UK assessment for ADD in adult

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    • #88353

      Hi all, I have thought for a very long time now that my difficulties are possibly ADD related. Particularly in concentration, making careless mistakes, being unable to listen properly and my main issue being unable to drive- which is a combo of all of the above mentioned.

      I went to my gp a few years ago and asked about a referral for assessment and he laughed at me and said I didn’t have ADD as I have a professional job and that it was likely stress.

      This has put me off going back and asking my new gpfor a referral, also as I know the NHS is really struggling.

      Now do I go to the gp I have and how do I getvthem to take me seriously, what’s the likelihood of referral or, do I pay privately and then how much does this cost for assessment firstly and if it came back that I needed treatment with medications how much is a private prescription roughly?

      Thank you

    • #88428
      Penny Williams

      I can’t speak to the process and costs of diagnosis in the UK. However, I do want to encourage you to keep pursuing it if you feel strongly that you may have ADHD. The first GP you discussed it with obviously has limited and antiquated notions about what ADHD in adults is like.

      Maybe take an online self-test and print and take the results to your GP to help facilitate the conversation:

      [Self-Test] Could You Have Adult ADHD / ADD?

      ADDitude Community Moderator, Parenting ADHD Trainer & Author, Mom to teen w/ ADHD, LDs, and autism

    • #88513

      I have pretty severe ADHD, and have always held “professional” jobs as a software engineer. Your GP, ironically, gave you unprofessional advice. The fact that he didn’t even see the need for testing was really unprofessional (since when do doctors diagnose by eyeballing?).

      There is no stereotypical person with ADHD. We’ve learned over the years that it shows itself in many different ways, sometimes in quite hidden ways.

      As another example, one of the reasons it took me 46 years to come to this diagnosis is because I have an impeccable sense of time. I never miss a scheduled event. in fact, I always show up early. I can even wake up at a pre-determined time without an alarm just by declaring it just before bedtime. I’m also a very accomplished amateur drummer. You can set a Swiss watch to me. Part of the reason for this is my upbringing, where honoring time commitments was high up on the expectation scale, and the other is because time management is something I hyper-focus on and always have.

    • #88572

      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.

    • #100652

      I was diagnosed yesterday through the Local Mental Health Trust in the town where I live. I’ve been in therapy for the past 6 weeks and my therapist recommended gaining a GP referral, especially after I told her that the local ADHD centre wanted to charge £1400 for the psychometric tests. The GP I saw was a little cynical; she had only had one previous referral before with a child who was brought in by their parents. She said she would need to review my case to see whether such an action was necessary but to my surprise she referred me. The Psychiatric Doctor and Nurse I saw were very nice and I didn’t feel like I was wasting their time. They were very thorough and efficient reviewing the questionnaires I submitted and asking a lot of questions before coming to a diagnosis of ADD after a five minute deliberation and a one hour interview/talking session.

      I have to admit that I’m a little cynical of the diagnosis as I thought there would be more tests or at least more quantitative analysis based on information derived from more abstract controlled metric test rather than just questionnaires. I don’t think my family are convinced either which hasn’t helped. After being a very sure I have ADD after reading articles in Additude and carrying out online tests an I’m not a 100% and I would like more analysis before I start taking medication.

      If you are convinced that you have ADHD go and see your new GP, but I wouldn’t go in unprepared. I print out your attempt at a questionnaire or take a list of examples where your behaviour fits the bill for the ADHD. GPs have only limited time and from my experience welcomed supporting evidence and other information to make a decision.

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