Posted by: | 2017/10/20


Is it ADHD or something else?

I always read you say a psychiatrist needs to do a comprehensive check especially for adults before initiating treatment for ADHD. My question is: Is there a specific list of tests that are meant to be followed before arriving at a diagnosis? Truth is, I self diagnosed after reading books from E. Hallowell, R. Barkley and even the famous "You mean I'm not Stupid, Lazy or Crazy" by Kate & Peggy. I even watch webminars on Youtube held by Daniel Amen, R. Barkley and The Nat. Resource Centre on ADHD. I shared my findings with a psychiatrist on how my mind always wanders off during classes when i was in school, how i forget easily, how i read and cant hold the information I read, how i get easily angered/frustrated. I never finished any of my papers throughout college cos anything that requires serious thought, I dislike. I've got road rage when driving. Have a decent job but have wrecked my credit. Easily irritated. I can go on and on. Even at my job I get passed over for promotion cos i cannot perform to my full potential. I have knowledge but I'm not confident enough to use it. Brain fog is a constant thing for me. Now even my son's teachers from 2 different schools have reported he is always spacey and not seem not to be paying attention although he seems a bright kid. I was initially placed on Zoloft and Vinpocetin for a month but did not notice much difference. Then Ritalin 10MG was prescribed but I felt nothing after finishing the first set of tablets. Then i tried Modafinil on my own 100mg. still no effect. What do I do please?

Expert's Reply


ADHD Expert
- 2017/10/23

The diagnosis need to be confirmed - comprehensive assessment by a psychiatrist (which should have experience in the diagnosis of ADHD) Many problems can mimic ADHD - sleep deprivation, depression, anxiety, poor management of technology, etc.There are some diagnostic interviews recommended/to guide the evaluation, and also some rating scales (e.g. to determine severity/treatment response).Once diagnosis is confirmed, then the correct medication, dose of medication, and dosing schedule should be determined. Methylphenidate 10mg is rather low for an adult - we prescribe medication according to weight and clinical response (I suspect this is where your "lack of response to treatment" may be). Modafinil has limited efficacy... Always remember that management of ADHD is not only pharmacological (medication), but should also include therapy (to assist with emotional regulation, social skills, organizational skills, etc), and lifestyle interventions (e.g. healthy diet and good sleeping routine, regular exercise, avoid substances, and managing technology).

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