What do I tell the psych I need help with?

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What do I tell the psych I need help with?2012-12-05T16:12:24+00:00

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  • #91220

    Tiddler
    Member
    Post count: 802

    I don’t know what sort of help an ADHD doc can provide and I know that if she thinks I don’t need anything specific I’ll be bumped back down to primary care and given a few CBT sessions and sent on my merry way.

    So I need to be clear and exact about what I need, only without knowing what I can access I don’t know how to tell her what I need.

    Here are my main issues –

    I spend 3 times as long as everyone else getting my work done and that extent of reading and ‘brain’ work gives me migraines which are currently controlled with medication but I’d rather deal with the problem that’s causing them and learn to work smarter.

    My husband does the laundry because stuff would go mouldy in the machine before I remembered I’d put something in it, or I’d forget to put the stuff in in the first place etc etc. I need to learn better ways of doing mundane tasks.

    I lose everything. All the time. And I write stuff down incorrectly. It’s infuriating. Like today. I got a mail reminding me of a meeting I’m supposed to go to and I checked my calendar and I thought I’d put everything I need on it but I hadn’t put the time down and added somethign else at the same time.

    I think I’ve put files in the right place on my computer but they’re never where I think they are.

    I tried to find something in my favourites menu last night and realised that nothing int here is where I thought it was. I have home ed stuff in with work stuff and folders that aren’t named and unconnected stuff in together etc etc. I really don’t understand how that happens because I think I’m being careful when I’m saving stuff.

    I am ‘too emotional’. I’m not depressed or anxious but I cry and shout and go on and on about stuff that I don’t even really care about that much.

    I lose friends because I can’t keep hold of their numbers or forget to call or forget to turn up and generally just piss people off.

    But can someone actually help me with any of this stuff?! And if so, how?

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    #117610

    sdwa
    Participant
    Post count: 363

    Honestly?

    A doctor may be able to help IF she knows what ADHD is, does, and looks like.

    In my experience, what I know about my needs or condition will not make the slightest bit of difference. What the doctor knows is what matters. And so, it is always going to be a crap shoot, every time I take the risk and try to talk to someone. I hope you are fortunate enough to meet with someone who has a clue (sdwa said bitterly.) All you can really do is try to schedule with someone who *says* they know about ADHD and have experience with it. The outcome is, in my opinion, after that more or less out of your hands.

    The one truly positive experience I had working with a psychologist was in a group situation, 8-10 people, all of whom had ADHD, in which the focus was on understanding ADHD and talking about daily struggles like the ones you describe. I went to that group for about a year – one of the best things that’s happened to me since getting the diagnosis – because it put things in perspective. It was led by a psychologist who also has ADHD and has set up his entire practice around working with people in our situation. Being there helped me understand that whatever this thing is, it most certainly is ‘”real” as so many people struggle with exactly the same issues and challenges, and operate according to very similar patterns.

    Other, generic shrinks? Totally and completely useless. In some cases harmful. Most “trained professionals” out there have no clue whatsoever. Even psychiatrists don’t always know.

    I guess my point is…if this particular appointment doesn’t go well, please do not feel it is a failure of yours. If you can’t get what you need from this person, and they can’t help you sort out what that might be, which frankly I think they should be able to do because that is THEIR JOB, I would suggest that it’s not because you didn’t know enough, but because THEY don’t know enough.

    The kinds of problems you describe are things I talked to an ADHD coach about. That process gave me some insight about ways to think about problems that come up. I can’t say that even after 9 months I had concrete, proven strategies. What I notice is that over time, there is a kind of cumulative gain in understanding that sort of filters into how I approach my life without much conscious effort on my part. The main feature being that I’ve stopped banging my head against the wall. I’m less likely to get into that intense, rabid state in which I’m hunkering down and thinking I’m really going to try harder and make this work, and if I could just get my ducks in a row everything would work out, etc. Because no good EVER comes of that kind of thinking. EVER. Not even once. Totally not worth going there. For me, everything goes more smoothly when I relax. I’m not great at remembering this all the time, but I’m way better at it than I used to be. As my coach used to say, “Deep breath. No pressure.”

    Slightly off-topic, and yet oddly relevant: A great ADHD-friendly movie is that old Danny Kaye classic, “The Secret Life of Walter Mitty.” Recommended.

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    #117611

    Tiddler
    Member
    Post count: 802

    Thanks. That’s really helpful. The problem is that she knocked me off her list for failing to attend an appointment and I’ve had to wait the best part of a year for the next one. That tells me she either doesn’t understand or doesn’t give a shit about the problems I face every day.

    And the biggest problem is that, because she’s the only ADHD doc in my area, and the NHS will not fund me to go out of area, and I can’t afford to go private, if it doesn’t work out there’s literally NO other help available to me in terms of professional help.

    So if it doesn’t work out next week, I’m screwed.

    I’ll look out the film. thanks1

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    #117612

    Patte Rosebank
    Participant
    Post count: 1517

    While a doctor can help you with meds, etc., an ADHD coach may help you the most with day-to-day life.

    Many coaches will do sessions over the phone, or by Skype video call, so you don’t even have to travel to their office. You could even have an ADHD coach who lives in another country! Just be sure they’re fully qualified, and find one whose style & personality works well with your own. A coach will help you to list your strengths, and the areas where you need a little help, and a lot of help. This listing process alone will often bring very pleasant surprises, as you discover that you’ve accomplished a lot more than you thought! We often remember our “downs”, but have to be reminded of all our “ups”. A coach can help with that.

    And even if you don’t get a coach, remember, we’re still here to advise and encourage you, just like we’ve been doing all along!

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    #117613

    Tiddler
    Member
    Post count: 802

    Hey thanks!

    We can’t pay for any help at all. We can’t afford a coach but if I’m not going to get any professional help, I’ll be okay. This site and the lovely people in it do help a lot!

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    #117614

    shutterbug55
    Participant
    Post count: 430

    Hi Tiddler!

    I can tell you what worked for me, and I hope it will help you.

    I was diagnosed with ADD after watching Pat and Rick’s first film on ADD on PBS. There was so much about it that was DEAD ON about my life. Like Pat, I am blessed with a wife who is my biggest fan and hates it when I come home looking like I am getting beaten up by life.

    I got medication, a life coach and a Psychiatrist, and a Counselor. I go to a discussion group once a week as well as “talking” here on the forums. It sounds like a lot, but I am VERY serious about improving my life.

    This did not happen overnight, nor was it cheap. I wear old clothes and drive a beat up car, but I am starting to see more income through steady employment.

    I went through two Psychiatrists, before I found my current one. He listens to me, He listens to my wife, and the three of us figure out if any adjustments need to be made to the medications.

    I went through 4 Counselors. The first one was very good at evaluating the condition and asked VERY insightful questions, to get me to answer with the information he needed to complete his evaluation. The problem was, he is about as empathetic as a door-knob. Ongoing counseling, was torturous for me and completely unproductive. After several referrals, I landed on the one I have now. She asks tough questions, she pushes on me to evaluate the world in different ways. These sessions are tough, draining, sometimes VERY emotional, they are helping me recognize situations, where I react poorly. The Counselors I no longer work with, did not believe ADD/ADHD was really a physical disorder. One of them, had to be educated about what ADD was. Not only did I not pay for her services, I billed her for mine.

    My life coach, came to me through a friend of mine, who has ADD as well, and she helps me strategise and plan so I can meet my goals.

    THE MORAL OF THE STORY:

    We all have plenty of unsupportive people in our lives, who constantly “punish” us for being ADD, as if we are doing what we do on purpose.

    Surround yourself with supportive people. It is amazing what that one thing can do for you! Your counselor must understand that ADDers are forgetful and that they can’t punish you because of your condition. We have no control over it. and punishment is counter productive. It is not misbehavior. If they don’t understand this, how in the world are they going to help you cope with your condition? Find someone who understands and accommodates.

    You have an advocate in your husband. Start there. Use him. Make him feel like it is part of his battle. He is. After all, he has a vested interest in the outcome! YOU. My wife was unbelievably frustrated with me, because I was trying to do it all myself and failing. Once I included her, things turned around REAL fast. I also got many more hugs and kisses from her.

    As far as what you need help with: Pick 3 of the things you most want to change, right now and go with those. Ask your hubby. He probably has a list already.

    That’s it for now. Good luck on your appointment.

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    #117615

    sdwa
    Participant
    Post count: 363

    Is this person you’re supposed to see a psychologist or a psychiatrist? People who can’t reschedule people who have ADHD? As the kids say, “Yeah….No.” But I guess you’re in Canada? We don’t have waiting lists here in the U.S. No guarantee of seeing a good practitioner, but the options may be broader, even if obscenely expensive. It’s usually possible to see anyone for anything within 30 days.

    I’d probably agree with Larynxa that a coach may be more helpful with day-to-day issues than a shrink or a psy-doc. I haven’t worked one-on-one with an ADHD-specializing therapist, so I don’t know what they are like. Coaches do the practical stuff; shrinks do the I-hate-my-life-why-am-I-so-screwed-up stuff. Psychiatrists do the here-take-these-drugs-and-how’s-your-thyroid stuff.

    I only worked with a coach because I had savings and was profoundly desperate. Same with support group. My insurance would cover neither. Very, very expensive. Insanely expensive. With reckless abandon, I did it anyway, and don’t regret it – but I had the money, even if spending it was a bad idea.

    The coach I used to work with is great at his job – I really liked him, lots of positive energy, always encouraging, and VERY observant. Knew how to ask the right questions. He has a free newsletter and a radio show – Rick Green was on it recently – Attention Talk Radio. There’s a whole archive of his shows, many of which may be helpful. (You can Google him easily, I’m sure – Jeff Copper. He’s out of Florida. We worked by phone.) I couldn’t afford him then and certainly can’t now – but I’m very glad that I made the investment during that time period. But like I said, what I learned from him was more along the lines of *how* to think than *what* to think. How to approach solving an ADHD-related problem. What questions to ask myself. Often the tendency is to look for a narrow and limited solution to a specific problem, like “10 Ways to Arrange Your Sock Drawer” when really it is not about the superficial manifestation of the problem but is instead about process: noticing what stands out most in your environment and then using that knowledge to make things you usually forget more obvious, or to reduce exposure to things that stress you out that you might not even be aware of. What works is different for different people.

    Another thing I have been forced to confront, and which I don’t particularly like, is that diet and exercise really do make a difference. The “ADD Crusher” guy put it best: “sugar sucks, carbs kill, protein is power, omegas are mega, and ZIMB6” (zinc, iron, magnesium, B6)….Check out clips from ADD Crusher for free on YouTube. Getting enough sleep also helps a lot, a fact I deeply, deeply resent.

    Books are not for everyone, but if you can tolerate reading, Ari Tuckman’s new workbook “Understand Your Brain, Get More Done” keeps the advice and instruction brief and to the point. It’s focused enough that you can start to use what he suggests right away.

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    #117616

    nellie
    Member
    Post count: 596

    Tiddler,

    You seem to have a handle on your symptoms ( disorganization, memory, etc.) so perhaps you are too worried. When I first went in for diagnosis i was asked why I suspected I had ADD. I elaborated and the session went from there. I would expect part of her job is to figure out how she can help you. You just need to know why you are there. Hope that makes sense!

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    #117617

    Anonymous
    Inactive
    Post count: 14413

    Tiddler,

    Have your husband or some other supportive person who is good at managing schedules help you remember the appointment.

    It may be that the doctor understands ADHD, but the NHS policies don’t. I live in the US, and for a while received treatment for depression from the state-funded public health service. The doctor left private practice for public health because he felt that low to moderate income folks needed his help most. However, the public health system doesn’t allow him to be as flexible with his patients as he was able to be while in private practice.

    Your first post in this thread is exactly what the ADHD doc needs to hear. You could just print that out and show it to her!

    MissMuffins

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    #117618

    Amy
    Member
    Post count: 161

    MissMuffins said what I was going to say. I’d just print out your first post and let her read it!

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    #117619

    Anonymous
    Inactive
    Post count: 14413

    Hi Tid….hard to help out with knowing who are you seeing…. a Psychiatrist or Psychologist???? They are very different as you know……and so is the process.

    Toofat

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    #117620

    Tiddler
    Member
    Post count: 802

    Thanks everyone. I think she’s a psychiatrist. I can’t find out anything about her. I just got allocated her and told she was my only ‘option’. There’s a specialist in a nearby town who’s even written to my GP asking if he can take me on and they’ve said no. :( (They have to pay another authority for any patient seen out of area.

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    #117621

    Tiddler
    Member
    Post count: 802

    Thanks everyone. I think she’s a psychiatrist. I can’t find out anything about her. I just got allocated her and told she was my only ‘option’. There’s a specialist in a nearby town who’s even written to my GP asking if he can take me on and they’ve said no. :( (They have to pay another authority for any patient seen out of area.

    I went to a seminar this guy put on a few months ago and when I told him I was doing an MA without any help for my ADHD he was horrified and came over at the end to offer help.

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