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Old 04-25-11, 04:52 PM
TyrosineKinase TyrosineKinase is offline
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What to expect from an ADHD appointment (with Psychiatrist)

Hello, I am a new member of this forum.

I am in my early 20s and recently began seeing a therapist at my university. After a couple of months, he told me he believes I have ADHD.

I had received psychiatric care for about 2.5 years before seeing my new university therapist. I was diagnosed with social anxiety and depression from my previous psychiatrist. After years of treatments with benzodiazepines and about 8 antidepressants (along with double antidepressant/antipsychotic/mood stabilizing and triple antidepressant therapy.) Nothing worked so I decided to get a second opinion.

I felt my depression and anxiety were offshoots from a central problem that wasn't ever dealt with, which is why I wasn't getting better. My new university therapist agreed with this and recommended I see a new psychiatrist after telling me that I exhibited many of the adhd traits.

A week later I talked to my brother and found out that he has been treated for adult adhd for a decade, and he basically said that the problems I have had when I was little and currently exhibit basically mirrors what he was going through when he was my age. He said after receiving medication and therapy, it completely changed his life.

Now I know there is a HUGE stigma in the psychiatric community about the medications prescribed for ADHD. You know the college students who take adderall and such to cram before exams. This is a rampant thing if any of you are currently in college or recently graduated, should know what I am talking about. This has me really worried. I don't want a psychiatrist to automatically assume that I am coming in his office to just get meds so I can do well in school. In fact, school is the least of my priorities since this informally diagnosed ADHD affects nearly all aspects of my life, from work, relationships, paying bills, etc, which are much more important to me in the broad scheme of things.

Now I have a few questions if you don't mind, and I would really appreciate it if you guys/gals can help me out.

1. What is the first appointment with the psychiatrist like? Like I said, I have been to a psychiatrist before, but this ADHD thing has me worried of course, mostly because of them judging an older person looking to be tested for it. Do I tell him the therapist recommended me to be tested, or do I say basically that my life is falling apart and explain my symptoms and not even mention my conversations with my therapist?

2.What sort of tests do they run for ADHD for adults? This has me really worried because I don't know what to expect at all from this. I have never taken any psychiatric tests before and I'm afraid I'll screw something up and wind back at square one with this. I mean I basically wasted 3 years of my life trying to get the correct treatment until my neurologist and therapist basically said that I wasn't being correctly treated.

3. How long does it typically take to be treated with medication from the time of your first appointment. When I was diagnosed with social anxiety, I was prescribed medication in a matter of 15 minutes, which was kind of odd I thought at the time. However my current therapist told me there are two ways to go about getting treatment. 1. Is to see a psychiatrist which he told me was generally quite fast. 2. Is to see some sort of ADHD specialist (psychologist type person I think) and they are usually quite thorough, however this costs more and takes a longer period of time to get the actual script for medication. As far as psychiatrists go, is this something that takes multiple appointments, or can the analysis be done in your first initial appointment?

4. Has anyone ever had to deal with any negative experiences with a psychiatrist not believing in adult ADHD. My previous psychiatrist told me to my face after I confronted him about it that he doesn't believe it is an adult problem and refused to treat me, while my therapist says that it does indeed exist. What do I do if I encounter this situation again? Do I just say thank you and leave or should I confront him and refer him to my university therapist and supervisor to explain their experience with me?

Thanks for the help and I will appreciate any responses you can give me!
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Old 04-25-11, 04:55 PM
nevermore nevermore is offline
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Re: What to expect from an ADHD appointment (with Psychiatrist)

I have a meeting with a psychiatrist coming up. I'm looking forward to reading the responses you get here.
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Old 04-25-11, 05:06 PM
corbykins corbykins is offline
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Re: What to expect from an ADHD appointment (with Psychiatrist)

my first appointment with my psychiatrist was an hour she went through all the diagnostic criteria for adhd and depression and anxiety and asked me questions about things like my focus and how i feel and how the meds had worked for me. i was already diagnosed with adhd when i went to see my psychiatrist. but to diagnose you they generally just ask a lot of questions.

my psychiatrist just confirmed my diagnosis then prescribed me meds on the spot granted thats just the start, that was back in december im we are still working on finding something that works without side effects that are unbareable! good luck



i apologize I have not read your whole post ive been in class all day and this vyvanse is useless for helping me focus on anything. i hope i answered a few of your questions though if you have any other questions feel free to ask me ive been on quite a few meds and through a few types of therapies and doctors so i have a fair amount of knowledge to share
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Old 04-25-11, 05:19 PM
buggie buggie is offline
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Re: What to expect from an ADHD appointment (with Psychiatrist)

I didn't really have to deal with a psychiatrist. A psychologist diagnosed me, and then I just had to quickly meet with the psychiatrist to get the prescription.

The diagnosis was pretty simple, I just had to answer one of those questionnaires and score higher than a certain percentage. I don't even remember what the questions were. Some of them I didn't have, but a lot of others I did. I think there are actually a lot of different tests used.

I had the same worry that the doctor might just think I was jumping on the banwagon, which is why I never bothered getting diagnosed for years. But I was actually seeing the therapist about anxiety and she suggested ADHD and I said, "yeah, I know I am ADHD, but since I got good grade in school, I figured everyone would just think I was trying to get meds or make excuses" and she was like, well...um...you're clearly ADHD and should probably take the test...

I dunno, I guess if you don't have it, you don't have it. And if you really disagree with the diagnosis, you can always try a different doctor or whatever.
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Old 04-25-11, 07:34 PM
TyrosineKinase TyrosineKinase is offline
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Re: What to expect from an ADHD appointment (with Psychiatrist)

Thanks for the responses! They are very much appreciated.

If anyone else would be kind enough to respond, the more people who do, the easier my life would be...

Thanks for the help!
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Old 04-25-11, 08:02 PM
Grunny Grunny is offline
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Re: What to expect from an ADHD appointment (with Psychiatrist)

I don't have positive experiences with psychiatrists. In my past i dealt with one, and he flunked. If he did i could have started treatment like 10 years ago. My psychologist who diagnosed me a couple of weeks ago needed 5 sessions to get all the information he needed. Even my mother had to be present at one to tell about my childhood. My psychiatrist had his diagnosis done in an hour! I now know that's impossible. I told my psychologist about my previous diagnosis, and he said: 'Oh, you must have been talking to a psychiatrist'. He explained, but i can't remember exactly what he said.

My current psychiatrist who prescribed my meds was doubting some part of my diagnosis (not the ADD part) and i suggested to discuss it with my psychologist (they work in the same building) but he wouldn't! I asked if there is something between psychologists and psychiatrists, and he was very definite about it. YES, there is. Psychologists are paper pushers apparently and psychiatrists are not. Well, when it comes to a diagnosis i rather have a paper pusher. In short, making a true diagnosis takes time. It can't be done in a hour and takes a lot of paperwork. But maybe shrinks work differently in the USA.

Last edited by Grunny; 04-25-11 at 08:03 PM.. Reason: typo error
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Old 04-27-11, 01:04 PM
j3phr3y j3phr3y is offline
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Re: What to expect from an ADHD appointment (with Psychiatrist)

In my experience, my psychologist and psychiatrist stayed in communication. I was dealing with the the same symptoms you describe. I had no clue ADHD could even be a possibility(I associated it with hyper kids). My psychiatrist used the information from several visits and information from my psychologist to reach the diagnosis. For me it was a shock, but the treatment has been life changing.

If I have any advice it would be to find a psychologist and psychiatrist that you are comfortable with and trust. Then work as a team towards eliminating your symptoms. I wouldn't worry about any specific diagnosis. I lot of it is trial and error and, for me, they had to deal with the depression and anxiety first before the underling problem became evident.
Good luck
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Old 04-28-11, 12:42 PM
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Re: What to expect from an ADHD appointment (with Psychiatrist)

I can totally relate to your situation. I had struggled with self-esteem issues/bulimia for three years before I received the AD/HD diagnosis.

I also go to a University where adderall/stimulants run rampant. The whole reason why I went to see a psychiatrist is because I tried some adderall that a friend had given me and couldn't believe how calm and put-together it made me... so the fact that I had tried it without a prescription (I told my psychiatrist this) made me really worried that I was going to seem like I just wanted meds for abuse, selling, etc.

BUT, my psychiatrist is very smart and helpful. I think it helped that my mom actually set up the initial appointment and came with me for part of it (she's always thought that I had AD/HD). I talked to my psych. for about an hour and she felt confident that I did have AD/HD and prescribed me adderall.

The bottom line is that psychiatrists/psychologists are intelligent and educated. If you want to get prescribed medication because you think it will benefit you, see a psychiatrist who can prescribe you something (if they believe you need it). That's what they do- prescribe things. I think to some people it seems like psychiatrists write prescriptions left and right without any regard, but that's their job. They believe that medication is the most helpful thing when it comes to treating a patient.

Just explain what you struggle with and whoever you see should be able to help you.

Good luck!
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