Online Testing Legitimacy?: Hi all! I... - CHADD's Adult ADH...

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Online Testing Legitimacy?

evolscimom
evolscimom

Hi all! I am on the desperate path of seeking testing to begin treatment. I have a psychiatrist and a medical therapist, but neither will prescribe until I get a test. I'm on a 4-5 month waiting list at one local testing site, but I am going to end up failing out of grad school if I wait that long. I'm 37, and I've been fighting this my whole life without knowing WTF was wrong with me until a few weeks ago.

Does anyone have experience with the online tests and counseling? I need help sooner rather than later.

10 Replies

I don’t have any experience with these tests, however am wondering if you could find another provider who wouldn’t require this or may just be willing to give meds a trial without testing.

My psychiatrist came up with the diagnosis on her own and didn’t require testing.

Has put me on medication and I’m indeed better 😂

Don’t know where you live, but maybe you could do an internet search for a local psychiatrist who specializes in ADHD.

I can certainly understand your situation

Was in graduate school (at age 59!) and clueless as to why I was so stressed

Now, 2 years after graduation, I know!!

Please keep us posted and let us know if there is any other way we can help 😊

Just wanted to second @Love-cats! Get a second opinion, talk to your primary care. I’m not sure what you mean by a medical therapist? A psychologist?

Your primary care (especially if they have known you longer) may be willing to prescribe as a stopgap measure until you can get the testing.

You’re right that you should not have to wait that long for the prescription part of your treatment! But you should also know that for a lot of us, it’s an important part but only part. Cognitive behavioral therapy and mindfulness, among many other approaches, can be really important, especially if you’re diagnosed as an adult (I was). The meds can do amazing things but they don’t erase the internal narratives/shame we built up over years - and it sounds like you’re dealing with some anxiety about your current situation, too (which is completely understandable!)

I’d take three steps for now if I were you:

1) Make an appointment with your PCP, or if you don’t have one, seek out another psychiatrist who is ADHD-aware - I think additude magazine’s website has a directory?

2) Make an appointment with your Dean of Students, or Head of Disability Services, or whoever the equivalent person would be for your program. Let them know that you are in the process of being evaluated and seeking treatment, and let them know about the difficulties you’re encountering in that process. They may not only be able to offer some flexibility or temporary accommodations for your program, but they may also know of resources in your area that can help.

3) While all of that is in process, download a mindfulness app (there are a ton of them so just try another one if the first one isn’t right for you). It’s hard for ADHDers (it’s definitely hard for me) but it can really pay off, and it is one commonly recommended part of treatment that you can control and access NOW. If nothing else, you’ll be getting both the benefits of the mindfulness practice and a sense of ownership over at least one part of your treatment plan.

I’m so sorry for all the stress you’re under, and I hope this helps a little. Keep pushing - you deserve timely and responsive care. Your needs are real, and this will all pay off. Keep reaching out to folks in this group as you move forward - you are not alone in this!

I believe I meant "medical therapist" to be clinical psychologist, lol! Late-night recall wasn't my friend.

I know she has the ability to prescribe medication.

Also, all of my providers are under the same organizational umbrella though my school's on-campus community clinic. My PCP, psychologist, and psychiatrist. 😕

I am appreciative of the CBT that I'm receiving through my psychologist, but they basically left me hanging after my last session. I was sobbing, telling them how ADHD has been plaguing my life and my goals and my ability to be a good mother, and they spoke about "tools" to learn and the need for me to get a test. "See ya in a week at our next session!"

Another week of not being able to do my pressing grad school work (I already have an Incomplete that I'm trying to make up), another week of being an overwhelmed mother who can't play with her kids, who flinches when I'm overstimulated...

I have to find something NOW.

I’m SO sorry that you are in this really tough spot, it sounds exhausting and so frustrating!

If you are constrained by insurance/school policy on not seeing providers outside of your campus center (which I would double-check, I can’t imagine that they would prevent you from seeing another kind of specialist like a cardiologist, and seeking a second opinion if needed? unless you’re in a program that has a teaching hospital on campus, and even then...)...

If you really can’t get to another provider, what you CAN do right now is talk to your program. Talk to your Dean, your advisor, your disability services, and then to your professors (I’d recommend going to the administration first because they have to make the professors comply, and depending on how educated your professors are about this, you might want to have the administration in your corner first).

Even if you don’t have a diagnosis yet, you are working on it (so hard!), and it is a diagnosis that qualifies as a disability! You’re not asking to be excused from the work, you’re asking for help with factors that are beyond your control.

Also - and I want to be clear that I am not a clinician or an expert (I have just been through ADHD meltdowns and burnout before) - what I am hearing from you, especially in this reply, is that you are experiencing high levels of anxiety and overstimulation in a high stress situation, which stimulant medication will mitigate but not “cure.”

If you are in a desperate situation because of your anxiety/emotional dysregulation, you are absolutely entitled to reach back out to any of your providers and tell them that you need some kind of help NOW. They might not prescribe you with stimulants without a test, because stimulants are a controlled substance, but there are other treatment options for anxiety that might at least help you “turn the volume down” in the short term and that are not restricted by the regulations on controlled substances. Anxiety and ADHD have a lot of overlap, and while treating the anxiety isn’t always sufficient in the long-term if ADHD is the primary diagnosis, it can help a LOT with symptom management, especially if you’re at this level of overwhelm.

Also, reach out to friends! Ask for them to take the kids outside to play, ask for help with housework (if you have any friends you’re bubbled with). Come up with a list of things (no matter how small they might seem) that you could delegate. Getting ANYTHING off your plate right now will help reduce your cognitive load.

And as another commenter said, please, please keep reaching out to talk to people, whether it’s here or with anyone else you can process with. If you are a verbal processor (like I am!), then often talking through something, or writing it down, will make it much more manageable than when it is stuck in your thoughts.

We are here for you, and you WILL get through this!

Agree with the other commenters about seeking out another provider. While a diagnosis is required in order to prescribe medication, testing is NOT necessary to make a diagnosis (though it can certainly be helping in identifying relative strengths and weaknesses and helpful accommodations to request from your school). An experienced clinician (preferably a psychiatrist, but can also be a psychiatric nurse practitioner or PCP) can diagnose based on a thorough clinical interview (i.e., listening to your story and asking questions). I’ve seen two different psychiatrists, and both diagnosed ADHD and prescribed medication based on the intake interview; neither required testing of any sort, beyond a rating scale done in the course of the interview. Good luck; hope you’re able to find someone who will listen and help. I started grad school at 40 and barely survived—wasn’t formally diagnosed until after I finished—so I can definitely relate to what a struggle it is!

Wow!

We’re a group of high-achievers!

I now count THREE of us struggling with this in GRADUATE SCHOOL!!

I second all of the above tips.

Please keep us posted, as it’s obvious that we care!! ❤️❤️😊😊

Hi!

Both my husband and I were diagnosed online. When I first realize I had it we struggled to figure out what to do. I had a few online appointments (because of Covid) before we figured out that a lot of medical professionals are not comfortable with diagnosing or treating ADHD. Eventually through desperation I contacted an IN STATE clinic that SPECIALIZES IN ADHD. These are the 2 keys to success. The place mist be within your state and when a dr specializes in ADHD (in my opinion) they seem like they have ADHD. I think they just know it when they see it. Not that mine was hard to diagnosis. I’m super ADHD! The place I went wasn’t covered my insurance but was totally worth it! It was $200 for my evaluation and $100 for my 2 month follow up. My medication titrate wasn’t a cost during that time. I had a small emergency at one point which was no charge and I think I have another follow up soon. Which will be, basically 6 months in.

Within a week of being medicated I realized my husband had ADHD. Hence the epic fail in our lives and marriage. Once I was medicated and on track, we got him diagnosed. This time we didn’t have to go private. We found an IN STATE, in network dr who specializes in ADHD. Like my dr, I’m sure he had ADHD. And like me, my husband isn’t hard to diagnose as he sat their figetting and talking (rambling from one subject to another) before remembering what the dr’s original question was.

So I would say this is key! Once you’re properly diagnosed and your medication is settled, even just your primary dr may feel comfortable taking care of it. Perhaps even your current dr that doesn’t want to prescribe will feel more comfortable. Just don’t expect miracles if you don’t actually have it. At the end of the day, we can’t all self diagnosed and be correct.

Hope this helps.

Well, I just got diagnosed online from a university-affiliated medical group, and they are MDs who can also prescribe meds. Everything's online these days anyway, right?

Took two days — compared to the months I've been waiting at my HMO. I had to pay $200 out of pocket, which luckily I can afford right now. My HMO was going to take 3 months just to start the evaluation, so I'm pretty pleased and very relieved.

My psychiatrist diagnosed me. Maybe you could look elsewhere for a new psychiatrist that specializes in ADHD.

I have read through all of these amazing comments. You guys are a bright light and I 100% agree with what you are saying. So, Evolscimom wherever you are I hope these comments have been helpful and I hope you find your way through all of this and come out on top. I wish you all the best and look forward to hearing how things turn out. Take care😀

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