Reply To: RECOMMENDATIONS FOR A PSYCHIATRIST THAT SPECIALISES IN ADHD (AUSTRALIA)

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#178418

Hi Natalee

I live in NSW but about 35mins from Sydney city, I was diagnosed with ADD type and not ADHD.

I went to my GP and simply said can you give me a referral letter to someone nearby who can tell me if I have ADD/ADHD and he had zero problem with doing so at all. I’d personally just go to a bulk billing medical centre, ask for the first available DR and do what I did.

Otherwise go online and just look up ADHD Psychiatrist’s in your area, and then try make a booking which will likely be a good month away. He/She will probably just ask you some questions like do you struggle to sleep along with any parents who have ADHD/Anxiety and how school was etc, and basically they will decide by the end whether they diagnose you according to guidelines.

I will add though, your GP shouldn’t have done what she did, it’s pretty half assed, if I’m correct “headspace” is just another organisation like “beyond blue” for depression. GP’s also legally are not qualified to prescribe ADHD meds or make diagnosis, only a psychiatrist can.

Also be prepared, your first initial consultation just to see if your diagnosed is going to cost you somewhere in the realm of roughly $450 and you may only be there an hour but they will have probably already have made their mind up after 20 mins.

The first course of action if diagnosed will always be a trial of medication and if that helps, you have to go back to them every 6 months for a repeat and it will probably cost just over $200 each time for like a quick 20-30 min visit after a while if you find medication that continues to work.

It’s a pretty expensive first consultation and ongoing to, the medication is very cheap though, like $20 a month. If I could go back and time, I would have incorporated CBT along with the medication.

Reason being is for about the first 2 years on medication, I managed to excel at work and with my uni degree at a rate I had never been able to before. However, eventually while moving up at work, and doing a degree full time, and not having seen an ADHD coach (psychologist), I wasn’t able to see the signs of a complete burn out.

Working full time and studying full time and saved all my annual leave, resulted in a complete life changing burn out where I then spent the next 3 years depressed/anxious and left my job and stopped my degree.

Over the last 6-8 months, I have seen a psychologist as an ADHD coach and for CBT going on for my 11th session at $200 each but she has helped me come a long way. I guess I was very unfortunate and I should have been referred to an ADHD coach by my psychiatrist after the first year but he seemed to think I already was for some reason.

Anyway I’ve done a lot of research over the past 5-6 years and it’s a simple fact that combination therapy is the best solution and that medication alone isn’t enough when your diagnosed later in life and essentially haven’t learnt those fundamental skills in life which are crucial to coping.

And it’s considered a late diagnoses pretty much any time after your 18, I was like 22 I think and that’s the perfect age to have learnt bad habits and not certain fundamentals of which CBT with an ADHD coach seems to help try fix. Normally the ideal age you should be diagnosed is like 7ish, but there’s been so much Stigma around ADHD for so long that my parents basically ignored it until one day I did something about it. There’s only so much you can struggle and fail before you questions whether something’s wrong, and thats how I eventually got diagnosed, I assume that’s probably where your at now to.

Anyway I hope that helps because I know what it’s like knowing nothing and no one to help guide you, so yeah it’s detailed and long but we’re both in NSW and I’m so i’m probably the best person to explain what you should expect.

This is also the best website I have ever found for information but unfortunately due to it being all American, it’s hard to get some answers when it’s all referred to by how things are in America. For example, in America they have Adderall and about 100 other medications and brands, in Australia you literally have what 2-3 stimulants and 2 non stimulants and that’s literally it. All we get is say Ritalin for example in different release forms, so like IR (Instant Release), LA (Long Acting) Concerta (Once a day slow releasing capsule). But there all still just Ritalin, then you get Dexamphetamine IR, if you want the LA version, you have to get it compounded by a chemist and costs no joke 5x more per month. And then there’s a pro drug called Vyvanse which only turns into Dexamphetamine after ingested with an enzyme in your stomach which transforms it and makes it a kind of hybrid LA/Slow release all day version like Concerta for Ritalin.

Then non stimulants, you get Strattera which is like a Norepinephrine inhibitor like some anti depressants but is pretty weak. And lastly there’s Intuniv which was originally designed long ago to be blood pressure medication but ended up being approved for ADHD, also on the weaker side.

Anyway my essay to you shows you what ADHD hyper focus can be like for some, just typing endlessly in a tunnel vision focus. Hope this all helps.