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Old 05-10-19, 05:06 AM
RichardH RichardH is offline
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Hello, taking the first steps, venting, input?

Mostly just trying to get it down. Some background. I am 47 years old. I have suffered depression and social anxiety most of my life. In elementary school I did well, always aced all the standardized tests, 99th percentiles across the board. Did my homework in the morning at school that is when I didn’t lose it. When we got a new math teacher in 5 th grade who expected more from us than the last one, I fell behind. As soon as it got to things I just didn’t somehow “know” I tuned out. I tried, but I could not follow the lessons and I gave up. My mind would go elsewhere. Once in 4th grade, I tore through a standardized test, it was the Iowa test or the California test, the point is the school got funding in part based on the results of these tests so everyone took them so seriously. The test was proctored by the vice principle. I turned in my phone test after 20 minutes and he yelled at me and called me out for not taking the test seriously and demanded I take it back and look it over. I spent the rest of the 2 hours pretending to do that while feeling terrible. How dare I show how smart I was. That test was 99th percentile also.

When I hit high school everything got much harder. Now there were different classes, different teachers, different expectations, multiple subjects to keep organized and that was killing me. I was always losing assignments, waiting until the night before to do weeks long projects, etc. I got by just barely.

I still procrastinate. It’s like I need the urgency of a crisis to focus well and at that point I can. I do very well in a crisis in fact.

My mind is always a flurry of activity, lots of threads running at once. Extrapolating every upcoming event with a thousand possibilities, worrying about things. Imagining all the things I want to do. Reliving the past, endless grinding over problems I’m dealing with. Once my wife took phenterimine, a stimulant for weight loss.... I took one and my mind became quiet. I could think well enough, but it was a slower, measured oceans only one thread at a time. When I had no reason to think of anything specific, it was quiet. Sounded like listening to a sea shell. It was sort of eerie, it scared me a little, but it was relaxing like my mind caught it’s breath for the first time ever.

I should add that depressants make me hyper. Percosets from surgeries, injuries always made me ultra productive actually...so it seems that stimulants calm me down and depressants make me hyper.

I don’t think I have much of the hyper pet of adhd, except I am always bouncing my leg or drumming my fingers. Sometimes I do have my mike a minute days where I seem to be more effective than others.

I still have trouble organizing. My workshop is a mess and has 15 different projects laid out, I love tinkering with things...I will work on something a bit then move on, lots of unfinished things I started at the spur of the moment and never finished. I will work on one thing a few minutes then move on to another. Eventually they get finished, but I will have the laptop playing music on YouTube because that helps me concentrate, and I will go to change the song and get caught up on some sidebar suggestion then end up watching some stupid video for a few minutes then I might not get back to what I was doing before...sometimes I try to force myself to get to a certain goal point with a certain project, like I’ll think I will keep working until I have the top half of the engine taken apart. then it becomes no fun, almost painful to push myself to that point and I’m greatly relieved when I got it there and can let myself off the hook. Sometimes I can do things steady though but most of the time it’s hard.

I love to play guitar, yet when I try and sit down with a book to actually learn chords and such, I make it about 10 minutes and I get this sort of headache and get groggy. Same for other stuff that I have interests in.

I am always losing stuff. I will become paralyzed trying to think about things I have to do today, and will imagine doing all of them, sometimes never settling on one or the other, getting tired of thinking and hit the couch instead.

I have low self esteem, I’m very socially awkward. I’ve been on anti depressants for the last 18 years...depressed most of the time... lately that’s been better. I’ve been in therapy for a year now. A while back one therapist asked me if I had ever been diagnosed as bipolar...it was a day that I was talking a mile a minute and trying my hardest to get my thoughts and ideas out before our session ran out because I had a lot to say. She left the practice shortly after that visit. I read about bipolar and some of it fit so I went to see the psychiatrist and he asked me about 10 questions and proclaimed me bipolar type unspecified.

He prescribed lamictal...which helped with the depression and the social anxiety. On follow ups he’d say things like don’t stop your meds or you will wind up hospitalized. Really?!? I’ve never been hospitalized for my mental health issues. I’ve never had any manic episodes. True, some days I seem to be firing on all cylinders and seem more effective than usual. Sometimes I do go a mile a minute, but I’ve never had hallucinations or heard voices or anything. The impulsivity, the mile a minute stuff, some of the symptoms of bipolar and add cross each other.

My current therapist who I’ve seen every two weeks for 6
Months now thinks I have add, and even talked about I have shades of asbergers. She sees no bipolar issues. While the lamictal helps, it is actually used as a co medication for treatment resistant depression...so that makes sense to me.

I saw a psychologist at the practice who gave me an evaluation for add and he said He had to score it, but just looking at it he said I’d be a candidate for medication. I took this info and made an appointment with another psychiatrist hoping to explore the possibility of add. The test that the psychologist did was not in the system yet, and he did talk to me for about 10 minutes and thought I did not have add. He seemed hung up on the bipolar diagnosis that the other psychiatrist had made (in about 5 minutes and 10 questions.) he said we should wait for the test to get into the system and come back. He did mention a more comprehensive evaluation that could be done. I gave it a couple weeks and went back. The results were still not in the system. He seemed very dismissive of that evaluation, basically saying that even if he had it in his hands, he said that it doesn’t mean much since I could have just answered it however I saw fit...but this was given by a psychologist who was this same practices’add specialist.

I told him that I thought he was hung up on the bipolar thing, and that my therapist saw no signs of bipolar in me. I asked him to go ahead and set up the more extensive test, a neural psychiatric evaluation...at some other practice which means more waiting. So be it. I have to wait for them to call and go and have that done and then take THOSE results to this guy. I still need to find out what happened to my original evaluation, although my new psychiatrist has already discounted it. I suppose that in contrast to the psych that jumped to a bipolar diagnosis in 10 questions, this guy is being cautious, but it feels more like he’s already made up his mind about me.

I have good insurance, but it’s hard to shop around In this field. I’d love to find a specialist in adult add... I’ve searched but can’t find anything remotely close. Plenty of coaches and therapists, but I am really interested in trying the medication route. Please pardon the typos and bad auto corrects and general disjointedness herein. I tapped this out over the course of an entire night a bit at a time.
Thanks for letting me vent!

Last edited by namazu; 05-16-19 at 01:56 PM.. Reason: added some line breaks for easier reading
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Old 05-11-19, 12:09 AM
RichardH RichardH is offline
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Re: Hello, taking the first steps, venting, input?

Wow I just read my own post. I sounded like I was whining. I am blessed and fortunate for sure....was just upset about the psychiatrists dismissiveness. Things in my life have gotten better in many ways over the last few years, I just finally decided to try and work on myself so to speak..
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Old 05-11-19, 01:34 AM
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Re: Hello, taking the first steps, venting, input?

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Originally Posted by RichardH View Post
Wow I just read my own post. I sounded like I was whining. I am blessed and fortunate for sure....was just upset about the psychiatrists dismissiveness. Things in my life have gotten better in many ways over the last few years, I just finally decided to try and work on myself so to speak..
ADDF is a support forum -- don't sweat it!

It really is unfortunate when the professionals from whom we seek out help dismiss our concerns or don't listen carefully.

Have to run at the moment (or, rather, sleep!), so can't reply further tonight, but wishing you luck in your quest.
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Old 05-16-19, 08:32 AM
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Re: Hello, taking the first steps, venting, input?

In the middle of something OP but will be returning with a better reply.
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Old 06-20-19, 04:18 AM
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Re: Hello, taking the first steps, venting, input?

Hey OP. I didn't read all of your post, figures since i'm in this forum lol. I am 36 years old can I can relate to a lot of what you said. What really got me was when you talked about taking phentermine, it was like you read my mind exactly so I felt compelled to reply to you. I felt the exact same way. I felt like my brain got a break from itself. I could focus on what I was doing and when I was done doing what what I was doing I just felt a quiet calm, almost like a cocoon of calm, like what you mind find listening to a seashell. am I right? Growing up I always struggled with staying focused in school but I did well. I always noticed that had to hyperfocus to remember things for a test, like an ultra crash course at hyperspeed. I never really understood what I was learning I just managed to get enough in the noggin to spill it out on the test. I struggled socially and had self esteem issues. After high school I did college for 3 years and passed about half my classes. I just couldn't focus. I joined the Marine Corps and did 8 years and when I got out my brain was everywhere. I tried college again and it was very difficult so I went to see my doc at the VA hospital an he prescribed me Ritalin with little to no questioning. I was shocked, I thought for sure it would be a longer process. Nevertheless, it worked wonders. I felt like I was in the drivers seat, not the passengers. I finished my associates degree AHEAD OF TIME with a 3.9 GPA . I got my life organized. Thing were grea until I was assigned a new doc and she said I didn't have ADD and I was freaking PO'd like hell. Subsequently, I have been working on my bachelors for almost 4 years due to failing classes and the inability to stay focused. I didn't feel interested in learning. When had to do writing assignments I felt like I could not organize my own thoughts or construct them in a way that made sense. I knew what I what wanted to say for a 1000 word essay tried to say it all in one concise sentence. It was like instead of firing multiple bullets of thought, I always ended up trying to fire a massive cannonball. I realize im getting side tracked here so I'll get back on track but I don't know where i'm going with this hahaha! Hopefully you can take what I wrote and make sense of it.
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Old 06-22-19, 01:47 PM
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Unhinged by Dismissive Docs

Quote:
Originally Posted by RichardH View Post
....was just upset about the psychiatrists dismissiveness. Things in my life have gotten better in many ways over the last few years, I just finally decided to try and work on myself so to speak..
I could identify with many of the experiences in the first post, but none more than this. Being dismissed by someone from whom you were hoping and expecting help can be downright destabilizing.

In fact OP's "upset" seems mild compared to some of my overreactions to being misunderstood or dismissed by someone from whom I had been stupid enough to seek help. Maybe I'm not the only one with some kind of vulnerability in that area that is "poorly regulated!"

I just want to say that now that I have noticed the pattern, and realized that my overreaction endangers me and derails the improvements I originally wanted to make, I have started planning ahead for times when I need to ask for help but may get shut down.

The biggest thing is to plan something with a friend immediately afterward, so I am not left alone with my own reactivity if things go badly. And the OP's choice of venting on a forum of fellow-sufferers seems like a very wholesome option, too.

Good on you for wanting to "work on" yourself, and having the persistence to wade through all this professional incomprehension to do it.
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Old 06-22-19, 06:29 PM
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Re: Hello, taking the first steps, venting, input?

Did any of the professionals ask about your family history?

We went through this 10 years ago with my granddaughter. Our thought was
possibly autism spectrum disorder, but the therapist was sure it was bipolar.
That seems to be the diagnosis-du-jour in the last few years.

We had been doing a lot of reading, my daughter and I co-parent my grand-
kids, and told him that we have lots of adhd and adhd in our family history,
but no history of anyone with bipolar.
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Old 06-28-19, 06:11 PM
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Re: Hello, taking the first steps, venting, input?

Psychiatrists seem far too trigger-happy with the bipolar diagnosis and very resistant to diagnosing ADD/ADHD. From what i know they really have little to know training in ADD. Psychologists have the training but not typically psychiatrists.
And many of the symptoms overlap. Things like talkativeness, a multi-tasking brain, erratic energy and even mood swings can be signs/symptoms of both or either - a good therapist/psychiatrist needs to delve into the details and context to see which diagnosis fits best.

I empathize with your wanting to find someone who specializes in adult ADD. They seems hard to find. Maybe you could find a good GP whose willing to treat based on the psychologists recommendations. Or just a GP whose comfortable with ADD/ADHD diagnosis. They do exist though you might have to do some research for your area to find one.

Don't give up. Even if it means changing doctors until you find someone willing to actually take the time to listen and talk with you. And maybe do some personal research online yourself so you can feel informed when you meet next.

Just a few thoughts.
Hope it's helpful.
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Old 08-11-19, 07:18 AM
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Re: Hello, taking the first steps, venting, input?

Quote:
Originally Posted by RichardH View Post

He prescribed lamictal...which helped with the depression and the social anxiety. On follow ups heíd say things like donít stop your meds or you will wind up hospitalized. Really?!? Iíve never been hospitalized for my mental health issues. Iíve never had any manic episodes. True, some days I seem to be firing on all cylinders and seem more effective than usual. Sometimes I do go a mile a minute, but Iíve never had hallucinations or heard voices or anything. The impulsivity, the mile a minute stuff, some of the symptoms of bipolar and add cross each other.
I get so mad when I hear situations like yours. It seems like everyone is bipolar and couldnt possibly be adhd. Or both. And god forbid a doctor admit he was misguided or flat out wrong. A doc should be interested in helping the patient in the best way possible. Sometimes their egos get in the way.

I saw a psychologist at the practice who gave me an evaluation for add and he said He had to score it, but just looking at it he said Iíd be a candidate for medication. I took this info and made an appointment with another psychiatrist hoping to explore the possibility of add. The test that the psychologist did was not in the system yet[/quote]
Can you elaborate on this test? I ask because there are no tests for adhd.
Quote:
There's no single test to diagnose ADHD. Instead, doctors rely on several things, including:

Interviews with the parents, relatives, teachers, or other adults
Personally watching the child or adult
Questionnaires or rating scales that measure symptoms of ADHD
Psychological tests
The doctor needs to see how much a personís symptoms are affecting his daily moods, behavior, productivity, and lifestyle habits. And he needs to rule out other conditions.

With children, the doctor will talk with the parents about ADHD symptoms they have seen. The doctor will want to know what age the behaviors began and where and when the child shows symptoms. The doctor may ask for a behavior report from the child's teacher, report cards, and samples of schoolwork.

With adults, the doctor may want to talk with a spouse or other family members. He'll want to find out if they had symptoms in childhood. Knowing if an adult had ADHD behavior as a child is important for making a diagnosis.
There are tests for other psychological conditions but really any doctor that relies on a "test" I would question their familiarity with adhd.


Quote:
he did talk to me for about 10 minutes and thought I did not have add. He seemed hung up on the bipolar diagnosis that the other psychiatrist had made (in about 5 minutes and 10 questions.) he said we should wait for the test to get into the system and come back. He did mention a more comprehensive evaluation that could be done. I gave it a couple weeks and went back. The results were still not in the system. He seemed very dismissive of that evaluation, basically saying that even if he had it in his hands, he said that it doesnít mean much since I could have just answered it however I saw fit...but this was given by a psychologist who was this same practicesíadd specialist.
This psyche was different than the one who prescribed you lamictal right? Can you see a different doc, even if they are not labeled as an adhd "specialist"? This doc isnt going to budge from his preconceived notions. He basically accused you of faking it. I do not see how you can get him to look beyond that.
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