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Can I get help/diagnosed without my parents?

Can I get help/diagnosed without my parents?2012-04-28T13:19:59+00:00

The Forums Forums I Just Found Out! Finding Help Can I get help/diagnosed without my parents?

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    I currently struggle with what I 100% believe to be ADD (most dominantly) among other things (such as OCD). The thing is, I tried to tell my parents about OCD and they told me to “just stop” (referring to compulsions/obsessions). Then, I have been repeatedly, and on many occasions, been trying to tell them I really need help focusing, getting things done, etc., and want to get tested/testing/tests for ADD but they either:

    a) tell me to take vitamins (which I already do)

    b) tell me to finish my anxiety program tapes (? I have no idea why, it has nothing to do with Attention Deficit)

    c) tell me I’m not stupid and that I’ve gone through my life this far so I should be a-okay

    d) ignore me

    e) tell me to pray about it (like I haven’t tried, it makes me feel unworthy or something)

    My Mom even HAS ADD, although she has not been diagnosed it’s quite blatantly obvious and she admits to it. Since she has all ready gone through her prime years or whatever she feels like she doesn’t need to try medication or treatment or therapy. She also uses this excuse to not get a job because she wouldn’t be able to “concentrate” and she would be “useless”. She doesn’t seem to grasp that’s exactly how I feel in school! She already got through high school with bad grades, and since she thinks I’m smarter than she was (I have good grades) I don’t need help?? School has gotten harder since then!!! Unlike her, I actually have things to get done so I can have a brighter future. I don’t mean to sound degrading towards my mother, but I feel like I’m being degraded because they think I can control this? Like I’m playing stupid?

    This is causing me so much distress right now I’m literally in tears… But the point is I could really use advice and knowledge about how to get a diagnosis (at least) without my parents…? It’s making me depressed and then I’m gonna need help with that too, sheesh. By the way, I am 15 years old.


    Post count: 14413

    Hey Chrissybee! I’m so glad you posted. You sound like a wise and proactive 15 year old that wants to be able to get beyond the barriers and use the gifts you’ve been given. Good for you.

    Have you tried talking to a guidance counsellor? Would you be able to get to your family doctor on your own? And would either advocate for you with your parents? I don’t have kids (Bella is one of my cats) but I think it would be easy to have blinders on about some things.

    There are some of the non-med alternatives that some people use because they either don’t want to take meds, they can’t get anyone to prescribe them, or they can’t tolerate them. Meditation and exercise are 2 strategies, but I think someone has to be pretty committed for it to be effective. You might have seen ads online for “Lumosity”. I signed up about a month ago and believe I am seeing a difference on top of what I get from my medication. Your folks just might be willing to spring for that.

    Praying is fine – I do a lot of praying – but your parents probably wouldn’t pray instead of taking medication for a medical condition. I’m praying that your parents will listen to their very intelligent daughter.

    Lots of people are diagnosed when they’re older. I’m 51 and was 49 when I started to wonder. I wanted to go back to school but I knew that with my lack of focus, etc I’d fall flat, which led to a conversation with a close friend which led to a conversation with my doctor. It took a few tries to get the meds right, but I’m on the right track now.


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    Just pushing this up so Chrissybee’s post doesn’t get lost.


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    Can your regular doctor diagnose or do some kind of screening? Maybe if you can get them to let you go to the regular doctor he can convince them to get your properly assessed?

    It’s great that you’ve figured this out- I didn’t as a kid/teenager (I’m 24 now) and it was SO HARD. I can relate to the tears! My doctor said i had depression (which was just from the undiagnosed ADD!). At least you can find places like this to find coping skills and support while you try to get your family behind you.

    PS is Omega 3 one of your vitamins?


    Post count: 1096

    Hi chrissybee – welcome to the forum. Bellamom is right, you’re an intelligent person to work this out. It took me much longer.

    To be honest I don’t know how to advise you BUT on this forum you will always have people here who have the same symptoms and will be able to help you cope at least. Also it is good to read the posts here because you won’t feel so isolated.

    Firstly I think you need to decide which is causing you the most problem, your OCD or likely ADD? It depends on how bad your OCD is too – if manageable then it might be a symptom of the stress you’re feeling because of the ADD and nobody listening to you.

    Can you go to your family doctor on your own? I have no idea if they have to tell parents of a visit or not? I guess it depends on where you are? You will need to be referred to a specialist to have the ADD sorted. Maybe you should see your GP about the OCD and tell him/her that it might be made worse by ADD.

    Does your School have a counselling service?

    There are several ADHD tests you can do on line (including one on this site) and that could be evidence for your GP that you have the symptoms so you could do one of those.

    Also, even if diagnosed with AD/HD coping with it needs firm life style choices as well as medication. Not everyone takes meds as Bellamom said. So at the moment you could start with the lifestyle stuff until you get some medical help – I am talking about the AD/HD and not the OCD here.

    Firstly you must get enough sleep – yeah I know I probably sounds like some old dude now but being tired makes the symptoms worse – fact. Also make sure you eat regularly.

    Regarding concentrating at school – sometimes fiddling with something helps. Like a bit of putty to play with – something not too obvious. Sounds mad but give it a go. Also, give yourself reminders of what you’re meant to be doing. Literally have a note asking you what you’re meant to be doing.

    If doing homework then get up and walk about whilst you’re reading. Talk to yourself to keep yourself focussed.

    It might sounds horrible – but unfortunately there is no quick fix. Even with meds you still have to get into a routine and remind yourself what you should be doing.

    Your BIG asset is ambition. You need to have a driving force to motivate yourself and you have that. Visualise yourself as an adult and in a great job and keep motivated if you can.

    There is lots of info out there about coping strategies. If you can see your GP that would be a start.

    Good luck.


    Post count: 1096

    Oh yeah – also, you could try fish oil capsules (brain food), vitamin B complex (for energy) and tyrosine (a precursor to dopamine).


    Post count: 802

    First of all – well done for getting on here and looking for help and support. You sound like a pretty amazing person.

    Secondly, at your age I had OCD too. I can look back and clearly see it was my way of trying to make my out of control world have some order to it. It was only when I met my husband (at 30) that the remnants of it disappeared. If I’d had help I know I would have got on top of it sooner.

    I too was diagnosed with anxiety and depression as a teenager but never felt like either really fit but didn’t have the tools to explain to the doctor that she was wrong.

    I agree about talking to a guidance counsellor or a teacher you trust and your GP.

    Have you ever let your parents see how much it’s affecting you? I mean have you ever cried over it in front of them and begged them for help? You sound so together and strong that I wonder if they just don’t understand the extent of the problem?


    Post count: 430

    Hi Chrissy!

    When I was being diagnosed, they wanted to talk to my parents and my brothers. This was to establish a history of the ADD. I don’t know everything about it, but it seems like anyone can have the ADD symptoms for short periods of time, but us ADD’rs have a history of showing symptoms throughout our lives. Different times in our lives and developmental stages present us with challenges that are “typical” for ADD.

    I am 57, now and diagnosed a year ago. They STILL wanted to hear from my parents!

    It sounds like you are under 18, so I have no advise about how to deal with your parents. Parents are so hard to raise, these days. Your highs school councilor could be an advocate, and if (s)he talked to your parents, it might get some action from them, as opposed to you.


    Post count: 229

    I was thinking the same thing, Tiddler. I was even going to suggest to you, ChrissyBee, that you read to your parents what you wrote here. That would take a LOT of bravery, and it could be risky because it might make them angry that you went to an online forum and talked about the situation, but it might also get the point across just how much you are suffering.

    If not, I second the advice here saying that you should reach out to a school counselor, or, really, any other adult who you think could help.

    When I was in high school, I reached out to my best friend and her family to deal with the fact that my mom was a hoarder, and I was living in a difficult situation.

    People really want to help you when your each out to them, for the most part.

    Just look at the response you’ve gotten here!

    First though, I would suggest that you maybe try one more time to sit down with your parents and let them know what a huge, huge thing this is for you, and how much it is hurting you. If you don’t want to show them or tell them about what you wrote here, maybe write a letter to them, show them that. Even if you don’t let them read it, or read it to them, it could help you collect your thoughts before you approach them.

    Good luck, and let us know how it goes. We’re all rooting for you here!


    Post count: 14413

    Wow thanks everybody! Let me try to answer all of your questions (if I can remember them, haha).

    Okay well I do take an omega 3 supplement (a fish oil capsule…?) I also get omega 3’s through flax seed, soy butter, almond butter, coconut milk, etc. I’ve all ready tried pretty hard to help myself through diet. I eat lots of peppers, potatoes, cucumbers, edamame, snap peas, apples, berries, etc. I don’t eat very much sugar unless derived from natural sources like fruit and honey.

    I can’t necessarily talk to a school counselor until next school year when I stop going to my charter school because I’m in a very small building and we don’t even have a school nurse. It’s pretty unfortunate for me…

    I have tried begging and pleading, having an adult conversation, crying, and complaining and also LOTS of logical information/facts. Sometimes even a mixture of these… Anyways, my Mom always just gets irritated and says she “doesn’t want to have this conversation right now”. Our latest conversation of today went like this from what I remember… I will try not to be biased at all:

    “Hey mom, I read more stuff about ADD last night and I feel like I should at least get a diagnosis”

    “Well, fine, sure, I never said you couldn’t get a diagnosis…”

    “Yeah I think it would be really good for me, but actually you did say you didn’t want me to get one one time…”

    “What? When was that?! I never said that!”

    “Yeah you did, you said you didn’t want me to try to get a job when I’m older and have them see that on my health records.”

    “I never said that, I don’t even care about that as much anyways.”

    “But that’s what you said in the car that one time…”

    “You know what? You don’t need a diagnosis, you all ready took all of those tests online you were talking about, you already know you have ADD… Besides, didn’t your friend say it was at least 1,000 dollars to get all those tests? All they are going to do is put you on meds!”

    “Well on the website I was on it taught that you should start doing planning and thinking about how you want your life to be and then the meds help you by—“

    “I REALLY don’t want you on meds! You know, your brother was on the ADD meds and he saw hallucinations and I truly believe that’s what it was caused by! I don’t know ANYONE who has been helped by those ADD meds and they mess up your brain!”

    “I know lots of people who have been helped by ADD meds, and there’s lots of different kinds. Just because it didn’t help the people you know doesn’t mean it wont help me or someone else. I really really want help.”

    “But you and your brother have the same genetic makeup so it would do the same to you.”

    ***Side note: he is my half brother and he is 20 years older, so 35. He is my father’s son, not mother’s. My dad does not have ADD, my mom does so I don’t see how this is logical reasoning…

    “Sure but I still want to get tested and the people I know who it has helped are my OWN age, not waaaay younger and waaaay older….. Mom?”


    “Didn’t you say your diet pills help you with ADD symptoms?”


    “And aren’t they a stimulant…?”

    “Yes… BUT I DON’T take them EVERYDAY!”

    “But they’re the SAME type of drug!!!!”

    “Well………… Yes, but like I said I don’t take them everyday. I don’t want to talk about this right now, I still don’t feel good.”

    “Aren’t they prescription though?!?”

    “…………Yes…….. but……… they’re different. Your brother saw hallucinations from the ADD MEDS!!! I DON’T want to talk about this right now!”

    “You always say that….”

    “No I don’t! I don’t feel good right now, you’ve told me ALL of this before.”

    “No I haven’t… Some of it was new from this website…”

    “I don’t feel good. I want to stop talking about this right now.”

    Me: *defeated face* :(

    5 minutes later…

    Me: “Mom, Brooke (my friend with ADD and takes dexedrine) was right the helpful effects from caffeine wear off if you don’t take more and more. I get headaches if I don’t and I’m not getting any effects.”

    Mom: *ignores me*

    The End.

    So yeah I’ve tried and tried and I don’t even know if I can get ahold of my family doctor to help me. Oh and the question about which is prominent (OCD or ADD) I believe the OCD is from not being able to control my thoughts and actions very well stemmed from Attention Deficit and some Hyper Activity so I try to close or open doors, windows, blinds, curtains. And I count and check and organize EVERYTHING. It’s soooo annoying because if I don’t do it my mind goes even MORE crazy!!! I really want to focus on important things! Not stinking closing the doors and counting them :(

    Thanks for the tips guys, I do try to meditate and pray or do yoga or whatever (all of that) but I still feel mental so I don’t know. At least I’m not alone!!!

    Question: If I call my family doctor, what would I say…? I don’t necessarily want my parents to know that I called him without their knowledge I’m not sure what they would think of it. Would I just say: I have really bad ADHD and my parents wont even take me to see you…?


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    Hey chrissybee – thanks for getting back to us. Good to hear that you’re eating good brain food. Yoga is good and mindful walking is good too. Try to get some Tyrosine. It’s just an amino acid and you can get it from health stores that sell vitamins and stuff like that.

    I think Tiddler might be right about your OCD – it might be a way of controling your situation. I did similar things to you when I was around your age when life became bad at home. I controlled it once I became independent.

    Now, it strikes me that you need to get your Mom on side and that’s going to take some mental effort from you. I mean big effort. It’s not easy dealing with parents at 15 and especially when they have fixed views. But, you’re going to have to try to control the impulsive and argumentative side of your ADD (we all have it, don’t worry!).

    So – and it’s just my opinion, your mistake in the conversation with your Mom was jumping in with an argumentative reply too soon. So… Your conversation went like this:

    “Hey mom, I read more stuff about ADD last night and I feel like I should at least get a diagnosis”

    “Well, fine, sure, I never said you couldn’t get a diagnosis…”

    “Yeah I think it would be really good for me, but actually you did say you didn’t want me to get one one time…” Etc.

    From there your conversation went downhill and you lost that particular battle. Now, instead of arguing with her your conversation could have been more productive if it had gone like this:

    “Hey mom, I read more stuff about ADD last night and I feel like I should at least get a diagnosis”

    “Well, fine, sure, I never said you couldn’t get a diagnosis…”

    “Yeah I think it would be really good for me, WHEN CAN WE MAKE AN APPOINTMENT WITH THE DOCTOR?”

    So instead of developing it into what she’d said before, you could have tried to capitalise on what she said then. If it’s any consolation I would have had the same conversationas you did and it’s easy with hindsight to say what you could have said. I wish I had a gold coin for every time I wished I had said something differently!

    Point is, you need her on side. I think you can get a diagnosis without her but you wouldn’t be prescribed stimulants without her as a responsible adult given your age.

    So chrissybee, bite your tongue and play a clever game instead. Next time you have this conversation with your Mom, replay your reply in your head before you speak it and ask yourself if it will get you what you want from the conversation. It’s hard!


    Post count: 229

    Alright, so mom shut down on you. :-( I know that is frustrating.

    Sounds like she has a lot of stuff going on on her own, as you mentioned. From the conversation you posted, she got overwhelmed pretty easily and just…as I said, shut down.

    I know it seems like you have gone to the batting cage again and again and again and struck out. I know you must feel incredibly frustrated and stuck.

    I just want to give you some encouragement, and make some observations.

    First, obviously I think it would be a good idea to lay off for a while. Let things calm down, let your mom settle, so she doesn’t feel berated. If you go to her again too soon, she’ll probably reach her point of overwhelm even quicker, shut down even quicker, or perhaps even escalate into a bigger argument instead of shutting down.

    If and when you do talk to her again, my suggestion would be

    A) Keep it very simple, and very short. Simple. Short. For example,

    “Mom? I know I’ve come at you with this before, and we’ve argued. I’m not going to argue with you now. I just want to let you know that I want to go to my doctor and talk to them about how I’ve been struggling. I’m having a really hard time. Do you think you could make an appointment for me? You don’t have to tell me now. I’m going to go to my room and (work on my homework) (listen to some music) (watch tv).”

    And then WALK AWAY. Don’t continue standing there, don’t continue talking, don’t continue explaining, don’t continue trying to persuade. You’ve stated, simply, what you need. Let her process that and come to a conclusion and decision about it on her own. When she’s reached her decision, she’ll let you know. If she lets you know her decision immediately, ie, before you can walk away, and says “No.” or tries to engage you in an argument, STILL WALK away. Say, “Okay, I’m gonna go “work on homework” etc.

    Because if she answers you immediately, she hasn’t really thought about it, she’s just reacting based off of previous frustration and previous conversations.

    Give her some time to think. Even if she says “No.” Here’s the thing – people still think about things even after they’ve voiced an immediate opinion. Don’t you? Don’t you mull things over, change your mind, think about what else you would have said, or what you would have said differently? Your mom might do that too.

    If you change the way you approach her, if you change the way you interact with her, her thoughts and opinions may change. She may consider it differently, especially if there is less stress surrounding it.

    Right now, your conversations with your mom about your ADD are highly emotional and highly stressful.

    Simplify your statements, simplify the conversations, and take the argueing and stress out of the conversation. I think this would greatly reduce your mom’s highly reactional, defensive, emotional response. It might give her the ability to reach a state where she can think more about it, and make a better decision.

    Did you notice that your conversation with your mom about your ADD, your original intention, was completely hijacked?

    Yep. You didn’t talk with your mom about ADD at all. I think you might have thought you did, but actually, here’s a list of what you talked about:

    – whether or not your mom said it was okay for you to get diagnosed

    – whether or not your mom said the diagnosis would harm you

    – whether or not your mom’s diet pills helped her

    – whether or not you should be on meds

    – whether or not your mom takes her diet pills every day

    – how much it would cost to get diagnosed

    – how the meds affected your brother

    So……not a whole lot there along the lines of you going to your doctor. It really derailed pretty quickly. Immediately, in fact, once you started discussing whether or not your mom said you could get diagnosed. That is a moot point! What she’s said in the past, whether or not she has ADD, your brother has ADD, what meds they’ve taken, what meds you have taken or will possibly take…all that is either in the past or hasn’t happened yet.

    Be in the moment. Don’t be in prior conversations. Don’t be in the future with all the worries and what if’s.

    Be in the moment.

    In this moment, you want to go to the doctor and talk about how you’re struggling.

    State that. Walk away.

    Also, in the mean time, talk about it with everyone else you possibly can – teachers, friends, etc.

    Maybe your mom can’t talk about it right now, but other people can. And it’s on your mind, so talk about it with them. Let them know how you’re struggling. Unburden yourself that way.

    Also, one final thing – I don’t know if it’s such a good idea to introduce third parties – ie this website, or a friend, or a teacher, etc. – into the conversation with your mom. For one reason, you need to keep it simple (have I said that often enough? ha ha) I know you may feel like you need back-up or ammunition to go into the battle/conversation/discussion/ argument with your mom, but, really, what I”m advising you to do is just make a singular statement, very simply, so then, there’s no argument, or discussion, or debate. No need for back-up or support or data. Because, really, your mom doesn’t seem to be responding well to that, unfortunately. So then, just, “I’m struggling. I need this.” and walk away might be a better, different strategy. Also, for another reason, your mom may feel bad that you are going for outside support. She may feel confronted by that, or guilty or embarrassed by that, or like someone from the outside is trying to tell her what she should do, or that they are judging her. People can get their backs up and get really stubborn when that happens.


    Post count: 229

    Wow, Scattybird, while you were writing and posting your brilliant, concise post, I was typing out this freakin’ long-winded novel *trying* to tell her the exact same thing.

    I bow to you. *bow*

    Well done.

    I’m really, really wordy and talkative today. Help!


    Post count: 1096

    Hahaha – don’t be fooled. I am just ‘worded out’ from a different thread!

    Actually I think your observation of how chrissybee’s conversation with her Mom went was pretty insightful. They did talk about everything that was off target.

    Parents can be so difficult, but so necessary too.


    Post count: 14413

    The idea of OCD and ADHD is discussed in this video

    http://totallyadd.com/impulsivity-vs-compulsivity as individuals with core impulsiveness sometimes develop compensatory obsessional thinking as a way of warding off their impulsivity. In essence, going the opposite direction. Sometimes, two things happen independently, for example like Tourette’s.

    If the OCD is a reflection of the core impulsivity, then treat the impulsivity and some of the OCD settles. If they are occurring together, then you may need treatment for both of the core symptoms at the same time.

    The treatment can be a combo of meds, behavioral and psychological interventions.

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