Reply To: Diagnosis

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#73375
cristinacasetti
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Hi! 🙂
First of all, find a new psychologist. She clearly doesn’t want to support you and you deserve better.

Second of all, I’m experiencing the pain and frustration of getting a diagnose as an adult and I am indeed burnt out by that 😛

I’m 30 and had no clue what adhd was. Which is terrible since I’m a Med student and no one taught us about that in our psychiatry lessons… Anyway, I’m 30 and I’m still stuck trying to finish the exams of my third year, here in Italy we have six years and then 5/6 of residency and in 12!! years I did not even three years of exams… The relationship with my parents who are paying for my house, university and expenses is beyond ruined. They think I am just lazy and if only I studied more many problems would go away. The problem is I can’t. I can’t bring myself to sit down and study. I procrastinate until the last minute. I studied pharmacology in four weeks in which I bately ate, drank, went to the bathroom or slept because I was in hyper focus. If I’m not hyper focused, I just sit there and underline literally everything I’m reading because after two words I’m actually thinking about something else. So if you ask me what I read I have no clue.
I went to the psychiatrist at the hospital years ago because I thought I was probably depressed from this whole situation and they put me on antidepressant which didn’t work. They didn’t care. I stopped taking them and went to a psychologist to try and go back to taking exams. I took two and then stopped for a year. Then one and then nothing for a year. And so on
In the meantime I’ve been feeling terrible, I lie to my parents, I would like to finish and feel good about myself and have a goddamn independence at 30! Have my family! While everyone thinks I’m actually enjoying the situation!!

So about three months ago my fiancé started researching adhd because he’s like me. When he was a child a psychiatrist said that he could have adhd but no one followed that up. But it made so much sense! Now he can’t do anything because of the lack of focus. Things are getting worse and worse and we are so stuck. We need a cleaning lady because we can’t keep the house clean. We don’t even brush our teeth (I never had)…
So he went to a psychiatrist that said that he does have it. That he is the poster boy for adhd.
But here in Italy psychiatrists at the hospital don’t give Ritalin!! They can only give you something for the worst symptom… or second worst, since the worst one is lack of focus and they can’t treat it!!
They said to go to a neurologist. So I decided I could try to go to one because my fiancé made me realise how similar to him I was. The neurologist said that it’s not contagious so it’s not like he has it and then I get it…… and that I was bipolar. Well, he said hypomanic but that bipolar 2, so…
which I’m not. My fiancé’s dad was bipolar, we are DEFINITELY not.
So I went to a psychiatrist myself, another one. And finally found someone who believed me and diagnosed me properly. Also because I took my psychiatry exam and I can exclude the other diagnosis that could mimick adhd like bipolar, borderline, depression.

The problem then was what to do because Italy has these cool guidelines about diagnosing adults but the reality is no one does it.
I wrote to the doctor who deals with children in my city and she agreed to help and get in contact with the only!! psychiatrist who agreed on a voluntary base!! to give drugs to adults.
Fact is, we found out she never diagnosed an adult. She didn’t even know about there being a chart used to diagnose adults.
Also, she works in another city.
Anyway, we saw them both and they made us do a test to verify the symptoms… designed for teenagers because they didn’t have any for adults. It asked about homeworks and parents and drinking (while underage though…). It was ridiculous.
Then the adult psychiatrist said she would book us some tests which we took for granted were about adhd, since they said the diagnosis was not in doubt but they had to check if we indeed had it (…!!!) because we would have traits but not the syndrome (and be for example bipolar instead, but they didn’t tell us that clearly… like we are stupid or uninformed).
My fiancé took this test this week… it was an IQ test. That’s it. No adhd testing, just IQ. No one can figure out why.
Next week I’ll take mine and then we wait for the psychiatrist to call us and set an appointment which will decide our faith. In the meantime, I read online that Italy doesn’t give Ritalin to adults diagnosed after 18 or at the most 24. Just great. I hope this proves wrong because it’s not my fault no one thought about that before. How is it possible that I have to diagnose myself to get a diagnose? With psychiatrists, you usually tell a set of symptoms that put you in a box (and that only, heaven forbids that you go out of that…) and make you get a drug without even being sure the person is for example depressed (or at least that’s what happens in Italy). Not with adhd! No! Then you have the symptoms but they put you in another box and you can kiss goodbye the drug!
Makes no sense! I’m so frustrated. Our healthcare is one of the best in the world but obviously not when it comes to psychiatry.

In then meantime my best friend clearly had adhd and was diagnosed as borderline by her psychologist (who can’t actually diagnose her…) and put on antidepressant by a gap (why???) with a psychiatrist then saying that it doesn’t care what she has as long as she gets treatment… doesn’t treatment depend on the illness?? This drugs are making her miserable and not helping.
Another friend realised that she probably has adhd after reading about my experience and being diagnosed with literally anything from depression to epilepsy (!!). So far she was told that she’s bipolar without depression, which is impossible by definition; bipolar but empathetic, still not doable; cyclothymic with some adhd but not really adhd. All because people with adhd can’t graduate and she did, can’t study ever, women get hyper reactive but just in front of men……… This was a college professor expert on bipolar and adhd. She has started Lithium. I doubt it will help her.

So yeah, I can relate a lot to what you’re saying. I have no clue what you have to do in the US (I have no clue what to do here…) but I’d say to find someone else. My new psychologist also says that she fears I’m using adhd as an excuse while I’m just telling her what I feel is linked to that and that annoys me. I’m pretty much fed up with people not believing me.
Same should be for you, find someone who does believe you. It might also come in handy if you have to have someone witness that you have adhd.
Also maybe try and get diagnosed by a psychiatrist instead, they should (should…) know better. Or even talk to a child psychiatrist. They are the ones who know the most about it and might be able to help you and refer you to someone who knows what they are doing.
Don’t give up though! As frustrating and exhausting as it seems and is, you need to fight for yourself and your life. If depression or anything else doesn’t fit you (also, people with adhd are sometimes depressed because of adhd… but women especially are mostly treated as depressed only!!), then fight for another diagnosis! Don’t take drugs you don’t need and find someone who listens to you. We managed to find some here, there must be someone you can find there 🙂 ok, we don’t have insurance here so things are much easier on that part but you have one life and you deserve to find the right help and right diagnosis.

Best of luck, I mean it!
Cristina