Dr. Umesh Jain
is now exclusively responsible
for TotallyADD.com
and its content
Dr. Umesh Jain is now exclusively responsible for TotallyADD.com and its content

The Forums Forums I Just Found Out! The Right Doctor How do I best approach my family doctor?

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  • Anonymous
    #89359 |

    I have never been formally diagnosed with ADHD but after taking the test here and looking into some of my recent symptoms, I am pretty convinced (scored 8/9 on both portions of the test here). I have never been overly concerned about the hyperactive part as it suits me (busy, creative, full of energy), but now that I’m getting older, the inattention is really starting to get bad and I feel that it’s getting out of control. I read online that dopamine levels decrease about 13% for every decade after 40 (I am 55) and I’m wondering if that’s why things are getting worse.

    I see a Toronto psychologist for combined meditation training/therapy and we’ve talked about it a bit – he says medication can help and his very useful analogy is that if you need a cane to walk, you should have a cane (he uses a cane). In the past few weeks, I’ve been describing feelings that my mind is “wild”, very distracted, can’t settle it down. Meditation is supposed to be helpful for that, but I doze off during my practice, drift off, feels like someone behind me going “la-la-la-la-la-la-la” all the time to keep me from focusing & concentrating. I do anything and everything but what I should do at work (luckily I’m self-employed). Short term memory is now a problem and I’ve been having problems sleeping at night, I fall asleep very tired but after about twenty minutes, I wake up as if it’s the morning.

    In approaching my family doctor, whom I had not seen for several years until recently (asthma symptoms getting a bit worse too), I am worried about coming off as if I want to be on medication. I’m also worried that she may feel I’m making all of this up.

    I did ask my therapist if he would write a letter to my doctor saying we’d worked together for several years now and that we’d talked about these symptoms and wondered if a doctor-supervised trial of medication might help.

    My husband has ADHD, not officially assessed but his doctor was ok with prescribing him meds. This week I asked my husband if I could try his Ritalin (I KNOW, THIS IS NOT LEGAL), and it was a real eye-opener for me. I felt NORMAL, clear headed, able to focus my attention where I wanted to, calm not anxious or rushed, and I had a good night’s sleep. So I really feel that I need to get going with some meds and a supportive doctor.

    Can anyone help me with their experiences broaching the subject with their doctor?



    The proof is in the pudding- Your self analys is right on. Obvious the meds hit the right areas of your brain.

    I would just tell the truth.. Your husband has ADHD and you noted the same symptoms. You decided to see if medication could help. The most common statement today is “Everyone gets older and there is a great posibility they develop depression” Solution -Prozac. The problem is that Prozac helps with depression it does very little for ADHD Brain. I know I was on Prozac.

    The main reason for clasification and pharmacy controll is it’s potential for abuse. Your Dr.has an obligation to help you. Some time the help comes with the perscription or the denial of the perscription.

    My Dr. explained the side effects of the medication. As you noted -your life changed due to changes in your brain chemistry.

    Side efects are caused by stimulating areas that don’t need stimulation. –ie. over stimulating good areas. This is where dosage and delivery systems come into play. Regular visits to your perscribing physician is strongly recommended. Together you can work on the dossage and the delivery system.

    On a side note …Many others myself included can tell when the medication effect has worn off. This helps the DR on dosage and times.

    Good luck on your journey…


    Hi there. So it sounds a bit like you’ve already decided that your doc won’t be supportive of this discovery of yours. If that’s not the case, try stating everything exactly like you just did here, including your Ritalin trial. Be honest and forthcoming about all of it. My doc didn’t even blink when I admitted to trying my daughter’s meds. He just asked what I experienced with it. A letter from your Pysch couldn’t hurt either. Good luck!


    It’s really my fault, yes, my doctor seems to be less approachable these days, but I also had some anger related to my mother’s medical care two years ago when her health rapidly decined and she passed away (cancer), and I am more guarded about trusting doctors in general without adequate research on my own. After a decidedly unpleasant experience at the doctor’s just after her death, I stopped seeing my doctor. Now of course, I need to see her, and it’s awkward for me to get over that. It’s also hard for me to let someone else be the expert (now I’ll sound like the Virtual Dr test) – I interrupt her, I talk on and on, I jump from topic to topic, I forget what I want to talk about, I want to talk about too many things. Now I know why!

    I guess I should just own up to the fact that I tried my husband’s Ritalin. My doctor did say that with asthma, if the steroid inhalers work, that’s the confirmation of the diagnosis. The pulmonary function test is just additional confirmation. So perhaps she will similarly agree with what I did. I figured if I didn’t have ADHD, the Ritalin wouldn’t have worked the way it did.

    Thank you Hans and dspicelady.


    I have not yet seen my family doctor about ADHD, and my first appointment about this is coming up fast – this Tuesday April 12th.

    My psychologist has sent a letter to my doctor, at my request – when I read the draft I thought, wow I am in bad shape!

    I’ve copied the traits from the Totally ADD test that I took and I’m going to edit it this weekend.

    I found my old grade school report cards and copied some of the remarks that were made, and even looked at my brothers and sister’s report cards to see if they had any noticeable issues that could indicate ADD/ADHD. My mother would be the best resource but she passed away several years ago – late in life she realized that she had ADHD but was more concerned with her sleep disorders (narcolepsy, sleep apnea, etc) and it is interesting that she took Ritalin and Dexedrine to help with that. I can’t talk to my brothers and sister about this as they don’t believe they have it (but I am sure we all have it to some degree or another). I am going to talk with my dad this weekend but I don’t think he will be much help as he was a real workaholic when we were kids and was just the discipliner in the family. I don’t think he is the source of the ADHD gene.

    I’ve written up a little history of my life reflecting on how I probably had ADHD symptoms that affected me in school, play, friends, hobbies, work and relationships.

    I’ve been taking my husband’s Ritalin for almost 3 weeks now, so I can also tell her how it has helped. I’m going to stop taking it this weekend so I can remember what it’s like to be unmedicated. We went to the movies on Wednesday evening and I was not on the meds (it would have worn off at about 4 pm), and at one point I just couldn’t sit still in my chair, fiddling with my hands, scratching my head, shifting, etc. Since I’d done this many times before it almost went unnoticed by me, but I realize now it’s probably ADHD. When I do take the meds, I have no problem sitting quietly for long periods of time.

    Does anyone have any suggestions of how else I might prepare for this appointment? My goal is to get on a physician-supervised trial of meds. I hope she doesn’t want me to be assessed as I’ve heard that can either take months and months of waiting for an OHIP-approved assessment, or $2,000 for a quicky assessment.

    Thanks for any help!


    mothers are no good – mine just gushed about what I’d achieved when I asked her!

    interesting that you’re married to someone with ADHD. All my life I’ve known that I wanted (needed) someone completely the opposite of me.

    at the moment (while I’m supposed to be working) I’m keeping a log of things as they pop in my head that I got into trouble for (kicking the back of the car seat – not out of badness!) or was criticised for (tying my hair in knots).

    At the end of the day, your physician isn’t an expert. Family physicians can’t know everything about everything. Sounds like you’ve done what you can. Good luck!


    I went to my mom’s family doctor in the 90s to be assessed for narcolepsy (my mom had it, thought it might be genetic) and he told me that they studied sleep disorders for about 10 or 20 minutes in med school, so it was an easy thing to miss. That’s part of my concern, I guess, that my family doc will dismiss it since she might not know about it. But that’s all worry about nothing, I’ll have to see what is when I go.

    I think my mom might have been able to look back (if she could remember) and see if there were any symptoms that matched what she knew about her own ADHD. I think it must be helpful to have a family member who can recall the past – I don’t really have anyone I can ask.

    As for my husband, it could be that he was attracted to my high energy and creativity. He is the opposite type of ADD, not very expressive, quiet (I think he replays being chastized a lot as a child growing up) and somewhat depressed. At least now that we both know we have ADD/ADHD, we can talk a lot more about what’s going on and what’s similar and different. I have a whole different appreciation for his challenges (and mine), and don’t get upset as much when he doesn’t do things I wish he would. And he can see that some of my issues are ADHD, not my fault, and not necessarily controllable (or easily controllable). We can joke about it too.


    That’s great for you to both know what causes you each to be the way you are – it certainly is helpful to have a diagnosis. It’s kinda why I want to be diagnosed before I go to the UK. Not least for the reason that I feel I’m alreaady sabotaging my relationship with my partner (which is currently long distance so you’d think it’d be easy enough to maintain – apparently not).

    I’m a bit of a mix – I’m very self conscious because I was told off a lot as a kid and constantly called selfish and told to consider others before myself so there’s always a voice in my head reminding me that.

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