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Anyone been diagnosed with ADHD as an adult?


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One of my children was recently diagnosed, and it has made me think about getting myself diagnosed. I have every symptom and have been dealing with it my whole life.

 

Where would I even start? Do I have to see a psychologist or would just my regular doctor do?

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A psychologist won't be able to do the Rx. If you are comfortable with a diagnosis and trying meds, etc., and you already have an idea of your treatment goals (things you think the meds might help), I would just talk to your regular doctor and see how that goes. You could probably call ahead and ask. If that doesn't go well, then you can talk to a psychologist for a referral. Your regular doc might work with you but want a screening by a psych first to demonstrate that you are not just wanting the pills to abuse or sell.

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One thing to note is that certain insurance companies are very suspicious of ADHD dx as an adult. They may make it difficult for you to get the medication without a psychiatrist signing off, or a significant history of medical records showing symptoms consistent with ADHD. 

 

You should certainly bring it up with your doctor, but know that insurance can be a hassle with it some times.  I've helped a close family member who was diagnosed as an adult, and I've seen what a huge difference the medication has made in his life. Good luck!

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I was diagnosed as an adult and had to see a psychiatrist for the evaluation. After about four months of seeing her for med check-ups (first weekly, then twice a month) I was able to then see my family doctor for meds. A psychologist can diagnose but can't write prescriptions.

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It's kind of interesting that everyone is talking meds, since you only said you wanted to be diagnosed.   :)   If you're merely curious, yes I've talked with people whose primary did it.  If you want a full psych eval for your own purposes, you can pay privately, just like anyone, and get that.  If you want sort of an informal diagnosis/eval/discussion, you can pay for less time and do that too.  Many people with ADHD will have processing speed issues, anxiety, social quirks, learning disabilities,  etc. they want to talk through.

 

You may already know this, but ADHD usually comes with Executive Function issues.  So when an adult is struggling and wants meds, going to the doctor and getting the meds doesn't really give them the information on EF and how to improve their lives.  There are books on it, but another thing you might look into is an Ed Therapist.  You can find certified ed therapists, and some of them are AMAZING.  They're sort of this middle person, bridging between doctor, work/school, etc. etc., helping support the EF and functionality (ability to get things done!) of the person.  If you've been otherwise happy without meds or just want another option, it's something to look into.  I went to a talk by a pair of ed therapists, and they were AWESOME.  I was highly impressed.  They could basically take all the things we as parents spend tons of time learning, and they could PUT SHOE LEATHER on it.  They could come in objectively and in 1/2 hour a week problem solve.  Fabulous, fabulous option for both students and adults.

 

Association of Educational Therapists

 

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Yes, saw specialists in the field.  Take non-stimulant medications specifically selected for me by my doctors. It makes a huge and beneficial difference in my life. I was a supercharged rocket off meds when I was young and that was fine.  Now I have four children who depend on me to be a little more steady and my mind can't handle all the input I used to be able to sort with no problem.

 

 I'm certainly not incapable of researching, but I'd be a fool to keep trying to roll that rock uphill by avoiding medication.  

 

If you can access this course, or maybe this professor's other works, it is an excellent starting point to learn about the condition.  https://www.coursera.org/course/adhd

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My brother was evaluated for ADHD in elementary school and the school psychologist said he didn't have it. (I don't know much about the testing, but it did include an IQ test. She said his IQ score appeared lower than it should because he wrote so slowly. How often do people get a false negative from testing like this? I have read some books by psychiatrists about the overdiagnosis of ADHD in kids, but my brother seems to have so much trouble in life that I wonder if he got a false negative.

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Is jumping from one "get rich quick" scheme/career idea to another without really thinking it through a symptom? What about things like talking about buying a house when you can't afford a used car and neither spouse has a reliable work history?

 

I'm trying to figure out if someone is just very naive and on the lazy side (or listens to too many sleazy motivational speakers) or impulsive because of ADHD.

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