Argh! Why is it so hard to find a doc... - CHADD's Adult ADH...

CHADD's Adult ADHD Support
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Argh! Why is it so hard to find a doctor/therapist who will continue a successful treatment?


I spent my entire childhood going through tests and being diagnosed for various disorders none of which seemed to fix my attention issues. My mother has saved all of my testing from elementary school on and in most cases the write up mentions the inability to stay focused on a task as one of the primary issues. The write-ups are quite literally the definition of inattentive ADD.

It wasn't until college when I was finally diagnosed with severe inattentive ADD. My Stanford University trained doctor methodically increased the dosage of Ritalin until we found a sweet spot. For the next few years my family doctor happily refilled my prescription and I enjoying a fair amount of success at moving up the corporate ladder.

I left my company to go to graduate school as I believed it would be impossible to achieve anything while working 100+ hours a week. As I no longer had health insurance I started to search for a new doctor and found it unbelievably hard to find someone who would prescribe Ritalin. Doctors told me that Ritalin does not work for adults, ADHD is a made up diagnosis, and other inaccurate fairy tales about our condition. I tried just about every alternative medication but Ritalin is the only one that works well for me and doesn't make my heart feel as though it is going to explode.

Now I am underemployed and spend an unbelievable amount of time getting access to my medication. Doctors have insisted that I take a pee test to prove I am using the medication, counted my remaining pills, insisted on additional testing, and insisting that I use one pharmacy to get my medication. Using one pharmacy is a useless rule as I find on a regular basis the one I am supposed to go to is out of Ritalin and so I have to drive to the other side of town to get my medication.

So frustrated to be spending so many hours a day just fighting for the only medication that has worked for me. I miss my days of being a very productive member of society. So depressed :(

15 Replies

That is such an awful, degrading experience. I’ve encountered some of the same and it’s such a stupid thing to go through (honestly I wouldn’t wish most of the medical community on my worst enemy).

I’ve found that services like Yelp can help weed out the crazy and inhumane doctors; any reviews that sound like the experiences you’ve described mean I avoid that provider like the plague.

If you’ve got the energy I suggest creating an account (esp. an anonymous/throwaway one to protect privacy) and giving a brief review of the terrible doctors you’ve come across, both for catharsis and to help the rest of us steer clear.

Who knows, maybe getting enough reviews that say “thinks ADHD is fake/ treats all patients like suspected drug traffickers” will humiliate them into changing their practice.

Couldn't agree more. This is just nuts, if a medication is working why change it? Yet doctors recommend that to me all the time because they simply do not like Ritalin. Can you imagine the uproar if they did this with other medical conditions?

Hidden in reply to Bynddrvn

The #1 reason doctors want to "change things up" with medicine is MONEY. The kickbacks they get from big pharma reps are astounding. That's what I've found in FL, home of the most crooked, incompetent, unethical doctors ANYWHERE.

Bynddrvn in reply to Hidden

That is true. I am just constantly astounded by the lack of any ethics in medicine these days. Some doctors do not care if people get hurt or die. Evil.

I thought I was the only one that had this obstacle with medication. I am truly sorry you are struggling--I totally empathize. Thank you very much for sharing your story, it helped me feel not so alone. I am terrified to discuss my medication with my doctor, to the point I have been on a dose that stopped helping months ago. I am afraid if I say something the wrong way, I risk losing even what little med help I do have. Meanwhile my life has come to a complete standstill--I am very depressed and feeling like this is what it will be like forever. I have tried every natural supplement/activity/diet/etc. under the sun for 6 months now, hoping it would help...but it hasn't. My fiance has been very supportive in encouraging me not to give up, and that I deserve to be heard and helped. If things don't work out with my current doctor tomorrow, I am going to part ways with them and seek out an ADHD Specialist. I hope this helps in some way, hang in there.

Bynddrvn in reply to Elphaba-

Sorry to hear that, I hope things get better. I am just going at it one day at a time.

Elphaba- in reply to Bynddrvn

Thank you so much! I am actually doing great now! I just let go of my fear and made sure my psychiatrist understood my issues. As a result, my medication was increased and I take it at two separate times in the day.

lkrportland in reply to Elphaba-

Way to advocate for yourself!

No doubt it is a struggle. This has been the crap I go through every time I need to find a new doctor. My current family medical practice can't seem to keep doctors for more than a year, so I had to switch all the time.

There seems to be a lot of disinformation out there. Doctors have told me that Ritalin doesn't work for adults. They simply do not believe in the condition/medication and will not prescribe it. They believe new testing is necessary - even though the current level is working, and so on.

In the video below at about the 12 minute mark, Dr Russell Barkley mentions that ADHD is the most treatable condition. ADHD medications are 3x more effective than those used for anxiety and depression.

"This is how you treat ADHD based off science, Dr Russell Barkley part of 2012 Burnett Lecture"

Good luck in your quest and it is a quest. Seriously this is almost like an evil video game, oh no you are blocked by the pharmacy dragon - out of medication again! Have fun traveling to Mordor to get your medication.

robert1969 in reply to Bynddrvn

Thanks for sharing that video! Very enlightening!!

Thank you so much!!

That sucks! Ritalin can be habit forming and miss used, so they do have to be careful and monitor it someway. Back in the day my general family doctor prescribed me my prescription. I had great insurance. Now my insurance is not so good and my doctor didn’t take my new insurance so the new doctor I saw said he’s more comfortable having me see a psychiatrist to probably diagnose me so he’s covered and I’m covered. 1st psychiatrist was awe full, making me sign a 20 page whatever saying they have the right to drug test me at any time and so on. I wasn’t comfortable talking to her so I found a different psychiatrist and I got very lucky. I felt very comfortable talking to him and he asked good questions and I was able to be myself and I told him everything and he helped me

Bynddrvn in reply to Lovinit

The fears are overblown and to be perfectly honest there are more powerful drugs available that are much easier to get.

From "Real Clear Science"

When Harold Kopelwicz, the vice chairman of psychiatry at New York University hears comments insinuating that ADHD is no more than a subjective fabrication of psychiatrists and drug makers, he gets a bit riled.

"To suggest that this is a fraud, that somehow children are being abused by these treatments, is really an outrage, because for these kids, to not get treated is really the greatest abuse and neglect..."

"The False ADHD Controversy"

ADD & ADHD have been misunderstood a great deal since the mid-late 1980's-1990's. It wasn't until/around early 2000's when things really came about. They also didn't know that most with AD/HD also had ASD. Google, What is ADHD and what is not ADHD. I recommend finding an AD/AH COACH. Some also do phone appointments. You can find them on Google, ADHD coaches near ____.

If you have someone who basically gives up on you... That mental therapist, coach, is not worth your time and are clearly not educated professionals. Seek real professionals in your area.

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