Scared to bring up ADD to get diagnosed

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    • #99665

      I’m 17 years old and have started seeing doctors for mental health issues that have been progressively getting worse.
      I’ve just been admitted to the hospital to get a proper diagnosis regarding anxiety and depression but after doing a lot of self reflection and research I’m certain that these (or at least the depression) are only happening as a result of ADD. I want to get properly diagnosed by a professional so I can start getting real treatment for it but I’m scared if I bring up ADD by name I’ll be labeled as someone just trying to get diagnosed to be able to get the drugs to use/sell, etc.

      I get good marks in school (when I actually get work done), and ADD has never been brought up by parents or teachers in the past because of this. I’m scared that this will seem to come out of the blue and if I bring up my real concerns and issues to the doctor they will immediately shrug it off and I’ll never be able to get the help I need.

      This is seriously effecting my life, I can barely look at my school work let alone get any of it done and I’m genuinely scared for my future. I want to be able to talk freely with the doctor and get this all dealt with quickly but I don’t know if I should keep ADD out of it by name and just label symptoms for them to figure out for themselves. I don’t want to do this as I don’t want it to lead to a depressive diagnosis as I already know that is not the base of my problems.

      I guess what I’m asking is when others have been diagnosed did you bring up your concerns as ADD/ADHD or did your doctor diagnose you themself?
      And was there any backlash or pushed progression from you bring up ADD/ADHD by name?

      • This topic was modified 3 years, 4 months ago by maya2001.
      • This topic was modified 3 years, 4 months ago by Penny Williams.
    • #99735
      Penny Williams

      If you suspect ADHD, then bring it up. Your doctors don’t know what’s going on with you except the information you provide.

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

    • #99822

      First of all, it is unlikely that you would get ADhD meds by prescription unless you actually are diagnosed with ADhD, so that pretty much takes care of the issue of getting them so you can sell them. Do people who have ADhD meds by prescription sell them? Yes, they do, but that is not the doctor’s issue. His job is to diagnose and treat you, his patient. And given that some people do sell their ADhD meds, and doctors can get into trouble if their diagnosis of ADHD is not accurate, you can bet he will be careful to examine and diagnose you carefully. Otherwise it’s not his job to pre-judge your [his patient’s] expressed concern re. ADhD but rather to test you and make a determination (for which he gets paid, by the way).

      Secondly, I recommend that you do some research of your own prior to bringing it up, and arm yourself with information with which you can answer the doctor’s logical first question: “What makes you think you might have ADhD?” You will want to have a fairly educated answer to that question. Complete a preliminary ADHD questionnaire and have the results with you when you bring this up to anybody, starting with parents, teachers, etc. That would be a good way to get the conversation started in the right direction, with everybody who will inevitably be involved. Also, be clear on what the DSM-V has to say about the symptoms and diagnosis of ADhD (regardless that it’s incomplete, and don’t bring that up) because the DSM is the doctor’s ‘bible’ when it comes to diagnosis and treatment.

      Speaking of parents and teachers, get them on your side, especially your teachers. Understand that in the ‘political’ scheme of things your teachers cannot afford to ignore your concerns about ADhD. It is an ‘officially’ recognized disability, and therefore they have to pay attention. Their job can be on the line if they don’t. Beyond that, however, your teachers are the ones who will most likely be able to back up your claims and concerns because they have the most data available to do that. Indeed, one important reason that they collect data about student performance is precisely so it will be possible to see the patterns that can back up a diagnosis of ADhD. So use that to your advantage. You have to get a feel for how the institutional game works in this regard. It’s about data, records, documentation, facts and evidence, eyewitnesses testimony, building a case. That’s what it will come down to – not only now but later, as you get older. So if you think you might have ADHD, start building that case file now, while you are young.

      One last thing: Do some research on “Executive Function Disorder” and become very familiar with it, as it relates to ADhD. And with that in mind, go to YouTube and search for “Russell Barkley ADHD” and watch his lectures on both ADhD and EFD. He’s ‘the man’ when it comes to the most thorough coverage of these issues. You may find that what you learn about EFD hits even closer to home with you than ADhD, or rather an understanding of EFD will bring you a more complete understanding of what you struggle with.

      I hope something here helps.

      Jim Hughes
      Boise, Idaho

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