Reply To: Newly diagnosed by psychiatrist, psyd disagrees

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How do YOU feel about the diagnosis? You know yourself better than anyone, so I would trust in yourself and your feelings on the matter.

Many people go undiagnosed all their lives, and often misdiagnosed due to comorbid conditions. It is possible that you have ADHD, PTSD and depression. If the depression is what your PsyD has been purely focusing on then perhaps he is missing the big picture.

I’ve been on antidepressants for years, I’ve been on a combination of two, which is jokingly referred to by psychiatrists as ‘Californian rocket fuel’. My Psychiatrist that diagnosed me for ADHD was quite surprised at the dosage of one of them, as it was a very high dose. And for all of that, I was always feeling below average, just getting by. I was beginning to think that I was treatment resistant. Now I realise that it was untreated ADHD.

Do you mind me asking if you have been taking any medications for the last 8 years for depression? If so, how much do you feel it has helped? Also, regarding your PsyD, I understand therapy can often be incredibly beneficial as an ongoing, lifelong process. My most recent therapist was fantastic, and I probably should still be seeing her, as she taught me so many things about life that I somehow completely missed! Over eight years with him, how do you feel he has helped you? Do you feel like he has made great change over the period or is there something that you feel still just isn’t right. Something that just feels like it hasn’t been addressed? If that is the case, I would open your mind to other conditions which may be underlying ie the inpatient Psychiatrist may well be spot on. My massive doses of antidepressants and sporadic therapy over the years never fully worked as they were treating only half of the problem.

Also, how much experience does your PsyD have with ADHD? Mine, bless her, had a working knowledge, enough to agree with my diagnosis, but she ended up asking me a bunch of questions about the medication and condition – do I just take it when studying etc, what difference does it make, how long can I actually focus for without it etc. She is a clinical psychologist as well which is the equivalent to the PsyD. This told me although she knew the defining characteristic about it, she didn’t fully understand how the condition affects people on a day to day basis. All of the traits that are less talked about, or don’t fit neatly in the diagnostic criteria, she didn’t know so much about. But she wasn’t trained to do that, her role is much different than that of a Psychiatrist.A Psychiatrist has studied more extensively than a Psychologist and a Psychiatrist will understand the physiological causes and complexities of the condition much better. I don’t mean to undermine a Psychologists role by any means, they have an invaluable part to play in treatments for mental health where psychiatrists and medications can fall short, but I would be more inclined to trust the evaluation of a Psych on these grounds.

Have you started on ADHD meds? If so have you found them to be helpful? How do you feel when you read about ADHD in adults? Do you feel ‘that’s me!’ When you read about it? Also bear in mind that ADHD can manifest a bit differently depending on subtype etc. Myself, and some other adult members of my family have all been diagnosed fairly recently. It is interesting to note how different we are and the level to which it is noticeable. Undiagnosed ADHD can be very difficult to detect for an outsider if that person has learned how to mask their difficulties well. This certainly does not mean that this person is really functioning well internally.

I hope this helps!