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Advice Appreciated

Advice Appreciated2018-05-05T03:34:49+00:00

The Forums Forums What is it? The Neurology Advice Appreciated

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  • #129830

    Post count: 1

    I am a 63 y/o female who recently completed my 40th year teaching elementary school. You may wonder why I’d have any questions as I’ve completed my first career and obviously moving into that “golden years” age, but my life changed dramatically in 1996. My parents were asleep in the home where they raised their family and my mother heard a loud crash. It ended up being a landslide. They got out and got their neighbor out but both homes were a complete loss. My parents who had worked their entire lives had nothing left. The insurance company told them that it was an act of God and to so sue God. I hadn’t saved anywhere enough money to even get them a piece of land and they didn’t want to live in my house. Guilt, despair, depression… I made it about 6 months before I decided to end my life. However, I didn’t have the energy to write letters to people and make a list of who would get my stuff and I didn’t have enough money to prepay my cremation. All that seemed daunting. So I decided to see my PCP and after explaining that I’d been suicidal, severely depressed and couldn’t function anymore, he told me I was just fat.
    He told me to go back to school and lose 20 pounds. I was even too depressed to do anything about how unprofessional he was. But he called me at the end of the week and started me on some antidepressants. I’ve been on various meds at various doses and many have helped but something was missing and I’ve never felt normal. It’s like I lost a huge piece of myself and it was the good piece. Then I went to another doctor and asked if there was anything that could help curb my appetite. He gave me Phentermine. That Saturday morning I took my first pill and about 20 min. later I looked wide-eyed around my kitchen and said, “OMG… I feel normal!” I realized that the missing piece was the amphetamine. Since then I’ve enjoyed life again. I can focus so much better and rarely cry. But about 2 months ago he said that it was prescribed for weight loss and I was using it for an off-label illness and he refused to prescribe it anymore. So now I’m depressed again, feel completely useless, tired all the time and never want to leave my house, can’t focus long enough to do my dishes and bordering on suicidal. He scheduled me for a neuropsych.eval. I’m supposed to get there at 8:30 and the testing will be all day, possibly to 4:30. I can barely sort my freaking laundry in one sitting and I’m supposed to focus on testing all day? All this doctor will think is that I’m incredibly stupid. I feel like he robbed me of my life, even though the positive effect of the medication was just an accident. I never sold it, gave it away, tried to refill it early and I followed directions exactly. But because of the opioid epidemic in Maine, I think most doctors are refusing to write prescriptions for any scheduled meds and phentermine is a scheduled med. This particular doctor also refused to write a once/year prescription for anxiety for another patient. Now that I know there is a medication that can make me feel normal and productive, I’m furious that it’s been taken away from me. At this time I’m thinking about seeing a doctor out of state. It’s my only option. The neuropsych. eval is going to cost almost $300 and I just had 2 eye surgeries to pay for. I don’t have money to waste and I have the feeling it will be a complete waste of time. I’m sure it will show I’m ADD (not an H bone in my body), but I doubt he’ll prescribe the amphetamine-based meds that help me. What would YOU do?


    Rick Green – Founder of TotallyADD
    Post count: 473

    Dear Jacobi331,

    Thanks for reaching out to the community. Personally, I would find a different doctor. Blaming Depression on your weight? Really? Wow.

    I totally get how you can feel so depressed and despondent. I’ve been through several bouts of depression myself over my lifetime. I suspect most people with undiagnosed and untreated have.

    In fact, for the last 3 years I had been saying to my wife that I feel like I’m in a mild depression. Finally I mentioned it to my ADHD specialist, we did a session and I told him how I’m feeling, how nothing is exciting me, that I feel drained and unmotivated… After about 10 minutes he interrupted me and said that yes, I was in a clinical depression and we needed to address it.

    It may be impossible for you to feel that there’s any good news in this, but what I hear is someone who struggled with undiagnosed ADHD, and has discovered that medication makes a huge difference. I would find another doctor. A younger one is possible as they tend to be much better educated about ADHD.

    And I would do as much research as you can into ADHD, take the TotallyADD Screener Test on our site, which is based on the World Health Organizations ADHD Self-Reporting Scale. and if you want advice on getting diagnosed there’s a video in out shop which lays out 13 common challenges to a proper diagnosis, and what to do about them. It’s called Embracing the Diagnosis It’s also available on DVD has part of our 3 video set.

    And take our Unofficial ADHD Test as it will be helpful in giving you a sense of what’s going on. It’s meant to be light and fun, but as many doctors have told me, ‘It really does cover the range of ways it shows up in adults.’ https://totallyadd.com/blog/our-unofficial-adhd-test-video/ It’s no substitute for a full diagnosis, but if you can arrive at the doctors office with a lot of evidence and clarity about what’s going on, it should help. (But some doctors don’t get it.)


    Post count: 363

    For what it’s worth, I have struggled with recurring major depression over the course of my life, and it wasn’t until I was in my mid-late forties that I got the ADD diagnosis. I am not hyperactive, either – or the hyperactivity was a mind that just wouldn’t shut up, and chronic feelings of agitation, hypersensitivity, overwhelm, paralysis, boredom. I had a response similar to yours when I first got on ADD meds (Concerta, AKA methylphenidate) – I had energy, I could function, I wanted to do things, I wanted to talk to people. Tasks that had seemed impossible were suddenly easy. Prior to that I had only taken antidepressants (for maybe 10 of the 30 years I was depressed) – and while the antidepressants are important, they were not enough. I needed the stimulant to be motivated to do anything. I, too, have sat by piles of unwashed laundry and washed-yet-unfolded laundry.

    Pardon my saying so, but your doctor sounds like an idiot. I was depressed when i wasn’t fat, and when I was fat and on ADD meds, felt much happier – I see no connection between those two states (correlation, not cause and effect). So I agree with Rick Green’s comment – look around at the symptoms of ADD, and if they add up for you (no pun intended) get it checked out. Remember that joke – what do they call a doctor who graduated at the bottom of his class? Doctor. Right? Find one who isn’t a doofus. They do exist.

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