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Old 05-07-20, 04:27 AM
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36yo from down under

First off, I've been a member of a number of online forums in the past, and I'm glad this one uses vBulletin from 1895.
But seriously - it's old-school forums very much like this that I have been using since I was about 17, and I wouldn't have it any other way.
Anyway, onto my intro, and I'll try not to give my life story (no promises though).

As the title says, I'm 36. I've only recently (ie in the last 2 months) received a formal diagnosis of ADHD, but there has been no doubt in my mind for about 5 or 6 years that I have it.
The idea I might have it first occurred to me when I heard a radio program about it, and realised it fit me to a tee. I had of course heard about it before, but probably suffered from the same misconceptions about it as everybody else, so I never connected the dots.
Not knowing any better, I did seek out a diagnosis by seeing a psychologist pretty soon afterwards. As it turned out, in Australia you need a psychiatrist to give a diagnosis. Whoops.
Anyway, diagnosis or not, she did all but confirm my suspicions, but I didn't take it any further at that point.
Even when I knew, I never really thought much about it or made it a big deal - it was just nice to have an explanation for being a scatter-brain and knowing that it was not just me being lazy or thoughtless. It also meant I started thinking about other ways to deal with procrastination/motivation/etc that weren't just brute force "try harder" like a "normal" person.

Anyway, fast forward to about November last year. I had barely thought about ADHD for ages, but then randomly I saw a meme that was about ADHD which I strongly related to. Cue hyper-focusing about ADHD for the next few weeks, eventually deciding to finally get a diagnosis, more or less just to dot the Is and cross the Ts and make it "official". And who knows, maybe I could get a couple of recommendations for new methods/techniques/whatever that work better than what I've been doing. Health systems being what they are, especially with the whole COVID thing unfolding, it took until late March to finally have an appointment with a psychiatrist.

Now, two months later, I am thoroughly sick of the whole thing, and the prospect of simply ghosting my psychiatrist and GP is sounding very tempting.
My partner, an animal vet, apparently warned me that they would just try to push drugs down my throat. I don't remember, but I should have listened to her.
As far as the thought of medication even occurred to me beforehand, I was fairly ambivalent or agnostic about them. Vaguely I had assumed I would maybe, in my own time, see a specialist ADHD psychologist or coach, and down the track maybe think about pursuing meds if it seemed like I still needed them.
Nope. After a half hour Skype conversation with the Psychiatrist he just announces "I'm prescribing you dexamphetamine". Didn't discuss other options, didn't ask me if that's what I wanted, or if I wanted time to think about it. Didn't even, as far as I remember, go over the side effects or long term health implecations. I was not expecting that, and so I didn't push back at the time.
By the time I talked with my GP again, though, I was more prepared. I told her I wasn't ready, and would prefer to maybe see a psychologist first. She said "sure, nobody can make you take the meds. But you should take the meds before you see the psychologist."
Grr....

So my prescription is still sitting in limbo, but I finally got an appointment with an ADHD specialist psychologist this coming Monday.
The annoying thing is I feel like I've had to make myself way more opposed to meds than I wanted, just so I could have a bit of autonomy. Ironically, if they hadn't been so strongly pushed on me, I might even be taking them now...

Yeah, sorry - it did end up being a bit of an essay. I just needed to vent though haha!

Anybody else have an experience like this? (Please, no recommendations for if I should/shouldn't take them. I have enough people doing that already...)
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Old 05-07-20, 03:46 PM
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Re: 36yo from down under

Hi LonePiper I just wanted to welcome you to ADDF
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Old 05-08-20, 05:23 AM
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Re: 36yo from down under

Welcome and Hi from WA. Firstly they can prescribe whatever they want and you can choose not to take them or take a lessor amount.

Your body your choice. I've been off meds for ages. My psychiatrist was happy when I told him. Personally as useful and necessary as it was given my circumstances I found dexamphetamine to be a soul destroying experience. Your world view will change. It depends on whether you see that as a good or bad thing
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Old 05-08-20, 06:50 AM
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Re: 36yo from down under

True - the fact that I am yet to even pick up my meds is testament to the fact that it is my choice.

My concern is really how pressured I feel - the psychiatrist seemed to take it as a given that I would just do what he said, with a tone of voice that sounded like "take 2 aspirin and see me in the morning," and my GP has had a very similar attitude, possibly even more pushy.
And this is after one 30 minute skype conversation.
No other options provided - I had to do all the legwork to come up with alternatives, and they seemed very disinterested in even discussing them.
I would also like to add that not everybody will necessarily understand "my body my choice", and a lot of people are easily swayed by people that seem like authorities. I'm concerned about how many other people have had meds pushed on them and have been too afraid to disagree.

Just seems like a weird experience when so many other people seem to be jumping through hoops and dishing out thousands of dollars for multiple consults and tests and things just to possibly get a diagnosis, not even a prescription. (Not that I want that either...)
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Old 05-08-20, 07:19 PM
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Re: 36yo from down under

Yes you are correct alternatives require you to do all the legwork. It's important to recognise the primary role of a psychiatrist is to prescribe medication. A psychologist helps you change behaviour, make sense of stuff and provide counselling.

Whether other people understand the my body my choice concept is irrelevant. Everyone is responsible for their own actions. You can't make other people self aware but you can plant a seed in their minds on forums such as this and in discussion with others.

If you're looking for alternatives there's a lot of advice on here. You won't get that advice in the psychiatrist office unless they are really special.
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Old 05-08-20, 09:14 PM
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Re: 36yo from down under

I'm slowly learning just how naive I am about healthcare and especially mental health care in Australia. I would have thought that a system that is supposed to help some of the most vulnerable people in society would be more accommodating and helpful. Obviously I had the wrong idea about what a psychiatrist's responsibilities are, but the fact that nobody really explained this to me already sounds less than ideal.
I guess I'm just lucky that I know people I can ask questions of and am less likely to be swayed by authority than some people. I also know how to do my own research and have access to the resources to do that. Many people do not.
I'm probably just being idealistic, but the fact that some people have trouble standing up for themselves or being assertive about what happens to their body is not something I can just brush off. I'm under no delusion that I can go around and suddenly teach everybody to be assertive, but I still feel like something needs to change.


Still, there are places in the world that have much worse healthcare than us...
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Old 05-09-20, 03:20 AM
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Re: 36yo from down under

It took me about 4 years of being treated to figure out what roles the various professionals play.

And if you feel strongly about standing up for people who don't understand enough to stand up for themselves then perhaps a career change as an advocate ia calling you. If you can't make a career change then start speaking out online. Talk in online groups. Plant the seeds and try to raise community awareness that way.

I don't know what Tassie is like but in WA people do speak out. And collectively we are as a society shifting to a more natural way of living. I personally provide a lot of advice to parents of kids with adhd and autism at work and online.
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Old 05-09-20, 03:59 AM
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Re: 36yo from down under

hi & welcome to the forums

It's really too bad you were made to feel meds were being pushed at you. i figured i had adhd but thought i would be seen as "drug-seeking" and my symptoms were mild,etc.

after several years , i found a dr here in france who prescribes meds, only ritalin is available, and they really changed my life. it should be an option.

on a. lighter note, have you seen the Australian cooking videos on youtube by "Nate" ? i would post a link but the language isn't appropriate here.
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Old 05-09-20, 09:36 PM
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Re: 36yo from down under

Quote:
Originally Posted by tudorose View Post
It took me about 4 years of being treated to figure out what roles the various professionals play.

And if you feel strongly about standing up for people who don't understand enough to stand up for themselves then perhaps a career change as an advocate ia calling you. If you can't make a career change then start speaking out online. Talk in online groups. Plant the seeds and try to raise community awareness that way.

I don't know what Tassie is like but in WA people do speak out. And collectively we are as a society shifting to a more natural way of living. I personally provide a lot of advice to parents of kids with adhd and autism at work and online.
I'm a complete pussycat, and the idea of being an advocate or activist or anything that involves being outspoken terrifies me.
I'm sure I'll be passing on my experiences in more places than just here, and word of mouth does count for something. But career change? I can think of few jobs to which I would be less suitable!

I haven't lived in Tassie long enough to get a full understanding of Tasmanians, but I do get the impression they can be cliquey and gossipy - not something I generally like, but it is one way to pass on a message

Quote:
Originally Posted by stef View Post
hi & welcome to the forums

It's really too bad you were made to feel meds were being pushed at you. i figured i had adhd but thought i would be seen as "drug-seeking" and my symptoms were mild,etc.

after several years , i found a dr here in france who prescribes meds, only ritalin is available, and they really changed my life. it should be an option.

on a. lighter note, have you seen the Australian cooking videos on youtube by "Nate" ? i would post a link but the language isn't appropriate here.
I don't think I've seen Nate, but I used to watch a number of "cooking" videos by Hannah Hart who also has ADHD. They're pretty funny!
At the moment I'm really trying to cut down on youtube - it is one of my main sources of proctastination.
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Old 05-15-20, 05:03 AM
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Re: 36yo from down under

Believe me when I tell you that I understand hesitation when starting any new medication. For some reason people are willing to try 5 different BP meds or multiple pain management meds or other rx options for tons of things but as soon as people hear about stimulants many will have a knee jerk reaction and say things like doctors are pushing meds or already have notions about medication for adhd. The reason most doctors prescribe meds is because they work.

Quote:
Stimulants are first-line pharmacologic agents for adult ADHD with a long history and moderate to large effect.32,47 Like all treatments, side-effects occur (reduced appetite and initial insomnia during initiation especially), but tolerability and overall safety are good, especially when compared to most psychiatric medicines. Safety improves further when their beneficial effects on driving are factored into the equation.48,49 Cardiac safety is established with no increase in serious cardiac illness. Underlying cardiac vulnerability and a small increase in blood pressure (around 2 mm Hg once stable) need to be considered. Starting low but titrating rapidly towards target dosing is recommended to avoid frustration in this inherently impatient group.
Quote:
Adult ADHD Treatment 1: Medication
Medication is often the first line of defense against the symptoms of ADHD for one simple reason: studies show it to be most effective. “When adults ask me questions about why they should try medication to manage their ADHD, my answer always comes down to two words: Medication works,” says Russell A. Barkley, Ph.D., a clinical professor of psychiatry and pediatrics at the Medical University of South Carolina. “When you find the right medicine, you can experience substantial improvements in your ADHD symptoms.” With the right drug and the optimal dosage, the success rate is high: Medication works for at least 80 percent of people with ADHD.

Though broadly effective, medication is not an easy answer. Before pursuing treatment with medication, patients should consider the following:

Finding the right medication, dosage, and schedule can take months.
Every medication has side effects for some people. Balancing those with the positive effects of medication is a trial-and-error process. It will take time for you to find the optimal medication and dosage with minimal or zero side effects.
To get the most out of medication, you must communicate with the prescribing doctor and follow his or her advice, especially during the initial phase of taking medication. This communication is needed to adjust dosage and control side effects in a timely manner.
Medication isn’t a magic bullet. It helps manage some ADHD symptoms, but it does not cure the disorder.
Supplementing medication with behavioral therapy and/or coaching is often a more effective strategy than managing ADHD with one or the other alone, as studies have shown
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Originally Posted by LonePiper View Post
My partner, an animal vet, apparently warned me that they would just try to push drugs down my throat. I don't remember, but I should have listened to her.
This is a common misconception that many-even well educated people have.
Quote:

Nope. After a half hour Skype conversation with the Psychiatrist he just announces "I'm prescribing you dexamphetamine". Didn't discuss other options, didn't ask me if that's what I wanted, or if I wanted time to think about it. Didn't even, as far as I remember, go over the side effects or long term health implecations. I was not expecting that, and so I didn't push back at the time.
By the time I talked with my GP again, though, I was more prepared. I told her I wasn't ready, and would prefer to maybe see a psychologist first. She said "sure, nobody can make you take the meds. But you should take the meds before you see the psychologist."
Grr....
Quote:
Nothing major, in terms of side effects or increased health risks, has been found for taking medications to treat attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) — and researchers have had a long time to evaluate these medications. Amphetamine — found in Adderall, Dexedrine, and Vyvanse, among other meds — was synthesized in 1887 and came on the market soon after as an over-the-counter nasal decongestant spray. Methylphenidate — found in Ritalin and Concerta, among other prescription drugs — was available in Europe in 1939 and came to the United States in 1954.
Quote:
Finally, anyone who is concerned about medication safety should remember the risks of non-treatment. Untreated ADHD adversely affects a person’s life in many ways. Those with ADD/ADHD who don’t take medication have a significant increase in auto accidents, drug abuse, unplanned parenthood, and job loss. They also are more likely to separate and/or divorce compared with those who take medication
Quote:
Anybody else have an experience like this? (Please, no recommendations for if I should/shouldn't take them. I have enough people doing that already...)
I didnt share this info to try and sway you to take meds. Some people have milder cases and do well with behavioral modifications. Some people develop coping skills by the time they are adults and do not want meds. Can I ask what it is that you were hoping for? Lets take the fact that the doc offered you meds out of the equation: Since you already knew that meds may not be your cup of tea what had you read about to treat your adhd that you wanted to discuss?
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Old 05-19-20, 06:18 AM
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Re: 36yo from down under

Quote:
Originally Posted by sarahsweets View Post
Believe me when I tell you that I understand hesitation when starting any new medication. For some reason people are willing to try 5 different BP meds or multiple pain management meds or other rx options for tons of things but as soon as people hear about stimulants many will have a knee jerk reaction and say things like doctors are pushing meds or already have notions about medication for adhd. The reason most doctors prescribe meds is because they work.

...

I didnt share this info to try and sway you to take meds. Some people have milder cases and do well with behavioral modifications. Some people develop coping skills by the time they are adults and do not want meds. Can I ask what it is that you were hoping for? Lets take the fact that the doc offered you meds out of the equation: Since you already knew that meds may not be your cup of tea what had you read about to treat your adhd that you wanted to discuss?
For the record, I don't even like taking paracetemol!

I just want to reiterate that what really bothered me is that I did not feel like I was given a say in my own treatment. All I wanted was a simple "do you think medication is something you might want to try?"
Would that have been so hard?

Additionally, I don't even remember him asking me if I have any heart conditions (but to be fair - I have ADHD, maybe I forgot he asked. Don't think so though). The fact of the matter is, I do have slightly high blood pressure and get occasional heart palpitations. Might have been good for him to know...

The stupid thing is, beforehand I was feeling if anything agnostic or undecided about meds. Now I feel like I've been forced to take a more adversarial position just to get some of my own agency back. I can't imagine I'll be able to think about them objectively for a while now.

I'm seeing a psychologist now to see if I can develop some better strategies and coping mechanisms. For the moment that's the sort of thing I want to pursue, although I'm also intrigued about neurofeedback. Have to do some research on that one though...
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Old 06-25-20, 09:35 AM
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Re: 36yo from down under

Welcome to the forums. I’m in Victoria. I hope you get what you need here.
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