September 14, 2018 at 2:34 pm #99280mvocouchParticipant
Hi. I have an appointment in October to talk to a psychiatrist about ADHD. I am pretty sure I have inattentive type with hyperfocus being a major symptom of mine. I am afraid that I am going to go to the psychiatrist and that they won’t believe me because I have good grades in school (I am in community college and I have a 4.0) and because hyperfocus hasn’t been researched a lot and isn’t an official symptom.
My Dad told me he went to the VA to get diagnosed and when the doctor saw him doing a Sudoku puzzle in the waiting room he said, “Get out of here you don’t have ADHD!”
My attention has been getting really bad in my Calculus class and I have been having more trouble than usual focusing on homework. I am afraid my grades are going to start suffering. My
attention got so bad yesterday in class that my legs were shaking with “nervous leg” and I started biting my hand to let out some energy. I felt like I was going to explode.
My other fear is that my symptoms will be attributed to the depression that I am already being treated for with talk therapy.
Examples of my symptoms include:
-Every task seems to take twice as long to finish than it should.
-Struggling to absorb information when people talk, and feeling a need to interrupt and paraphrase their words to check that I understand.
-Spacing out and losing large chunks of conversation.
-For some reason I focus on other people’s conversations really well but never the one I am in.
-Having to split my attention to focus. Like having YouTube videos playing on my laptop while I cook and do dishes or knitting while watching a movie.
-Focusing on one thing so intensely that my boyfriend has to tell me dinner is ready 3 or 4 times before I can disengage.
-Focusing on an art project for 6 hours straight then realizing that I am fidgeting in my chair because I have needed to go pee for 2 hours and couldn’t break focus to go do that. Also oh shit I haven’t eaten today, have I?
-Disinterest in sex because I can’t focus enough to enjoy it. Or I can’t get in the mood because I can’t disengage from my current frame of mind.
-When I do paperwork I always fill in the blanks out of order. (Unless I make a conscious effort to not do that.)
-When I take a test I obsessively check for mistakes sometimes 3 or 4 times because I make careless errors but still really want a good grade.
-Falling asleep in class even when I have had a good nights sleep.
My boyfriend has said that my problem isn’t that I can’t focus but that I am constantly intensely focused on the wrong thing. I feel like I constantly have to work 3 times harder to get the same result as other people, but it’s exhausting but nobody sees the problem with it because I am succeeding despite the constant struggle.
September 14, 2018 at 10:27 pm #99320Mary199Participant
Hi. I just got diagnosed 4 weeks ago and Adderall has been life changing. I’m 37, so not a student anymore. You perfectly described me in your symptoms. I also was a good student, I have a master’s degree and earned good grades! It was at the expense of everything else in life though, and everything took me forever. I also took drastic steps to avoid mistakes like you do, such as triple checking everything.
I was so afraid of not being believed by the doctor, and that they would diagnose me with depression or anxiety, or think I was a drug seeker. When I was 21 I tried to be diagnosed and talked to my doctor, only to feel put off by her and told I’d need to see a psychologist. I was making minimum wage and had poor insurance, so it wasn’t an option at the time. By age 37 my job was more complex and I was failing at it, and my husband was constantly nagging me to get stuff done at home. I reached my breaking point and talked to my doctor. She sent me to a social worker for an evaluation, and he diagnosed me and sent me to a psychiatrist for meds. Adderall has changed my life. I feel better about myself, and more capable, and the anxiety I had melted away.
I hope your doctor listens to you. If not, make sure you try again with someone else. Bring up your dad’s ADD issues, since it runs in families. My brother has it, and my dad should be diagnosed since he has major attention deficits. I think I put off the diagnosis for so long because every time I got close to mentioning symptoms to my doctor or gynecologist they seemed to want me on anxiety or depression medications. I knew that stuff wouldn’t help me, and I didn’t want to take it. I never expected Adderall to melt anxiety away the way that it has, or to make me feel so calm yet productive and motivated. All the depression and anxiety symptoms we’re just caused by low-self esteem and the stress of not getting anything completed.
I think you’ll be ok. Good luck!
September 15, 2018 at 12:00 am #99323mvocouchParticipant
Thank you for sharing your experience. It’s a relief to hear that I am not alone in the way that my symptoms present. I am glad the medication is helping you so much. I have talked about my possible ADHD with my mom, my brother, and my boyfriend and they all discourage me from getting medicated. They are all big believers in behavioral changes to treat mental illness, and while I understand that is important even if you are being medicated, I don’t see any good reason why I shouldn’t at least consider medication if it could help me.
I can’t know that it I won’t help me, or that I won’t like the side effects if don’t try it.
September 17, 2018 at 1:08 pm #99402Mary199Participant
I don’t think ADHD is a mental illness at all. I think it’s an imbalance of dopamine. Without dopamine it’s impossible to stay focused and motivated. I’m so much happier and calmer on Adderall, I couldn’t have done it with just behavioral treatment. I’m not saying there’s no place for behavioral changes, but if medication helps, and the benefits to you outweight the risks, then it’s the right choice for you. If they see that it helps they might change their minds, but it’s your life. They also don’t understand unless they are in the same situation.
September 17, 2018 at 11:15 am #99376oceanseast7Participant
I am having trouble finding a psychiatrist who takes my insurance and has ADULT ADHD experience. I am struggling with a life coach and a different doctor for rx who doesn’t take insurance at all. I wait for four months to see a doc then they call and tell me they cancelled the appointment due to my insurance, so I made another appointment, waited three more months to see her and she has no adult ADHD experience. Why is it so hard to find a good Psychiatrist in this field?
I finally started taking Adderall 5mg then 10 mg and I was afraid to take it but was so surprised that it calmed me down and I could focus so much better even at a low dose. I could sleep better too! So now I am finally on my journey and ADDitude website has saved my sanity!
A bad thing you will experience is filling the RX. I have never felt so much like a criminal! The looks and hassle is not good. I was given the advise to fill at a home town pharmacy so that you can have the same pharmacist who knows you.
So I am on the road to a more organized and better understood life. I tried to see a new psychiatrist as I still need one and she says ” You definitely have ADHD but I think you also have mild Bi Polar disorder”. She wanted to take me off the Adderall and put me on Lithium for a month. I am not a lab rat. I also do not feel I am Bi Polar. I refused to take antipsychotic drugs.
Back to square one- can anyone tell me how to find an experienced adult ADHD psychiatrist?
September 18, 2018 at 8:16 am #99500Penny WilliamsKeymaster
These strategies can help you find the right doctor to treat your ADHD:
ADDitude Community Moderator, Parenting ADHD Trainer & Author, Mom to teen w/ ADHD, LDs, and autism
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