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    living better through chemistry

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  1. What's the difference between "can't" and "don't want to"? How do you know? I feel like, for myself, if my response to a situation is that I don't want to, well, suck it up and do it anyway... muscle through... But, if it's something I actually can't do, maybe I could let myself not do it with less... internal self-flagellation (maybe not though). Depression causes me to feel, often, that I can't do things when it is more accurate to say I don't want to. I don't know how to tell the difference.
  2. It’s generally pretty easy to get coupons for brand name Flonase. I find Walmart has the lowest price, much lower than my usual pharmacy. Edit: and I’m really glad that you were able to make stuff work for today!
  3. I also got a solid 4. I am having a hard time with the word "trauma" with respect to my childhood.
  4. You could try a nasal steroid like flonase or nasonex. My preference is flonase sensimist - unlike the others (including the store-brand versions) it doesn't burn, smell, or overly dry out my sinuses. I tend to find nasal steroids do a better job at eye stuff than systemic anti-histamines like xyzal or claritin. YMMV. They're safe to take with most psych meds, I've even taken them with MAOIs and those interact with everything.
  5. This seems to vary by state. I am aware of others who are unable to get Klonopin, specifically, by mail. I had assumed it would be the same for CII stims, but who knows. May be worth asking your insurance pharmacy - they would know for sure!
  6. ADHD is a mental disorder and is listed with diagnostic criteria in the DSM 5. Psychiatrists diagnose and treat it all the time. It's pretty common. Psychiatrists also spend a lot of time doing differential diagnosis to exclude ADHD, partly because it has developed a stigma about being over-diagnosed. I recommended a psychologist because I didn't realise you had an existing relationship with a pdoc. You will get a far more accurate diagnosis of most mental illnesses by a diagnostician who knows you well than by one you're just meeting for the first time. No judgement here about seeing out of network docs. My pdoc is out of network (though she wasn't when I first started seeing her, many moons ago) but I still see her weekly. Given that your pdoc is someone you trust so much, he probably has a good sense of you. That is good news for diagnosing ADHD and/or cognitive processing issues.
  7. So Nellie, if you already have a pdoc and you would want to try adding ADHD meds to your cocktail (which would presumably be prescribed by your pdoc), the place to go for discussion and diagnosis is your pdoc. Just because your currently scheduled appointment isn’t for a while doesn’t mean you can’t ask to go in sooner. That appointment was made on the assumption that things stay pretty much the same as they were at your last appointment. If you’re looking for help and a new dx, things have changed.
  8. For what it's worth, I don't think you need to go to a super fancy specialist and shell out gobs of money to get a reliable diagnosis. My question is, once you've got the diagnosis... then what? Are you looking for meds? Affirmation? The testing I did took one full day. I paid $800 for it, cash (I had no insurance). The testing I did also showed I had comparative deficits in processing speed and working memory. No, there are no meds for fixing those things, but it's something that I keep in mind and knowing it has helped me focus my choice of coping skills to get by at work and in life.
  9. I did a psychological assessment when I was in college, at my request, seeking info on potential ADHD, learning disabilities or other reasons for my struggles in school. The assessment was done by a Psy.D who was supervised by a Ph.D. because she was a new postgraduate (I never met with the Ph.D though, but his name is on my paperwork as well as hers). I had the assessment done at a psychological center at a local university that offered sliding scale assessments by new psychologists who were not fully licensed (and so were supervised). These are the tests that were done: Interview Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale-Third Edition (WAIS- III) Wechsler Individual Achievement Test -Second Edition (WIAT-II) Woodcock-Johnson III Tests of Achievement (Academic Fluency Subtests) Brown ADD Scales-Adult Integrated Visual and Auditory Continuous Performance Test (IVA) My ADHD dx was based on the interview and the results of the Brown ADD Scales and the Integrated Visual and Auditory Continuous Performance Test ("a continuous performance task that measures an adult's ability to maintain attention to repetitive visual and auditory stimuli.") The testing also confirmed my MDD and GAD diagnoses, and the psychologist recommended a variety of accommodations. I took the results of the assessment to my college disability services office which granted the accommodations, and my GP agreed, based on the dx, to prescribe stimulants (I did not have a pdoc at the time, I had no insurance - this was before Obamacare). These days, my pdoc is prescribing my stims. I don't remember if I gave her a copy of the assessment paperwork, or if she initially continued those on the basis of my GP's notes or what. I've been seeing her for 6-ish years though, so I assume she would've stopped the stims if she disagreed with the diagnosis.
  10. Yes, of course there's still a licensed pharmacist. My concern is with going to two pharmacies. My experience, from the days when I had no insurance and shopped around for the best price (10-ish years ago), is that pharmacies don't do such a good job at checking interactions with meds that they don't fill. My cocktails now are varied, changing and more complicated than they were then.
  11. Do you use a mail order pharmacy to get your meds, or do you go to a brick and mortar store with actual people in it? I have always used Walgreens and avoided mail order stuff primarily because I take enough meds I want a pharmacist double checking my doctor’s work re: safe cocktails. But... is it worth it? I could save money by getting 90 day scripts in the mail. I’d still have to go to the pharmacy for my stims and psych drug of the month, since my cocktail isn’t stable.
  12. I'm thinking about severe trauma that causes flashbacks, disabling fear of common situations/sounds, and so on. A lot of the therapy for that kind of traumatic reaction (where a fight/flight/freeze response takes over) is about exposure, with CBT and ACT applications. I do agree that it is less common than is sometimes claimed. For this, I apologize. You are of course 100% right: I do not have ASD. I didn't mean to present that I do in anyway, and I'm sorry that I did. In my first draft of the response, I included a short paragraph explaining the "ish", but later decided that I didn't want to change the subject to be about me. I'm kicking myself for not properly editing the post before hitting "submit". That's what I get for posting directly before going to bed. The "ish" was a nod to several ongoing conversations I've had elsewhere, as a member of a population that, while not necessarily Autistic, is decidedly not "neurotypical" (or even typically atypical). I'm different - but it is not the same as being Autistic. I shouldn't have co-opted the terminology to suggest otherwise.
  13. NT(ish) woman here. I work as an engineer in a field with very few women, but many men who frequently have poor social skills (I won't pretend to dx them with ASD or anything else, I'm not qualified). Respectfully, what you describe is more common among Autists. It is decidedly not common for NTs. Oh that it were. My experience of IOP/group therapies is that the general consensus is that we are responsible for our actions, regardless of our feelings. So you may feel angry that you stepped on a lego while barefoot, but you are responsible for terrifying a child if you explode at them for leaving toys on the floor (where exploding - e.g. yelling beyond any reasonable measure, throwing objects at or hitting the child, etc. - is the action. Anger is the feeling). Some therapies insist we can change our feelings. CBT claims if you change your thoughts, you can change your feelings. I'm skeptical. I have never been able to think or logic my feelings away/into something different. However, I have been able to accept them and move on (ACT), for some things at least. Regardless of my experience, CBT and ACT are accepted ways to treat even severe trauma-related reactions to situations where the limbic response does take over the person's response to a situation. Here, I say two things. First, some people are more sensitive than others to subtle and/or perceived social queues, partly as a result of upbringing/history. I agree with you that the idea of a handshake being creepy enough to cause lasting emotional trauma seems... far fetched. However, not knowing the woman's background/history... okay. I think she did the right thing in leaving a job where, for whatever reason, she could not feel safe. I am extremely skeptical of the claim that a "creepy" handshake is sexual harassment or even reportable. So, I wrote that... and then I read the two links that @Gearhead provided. In the situation described in those links there is much more than a handshake and I believe I would respond much the same. What's creepy? Being alone with a male superior who is potentially intoxicated, improperly/unprofessionally clothed, and who has made sexual innuendo about overpowering me. Let's be clear - I would not quit my job over a handshake that goes on too long. I have not quit my job over a (short, a-frame) hug initiated by a male superior. But if a man (or woman, I don't actually care, but unfortunately for men there is more stigma there because of a socially inherent power differential) were making sexual comments about me? I'd be... looking for work, if not quitting immediately. Dr. Tyson's actions are, sadly, not surprising to me. I am very familiar with that community, I was involved with them when in college - I originally studied to be an astronomer and did research in that realm with a well-known astronomer and was even at the same conference the prior year to the alleged incident. The physics/astrophysics community is one of the most sexist STEM fields (this is well documented, and is a large part of why there are far fewer women in physics than in math or chemistry). Absolutely agree with this. There is no question in my mind: autistics are more vulnerable than NT men to making mistakes, particularly Aspies and HFAs who can sometimes "pass" as NT. I agree with @Gearhead that there is behaviour I would not tolerate from any person regardless of their mental status. However, reactions and consequences absolutely should be moderated with respect to the individual incident and the alleged "perpetrator's" (for lack of a better word) ability to understand and follow social norms. The #MeToo movement is walking a tricky line between holding people accountable for their actions and letting NTs confuse feelings with facts. There can't be knee-jerk responses to either side of this coin.
  14. They'll know enough that they will either call the on-call pdoc (there is one, though the number may not be available to patients) for more review or tell you to go to the ER. That's literally their job as the on-call team. They have access to more resources than you do.
  15. Call the on-call team and report this scary side effect. They can probably help better than an ER if it's related to the clozapine... and if it's not, they'll happily direct you to the ER.