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Adult ADHD.

(17 Posts)
Elfina Fri 13-Dec-13 20:05:32

Has anyone had a diagnosis in adulthood?

RudolphLovesoftplay Fri 13-Dec-13 20:27:32

No, but I reckon I have a mild form of it. Can't decide if going to the docs will be a total waste of time or not.

Why do you ask? Do you have symptoms?

Elfina Fri 13-Dec-13 20:34:52

Yes. I'm trying to decide also whether to go to the docs, or whether they'd shrug it off...

Tips for managing it would be helpful

HoopHopes Tue 17-Dec-13 00:29:52

Hi if you seek diagnosis the guidelines state you need your gp to refer you to a specialist for diagnosis. The guidelines also state that it is hard to diagnose as an adult and you can only be diagnoses as an adult of you had symptoms as a child - so they may need evidence from school reports or talk to your parents etc. Also as an adult the condition has to cause a moderate degree of impairment so useful of you present to your gp what problems it causes as a way to get them to refer you to a psychiatrist for official diagnosis.

Hope you get the tests and answers that help you.

BigBirthdayGloom Tue 17-Dec-13 00:37:27

Oh, I am convinced I have it. I looked online at a test and, whilst I know Dr Google has his flaws, I ticked every box. It just made sense and I could reel off example after example of the traits of ADHD right back from childhood.
I guess it's worth thinking about what you think a formal diagnosis would give you. I am considering seeking it because then I could access meds for it and possible cbt. But just identifying that I have loads of the traits is a relief and I am developing strategies to deal with procrastination, for example. There are lots of self help suggestions which are good things for anyone, for example, eating well, sleeping well and getting exercise are supposed to help. And importantly, if you assume you have it, even if you tell no one, it might make you a bit forgiving of yourself. If you're anything like me, I have wondered for years why I struggle with getting stuff done and keeping the balls in the air. If I assume I have ADHD, it gives me permission to be kind to myself, whilst challenging the patterns if behaviour that have been destructive.

Don't know if any of that makes sense!

BigBirthdayGloom Tue 17-Dec-13 00:39:53

The impairment thing is key. I remember the comedian, although I forget his name, who made a programme exploring whether he had OCD or not. The psychiatrist he spoke to actually said he had loads of traits of OCD but because he was able to function and get round them, it wasn't actually a disorder for him.

BigBirthdayGloom Tue 17-Dec-13 00:44:32

As far as tips go, op, the biggest thing for me as someone who struggles hugely with procrastination is the fifteen minute timer. If I have a job to do, like tidying, which could overwhelm me, I set the timer for 15 mins and work hard in a focused way and then give myself permission to stop after that time. If I feel okay, I'll set it again and once more, then I let myself rest for 15 mins. I also love It seems to have been written for me and has really helped me learn routines.

Greeneyed Tue 17-Dec-13 12:28:20

I have been diagnosed as an adult. I went private for diagnosis I researched it all beforehand knew who I wanted a referral to and went to the GP armed with all the information to request a referral. She was incredibly skeptical but referred me to the ADHD specialist psychiatrist I had requested. If I had not gone private I expect my chances of this referral on the NHS would have been nil but perhaps you'll have more luck!

After diagnosis I started under a shared care arrangement where I saw psychiatrist periodically (£100 visit) and the GP prescribes the drugs as they are expensive - My psychiatrist has just retired so I am hoping the GP will continue to prescribe without me having to find another one.

Good luck with it all

Greeneyed Tue 17-Dec-13 12:30:05

By the way - the drugs are not a miracle cure - as evidenced by the fact I am procrastinating on Mumsnet and not doing the work I'm supposed to be doing!

booge Tue 17-Dec-13 12:37:15

I have been diagnosed as an adult too. In my case through the NHS and the adult ADHD centre in Bristol. I take concerta daily, it helps with motivation a little but hasn't been a magic bullet.

booge Tue 17-Dec-13 12:38:37

my doctor was sceptical too but referred me when I asked.

Greeneyed Tue 17-Dec-13 12:56:41

I think it will largely depend on services in your area and the practice guidelines. I think I was the first patient they had referred for ADHD. Also Specialists able to diagnose ADHD in adults are few and far between I think there is one in the whole of our region so had I managed a referral it would have been an extremely long wait.

Adult ADHD still has a long way to go in being recognised and accepted by the medical profession. I have had two medical professionals tell me ADHD is just for children.

The main thing a diagnosis has given me is the ability to forgive myself a little. I have certainly lived fast and loose in the past and have sabotaged so many opportunities. I'm bright, was predicted a great future academically and failed or dropped out at every turn. My mantra was "I am a bad person" as I just couldn't seem to do what to others came easily. Now I see what challenges I've faced instead with my dodgy cognitive functioning!

Taking the drugs initially (stimulants which I had to give up because of side effects ) was an absolute revelation. Suddenly the thousands of thoughts in my head quietened down - all was still, I could think and concentrate. I realised this is what it's like in the head of a normal person - All the time I had been battling against a tide that wasn't there for others.

That said I actually missed the crazy smile

The drugs I am on now are not as effective and I still have side effects but they quieten the tide a little to allow me to write a letter for example without jumping to do several other things at once. If anything they are worse for motivation though hence why I'm still on here!

BigBirthdayGloom Tue 17-Dec-13 19:48:15

Green eyed-thanks for your story. I'm interested in the private route. Would you mind me asking roughly the cost if be looking at to get to the point if diagnosis?

Greeneyed Tue 17-Dec-13 22:12:42

Hi Big I found a website forum for adult adhd in the UK which gave advice on getting a diagnosis and a list of specialists - I'm sure you'll find it if you google. The specialist I saw is in the North of England. Charged £240 for first diagnostic assessment - this is via taking your history and questionnaires as there isn't currently a physical diagnostic you can go through. I then trialed stimulants for a month - think the prescription was about £50 and had a follow up appointment a month later £100. based on the assessment and response to the drugs the specialist said I was text book ADHD. I took another private script and saw him again a month later (script plus £100) and again another couple of times over 6 months. I've had to change prescriptions a few times because drugs gave me side effects so it took a while to transfer to shared care where GP prescribes (once I was on right dose of meds) though I expect you could get to this point much sooner as most people are fine with the stimulants.

BigBirthdayGloom Thu 13-Nov-14 19:36:06

A year on from this thread, I have a diagnosis and started meds today, concerta xl. I saw a specialist nurse for a five hour appointment last week, where he took a very, very detailed "life story" in relation to mental health and attention issues and then did a questionnaire but with me giving loads of examples. He had to confirm his diagnosis with the psychiatrist, but fairly soon on in the day he said that he felt pretty confident I had adhd.

Before my appointment, I had to fill in a questionnaire about myself, my dh did one and if my family hasn't been such a useless mess, they'd have done one too, to help with whether I had symptoms in childhood. They also asked for school reports but I didn't have any.

The medication dose will be reviewed and if I tolerate this low dose (18mg) it'll be increased.
I'm so glad I went along this road. My gp was brilliant, but it's worth fighting for a referral if yours isn't.

BigBirthdayGloom Thu 13-Nov-14 19:37:03

All this on Nhs by the way, referral to a specialist adult adhd service.

Gunznroses Thu 13-Nov-14 19:40:46

Good luck bigbirthday and hope the drugs work for you. My ds is on the same drug.

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