Adult ADHD Support
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Fighting for the only medication that has worked for me

My doctor would like for me to get tested for ADHD again as my last test was a while ago. That test was done in my twenties, does Attention Deficit Disorder really change that much after you reach adulthood?

My primary concern is that throughout my childhood I was tested for just about every single learning disability and cognitive issues imaginable - except for ADHD. I tested positive for several cognitive and learning disabilities but later I would test out of these issues when my attention returned.

Furthermore I have tested at the average level for cognitive tests and some medical professional insist this means I do not need ADHD medication. When they test me with Ritalin, my cognitive tests are above normal. Shouldn't the test be if the medication helps significantly or not?

Just don't know why it is so hard to get the medication that seems to be working and I am so tired of fighting against doctors, pharmacies, and others who refuse to follow the science and research on ADHD. Frustrated :(

6 Replies

What state? I never had a test, I merely explain to my symptoms. I have never heard anybody have any sort of problem getting help. In fact the tests aren't even that widely used or accurate so it shouldn't be so difficult. If I can help at all let me know I know how tough it is to struggle with this :)

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This is in Maine and others warned me that it is hard to get modern medicine in this state, especially outside of Portland, Maine. To quote one woman I met, "They would rather prescribe eating bark beetles twice a day or some other nonsense than follow the science." BTW she has moved out of the state, so the state has also lost a Special Education teacher.

The biggest issue for me, is that I can test at the average cognitive level off Ritalin but I do have a large drop off at the end. Most cognitive tests have sections of similar questions, so whatever particular section I am on when my attention wanes - that is the section they figure I need to work on but when I take the test again I get those questions right and screw up elsewhere. For whatever reason NO one has though to test my cognitive abilities while on Ritalin.

Not sure why so many medical professionals are reluctant to prescribe a medication if it helps. It is my understanding that if you do not have ADHD - Ritalin is basically similar to a strong cup of coffee. Basically you see an improvement but the improvement is nothing similar to what someone with ADHD will experience.

Overall, I would say in the science of psychology - medical professionals really need to keep current on the evolving world of what we know. Probably need to go down to Boston where medical professionals aren't afraid of book learnin'.


Hi, sorry you are having trouble. As for medication, depending on the dose Ritalin is more than a strong cup of coffee. It is widely misused by students and those without ADHD. Like the previous responder mentioned, I have never heard of ADHD tests. I am in Canada, and it is all based on symptoms, and the severity of them. My husband is 41, with severe adult ADHD. I can suspect when someone has it, after living with it, and reading up on it for 20 years, no tests needed! 😉 For a correct diagnosis I recommend a psychiatrist, preferably one specializing in ADHD and similar issues.


Thank you. The test my latest psychologist used is called the Conner's Continuous Performance Test. From the test's own guidelines the test is to be used in conjunction with other measures. As you mentioned pretty much everyone around me knows I have ADHD if even they don't know the word for it :)

I think what bothers me is that with the amount of disinformation out there, I have had to become an expert in the field of ADHD. Really would rather spend time on other things and with ADHD you know how we already have trouble getting stuff done.

This week I spoke with the CHADD hotline and they were very helpful.

Among the many documents sent to me, was this helpful "Diagnosis of ADHD in Adults."


Two notes. 1) some doctors feel it (suspected ADHD) must have s major negative impact on your life to both label it ADHD and to prescribe medication. It wasn’t until my wife made it clear to my doctor that not only were my issues more severe than I realized, but that she could not stay in s marriage under the current scenario that my doctor realized it was a severe enough issue that medication could be considered. Point 2 is that there are non-stimulant medications for ADHD that some doctors might be more willing to prescribe since there is less chance of abuse. I take Straterra and it works very well for me.

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Good to hear. Non stimulants just don't work for me and Adderall made me jittery, Ritalin is the only thing that has worked for me. Per medical guidelines, stimulants are usually tried first and non stimulants are used only when these are not effective.

"With the exception of atomoxetine (Strattera), which will be discussed below, non-stimulant medications have generally been considered second-line medications. They have been used in people who have an incomplete response or no response to stimulants, cannot tolerate stimulants or have certain co-existing psychiatric conditions."