music · psyche

Stumping the Psychiatrist

Back before all this started, when all I thought was that I had an ADD problem at work, I started seeing this psychiatrist at my employer’s “Mental Health for Employees” department. Initially, I actually called the general psychiatry department’s number and was referred to the employees’ Mental Health once I told them I worked there. And the first thing the psychiatrist said was “We don’t treat ADD here… but you can come back a few times.” Her form of treatment was to listen to me, type, and suggest medications.

I suppose talk therapy has completely disassociated from what I remember psychiatry to be. Now they seem to act like the DMV and throw pills at you.

So Thursday was my last visit with her, and it was only enlightening in that changing my Ritalin to Adderall for eight weeks only slightly helped. I still had the problems I had, and no matter what I looked up to help myself — time management tips, putting first things first, etc. — none did anything whatsoever to help me. None of that helped me spur-of-the-moment, no advice I ever found told me how not to disappear out of conversations, interactions, actions, etc. Nothing tells me that I have to chose this gray area over that one, or to just simply remember something — anything — from 20 minutes ago. Supposedly a normal ADD person who goes on the right medication is able to just prioritize, be aware of time, and make right choices.

In the end, I got discharged from Employee Mental Health, because as she says “You’ve stumped me. What you have is beyond our department’s scope of practice. You should see a neurologist.”

That same morning, I got a phone call from one of the neuropsychologists I’ve contacted. They have a sudden opening on Wednesday, and I’m driving the hour to their office for a consult. I’m cautious, afraid to hope, unwilling to be too optimistic. I’m going to try to be prepared; armed with paperwork, letters, and a promise to myself not to let them brush me off.

I saw my primary this morning and enlightened him about my early childhood, which I thought he knew about but…. nope, he didn’t. That means I have to dig somewhere and try to find my childhood medical records, if they still exist. My doc had to remind me that I am fortunate to have this many people involved in solving “my case” and not just kicking me to the curb. I do feel blessed. But he mentioned I may need brain scans done at some time, if things get more confusing. He said he’s not sure if it’s just ADD, more than ADD, or something(s) else that acts like ADD. It’s got layers, he said; we have to peel back several decades’ worth of layers.

So I’m not sure what I feel. All the feelings I’ve been having now feel dull because I’ve been feeling them so much. On top of that are the normal things: the roar of a crowd in a bar (overwhelming), huge spiders in the windows at the restaurant, sound of machines, cars (somewhat calming, sometimes distracting), Morcheeba playing, the feeling of humidity causing stickiness (yuck), the dog squeaking his toy unrelentingly (definitely distracting). And on top of those: try to interact more, play with the dog, hang out with the partner, take it day by day, plan to be prepared for tomorrow.

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