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Old 12-03-14, 06:17 PM
kashmoney kashmoney is offline
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Master's Student problems...and I threatened my doctor today, looking for sympathy :(

Hey everyone! As much as i want to type this out into one huge paragraph and go on a rant like I usually do I will try to do brief bullet points for your reading pleasure Here it goes:

-always thought I had ADHD
-people have always been asking do you have ADHD or something?! regarding my inability to pay attention to what they are saying, forgetting everything, etc etc
-never did anything about it
-graduated high school and undergraduate with HONOURS
-obviously felt like i was battling with ADHD the whole time. I did ALL my papers the night before and studying for exams basically looked like frantically going over my notes on the subway train on the way to school the morning of the exam. Imagine writing 50 page research papers the day before they were do. Imagine skipping class all the time because its SO BORING AND HARD TO CONCENTRATE TO THE POINT THAT YOU ARE MAKING RANDOM MEOWING NOISES IN CLASS to get the professor to stop talking and divert their attention from lecturing. Imagine all this and THEN some, but doing SO WELL in school. THAT is why i never did anything about my "possible" ADHD if you may ask. If it hadn't stopped me from doing well, why would i take any action about it.

-this september i started my masters degree
-obviously the workload is WAY worse and the material even more dense and boring but OF COURSE i am not doing any of the readings, neither am i studying and neither am i doing my papers earlier than the night before the morning they are due.
-cant focus in class, constantly leaving to go hang out in the hallway
-blurting random things in lecture because i just can't take it anymore
-a vent to a friend in my program about who i think i have ADHD and she's like, yeah honestly i think you do (i've forgotten about all sorts of things like exams, things we have to hand in, papers that are due etc etc that she's had to cover my *** for) AND she says we should go to the doctor, ill walk over there with you.

-i go see the doctor at my university. at this point i am crying like a baby and in a VERY LOW mood because i am just so frustrated because i REALLY want to do well, and i enjoy my program. i do not want to drop out. i am sure this is what i want to be doing.
-she says its most likely ADHD so she gave me: a note for an extension on my assignments for a week, a referral to accessibility services at my school, and a referral to the psychiatrist at my school and told me to see her next week.

-accessibility services is waiting on getting me an ADHD assessment paid for by the school. it will take a VERY LONG TIME to obtain. like two months at least.
-went to my family doctor because i was so desperate for help i thought she would prescribe me what i want. She said i have depression (even though i argued about this over and over with her) and prescribed me antidepressants. i took them for a week but i kept on forgetting to take them so i just stopped.
-i at first trusted her diagnosis but then thought to myself OKAY I DO NOT HAVE DEPRESSION.
-went back to the doctor at my university, they confirmed that i don't have depression.
-went back to the psychiatrist for the FIRST time at my school. she said i don't have depression. I thought she would prescribe me the medication for ADHD but she didn't end up doing that, she said the same thing as the doctor at my university, that the results have to come back from my assessment and then she will give me meds. She suggested i read a book, Driven to Distraction and thats about it. lovely woman though!

-this all FIRST started a month ago, and i kept on going to see a doctor at least once a week.
-went to see my family doctor a second time and told her i don't have depression, she doubted that this is true which frustrated me so i CRIED and this further supported her idea that i have depression.
-next day i go to the doctor at school and she gives me a two week extension on my assignments. these notes she gives me make me feel a LOT calmer, but don't make the problems go away.

-FLASH FORWARD TO TODAY: exams are looming in the air, my first one is in two mondays from now and they will be back-to-back all that week. don't ask me if i have started studying.
-went in to see my FAMILY doctor again to tell her that i don't have depression, that i stopped taking those pills, and that i went to another doctor and a psychiatrist who confirmed that i don't have depression (to let her know that i wasn't just making this up).
-so we chatted a bit about my struggles and she wasn't being really sympathetic at all. Like i know you're not i psychiatrist but i came to see you and the least you can do is be an active listener and validate my feelings. she's so bad at this it frustrates me. anyways i ask her, "is it not in your scope of practice to be prescribing ADHD medications" (not in a know-it-all tone by the way-in a very sincere tone) and she pretty much said i NEVER initiate ADHD medication, bla bla bla, went on about that. and I continued on about i don't know what I'm going to do and how its so hard and told her about my struggles in the classroom and somehow what ended up coming out at the end is my saying "i just don't want to end up doing something bad like using recreational substances or buying ADHD medication off of one of my friends" and she said "okay so i feel like you're trying to threaten me with that comment"

-i left the office feeling horrible. i kind of was trying to coax her into giving me a prescription, like i only need TWO weeks worth of drugs anyway :'(
-i feel so HORRIBLE. i feel so bad for saying this to her. but can someone just validate my feelings here? I don't know why i did that. Im honestly SUCH a nice person, everyone gets along with me, people always say " i could never see you doing or saying anything mean"

ughhh i hate my life right now. I just want to hear that it's going to be okay. Ill be SO happy if i pass all my courses this semester after exams having NOT studied for them. but this is not how i want to continue.

-i was thinking of going back to the psychiatrist at school and talking to her again, seeing if she'd prescribe me something. I called and she is booked tip the end of the semester :'(
-the lady on the phone from reception said she'll make sure the psychiatrist calls me to talk to me. but of course this won't do much. i feel bad for bothering her and all of you who are reading this but i just do not know how to cope.

-the doctor at my university was saying that she's glad I'm not super frustrated/frazzled/crying/in a low mood like i was when i first saw her and that its a good thing I'm dealing with this so i don't get into that state again. WELL ITS HAPPENING!!! i just hate how I'm getting depressed symptoms as a result of not being able to cope with my ADHD. i don't understand why they will prescribe antidepressants with no problem but not ADHD medication. Why wouldn't they just give it to me? Maybe it's best practice..

-i don't know what to do. i am NOT going back to my family doctor for at least the next two years that i have doctors at my university available. i am so ashamed of what i said to her.

-the ply option is to go see my doctor (not psych but normal doctor) at the university and tell her about my ordeal. but i don't think she will prescribe me the medication, because wouldn't she have done so already?? maybe because her and the psych are hired by the school and there are more stringent standards for them to follow, like if students found out you could just go to the psychiatrist and get ADHD meds without any assessments or anything that this would turn into a bad situation? i really hope thats the reason that they're not giving it to me. I hope they don't think I'm faking it or something.


Thanks for reading, I really appreciate it :'(
if there is anyone else in grad school, hearing from you would be great for my emotional well-being right about now :'(
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Old 12-03-14, 07:58 PM
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Re: Master's Student problems...and I threatened my doctor today, looking for sympath

Welcome to the forum.

To this doctor, you sound like a person who is faking ADHD.

I don't know why, that's between you and the doctor.

Doctors near schools or associated in any way with schools are expecting students to fake ADHD in order to get drugs, and that's often their first thought when ADHD is mentioned.

If you think you need drugs just for 2 weeks of exams and papers and then you'll be fine without them after that, that also makes it sound to me like you don't have ADHD, makes me want to say "Yes, grad school is hard, everyone knew that already, it doesn't mean you have ADHD".

If you really do have ADHD - and it is a real possibility - then you'll have to be patient and not expect everything to fall into place conveniently right before exams. It can take months to get this all worked out, and your exam desperation is not working in your favour - it accidentally makes you look very bad. That's not your fault or anything against you personally, it's just a fact.
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Old 12-03-14, 07:59 PM
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Re: Master's Student problems...and I threatened my doctor today, looking for sympath

No struggles in school before this?

With ADHD, people have it their whole lives. It doesn't just affect them once things get hard.

Sorry you went through a bad experience, though.
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Old 12-03-14, 09:34 PM
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Re: Master's Student problems...and I threatened my doctor today, looking for sympath

@dvdnwls
-I never told the doctor that I need it for only two weeks. Why I'm saying that i REALLY need it for the next two weeks is because if I fail school I lose about $15,000 which isn't really great. What I meant by the "two weeks" is that if I could somehow have my focus just so i can pass my exams, ill be good to go because the school said that i'll probably get an assessment done soon and then ill be able to get all sorts of accommodations: software, an ADHD coach, one day spacing between exams, more time for tests, assignments etc. You can imagine that having your own personal ADHD coach would certainly be a HUGE help. Im not saying it would get rid of my ADHD, nothing will. But I feel like if i had that to my disposal I would be able to get by without drugs, maybe i wouldn't get by with AMAZING results, but i would get by enough to pass. the unfortunate thing is that of course i have to have the assessment done first in order to access all of these accommodations/resources. that is why i have become so desperate and frustrated, because i really want help now.

My exam desperation is bad, i know but i can't help it. this much money and a career I've wanted all my life has never been on the line so it's really getting to me now.


@BellaVita

-i certainly have had issues in school starting out in kindergarten it took me a long time to finally learn English. I was still on picture books while everyone else was doing chapter books.

-I see that you've made a point to mention that people with ADHD have it their whole lives. I am well aware of that. However, we must not neglect to consider the effect that the environment can have on REALLY pulling the trigger on ADHD. The doctor at my university said that she has seen people who have completed high school, undergrad, master's, and it only became a problem for them when they got to their PhD. There are a lot of factors in the environment that could have gotten me by even if i DO/did have ADHD. All throughout elementary school my parents did my homework with me, if they didn't, i would have NEVER done it. So I still had pretty good grades in elementary school, but that doesn't mean i dont have ADHD. My grades were good but my behaviour not so much, i remember regardless of my good report cards my parents would always come home after parent-teacher interviews and yell at me because of all of the comments my teacher made about my behaviour-not sitting still, talking, disrupting other children in their work etc. The moment i started high school was when my parents stopped sitting at the table with me and that is when it really became real for me. I was called the procrastination queen in high school and undergrad. People who had barely gotten a start on their work would come to me and ask me if i have started because they knew my answer would make them feel better and subsequently this would make me feel like crap. Luckily in undergrad i had my best friend with me, she reminded me about EVERY assignment, test, etc. YES i graduated university with honours, but my doctor at school said it's totally possible for someone with ADHD to also have a high IQ and do very well in school. Thats why I don't like when people ask about how my grades were in the past. My grades were always very good and they are still pretty good (taking into consideration that i don't study for my tests and write all my papers the night before in a masters degree). The difference is, this is really causing distress for me right now. I don't like that i HAVE to do something the night before its due in order for me to be even SLIGHTLY interested in writing it or studying for it. Everyone else in my program is SO on top of things. It makes me feel like an outsider. I've talked to so many people and many of them have expressed sympathy, but they're not able to empathize, clearly, because they do not know what it is like.

-I am sick and tired of forgetting really important things. Im also sick of hearing people tell me that I'm not listening to a word they are saying, this especially hurts when it comes from professors who i am having a one-on-one conversation with. I want to listen, i want to pay attention but i can't. I was never able to pay attention in undergrad either, but it's completely different at a master's level as you can imagine.

I understand where you two are coming from trying to suggest that i may not have ADHD. Whenever i mention this to anyone in class they're all like YEPP I DO TOO! We all have ADHD. That just makes me feel a lot worse.

My doctor from school has also been talking to me about how this has been affecting my personal relationships with people and that if i get a proper diagnosis and treatment, that these aspects of my life will start to look up too!

I feel so bad for all the things I've said to my doctor and for being so desperate but I really did not see any other solutions. I was just being in the moment. Like i always am. And then regretting things i said or did, like i always do.
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Old 12-03-14, 09:44 PM
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Re: Master's Student problems...and I threatened my doctor today, looking for sympath

by the way, thank you for your replies. Discussing my situation and hearing from other people helps me cope a tiny bit.
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Old 12-04-14, 02:57 AM
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Re: Master's Student problems...and I threatened my doctor today, looking for sympath

I can relate to your school-related struggles. I had to do part of my masters studies on low doses of ADD meds and a couple of months with no meds (all due to medical reasons). It was nearly impossible and I considered dropping out and cried myself to sleep most nights. For now, just do your best not to fail, take as few credits as you possibly can, try to take EASY CLASSES that require very little work and try to find strategies that'll help you manage your symptoms as much as possible (e.g. exercise, flexible schedules, frequent breaks, working with others on research and/or assignments, using text to speech to read papers, going to office hours, pulling all-nighters to get things done on time).
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Old 12-04-14, 11:05 AM
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Re: Master's Student problems...and I threatened my doctor today, looking for sympath

id put all Of that energy and vigour for getting a diagnosis into studying for now. its probably taking up a lot of time and mental space which could be better utilised for the task at hand which is your finals.

diganosis wil either happen or it wont. finals will happen. get your head down and study whatever it takes
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Old 12-04-14, 03:01 PM
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Re: Master's Student problems...and I threatened my doctor today, looking for sympath

I'm sorry you're having such a tough time right now, kashmoney. What are you studying?

I wonder if there's anyone in your program, an advisor or faculty member, who you could talk to about what your options are if you think you're really not going to pass one or more of your classes. Yes, you might lose some money, but if you could drop one or two classes that are the most difficult right now, and make them up later, would you lose the full $15,000?

Or maybe it would be possible to get an incomplete on some classes?

I can understand the feeling of just needing the medication right now to get through the next couple of weeks... I can get by, barely sometimes, without medication, but if I really wanted to do my best or do something as intensive as grad school, I would definitely need it.

Just had another thought - it sounds like you do well when there is someone there helping you or keeping you focused. Does your school have any tutoring services? Or is there a professor, TA, or classmate who would be willing to set up regular study sessions with you?
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Old 12-04-14, 04:40 PM
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Re: Master's Student problems...and I threatened my doctor today, looking for sympath

Jenn1202: thanks for your reply! it feels good to know that someone can relate to my struggles. My physician at school was successful in believing in me and getting me out of my first ADD-induced emotional slump. But her and I are both worried about that happening AGAIN if i don't get my assessment and don't get treated. She wants me to get my assessment done ASAP and so do I! Like sure i kind of got over it, but if it affected my emotions SO negatively, it's best to take preventative measures too! I worried about what will happen on the tests in the ADHD assessment, like if i end up doing very well on them, will me doctor completely rule out ADHD? Hopefully not, because as as strategy she tried to suggest to me that i get more time for exams but i told her that i hyper-focus. Im always the first one to finish, and I get them finished in an astonishingly short period of time, and do very well considering having just glanced at my notes the morning of. Pretty sure I'm going to be able to ACE all the tests in the ADHD assessment, because when they pressure IS ON, i perform pretty well! Oh well, whatever will be will be. I will keep you all posted on the results once everything has been done.

I considered dropping out SO many times. unfortunately there is not much flexibility in my program. i have to pretty much have to do the full course load. If i fail something I'm pretty sure they give us ONE change to try again, but that isn't something i can lean on. Thank you so much for your kind words!!


Flory: thanks for your advice. But i think you can relate with the struggles related to fixating on something and not begin able to stop. I literally cannot get my mind off of this. It's always been like this, if i find some kind of distraction it literally turns into a vicious cycle and goes deeper and deeper. I have to find out EVERYTHING there is not know about whatever is bothering me/on my mind.

I wish i could just get my "head down and study" been trying for the last 8 years at least...
I told a peer today about my problems focusing in class and i ended of saying "i just don't know what to do, why is people's nose-blowing more exciting than listening to the lecturer?" her response: "just..focus!!" THANKS A LOT!!!! -_-

Chicky75: thank you for your sympathy I am studying occupational therapy. Ironic right? I could use an occupational therapist at the moment...
Of course i have talked to MANY people. I am a really outspoken person!! I literally have no shame in sharing ANYTHING about my life, i swear i share way too much sometimes!! I literally have no filter. I constantly live with so many regret about the things that have come out of my mouth. I just can't stop it, if i think of something/want to say something it NEEDS to come out!! Whenever i meet new people they admire this quality about me, however, in the long run it's been detrimental. So, i have talked to a lot of people about this. Faculty, peers, etc. There is not much leniency. I pretty much HAVE to pass this semester, which my doctor at school totally believes i can do. and to be quite honest i probably WILL pass. I'm just angry that i can't function normally. like when i look back on my life or when i reflect back on each semester i can't believe how much time i have WASTED trying to study. Staring at the words in my textbook, or going to the library for hours on end and having ONE sentence written down. Everytime i try to start things early they end up being REALLY poor quality. Everytime i do them last minute they turn out amazing. But i really don't want to live like this. When i only have school to worry about that's fine. But there have been times where i had work, school, and many other obligations to take care of and it has been a real challenge then.

What i hate the most about this situation is that i have always been able to have SO much on my plate. In undergrad i got straight As, worked four times a week, was ACTIVELY part of four clubs at school, had a social life, time for my spirituality, volunteered, and engaged in cultural and religious activities a few times a month.

So, of course i continued to work, sign up for clubs, extra certificates etc at the beginning of my master's this semester, but I REALLY cut it down. Like i was only going to work on saturdays for only four hours in the afternoon and i joined the student council which only meets one time a month and i enrolled in an extra certificate program which is a commitment of about 3 hours a week, not always, sometime less.

Progressively i have been cutting out these things, i withdrew from the extra certificate program that i worked hard to get into, i have not been going to any of the school council meetings, AND i have been taking off work like no tomorrow! I'm barely there. I thought these things would help but they didn't. I guess I have fewer things to worry about but it makes me feel crappy about myself because i was always able to take on so much.


Going to attempt to do some studying :'( Good luck to anyone approaching exams!
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Old 12-04-14, 04:41 PM
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Re: Master's Student problems...and I threatened my doctor today, looking for sympath

p.s. how on EARTH are any of you reading what i post? these things are novels. Even if you are skimming i am amazed at how you are able to extract such relevant information. You are all amazing ! Thank you !!
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Old 12-04-14, 04:51 PM
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Re: Master's Student problems...and I threatened my doctor today, looking for sympath

Quote:
Originally Posted by kashmoney View Post
p.s. how on EARTH are any of you reading what i post? these things are novels. Even if you are skimming i am amazed at how you are able to extract such relevant information. You are all amazing ! Thank you !!
I honestly wasn't able to read your recent post, which is why I haven't responded. (the one where you responded to me)

Could you give a summarized version?
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Old 12-04-14, 05:43 PM
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Re: Master's Student problems...and I threatened my doctor today, looking for sympath

To be honest the main body was tl,dr

If you have managed to achieve high school and various things with honours you have some ability to get your head down .
Need to find a way to get back in the groove

Do you have a study skills seminar at your college ?
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Old 12-04-14, 06:56 PM
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Re: Master's Student problems...and I threatened my doctor today, looking for sympath

I have taken ALL of the study skills seminars in the world. I have been on my own case about trying to change the way i function for as long as i can remember- AT LEAST since high school: seminars, self-help books, counselling, etc etc. To no avail. That is why it is so frustrating, I've literally tried EVERYTHING because i don't want to be this way! People stopped giving me advice like this a long time ago because they know i know it but can't put it into practice. I could seriously be the person GIVING the seminars on study skills, organization, time management, etc-that's how much I know about the topics.
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Old 12-04-14, 07:15 PM
kashmoney kashmoney is offline
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Re: Master's Student problems...and I threatened my doctor today, looking for sympath

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Originally Posted by BellaVita View Post
I honestly wasn't able to read your recent post, which is why I haven't responded. (the one where you responded to me)

Could you give a summarized version?
BellaVita, a summary for you:

- i know that ADHD is a condition that is present since early childhood. However, it IS possible to not have experienced struggles as a result of it for a large portion of your life and then have it affect you. Environmental factors are huge contributors to performance for people with ADHD. Sometimes (not ALL the time) environmental adjustments alone can solve many problems for people with issues related to ADHD.

-My physician at the university gave an example, she's seen many people who have graduated elementary, high school, undergraduate, master's AND only got diagnosed at PhD level, because before then, the condition did not impair them to a significant degree. They got by, which is what I'm doing. Getting by isn't the solution though.

-I have had issues at school since kindergarten. They have obviously not affected me to this degree though. As you already know, school gets more and more challenging each year, especially in university. So it started out with very tiny problems which could be swept under the rug or remedied by tutoring or other resources. At this point, the issues are too large to sweep under the rug, to the point where the individual is experiencing problems that wouldn't even be present had they received the appropriate attention from the beginning.

In my experience working for the school board I have seen this time and time again. I used to see children who didn't have any of the necessary skills to continue their education who somehow made it all the way to graduation. It's easy to turn a blind eye to a problem that is small. Then a snowball effect ensues and it's too late to actually do much about it.

Sorry that my summary is still a novel. I thinking it's slightly more streamlined than my previous post.
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Old 12-04-14, 08:11 PM
Jenn1202 Jenn1202 is offline
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Re: Master's Student problems...and I threatened my doctor today, looking for sympath

Quote:
Originally Posted by kashmoney View Post
I worried about what will happen on the tests in the ADHD assessment, like if i end up doing very well on them, will me doctor completely rule out ADHD? Hopefully not, because as as strategy she tried to suggest to me that i get more time for exams but i told her that i hyper-focus. Im always the first one to finish, and I get them finished in an astonishingly short period of time, and do very well considering having just glanced at my notes the morning of. Pretty sure I'm going to be able to ACE all the tests in the ADHD assessment, because when they pressure IS ON, i perform pretty well! Oh well, whatever will be will be. I will keep you all posted on the results once everything has been done.
Usually ADD/LD assessment tests are nothing like school exams. You could do well in school and still do horribly on some of these tests/subtests. This is especially true if you've developed good compensatory strategies over the years that helped you do well in school.
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