Doctor’s Orders

Posted: March 24, 2010 in ADD, diagnosis, doctors, medication, mental illness, psychiatrist, therapist

Well everybody, here it is: I am ADHD positive.

I didn’t even have to ask ADD Guy for the proof of validity of the test. It was included in the report.

Validity of the Test: Apparently this test has been well studied to the point that they have a decent sample and are able to identify standard deviations (yes that is a statistical term). Basically, your results from the test aren’t based solely on how much you got wrong and how much you got right. Your results are actually compared to the data available about the “norms” of the test. So, a diagnosis stemming from this test is based on how much your results vary from the norm. If anyone is really interested the test is callled: Test of Variables of Attention (TOVA).

Ari’s TOVA results: This will deal with statistics, so sorry if it gets a little messy. The test is divided into 4 quarters. There is nothing distinguishing the quarters to the patient. Rather it comes out in the results of the test. Omission – not clicking when I should have – measures inattention. On quarter 2-4 I scored below the normal range (Norm= 85-115; Ari=72,61,72) indicating “increasing difficulties with attention and concentration during [boring] activity…and difficulties with attentiveness and concentration during a [stimulating] activity. Commission – clicking when I shouldn’t have – measures impulsivity. On quarters 3 &4 I scored below the norm (Norm=85-115; Ari=77,64) indicating “difficulties with impulsivity under [stimulating] conditions, and/or after 10-12 minutes on task.” Time Variability – how long I take to respond – measures performance consistency. In quarter 1 I fell outside the normal range (at 66) “suggesting difficulties with consistency of performance at the outset of a new or novel task.” This is all just a fancy way of saying: I can’t focus when things are boring (inattentive), I lose control when there’s too much going on (impulsivity, ie hyperactivity), and I have problems when I’m beginning a brand new project.

TOVA Score: A score of -1.80 or less suggests ADHD. Ari’s score: -2.48

Now for the Self-Report: As a child I had symptoms of ADHD inattentive type. Currently, I have symptoms of both ADHD inattentive type and ADHD hyperactive type. ADD Guy noted that my husband didn’t seem to recognize it. Although, after he had filled out his form and I had turned it in, he started thinking more about the answers. And he noted that I have a hard time even focusing on “fun” things. He used the example of how much I love scrapbooking, but sometimes I don’t have the attention span for it. Before this appointment he even said he was pretty sure I had ADHD.

Conclusion: “overall performance on the TOVA, findings from the Barkley ADHD Packet and the Clinical Interview provide consistent enough and significant enough information to warrant a DSM-IV diagnosis of ADHD – Combined Type.”

Recommendations: consult PCP [or psychiatrist] for medication; recommending Cocerta (Ritalin), Adderall, or Vyvanse

ADD Guy also gave me a list of resources for ADHD. I’m going to check them out and they may appear in the Resources section in the sidebar.

I called my husband and he asked how does that affect me in how I thought of myself. I told him we’d talk later tonight. He suggested that he thinks Depression and ADHD fits more than Bipolar and ADHD. That will be a question for my Brand New Therapist and Dr. A-Hole.

I see Brand New Therapist today. It’s intake. And now I have fancy paperwork for her too! So we’ll see how that goes.

As far as how this makes me think of myself, I’m not going to get into that yet. All I know is – even though I was expecting the diagnosis – when I got to my car I wanted to cry. And my focus is pretty much shot for the day but I’m staying at work because I have meetings I can’t miss.

Oh…life…

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