Hi I want to know a bit about seeking a diagnosis; benefits, advantages/disadvantages, implications (like on job applications), do you need to tell your current employer if you said you had no issues when you applied? thanks
The main advantage for me is the medication, also confirmed what I already knew about myself so I no longer beat myself up about being disorganised or a perfect mum. Workwise I don't think you have to mention it unless you choose to.
To get a diagnosis, your GP will probably refer you to your local mental health service - a psychiatrist will assess you (you may need to complete some initial screening forms first) and if appropriate, you can be prescribed medication. Whether you disclose to your employer is up to you. They can't terminate your contract if you disclose, as that would be seen as disability discrimination. On the plus side of disclosing your condition, your employer would have a duty to make workplace reasonable adjustments to support you in retaining your work role, if deemed appropriate.
I'm only on a probationary contract at the moment though so I don't have as many rights as others. I am however findng it really hard to stay organised with "hot desk-ing" - I am more "spread out" than other people in my department who work between fewer offices than I do but I've not been doing brilliantly so not sure how much my manager would want to do to hang onto me IYKWIM.
Not really sure I want to stay so thinking about future job applications too - it's usually a yes/no question, so presumably you can't lie?
Bitsnbobs78 can you tell me more about the medication side?
I was diagnosed in November and have been taking a low dose of meds since then. I am due for review and the dose will probably increase as I have has very few side effects, if any. The effects have been subtle but significant. I am able to focus better on tasks and am more "present". I have generally found it hugely helpful to know that there is a reason why I have found my life so difficult in many ways, although recently I have had a few low days about how much I've missed out on. I was really fortunate to have a brilliant gp who didn't dismiss my concerns out of hand (I have a good degree, a stable marriage and cope with three kids-albeit with many crises and near miss disasters) and referred me to a specialist centre who said my case was clear cut. I can see no negatives about being diagnosed-only about being diagnosed at 41 because I've missed a lot of the kind of life I could have had. I prefer to think that I was lucky to get a diagnosis at all and especially when I hopefully have decades left.
My concentration has improved dramatically I got through a course at college which without meds I know I never would have finished ( started 3 open uni degrees and gave up half way through previously) . I find it easier to get organised my brain thinks logically instead of a haze turning from one mess to another.
Do an online quiz/diagnostic test, take the results with you and for each of the characteristics you recognise in yourself, try to think of anectdotes and examples from your life. And think a bit about how adhd symptoms impact on your life. The referral criteria that my gp had to follow we're to do with impairment of your ability to function and perform. On the surface, I appear to function well. So I had to make it clear that I will soon need to work more and give countless examples of how my apparent success has been through absurd near misses and that I would now really struggle to manage my family and a job.
Also, adhd is about lifelong impairment and so try to think through how you were as a child, not just now.
If you still have worries about meds, one thing that the specialist who did my diagnosis appointment said is that people who need them seem to get fewer or no side effects, almost as if the drug is focussing on something if you have adhd but makes mischief elsewhere if you don't. Made sense to me and has certainly proved true-no adverse effects.
I take Concerta XL, also known as Methylphenidate. It's a controlled drug and I do get the odd look from pharmacists sometimes. My psychiatrist said that in non-ADHD brains it works like speed, but it makes me feel very relaxed and calm. He recently recommended that I start taking magnesium and fish oil supplements too.
Im sure the other posters on this thread will agree that finally getting a diagnosis was life changing. As someone else said, my only regret is that it's taken this long. I often wonder what my life would have been like if I'd been diagnosed years ago, instead of in my 40s.
That's what he said to me too! Expressed much better than I did! It is a weird feeling to be on a controlled drug I think, but I think of it being controlled to stop people who don't need it getting it rather than because its dangerous to me.