October 11, 2018 at 7:22 am #101298
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.
October 11, 2018 at 8:14 am #101299
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.
October 11, 2018 at 9:16 am #101311
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.
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!
ADDitude Community Moderator, Parenting ADHD Trainer & Author, Mom to teen w/ ADHD, LDs, and autism
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