Adult Diagnostic Advice Please

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March 7, 2016 at 11:46 pm #127826
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suzq
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I had an experience two years ago that I have been chasing ever since. I was put on a medication that hit me like a switch. For the first time in my life, I could see there was a way of being that I had never been able to experience. I could look into the future and formulate coherent plans for deadlines and life goals. I could look at my day and prioritize things effectively. It was as if I suddenly had the capability to do and see things in a way I never had before. I could clean my house without it taking three days because I get sidetracked by every possible distraction known to man. Two days later, the side effects of the medication hit and I had to stop. I talked to the one who wrote the prescription (it was for blood pressure and sleep) and she commented that it is often used off label to treat ADHD. My interest was peaked and I started reading.

Fast forward two years. I’ve been to a psychologist who tests children for ADHD and have no diagnosis despite meeting most of the diagnostic criteria. He is supposed to be the guy in this town for ADHD. My psychiatric nurse practitioner, who handles my psych meds–I’m only on something for sleep right now because anything involving the words sleep and schedule is a nearly foreign concept–won’t consider ADHD meds without a diagnosis. My general practitioner says she doesn’t know enough about the condition to feel comfortable making a diagnosis or writing prescriptions. I’ve been to an occupational therapist to help me be able to remember things like basic grooming, paying bills, a house keeping schedule, and so on. I’m referred to one again because I’m back in school and want some help with planning and organization.

The thing is… I know what I experienced in those two days. It could change my life. What I don’t know is where to go from here. I would dearly appreciate some input.

I do intend to look at the toolbox on here. I like the way this site is set up.

Thanks,

Suzanne

PS. I also find it ironic that one of the captcha for registering was to drag the orange juice to the glass when I just read that orange juice makes one of the meds ineffective.

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March 7, 2016 at 11:46 pm #127826
Avatar of suzq
suzq
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I had an experience two years ago that I have been chasing ever since. I was put on a medication that hit me like a switch. For the first time in my life, I could see there was a way of being that I had never been able to experience. I could look into the future and formulate coherent plans for deadlines and life goals. I could look at my day and prioritize things effectively. It was as if I suddenly had the capability to do and see things in a way I never had before. I could clean my house without it taking three days because I get sidetracked by every possible distraction known to man. Two days later, the side effects of the medication hit and I had to stop. I talked to the one who wrote the prescription (it was for blood pressure and sleep) and she commented that it is often used off label to treat ADHD. My interest was peaked and I started reading.

Fast forward two years. I’ve been to a psychologist who tests children for ADHD and have no diagnosis despite meeting most of the diagnostic criteria. He is supposed to be the guy in this town for ADHD. My psychiatric nurse practitioner, who handles my psych meds–I’m only on something for sleep right now because anything involving the words sleep and schedule is a nearly foreign concept–won’t consider ADHD meds without a diagnosis. My general practitioner says she doesn’t know enough about the condition to feel comfortable making a diagnosis or writing prescriptions. I’ve been to an occupational therapist to help me be able to remember things like basic grooming, paying bills, a house keeping schedule, and so on. I’m referred to one again because I’m back in school and want some help with planning and organization.

The thing is… I know what I experienced in those two days. It could change my life. What I don’t know is where to go from here. I would dearly appreciate some input.

I do intend to look at the toolbox on here. I like the way this site is set up.

Thanks,

Suzanne

PS. I also find it ironic that one of the captcha for registering was to drag the orange juice to the glass when I just read that orange juice makes one of the meds ineffective.


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March 8, 2016 at 7:27 pm #127828
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shutterbug55
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Let me see if I have this right. You went to a psychologist who’s practice is treating children with ADD and you got tested, but you don’t have it, despite having some of the traits. Is that right?


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March 9, 2016 at 12:51 am #127829
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suzq
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Thanks for the response. That is part of why I am asking for input. It is accurate that I do not have a diagnosis. My request for advice is because of the significant effect of the medication I mentioned.

Is it typical or atypical for someone without ADHD to have the abatement of traits like that with medication?

Is it possible that someone skilled with children would not catch some of the diagnostic criteria of adults?

Are there other diagnoses that present with most of the traits and respond to the medication but aren’t actually ADHD?

Right now I’m sitting on a lot of questions (and frustration) with no answers. I’m hoping to change that.


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March 9, 2016 at 1:16 pm #127831
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wiredonjava
s2Member Level 2

What was this medication that helped you before, may I ask?


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March 9, 2016 at 1:48 pm #127832
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shutterbug55
s2Member Level 2

Sorry I am so dense. I want to make sure I am answering the right question.

As far as the meds go, I think it is possible to see significant effects from the meds. I am working toward my first PhD, and one of the hottest selling drugs in school are ADD medications. In fact, I almost got expelled because I was taking my meds at lunch and some busy-body reported me.  There is a problem at universities, where people want that edge over everyone else so people take them as a performance enhancing drug for the brain.

There are studies on people, and animals on brain chemistry and brain function who have taken ADD medications. I think I was reading the paper in Scientific American Psychology or something like that. Anyway it was hypothysizing the brain chemistry of individuals that take ADD meds, when they don’t have ADD, change their brains. Scary stuff.

As far as diagnosis goes, there is a marked difference in how adults present with ADD and how children present. Consider for a moment the fact that you have much more experience hiding the fact you are ADD so you mask the symptoms far more than a child. When they test an adult, they are paying attention to your history and giving it more importance. They will have you give friends and family, questionnaires so they can see how your ADD affects others around you.

If you want a more accurate assessment, you should probably go to someone who has experience with adult ADD.

Hope this helps.

 

 


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March 9, 2016 at 3:59 pm #127834
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suzq
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@wiredonjava I don’t remember. I have a followup appointment with that NP towards the end of the month and I can check my record then. I also intend to talk to her more in depth about the situation and my other diagnoses and get her recommendation and/or a referral for further exploration.

@shutterbug55 I don’t think you’re dense. I think I don’t know enough to really know what to ask at this point. Your earlier post helped me clarify that some.

I note that I was the only person involved in the evaluation with the psychologist. He didn’t talk to anyone else, nor did he ask for any records. I also noted that there were some mistakes in his report, including what urged me to seek him out in the first place, my maiden name vs married (now divorced name), etc. However, his report was also very enlightening in terms of understanding how I process information, make decisions, etc. I was surprised and yet unsurprised that my processing speed when the color blue is involved is significantly slower; when I commented to my mom about this, she shared that I also cried as a baby whenever swaddled in blue blankets or put into blue clothing. The psychologist also said I didn’t have memory problems because I could remember the five words (or however many it was) during the testing, ignoring all personal experience I brought up with how significantly memory and concentration problems have impacted my life since my early 30s.

I do have diagnoses that also contribute to memory problems (fibromyalgia, depression, PTSD, anxiety), but the mental function parts have been completely unresponsive to treatment. The more I read about ADHD and executive function, the more it sounds right. Talking to people I know that have been diagnosed since childhood but are now adults sounds like they are telling my story on many levels.

I appreciate your thoughts about how as an adult I am more adept at hiding. Honestly, until I tried that medicine I thought that this was the only way one can be. Despite being smart, I have always struggled. I’ve never been able to hold down a steady job for more than a year. I couldn’t ever finish one of my life goals of getting a college degree. I’m back trying school again now in my mid-40s–this is my 5th time–and it is both exciting and overwhelming. Maybe I’m grasping at wil o’ wisps. I want so much to just feel competent. Thanks for the encouragement.


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