Dismissed by my GP

This topic contains 24 replies, has 22 voices, and was last updated by  anngower54 1 month, 1 week ago.

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  • #101298

    Shy
    Participant

    Ok, so here’s a quick introduction: my toddler is having some developmental issues and there’s a concern he may be autistic and/or have ADHD. So as we impatiently wait for his screening process to begin, I’ve taken it upon myself to do as much reading on the subjects as possible. And to my complete shock, I stumbled across some articles about ADHD and saw myself in them!

    I’m in my early 40s, and have spent a lifetime feeling behind and overwhelmed with the basics of just existing. In the past few years I’ve been diagnosed and [occasionally] treated for general anxiety disorder, OCD, depression, and binge eating disorder, but these are issues I’ve always struggled with, even as far back as grade school. I easily become hyper-focused on small things while missing the big picture. I’m forgetful and have often been accused of not paying attention. I can’t for the life of me maintain a clutter-free home, no matter how hard I try. Laundry is impossible to keep up with, cooking breakfast every morning feels impossible. I misplace things constantly, and I lose my train of thought so bad that I have to write myself notes in order to make a simple phone call (and even then it’s almost too stressful to bear). I’m always flustered and feel like I’m running out of time, and am typically late for things. Oh, and I’ve always been over-the-top emotional, always crying, always overreacting, to the point of it messing with my jobs (because of this I can only work from home these days). As a kid in school I was labeled the crybaby of the class, and things haven’t really changed even though I’m long out of school. Honestly I could go on and on, but I imagine you get the idea.

    Anyway, I was careful to do a lot more reading before I felt confident to make an appointment with my GP so I could get a psychiatrist referral (for insurance purposes), and it took weeks for me to be able to make that call (I cried throughout it, luckily the person on the other end was sympathetic).

    Scared and flustered, I made it to my appointment, gave a brief history of my previous diagnoses, listed off some symptoms I found while researching my son’s issues, and tearfully explained that I believe I’ve had inattentive ADHD all this time. While I wasn’t expecting an immediate diagnosis from her (after all, I was only there to get a referral for a psychiatrist), I was shocked over how she got so very condescending with me.

    She gave me the whole spiel about how “sometimes we read about something online and suddenly we think we have it!” She also told me my memory issues are likely due to the that I’m “getting old” (once again, I’m in my early 40s and have always had these issues!). It didn’t matter what I tried to say after that point, she told me I’m simply depressed, getting older, and that I’m apparently a hypochondriac that believes she has everything she reads about on the internet. She gave me a prescription for my depression and promised to “fast-track” my psychiatrist referral.

    Fast forward a few weeks, and the referral never came. Several painful phone calls later, I’m finally told I didn’t get a psychiatrist referral because they don’t actually give them; apparently I’m supposed to magically know to call the psychiatrist directly, even though that wasn’t clarified on my insurance papers. Oh well.

    So anyway, I’m still waiting on the appointment with my new psychiatrist at the end of the month, which was the soonest I could get in. After getting so utterly and completely dismissed by my GP, I’m terrified. Will I even be taken seriously this time? I don’t need to be “right” about having ADHD, I just need to be heard so I have a chance for proper treatment. I’m in no shape right now to help my son get through his own issues and I need to be strong for him.

    Ugh, why is this so hard? Anyway, so glad I found this forum. Thanks for reading and for giving me the chance to vent.

  • #101299

    Ranma
    Participant

    I use the saying, what do you call someone who graduated last in their class at med school? Doctor.

    There are plenty of great doctors out there, you just have to find them.
    Heh, I was going to write some more, but I lost my train of thought, go fig 😉
    Um anyway, yeah, I had a doctor once that made me feel like it was huge inconvenience for him to see me.
    Totally cold, horrible bed side manner.
    Good luck.

    • #102662

      kandy.pope
      Participant

      Keep pushing until you get the help you need for you and your child. I wasn’t diagnosed until 2 years ago at age 50! I saw my doctor when my 3 girls were young and I couldn’t keep life together…forgetfulness, missed appts., time no concern at all, couldn’t clean house without so many other distractions, losing things constantly, etc. Diagnosed with depression! What did I know…he said life had gotten faster and I couldn’t keep up. NOT the answer. I trusted that because I didn’t know any better. I was a teacher and dealt with a few students who struggled with ADHD, but not much knowledge about it. Needless to say, all 3 of my girls have been diagnosed with ADHD and struggle in different areas. I know where it came from…ME! I have a degree in teaching and taught for 18 years, I also have a masters in counseling and have been an elementary school counselor for 10 years, and I also do private practice in the evenings. My specialty…you guessed it…ADHD in children! It is very rewarding when I can help a parent figure out what is going on with their child…the change you see when they are diagnosed and start taking the meds is incredible! Counseling for coping skills along with medication is most beneficial. They need to learn the skills to help them deal with ADHD as they will never outgrow it. Good luck!! You are certainly not alone in this!

      • This reply was modified 1 month, 2 weeks ago by  kandy.pope.
    • #102666

      kandy.pope
      Participant

      Keep pushing until you get the help you need for you and your child. I wasn’t diagnosed until 2 years ago at age 50! I saw my doctor when my 3 girls were young and I couldn’t keep life together…forgetfulness, missed appts., time no concern at all, couldn’t clean house without so many other distractions, losing things constantly, etc. Diagnosed with depression! What did I know…he said life had gotten faster and I couldn’t keep up. NOT the answer. I trusted that because I didn’t know any better. I was a teacher and dealt with a few students who struggled with ADHD, but not much knowledge about it. Needless to say, all 3 of my girls have been diagnosed with ADHD and struggle in different areas. I know where it came from…ME! I have a degree in teaching and taught for 18 years, I also have a masters in counseling and have been an elementary school counselor for 10 years, and I also do private practice in the evenings. My specialty…you guessed it…ADHD in children and adults! It is very rewarding when I can help a parent figure out what is going on with their child or themselves…the change you see when someone is diagnosed and starts taking meds is incredible! Counseling for coping skills along with medication is most beneficial. One needs to learn the skills to help them deal with ADHD as they will never outgrow it. I saw a psychologist for my evaluation and my GP prescribes my meds. You are certainly not alone in this! Good luck!

      • This reply was modified 1 month, 2 weeks ago by  kandy.pope.
    • #102708

      xian
      Participant

      After my therapist diagnosed me with ADD he advised me to request Rx for Adderall from my GP. My GP told me I could not possibly have ADD because I hadn’t been previously diagnosed as a child.

      It resulted in an argument which ended with him, “firing” me as a patient.

      It took over a year for me to ask my new GP for a prescription.

      It took 2-3 months to find right dose but it was very helpful to me and it saved my marriage.

      Some GPs are uneducated and others simply lazy. Mine was both. I doubt such “doctors” are aware of the damage their snootery causes. But, at least I got “fired” and found a real Dr.

      • This reply was modified 1 month, 1 week ago by  xian.
  • #101311

    ADHDmomma
    Keymaster

    There’s still a rampant belief that ADHD is a childhood disorder, even among doctors, especially those that don’t specialize in mental health or ADHD. It’s insanely common for women to be diagnosed with depression and/or anxiety when it’s really ADHD, but that idea is dismissed.

    “My ADHD Was Ignored”

    A psychiatrist SHOULD be better than your experience with your GP. There are even still some psychs who have this old-school thinking, but just a few. You’re likely to have a different experience with the psych than you had with your GP. And, if you don’t, you can see a different psych.

    Hang in there!
    Penny
    ADDitude Community Moderator, Parenting ADHD Trainer & Author, Mom to teen w/ ADHD, LDs, and autism

  • #102420

    Thumper 69
    Participant

    Bottom line. You have to go to another doctor. Mine is awesome, and had me on a good treatment plan when my insurance changed and I had to get a new doctor. He didn’t get it and thought Adderall was based on your weight and other dumb stuff. Moving on to another doctor.

  • #102564

    Charlie
    Participant

    I understand how you feel. I am in my late 50’s and the first doctor I saw blew me off. I have now been taking medicine for adhd for about 9 months and this is the best I’ve ever felt. I still am not as organized as I would like to be, but it takes time to organize 50 years of possessions and clutter. I’m really glad I persevered and found a doctor that really listened to what I was saying and feeling. You can do this. Don’t give up as you are worth it.

  • #102566

    chezmo
    Participant

    I was in my 40’s when I realized I had inattentive ADD. It was such a relief. I hated myself every time the chaos got out of hand. Of course, when the adrenaline kicks in from being angry at yourself, you get a bit of focused cleanup time…albeit looking like you just took a handful of uppers.
    Learning coping habits that are healthy is the key, like setting timers so you don’t forget what you put in the oven or even to accomplish tasks in a bite sized manner. Check out the Pomodoro technique for helping get things done.

    There are also many online ADHD tests that you can confirm your suspicions with and not have to believe what your ignorant Doctor is saying. Find a younger Doc who understands that ADHD is not simply a childhood problem. It is usually most obvious in childhood in males. Females often get missed. I was a shy kid so I didn’t get noticed much. I had/have a hard time completing tasks and organization is a huge issue. We downsized and it helps a bit. I have to say the child rearing years were hectic. If you are able to get help once a week with laundry or cleaning, it does help motivate to get things out of the way. It made a huge difference to me.

    Also look up all you can about Inattentive ADD. It is hard to get motivated. I found WEllbutrin helpful. I have been in school for the last year and getting A’s, getting assignments done early and being really satisfied with my work. I made it through high school but only had A or B in a class if I loved it. Other classes I would get by, not do readings, and usually hand in assignments late…if ever. I was motivated enough to pass.

    You do have to advocate for yourself. Yes, there are some true hypochondriacs out there, but recognizing long held symptoms is not the same thing. If you think you have EVERY thing you read…that’s a different story, but you probably also have ADD. Lol.

  • #102569

    chezmo
    Participant

    Great job for getting your toddler’s symptoms checked out while he is young! We didn’t recognize the problem in ours until he was too old for us to intervene (which is 16 in Canada). That is when I also recognized my own Inattentive ADD.

    You can do it, and you can find great support too! Keep believing!

  • #102580

    bizybee05
    Participant

    Sending you a big {{{Hug}}}. I’ve been where you are, and you need to know that it will get better. After 50 years of living with CHAOS in my personal and business life, a friend suggested that I might have ADD. Once diagnosed with inattentive ADD and anxiety, my doctor and I chose medication. It has changed my life!

    I also started reading everything I could find about Women and ADD. My suggestion would be to start with “Is it You, Me, or Adult A.D.D.?”. I read this before I was diagnosed, and it helped me to understand my life. I’m sure others can suggest other books, and Amazon has a wide selection of books.

    I also suggest you check out “FlyLady”. Her website and emails are a tremendous help to me. It’s been a long process, but I am getting my house and family on a clutter-less path. Her loving words have replaced the negative voices in my head from years of abuse at home and school.

    You deserve to be treated kindly, and your son is blessed to have you as his Mom. You understand how he thinks and why he behaves the way he does. You can learn together and help him have a great childhood. Enjoy seeing life through his eyes!

    • #102595

      geo
      Participant

      AND YAAAAAS to FlyLady!!! She is AMAZING! My personal theory is probably at least 80% of her following has ADHD, diagnosed or not.

      Personally, I can’t do the paper routines or control journal or any of that. I got an task management app called TickTick, and I use it to manage my routines and such. If something doesn’t pop up at me with a notification, it doesn’t exist for me.

  • #102583

    wolfeamb
    Participant

    You’re not alone. I was diagnosed in middle school, but because of the stigma and shame I felt, I did not stay on medication long through school. Getting someone to treat me once I was in college and overwhelmed by my symptoms was a struggle. I went through 4-5 doctors over the course of a couple of years before finally going to a psych doc. This was after college and I was struggling in the office landscape.

    Some doctors refused to treat with stimulant medication, because they didn’t want to be responsible for it. I had a different doctor prescribe the minimum dose once a day, and said if that didn’t help to go see a psychiatrist. I’ve been made to feel like I was lying, that I was fishing for stimulant medication, even with having a prior diagnosis.

    It’s tough finding the right doctor, there are a lot of doctors that are still very misinformed. Please keep trying, you will find a doctor that will understand and listen.

  • #102592

    kris.sonntag
    Participant

    You actually do not want anything that should be prescribed by a psychiatrist to come from a GP. ADHD is real and part of psychiatrist’s bread and butter so to speak. You wouldn’t go to your GP about a tooth, you go to the dentist who would then listen more specifically to your symptoms and experiences. There is nothing too small to mention at the initial appointment. Well it is true that looking things up online or in books one can diagnose oneself with just about anything, just leave it to the professionals. You will be heard. I’m sorry you experienced that.

  • #102593

    geo
    Participant

    Just find a psychiatrist who specializes in attention disorders or who has experience diagnosing and treating ADHD. This is a job for a specialist.

    And seriously consider getting a new GP.

  • #102604

    kellkell
    Participant

    Hey girl I know how you feel! I had the same doctor for 18 years. He completely dismissed me. I too have had other diagnosis’s ( depression) that I thought were complete crap. I just stopped going to doctor and felt helpless. Then I started reading up on adhd. I read multiple stories from a variety of news sites. I said I know I have this,especially when I read about hypersensitivity associated with it! I looked up a doctor who specializes in that diagnosis! Made an appointment. At the appointment I took several tests and had a lengthy conversation with him. I found out I was at the severe end of the spectrum! I felt so relieved! I was 39 when I was diagnosed. Like so many I often wonder how my life would have been different if I just seen someone earlier and fired my other doctor. I hope this helps you feel not alone!

  • #102620

    chellenging
    Participant

    Hi! I’m 31 and 2 years ago, I stumbled across some articles that sounded like me too! My story reads pretty much like yours except for j was labeled the psycho tantrum kid in school. I had a very similar discussion with my GP too!!! It makes me a bit angry remembering how vulnerable I was, crying and telling him about what was to me, a revelation and a relief. Laundry,clutter,losing things, always behind with the basics,forgetful!!! Hyperfocus, emotional misdiagnoses, overeating. I almost lost my job when I went through a rough patch in my marriage and the stress sent my symptoms through the roof.The “nornal” things like yes,phone calls, seem insurmountable. But I knew in my gut that combination ADD type was right. Knowing, and medication have changed my life. I have a 4yo and 2mo and made it through pregnancy on a half dose 2 days a week (I only work 2 days,I had to drop my hours as I wasn’t coping), and now I’m breastfeeding I dont take any medication. But just KNOWING I have ADD has helped me immensely. Especially with my confidence and giving myself more Grace instead of beating myself up. You’d think having a newborn would make things worse but that’s where my add and hyper focus help. I love babies and newborns so I am loving it and doing so well (like i did with my first and now i know why!!!). Stresd is a b**** though. I dread anything like that happening again as it has taken me 2 and a half years to get back to my “normal”… good luck, persevere, believe in yourself and look for the good in your ADD traits. And only tell people you know will get it spit is just exhausting explaining it otherwise. I saw a locum GP once when I had an ear infection… I mentioned ADD and he just GOT IT. About it being different in women and how amazing it is a got through high school and a degree with it.. and not knowing… I got in the car after that and bawled my eyes out. Being understood at such a level… luckily my boss is incredible and also “GOT IT” when I told her. She did everything she could to make things work for me… I’m so positive about the ffutre xox good luck

  • #102626

    Lmagowan16
    Participant

    I do feel your pain. I have such a similar story. I too was diagnosed in my early 40’s with ADHD/OCD after my young son was diagnosed. He was evaluated, and we went through a few psychiatrist’s and finally got him on the right therapy and meds. It was through that innate advocacy that any mother would do for their child, that led me to getting the right diagnosis for my son AND, it was through that process with my son that I realized there was a name/disorder for everything I had been feeling, reasons why I had such trouble in school, disorganization, feeling overwhelmed with everything I did, since I was a young child. The good news is that there is help for you, and through compassionate and consistent therapy, a complete diagnosis from a psychiatrist that is knowledgable with ADHD and/or other anxiety disorders, you will get relief and help for yourself.

    As you advocated for your son, finding out what his potential issues were, please advocate for yourself. You are worth it and do not let any GP tell you otherwise. If something does not feel right to you, and you have reason to believe that you may have ADHD based on behavior and feelings you have felt for years and they match closely to what you have read, please find help for yourself. Don’t stop till you find it. You deserve to feel peace of mind and to have access to all the tools out there to help you live the best life you can. Good Luck and remember, you are not alone.

  • #102641

    smachopkins
    Participant

    I guess I have been very lucky, My GP diagnosed me on the spot…she asked me the 20 some odd standard questions and was pretty sure I had it. She lined me up with a psychiatrist who did the full blown testing and sure enough I am a classic ADDer. There is little to no teaching about ADD in medical school, so don’t blame them, just get yee to a psychiatrist. Even then there will be doctors who don’t fully understand the condition. Of course I am also very lucky in that I am a Canadian and this sort of thing is covered…

  • #102644

    bbennettfnp
    Participant

    I went a different route. I sought a psychologist for testing. Did not say what I thought my diagnosis was. Just told her about my forgetfulness, difficulty paying attention, losing things, disappointing others because of lack of follow through. The tests revealed the diagnosis in concrete terms no doctor could refute.
    If your depression is grief due to the chronic shame over failure medication is not helpful. And there are a number of co-existing diagnoses that can complicate the evaluation. I do not want to alarm you. But be very careful with the medication. Were you screened for periods of high energy? Or times when you are not needing much sleep? If she did not ask these kinds of questions you are at risk for triggering a manic episode as bipolar disorder sometimes appears as ADHD. Or can exist together. Since you have had this for a while, you might be best served by waiting for the psychiatrist evaluation.
    Meanwhile journal your symptoms or keep a spread sheet or some other record so you can say what these symptoms are and how often you have them.

  • #102646

    Andenia
    Participant

    My suggestion would be 1. forget the GP’s condescending manner, chalk it up to ignorance. The GP’s job is to assist you in achieving good health, find another if possible to get a complete physical (some health conditions can mimic/exacerbate ADHD symptoms). 2. Take a few online ADHD assessments, print them out and take them to your psychiatrist appt. Invest in an agenda to keep track of your Dr appts and your son’s, or use an online calendar that you would check every night to prepare for the next day. You’re not crazy or lazy, you just march to the beat of a different drummer. A good psychiatrist can help you IF you decide to take meds and seeing a psychologist who specializes in adult ADHD can be a huge help. Most people didn’t believe I have ADHD because I could focus on my schoolwork and learned a 2nd language. Hang in there!

  • #102695

    If your GP is this dismissive with something they clearly aren’t well trained in from a psychological standpoint then they won’t listen to you with other symptoms for physical illnesses either.

    You know your body and a physician that doesn’t LISTEN to their patients can’t properly DIAGNOSE. This Dr. doesn’t LISTEN. Find a new one!

  • #102696

    Inkpool
    Participant

    Its so frustrating. Just reading this, I am projecting every single experience that culminated in frustration, tears, and trying to validate myself to those who seemed to matter (AKA: doctors, employers, insurance when trying to get ADHD meds covered… My sister…). I am 35 years old, two degrees, 15 years of teaching and child development experience, and apparently those qualifications over qualify me to the basic public for having ADHD. The one thing that I have learned is that I have to advocate for myself. And though most of the time I have no idea what that even means, it is the most important and hardest thing I have learned. When fighting against the system for help with experiences you know you are having and unable to validate them to those you expect to help you, its demeaning… Like you are imagining everything.

    But, if you are truly having these experiences, the right doctor is not someone you should need to validate yourself too. You may just need to pick through the weeds until you find the right one. My unsolicited advice: Look for an educational psychiatrist/psychologist or at least one who specializes in adult ADHD. They are the ones who listen and have experience. Find that match and you will no longer need to validate yourself to the doctors who just don’t get it.

    I still continue to come across them, but one thing that I remember: they may have the certificate and student debt but they don’t need my respect or my time. They are just people… And I am allowed to judge them and their professional practice just as much as they are allowed to judge me as a patient. So, I look for someone else. Sounds cynical… But ultimately it is very self-empowering to realize I can keep looking for the right person and my experiences are mine to own and no one, not even doctors have a right to diminish them.

    If it is or isn’t ADHD, I am of the mind that you still have experiences to sort through and no one as a right to say you they didn’t happen. Good luck!

  • #102745

    Khloekitty
    Participant

    Call your med insurance, number is usually on the card. Ask them about seeing a psychiatrist…usually you can make an appointment (the first time) without a referral from your GP (the reason for this is because its personal and you may not want to share the information with your GP), they will usually give you a # of appointments for example 3 one hour appointments…ask them about their rules and a list of psychiatrists that are in your network and your share of cost if any….Ask for a list of GP’s as well. I went through the same thing in my late 40’s. I suggest calling the office of Psyc and the new GP and ask the person who sets the appointments if they know if the DR. treats adult ADD and if so are there any restrictions on the meds that they will prescribe. I don’t know what you are looking for but some MD’s will not prescribe stimulants and will want you to try non stimulant meds first.
    Good Luck

    • This reply was modified 1 month, 1 week ago by  Khloekitty.
  • #103158

    anngower54
    Participant

    I’m 20 and just got diagnosed with adhd. I’ve been diagnosed with multiple forms of depression, PTSD,anxiety,and a lot of other things before but no one caught the ADHD because most people are highly misinformed on it. A lot of other things are nearly identical as well (such as ptsd). My current therapist is great and actually make me feel comfortable enough to talk to her openly. When I went to my drs they scheduled me with a nurse practitioner who commonly fills in and she didnt listen to a word I said. “Its a disease only young kids get. You’ve never been diagnosed before so you cant have it” when I demanded to talk to my actual dr who’s treated me since birth she went “Holy S*** that makes so much sense!!!” Yeah that’s what I thought too when my therapist described it and how it screwed my childhood.

    Personally I think the best thing you can do is go to a therapist that specializes in adhd first.They will be able to help you get on meds. If you need them and learn effective ways to manage your life.

    If you need help finding one call your insurance company directly and ask.

    I cant remember the technical names but generally theres ones who do talk therapy and ones who can prescribe meds. You want to go to one and get a proper diagnosed first. Medicine is never a fix all and IMO you should always be in talk therapy before and right when you start meds. Most drs want to get people in and out while therapists have a scheduled time to sit down and help you (usually for an hour once or twice a week).

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