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I had ADD testing done recently. What an experience! I feel like they're gonna diagnose me with mild retardation rather than ADD!! Sentences? Memorization? Fractions? Trigonometry?! I felt like I was taking an 8th grade achievement test. And it took 7 hours. And the MMPI was terribly redundant and transparent.

I mean, I'm definitely happy and grateful I was able to get it done, but I do have very mixed feelings about it at the moment otherwise.

I don't really have a SPECIFIC question. . . but you know, testing -- it makes me nervous. Comments or related expriences appreciated.

Thanks ;)

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Count yourself blessed to be able to have testing for ADD. Over here, the pdoc and mental health place that work for me doesnt even treat it. I feel that it contributes to my depressions in a lot of ways. But I still cant get treated for it.

7 hours huh? thats grueling. I guess you must be glad its over.

Goodluck with your treatment options.

Selene

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  • 4 weeks later...

AD/HD testing is tough because they can't just give you the ADD test! They have to give you the whole IQ testing, disorder testing, and the MMPI with like 500 questions.

It took me hours upon hours too. But I finally got the diagnosis after talking to a doctor. After all that testing, it was talking to the doctor that really gave me the diagnosis because my test was borderline.

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Yeah, well after all that I still have no answers.

From my consultation I gathered that the MMPI (which is bs, in my opinion) screwed it up. Apparently if my MMPI was normal I would have ADD but because it's not, I don't. The genius made all types of assumptions without taking my REAL personality (and by that I mean not based on some inventory that is completely devoid of proper theory), symptoms, and history into account. Then totally ignored what meds I was on before and during the testing, and how they affected me, and implied I was experiencing an emotional disorder, which is "the cause" of my cognitive difficulties.

Yes, I am just a little pissed about wasting an entire day of my life.

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Sorry you feel like you didn't get a valid testing.

I don't remember what your current dx is otherwise, but cognitive problems due to "emotional" (mood?) problems is not a surprise. For example, bipolar disorder has a high association with cognitive difficulties, including attention problems. Fortunately the same meds used to treat "true" ADD/ADHD can be used as well.

Thats the road I've been on for about four months now. Adderal help a bit at first but the side effects were aweful for me, since I'm so sensitive to stimulants. Strattera is working quite well.

Its possible that your pdoc may still consider a empirical trial to see if the meds help. A concern for any doc is the potential for stimulant abuse.

a.m.

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A.M.,

A long time ago my diagnosis was depression and when I first saw my current pdoc a few months ago she was thinking bipolar. After I started Wellbutrin though, everything mood-related was perfectly fine, but the cognitive issues were still there (I was on WB a few years before and it had the same effect). It actually helped my mood swings bc I wasn't having so much "downs" and irritability.

I'm actually not sure what my doctor's thinking exactly. The neuropsych testing was to see what the cognitive difficulty was all about because, after the mood issue, that was my #1 problem. (#2 being situation-specific anxiety, which is learned and has nothing to do with meds that's why they don't help for it).

Stimulants are not an option because "they can worsen my anxiety". I've tried explaining that my anxiety level is fine except in certain situations but there are other worries. The hypothesis is that my cognitive difficulties are negative symptoms of schiz. or some sort of psychosis and things will soon get worse (esp. on stims). While anything could be possible at my age, I doubt that because my overall functioning has been getting better over the years rather than worse -- so the trend I see is the opposite and they just don't know me well enough. It feels frustrating and disrespectful to me how the docs never explain their thoughts/ideas about ME to me.

So the next med I'm supposed to try is Abilify, and while I'm wanting to give it a try, I'd really rather not be on so many meds. The more I take, the more likely it is I'll say "screw it all, i don't need anything".

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I had my first AD/HD testing back in 2003, when I was 19. It involved pushing a button whenever I saw a square pop up on the computer screen. It computed my missed squares and false positives. To be considered AD/HD, one had to score in the lowest 5th percent of all people on that test.

(yes, and that definition would make AD/HD a self-defining entity.)

I scored in the 20th percentile on the exam, meaning that I "did not have AD/HD".

Strangely, though, the test stated that I had a really itchy trigger finger, and made about 10 false positives (there were 100 squares that popped up in sequence, just to give you an idea).

A later pdoc of mine, in 2005, stated that AD/HD is diagnosed when the symptom constellation is matched (check) and the symptoms interfere with daily activities (check). So, that's when I was diagnosed.

I've been medicated since 2006, and that's helped an amazing amount.

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From what I understand, patient history is a better guide than most tests. Most tests have a novelty factor going with them. If they are going to give you a whole bunch of tests then the ADD one probably ought to come last, when you are bored enough for your mind to wander.

I don't know why people are so strange about stimulants. It's not as if they last very long. They could just let you try it for a day or two.

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  • 4 weeks later...

That sucks!

I had only a SMALL screening quiz by my Dr (GP)..that along w/ my reasoning for being there, and my many many many online screening tests that showed inattentive ADD, and my history/family history. It was a basic drug company 6 question quiz..

My DR is wonderful in the fact that she knows I am not one to cry wolf and if I am thinking of a possible problem and medication, I am seriously having an issue..

I'd LOVE to take a test like that tho...fascinating to find out what the medical community thinks of you ;)

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I personally think ADHD tests are a fiasco. My son was diagnosed when he was 10 - ADHD inattentive type. They claimed thats what the testing showed. We put him on three different ADHD meds and nothing worked. I had him tested again when he was 13 - again ADHD. Then when he was 15 I took him to a psych who did the computer test where you had to push a button when you saw a certain thing on the screen. She said she'd never seen anyone get as far as he did on the test and she had to stop after a while or he would still be working on it to this day. She said there is no way he has ADHD. This woman has written three books on ADHD. Then last October we had him tested again - the psych said definitely ADHD.

The problem is no one is observing him, or listening to me. They give IQ tests, rating scales, personality tests, blah blah blah. Why don't they listen to what I have to say? I gave the last psych a huge history of my son, and she picked and chose the parts of it that conformed to what she considered a proper diagnosis, while ignoring the parts that didn't fit.

I'm not saying that my son doesn't have attentional issues - but I know they are due to his anxiety, his sensory integration dysfunction, his depression. And he was a bit impulsive in elementary school, but I believe that was due to his social skill deficiencies, which is a larger part of another disorder - perhaps aspergers or nonverbal learning disability. And the treatment for attention problems associated with those disorders is very different from the treatment for attention problems caused by ADHD.

But I'm just the mom - no one listens to me.

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my pdoc looked through my treatment records at my clinic and from my hospitalizations, so they had direct observations of me. then he looked at my school records (i did well but had accomodations). he gave me a test. he interviewed me. i took the MMPI. then he decided i have bp1 (no shit sherlock), ptsd, and ADD, and possibly body dysmorphic disorder (that one is up in the air).

i was happy that he looked at me as a person rather than just sitting me down with a battery of nonsense geometry taking me back to grade school and expecting me to remember that stuff, let alone have it prove i have ADD. just knowing me and how i operate is enough of a clue for most people. me without meds is like talking to a real flake. i'm lucky to read and drive and not burn my food without my meds. if it interferes with your daily life, and you are just crying for help, you need to be interviewed and your behavior needs to be looked at closely. i've benefited so much from adderall.

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I personally think ADHD tests are a fiasco. My son was diagnosed when he was 10 - ADHD inattentive type. They claimed thats what the testing showed. We put him on three different ADHD meds and nothing worked. I had him tested again when he was 13 - again ADHD. Then when he was 15 I took him to a psych who did the computer test where you had to push a button when you saw a certain thing on the screen. She said she'd never seen anyone get as far as he did on the test and she had to stop after a while or he would still be working on it to this day.

Sounds like something I might do (have done,) just to see how the computer varies its output. Then again, I do have ADHD, inattentive type.

I'm not saying that my son doesn't have attentional issues - but I know they are due to his anxiety, his sensory integration dysfunction, his depression. And he was a bit impulsive in elementary school, but I believe that was due to his social skill deficiencies

And none of these are inconsistent with ADHD. It's simply the broadest single diagnosis that covers much of what you've selected to discuss.

Even then, ADHD meds are usually targeted to be effective during schools hours, not when the kid's at home ... and when one considers

that "effective" is usually defined as "keeping the hyper brat tranq'ed and quiet in class," medicating a kid with inattentive ADD at the levels

a hyperactive ADDer usually gets just may not be a bright idea.

After ADHD, perhaps Asperger's - but there's not a lot of medications that "help" Aspies be normal people. Usually the target for Aspie adults

is to make the world more bearable, while for autistic children the goal seems to be making the kids more bearable. Read through the

older topics on the autism board to get a better feel for how treatment usually goes.

Then there's depression, which often comes with many of the symptoms of ADHD. Some ADs are also somewhat effective for

ADD symptoms - Wellbutrin, Norpramin, Vivactil, Stratterra. For some people, especially with suspected or known ADD, these

can stop anxiety/irritability/impulsiveness in its tracks. For a lot of other people these meds can send anxiety through the roof.

When it comes to anxiety alone, although it can be crippling, many of the effective medications are as addictive as speed. Don't

expect a psychiatrist to be handing out a prescription for klonopin to a 13-y.o. boy who isn't having SEVERE problems.

Sensory integration - that may require something along the lines of therapy, no matter what meds your son is or isn't on. I know

a couple who've had good results with social skills training as well. Regardless of diagnosis, if you can get an appropriate therapy

program, you should probably consider it. Don't expect to be thanked for it, but that comes with being a parent anyway.

But I'm just the mom - no one listens to me.

You'll get used to it. No one listens to the kids with the problems either.

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I probably should add that by the time I finally saw a psychiatrist, I already knew I had the stereotypical "paradoxical reaction" to stimulants

associated with ADHD. My reaction to the first AD we tried simply made stimulant medication unavoidable - so all-in-all, formal testing

isn't necessarily a requirement for treatment.

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I was diagnosed by means of a sloppy letter that I wrote to my pdoc because I was afraid I'd forget something. Then she started looking at my history (like how long it took me to get through college).

However, once I took part in a research study on ADD which had a computer test which seemed pitched exactly at my weakness. It would show a shape and then a different shape. I was supposed to push one key if they were in the same place, another if they were not. As long as the interval was short, I did well. If they waited a few seconds between shapes, I was hopeless. I'm guessing that would be a good test for ADD. Maybe just for my flavor of it, tho, whatever it is.

Another interesting part was a bunch of (I kid you not) scratch and sniff panels. Turns out people like me (and I guess people with ADD in general) have trouble identifying stereotypical smells. Maybe all smells, although I sorta feel like if they'd been real smells with all their components instead of some chemist's caricature, I'd have identified them better. Would be nice to have a more discriminating nose to help me sort thru the mystery smells at the new place I'm renting. I looked at it on a warm dry day with the windows open...

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huh. I'm going to ask my pdoc tomorrow what she thinks I should do about the add-thing because she refuses to prescribe any stimulants. ever. and I didn't know this until I'd waited two months for an appointment and couldn't switch to anyone else.

bleh.

she said she'd refer me to a specialist if I 'thought it nessecary' but she looked really skeptical. and I have one and a half more weeks in this state (where they take my insurance) then back to school. no specialist for me I guess, and no testing. damnit. sorry, I don't know what this had to do with this topic, I just thought all of the testing was really interesting because the first pdoc I went to (in the south...) just handed out stims like candy so it was a really good thing that I *do* have add otherwise that woulda been bad...

but now I can't get them from a non-quack doctor because they guard them like heroin or something.

arrgh. just frustrated. damn highhorse pdoc.

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just handed out stims like candy so it was a really good thing that I *do* have add

Could you get the referral for a school holiday or something?

If you happened to let slip anything like the above little quote, your pdoc might have suddenly decide that she doesn't ever prescribe stimulants. If the stuff is so good for your ADD, decide that you're not going to abuse the stuff, so that you won't lose your access.

I did the last day of work on my thesis while taking Sudafed. I suspect that's not something to take real often. And they're getting pretty funny about the stuff too. In our state you have to show them some ID and not take more than one package in a certain interval. (What do people with big families who are all sick do?) I've tried the substitute stuff as a decongestant and it's MORE psychoactive and a little disturbing.

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just handed out stims like candy so it was a really good thing that I *do* have add

Could you get the referral for a school holiday or something?

If you happened to let slip anything like the above little quote, your pdoc might have suddenly decide that she doesn't ever prescribe stimulants. If the stuff is so good for your ADD, decide that you're not going to abuse the stuff, so that you won't lose your access.

I'll try doing that, but we'll see what my insurance covers...sometimes those specialists don't take the one I have at all.

I hope I didn't sound like I was abusing it! I can't imagine it even being abusable to me at all even if I wanted to...it slows me down enough to think, doesn't get me high at all. I didn't say anything like that around her anyway...what I was trying to say above was that the doctor in georgia thought I had add, and thought it would help with my depression too, so he prescribed it just like that..no testing or anything, just 'here, try this, I think it will help'. I mean 'handed it out like candy' because he prescibed me SO MUCH of it on the first go (it was crazy..20mg 3x a day...what they prescribe for narcolepsy sometimes) so that one prescription bottle lasted me more than three months. I never even refilled the prescription with him because I still had more than 2/3 of the bottle left when I was supposed to refill.

man, am going around in circles..sorry, am tired, I just didn't want you to think that I waas talking about abusing it...I just wish I didn't have to jump through so many hoops to get one of the first medications that's really helped me. bleh. thanks for the advice ido,

meg

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Well, I hope you find some, or another med that works. (But probably it will have to be a stimulant.)

Sometimes I enjoy the stuff, and sometimes I dislike it. (Anxiety in a bottle, easy to get wound up, etc. but not usually) Certain experiences become more vivid, so I could see taking more of it, but I really don't want to go there because it seems like it might make some other problems, and because I want the stuff to continue to be useful.

Decades ago, I used to ingest certain things. The crappy stuff was speedy, and I wonder if that's much of the part that was pleasant for me. People used to say I made MORE sense when I had ingested funny stuff than when I hadn't. Most people made quite a bit less sense, if there was any change.

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  • 2 weeks later...

I had ADD testing done recently. What an experience! I feel like they're gonna diagnose me with mild retardation rather than ADD!! Sentences? Memorization? Fractions? Trigonometry?! I felt like I was taking an 8th grade achievement test. And it took 7 hours. And the MMPI was terribly redundant and transparent.

I mean, I'm definitely happy and grateful I was able to get it done, but I do have very mixed feelings about it at the moment otherwise.

I don't really have a SPECIFIC question. . . but you know, testing -- it makes me nervous. Comments or related expriences appreciated.

Thanks ;)

I'd like to do a test like that actually so I can be sure whether I really have it. My doc prescribed me Strattera but he said he doesn't know whether I have ADD or not and won't make a proper diagnosis.

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