Told I don't have ADHD because I can read

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    • #184623

      Hi I am wondering if anybody can help me. I am from the UK and I am currently on a waiting list to see an NHS psychiatrist for official diagnosis after having an assessment with the same nhs service. The waiting list is currently a 12 month wait. As my symptoms are impacting my life massively especially my education at university. (I have already taken a suspended 1 year break halfway through my 3 year course due to low grades and being unable to cope). I have started university again on the same course picking up where I left off and have had an incredibly difficult first week. Due to this I desperately decided to book a private ADHD assessment. At the end of said assessment which was around 5 open ended questions long I was told that I have symptoms of ADHD but I don’t have ADHD as I don’t have substance abuse issues, can read books, I can hyper-focus on things that interest me and I am too high functioning as I didn’t drop out of primary or high school (although I have not been able to work or go to university for the past year). My girlfriend who is a mental health nurse was confused by the assessment (she was with me) and its results. This morning I contacted the NHS ADHD services as I was incredibly confused and they confirmed that during my initial assessment I scored quite high in regards to having ADHD and was told that my appointment I am waiting for is for medication and an official diagnosis. I am now constantly doubting myself in regards to even having ADHD at all and I am wondering if not having substance abuse issues, being able to read and hyper focusing on things that are interesting and not dropping out of primary or high school are good enough reasons to deny somebody a diagnosis or should I accept what has been said and stop my diagnosis journey here?

      • This topic was modified 1 year ago by jessstar.
    • #184634

      I am also from the UK and know the endless waitlists.

      Firstly stick with the NHS waiting list you are clearly struggling enough and aware enough to know you need help if the NHS decide its not ADHD they might have alternative help.

      If your assessment had been via the NSH and they had said its not ADHD you are entitled to a second opinion.

      You never know how experienced the assessor is and some high functioning people need assessing multiple times to catch everything especially if ADHD overlaps with ASD.

      Now with your university issues, have you applied for Disabled student allowance (DSA).

      As you are awaiting diagnosis and have been told on the NHS route high likely hood of it that is enough to get your university to give you accommodations and if your not already taking to the disabled student department of your university you should do so now. Right now.

      In terms of the private diagnosis route you took, if they only asked 5 questions and kicked you out that dosen’t sound like an actual assessment more like a consultation. Did they ask to see old school reports or make you fill in the scale ratings? Did they ask your girlfriend anything?

      How thoroughly did you research the person / practice before hand? How long had they been practicing for?

      I would right to the practice if if is not just run by the one person who assessed you and point out what you were unhappy with then if you get an diagnosis via the NHS you can have that to back you up.

    • #184637

      Thank-you so much for this response, no I haven’t yet but I plan too, my local NHS ADHD service I’m under has posted a letter out today that they said should help with getting support at uni, so thats incredibly hopeful.

      Yeah thats what I thought but at the end he told me I didn’t have it specifically because I did’t have substance abuse issues, because I could read and that if I did have ADHD I would’ve dropped out of either primary or high school. And I paid for a full assessment and he labeled it as such at the start, he asked her to describe me and that was all, no follow up questions and no questions about anything specific.

      To be honest not really, I googled the company he works for overall and I had seen somebody post in a forum they receive treatment there and have had great results so I convinced myself from that one review they were great. Should’ve been a warning sign when I got an appointment the same day as everywhere I’ve spoke to since seems to have at least a 2 week wait. I ended up googling him afterwards but he is Swedish so everything was written in Swedish and I can only speak English, his name seemed to be incredibly common in his home country so a lot of other people with his name came up when searching even when I tried to narrow it down to psychiatry. But the one thing I did trust was that he was trained at the Karolinska institute which is the issuer of the Nobel Prize in medicine which seemed to good to pass up but this was also on the company website I booked the assessment through.

      I filled in the scale ratings before and was given one for my girlfriend and one for a parent to fill in which they did and I emailed them back as asked but they weren’t talked about at all during the appointment. And there was no request for school reports.

      My girlfriend was so upset after we contacted the NHS ADHD services this morning that she said she will help me prepare a complaint if it’s what I want but I just wanted to see if his reasonings were something to be trusted or it was just the fact that he was comparing me to the hyperactive type and negating how differently ADHD can represent in women especially the inattentive type.

      Thank-you so much for the reply, its made me feel sane and that it might just be a misdiagnosis as I have spoke to my gp and even they don’t think that I fit with the symptoms of any other mental illness except inattentive type ADHD and depression with anxiety. Honestly thank-you so much I will contact my university first thing tomorrow morning and inform them of my situation.

      Sorry for the longest reply ever!

    • #184646

      Sounds very suspect, I would put a letter with your complaints and say you want to know if the company guidelines dictate that people have to have substance abuse etc because he could be harming more people than helping and highlight what the specific problems you had with the assessment are. Maybe he he hasn’t been trained in ADHD being a spectrum or in female ADHD / ADD, maybe he is used to clients who have fallen apart more with ADHD but I am very glad you didn’t take his word as gospel!

      I hope university goes better this year, defiantly apply for DSA they can get you useful equipment for your course and make the tutors have to give you copies of power points etc before lectures, and make sure they give you extra time and rest breaks in exams in a separate room.

    • #184691

      I was diagnosed ADHD by going through the NHS, it is worth the wait. The forms are extensive and I went for two interviews at hospital.

      These people you saw, they sound like they don’t know what they are doing. The reasons they gave you are nonsense. Maybe the best thing is to forget about them but keep on waiting for your NHS assessment. This website is great, although more American-oriented than British. Don’t doubt yourself but keep on looking for ways you can better understand yourself and put things in place to help you with your life and education and relationships. I’m sorry you had a bad experience.

      Best wishes

    • #184670

      For similar reasons, I was not diagnosed until J was 32.

      It may take persistence to get the correct diagnosis.

      Why do you think you have it? You might want to list the criteria in DSM-V and write notes under each one, including doing some free-writing on ancillary issues that come to mind for each one.

      Read about how ADHD manifests in adults and women, and document how what you read relates for you. Present the related info during an assessment. Also look at frequent co-occurring disorders and those that share some symptoms with ADHD (eg bipolar II). You might have more than just ADHD or you may gain insight into why one better explains your experiences rather than another. Don’t give up. It’s too important.

      [Self-Test] ADHD Symptoms in Women

    • #184862

      Man, that’s bogus. I love to read and I know I have adhd. If it’s something I am interested in I can read all day. But if it’s a simply a paragraph I’m not interested in, reading feels like torture. I guess I hyperfocus on reading when I like what I’m reading. I think that’s an adhd thing. I also don’t have substance abuse issues and I have to be drug tested to get my adhd medication prescription.

    • #188359

      ADHD is on a spectrum and they’re suggesting you’re high functioning, which is good. There is an argument that as ADHD medication has side effects and risk, so we high functioning folk should just learn coping mechanisms. Also as funds are tight, talking therapies for ADHD have to go to those that struggle the most, they fast tract such cases. If you do struggle with literacy you’re unlikely to appear on a forum like this. I’ve worked in the NHS and am aware in America they pay way more and get way more, but the danger of assuming the customer is always right medically, is people are often overmedicated or even given the wrong medication because they demanded it. So it’s pros and cons either side of the pond.

      But in summary JESSSTAR it’s good news that you are high functioning and have got to University. Keep on the waiting list, but bear in mind you can still access some medication used for ADHD if you have anxiety for example, just off the back of you having anxiety. Also with talking therapies, my Dr said “You’re intelligent, just read the same book the therapists reads and you’ll do fine.” Stay on the waiting list for the formal diagnosis – but that doesn’t mean you can’t do things now to improve your situation. I hope that helps.

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