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Adult ADHD assessment

(6 Posts)
ADHDorPND Mon 20-May-19 15:06:40

Does anyone have any useful advice on seeking an adult NHS assessment for ADHD or are adults better off going down the private route?

I have been on antidepressants since the birth of my eldest son, 9 years ago with a brief break for a 3rd pregnancy and then very swiftly put back on them. Ive tried various ones over the years and have been on my current medication for a good few years now.

I spoke briefly to a doctor earlier this year about coming off the meds but he wasn’t overly supportive and suggested I come back in spring, when the weather is better.

However: here is my dilemma if you like. I had a period of time whilst at secondary school where I was under the care of an educational psychologist. I have tried to get those records via a subject access request through my GP. But there was apparently nothing on my records. I know I saw this person once at home with my family and for quite a lot of sessions at my then gp surgery, until I ditched them because I was being teased and bullied further at school.

I was diagnosed with PND one year after my eldest son was born, no real concerns from my first pregnancy but during my second i had been under an increasing amount of stress through work and DH’s own health needs. DS1 was a very demanding and needy baby, with his own health concerns early on and after fighting for many, many years, we finally got a diagnosis of ADHD, help and medication for him. We are now in the system for our youngest daughter. School have flagged her up as having issues and have been nothing but supportive and completely non-judgemental.

The more research I do in order to help my children, the more flags are popping up in regards to myself. DH too has had similar issues since childhood and aside from the fact that academically he was very intelligent, he was flagged up as the class joker or ‘the naughty one’ when he was bored at school. His parents have often told us how much our son reminds them of him when he was a child but that he wasn’t ‘as bad’ (they are lovely and very supportive of all of us).

More recently I have felt like I am not able to manage anything at all. I am useless at being an adult. I struggle with running our home, mostly because I get so sidetracked that the small job which needed doing turns into a big one - I am writing this as the result of sending an email in to the SENDCO at school. Which I realised I needed to send while I was in the middle of supposedly studying for my final assignment for university.

Because I am a stay at home parent, dh and I decided it would be useful to enrol on an OU course with the intention of gaining qualifications for a reasonable employment once finished and as the children are all older and in school, but also so I don’t feel like my brain is going completely to mush. Yet I find it so very hard at times to keep on track and have had a number of extensions plus just not handed in assignments at all. I have managed to do all the critical ones though so provided my last one goes in on time and I get a reasonable mark from the one before that, I should be able to pass this year and move on. If I don’t, I don’t know what I am going to do as this is the second year that I have done the first year of my course. And when the subject matter is interesting, I really get into it, of which there is much more interesting study to me in year 2.

So I’m thinking I need to see the GP again. But how likely are they to laugh me out of the surgery? What can I take with me in order to back up my request?

When I’ve looked on the NHS website, it says diagnosis is unlikely unless evidence was present in childhood. All I can go on is memories because my school reports were generally fine. I was a goody two shoes who on the whole wanted to be in school and learning. Although I went from a straight A student to failing 2 and barely passing 1 A level.

Work was similar to be honest and although I was always a morning person when I was working, now I find it incredibly hard to get up. I can fall asleep easily but often wake up for 3-4 hours in the middle of the night. This has a massive impact on my ability to function as well as I have always needed a decent amount of sleep. Tiredness then compounds my ability to get things done.

I make lists and have a 3 calendar system to avoid missing appointments. But that still happens, increasingly.

Lists overwhelm me so I will sort them into related lists. But then I have 101 lists and no idea where to actually start.

I started tidying and cleaning out the garage about a month ago. I still have boxes dotted around the house which need sorting before I put them back. In my head I only want the stuff we are going to keep to be in the garage and therefore until it is sorted out, I don’t want it back in there as it will just stay hidden away.

My dining table is covered with stuff dumped in from various rooms when we’ve had visitors over or been doing homework crafts with the children. But none of it is away and looking at the table, I don’t know where to start so I just don’t - I still have a bag on the back of a chair for rubbish which every now and then I sort, but within a day or two there is more piled up to be sorted. I suspect I might be a bit of a hoarder as I think ‘I cant get rid of that for sentimental reasons’ or ‘it might come in handy’ althoughI am getting better. It doesn’t help that my husband is often of the same mind.

So does anyone know what the process is like for adults, particularly in Cambridgeshire. I’ve seen a private clinic in Cambridge itself, which is pricey but if I get nowhere with the GP I am considering as if I carry on like this I fear not only for my future, but also my family’s. I don’t see my own parents because of a falling out but when we were going through assessment with our son, I could see so many of his traits in my father as an adult. And we were told by my son’s pediatrician that ADHD can run in families as well as just occur for no reason. Or am I just loooking for excuses for my current lazy assed nature?

Chouetted Wed 22-May-19 19:36:05

If you're an OU student, your first port of call is them.

Lujie Sat 25-May-19 19:05:57

I'm in the south west and have two clients who exhibit signs of adult adhd, one of whom was diagnosed as a child but fell out of treatment. I'd been waiting for appointments for them, and upon enquiry have been informed that the previously diagnosed person will probably get an appointment in about 2 years, the other will be waiting for 5 years. This is today's NHS. Marvellous treatment if lifesaving emergency but outside of that, quite scarily deficient. I think you need to know, so if I were you and had the money, would pay for the initial assessment. (It's about £300 here) Ultimately you need a psychiatrist to inform gp to prescribe. Many people feel much calmer and able to cope on appropriate meds and should help with depression. Best wishes.

ADHDorPND Thu 13-Jun-19 13:38:04

Thank you for your assistance. I have only just called OU and discussed the matter with them. I have been putting it off but after realising that even though I completed my EMA, and on time (yay go me!) I have still failed the entire first year. Again. By 2%. Ah well.

I spoke to a lovely gentleman in student support who has helped me change my course, to one which will still allow me to do what I want and is in a subject I am interested in. But has half the assessments and no end of module assessment. He has also recorded depression on my file and advised me to seek further assistance from my gp practice. I'm trying to find which person is the best listening person at the practice at the moment as the last one told me to come back when the weather was better. And I think 7 years having PND recorded is somewhat taking the piss. Maybe its just easier to chuck a load of pills at someone and hope for the best.

On the plus side, I have discovered if I can get GP support, our county is one which does NHS referrals. I'm still saving up for a private assessment but I figured I could save and pursue at the same time and go with whichever gets me first.

Ive also emailed my old secondary school in the vain hope they may still have records from when I was there. I doubt it, I left 20 years ago but there might be someone who can help. Sadly getting my parents on board is not an option as I haven't spoken to them in quite some time. Probably around 18 months.

adhdorpnd Mon 01-Jul-19 10:27:07

Update: spoke to lovely gp. Wasn't half as bad as I thought it might be. He readily agreed to refer me on for adult Adhd assessment and my current pnd meds will stay the same for now as no point changing anything. No idea how long it will take but he said they will phone me for a start.

So now it's a waiting game. But relief to have finally discussed it with someone other than family.

StegosaurusRex Wed 15-Jan-20 19:07:50

@ADHDorPND I know this is a bit old, but I've just been referred for assessment, myself, and was wondering how you got on?
I don't have any school records and was similar to you in that I breezed through school despite my lack of attention and effort, which obviously makes it more difficult to pick up on an issue

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