Reply To: UK assessment for ADD in adult


My last doctor thought I had depression. No idea why. My current GP thought it might be hypomania (whilst treating me for insomnia, my weird thinness and lack of an ability to ever switch off, essentially) and asked if I’d visit a psychiatrist. In the end I agreed, it took around 3 weeks for an appointment and then we had 3 more at the same intervals. Turns out it was ADHD, which he suspected at the first meeting. Also turns out that what I thought was normal wasn’t and that I am actually now acheiving in all of the areas I want to and try for. I’m doing a degree and it’s going great. I was 37 when I was diagnosed and haven’t looked back.

I have always made a point of being early rather than late (but now I don’t have to turn up an hour early just to make sure I actually get there). I have also long kept a diary for everything I’ll need to remember – less important now to be fair. I thought I was doing OK, I had so many little techniques and tricks to appear ‘normal’ – now I really am doing fine. It’s only with hindsight that the difference is so clear. I have also reached a healthy weight. Even better I can actually sleep at night.

This is from someone who once forgot their car at a petrol station, was sent for hearing tests as a kid (not the issue, I suppose I was just unable to concentrate long enough to reply coherently) and was pretty much resigned to always being the odd one. I’m still me, still energetic and still full of sideways mental leaps, and I do still make a good few careless errors, but I’m learning all over again really. – Main thing is I’m a lot better than I was before. I find that I can actually fit in with other people now. Also the small things which drove me up the wall (I’d try 4 or 5 t-shirts in a morning to find one that wasn’t uncomfortable and so on) now don’t so much.

My GP is, to be fair, absolutely fantastic, the NHS psychiatrist was really helpful and open minded and it was me who was the skeptical one. “There’s nothing wrong with me!” Etc.

It’s only one person’s experience, but mine is that the NHS is worth a try first, you’re already paying for it after all – might as well use it I think. (I wrote about three pages and condensed it down in Wordpad, sorry if this seems to miss anything). I have not tried private treatment, it might not be necessary if the NHS does its thing in the right way – I think it does hinge on the GP and their recommendations. I would personally recommend trying again. The right GP and a good NHS psychiatrist should be as good for you as they were for me. I hope that is what happens because it’s made my life a thousand times better that I could ever have imagined.