Suspecting inattentive ADHD & losing my mind


#1

Hi all!

I’m 26, female and live in Detroit, MI.

I’ve been doing tons of research and have pretty much summed up that I have inattentive ADHD. How would I get an official diagnosis?

In my area, most psychiatrists only deal with child or adolescent ADHD diagnosis/treatment, and the FEW that do don’t take Molina or Medicaid. The average for diagnosis alone is around $200, and we are currently completely broke. But my mind feels like it’s getting worse and worse. On top of that, I feel like I’ll have to go to several different psychiatrists for a diagnosis because the misunderstandings and stereotypes of ADHD “not being for women adults.” And if I can’t afford one evaluation, how am I supposed to afford a second, third, etc opinion?

Has anyone on medicaid gotten an official diagnosis? I really feel like I’m struggling.

I mean, I’m alive. I’ve dealt with life. But it’s been hard, and I just assumed that it was “part of being a highschooler, college student, adult, mom, etc” - I assumed that life was just hard for everyone. But recently, it’s been REALLY TOUGH. Like, my memory is drastically getting worse, my attention span, my executive dysfunctioning, my racing thoughts but not knowing where to start or even how to start, and many more things. It’s getting overwhelming and if there’s something that can help, I wanna try it, but know that I will need an official diagnosis to get treatment of any kind, so I’m at a stressful crossroad here.


#2

I’m in a similar situation and I know it’s tough being in this limbo stage of neither knowing and not knowing I have ADHD, either way i find lots of people in here with the same struggles as I have, so I feel fortunate that I have this place to get support even without a diagnosis, however I am optimistic that I will at some point get a diagnosis and whatever the outcome at least I will be able to move on.


#3

Honestly, I only want a diagnosis for ONE reason…the medication. if there’s medication that will help with all the issues I’m having, I want it. I’m tired of feeling inhuman.


#4

I would also like to try medication, but I’m not sure if I would want to be on it permanently although I won’t know until I try it, it’s worth speaking to people who have been or are still on medication because the effects they have are more positive for some people than others, but like I said I would definitely like to try it, to see for myself.


#5

When I lived in Detroit I was diagnosed through a program I think at Henry Ford Hospital. Unfortunately, that was 20 years ago, so I’m not sure if it’s still there, but it was comprehensive and thorough. It got me a diagnosis and medication.

I’m not familiar with Medicaid, but if you can, I would call them and ask for a list of psychiatrists that specialize in ADHD. It doesn’t matter if they usually treat kids/teens, they will probably see you, too. There aren’t any specialists in adult ADHD that I’m aware of.

Next, I would call each psych on the list and ask them questions about their experience with ADHD, because every psych out there lists ADHD as something they treat, but that doesn’t mean it’s their main focus. What percentage of their patients have ADHD? (My current psych treats almost 100% ADHD, he really focuses on it.) Do they treat any adults with ADHD? Do they provide any other treatments for ADHD besides medication, or do they only focus on prescribing? (I understand you only want meds right now, but it’s good to know if you can get other services without going somewhere else, cause “Pills don’t teach skills”, and we’re deficient in a LOT of skills.) How do they diagnose? What is the process and how long will it take before medication can be prescribed? And so on…

Once you’ve narrowed down a doctor that you think will work, make the appointment. With Medicaid, do you need a referral from your GP first? If so, make the appointment anyhow. It can take weeks to months to get in to see a doctor that’s really busy. Then go get your referral or “permission” from Medicaid, so you have it before your appointment.

For that first appointment, don’t be afraid to tell them what you think you have. And bring notes, so you don’t forget to talk about a symptom. Seriously, it’s so frustrating trying to remember anything when you actually need it. I would start making notes now of all the symptoms you observe in yourself and examples.

You might have to go through a series of tests to get a diagnosis, like fill out multiple choice personality tests, or be administered a common knowledge test, or even take a computer based test. I’ve had evaluations that lasted anywhere from 5 hours to two 30 min sessions (that last was most recent and entirely computer based.)

Then it will be a week or more while they review the tests and they’ll have you come back in for another appointment, at which point they’ll either confirm the ADHD and start you on meds, or tell you it’s not that.

Hope this helps.


#6

That helps MASSIVELY. Thank you! So far from a site search on both Molina and Medicaid’s site, I can’t seem to find anything regarding ADHD coverage, so probably not, but going to give a call to each anyways.


#7

Oh I totally know what you mean. I don’t actually like taking medication, but as someone who’s constantly trying new methods, apps, etc, and have had no progress really, I’d really like to settle this.


#8

I don’t like take medication either, but I kinda feel like I’ve run out of ideas of how to try and help myself, I also wanna know what normal feels like, although I imagine it’s not as fun even if it is easier :slight_smile:


#9

I know there’s a lot of fear of personality changes with medication. However, in my experience, ADHD stimulant meds don’t affect personality at all (except perhaps with emotional regulation). i.e. Whatever makes me happy will still make me happy, and whatever makes me sad or angry, ditto, but on meds I’m better at handling the emotions, instead of them handling me. An example is, when I forget to take my meds, I’m more impatient and quicker to anger when my child acts up. And I respond badly, like yelling and stuff. When I take my meds, I have more patience to deal with the behaviors.

For me, stims really are just like putting a pair of glasses on my brain. My working memory is improved, I can see multiple steps better, my brain is just more focused. Plus, you don’t need to build up stim meds in your system. They can be taken as needed when you need that little extra clarity.

I don’t have any experience with non-stim meds personally, but I think they’re the ones that can cause personality change? They require a slow build up of the medication in your system before you see improvement, so you have to ramp up taking them over weeks, and wean off them as well. I feel very lucky I am able to take stimulants, or I might choose not to medicate, too.