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 List of Questions to Ask Doctor &/or Therapist

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  • Anonymous
    #91227 |

    Hi, new here. Mom of 21 year old daughter with ADD, diagnosed 3 years ago, one month before she left for college. Serious gap in learning about ADD and helping her understand what it is all about. Really has been a struggle. She is not in a great place right now. Dropped out of school after 2nd year. Took a gap year to work, figure things out. Tried going back to another school. Stopped going mid-semester. Moving back home in a few months as soon as lease is up–for which I am thankful as I hope I can help her figure some stuff out. Her friends are graduating from college next semester and she isn’t anywhere near having a goal or a path to follow. I think another crisis is looming.

    Wondering if anyone can help me with a short list of good, to-the-point questions to ask doctor and psychologist to find out if they are right for the job? Currently not in love with primary care doctor who simply wrote out prescription for adderall based on the written diagnosis and that’s all she did/has done. In 3 years. And concerned about psychologist my daughter is seeing who thinks she should be on prozac, and isn’t treating the ADD at all as far as I can tell based on fact she was advised to get off the ADD meds and onto depression meds.

    Could use advice/help.



    Hi Mommachele…..I believe 21 is still quite young, and not to have a direction at that age is not uncommon as for as I know. You might consider this and please I really don’t want to offend…but bear with me.

    You might consider consulting a counselor (try a few weeks/months)…..for you, not your daughter. I say this because we often are invested ( it’s family ) in this issue…..and that’s not always a good place to be. One may be to close to the issue to be objective, and you may be slightly short on the tools required to best support your daughter too. My experience is… nobody….. but nobody likes to hear that…..however, facts are that quite often our tool box is made up of parenting tools handed down from gawd knows how many generations before us……and these tool often are seriously inadequate for these times, and maybe were never very effective even in their day.

    So much has changed and developed since our parents parented us….and their parents parented them….think about that ….gawd that was the turn of the previous century. I’ve heard so many people say this about parenting……”oh, you’ll do fine just do what comes naturally”…..well that’s what comes naturally. Old tools, from bygone days…passed from generation to generation. Most folks educate themselves and study harder for a drivers test than they do before entering into parenting!!! I find that unusual!!!

    So I would/did consider this….getting a counselor ( a professional )…….let your daughter be for a while…she is young and has so much time….there is no pressing need, the world will still be there and waiting for her. If we get the tools we need to move forward with confidence with our children…..we may well be seriously surprised at how this will go in the end. You will likely save yourself some serious anxiety and will pass on a confidence to your daughter that will last her a life time. In the end I would suggest she may be stronger, a more well developed adult….and have the life SHE needs to have…..wonderful!!!

    As for what her friends are doing…..so what???? Comparison ( I believe) is a dangerous activity to engage in….it hardly ever has a positive result for anybody. I believe we are who we are, and it’s important we find our own way in our own time……to push and coerce children or young adults or anybody using comparison does very little except possibly raise their anxiety, and diminish self-esteem and self-image, and of course in the end…..often it will cause ill will between you.

    In case your wondering I have two ADD children myself, well not children anymore….29 and 31…..so I have been there done this!!! I have been to counselors both for me and for family……it is the best thing I ever did. I’ve developed perspective I never likely would have had, or obtained on my own. I was a Psych Major for years years even during my career I continued these studies… and if there is one thing I learned, reaching out is usually never a bad idea. We ask professionals about everything from building kitchen cupboards to cutting our hair….but when it comes to issues like this, we all think we are the answer….or should have all the answers……..I think that’s kind of unrealistic!!!

    Understand please….this is not advise……it is shared only for you to consider…..it is not my place to advise.



    The first thing to find out is if the psychologist has experience working with people who have ADHD. Not just that they’ve heard of it, or know about its existence, but have actually worked with people who have it, what percentage of their client base has it, and whether they have some special training in this area. And if s/he says yes, I would ask about their approach or process. It’s helpful to know what you want a therapist to be able to do for your daughter. Specifically, what outcome you or she would like to see. Ask how the professional she works with is going to help achieve that outcome.

    I was on both anti-depressants and ADHD meds for a few years after I got the ADHD diagnosis. After getting help for the ADHD, in the form of a moderated support group with others who have this problem, I finally quit taking the anti-depressants because I found I don’t need them any more. It’s hard to know from what you’ve said exactly what the psychologist’s thinking is – but I would certainly ask that as well.


    SDWA – I was just reading a comment you left on one of the blogs recently saying you were intimidated by the question “What do you have to contribute?” I personally have considered your posts and comments to be relevant, valuable, and interesting. Don’t underestimate the value of your input. (This goes for other members as well.)

    As Rick responded, all members have experiences to relate, both good and bad, from which others can learn. It’s this member participation that makes this site the best. Whether the response is a “here’s what works for me”, “I have that problem too”, or just “yeah, ADHD sucks”, they all work together to help members seeking advice or simply just to feel better about themselves. Like meds, a solution that works for one may not work for others. It’s the variety that allows a member to choose what is likely to work best.

    And to RICK, you have put together an amazing site. Good luck on the launch of the improved site. I don’t think it is an overstatement to say that the work you have done here and in producing the “Loving it” and “Mastering it” videos is the most important work you have done professionally. It, as you know, has been entertaining, educational, and most importantly a life changing work for those afflicted with ADHD and their families. I can’t imagine that there is anyone in the community of ADHD professionals and researchers that has come close to advancing the knowledge of this disorder as have you. Don’t stop now.


    Dear toofat, thank you for your reply. I take no offense. I have considered counseling for myself as you’ve suggested. And I think you misunderstand my concern about the comparisons. I have told her that I think she has her own unique path and is not like anyone else. I think she compare herself. Already a bit of a loner, she is no longer going through the same things as her friends and is growing away from them and isolating herself. She isn’t making new friends. Hope that is clearer. I sense a crisis coming. I do think 21 is young, and that she is young for 21–she was always the Peter Pan of the family.

    I guess I am trying to find a good way to find good help. A good doctor, a good therapist.

    Dear sdwa: thanks for your insights. I just don’t know HOW to find out about a therapist’s experience. They all seem so busy and booked up…and impossible to ask questions of. I guess it’s the only way. Was hoping there was a way to find endorsements.

    thanks again.

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