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Category: News

ILLINOIS ONLINE ADHD

Welcome Back, College Students!

You only have a limited time when you’re back in town. With your Vyvanse, you can keep on task, concentrate, and get through the coursework, but you keep running out of your medications at school.

How am I supposed to get to an office when I’m in class all day, plus clubs, sorority, work, and sports?

Do I really have to come in for an office visit when my dose doesn’t ever change?

AN EASIER WAY FOR ADHD TREATMENT

You take Adderall, Vyvanse, Ritalin, or another stimulant for ADHD or ADD, but find it challenging to keep taking time out of your busy life to get to an office every month. You take off work or class, sit in traffic, wait in a crowded waiting room, just for a brief visit to refill the same medication. That ten-minute appointment now turned into an hour or longer chunk of your day, wasting your already limited time.  Now, after one in-person visit, the follow up visits are done using an app similar to Skype or FaceTime for that visit.

Picture, you’re down to your last few tabs, you pop online and make an appointment that week, on your lunch break, that evening, or weekend. Prescriptions are sent right to your pharmacy, no handing in papers, just show up to the pharmacy when it’s ready.

Welcome to the convenience of TelePsychiatry. In this innovative psychiatry practice, after one in-person visit in Illinois, we can do your monthly visits from your phone in your dorm, car (not driving, of course), office, anywhere you are located.

On your Thanksgiving or Christmas break, you can take a trip out to our Bloomingdale, IL office, where we do a full psychiatric evaluation. After that, you can conveniently self-schedule in advance or even at the last minute. You may text me in between visits for any concerns or questions about your medications.

After the initial visit, the ADHD visits are $99 monthly.

Schedule Here

Care for the Highly Sensitive Person

Dr. Elaine Aron, PhD first described the highly sensitive person (HSP) as a personality trait in her book, The Highly Sensitive Person: How to Thrive When the World Overwhelms You. One part of this trait includes symptoms of being easily overwhelmed with strong sensory input, such as sounds, smells, and sensations. HSPs are more aware of subtleties around them; they pick up quickly on other people’s feelings and what is needed to soothe others who may be struggling. They also have a greater need to recuperate after upsetting and overwhelming tasks and must protect their energy levels.

Many of the traits of highly sensitive, empathic, and introversion overlap. HSPs may come in for help due to feeling anxious or overwhelmed when others do not seem so bothered by life, work, or family events. They judge themselves or feel judged for needing more alone time, more quiet time, and more self-soothing than others.

In the field of psychiatry, many clinicians look towards the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5) to label mental health conditions and illnesses. HSP, empath, and introversion traits are not in there due to not being pathological; it is just a way of being. HSPs have different wiring than others.

It is important for psychiatry clinicians to understand the HSP trait.

Things to know about HSP’s in Psychiatry:

  • Maybe prone to depression, anxiety
  • May look like social anxiety or avoidance when really it is recharging from overload
  • May exhibit more tearfulness without that being a symptom of a depressive episode
  • May react stronger to medications or have more side effects of drugs
  • Typically need sub-therapeutic (lower than standard) dosing of medications if they take them
  • More sensitive to the effects of stimulants
  • Benefit from mind-body modalities such as yoga, salt floats, meditation, time in nature, alone time

Having a highly sensitive personality is both a blessing and a challenge. HSPs feel a great depth of love and compassion for others. They also need to balance this with self-care and create good personal boundaries for protecting their energy.

High Functioning Depression

The alarm goes off, and you sigh. Everything feels so heavy. You hit snooze, and again, and are still tired. Wearily you sigh again and get up. It feels like too much today to wash your hair. “I’m so lazy,” but you keep going. Driving to work, you can’t remember how you got there, every day seems like a monotonous blur. Friends text you, and you pretend you forgot to hit send. But really it’s too hard to say, I’m depressed. You don’t cry all the time, but just don’t find joy. You don’t want to hang out with friends, or it takes a huge push to do it.

We think of depression as crying all the time, spending all the days in bed, and wanting to die. While this is the picture of severe major depression, there are variances in the severity of depression. Many people with moderate depression can still push through life. High functioning depression may look like taking a lot more effort, there is less enjoyment, you get enough sleep, even more than usual, but always feel tired.

The typical depression screener that we do to look at these symptoms is called the Patient Health Questionnaire or PHQ-9 (Pfizer, 1999). It asks, in the last two weeks, how often have you been bothered by any of the following problems:

• Little interest or pleasure in doing things
• Felling down, depressed, or hopeless
• Trouble falling or staying asleep, or sleeping too much
• Feeling tired or having low energy
• Poor appetite or overeating
• Feeling bad about yourself- or that you are a failure or have let yourself or your family down
• Trouble concentrating on things, such as reading the newspaper or watching television
• Moving or speaking so slowly that other people could have noticed. Or the opposite- being so fidgety or restless that you have been moving around a lot more than usual
• Thoughts that you would be better or dead or hurting yourself

Major depression, dysthymia, and “high functioning depression” have similar medication treatments, but vary on dosing and aggressiveness of treatment based on the severity of symptoms. Some treatment options may include therapy, exercise, supplementation, and medications. Medications are chosen based on your presentation, family history, length of symptoms, concerns for particular side effects, and co-morbidities. Your clinician should work with your preferences. If you choose to take medication, the goal is not to feel numbed out or unlike yourself.

People with high-functioning depression still struggle with motivation, making phone calls, and attending appointments. It is hard enough getting to work and caring for the family. Telepsychiatry offers another alternative to get care. This practice allows for scheduling within a few days and taking visits from the comfort of your couch in jammies for when motivation is a struggle.

Depression Screener