Wednesday, March 5, 2014

My Visit to the Psychiatrist!

Today was my appointment with the psychiatrist.  To be quite honest, I have looked forward to it since I made the appointment about 6 weeks or more ago!  I had no idea what to expect so I was a bit nervous. 

I found the building but the floor the office was on had mismatched doors.  His office was 207, which you'd THINK would come after 206 right???   Not so, it was like 202, 205, 201, 203.....AND NO 207!  It was around the elevator, RIGHT in front of a open area where you could look down to the 1st floor OR jump down if you were so inclined.  So I was cracking up wondering if it was all some set-up to test new patients LOL  

When I got to the right office and checked in, I thought it would be like "What About Bob?"  (one of my favorite movies of all times)  I thought there would be a waiting room for the next patient and a area for the last patient to go out of so there was no contact. wasn't quite like that.  I was sitting and waiting to be called when a clearly distressed woman came in.  She went to sign in and loudly said "D*#@ I forgot my name!" She was quite serious and the receptionist told her her name and she signed in.  Then she somehow ended up inside the receptionist's office on her cell having an extremely loud fight with someone on the phone.  It was interesting to say the least.....  Then another woman came in and she looked very depressed and refused to have her vitals taken. It was evident that there were some serious cases in there!

So the doctor came out to get me.  We began talking and he asked me why I had come to see him.  I told him I was concerned about my lack of focus, forgetfulness, and inability to get things done (I feel the anxiety has already been helped tremendously by the low dose med I was given.)  Then  I shared just the bare bones about the last two years of my life.  He asked some questions and gave me a test.  I told him there were times I was actually worried about early onset Alzheimer's.

After talking and doing the test, he diagnosed me with ADD Attention Deficient Disorder brought on by stress.  He said he had seen very few cases (I think he said only 2 other cases) where he had diagnosed an adult who had never had an issue with ADD as a child or teen with it.  He ruled out Alzheimer's and PTSD too.  He said I didn't seem to have any depression either:) 

He based his diagnosis on the feedback I gave him.  I never had issues with school and I carried a LARGE (over 100 cases) caseload as a probation officer and as a supervisor, I supervised about 10 Probation officers who all had about 100 cases each and I had no issues with that, in fact I thrived on it.  Since I've been a stay at home mom, I've handled all of Sam's paperwork, medical stuff and all our family's paperwork/bills whatever.   I did all the paperwork for both of our adoptions, and did it very fast with no issues.  IN fact with the girls', their paperwork which was much more involved, I got done in two nights...and was done!  When we got home, with our girls, I was so organized with everything from cooking 3 meals a day from scratch to organizing their playtimes and all the medical/therapy appointments.  THEN the accident happened and I could not  do anything, I felt paralyzed.  Everything became a half done chore.....I felt like my mind/will had betrayed me.

Over the past year, I've taught myself some coping skills when it comes to getting things done.  I have a work table and I keep a notebook and calendar with me all the time.  I write down everything to help me remember.  I even write in the steps...for example....

Do yearly well check for the church  (the church has well water and has to be checked yearly)
-pick up and pay for form and sample cup
-do sample
-fill out form
-drop off

Then I mark off each thing I do.  it helps me to see what I have left.  Otherwise I forget....

Also I've decided to take away some of my responsibilities.  Thankfully we've had quite a few people step up in our church to clean it and help with the yard work too.  I'm very grateful!  I used to do it all!!!   I have hired a someone to do the deep cleaning in my house monthly.   I'm giving over all (I hope) of my secretarial duties at the churches to someone else.  Next year my little ones are going to go to school (private Christian with a good friend as their teacher with the McKay scholarship-they will still get services from the public school system)   It sounds like I'm just going to go on a vacation but I realized I needed some breaks......there were things that were just overwhelming my mind.   The psychiatrist thought the things I was doing would help me to be more focused on the important things and help with the stress level. 

So I'm very pleased with the appointment and the diagnosis which I would have never guessed!  The doctor was quite cheerful and we laughed a bit.  It was not a "down" visit nor did I need any Kleenex!  He prescribe a med to help me of the side affects is weight LOSS!   I was about ready to kiss him-giving me a pill to help me AND I can lose weight at the same time.....WOOHOO!   To celebrate, I stopped and got some fried chicken from Popeye's LOL...really I did, since I'm going to lose weight anyhow.......

A close friend encouraged me to go and see a psychiatrist.  I'm so very thankful she did!!!  It was not at all like my preconceived idea either!  And there was NO couch LOL, I had even debated about what to wear in case I had to lie down on a couch....I went with Capri jeans instead of a skort.  I didn't have to worry:)  SO if you are struggling with any mental health issue, go get help!  Don't be ashamed, or let some type of silly spiritual guilt hold you back.  A psychiatrist is someone who can diagnosis you with "what ails you" and can prescribe you meds.  We go to a large medical group, so he had all my medical history in front of him on the computer and he was able to see that I had no medical issues that would prohibit me taking the med he prescribe.  If you have that kind of medical group, that would make it the easiest for you too.  A psychologist is one who is more a counselor and one you go more in to details about your life.  I'm not really sure I want to go to one of those.  I really don't want to go back to anything and talk about it in too much detail.   In my experience, that has not been helpful for me personally, that's just not how I roll.....I tend to go through stuff, deal with it and move on.  I don't think revisiting things help too much.   Now for someone else it might be the key that helps them.  Me, I just want to move on.  I feel like now with help, I will be able to move on.....I sure hope so!  

So once again, I'm being very open, honest and vulnerable....I'm doing this to help others who face these kind of challenges.  And this is also just a part of my life, I write and share my life.  And now for some light humor

that has been me:)  Hopefully this new med will help me to focus which will improve my memory. 
A wonderful lady who reads my blog, has enrolled Selah in a chance to win a handicapped accessible mini van.  All the details will be coming and you can vote on line and go in one of the company's stores if there is one near you (if you go, it's like voting 10 times!)  I'll be sharing with you all the details when they give the code & website to go to.  I'm really thankful for Denise taking the time out of her busy schedule to find out all this info for me and do the recommendation.   It would be life changing for us to have a van that was accessible for Selah.  I try to be content with everything in my life and trust that God will help us have the things we need to take care of all the kids, especially Selah.  But transporting her is very hard.  It takes two people to do it, at this point, I'd never be able to take her somewhere by myself.  I'm just hoping that we will win this van!!!! 


  1. Thank you for your openness and honesty. In the past, I have seriously thought about talking to *someone* about stress related issues, but yes, there is a stigma, not to mention a cost involved. You have encouraged me to put it on my list of options. In addition, I have a oung adult friend who has had multiple concussions due to sports injuries, and she deals with depression as an occasional side effect. Her mom thinks she's just 'milking' her injuries and refuses to support her if she seeks mental health treatment. I try to be encouraging and this is just one more helpful tool I can share as part of that encouragement. Thank you!

  2. A couple yrs. ago, I diagnosed myself with ADD! I found a list of symptoms online, and I have nearly every one! I sailed through the change of life, physically, like a breeze, but I struggled with borderline depression and loss of focus. My mind flits around like someone who is channel surfing! I feel like a child in a 53 yr. old body! I have an 8 yr. old son with Down syndrome whom I home school. He can read on a 3rd grade reading level, but I am doing first grade with him as that is where most of his skills are. But he acts like a 4 yr. old with ADD. I have to be creative and incorporate a lot of action and play in his school day. We sure get loud and crazy sometimes, but anything to hold his attention. :D He gets distracted so easily and I get distracted easily, so I have to get us back on track, and by the time we finish his school day, it is usually dinner time. I find it really hard to get anything else done besides managing his vitamin and supplement routine and his specialized diet and home schooling him. It takes all my focus to do those things daily. The laundry piles up. The clutter piles up. My 13 yr. old daughter's daily math papers pile up for me to check. I feel like I need more self-discipline. I stay up late at night and get up late in the morning, which only makes the problem worse.