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Doctor Blake
Doctor Blake, Psychologist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 146
Experience:  Ph.D., Ed.S., NCSP Clinical Psychologist; 15+ years of experience; dual licensure
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hello. i was diagnosed with adhd when i was a child and was

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hello. i was diagnosed with adhd when i was a child and was medicated for 10 years years with Ritalin, Dex, and catapress. i stopped taking the medicine in my second last year of high school because i begun to get mood swings, i would feel like a different person every day. was afraid when i went to sleep because i did not know what i would be like when i woke up. it made me very depressed. i am unsure if puberty was the cause of this. at the end of that year i left school and started working with the dream of becoming a carpenter. it took about 2 years to feel that i had a grip on myself again. now, 4 years later i am just finishing my first year as an apprentice carpenter. over the years since i stopped taking medication for my adhd i have been aware that i have had trouble concentrating but it hasnt been an issue cause i was just travelling around the country with no need of serious thought. but now i am really struggling to even hold conversations and remember things. it has been getting progressively worse over the last year. it feels like my brain is an empty shell and when i talk words just come out through instinct rather then thought. i would like to try medication again to see if it improves my quality of life. i guess my question is; will a doctor still prescribe me medication, and what is your professional opinion on my situation? thankyou, stephen

Good morning, Stephen. Thanks for writing to JA.


Congratulations on your apprenticeship. That's awesome!


What you're experiencing is not at all uncommon for individuals who have struggled with attention or school when they were kids. Please understand, as we proceed, that it would be inappropriate and unethical to diagnose over the internet (and across the Pacific Ocean), so I can't really comment on whether or not you have ADHD. I also can't really comment on your previous diagnosis - it might have been correct or incorrect!


What I *can* comment upon is that, unlike a cut-and-dry diagnosis like, "this patient has a broken arm," mental health diagnoses are more tricky. A Licensed Mental Health Professional (LMHP) (Psychiatrist or Psychologist) would look at your symptoms but also look at symptoms you DON'T have, as well as address your presenting from a developmental perspective (meaning they would take into account your behavior, thoughts, feelings from when you were a kid up until now). Several LMHP could look at you and come up with the same diagnosis (e.g., ADHD) or several slightly-different diagnoses, depending upon what was told to them, your age, reports from other people, diagnostic records and clinical assessments. This doesn't mean they're wrong - it just means that it's complex!


All this is to say - I think it's time to go back to your doctor and ask to be referred to a LMHP (Psychiatrist/Psychologist). The Psychiatrist can provide you with medication (as can your regular doctor) and typically conducts a clinical history and interview to come up with a diagnosis. A Psychologist doesn't prescribe medication, but typically conducts an extensive diagnostic workup (using standardized assessments) to better understand your symptoms - and then comes up with a diagnosis. If either LMHP felt you needed medication - they would refer you to the right professional. If either LMHP felt you needed some therapy - they would also refer you.


Point is, you might still have ADHD, or you might not. A young man at age 22 is very different, developmentally, from an early adolescent at age 12. The appropriate LMHP will help sort out all of your history with your current presentation and give you an appropriate (and current) diagnosis. From that diagnosis, a treatment plan (which may or may not include medication) would be developed.


Congrats again on your apprenticeship! I hope it continues to go well.


I hope this was helpful. Thanks.



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