I’m a 33 year old single mom. I have been diagnosed with ADD and depression sense about 12 and have been off and on meds sense… After having a life threatening asthma attack I decided I needed to get my life together. I get so bad it effects my ability to be a good mother or worker. I would lay in bed and avoid doing the most minor life tasks (even taking care of my asthma bringing me to almost die). It was then I saw my doctor- He prescribed me with (eventually) 20MG IR of Adderall 2xs a day (4 days a week). I felt amazing!! I had motivation to get up and get my son to school, take a shower, do my makeup, go to work and accomplish stuff, go home and handle things there too. Meds upped to 3omg IR and 20mg (4days a week) eventually. Seemed great.. Now a few months later I’m again at a very low point. I realized just a few days ago I was experiencing and have been experiencing multiple psychotic breaks. I’m just not perceiving reality correctly and I have been for MANY months. Sense the near death experience I thought my son was being abused by my family, that my co-works were against me and several other job related delusions. Experiencing major anxiety, depression, mood swings, delusions, racing unmanageable thoughts, insomnia. I feel like im going crazy. I’m perceiving even little interactions with others incorrectly.I feel I am bipolar honestly. I want to tell my doctor but I am so scared, I’m so scared to go back to the person I was and I’m scared of the person I am currently. I wonder if this has always been happening and I’m just now realizing the extent of it. Possibly be bipolar or schizophrenic and undiagnosed? Effects of Adderall or no sleep? From the accident possible brain injury from the coma and lack of oxygen? I’m so scared and I’m not sure how to handle this. Really need a professionals advise. Thank you!

A: Your instinct to want to tell your doctor is a good one. It’s advantageous to be as forthcoming about your symptoms as possible. Once your doctor has the correct information about your symptoms, it will help him to better understand what might be wrong. Without that information, he might be inadvertently providing you with inappropriate treatments.

Regarding your doctor, you didn’t include information about his specialty. Hopefully it’s psychiatry. Many people are prescribed psychiatric medications by their primary care physicians but psychoactive medications are best prescribed by a psychiatrist. Psychiatrists are specialists in mental health and in the medications involved. They have a nuanced understanding of mental health conditions and treatments. They would be in the best position to treat your symptoms. If you’re not seeing a psychiatrist, you should be.

Counseling would also be beneficial. It would help you to stay grounded in reality. It’s a great source of guidance and support. Family counseling would have the added advantage of assisting and supporting your children. Research has shown that medication and psychotherapy are more effective than medication alone for most mental health conditions. The more support you have the better you will feel.

I’m sorry that this is happening to you. I understand your fears about asking for help but the symptoms you have described are highly treatable with the proper medication and or counseling. There is no reason to be frightened. Nothing bad will happen if you ask for help. Mental health professionals want to help and are trained to know what to do. Make it your priority to let your doctor know what is happening. That is the first step to properly addressing this issue. Don’t hesitate to write again if you have additional questions. I wish you the best of luck.

Dr. Kristina Randle