Getting the diagnosis – psychiatrist?

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    • #102423
      JannS
      Participant

      I need some advice. I have a child who was diagnosed with ADHD a few months ago. In all my research on his behalf, I began to realize the traits being described described me as a child. So I read some articles about adult ADHD, and ADHD in women…. my mind was BLOWN at how much I related to it all. I learned about the genetic component, and how mine was a common story (your kid is diagnosed, then you are). I had been struggling a lot in recent years with what seem to be anxiety issues at times (which I believe is playing a part here), but ADHD seemed to be looking like a bigger part of the picture, and perhaps more at route of the anxiety. (Stress plays a big part, too, but even that seems to be amplified by the ADHD).

      So with that bit of background info… I recently started seeing a therapist to try to diagnose the possible ADHD, and to deal with some of the stress and work through all of that.

      Trouble is, the therapist doesn’t think it’s ADHD. Her reasons are that a lot of my symptoms are present in anxiety, and she doesn’t see a lot of the “hallmarks of ADHD” in me.

      But…. the hallmarks she listed are more typical of boys. I’ve done a lot of research about adult ADHD in women, and I feel like she’s missing the mark. I honestly feel like she’s misinformed. I also realize, however, that she’s more knowledgeable on the subject than I am, as a whole, I just am not convinced she understands how ADHD presents differently in women. She has also asked me very little about my possible symptoms as a child.

      I guess what I’m really wanting here is opinions from those of you who have been diagnosed – should I schedule with my GP to discuss this further? Or a psychiatrist? Neurologist? A different therapist?

      She recommended I try my son’s meds one day and see how I feel. She also recommended talking to my son’s psychiatrist the next time I’m there about myself, or at least about the differences between ADHD and anxiety. (I’m not very comfortable with that – would rather keep his appointments focused on him.) She also said I was a “tough nut to crack”, and that she wasn’t sure which one or both were going on with me.

      I’ve taken adult ADD tests on here and scores a 75%, I believe, and the girls/women text I scored a 95%!

      Any advice you might have would be so greatly appreciated!

    • #102435
      Penny Williams
      Keymaster

      I am FLOORED that a therapist told you to take a Schedule II prescription medication not prescribed to you. That’s reckless at best, and certainly dangerous and quite illegal. And that medication might not be the right one for you — so it could look like it didn’t work and conclude that you don’t have ADHD when you actually might. You DEFINITELY need to find a new therapist ASAP.

      Follow your gut regarding diagnosis. Find a new clinician. Keep at it until you get answers you’re confident in (where that’s a yes or a no to ADHD).

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

    • #102437
      JannS
      Participant

      Thank you for replying!

      Yes, I was surprised she suggested that, as well. She also said things like “I don’t think you have ADHD because you can focus in here while we are talking, and are able to sit still. My patients who have it aren’t able to focus during a conversation and are usually bouncing off the walls.”

      But of course I’m a 42 year old woman. I’ve learned how to at least appear focused in situations where I had to, for at least a short amount of time. One on one in a quiet room is different than when I’m trying to get through my day and/or have distractions around. She also doesn’t know how hard I have to work at that.

      Most of the symptoms I try to express to her she says “but see that can be anxiety, too.” And she’s not wrong – there is definitely anxiety present, but I really think it’s triggered by stress and my possible ADHD. Some of the things she says to me contradict what I’ve read about, but I also recognize that she’s the licensed therapist and has more experience in this area than I do, for sure.

      So should I go straight to a psychiatrist? Askmmy son’s psychiatrist next month when we go back? Or even his therapist next week? She suggested I speak to my GP and consider meds through her – but I think she meant some sort of anxiety med. (I was prescribed an antidepressant for treating headaches once a couple years ago and had a very bad reaction, so I’ve refused to try that again so far.)

      I’m struggling to figure out what to do now. Just going to a therapist at all was a huge step for me.

    • #102554
      Penny Williams
      Keymaster

      Seek out a clinician knowledgeable in adult ADHD. It could be a psychologist or a psychiatrist. It doesn’t matter what their title is, what matters most is that they understand adult ADHD (someone who specializes in it is ideal) .

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

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