All of us suffering with mental disorders must become educated about our disorders to be effectively helped by medical professionals.
The primary cause for psychiatric failure is the medical professions failure to make sure we become educated about our disorders. The medical community assuming their responsibility for our education will be the singular factor that will most dramatically improve psychiatric success rates.
Please read my reasons for emphasizing the importance of patient education and the strong assertions I made above.
The members of this board are my finest teachers.
The best teachers are those that can move us into new lines of thought, gestalt producing, dot connectors that assemble many fragmented chunks into one coherent object we call understanding.
That's you, all of you.
For example, in essence Thunor replied to "Alice" that [stimulants can't possibly be sleep inducing, insomnia has to be the unseen active ingredient.] I thought, Thu has to right. I can use Adderall to "induce sleep" when ADHD rebound prevents me from succumbing to normal exhaustion. But there is something missing. What the hecks is it?
Once the call is made to my low level curiosity object interface, I'll pursue the scent like a coon dog especially when reinforced by a genuine need for me to know.
The connective stimulus came from JaneWhite. She explained to me that my description of steroid effect was a description of excessive steroids.
Oh yeah, 5 million candle watt gestalt time, boy and girls.
It's how I found the level of education important for us to achieve as patients to get the best therapies possible from our medical professionals.
Our broad based layperson definitions of terms such as fatigue, sleepiness and tiredness make them synonyms for the same normal reaction. We use the same words to describe symptoms too. Most of us, including me until a few days ago, vaguely thought that "somnolence" was a $1.50 high sounding synonym. No one has ever heard me say, "I'm so somnolent, I got to quit. Hit the hay time." Never. The word isn't in my working vocabulary. I'll continue to use a description instead.
All medical professionals assign a far more specific meaning to the words mentioned above. Good doctors will try to disambiguate our broad based meaning into specific meanings they need to know to prescribe the best therapies. Regardless of doctor professionalism, and doctor type, specialists or GPs, they end up making an educated guess on specific meaning. Then, when able, they'll order tests to confirm or narrow down their ballpark suspicions to a specific diagnosis.
Many objective tests can be used to determine organ and system malfunction. Test for all likely physical possibilities for attention deficit symptoms. Then go to psychological testing (albeit most subjective) to narrow the search to mental disorder categories.
None of the above eliminates the need for patient education especially in the case of chronic mental illness. I throw ADHD into the chronic bucket since I've had it my entire life. Education is so essential for us because there are NO objective tests that can narrow down the diagnosis well enough to eliminate the time consuming, frustrating and detrimental trial and error process to finding the best therapies for our unique case.
I read recently a report by a respected psychiatrist researcher directed to other professionals in the psychiatric community (not us) "to assume their responsibility for patient education. Help your patients to become educated about their illness, able to differentiate symptoms and assign to them the correct medical word, to help them help you diagnose." Powerful advice, I'll bet goes mostly unnoticed.
There is little need for us to learn new words. The need is for us to learn the specific medical definitions to the words we already know.
As a community we spend more time barking up dead trees than anything else. The medical community has forced us into "do-it-yourself" education by leaving us without direction.
A resource in addition to our community is needed.
I'd like to see a series of study courses written and directed by teams of psychologists, neurologists, psychiatrists AND ADHD patients like us, specifically for us.
If you know of existing resources, please post them. I've seen some excellent ADHD 101 resources. Now that I have the terminology prerequisites, I can read research study reports with understanding.
The courses between 101 and the ADHD ADHD (Adhd Doctorate for Humans with the Disorder) [dang good acronym, eh] are missing.
A chapter or a section of the course toward your ADHD degree could be devoted to common words with medical definitions.
Fatigue - is a normal response to hard physical effort. It is felt in our muscles and bodies in general. It can include mental fatigue. Fatigue becomes a symptom when it becomes disassociated from its normal stimulus or out-of-proportion to its normal stimulus. Numerous sxamples are given. Sleepiness may or may not accompany fatigue or lead to sleep.
Mental Fatigue (Somnolence is associated with mental fatique) is a normal response to hard mental effort. It can follow excessive stress or from an extended period of stress. Somnolence becomes a symptom when it becomes disassociated from its normal stimulus or out-of-proportion to its normal stimulus. Sleepiness may or may not accompany somnolence or lead to sleep.
Sleepiness - Is the normal time-for-sleep call from our bodies. Sleepiness becomes a symptom when it becomes disassociated from its normal stimulus or out-of-proportion to its normal stimulus. Sleepiness leads to sleep.
Many more common words are used to describe reactions and symptoms associated with sleep and its disorders.
Now, I'll play shrink and patient.
Dr. Bob, "Bob what side effects do you experience from Adderall?"
Bob, "Somnolence, somnolence dude, I'm talking big time somnolence, get it?)
Dr. Bob, "I get it. So you aren't really knocked out belly up on the floor unconscious as you claimed to your former doctors."
Bob, "No doc, I ain't. Former doctors are still bozos, though, unable to read through my layman's description. I exaggerated in hopes of getting though. Their fault, not mine."
Other sections of the course leading to our ADHD degree would include neuroscience biology presented in a way we can easily grasp. If the course uses illustrations and examples everyone finds familiar, everyone will understand.
I can give a billion examples, here is one.
I was reading about how neurons (brain cells) shift polarity. Huh, I thought, what the hecks u talking about?
I thought about an unconnected battery. The potential on one end is positive and the other end negative. No juice flows. I could grasp fairly easily that once the potential on the presynaptic side got high enough, it causes a "spark" the same way as lightning. Our figurative "spark" pops open preloaded containers full of norepinephrine or another neuro. The discharge closes the circuit within the sending neuron effectively resetting it. Concurrently the neuro chemicals released are picked up by their receptors on the other side of the synapse.
The above is a chuck of info that had no meaning to me until understanding the role of neuro chemicals and their receptors and how psychotropic medications can be of immense benefit.
Each neurotransmitter has receptors of the same type. The neuro chemical will not bind to any other type receptor or will its receptors bind with any other neuro chemical. Overwhelming circumstantial evidence and reams of objective scientific evidence are strongly suggesting that a fault in the neurotransmission synaptic communication system in and between neurons is what causes us our problems.
In some cases, insufficient neuro chemical in the synapse is responsible. "Oh, finally, we have the freaking problem defined. About time. Good grief, if took em any longer I'd be dead. We can now "simply" solved the problem."
Let's use norepinephrine as an example because of its role in attention.
A synaptic norepi shortage? No problem. Researchers can isolate and synthesize norepi. I'll buy me a six pack of norepi and drink it.
Doesn't work. Waz the matter? The dang brain/blood barrier.
I must say, that the greatest contribution that psychiatry has made toward managing mental disorders of all types, is in the development and the continued refinement of psychotropic medications.
These meds are able to get past the brain/blood barrier. Medications that are designed to stimulant more norepinephrine look so similar to real norepinephrine that they bind with norepi receptors and trigger the response the receptors should have given all along.
Problem solved. Well, not quite, but we are on our way to a solution that can be satisfying efficacious for each of us.
My "conceptual" understanding of basic neuro system functioning is accurate enough for me to appreciate a few realities with enormous consequence.
I'm confident that my conclusions I express next are as accurate as you can get.
The solution to our woes is found in therapies that impact synaptic neurotransmission.
For some of us, natural supplements, good diet and exercise can turn the trick. All of us should implement good diet and exercise programs and avoid substances such as alcohol that are particularly damaging to us.
Another area to look at is environments we find overly stressful and avoid them if possible.
Still coming up short on managing ADHD symptom control?
You are a fool if you fail to get your ADHD degree.
You are a fool if you irrationally reject psychiatry and the available medications that can help you. These meds, when properly administered, balance brain chemistry restoring them over time to their natural state.
Want to talk about "unnatural?" Rejecting psychiatric care is the most unnatural thing you can do to yourself. Your brain will stay as unnaturally screwed up as the brain of a speed freak.
Jane, consider this my fecis for my ADHD degree. Thu, you make me think entirely to hard. I'm exhausted. Stop it. NOW.