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Questions about being evaluated as an adult


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I assume some of you have been evaluated for AD(H)D as an adult, but a search of this forum says "nothing found", and I just don't have the patience (=concentration) to look through the entire forum. Big clue there that tdoc might be right.

 

Tdoc thinks it might be worthwhile for me to be evaluated for ADD.  It would make treatment of everything else easier is the thought.  Perhaps divide out what is  BP2, what is OCD and what is ADD.

 

What was your evaluation like? 

 

Did they contact your parents/other relative that knew you well as a child? They told me they couldn't do it unless my parents agreed to be interviewed. 

 

What kinds of questions did they ask you?  What kind of questions did they ask your parents if they were involved?

 

How long did it take (as in one 3 hour session or 3 sessions over 6 months, or {fill in the blank})?

 

Anything else you would care to share?

 

I'm on the fence.  I don't like the idea of my parents being contacted.  They know nothing about my MI (BP2, OCD and misc. associated anxiety).  They've dealt with ADHD kids in their professions.   I'm pretty sure they would deny it, as in our family doesn't have mental problems.  And Serafina certainly does not have ADD!  So I don't know how much it would help the evaluation.  Or if it could even hinder it.

 

On the other hand, for better or worse, it might be nice to have that label.  I can see positives and negatives of getting a DX, but I think right now the positives out weigh the negatives.

 

I sort of wish I was taken seriously years ago when I asked why others seemed to be capable of running their lives and being responsible adults and i could barely keep my head above water and could not even imagine living like an adult and having things like mortgages, kids, the family dog, after i had moved out on my own.

 

But I'm not sure I want my family dragged into it.

 

Any opinions?  For or against?

 

(If there is any doubt about whether tdoc might be on to something or not, let me say that it took well over an hour to write this so that it would sound coherent)

 

(Edited again for clarity)

Edited by serafina
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It was pretty simple for me. Just a regular appointment with my pdoc lasting an hour. Mum was there. She was asked about what I was like as a child etc. I filled out questionnaires and answered some questions about my symptoms. There was no big fuss or fancy testing. I think you should go for it.

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It was pretty simple for me. Just a regular appointment with my pdoc lasting an hour. Mum was there. She was asked about what I was like as a child etc. I filled out questionnaires and answered some questions about my symptoms. There was no big fuss or fancy testing. I think you should go for it.

 

I don't think that's always the case that a pdoc will just do a short test him/herself. Whenever I bring up the possibility of ADHD with my pdoc he mentions sending me for neuropsychological testing, which I gather is a somewhat large and expensive deal. 

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I was tested by a psychologist as a teenager.  I didn't have the same symptoms as my hyperactive ADHD brother, so I rather disregarded the diagnosis and went on my way, although I did take Ritalin in college.  (I can relate to the feelings of regret you expressed for not resolving this sooner.)  I started seeing a new pdoc last month, and ADD is one of his specialty areas.  He picked up on the ADD in our first evaluation and diagnosed me with the inattentive kind of ADHD.  No special testing or conversation with my family members was had this most recent time.  My pdoc will only add/change one med at a time, and my bipolar symptoms are more urgent at the moment than the ADD ones, so I'm sitting tight until we get the bipolar symptoms squared away before starting ADD meds. 

 

It sounds like testing would be a good idea for you, but perhaps you could find another tester since you prefer to leave your family out of it, if that is non-negotiable for the tester to whom you've already spoken?  (I don't blame you for not wanting to include your folks in your diagnostic process.)

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Yes, Unstrungharp, this would be done by a psychologist, with a referral from my pdoc. Mcjimjam, I wish my pdoc would do it, but tdoc said it had to be done by a psychologist. And that they would need to interview someone who knew me well as a child, because of the criteria it had to be present in childhood. When tdoc asked me was I always late? Did I procrastinate? Did I lose things? Was I messy? I said can't remember much from before I was seven. I said I wasn't sure my parents could say anything about that either. Tdoc said that the new DSM changed it to age 12, which was why they recommended it, and then I said I can say yes to all those questions.

Shesells... (I could never say your name out loud :)) this psychologist practice is the only one locally that takes my insurance. And only by referral from a pdoc. So it, unfortunately, would be unaffordable to go somewhere else and have to pay out of pocket. I hope you can get your BP symptoms under control soon.

Thank you all for your input of your experiences, I will be meeting with one of them from the practice later this week for a consultation, so I can get more information then. I was just wondering what other people's experiences were so that I can go in there at least a little prepared.

ETA: Spelling and clarity. Again.

Edited by serafina
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  • 4 weeks later...

My SO went to a couple of evaluations.  No one (Parents etc) were involved and I don't think they even asked.  It is a good plan to have an idea whats going on.   She graduated College but it took like 10x the effort of any of her roomates.  She says unspeakably bad things at the worst times and spaces out about something unrelated in the middle of serious stuff. 

 

This won't come out right but I GLAD there is a reason for this.   She is not dumb, lazy etc.   *Like the book.

 

I assume some of you have been evaluated for AD(H)D as an adult, but a search of this forum says "nothing found", and I just don't have the patience (=concentration) to look through the entire forum. Big clue there that tdoc might be right.

 

Tdoc thinks it might be worthwhile for me to be evaluated for ADD.  It would make treatment of everything else easier is the thought.  Perhaps divide out what is  BP2, what is OCD and what is ADD.

 

What was your evaluation like? 

 

Did they contact your parents/other relative that knew you well as a child? They told me they couldn't do it unless my parents agreed to be interviewed. 

 

What kinds of questions did they ask you?  What kind of questions did they ask your parents if they were involved?

 

How long did it take (as in one 3 hour session or 3 sessions over 6 months, or {fill in the blank})?

 

Anything else you would care to share?

 

I'm on the fence.  I don't like the idea of my parents being contacted.  They know nothing about my MI (BP2, OCD and misc. associated anxiety).  They've dealt with ADHD kids in their professions.   I'm pretty sure they would deny it, as in our family doesn't have mental problems.  And Serafina certainly does not have ADD!  So I don't know how much it would help the evaluation.  Or if it could even hinder it.

 

On the other hand, for better or worse, it might be nice to have that label.  I can see positives and negatives of getting a DX, but I think right now the positives out weigh the negatives.

 

I sort of wish I was taken seriously years ago when I asked why others seemed to be capable of running their lives and being responsible adults and i could barely keep my head above water and could not even imagine living like an adult and having things like mortgages, kids, the family dog, after i had moved out on my own.

 

But I'm not sure I want my family dragged into it.

 

Any opinions?  For or against?

 

(If there is any doubt about whether tdoc might be on to something or not, let me say that it took well over an hour to write this so that it would sound coherent)

 

(Edited again for clarity)

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I was just evaluated for this as an adult last week.

For me it was a completely new Pdoc and she asked me a series of questions regarding my behavior and took alot of notes.  She admitted that she is on the conservative side of medicating and hesitant to diagnose ADD because she feels like it is over diagnosed.  After the interview she basically told me I 'have a lot on my plate' and that she wants to help me deal with depression first and put me in therapy to help with coping skills and then reevaluate for ADD and the need for meds after that.

Makes me wonder if my inattention is a symptom of depression/ product of my crazy busy daily life?  I don't know.

Anyway thats how it went for me.

-Mary

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I wasn't "evaluated" with tests or anything of the sort.  I got my own psychiatrist after it became obvious my bipolar was too much for my GP to handle even with consultation with a psychiatrist.  My regular psychiatrist just so happens to specialize in ADHD, among a few other things.  I'd tried to get properly evaluated a few years prior but seeing as even then I was poor as fuck I couldn't afford it and the joke of an "assessment" I had was, well, a joke.  My GP believed it was possible that I had it, but where I live GPs are unable to diagnose that sort of thing.  My psychiatrist spotted it pretty much right away -- she gave it a bit longer to be sure, but once we started trialling treatment with stimulant medications and I responded well, that was pretty much it.  I've been with her for two years now so it's not in doubt really anymore.

 

"They" (school system) did try to diagnose me as an elementary school kid but my father (anti-psychiatry) was dead-set against it.  I may not fit into what your average person or even average psychiatrist would expect for ADHD, but when you actually know your shit (layperson or pdoc who specializes) then I'm fucking textbook.  I used to be nervous about the medication angle, I literally just wanted the Dx to know what was going on and perhaps for additional support should I ever decide to return to post-secondary schooling.  Doing my research on medications though, and doing the trials with a pdoc who I trust very much, not to mention all the support and information I got from ADHDers who take meds here on CB, those were all incredibly helpful.  Not everyone responds to stimulants, mind, there are a few non-stimulant options (some combine them with stimulants,) and even though the stims are all stimulants you can respond very very differently to one vs. a different one, even going from IR to some kind of XR.  Big differences.

 

When I'm on my stims I have to keep away from other stimulants, even green tea, it can bring on panic attacks.  When I run out of my stimulants, like right now 'cause I'm a broke-ass, I get major huge fucking cravings, for caffeine, cigarettes, and marijuana.  Those go away when I'm properly medicated.

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  • 2 weeks later...

I assume some of you have been evaluated for AD(H)D as an adult, but a search of this forum says "nothing found", and I just don't have the patience (=concentration) to look through the entire forum. Big clue there that tdoc might be right.

 

Tdoc thinks it might be worthwhile for me to be evaluated for ADD.  It would make treatment of everything else easier is the thought.  Perhaps divide out what is  BP2, what is OCD and what is ADD.

 

What was your evaluation like? 

 

Did they contact your parents/other relative that knew you well as a child? They told me they couldn't do it unless my parents agreed to be interviewed. 

 

What kinds of questions did they ask you?  What kind of questions did they ask your parents if they were involved?

 

How long did it take (as in one 3 hour session or 3 sessions over 6 months, or {fill in the blank})?

 

Anything else you would care to share?

 

I'm on the fence.  I don't like the idea of my parents being contacted.  They know nothing about my MI (BP2, OCD and misc. associated anxiety).  They've dealt with ADHD kids in their professions.   I'm pretty sure they would deny it, as in our family doesn't have mental problems.  And Serafina certainly does not have ADD!  So I don't know how much it would help the evaluation.  Or if it could even hinder it.

 

On the other hand, for better or worse, it might be nice to have that label.  I can see positives and negatives of getting a DX, but I think right now the positives out weigh the negatives.

 

I sort of wish I was taken seriously years ago when I asked why others seemed to be capable of running their lives and being responsible adults and i could barely keep my head above water and could not even imagine living like an adult and having things like mortgages, kids, the family dog, after i had moved out on my own.

 

But I'm not sure I want my family dragged into it.

 

Any opinions?  For or against?

 

(If there is any doubt about whether tdoc might be on to something or not, let me say that it took well over an hour to write this so that it would sound coherent)

 

(Edited again for clarity)

I was diagnosed when I was 14, but when I was diagnosed, I was first referred to a mood disorder specialist to rule out any evidence of Bipolar (which I was later diagnosed with, at about 17) Then they asked my mom and grandma questions. Then my school teachers. They had me pick one teacher and one parent to fill out some forms, I think it was called a Conners Rating Scale or something.. Then I was put on Concerta, to see if it would help.. It did, and thus, I was diagnosed with ADHD. This took about 5 or 6 months, though. But I have been diagnosed with it ever since. It's the only disorder all my psychiatrists have ever agreed on. I've calmed down, now that I'm older (I'm almost 21) but I still can't concentrate worth crap. I can't sit still long enough to be in school. I couldn't even sit through the therapy groups and recreation activities at the hospital, when I was hospitalized. I haven't been on meds for my ADHD since I was 18.. I was supposed to go back on them when I started school, but my psychiatrist fears they will worsen my psychosis. Really, having an ADHD diagnosis has done nothing for me... I didn't start to get the help I needed in school until I did a psycho-ed assessment later, and was diagnosed with Nonverbal Learning Disorder, a learning disorder a lot like Asperger's, and even more later when I became psychotic and started hurting myself in school... Then I was put in special ed and paired with an Educational Assistant to watch me. For me, I just have to force myself to sit down and read and focus.. It can be hard, yes, but it works sometimes. And I do get silly and hyper sometimes, but I just have to remind myself that I'm 20 now and can't act like that. I'm not in any way trying to invalidate ADHD, when I was younger, it was hard for me to go to middle school and high school.. But now, as an adult, I've learned ways to deal with it. Anyway, good luck to you! That was just my experience..
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