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Old 02-02-11, 05:48 PM
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Problem with Therapy.

Sorry - Long!


I posted on here before with 'doubts' about ADD/ADHD diagnosis. Only because of how I was when I was young. But after doing years of analyzing this possiblity, reading books and coming on here. I honeslty feel I do have it and it seems likely when without a doubt by own father has undiagnosed ADHD. He's practically a classic case - he has combined symptoms for sure.

I never ever realized how how many of the things I do other people on here do. My hypersensitivity, hyper focusing, my sensory issues and being hyper senstive to noise at times. My lack of motivation, disorganization. My burn out rate seeming so much higher than an average persons. I could never fathom how other people could manage to do so much where it felt impossible to me.

I have been talking with a psychotherapist about this for a few months now and we had to wait so long so I could talk to a psychiatrist about medication. I finally did this month, and it went fine we discussed meds and decided we we're going to try different ones to see which ones would work for me.

Well yesterday I had an appointment with the psychiatrist and I was talking about my anxiety issues as well. I have trouble 'talking' about things which has been a problem with this therapy as I just get so uncomfortable because I feel so stupid and embarrassed as I AM embarrased about myself and talking about it is almost painful for me which is a big problem I know. I did try and explain how I have trouble doing things a lot because of the anxiety I feel about being a failure and how I don't have the achievments I should. So yes that makes me quite nervous as I don't feel confident and I know other people won't really care but I care about how I seem to them. And I hate running into people I know because of my 'failures' and I don't want them to know that of me or anything. So I do avoid people and sort of cut out relationships in the past.

She started getting confused and saying this had nothing to do with ADD. I just felt so frustrated as I was just explaining how I felt. And she asked me why I am came here and I said I started this therapy to really be sure what was wrong with me and get the right diagnosis and then medication - whatever that might be, whether it's ADD meds and/or anxiety/depression meds whatever. I said that I didn't think that just talking was really going to help me, or little 'excercises' and she didn't seem to like that, like she thought I only wanted meds and she wasn't willing to help me with that if that was my main reason for being there.

You see, and I'm not exagerrating, she looked at me almost as if I was a space alien and had her hand resting on her chin as if she straining to understand it all and it was making me so uncomfortable. She kept saying things to me like 'Well you know trying is better than NOT trying isn't it?" And I couldn't help but feel frustrated like 'UM FREAKING OF COURSE,' I never said that it wasn't but I was just being honest about myself, the way I am and how I feel. But I felt as if she was sort of criticizing me as she was making her feelings very clear as well. It did sort of feel like she was 'arguing' with me and she even said 'Do you feel like I am arguing with you," And I said said 'Well yes I suppose!' RATIONALLY I know she was NOT arguiing, I only meant it felt like she was. I know I sounded very frustrated in return but I know I was NOT arguing back even if it did sound like I was. I can't help it because my emotions take over me and I physically feel uncomfortable and it affects my ability to speak. I also mentioned how I have huge problems with motivation, drive and energy and I can't recall exactly how it went but she was saying things like how energy has nothing to do with ADD or something like that I just felt so overwhelmed I felt like she kept taking everything I said and seeing it the wrong way or totally not understanding what I meant! Or maybe she said motivation and drive weren't ADD or all three I can't really remember.

But it's only because I've had therapy before, and we tried you know breathing exercises for anxiety, positive thinking kind of stuff. The thing is, that stuff is only so affective. I'm not stupid, rationally I know what I should do when I feel unmotivate or when my anxiety plays up. I know I should try and calm myself down. I know I shouldn't think so negative. But when I get like that, for me my emotions just take over and no 'excercise' is going to change that.I could calm myself for a minute and try and think 'rationally' or 'breath' but ultimately a few minutes later I am going to be back to crying and freaking - I have little not impulse control in situations like that. I can deal with that as I have always been that way for a long time - the thing is I can work on is not putting myself as much into situations where that happens to me. I don't feel I can just change the way I feel literally but I can change things to help avoid these situations.

I just really feel I need something to give me some 'boost' because I have been how I am for years, a complete mess. I AM working at the moment to try and get better, get more of a 'life'. I didn't say I would reject any other kinds of therapy or as soon as I got the meds I wanted I'd be out of there. I never was going to do that. If there are things I can do, like cognitive therapy anything - I am happy to do that. Can anyone else who has been in therapy explain to me what other things they do to help you?


With the pyschiatrist it went so bad, we're aren't even discussing medication anymore and I am not seeing her again unless later I choose to.

I just felt so awful yesterday and today. I can't think of anything else, I cried on and off terribly all day yesterday, woke up feeling terrible, cried a bit today as well. Yesterday was so bad, I felt physically sickened with myself, like physically so unfomfortable in my own skin I wanted to jump out. I get deeply upset, I cry, feel terrible but it's get to a whole different level when you physically can't stand to be in your own body. It's unbearable. I don't have an appointment to see my psychotherapist until next Friday. I don't know how I can make it that long as I feel awful. I feel everything we were working toward for months has just gone back to square one and I don't know what to do. I was just beginning to try and feel more positive like maybe I CAN do it after years or not being able to. The frustration is so unbearable I just wish I could be passed out until next Friday as I don't know how I will make it.

With everything I've read about ADD it seems medication is a very important step and it's being taken away from me it feels like and it's not fair. I don't feel the psychiatrist had any right to tell me that it wasn't what I needed right now or this doesn't have anything to do with ADD. Yeah maybe not directly but this is what I am trying to work on. She made it seem like I had no interest in even trying, as I was telling her how I felt about getting 'out' there and how it's hard for me to see anything positive. I know I have 'issues' but if Medication can help me to feel as if I CAN do something, if it can help me complete takes, if it can help not feel so overwhelmed trying to accomplish things that is a good step IMO as that is pretty much is exactly what lead to me being the way I am. I didn't just not do things because I was too scared and that's it. I became too scared because I couldn't do it right, I kept falling deeper and deeper into a hole making it worse for myself. I have no idea why I didn't do things, or couldn't find the motivation,drive. Why I did so many things.

Am I depressed - in certain ways yes as I lose the abilitly to feel positive and I do have a sense of vagueness that I think happens with depression, but I have weeks where I feel pretty much OK. Maybe it's not the healthiest, my lifestyle is not what you'd call a 'life' at the moment but in terms of major depression I just don't 100% feel that is my problem. I feel because of the way I am I will always be prone to being more 'moody' and 'down' compared to the average person as I am more difficult. It seems some people can go through life pretty much fine, they just kind of 'go' with it. I don't and never really have. I have trouble finding things as 'interesting' I mean I think they are interesting but it often it never really seems like enough exactly. I just feel I think about the deeper things so much more than the average person so it periodically can make me 'down' where with others it isn't so much.

What should I do if this Psychiatrist won't help with the medication issue, can I ask my family doctor to prescribe me anything as she has prescribed me Strattera in the past after I was diagnosed by a different psychiatrist?
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Old 02-02-11, 06:49 PM
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Re: Problem with Therapy.

Wow, you sound like me just a year ago.

Good news: Don't give up hope and don't be depressed, your situation is common and easy to treat. The only barrier is ignorant "professionals" who don't understand the situation.

1st off: You said you've been prescribed strattera in the past, so how was your experience with that? I'm asking only because Strattera is known to help some patients with their anxiety as well as ADD symptoms.

Medication, when/if you find the right one for you, makes all the difference. You're right about your anxiety - it's not "irrational" - you know the what/when/hows yet somehow your brain takes over and you go into a hypersenstive mode when the moment comes. I know exactly how that is. And it's worse when it's combined with an ADHD diagnosis because it makes treatment all the more difficult (though certainly not impossible). In my case, stimulants alone didn't cut it, I take an anti-anxiety/depression drug (effexor) and adderall and do just fine. Actually, I'm a million times better off than I was a year ago, extremely depressed, hopeless, as you perhaps feel now.

My advice: find a doc/psych who's experienced with adult ADHD, it's nuances, and comorbidities. I don't know Canadian laws but if you can show that you meet the DSM criteria for ADHD and anxiety, you should be able to demand any treatment option that's available for those conditions. It's well worth doing so.

Good luck!!!
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Old 02-02-11, 07:20 PM
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Re: Problem with Therapy.

Next time... get the meds.. then speak of other things after they start working. We're a bit notorious for saying every possible wrong thing at the wrong time.


Another thing, in therapy, you decide when you trust enough to reveal something there are no shoulds!
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Old 02-02-11, 08:28 PM
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Re: Problem with Therapy.

Quote:
Originally Posted by JonADD View Post
Wow, you sound like me just a year ago.

Good news: Don't give up hope and don't be depressed, your situation is common and easy to treat. The only barrier is ignorant "professionals" who don't understand the situation.

1st off: You said you've been prescribed strattera in the past, so how was your experience with that? I'm asking only because Strattera is known to help some patients with their anxiety as well as ADD symptoms.

Medication, when/if you find the right one for you, makes all the difference. You're right about your anxiety - it's not "irrational" - you know the what/when/hows yet somehow your brain takes over and you go into a hypersenstive mode when the moment comes. I know exactly how that is. And it's worse when it's combined with an ADHD diagnosis because it makes treatment all the more difficult (though certainly not impossible). In my case, stimulants alone didn't cut it, I take an anti-anxiety/depression drug (effexor) and adderall and do just fine. Actually, I'm a million times better off than I was a year ago, extremely depressed, hopeless, as you perhaps feel now.

My advice: find a doc/psych who's experienced with adult ADHD, it's nuances, and comorbidities. I don't know Canadian laws but if you can show that you meet the DSM criteria for ADHD and anxiety, you should be able to demand any treatment option that's available for those conditions. It's well worth doing so.

Good luck!!!


Thank you so much Jon this post has made me feel a bit better.

I re read what I wrote and typically like me I missed letters or words or changed what I was saying half way through so it doesn't make a lot of sense. I do this all the time when I type/write as my brain just goes so much faster than I physically do! So I'm prone to making mistakes like that, or jumbling my words as my mind goes to say one thing, then changes and says another which if I am writing can be a problem. I hate this though. I can't seem to not do it either no matter how hard I try. Even when I re read things I write I so often miss the mistakes until later or after however many times of looking it over.


I don't know if this psychiatrist is 'ignorant' as she has treated lots of people with ADHD and she at first didn't seem to have a problem with trying out meds. It wasn't until yesterday it completely went off course. I partly feel it's my fault which is why I am SO upset as I feel I've shot myself in the foot and failed something again!

I just made myself out to be someone who has this chronic fear/anxiety about the way people see me and how I said I didn't do things because of that and so on. And that combined with me saying the main reason I was here was for meds/diagnosis. I have been diagnosed in the past but I didn't feel sure. So when I went to this place it was for to me feel like I was actually a part of the diagnostic process and I was doing a lot of that with my psychotherapist the last few months.

It's not that I have no desire to do anything else, I guess I am just really unsure of what else there is to do as I personally don't feel anyone else can really help me with my anxiety. I feel only I can no matter how much advice I am given. But, you know if there ARE various treatments for that I am willing to try it out? I think some therapy might do me good anyways as clearly I have cognitive issues so are there things to help that? I am definitely willing to try it.

Anyways I suppose she didn't want to help because she thought I wasn't being willing to help myself and didn't want to give anyone medication when clearly there are a lot of other issues that needed addressing or something or who was looking for a quick fix. If anything I think it might be a 'compatability' issue as well. I was OK with her at first but maybe she just isn't the right person for me to talk to. I know I can be very difficult, I don't know what it is but I get 'stuck' and I can't explain myself. It is awful. But she made me feel so many times worse by looking at me like I was crazy. I thought psychiatrists were meant to be a bit more neutral than that because she was making me feel like a complete idiot. And me being my sensitive self that is a LOT worse for me than for an average person.

As for the energy/motive/drive issue, I am unsure maybe the people she's treated haven't had those extremities in the way I have had. But that doesn't mean my issues aren't valid.

I did take Strattera, see my family doctor mentioned to my mother(not me) a few years ago that I might have ADHD and so she set me up an appointment with a Psychiatrist who was very experiences with ADHD, she's a child psychiatrist. She did diagnose me but I just didn't feel comfortable with the diagnosis as I felt so confused as I had never thought of ADHD as ME before and it wasn't even ME my doctor suggested this idea to originally. So the psychiatrist put me on Strattera. I took it for a few months I think. I just didn't feel incredibly different, maybe I didn't give it enough of a try. But I certainly don't really think it made much difference. I tried it again about half a year ago and maybe again I just didn't give it enough of a try - maybe I didn't get to a high enough dosage. But I didn't feel anything really. At first I felt side affects - isnomnia, lack of appetite but after a bit those all wear off.


I do meet the DSM critera, definitely.
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Old 02-02-11, 08:42 PM
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Re: Problem with Therapy.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ginniebean View Post
Next time... get the meds.. then speak of other things after they start working. We're a bit notorious for saying every possible wrong thing at the wrong time.


Another thing, in therapy, you decide when you trust enough to reveal something there are no shoulds!
Yes I do have issues with saying the right thing. And by that I mean, when it's a really sensitive, personal thing for me I somehow lack an ability to explain myself and sometimes it can come out wrong. I can do a lot better in writing than I can out loud. I just become frustrated and anxious and my emotions take over so I can't explain or speak properly.

I'm not anywhere near the worst offended on saying the wrong things. With that I mean, I'm fairly decent as keeping my thoughts to myself or knowing what is appropriate to say or not to say. Sure I have my moments but I'm mostly horrible at speaking about myself. Also my trouble is my impulsitivity combined with emotions. I can't hide my emotions when they are there and I react according to what they are.

I don't know I'll ever be 100% comfortable with therapy but there you go. I have trouble thinking what relevance/point there is talking about things. I can vent about things but to me unless it's related to my 'issues' in terms of anxiety, ADHD etc. I don't see a huge point of talking them over. I do think about it but when I get in that chair, I feel sort of uncomfortable and there seems to be no point I suppose. I know I do have a problem with that though. I think it has a lot to do with my anxiety issues. I suppose it's the way people see me as well, I guess I just am embarrassed to say certain things. I feel in some ways for years I was 'pretending' to be a certain way and when I'm faced with the reality of that it becomes so difficult for me to explain it as I spent so much time ignoring it maybe. I also think I have little practice talking about myself properly as I could never fully explain the "why's" to things I've done because I didn't really understand it myself. So it's years of that feeling I think makes talking clearly about myself so hard.

A question no has really answered but am curious about - what other treatments are there besides medication?
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Old 02-02-11, 09:02 PM
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Re: Problem with Therapy.

Hey Queen, thank you for your post and coming here. You are being very wise in your caution with this psychiatrist. She doesn't seem to be very understanding or knowledgeable to what people experience when they have ADD. What you have experienced is like what myself and many others have experienced on here as I believe you already know.

I just want you to know that you are NOT alone in how you feel about yourself and your "failures," your struggles to be around people because of your past, etc. In my life, at some of my lowest points, I think I felt like I was worthless and unaccomplished. I didn't want to be around people either. I have always had the tendency or desire to explain myself to other people when I see them in the present. I have the tendency to think that others are thinking about how I was when I was in their company. Then, I ponder what I will say if I see them again in the future. I want to present myself as better when in reality, I'm really fine.

I would not see that psychiatrist again. If you have been treated by your family doctor in the past with strattera, then you need to go back to them. I think it might be a good idea for you to see a therapist, who is trained in helping people with STRATEGIES for ADD. Meds are really an amazing thing. However, so is exercise and of course the strategies too.

In the mean time, come here on a fairly frequent basis for the support you seem to need.

Sending *hugs*

P.S. In the meantime, I want to share a quote with you that helps me really focus on who I am as a person apart from worldly accomplishments:

At bottom every man knows well enough that he is a unique being, only once on this earth; and by no extraordinary chance will such a marvelously picturesque piece of diversity in unity as he is, ever be put together a second time.


Friedrich Nietzcsche
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Old 02-02-11, 10:00 PM
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Re: Problem with Therapy.

Yeah, I hear that a lot about Strattera, that it doesn't help much or that side effects are too overwhelming. My sister took strattera for a month and only seemed to react to it when she combined it with concerta. You need to try an ADD medication, preferably begin a trial. In my opinion, that's the best way to determine if they'll help you - and to confirm an ADD diagnosis. An experienced psychiatrist should be able to discern that much on their own.

Having anxiety or depression or both doesn't rule out ADHD. Often, the undiagnosed ADD leads to, or exacerbates, these comorbid conditions. Be firm, find out what's wrong, do your HW, and demand the treatment if the psych refuses. IDK why they're willing to prescribe SSRIs so quickly and not stimulants...I've personally had a lot worse reactions to the SSRIs than, ever, on stimulants.

This really angers me - I very nearly lost my life due to my ignorance of my ADD - then had to fight my way to find real experts. And this in NYC. The situation needs to change soon.
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Old 02-02-11, 11:12 PM
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Re: Problem with Therapy.

The quacks posing as medical professionals in this world...asdf;ljf

So many idiots. So little desire to continue searching for one that isn't.

I put all my emotional eggs into the Strattera basket after a long, torturous run trialling other 'options' (these quacks just throw darts into the air and hope one connects with the board, I swear...)...and I got crushed. Gave it up after 5 months or so when the side-effects became untenable.

I don't think it ever really did anything. Maybe I was less anxious...
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Old 02-02-11, 11:18 PM
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Re: Problem with Therapy.

At the perhaps ill-advised risk of offending some folk, I'm personally of the opinion that a medical condition which can be talked away isn't much of a condition.

My docs interpret my unwillingness to converse with their idiocy as a sign of depression. They attempt to patronise and insult me into responding with strained, polite "cease / desist" requests, at which point they'll float the possibility of bi-polar and try and sell me on the SSRI placebos. Been there, done that. Survived, luckily.

My latest doc wants me to get hot and heavy with Seroquel. I Google'd it and am thinking about just firing my docs and hiring Dr Google instead.
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Old 02-02-11, 11:30 PM
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Re: Problem with Therapy.

As one of the "ducks" you speak about, let me simply say that therapy is more

"art" than science.

Also remember that there are good & bad practitioners of every profession.

It's also been said (and I agree) that "Good therapist's are born and not educated."

These are just a few of the "caveats" that go with the territory.

I personally know many excellent therapist's,some of whom are extraordinary.

A lot of it has to do with their innate abilities & aptitudes, as well as the type

of therapies they practice.

If they're well suited for one another, then it's likely going to be a positive experience;

assuming that the rapport is there too.

Unless that "clicks," then it will likely not be that productive.

The other variable is the client's willingness to follow through with suggestions,as well

as any recommended "homework" assignments;as this is a "two way street."

Good Luck to you all.

tc

mctavish23

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Old 02-02-11, 11:39 PM
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Re: Problem with Therapy.

Quote:
Originally Posted by mctavish23 View Post
therapy is more

"art" than science.

Also remember that there are good & bad practitioners of every profession.
Please forgive me for saying that I'm starting to wonder if your industry is not an exception to the above rule. I base this merely on my own (pathetically limited sample size of) experiences.

Quote:
I personally know many excellent therapist's,some of whom are extraordinary.

If they're well suited for one another, then it's likely going to be a positive experience;

assuming that the rapport is there too.

Unless that "clicks," then it will likely not be that productive.
Do these excellent therapists do online therapy, perchance?

It's pretty hard to click with someone less intelligent than your teenage sister, who's trying to give you advice (as if you were their teenage daughter). Who then gets uppity should you have the nerve to query whether or not there is any logical basis for their diagnoses and associated 'remedies'.

Quote:
The other variable is the client's willingness to follow through with suggestions,as well

as any recommended "homework" assignments;as this is a "two way street."
I couldn't agree more. And I've yet to meet one who should be allowed to drive.
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Old 02-03-11, 12:03 AM
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Re: Problem with Therapy.

You're cool, so no problem.

I have no clue if they practice online,however, I personally am freaked out by the idea.

However, that's just me.

As the consumer, YOU have the power when it comes to helping the various licensing

boards better regulate the practice of mental heath services.

As a general rule, most psychiatrists write scripts now, as opposed to doing therapy +

meds.

That's not to say that it doesn't still happen,but managed care has had a big hand in

changing their roles.

If you read any of my posts on diagnosis, you'll see me continuosly complain about

colleagues who haven't read a word of research and don't intend to.

They may do excellent therapy, but if they've misdiagnosed ADHD,which will be the

primary problem, then it won't work.

tc

mctavish23

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Old 02-03-11, 12:17 AM
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Re: Problem with Therapy.

The thing is I think I was just a bit gobsmacked to be 'rejected' sort of by this psychiatrist. I haven't experienced any negativity thus far from medical proffessionals with ADHD. In fact at first it seemed it was them pushing it at me! And a few months back when I started seeing the psychotherapist, they were very willing to work with me on this and and didn't try and deter me from this idea at all. I'm going to a mental health clinic right now and the psychiatrist I saw works at this clinic, the rest are counsellors, psychotherapists. So I had to wait for a meeting with the psychiatrist. Yesterday was my 3rd meeting with her. That's why I felt so awful because we'd already started with the medication - she prescribed me some previously! And now all of sudden it's just a big, halt, stop!

The psychiatrist - what they said to me was they weren't saying I didn't have ADHD but a lot of what I was saying was not 'ADHD' related and so I guess she didn't want to talk about medication with me anymore because she didn't understand exactly what my problem was. I realize I didn't make the situation any better but how was I supposed to feel when 3 meetings in I was suddenly being questioned?

I have no problem with therapists. I don't think there's anything wrong with 'talking' I do believe some need it and it does help them.

Thanks again to Jon for his comments. That is exactly what I am going to be doing, my homework. I am ready to meet with my psychotherapist and tell him exactly how I feel/what I want.

anonymouslyadd, thank you for your kind comments! And yes I am certainly interested in learning strategies from someone experienced with ADHD.

Realized I said impulsitivity which is so not word, impulsiveness *sigh*.
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Old 02-03-11, 01:21 AM
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Re: Problem with Therapy.

Queen, I'm surprised at your psychiatrist's shock when you were anticipating meds only. That's all that psychiatrists do! They have gone to medical school to prescribe meds. They don't have any training in therapy. People don't seek "behavior treatment" from those types of doctors. There are psychologists and therapists, and I believe even social workers, who are trained to work with people like us.

The medical field in general isn't very well educated on ADD. Even Dr. Hallowell says that the docs have been poorly trained. I saw a cardiologist before I started taking the psycho-stimulants (they wanted to make sure my ticker was in good shape), and he made me feel as the though ADD didn't exist!

You're going to see her for help and meds, and she gave you a different response, which undoubtedly would take anyone aback. Finding a decent doctor in this medical field is like trying to drive a car without gas (it doesn't mean there aren't good ones out there). I'm fortunate now with the family doctor that I have. He's funny, knows what I need, and we generally have open communication together, which has been such a relief for me.

Prior to him, I was seeing a nurse practioner, who worked under my family doctor whom I had seen for about ten years. They were prescribing me anti-anxiety meds and would even perscribe xanax. Out of nowhere, they decided to not prescribe me xanax and wanted me to be evaluated for my ADD through a neurologist! This happened this past summer. I had been diagnosed with ADD by a therapist in 2006. I took another test at my school the following year. It was like, I thought I had something in my family doctor and all of a sudden he decided that he didn't want to prescribe me xanax. I really needed him, and he wasn't there for me so they lost a patient.

Keep on searching for someone who gets you what you feel that you need.
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Old 02-03-11, 01:57 AM
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Re: Problem with Therapy.

Quote:
Originally Posted by anonymouslyadd View Post
all of a sudden he decided that he didn't want to prescribe me xanax.
Pulling you clean off Alprazolam could literally kill you.

Of course, we're unlikely to hear from the more unlucky victims of such gross medical incompetence. Dead men post no tales.
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