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DC011381

Is it worth visiting a Neurologist?

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Hi Everyone,

Looking for some advice or opinions on scheduling an appointment with a neurologist.  Quick background - my story is the same as everyone elses... I am 5 months clean after a decade of use and facing the exact same challenges (anhedonia/depression/anxiety) as the rest.  From spending time on this forum, I now understand that I have brain damage that will take a long time to heal.  Since I do have a brain disease, I was wondering if there is any value going to a neurologist?  Can they conduct tests to understand the extent of the damage?  Can they make recommendations to help in the healing process besides for staying clean and giving it time?  

Thanks!

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depends on how you define value. if you're paying for this out of pocket and it's going to cost you a few hundred bucks, then i'd suggest considering the value more carefully. haven't been to a neurologist myself, but seems like others here have had pretty unremarkable results ("everything looks fine") with a dash of ignorance about long-term amphetamine withdrawal.

if you've got great insurance and you feel like a bill of clean health will calm your worries, then go for it! couldn't hurt right? (:

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You are still early on in the process. In my opinion, the psychological and emotional damage from long term amphetamine use is far more significant than the neurological consequences. Time and healthy habits alone should heal your physical mind. It’s just hard to be patient while recovering from the Adderall now now now mindset. That said, I completely understand your anxiety about long term damage, I had the same thoughts until about 9 months clean.

My armchair expert opinion: don’t make the appointment. Probable best case scenario, the doctor tells you nothing is wrong. Worst case scenario, the doctor misunderstands you, doesn’t understand amphetamine recovery, runs a bunch of bogus tests, and prescribes a chemical that will only complicate and prolong your recovery. Maybe you gather information that helps you justify going back on Adderall. I’m no doctor and ultimately it’s up to you, that’s just my 2 cents.

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I hear ya. I thought about going to one too. Here is why I haven’t: no matter what they say I am staying off any prescription mind altering drugs. Also the tests that they would have to run to diagnose anything are too expensive out of pocket (My mom has Alzheimer’s and to diagnose her it took 4 different tests, one of them cost $2,500 out of pocket luckily she  has Medicare). And I will bet you a million dollars that insurance won’t pay for those tests just because we took adderall for a decade and “suspect we have brain damage”.  Maybe in a country with universal healthcare It might be different I don’t know.  

I just don’t see the value in it. I have a strong suspicion that if I went and said “hey doc I took adderall for 12 years and my Mom has Alzheimer’s and I’m worried I will get it too. What can you do for me?” I bet they can’t do a darn thing.  

But then I could be wrong. If you decide to go please share your experience with us. 

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Thanks (as always) for the kind support and great feedback.  I really appreciate the energy and effort around all of your contributions.

I am not going to make an appointment - just going to stay abstinent and keep muddeling through. 

My one specific question though just for fun - are the damage to dophamine receptors visible in a cat scan?  Or is it like the CTE coming out of nfl players that is only visible once desceased?  Additonally, I assume the amount of natural dophamine or adrenalin you are producing is not something measurable?

 

 

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