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 Emotional Journey My Story My Story

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  • Anonymous
    #90579 |

    I’ve been bouncing back and forth, arguing with myself if I should post this. Posting this wouldn’t change anything, I tell myself. Why add another thread to the forums? There’s already plenty. But I want to tell people, and I don’t really have anyone to tell this to. I just want this out.

    I saw a psychiatrist for the first time two days ago, on Monday. He asked me why I was there.

    “Because…because…” And I couldn’t think of anything coherent. “Because I’m anxious, and depressed, and I’ve been stressed. And…”

    I couldn’t really think of any way to verbalize everything that led me to his office. Too much to say. I asked him if it would be okay if I told him what I thought I had. He said yes. I told him I thought I had ADD comorbid with anxiety and depression. He nodded and asked me questions.

    It was mostly about my history, past experiences, what I felt. I told him what I could. It was…okay. I’m not sure, I kept blabbing for the most of it. I noticed I couldn’t keep my eyes on him and kept staring at the wall (or whatever there was) behind his right shoulder. I mentioned it. I think some of my desperation came through. He seems like a good psychiatrist. I hope he is.

    After we were done, he asked for my permission to tell my mother an outline of what my problems were. They talked and I later asked my mother what he told her, partly out of curiosity and mostly because I wondered what she now knows.

    “He wasn’t very specific, just gave me an outline and told me you have a lot of issues.”

    I don’t know if it was worded like that, but I had to stop myself from replying with I guess I’m just a long-running magazine. Which isn’t even that funny.

    I’m not sure if it’s normal to prescribe medication on the first consultation but maybe I was worse than I thought because the psychiatrist gave me an antidepressant to take and my mother agreed to letting me take a psychiatric evaluation this Saturday.

    Is it weird to feel excited about taking medication? Rationally, you know it’s better to not have to take it. And really, medication is expensive. But, somehow, I feel like my problems have been justified. That I’ve been given proof. That I somehow identify more with people who have the same problems as me by taking medication. And medication is a visual characteristic, it’s tangible.

    I’m on Sertraline now, 50mg a day. It’s making me seriously sleepy and tired all the time. I’m not sure how long this side effect will last , or if it’ll ever go away, but I hope it does soon.


    Hi Alex

    Welcome to the forum. It sounds like you’ve done some work to find out what’s going on and I really hope your doc is going to be able to help you. Good luck on Saturday. Let us know how you get on.


    Side effects for anti-depressants: if the doc didn’t tell you, it’s an experimental road you’re on to find what meds work, which don’t and if there’s any improvement. If it’s effects are detrimental (call the doc and ask s/he how long you should try it and how to get off it if necessary) then ask to stop.

    Good for you for starting to address your issues; it’s not often an easy road, but if you don’t start somewhere, you’ll certainly languish in an unhappy state.

    Good luck and keep us posted on what’s happening, and how you’re progressing?

    cheers, Jim

    BTW –> OUTSTANDING avatar 8)


    It might help to make notes of how you feel on the medicine and how it affects you. Also behaviors, actions, problems, or events that you think are ADD related.


    Thanks, guys! You’re all very supportive and I will definitely give an update.

    Tiddler, thank you for the luck and I really hope the doctor can help me too.

    Jim, he didn’t tell me, but I did know that. Except I conveniently forgot about that fact so it’s a good thing you reminded me! I’ll bring it up the next time I see him. It really isn’t an easy road from what I see, but having support and people who understand, like you and others in these forums, helps.

    And thanks for your comment on my avatar! I just found it on some free image site when I was looking for an avatar for these forums. Maybe I should change it to something I made, but it’s hard to top it. Yours is pretty great as well. 😉

    kc5jck, I’ve already started carrying an index card to make such notes! The behaviors, actions, problems, and events bit I didn’t do, but now that I think about it, that does sound helpful.


    I went to my doc’s clinic for a psychiatric evaluation. The receptionist was welcoming and told me the doctor wasn’t there yet, but he told her to call him once I arrived. So I waited for him.

    I took the time to look around the clinic: It was nice and small, uninteresting medical posters on the wall and a TV which played cartoons. There was an aquarium bubbling away with only two fish and an annoying constant tinkling sound that made me look up to find a wind chime. It kept tinkling most of the time I was there so I guess there was an A/C I couldn’t see somewhere because the fan was off and there were no open windows.

    Curiousity sated, I sat down and watched cartoons. After the current show ended and I was a quarter of the way in the new cartoon, this time one I knew, a woman arrived. She asked me if I was the one to be evaluated. I said yes and she told me to follow her. She was the psychiatric evaluator. I had been assuming my doc would be the one to conduct the evaluation but I guess that wasn’t the case.

    She led me to a small room with what I think was a medical exam table, shelves full of medicine, some desks, and posters on the wall. There was another aquarium, this time with several fish. We sat down and she told me that my doc hadn’t given her any info from the first time I talked with him so she doesn’t know which test to give me. She asked me why I came here, why I seeked psychiatric help.

    I did as well as last time in answering that question, which is to say not very. Still, she decided on a test and gave it to the receptionist be photocopied and told me to draw a male and describe the activity he was doing, then do the same with a female. I could do either first.

    I mentally shrugged and did it, wondering if this would be different for artistic-minded people. The receptionist still wasn’t back by the time I was done so I read some of the medical posters on the wall (one of them was about contraception methods) and after I was bored with that, went back to the TV to watch cartoons.

    When the receptionist came back with the test, the evaluator had me do it. It was a sentence completion test and I just had to write the first thing that popped into my head. I did most of it easily, because word association used to be a game I liked.

    After I finished, she told me I was done and my doc’ll just call once they have the results. I paid the receptionist then bought some more anti-depression meds to last me another week.

    It was mostly unexciting and I’m just waiting now.


    I would have drawn a pissed off guy with a gun who was just told that his doc was a no show and some clueless b@##$% would be doing his evaluation instead . . .

    The picture of the female would be laid out with xx for eyes . . .


    Wow – that doesn’t sound like much of an ADHD assessment to me… are you a minor or adult? (testing would vary based on that)

    @kc5jk 😆 you just made my night!


    Hahahaha, that cheered me up, kc5jck.

    munchkin, I’m 18, which legally makes me an adult, but they might treat my case as they would a minor’s. Don’t think we’re doing an ADD assessment straight off the bat, more like a general evaluation, I think…No idea, really. Should definitely ask the doc where we’re going with this when I next see him.


    Yikes. That doesn’t sound very good. I hope you get an explanation of what these tests were meant to tell them and you can ask when you’re going to get your actual ADHD assessment!

    Good luck.


    Hello Alex

    I must admire your observation skills – VERY impressive.

    I have no idea what your psych analysis was meant to show. I presume they are doing some general evaluations before the ADHD ones. ADHD can mimic other stuff so perhaps they are discounting the other stuff first.

    Just to give you an idea of what an ADHD evaluation might be like (but mine was done in the UK) – my evaluation was along similar lines to the quiz on this site. My psych used 3 or 4 different versions of the quiz and also asked a family member to fill in the forms and a current friend and me. The forms covered my childhood and current behaviour patterns. She also wanted school reports but I’d dumped them because they were all poor.Then I had an interview which lasted a couple of hours (it would have been longer had I not been late!).

    There are variations around that scenario and I think younger people (I am ancient) might be given other tests to do too – I saw a YouTube video where someone being assessed for ADHD had to draw stuff.

    You must have reasons for thinking you are ADHD so I suggest you write them down. Also, do the online test here and present the results to the doctors at your next appointment. That might help you focus their attention.

    I know what you mean about not expressing yourself to the doctors. I was an incoherent drivling idiot in my evaluation and barely said anything other than “dunno” or “can’t remember”. She doesn’t have the right view of me at all as a result and thinks I am quiet. Haha.

    Anyway, sounds to me like you need to get them to focus on your concerns. It also sounds like you’re doing well to get their attention. But don’t let them palm you off with the easy option of saying you’re depressed. You might be, but they need to treat the root cause whether that is ADHD or something else.

    Good luck and keep us posted. We’re here for moral support for you.


    Thank you both!

    I did actually research the sentence completion test I took. It was meant to “obtain significant clinical material in four representative areas of adjustment namely: • family • sex • interpersonal relationship • self-concept”. It continues on to say “Such information is useful in screening patient for therapy….”

    So I just realized the test was for my therapy sessions with the doc. Huh.

    Scattybird, thanks for sharing your experiences! I really am worried that they might not address my concerns and, as you say, just “palm [me] off with the easy option of saying [I’m] depressed”. Your suggestions (writing down my reasons, online test results) are good ones.

    I’m really glad I posted this after all.


    Hi Alex, great avatar. You might look up Dr. Barkley U.S. specialist on adhd.

    His web site has the “official test/questionaire” and he covers how to use it.

    Also he is on utube .. see vids on totally add site.

    You might want to try the tedx series of talks on utube for more info.

    Best of luck with getting tested and finding a professional pshrink .. sounds like you have one of my lemons. :)

    cheers and welcome to the partyy


    Thank you, Tea! Cheers.

    I went to my doc’s office again. I had to wait an hour and a half, which makes me really glad I brought a book along, but I actually saw him in person this time. Forgot what I was going to say again, so I babbled a bit, I think. I found out my mother visited two days ago and brought up my thoughts of taking a break from university for a year. Didn’t really explain myself well.

    There was a strange focus on my sexuality, the fact that I like guys, and how I should be more open about it? Not sure. I don’t really make a big deal about the whole thing, but it’s apparently important. There were results from that test last time. Didn’t really see them, but he did mention about my introversion and how I’m withdrawn.

    I brought up my concerns of ADD and assessment, but he says he doesn’t think my inattentiveness is from ADHD, but rather depression. He says he’s seen some patients with ADHD and cites their hyperactivity, like they can’t sit still or something like that. I’m not sure what I was supposed to say, like how I don’t think I have much of the hyperactive subtype and anyway most of adult ADD is internal or something but I felt uncomfortable acting like I knew more about it than he did because he’s the psychiatrist after all so I just went, “Okay.”

    Did mention the medication bit, and I think I’m just going to continue on it for now. He says the side-effects will wear off eventually.

    No clue what I’m supposed to do now in terms of ADD assessment. Was I palmed off with the easy diagnosis of depression? Maybe he’s right? I still think I have ADD though. I’m seeing him again next week. I’m feeling like I should give up on this route for now or go along with the flow and see if I improve any, like if it’s really just depression, and if not, mention how I’m not improving.


    Hi Alex

    Thank you for keeping us updated with how things are progressing.

    It does seem strange that your doctor focused on your sexuality IF it isn’t an issue for you. Maybe because you’re relatively young he thinks you are still finding out who you are. Some 18 years olds are still quite ‘young’ if that makes sense. However, you seem very articulate and mature in your posts and if you are comfortable with your sexuality then I don’t see why it should be the focus of the discussions with you. It sounds like he’s trying to tease out what might be issues for you. I am sure you Mother is a great support to you and it is a wonderful thing to have a good relationship with your family, but at the same time they must listen to YOU and not to her perceptions of what might be going on in your head.

    It is difficult to tease out the symptoms of depression from those of ADD. However, you are right about the inattentive subtype. According to Barkley there isn’t actually a hyperactive subtype, but there is an inattentive subtype and also a combined subtype (in which people show varying degrees of hyperactivity and impulsivity). There seems to me to be a sliding scale of these symptoms and we all fit onto that scale somewhere.

    Also adults don’t exhibit the same hyperactivity as children. So someone could be hyperactive but that might be exppressed internally rather than jumping around.

    So, what to do?

    For your next visit, check out as much as possible about the inattentive subtype and write down how you think that describes you. You can ask him questions – couch them innocently so it doesn’t make you look like you know more than him (as you said above).

    Just ask him to explain exactly why he thinks your symptoms are of depression rather than ADD? Make notes if you think you might forget his answers. Don’t forget you are an adult and you have a right to ask about your health and symptoms. You’re talking to a doctor, not to some mega-god who is all knowing – he’s just a man with some training and experience.

    In fairness to him, if you are depressed and it isn’t caused by ADD then it is important that he treats that as a priority. If it is caused by ADD and he’s on a wild goose chase with it then you need to have the ADD treated. Some antidepressants also act on ADD. If you can get him away from your sexuality you will be in business. Ask him why you should talk about it if he thinks you should. It’s just who you are and that is fine. I have gay and straight friends and none of them talk about it like it’s an issue, whatever their sexuality. Only people that have an issue with that aspect of their lives would go on and on about it? Or am I wrong? It’s just part of our makeup whatever sex we prefer. Be comfortable with yourself.

    Re taking time out of Uni – if you can’t cope with it at the moment then that’s a good idea. If you’re feeling down then it can be a lonely place if you are feeling a bit introverted at the moment. On the other hand, it’s a great place to go to meet people and have a great time (as well as work hard!). If you don’t have a problem with making friends then maybe the change of scene would be good for you?? If you do go, try to make friends as quickly as possible.

    Whatever you do, follow your heart.

    Good luck.

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