I'm feeling incredibly frustrated. I've been seeing both a psychiatrist and a psychologist regularly for the last two years for treatment of depression. After numerous drugs, drug combos, dosage levels, etc. I've seen very little improvement in my mental state. At a recent appointment with my psychologist, I was diagnosed with ADD, which my psychologist believes is a major contributor to my anxiety and depression. My problem is that I'm now seeing a brand new psychiatrist (my former psych retired a few months ago) and she doesn't believe that I have ADD! I tried to explain to her that I've been diagnosed by a professional, but she brushed it off like my psychologist was unqualified to make that decision! Umm... two PhDs and 20+ years of clinical practice isn't valid qualification?? I even suggested that I put her in contact with my psychologist so that they could work out a treatment plan, but she wasn't at all interested in talking to my other doctor.
So the worst part of this is that I'm in dental school right now and am on the verge of failing because I can't keep up. I honestly have 2 or 3 exams every week, plus lab projects to do and clinic exercises to go to on top of that. I am in desperate need of treatment right now. After being diagnosed by my psychologist I had to wait WEEKS to finally see the psych to try to get some meds to help me. After the appointment today I left empty handed. She told me that it's most likely depression and anxiety which is mimicking ADHD symptoms and that I should be increasing my dosage of Zoloft, not taking ADHD meds. This is incredibly frustrating because I've spent two whole years doing just that. I already struggle with low energy, so there's also no way I'm going to take a single milligram more of Zoloft! She said she was skeptical of my claim to have ADD because I've "made it this far" without "problems"... I don't understand this at all. I've had symptoms of ADD my whole life, but my coping mechanisms have done an adequate job of getting me through school and life up until now. My ADD combined with the enormous amount of work and stress I endure on a daily basis has pretty much rendered me non-functional at this point.
I don't know what else to do at this point. I'm trying to do everything I possibly can to stay in school. I see my psychologist on a weekly basis, I frequently have meetings with a mentor/instructor at my school to help keep me on track and this upcoming Monday I begin working with an ADHD coach. The only piece that's missing is the medication! This new psychologist wants to me to come back for another appointment in several weeks to see how I'm doing and to see if I'm still having the same problems. It kills me to know that every day I wait I fall farther behind, but she doesn't seem to understand or care about this.
So I guess at this point I'm going to try to find a new psychiatrist. The one I see now is through my university's counseling center, which I thought would make her a bit more sympathetic to my insane schedule and how much stress this is causing me, but I guess not. My question is, if I go to a new psych, how long will it take me to have ADHD medication prescribed? Will I have to go back for numerous appointments or do long, intensive screening exams before I get any help? Also, are there any resources, websites, etc. out there that can help me find a qualified, sympathetic doctor who specializes in treating patients with ADD/ADHD? The last thing I want to do is go through something like this again!
I really hate how if you complain of being a little depressed they'll throw bottles upon bottles of antidepressants at your problem without batting an eye, yet if you come in complaining of how ADHD is ruining your life you're suspected lying just to get an adderall script. Has anyone else been through a crappy situation like this before???
"She said she was skeptical of my claim to have ADD because I've "made it this far" without "problems"..."
Oh, that makes me crazy!!! This psychiatrist has a lot to learn. I could see where she would want to be cautious....even leary. as ADHD can be confused with bipolar even by seasoned professionals. And many ADHD'ers [particularly stumbling through life untreated] DO often suffer with depression and anxiety as well. In fact, those are often the presenting symptoms and need to be addressed first. Add to that the tales of widespread abuse and over prescribing, coupled by the fact that she doesn't know you from Adam, well....I could understand her questioning; but to be so insistent, righteous, and unwilling to even contact your psychologist....Nope....wouldn't see her again!
Have you ever tried Wellbutrin? It doesn't address all of my ADD symptoms, but it does help me with motivation and depression without sedating me, as so many others do. Don't know if it could be helpful for you or not [alone, or in combo with a stimulant], but it's easier to get prescribed that [in the meantime] and it may be helpful.
There is a LOT of info on line....self assessment tests etc. I have a ton of info with a multitude of examples to justify my diagnosis, so I could advocate for myself. You might consider doing the same in preparation for your next visit.
Do you have a good GP? Your Psychologist can send him/her a letter of recommendations and explain your ADHD. This is the avenue I'm taking. You can also Contact your local CHADD organization, or I think on the magazine website ADDitude.com they may have a professionals list. You could also contact Terry Matlen. I explained my situation and she directed me to the CHADD people closest to me. The CHADD people are volunteers. Good luck with your situation but I won't for the life of me go back to that psychitrist -- Marr
This was pretty much my experience as well... I did have depression too, but after finding a med that did help with that, realized I wasn't depressed anymore, but still didn't feel any better. Then they diagnosed me with ADHD... I see a nurse practitioner as well... she's been wonderful. That comment about "getting along this far" is just ridiculous! Just goes to show how little that dr. knows.. heck... a five minute google search will show you how many of us go undiagnosed their whole life... I was only diagnosed a couple of months ago and I'm in my late 30's...
Find a new dr...
Susan Abrams said:
I hope you get the right dr this time. I know a lot of docs like to do extensive screening. The first time I went to the dr- (actually a nurse practitioner, Phd) spoke to me for 10 or 15 min - gave me an immediate diagnosis and a prescription. Then, a few months later I quit my job and was left without med ins. I got new insurance about 2 years later - went to a new psych office (also saw a nurse practitioner) and this doc had me do 2 quizzes - spoke to me for about 20 min- and then gave me the diagnosis and a prescription right away. By the way, in the past I'd seen at least 6 therapists who diagnosed me with depression and gave me antidepressants that didnt work - never considered ADHD. I didnt know anything about ADHD - it never occurred to me either- I only went because my boss told me I had it - looked it up on the internet and realized I had all the symptoms.
no I have not been through what you are describing but I would say - that if you can-- dump that female psychiatrist and find one that does understand ADD. I have ADD med prescribed by my GP as she has known me for 15 years and has seen first hand how I struggle. That was lucky I guess. Then I go to an ADD coach counselor Certified counselor on ADD. NOw that the concerta I started on a year ago is not working,... there is talk of adding anti depressanst which I don't really want to do... I want and ADD med to keep working but the body is designed to build tolerance.
were you taking any other meds for ADD before you were on Vyvance? i am on concerta now but may have to change... "V" is the new darling for ADD it seems..... How is it helping you?
Susan Abrams said:
By the way, I was diagnosed at age 63 (3 yrs ago)- I take Vyvanse 40 mg daily - I really think I need a higher dose, the nurse (ARNP) wont give it to me - thinks I will become manic - I'm thinking of asking to see someone else in the office for a 2nd opinion or going elsewhere.
ok for 11 years now i been going to therapy and i was told i had all kinds of things bipole ptsd depestion adhd all of them and was put on meds for my depaton but nothing for the adhd whys that i dont understand so i changed me therapy to a diffrent doctor and told her what i had she still dont believe i have hdhd so she said i have to prove it wtf nw i have to go through screening for it this is awful i lived my whole life with this i just dont no what to do any more?please help me someone/
yes im going through the same thing with my therapist i told her i thought i have had adhd.i said when i was young i had prblemes in school all the time i stayed back in the 7th grade for three years then droped out.im 46 now i been seen therapist for 11 years now and they kept giveing me zoloft welbutrin all the meds for deprtion .never really worked.i asked her about the adhd and she said we need to screen you i said ok.so they did.so the next time i went to see her i asked her about it.she acted like she didnt no so she told me i have to see a diffrent doctor for another screening.i said ok .so i waited for the day to get another screening done for 3 months i waited and i asked her again whats going on with the screening for adhd am i going to get it done again she said i dont know i said WHAT! she said i dont know then she said oh we have to get your sleeping disourde fixed first.i got pissed after i left her office and came home i said fuck this and called my family doctor to go see her.i went to see her and told her i been seen them doctors for 11 years and they cant find whats wrong with me thats just messed up she told me well let me look at your records from them and ill see what i can do for you and give some kinda of scrip for adhd.i said ok thank you and now im waiting again i call her today to see if she got my records in to look at them now i need to call her today and see what hapens from here.
Hey sorry so late, story of my life ;) I am having this same issue with my psychiatrist right now. Whenever I try to discuss issues related to the ADD she tells me it's Anxiety and Depression, which oddly enough the symptoms of Anxiety and Depression decreased significantly once I realized I had ADD and began therapy and coaching. But my psychiatrist is dismissive about how the ADHD effects my life as a mother, employee, wife and friend. She keeps telling me I am an overachiever and just want to "improve" my performance but I swear I am an underachiever who simply wants to perform on the most basic level without the cognitive distortion and distraction of ADD! She will not even consider anything other than the 10mg of Ritalin LA and all these balls I am juggling (everyday stuff like getting to work on time, keeping my mouth shut at meetings, starting and completing tasks, remembering to pick up my kid from school, making a grocery list, operating without a 3-4hr nap on the weekends....) are crashing down around me. It is so hard to believe I am not lazy, crazy, stupid when your psychiatrist is unknowingly feeding the monster. Please help!