It seems to be true that many doctors are not trained well if at all to treat adults with ADD/ADHD. I was fortunate to be diagnosed by a psychiatrist in 1992. I’m currently 57 and I’ve been re-diagnosed with ADHD over the years by other doctors too. But my original diagnostic psychiatrist was very thorough and the diagnosis required several office visits, with multiple interviews with me and even my parents. He also conducted testing such as MMPI, Wechsler etc…Frankly, I think a big part of what brought on the stimulant abuse problems over the years was because of improper, quickie one office visit diagnoses. In my opinion, simply rattling off a few symptoms to your doctor is NOT sufficient to accurately diagnose ADD/ADHD. Also, it sadly seems that too many doctors only know what their drug reps tell them about the medications. Drug reps are salespeople, not doctors…Need I say more?
Hey I’m not saying you have to go to a psychiatrist to get diagnosed properly, but you should at least be seen by a doctor who understands ADULT ADD/ADHD. It’s just not the same as kids with ADHD. For me, the best treatment I’ve had overall has come from mental health professionals vs. family doctors. But having said that, I recently had to discontinue seeing a certain psychiatrist because he seemed more interested in pushing various drugs other than stimulants for illnesses and complaints I don’t even have and never have been diagnosed with having either! When I’d ask him to clarify what exactly he was treating me for, he told me ADD. But when I complained about the lack of efficacy of the treatments and the awful and unorthodox side-effects I got from the so-called stimulants, he would get very defensive instead of hearing my subjective and objective complaints about the stimulants When I asked him what was the purpose of prescribing “compounded” stimulants that contain drugs other than stimulants? He refused to give me a straight answer. Yet his own nurse told me on several occasions that “all the stimulants nowadays are tainted, that’s just the way it is”…Oh Really!? That’s Not good and NOT acceptable!
The sad fact is about 15 years ago the landscape for ADD treatment with stimulant medications changed to “compounded” stimulants that contain other active ingredients like SSRI’s and anti-psychotics. These compounds mostly don’t work well to treat adult ADD/ADHD symptoms. I’m also sorry to say too that most people who started treatment within the last 15 years have probably been getting these illicitly compounded “stimulants” all along, so many may not even know the difference. So, if you’re wondering why your stimulant meds don’t work and feel the same like they used to? It could be that the formula has been changed without your knowledge or consent. It’s become a lot trickier to find a doctor who not only understands how pure stimulants really work for folks like us who have ADD and no co-morbid issues So, it’s important in this day and age to do some homework on medications and doctors first before seeking treatment. Just remember if the doctor has you sign a “Informed Consent” form for your stimulant meds, you have a right to know exactly what’s in your medicine. So, please do some research, and if it doesn’t feel right trust your gut, seek answers that make sense, and maybe even consider getting the drugs tested.