suggest though that you begin with consistent exercise, nutrition and developing coping skills so that you are ahead of the game. The diagnosis isn't as important as the behavior changes that help you cope. Give us an update on your progress.
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Old 12-08-17, 02:23 PM
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Re: Should I see a psychiatrist?

Ultimately, that decision is yours, but I'm always an advocate for seeking some type of care for anything mental-health related. I had a phenomenal psychiatrist in San Antonio, but since moving back to New York I was seeing a VA doctor and he was the least helpful human being I have ever encountered.

My primary care physician has no frets about being the one to handle/prescribe my medication, but not all are. Do some good digging on reputable psychs before getting a referral/make an appt.

I've always had the best results with a combination of medication and CBT (cognitive behavioral therapy). These type of therapists have changed my life so much for the better. Figuring out WHY you are behaving a certain way helps you figure out what you can do to change/manage things better.

Do you have any improved focus with caffeine consumption?
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Old 12-10-17, 06:39 PM
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Re: Should I see a psychiatrist?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Pamplemousse View Post
I've always had the best results with a combination of medication and CBT (cognitive behavioral therapy). These type of therapists have changed my life so much for the better. Figuring out WHY you are behaving a certain way helps you figure out what you can do to change/manage things better.
There was another thread last month where several people said that they wanted more structure in their therapy sessions as opposed to a more free-form approach. That was an issue with me, too, when I went to be evaluated for ADHD five years ago and continued to see the therapist for about four months after that. Most of our sessions involved me just talking about what was on my mind that day.

I finally told the therapist that I wanted to do something more practical than just talk about my feelings. I wanted, instead, to look at specific strategies for managing my time better and procrastinating less, for staying more organized, etc. And I wanted to better understand why these things are so difficult for me. I suggested that we use one of several self-help books for people with ADHD and go through it in a somewhat systematic manner, but she didn't seem that enthusiastic about this idea. I didn't stay with her much longer and also went off the Ritalin I had been taking.

Well, I started meds again almost exactly 4 months ago (Vyvanse this time) and also wanted to combine this with some kind of therapy since I've read that the two together usually get the best results. So, I just started seeing a new therapist about a month ago, and when I went in for our second session a week ago, and before we had even really talked much about what I hoped to get out of therapy, he suggested that we use a little book by J. Russell Ramsay and Anthony Rostain called The Adult ADHD Took Kit: Using CBT to Facilitate Coping Inside and Out (NY: Routledge, 2015). It was quite a coincidence that he would suggest this book because I had bought a copy about 6 months ago and even brought it with me to our appointment.

I don't know a lot about CBT, but this is definitely more what I was looking for in therapy and am hoping that med + CBT will help me get my ADHD under control this time.
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