Discouraged: Thought I had the perfect... - CHADD's Adult ADH...

CHADD's Adult ADHD Support

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Bmint34_ profile image

Thought I had the perfect fit with a neuropsych ADHD specialist and I had written a coherent e-mail describing me. They are booked out until April and want a referral from a primary doctor (whom I saw once and who was just awful). I need this assessment for my own mental health but who is going to really care since I am 68? I was flabbergasted by the request for a referral, since I offered to pay cash. Just kind of “stuck” for the moment. Is the assessment really worth it?

I could use a little lift and focus from medication but I don’t want to get slotted into just the depression/anxiety disorder definition. Been there, done that, doesn’t answer my questions about not only me but all of my siblings and my mother, who, by the way, was a nightmare to live with for the first 18.

Comment away, I’ll take anything at this point.

17 Replies

Maybe try to find a better PCP- one that is ADHD friendly, and also not ageist. Try Google searches with different keywords. I was surprised the other day, when searching for ADHD counselors in my area, that what came up was a list of internists. I also discovered an ADHD treatment center in my area. We always have options. Maybe shop around and see what’s out there before getting too discouraged? Though I get it!

Bmint34_ profile image
Bmint34_ in reply to _Sarah_J

I wil give it a whirl, thx.

JLBowman profile image
JLBowman in reply to _Sarah_J

I agree. Find a supportive PCP. ADHD specialists that deal with adults are like hens’ teeth in my area, but I have a wonderful primary care nurse practitioner. She can’t do the full spectrum of meds, but I’m ok with that because I have a heart arrhythmia and am leery of stimulants. She was able to record the diagnosis and we chose Wellbutrin. Between that, lots of studying on my part and support from her I’m ok with not having a dx from a specialist though I really wanted one in the beginning. I understand how important it is to be able to see the diagnosis in writing. Good luck.

Hi, I, too, wonder why there seem to be only a few specialists in the medical field. I'm about six years older than you and I found one doctor who came close. Her specialty was geriatrics, of all things. The nearest support group is two hundred miles away. I'm so happy this group exists! Only recently, when I was reading about OCD did I see a link to ADHD of which I knew nothing. I haven't stopped reading and learning. Good luck to you! P.S. I want confirmation of this disorder from an M.D. or mental health professional.

Right, confirmation. It would help me to accept my poor social life among other things. You know, saying what you need to say, which I guess comes across as too frank, and being ultrasensitive to rejection behaviors just is not a good combination to have to live with!

Hi — don’t give up! One of my favorite ADHD authors asked the rhetorical question of whether a newly diagnosed 80 year old woman should be prescribed medication or other treatment. His response was a resounding “Yes!” because every person deserves to live their best life no matter how long they have left to go. I believe this fiercely.

I agree with the advice to find a good general practitioner — someone who is current, open minded, and compassionate. The best would be a geriatric GP but there aren’t very many of them around. Some GP’s make ADD/ADHD diagnoses themselves or they have relationships with specialists. Or find a psychiatrist — they will often diagnose and prescribe in one meeting.

I’ve went the route with being diagnosed by a psychiatrist myself. My three children all were evaluated by a specialist. I then found them a pediatric psychiatrist to monitor them and provide medication. The benefit of a Full neuropsych evaluation is that you see your strength and deficits and your cognitive, social and other behavior in depth. Usually you already understand much of this about yourself but some of it is new and just the validation alone is worth it.

I’m 60 in a few months. I can’t imagine not having the psychiatric support and medication support that I have. I would sink into a morass of brain fog, distraction, procrastination, disorganization, social slights, impulsiveness — you name it!

All the best to you!

Do not give up! I am 80 and stumbled into the realization just 10 months ago that my problems in life have been caused mainly by this nasty disorder. It has taken me 8 months to get my primary care doctor to accept the diagnosis and prescribe. What an amazing difference medication makes for me!! He had me go through multiple cardiac evaluations, including a treadmill stress test, because of my age and made me get three separate diagnoses from clinical psychologists before he accepted the final one. I did a lot of online research and watched a ton of videos and joined this group while trying to convince him that adults can suffer from this disability and benefit from treatment. Don't give up. You life can be better especially if you have been through the depression/anxiety circle. I have been on 10mg extended release dextro amp for 5 weeks now and the difference makes me want to dance.

Bmint34_ profile image
Bmint34_ in reply to Figitandhum

What has the dextro changed for you? I was on fluoxetine - small dosage - for decades. I got myself off of it, but the consequence has been disorganization, rapid thinking, overreaction to just about anything said to me, and lack of concentration on the things I like to do. I have a VERY busy mind.

Figitandhum profile image
Figitandhum in reply to Bmint34_

The feeling of slogging through mud all day is gone, struggling to do things, most importantly, the dextroamp makes those seemingly huge tasks that always stopped me, shrink down to very doable things that get done now. From mountains to molehills. I was on fluxotine, an SSRI prescribed as anti-depressant for awhile but not now. (I will expand if you want on the Prozac later) The stimulant is totally different animal; my executive functions get smooth and easy and my abilty to plan and carry through things kick into gear in the morning and stay until about 6 pm. I can focus for much longer and get a lot more done. I should mention that I also exercise every day and am in good shape for an old fart; this helps ADHD a LOT. Force youself if you have to, but move! Oh, and my bouncing mind settles down with the stimulant, but is still very very active, jumping from thing to thing. Coaching is helping me do one thing at a time. 👍 I am one of the people that got immediate response from stimulants.

Bmint34_ profile image
Bmint34_ in reply to Figitandhum

That is quite a testimonial. That I would be so fortunate…. What do you have to say about Prozac? I found it very difficult to get off of, and have read of others with the same problem. I have looked at the coach site but many coaches seem oriented toward improving productivity in a business setting.

Update: I called and have a phone intake interview happening mid-Dec. Boy did that help my mood. If I get through that, then the assessment will be maybe in Feb via Zoom.

Speaking of exercise - I am a dedicatee also - I am thinking of bicycling the part of the Southern Tier from San Diego to Las Cruces starting in December. I am miserable during the holidays and this will fix that problem!

To echo what everyone has said, the evaluation is more than helpful, it can be a life-changer. I was evaluated at 58, now 63, and have since undergone three more evaluations all of which concurred with the diagnosis of ADHD. The medication has really turned things around for me along with the information provided by this format and other sites. You're not on your own in this journey towards understanding despite the frustrations you have encountered along the way. Good luck, and hopefully you will find someone to listen to you.

Bmint34_ profile image
Bmint34_ in reply to TAJB

Thank you for the good will.

I should also add that the reason for me seeing a doctor, to begin with, was the fear that I had dementia. My forgetfulness, which has been a life-long feature, was getting increasingly worse and since I was older, I thought that I was losing it. The diagnosis saved me from thinking that I was losing my mind.

JLBowman profile image
JLBowman in reply to TAJB

I know exactly what you mean. Age and a total hysterectomy seem to have made things a little tougher as far as the forgetfulness. For me, though, I think it’s tamed some of the impulsivity.

Oh my, since going off the fluoxetine it is so much worse for me, so I am clinging to the belief that a cognitive disorder has always been there and I want some validity.No, not dementia. Thx.

Please read Dr Amens book "The Six Types of ADD". Most informative book I have ever read regarding ADHD. Dr Amen's website and books are best information on dealing with ADD/ADHD. Ask a good local ADHD therapist what ADHD physican they would go to for their self. Make sure a doctor or therapist has extensive knowledge/practice with "adult" ADD/ADHD as it presents differently plus many times includes diagnosis of comorbidity issues such as depression, OCD, anxiety, etc. Eating healthy, restful sleep and exercise daily are very important. Dr Amen gives great advise on it all.

Bmint34_ profile image
Bmint34_ in reply to

Thx, I will check it out, and also be alert to the choice of prescribing physician.

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