December 6, 2013 at 11:58 pm #123256
tallgrl212MemberDecember 6, 2013 at 11:58 pmPost count: 8
I recently went to my family doc about getting an ADHD diagnosis. I filled out some forms did some blood work, and she referred me to a psychiatrist in Hamilton, Ontario. I went to 3 one hour sessions, and ultimately the psychiatrist said he recommends further psychological testing – terrible doctor who didn`t listen, was a bit on the senile side, and was rude and confusing. When he told me this I was devastated. I really wanted to get diagnosed to as confirmation that I’m not lazy or stupid and all the struggles I had been enduring since high school weren’t purposely my fault. All I could think of was I’m never going to graduate college, or finish a degree to apply for a designation for my chosen field in accounting. I would never be able to get a junior or senior position in my field because I won’t be able to cope.
I`m a student a poor student who is struggling to graduate and is in her third year of what was supposed to be a 2 year program (failing or dropping courses because I couldn’t keep up with the course load). I will no longer be attending school on a full time/daytime basis so I can`t rely on support the school`s disability services would provide. I don’t have a job or any insurance whatsoever so I won’t be able to afford a psychologist (I’ve been told/read that psychologists are not covered by OHIP).
Are there any other options for me to get a diagnosis and treatment?REPORT ABUSEDecember 7, 2013 at 5:49 pm #123260
blackdogMemberDecember 7, 2013 at 5:49 pmPost count: 906
Take a deep breath. I know it’s hard to believe but things will work out.
First of all, you were told right, psychologists are not covered by OHIP.
The psychiatrist you talked to sounds very typical, especially for older psychiatrists. A lot of them don’t want to listen when it comes to adult ADHD. You need to try to find one who specializes in ADHD if you can. But some of them also charge for testing so you have to check that before you go.
Also, ADHD is often not alone. It brings friends with it like depression and anxiety. So if the psychiatrist is telling you that’s what the problem is, it is possible that he is at least partially right. And sometimes getting treatment for depression/anxiety can help. So don’t rule that out as an option.REPORT ABUSEDecember 7, 2013 at 7:18 pm #123263
kc5jckParticipantDecember 7, 2013 at 7:18 pmPost count: 845
If the college in which you are enrolled has a health center, nursing program, or maybe a psychology department someone in one of those departments may know of a doctor who treats ADHD.
(Idea!) Check the coach directory on the home page. Call a coach in your area and ask them for a recommendation of a ADHD doctor.
Let us know what happens.REPORT ABUSEDecember 8, 2013 at 11:38 am #123268
dithlParticipantDecember 8, 2013 at 11:38 amPost count: 158
@tallgirl212 have you talked to your school’s disability services, or are you assuming you won’t be covered because you’re not full time?REPORT ABUSE
My advice is to go in person to the student support / disability office and ask questions. Explain what’s been happening with your courses, and ask if they can help you get assessed (not only for ADHD, a full assessment would also uncover any learning disabilities you could be struggling against without knowing it).
It can be a long process, but if your college has a good student support office (many in Ontario do), you are in the best place to get assessed and start getting a handle on what would be a best fit for you at a workplace and what kind of accommodations, etc you would need.
In fact, I know it probably doesn’t feel like it, but an extra year or two would not be a waste of time if you get a proper assessment out of it. That investment in time now would pay itself off a thousand-fold if you use it to really delve into what’s going on with your brand of ADHD, if that’s what the diagnosis is.
Support through disabilty services and OSAP is still available if it’s deemed through the assessment process that you require a part-time course load in order to succeed.
Like blackdog said, take a deep breath. You have just found out that what you thought was a short race (2 year program) is in fact a marathon. Extremely frustrating for ADDers, but if you can treat it like a marathon, you can do it!
Good luck, and keep in touch on here. You have an ADD army behind you now 🙂December 8, 2013 at 11:59 am #123269
blackdogMemberDecember 8, 2013 at 11:59 amPost count: 906
See? I just knew some smart people would come up with great answers.
I didn’t know I had a “special need” when I tried to go to college. And I didn’t find student services overly helpful. One of the counsellors suggested to me that I might have an undiagnosed special need but that was as far as it went. There was something funny going on around there because she suddenly did a complete 180 on me and the next time I went to meet with her there was a teacher from my program in the room when I walked in. I could hear the drums beating and knew that I was about to be marched out the door.
I used to daydream about all kinds of scenarios where I would get my revenge by living well and be able to rub it in their faces. But I doubt any of the same people are still there now.
BUT….that was a long time ago and is only an isolated example where something was going on that should not have been. Things have changed and there is a lot more help available now. So hang in there tallgrl and do like dithl said. Check into all your options.REPORT ABUSEDecember 8, 2013 at 6:58 pm #123270
tallgrl212MemberDecember 8, 2013 at 6:58 pmPost count: 8
Well I’m about to write exams this week, and when I return to school I’ll be returning to school at night student (as a continuing education student) and they don’t pay the same fees as daytime students so they aren’t eligible for the same support as daytime students. I’d rather not stay in school any longer as I’ve already got three years in student loans to pay off 🙁 and I’m really embarrassed that I’m repeating the same courses with the same profs.REPORT ABUSEDecember 9, 2013 at 12:30 am #123271
blackdogMemberDecember 9, 2013 at 12:30 amPost count: 906
Been there, done that, got the t-shirt. I have spent most of my life being embarrassed over all of my failures. Embarrassment, regret and guilt. I’ve got all three in massive quantities. Sometimes the weight is so heavy I can feel it physically.
But you have to let go. You have to accept yourself for who you are. It is not your fault that you had to repeat those courses. As long as you were doing the best that you could do you have nothing to be embarrassed about.
The loans are something to be considered. I decided not to go back to college after I failed because I didn’t want to get any further in debt. So I can understand if you feel like continuing is not an option .
It seems strange to me that you would not be eligible for the same support as a continuing education student. Especially since many people with special needs would have to take courses part time. Are you registered as a student with special needs? I just realized you probably aren’t since you don’t have your diagnosis yet. That could complicate things. But I would check to make sure that what you are being told is right. It seems to me that the college should have an obligation to accommodate you.REPORT ABUSEDecember 9, 2013 at 9:35 pm #123281
dithlParticipantDecember 9, 2013 at 9:35 pmPost count: 158
Yep, it does tend to hinge on diagnosis/identification….which ironically can end up being a barrier to access. Tall girl, I hear you. It’s easy enough for me to tell you it’s potentially a good thing to delay graduation. But I imagine you want the thing bloody well over with, and I imagine I would feel the same in your shoes. I don’t know if this is helpful, but my brother-in-law failed his math course twice, got identified and accommodated, then got an A on that course. Now he is sailing through the next course. To me, that’s a really out there example of what can come out of proper accommodations. Not every experience is that dramatic!REPORT ABUSE
What about LDAO? (Learning Disabilities Association of Ontario – http://www.ldao.ca). If you have a local chapter, they might be a good place to go for information/guidance in how to deal with college.
But after exams! Good luck, I will send some mathy / accounting good vibes your way this week:-)December 10, 2013 at 10:54 pm #123306
tallgrl212MemberDecember 10, 2013 at 10:54 pmPost count: 8
@blackdog, before I knew it was ADHD, this past summer I had reached an all time low with school and stuff so I had considered depression but I didn’t think it was serious enough (I didn’t think that I met all of the criteria) to actually talk to anyone about it. Plus my doctor at the time wasn’t that great so I was too scared to bring it up to her.
I want to continue on in school, I’ve always had plans to go to university but my attendance and grades were so poor in high school I decided to go to college to learn some study skills. Plus I feel like I have more to learn, and in order to get a designation in accounting you need to get a degree.
My first year in a certificate program in college was okay, I did well mostly because it was just stuff from high school that I’d already done. I still didn’t go to class though. And I was still scrambling to get stuff done despite the fact that I cut off most my friends and stopped playing video games so I could just focus on school work, and I got a ton of help from my mom when it came to finishing assignments. When I actually transferred into the program I wanted to be in I still did well, but as the semesters progressed my grades declined. My anxiety around exam time (I was still trying to finish teaching myself material, couldn’t stay focused long enough to study, panicking about failing because no university will want me or not graduating on time) gets so bad I had to go to the doctor to get excused from writing, my doc at the time just thought I was faking it. Then when you actually get into the exam rooms are so big and crowded with the acoustic magnifying every little sound, so its unnerving when you’re trying to write an exam and the girl next to you decides to open a bag of chips, or the clicking on the invigilator’s heel as she walks from the other side of the gym.
Comparing myself to my peers I would always feel so stupid because I had to spend so much extra time trying to read and practice just to get half the grades everyone else got, but when all was said and done I still got lower grades and still felt like I was a huge failure and it was because I wasn’t trying hard enough to be organized or go to class. I hate going to class because I maybe get about 15% about what’s going on because I get so easily distracted by movements in my periphery or the smallest noises, plus whatever I’m thinking about or worried about at the time.
I went to school this past summer because I during the traditional school semester. Summer was the worst because the teachers have to take a 6 week vacation so some courses they would cram into 6 weeks (stuff like taxation, business law, and accounting topics deal with pensions and junk), just these really information dense courses. I just couldn’t deal, I came close to failing almost all of my classes. I passed because my mom literally had to sit down with me and walk me through my assignments.
When I did my co-op my performance appraisals (which were okay 7s and 8s because they were being generous) always mentioned how many mistakes I made or that I never seemed focused (I used to turn my head every time someone walked in when I heard noise), but the work was also incredibly boring and simple.
At my school continuing ed is basically just paying for your course. You don’t pay any ancillary fees or anything so it doesn’t entitle you to much but free parking. I’m not registered as a student with special needs. When I was like 3 the doctor told my mom that I should get tested for ADHD and she thought I was too young to be able to tell (we lived in a different country at this point). When I was a little older (at around 7) she went back to a different pediatrician because she suspected I had a learning disability but I didn’t meet enough of the criteria to warrant further testing. I never caused any trouble at school for teachers to ever pay attention to me or suspect anything was wrong. Plus I got a lot of support at home — I had a parent to keep me on track and help me with my homework at all levels of education.REPORT ABUSEDecember 10, 2013 at 10:58 pm #123307
tallgrl212MemberDecember 10, 2013 at 10:58 pmPost count: 8
@kc5jck Thank you for your advice! I contacted a coach not too far from me and I’ve scheduled a “discovery” call with her for this week, so I’ll wait and see what she has to say.
I’m afraid that I won’t be able to use the services my college provides because I will no longer be a full time student after this semester.REPORT ABUSEDecember 10, 2013 at 11:01 pm #123308
tallgrl212MemberDecember 10, 2013 at 11:01 pmPost count: 8
@dithl Thank you for your recommendation, I did not know about this site. I’m definitely going to look into the resources they provide.
See I’ve never had bad grades in post secondary, but it takes me more effort to achieve the grades I get. I didn’t realize that it could be a learning disability until recently.REPORT ABUSEDecember 10, 2013 at 11:17 pm #123309
tallgrl212MemberDecember 10, 2013 at 11:17 pmPost count: 8
Getting this diagnosis means so much to me. It’s confirmation that I’m not stupid or lazy and I am the way I am because of how my brain is wired and I can’t control it. It means that I could potentially go on to achieve things, and possibly waste less time beating myself up over all the things I can’t get right.
When the psychiatrist told me that I needed further testing, he also alluded many times that he didn’t believe me plus he was weird and didn’t listen to anything I said, I cried because all I could see was that my life was over. All the career/educational aspirations I had just gone.. I wouldn’t be able to get graduate college, or get a junior/senior job in my field, I would never be able to go to university or even take exams/study for a designation. I would never be able to have one role at a time, like I can only be a student or only work because I can’t manage time or get overwhelmed by stuff. I just felt so bad about myself.December 10, 2013 at 11:55 pm #123310
kc5jckParticipantDecember 10, 2013 at 11:55 pmPost count: 845
@tallgrl212 – While lack of a diagnosis may mean that you cannot get ADHD meds prescribed or be eligible for assistance or other state provided benefits, it does not mean that you cannot learn more about ADHD, how it affects you, and strategies that will help you deal with it.
There is still a wealth of support and other things available to you, diagnosis or not, from this site and elsewhere.REPORT ABUSEDecember 10, 2013 at 11:56 pm #123311
blackdogMemberDecember 10, 2013 at 11:56 pmPost count: 906
1) Be careful with those feelings of depression. Don’t dismiss it just because it doesn’t seem that bad. Depression can affect you in many ways and sometimes it is worse than it seems.
2) Studying and ADHD don’t mix. So don’t beat yourself up for not studying. And ease up on yourself a little bit. Cutting out all of the fun stuff in your life, like friends and video games, will only make you miserable. I think you will find it easier to do the things you have to do, like study, if you spend a little time relaxing and doing the things you enjoy. If you can do something to relieve your anxiety about writing the exams you will find it much easier.
3) You are not stupid. You have to work harder than your peers because you have unique challenges that they don’t have. It is our nature to compare ourselves to others but you have to try not to do that. You are not any worse (or better) than they are. Just different.
4) They always miss the quiet ones. The stereotype of the hyperactive kid bouncing off the walls and disrupting the whole class makes it so no one believes that those of us who aren’t like that could have ADHD. I didn’t even really believe it myself until recently. Very recently, when I took my first dose of Vyvanse this morning. For me that was what confirmed the diagnosis.
I am speaking from experience. My experience in college was very similar. Did great to start with, then slowly started to get bogged down and fell behind. Cut out all distractions and put my nose to the grindstone and just got worse. If I had it to do over I would spend more time partying and less time studying. But that’s me. I never studied that much to begin with. For me the exams weren’t the problem. It was all the other stuff.
I have to go now because I am being distracted to death by a husband who has the patience of a two year old and just will not go away and leave me alone. And because it’s almost bed time and I need to be a good girl and try to actually sleep for more than 6 hours tonight.REPORT ABUSEDecember 11, 2013 at 12:44 am #123312
tallgrl212MemberDecember 11, 2013 at 12:44 amPost count: 8
@kc5jck Absolutely! When I’ve extra time I try to read anything I can get my hands about the subject, I actually found this site via tumblr. A lot of the strategies that have been suggested I’ve already employed at one time or another. For instance for studying I have a hard time sitting still for periods longer than 45 minutes without drifting off or getting ideas and abandoning my studies, so I’ve been using the Pomodoro method when I study, although sometimes my five minute breaks seem to turn into 20 or 30 lol. I’ve always tried to keep an agenda but they get lost and become out of sight out of mind, so I started using apps on phone to track appointments & homework. I have a to do list app that reminds me to plan the next day at 10:30 at night. I started strength training last year, at first because I got obsessed with bodybuilding/kinesiology, but I realized that working out was just a really good way for me to blow off steam and keep me sane. So now I try and workout 3 or 4 times a week and usually before I study or before a long class. My mom’s works with kids with LDs & special needs so I also get a fair bit of support from her.
The diagnosis would just help a lot at school when I’m killing myself to meet deadlines or just missing them because I can’t keep pace, or being able to write in the quiet accessibility room rather than a lecture hall or the gym. That and being able to take a smaller course load rather than a full time and dropping two courses in the middle of the semester would have been a great help.
As far as medication goes the idea of prescription MEDs scares me, from the side effects to the possibility of addiction to the fact that I would have to take it for the rest of my life maybe. I’ve always been healthy I’ve never had to take anything more than an antibiotic a couple times in my life. I live in a really crappy part of town where the products of drug addiction are all around; my next door neighbors sell drugs and I see their customers, they’re so worn and in such bad shape and so dependent that it just scares me.REPORT ABUSE
Options for diagnosis – psychiatrist recommended further psychological testingtallgrl2122013-12-06T23:58:51+00:00
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