A Mississippi Psychologist's Concern
Someone asked me recently if there was an increase in Adult ADHD. I don't think there is. I believe there is just more attention being paid to this, and more people seeking out assistance now than before. Many people are using this to better succeed in business and in their personal relationships.
Parents and schools are making it easier for children with ADHD to be properly diagnosed and treated. But what about adults? Many adults who received medication for ADHD as a child just quit taking it after they left school. Some stopped it during their teen years because they did not like the way it made them feel, or they had side affects such as poor appetite. For many, they only seek out help years later, after they have begun to have difficulty in college, on the job, or in a relationship.
When I receive a request from an adult for an ADHD evaluation, I point out to them that I just do not do testing aimed at ADHD, but I also do a history, mental status exam, and personality testing. Some say "thanks" and move on, looking for another person to do the evaluation. That is OK with me because I am not doing that person any good by rubber stamping their suspicious that they have ADHD without a thorough evaluation. There are some specific concerns I have that makes me hold my ground on this when someone attempts to get by the formal testing. I would like to take an opportunity to express those concerns.
The most obvious one is that drug addicts have learned that if they con convince a medical professional that they have ADHD they can get a regular prescription for stimulants. Just a few months ago, I worked with a lady who had been in recovery for drug abuse for over a year. She told me how she had two ongoing prescriptions for Adderall, a stimulant, that she obtained by studying the symptoms of ADHD, going into a doctor, then giving the correct answers when the diagnostic questions were asked.
Perhaps the major concern I have for those requesting an ADHD evaluation is that ADHD is not the only problem this person has. There are several conditions that have similar symptoms to ADHD, and without proper diagnosis, medication to treat ADHD isn't going to solve their problem. Those with problems such as Bipolar Disorder, Borderline Personality Disorder, Depression, and Anxiety can all report some of the same concerns in their life as those who have ADHD. And, some not only have ADHD, but one or more of these conditions. Because I may suspect something more than ADHD during the interview and mental status exam, I move forward to ding testing to rule them out. A common test I use is the Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory II (MMPI2).
Many think that there is a medication to make their problems go away. True, many are helped by medication to treat the symptoms of ADHD. However, due to the problems that may have developed during the time the condition was undiagnosed, therapy is often needed to help in addition to medication. Poor self-image, inadequate socialization skills, as well as problems with relationships and employment are often seen in those with Adult ADHD that has gone untreated. Depression and anxiety problems are also seen, which may be a result of not being able to focus or do what is expected. Often frustrations and feelings of being inadequate are identified.
If you were diagnosed with ADHD as a child, or you think you should have been, or if you are having problems with such issues as being able to focus, organizational skills, attention to detail, or completing tasks, it may be time to seek out someone for an evaluation. I encourage you to find someone who will do a thorough evaluation, as well as help you learn techniques to address the symptoms that are causing problems.
If you are in the Brandon, Clinton, Jackson, Vicksburg, or surrounding areas in Mississippi, I will be happy to discuss ADHD with you.
Dr. Nona Owens
580 Springridge Rd.
Clinton, Ms. 39056
Child, Adult, and Family Therapist | Psychologist | Clinton | Jackson| Vicksburg | Brandon | Magee | Depression | Anxiety | ADHD | ADHD Testing | Divorce Recovery | Children in Divorce | Relationship Problems | ACOA| Co-Dependence | Grief Recovery | Oppositional Defiant Disorder | Medicaid