Undiagnosed by therapist on a quest t... - CHADD's Adult ADH...

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Undiagnosed by therapist on a quest to undiagnose anyone with ADHD


I went to get help with my ADHD, and my therapist undiagnosed me instead and started treating my PTSD, which I did not ask her to do. I still have all the symptoms of ADHD and need help with that. Stopped going because I lost faith in her. She doesn’t care about my needs. Now there’s no hope. I don’t trust any therapists now, they’ve all got their own agendas and I’m sick of paying for them to do me a disservice!

32 Replies

Don’t give up! I’ve been through similar situations with therapists, psychologists and psychiatrists. It’s tough to navigate healthcare for mental health. This is one forum that helps. Try looking into organizations like ADDA and CHADD for available therapists in your area. I hope this helps a bit.




Can't fault your lack of trust: unfortunately, due diligence has always fallen to patients, in the end—even if only because doctors are human and suffer all the same limitations as most of us.

in reply to HadEnuf

This is more like medically negligible.

in reply to sdraine

Think you got the word next to the one you were looking for, as negligible means able to be neglected or or ignored.

Yes, this case may be more egregious than some: the reality remains that no doctor can know everything, or even be fully expert on all his or her patients conditions. In the end, all they can do is help to the extent they are able: the rest has always been up to us.

It's become worse with political meddling that places additional scrutiny on prescribers of medicines lumped together by clueless regulators despite radically differing hazard profiles: lately, doctors have been forced to administer urine tests to prescribe the same medication I've been taking off and on (relocating can cause interruptions) for half a century.

I had a similar experience. The psychiatrist went as far as to say there is no such thing as adults with undiagnosed ADD. He was extremely belittling and at one point he said I don’t prescribe addictive medications, this was in spite of my stack of medical documentation and Pre diagnosis documents I took to him to make my transition easier. I lost my previous insurance (private insurance) and I’m now on public insurance (medicaid). The two types of insurance are like night and day. I was blown away by this mans absolute ignorance, he’s not the first one I’ve met with no knowledge of Adult ADD/ADHD.

in reply to sdraine

I am so sorry to hear that! I hope you found a better psychiatrist since this last post from a year ago. Sorry for the delay in responding; my life has been turned upside down in the last year.

A therapist that thinks they are skilled enough to even diagnose ADHD needs to rethink their credentials. It drives me crazy when a therapist puts a ADHD treatment as part of their specialized credentials. There is no way that they are skilled enough to specializen in this along with the other 50 things they say they do. Finding a psychiatrist that only specializes in this is the way to go and they will know the right therapist/coach for you to work with.

For anyone else reading this, so not start with a therapist. Start with a psychiatrist who is specific to ADHD, not just a reference on their list of capabilities. Make sure they have written papers on ADHD and truly are focusing on ADHD care. Many take insurance, some don’t. However, at the very least go through the testing, dna tests and any other session recommended by these experts. If you have a spouse, bring them along because this affects them just as much as it affects you, possibly more since they always seem to be cleaning up our messes (so to speak).


23 Signs You Do NOT Have ADHD

You can also ask for a brain scan. That is one of the easiest ways to not misdiagnose ADD-ADHD.


Catharine Paddock PhD,

The largest imaging study of its kind finds that people diagnosed with ADHD have altered brains. It identifies size differences in several brain regions and the brain overall, with the greatest differences seen in children rather than adults. The researchers say that the findings - from brain images of more than 3,200 people - provide strong evidence that ADHD is a disorder of the brain.

The study - which was funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) - is published in The Lancet Psychiatry. It is the work of the ENIGMA Consortium, an international multidisciplinary group that is investigating genetic and brain-imaging differences in psychiatric disorders.

Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is a common neuropsychiatric disorder that is marked by age-inappropriate symptoms of inattention (such as difficulty sustaining focus), hyperactivity (extreme restlessness, for example), and impulsivity (including hasty actions and excessively interrupting others).

Using MRI scans from more than 3,200 people, the researchers found that the brains of those with ADHD were smaller overall, and in five specific regions.

-Catharine Paddock PhD


Good luck getting insurance to pay for a brain scan. I fought with with my insurance for years to cover an MRI of the brain, and that was for chronic migraines. I can pretty much guarantee that a brain scan to confirm diagnosis of ADHD would be impossible to get covered. Unless you're in a country other than the US and dealing with a health care system that actually prioritizes peoples' wellbeing instead of profit. But that's not how we do things in America, unfortunately.

I hope you don’t lose complete faith that there are good therapists, but your experience is more the rule than the exception. I can tell you that a good therapist will recognize that ADHD frequently occurs along with other disorders... in my case, ADHD and PTSD and depression. A member of my family has ADHD, Aspergers, sensory processing issues, depression and anxiety. We finally got to everything for her after 3 (count ‘em) 3 assessments from PsyD’s over 12 years.

I found my best therapist (and I’ve had quite a few) on chadd.org. I liked what I read on his website and decided to try him out. I lucked out. He recommended a good Psychiatrist for my family who was the one who suggested that we research a PsyD who tests for autism for my family member.

It is an exhausting process, and depending on your research and some luck, you may have to give it several tries overtime. It will never be easy, but you are a Strong Mom. I commend your efforts.

Thank you, woodsprite, for your kind words. I have given up hope for a good therapist for me, as I have tried one too many times and had one too many people with hidden agendas “treat” me, and I had to pay the copays for these mistreatments. I feel robbed and I feel vulnerable.

I have recently climbed out of a deep, dark pit of major depression that my endocrinologist put me in due to his gross negligence in treating my hashimoto’s disease by putting me on a much higher dose of thyroid medication than a woman of my size should reasonably take, causing me to go into extreme hyperthyroidism, gaining weight rapidly and spiraling down into the depths of despair and insomnia. He stepped me down gradually to the right dose instead of just admitting he did something wrong and correcting it with more urgency, and as a result I no longer trust ANY doctor because they ALL just want to protect themselves and not their patients. I am finally feeling okay again, but my body and my house are a wreck that I must now fix on my own because I have no moral support and also we are social distancing right now.

I think my location in Utah has an unusually high amount of uncaring doctors because I’ve found even the pediatric specialists to be deplorable.

My partner had the same problem. Went to someone for anxiety and ADHD and got "treated" for PTSD in a way that left them upset, irritable, and withdrawn for days after each session. Finally he left that therapist and found a PsyD that has helped them immensely with their ADHD, anxiety, etc. They were worried that at our age that "this was just how they were" but there ARE things that can help with a good therapist. Dont give up StrongMom!

Thanks. See my above reply to woodsprite. I have no faith in the doctors in my area, but maybe a telehealth therapist would be better and would be worth trying— I haven’t done that yet. At least I wouldn’t feel so robbed of my time if I didn’t have to physically drive to their office, and I could always hang up if they are being annoying. Hmmm ... something to think about anyway.

Don’t give up. I was lucky and found the best psychiatrist on my second try. The first one I saw was piece of shit. Excuse my language, I don’t know how else to put it.

in reply to Lovinit

You are lucky you found someone good on your second try! I have had at least 5 or 6 bad tries.

in reply to StrongMom

Do you have someone now?

in reply to Lovinit

No, I’ve given up on therapists. They all have bad agendas in my area.

Today I discharged from yet another well meaning but not knowledgable on ADHD like I am. My potential of all things I can should be doing my goals, dream career all going to shit because sad tragic truth most are not trained at these medical schools they go to!!#@$ But we smart, untapped brilliant Not thriving with this horrible ADHD...curse really I feel not blessing. I'm not thriving yet but holding out hope still... . I have several resources I know to offer anyone:

1) according to Mayo Clinic & CHADD there are 12 ADHD characteristics out of the 7 types of ADHD that exist which a ADHD trained professional needs to know be aware of to truly help ADHD sufferers.

2) I think most know by know that unless your super wealthy it's almost impossible to get help from a organization or institute like say Dr.Daniel Amen Clinic in VA or DC. exhorbitant costs $300 a session ,etc. I reside in MD & located Silver Spring, MD there's another ADHD clinic.

So I try get solace and helpful tips, hacks from other sources like we all do.

So here some fantastic daily resources :

ADHD Talk Radio Support podcasts on YouTube Subscribe by phenomenal adhd Tara McGullicuddy & her awsome guest speakers on every facet of ADHD.

I recently took 6 week Organization ADD Bootcamp Linda Hillger ADHD author & humblest professionals I've ever heard.

The bootcamp & so many other programs offered different times are all mentioned in those daily ADHD Talk Radio Support podcasts on YouTube. Like AddClasses.com

All guest speakers are ADHD Coaches & have websites to sign up emails or fb pages usually. I recently discovered & love one coach for my struggle with Impulse co trol & Attention. Jeff Copper dig coaching.com he also has a show on YouTube called Attention Talk Video part of network of attentionnetwork.com.

Dejavue feeling makes me dedpair & frustrate😖😔 now I need go on Psychology Today yet again try find another expert on ADHD CBT & other modalities prob out of pocket yet again I cant touch or afford . But I'd like to def. try mix more natural then only stimulant drugs this month see

Thank you for all these great resources! I’ve saved them to my lists and will use them when I feel the need for extra help.

Please don't give up trying !!!

Here in the Uk it took me years of pompous doctors laughing me out of their surgeries , most telling me that there was no such thing as Adult ADD and that I was just lazy and stop wasting their time . I never had a enough cash to gethe a private diagnosis and if I had I couldn't of afforded private funded Meds .Just as I was gonna give up after about 15 years of struggling I saw a Dr who listened and referred me to a specialist and was diagnosed and given Meds. So please keep trying , usually younger Dr's are more informed about ADHD , try and research there credentials , but don't give up it will be worth it in the end

I’m sorry to hear the struggle you’re having. I think a psychiatrist who is educated and has experience working with patients with adhd would be good option for you. I don’t think a therapist is qualified to diagnose you, I’m sure she can suggest and tell you what she thinks encourage you to see a psychiatrist but I don’t think she qualified to diagnose you. It’s tuff but if you keep trying you will find someone who can help you

You simply went to the wrong therapist. Find one who is knowledgeable about ADD. Your therapist could have no training in ADD. Many professionals have no clue, but they also could have read something about and think they know it all. There is still a stigma about ADD and there are those who will tell you it's all in your head a figment of your imagination.

You will ned to screen the therapist and find out what there thoughts are about it and what they can do to help you. Look on CHADD for suggestions and I believe they have a list of MDs, therapists. Look on line. You will find one that understands your needs. Just keep the faith!

The problem is, I DID do my due diligence when I found her. I used a mental health service that was offered for free through my work and part of the service was they offered to find a doctor on my behalf and scheduled the appointment for me, they took down all my qualifications: i.e. male/female, specialty, insurance accepted, etc. and even after all that I still ended up with a dud. I give up!

Have you ever heard the phrase "You get what you pay for?" Mental health services usually do there best but, it depends on the person who helped you. With ADD there is not enough services. Have them give you a list of therapist who understand about ADHD. Then you do the work and check them out, if there isn't anyone you think can help you. Keep searching and you might have to pay for there services. It sounds like you took the easiest route and believed what you heard. Good for a first try. People are different, then you add to the fact that they may not know very much or you caught them at a time when they were ill, or there child was causing them problems, they did not get the raise they hoped for etc...It took a long time for me, at the time I was diagnosed there was little information out there or they did not believe it was a problem.

If you are really struggling, WHY GIVE UP SO EASILY? There is a vast array of information. out there now. Books, the internet, did you try CHADD? DR AMEN, There you will at least find someone who will help you or can give you a referral . Just don't give up!!!!!!! !!!

I’ve tried and tried and been shot down too many times. It’s easier to give up when you’re depressed, believe me.


I ‘am now on year five (after my ADHD diagnosis) it’s now my responsibility to do something different

I pray - for - guidance.

My feelings of being lost in life - “I found that my feelings are not facts. This two shall pass”.

I understand completely. I have had to go through that several times and it is happening now to me. I am depressed and have been for a long time. My psychiatrist keeps giving me the same generic drug for over a year. and I had a bad reaction to one, I tell her every time. I have told the pharmacist too and instead of flagging that pill do not give due to bad side effects. He keeps giving me the same pills. This borders on malpractice, no, it is malpractice!!

I am so sick and tired of these lazy doctors and pharmacists. But if don't react and tell them again. Nothing will get changed and that I can not live with. A lot of people think like you when this happens, so nothing changes. I understand but I am sick and tired of it! There are only a few psychiatrists on this island so I am trying to find someone off island and report these guys. I am absolutely too tired to do this, but I have no choice! Never give up!!Unless you want to live like you are. I worked as aRN for over 30 years! I know what most doctors are like, stuck in a rut and will not open they're eyes to the New Biology. These doctors know how to do this, wear you down until you give up.

One of my doctors doesn’t treat me well but I have no choice but to take it or else I won’t get the medication I desperately need. He has caused more harm than good so far. I was trying to plan an escape from him, had another doctor’s appointment scheduled for a second opinion, but that one was cancelled due to the coronavirus. Now I just have to wait it out for longer.

Doctors don’t care how much they’re screwing up your personal life. I’m still dealing with the negative effects of another doctor from over a year ago as well as this current one. The suffering never ends!

in reply to StrongMom

I agree, there are so many health professionals that feel you know better than you do about your health needs and my gut says that Utah (especially if it is rural) makes it difficult to find compassionate and well educated professionals.

It takes me a year before I'll trust a therapist to actually open up/start working with one. Once you find that true match, ask them referrals to a PDoc or therapist depending on which one you find first.

Some things I did to finally find my therapist and PDoc.

1. Interview anyone before you start seeing them. Every employer does an interview before hiring someone. You are paying them, so you are the employer. If the potential person is offended or refuses, move to the next candidate.

2. Have a list of candidates after your successful interviews.

3. Read reviews of your candidates before scheduling an appointment.

4. Ask if they have any published work, if the do research, if they attend conferences or what type of contined learning they do in order to be informed by the latest medical findings/breakthroughs. I'm super skeptical if they aren't doing something to stay current with their knowledge.

5. Find someone that actually teaches or is an active researcher.

6. Trust your gut and fire them if there are any red flags.

Articles on how to interview therapists




patient reviews of health professionals


Where to find a list of potential therapists/Pdocs


It is hard and infuriating dealing with incompetent health care providers! I believe in you!

I understand. You can help yourself by eating organically as much as possible. Vitamins for brain health, exercise, drink lots of good water. Keep your mind busy with things you enjoy. Reading, gardening, walking, Yoga for example. A lot of us are waiting for more help. What I did just before we were cloistered get lab work done. I had them check all my b vitamin levels. Magnesium, coq10, glyphosate [Round-up}. heavy metals, and a few others. Be proactive even though you believe only medication will help. Medication alone won't do all the work, you have to change habits that are not healthy.

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