Resuming treatment for Adult ADD after taking a(n unofficial) break?
June 28, 2011 7:53 AM   Subscribe

What is the best way to resume treatment of Adult ADD, after an extended break due to my own flakiness?

Background:In elementary school, I was diagnosed with ADD, and treated with Ritalin through 8th grade. I don't really remember it making much of a difference, but my parents say that it did. In high school, I was taken off of the ritalin to see if I 'grew out of it'. I remained off medication throughout high school and a hitch in the armed forces with less than stellar results, especially in the stressful environment of the military and ended up near suicidal because of it.After my contract ended and I landed a job with health insurance, I got help in the form of a prescription for an SSRI from my GP and a referral to a therapist. Through the course of treatment, my history with ADD came up and I got tested for it again (clicking button when a computer beeped or a symbol flashed on the screen), and got what was described to me as a 'borderline positive' score. The shrink then referred me to a psychiatrist in the same office who prescribed some ritalin.Sometime (6? 9? months, I hadn't had too many refills of the ritalin, so I realize it's possible the dosage hadn't been worked out) later I missed an appointment with the shrink, that was rescheduled and then also missed. Since that happened about 3 years ago, I haven't been back to either the shrink or the psychiatrist mostly due to my embarrassment at missing the appointments and never really 'clicking' with the shrink (I never felt like I had the words to talk to him. he'd ask a question and 99% of the time the only answer I could come up with was "I don't know"). I have no real explaination on why I missed the appointments, other than I forgot I had them that day. I have been doing "ok" without any treatment other than lots of coffee since then, but in the last few months I've been having more trouble with staying on task at work. This came to a head today when I was verbally reprimanded for the second time in as many weeks for fucking around on the computer when I shouldn't have;dr: I was in the beginning stages of treatment for ADD 3 years ago, flaked out on some appointments and never went back, now I'm having some problems at work.Question: What is the best way to go about restarting treatment for ADD in this situation? Talking to my GP? calling the psychiatrists office to see if they still work there and will see me? I'm especially concerned about being seen as not serious about treatment since I quit going with no warning. I live in a city of 20,000 people in a low-population midwestern state so my options on providers within realistic distances are limited.Throw-away email:
posted by anonymous to Health & Fitness (5 answers total)
I think psychiatrists who treat ADD practically expect people to miss appointments. Mine never seems surprised when I do or gives the impression that she thinks I'm not serious. If you felt like you didn't click with your last psych, you can try to find one here that might suit you better. Just explain to them what happened, it's probably the fiftieth time this month they've dealt with something similar.
posted by corey flood at 7:58 AM on June 28, 2011

Do you like and trust your GP?

If so, call their office and ask to speak to the doctor about a referral.

If they ask what it's for, say it's personal and that you'd like to speak with the doctor.

When the doctor calls you back, tell them you want to get back on ADD meds but you need a referral to a psychiatrist.

If they refer you to the same one, tell them that he's okay but you didn't really click and if they have another name that would be great.

Call the psychiatrist and make an appointment

If they ask why you dropped treatment, you can tell them the truth, or say that it didn't seem necessary at the time but now your job performance is really suffering.

Psychiatrists are used to people being "non-compliant" with medications and failing to show for appointments, ESPECIALLY people with ADD.
posted by the young rope-rider at 8:23 AM on June 28, 2011

Oh--also--having a hard time answering direct questions is an ADD "thing". Either the question, the answer, or both get lost somewhere in the trip between your ears, your brain, and your mouth. It is definitely frustrating, but please don't be embarrassed about it.

If a psychiatrist can't deal with patients who aren't perfect, then they are in the WRONG field!
posted by the young rope-rider at 8:26 AM on June 28, 2011

oh man, I have done what you've done several times throughout the course of my life.

My advice is find a new psychiatrist, and approach it with the idea you are looking for someone who will manage your overall treatment for ADHD rather than just medication. Finding someone you click with is important--and yes, I think they expect ADHD patients to miss appointments. You can speak with them about coming up with a system to help you remember too--mine sends me an email when I schedule and then calls the day before.
posted by inertia at 8:29 AM on June 28, 2011

Don't let finding the 'best' way stand as a blockade to getting on the path to treatment. I say this as a fellow ADD person.

Your GP is your best bet to get started. From there your paths and options will open up.
posted by bilabial at 8:45 AM on June 28, 2011

« Older A lady with a "Nixon" problem.   |   Help Me Play Portal On My 6-Year-Old Mac Pro Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.