Q to all mom's from a future clinical psychologist...

Lindz - posted on 02/03/2012 ( 4 moms have responded )

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I'm a psych major who is going to college to help teen's and young adults who have mental health disorders. I do have current experience with mental health issues, my father has an anxiety disorder, mother-in-law has multiple issues and fiance has severe adult ADHD and had gone to psychologist/psychiatrist myself when I was a young teen (nothing was wrong). My questions are:



1) Do you feel that psychologist you have gone to are pushing for medication with out offering or explaining possible therapy options?



2) What are your current wishes?



3) Have you gone to any professional who you just didn't agree with and why so?



4) For ADHD, was it diagnosed as oh he/she is hyper so he/she probably has ADHD (like by a general md)?



5) How much information have you been told about ADHD by a professional (what type of professional)?



6) How much information have you research about ADHD on your own?



7) Any comment you would like to express or voice to a future and aspiring psychologist??

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User - posted on 02/06/2012

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I've had good luck with the psychologists I've seen - but then I've been in the mental health field for almost 30 years and knew who to choose :)



We started with headstart and a mental health practitioner working with him on controlling his behaviors. I originally told the teacher I only had two goals for my kid - to stop when I said stop, and come when I said come. She looked at my strangely but when it came time to write his IEP she wrote on the bottom in red bold letters was FLIGHT RISK!. The mh practitioners worked with him during a summer program and then in kindergarten. They used a program called The Incredible Years, it was very good.



After the programs, the 1-1, etc we started to consider medication. I told his mh worker that meds were supposed to be the last resort - the mh worker said very kindly to me that we were there. We had tried behavior management, vitamins, fish oil - all with varying degrees of success. We took him to a pediatrician who specialized in adhd. I didn't want a psychiatrist - just personal reasons. I didn't really like this doctor but she prescribed a Daytrana patch. It works. My son reminds me to put in on first thing in the morning. He still has his same great, charming personality - but he is manageable.



The mental health people I have worked with have been very good (again chosen by me knowing reputations) but I have not cared for the medical doctors. The last doctor we saw (because the other retired) was rude when I asked about his lack of appetite. I take any opportunity to put food in this child and the doctor told me to only feed him at meal times and if he doesn't eat don't offer anything later because I'm teaching him bad habits. She showed her ignorance on adhd - and insulted me as a parent. So I'll be finding a different doctor.



I have done a lot of research on my own - but again, I'm in "the field" so have access to much info.



How would I advise you? Don't make a parent feel that they're lacking in parenting skills. We already feel that people are looking at us like we don't know how to parent. Offer support and empathy and a willingness to be a team.

Randi - posted on 02/04/2012

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I had no idea what I was walking into when I walked into the clinic. I didn't look anything up, I didn't have a clue what they could do for her and I was against medication. Well the guy who talked to us first, her therapist now was wonderful. He told us how they work with most kids her age and told me she didn't have to be on medicine all the time. I was afraid if I put my daughter on medicine it was like I didn't like the real her, well the mecine wears off around five, and I don't give it to her on the weekends so I still get to see my real daughter just how she was meant to be and now she's doing great in school and she's happier, has friends. We still go to play therapy once a week, but I have to say it has made all the difference in the world and my fear of her being ZOMBIFIED as I called it is gone. As for my current wishes, well I wish she'd sleep at night, but that's still a dream, but her therapist is working on sleep techniques with her. The psychologist I talked to didn't really push for the medication, but he did calm my fears of giving her medicine would make me a bad parent. I think i hit them all :))

Treena - posted on 02/04/2012

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I can say I tried several strategies with my son before going down the road of medications, he also was on every 1st string ADHD medication without much success. He was working extensively with a psychiatrist as well as a therapist. As he has gotten a little older he can copr marginally better, but it took a combination of medications to help my son cope with life in general.



My current wishes are to have better understanding about ADHD and the positives it brings with it, not just the negatives.



Yes the first psychiatrist that saw my son I disagreed with, as he was abrupt, rude and condesending about the only treatment options ( Ritalin).



It was my son's 2nd grade teacher that contacted me to tell me he was the worst student she had ever taught and that he must have ADHD, so the journey began.



Lots of information from professionals, Psychiatrists, Psychologists, MD, Counsellors.



Tons of research on my own as well, I also was recently diagnosed as an ADHD adult.



Treat your patients with respect and listen to the parents, what works one day as a successful strategy, may not work the next!!!!

Jane - posted on 02/03/2012

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I just typed out a huge response to your questions and the internet ate it. It can be summed up as follows:



Most of the psychologists we have dealt with have been wonderful, willing to listen, suggesting but not demanding any particular course of treatment, and seemed to consider themselves part of a team that was helping our son. They have recommended specific medications and have taught us how to record our observations so we can monitor how our son is doing.



Two psychiatrists were absolutely terrible and it was an open secret that they were dreadful but no one in the professional community did a damn thing about them. My son ended up hospitalized as a result of the actions of one, who FINALLY lost her license to practice when she had a screaming fight with her married lover in the lobby of the hospital and subsequently abandoned her practice. Several school psychologists and one hospital staffer were unwilling to listen to anything we said.



Our son was obviously at the far end of the Bell Curve when he was three. We began family counseling when he was four to try to learn how to handle him. When he was five we followed the counselor's suggestion that he be tested by a psychologist, which is when he was diagnosed as ADHD and ODD, and Ritalin was suggested to us. The pediatrician prescribed it and modified the prescription based on our observations and those of the psychologist. When he was 7 our son tried to commit suicide and ended up hospitalized. At that point he was diagnosed as also being Bipolar. Later on, after his third suicide attempt he went to residential treatment in a Neuro-Psych unit where they determined he had organic brain damage possibly due to his difficult birth or possibly to either actions or genetics of his birth mother. He has subsequently also been diagnosed as being Asperger's because of his great social difficulties.



The psychiatrists have been very good about discussing ADHD, behavioral treatments, and medications with us. We have also done a great deal of research on our own. From it we also figured out our daughter was ADD or ADHD, but we were able to teach her coping skills that worked very well until she went off to university. She herself requested to be tested and is in charge of her Adderall prescription, which has helped her cope with the rigors of college.



The one suggestion I have for anyone planning to be a psychologist treating patients is LISTEN to what your patients and their family members have to say. Also, never stop learning.

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