View Full Version : How to approach GP?

06-12-13, 04:56 PM
Make appointment, turn up and freeze! Dry mouth and inability to remember your carefully worked out "speech"! I don't do doctor's appointments well. My visits often end up with me skipping the main concern and bringing up something minor and unrelated. It's a fear of sounding like a hypochondriac but it only makes me seem more like what I fear.

I match a lot of ADHD symptoms and perhaps other things too. More so to those around me. How should I bring it up? I need a way of breaking into it.

My thoughts are printing an ADHD list of symptoms then ticking those I believe fit me. of course that could look like I'm looking for that diagnosis. Perhaps I should list my symptoms but that doesn't seem right. I don't know how to deal with GPs. Help!

06-12-13, 05:52 PM this self test might help take it to your psych and explain, ,my psych gave me this sheet to see how much adhd symptoms I have

I had and still have a difficult time explaining what I really want to tell my psych .. And it took me a little over a year to be able to open up a little and I am still anxious till now when I go

06-12-13, 05:59 PM
Have you tried writing everything down so you don't forget anything and the doctor can read what you wrote?

06-13-13, 12:54 AM
I can definitely understand your worry about talking with the doctor.

The value of your doctor's appointment is based on two things - your ability to explain the problem, and the doctor's ability to understand what you are experiencing and the amount of distress it causes you.

Unfortunately, doctors are always busy, and usually sleep deprived. You only have a small amount of time, but if you are prepared, you can make the most of your appointment.

The first step is to believe in yourself and what you are doing. Make a list of the symptoms that concern you the most, and focus on the impact they have on your life. Be prepared to have some stories/examples from work/school/your social life/life in general, to better illustrate your points.

Your reason for visiting the doctor is because you are fed up with these symptoms, and you know things could be better if you had the right tools (medications, therapy, etc) to manage them. You're a problem solver (not a hypochondriac!), and you are seeking the resources to tackle this problem and manage its impact on your life.

So the bottom line is, you need to make the doctor understand the impact of your symptoms, and the need to overcome them.

Hope this helps you somehow!

06-13-13, 01:18 AM
I think it can be quite difficult to get an adult diagnosis for ADHD in the UK, going by what other UK members have said.
I wouldnīt take a list from the internet but you can make a list of your symptoms with real life examples of how they effect you. Like you are chronically late and have lost your job through it etc.

I planned to write a list, I started on a piece of paper at home and planned to type it up neatly to take to the docs. Of course I never got round to making it look presentable or even legible and I took with me to the docs this scruffy piece of paper with 3 different coloured pens, writing going in all directions, shorthand notes and coffee stains. Basically a complete mess. The doc kept looking at the paper in my hand and said "Is this piece of messy paper a reflection of your life?" I think thatīs what swung my diagnosis.

Be willing to listen to your doc but also be assertive and make sure that he listens to all of your points. Insist on a referral to a specialist of your are not happy with what he has to say.

06-13-13, 03:25 AM
I just know what will happen, even if I get it all out so the doctor understands. I'll get a nice little printout from on ADHD and told to go home and read it. That's from the one doctor in the practise that is any good.

Should change practise but the only other doctor's surgery near me is one of those bigger, local centres where the doctors are mostly newly practising, overseas trained/foreign doctors or not there for long. I know it sounds prejudiced but I don't do accents well and prefer to have a doctor I can understand. Took my baby son for his first check-up and the doctor was I think Indonesian with a strong accent. I could not understand him. It is likely I would end up with him if I changed practise.

06-13-13, 03:30 AM
You will be lucky to get a print out. Overseas docs are supposed to be given an English test before being employed. I bet this doesnīt include an speaking test. It seems that hundreds have never been tested to make sure that they have sufficient knowledge of the English language and many fake their qualifications or have been struck off in their own country.

So no, I donīt think you are being prejudiced.

06-13-13, 03:49 AM
Print this off and fill in, maybe with some added info regarding problems you had in school. (

Initially, the GP will probably think anxiety/depression due to concentration problems (have these problems been there since childhood and been unremitting may indicate adhd)

They may suggest an SSRI and from experience these will not do anything for concentration problems and may make it worse

If they are unfamiliar with adult adhd, then the best thing is to hand the GP your checklist and ask to make another appointment in a week or so as a follow up. If the GP decides that adult adhd is a strong possibility they may then enquire on a suitable consultant for you to be sent to (psychiatrist who specialises in adult adhd) or ideally one of the few adult adhd clinics (london, bristol etc)

It is possible to get an adult adhd diagnosis in the UK but can take 9 months plus to go via NHS. You also must ask yourself that if you get a diagnosis how you would feel about taking medication. Also, there seems to be a lot less spending on psychiatric care in the NHS at the moment. There is also the possibility of seeking the services of a private psychiatrist although obviously much more expensive.

If you wanted a professional opinion on whether you have signs of adult adhd or other possible problems like dyslexia etc., you could make an appointment with a chartered psychologist for a psycho-educational assessment (iq test). Although these cost Ģ300+(GBP), the psychologist may give you an idea of your strengths, weaknesses and recommendations. This isn't necessary for you to be referred for adult adhd but may be of interest to a GP/Psychiatrist as well as yourself if you are or would like to become a student (note if you are a student of some form then you may get funding for this)

While you're waiting, get a good quality recommended adult adhd book (just search on this forum for recommendations).

06-13-13, 05:12 AM
SquarePeg - I know the standard of some language tests through contacts at a local university. Their overseas students have certificates of language skills but seriously have a lot of learning to get by once here learning. I doubt the tests for doctors will be much better.

Adduce - some interesting points there. As far as medication goes I have only ever gone against a doctors prescription but in that case I was so borderline for it that the doctor gave me the choice to have it or not. I got the script and the drugs but handed them back in once I had time to do research on the drugs (with a colleague in the particular field that this drug type was originally developed for, my use was in a lower dose for an unrelated condition it had been shown to help). I mostly go with doctors' opinions if the prescribe.

Also, I SSRI's are serotonin related. I have issues with migraines which is also related to serotonin so I wonder if any drug affecting the operation of serotonin would affect my migraine. gterrible affliction and not one I want to experience again even though I will many times a year.

06-13-13, 07:48 AM
Unfortunately, Adult Adhd recognition in the UK is still in its infancy stage.

The reason why I mentioned the SSRI's is that poor concentration in general is associated with lots of mental as well as sometimes physical maladies and GP's will probably associate these problems initially with anxiety and depression (ie SSRI's).
(note. my personal experience is that these particular drugs did nothing positive for me, and actually made things a bit worse but am just warning you that these may be offered initially and it's up to you whether you wish to take them - generally believed by some on adhd forums that they have no efficacy for adhd symptoms, but this is between you and your doctors professional opinion)

Whether the GP's in your practice know about and will be happy to treat Adult Adhd specifically in future should be your main concern if you decide to go ahead with a diagnosis, but it's best to do a lot of research (especially regarding UK) first.

Before I decided on a formal diagnosis I did a lot of research via books, internet etc. and made an appointment with a highly recommended educational psychologist (my main concerns were regarding past academic performance).

I'd say that you should look at what you want to change in your life, and then look long term whether a formal Adhd diagnosis will help achieve what you want to acheive.

Again, plenty of good books regarding improving organisation specifically for adult adhd, and also books on study skills (good tips for students but also good common sense organisation skills) and especially mind-mapping study books that you may find in your local library (was recommended by my educational psychologist).

Best of luck whatever you decide.

06-13-13, 08:27 AM
I know what I want to change and some of it is really down to me I think. My two biggest concerns are losing my job and losing my partner (there is a child involved which makes it even more serious).

The first of these is an issue because I am a year or so into the job after my last one resulted in redundancy after the company closed. The last employer kind of didn't care about my faults as it was so badly run. The new one is serious company and whilst tolerant of mistakes it can only go so far.

My big problem is I make silly mistakes and just can't see the simple things at times. I am also not organized and even my attempts through to do lists, calendars and emailing myself delayed tasks, etc. does not work. I can't keep it up. Also I have a mind that remembers it all just doesn't let me do everything needed if that makes sense. I need help to find a way round this impasse for me. It is why I fear for my job and why it makes me kind of come across as timid at work. I'm just so worried that stepping up more might shine a light on my deficiencies.

With the relationship I think I am not alone in saying I have difficulty with human interaction and have not had many close relationships. I just don't recognise when it happens and unless the other person is up front about things it does not happen. I am also difficult. Procrastination or being laid back is my main skill. I once saw a procrastinator's diary. It had week view on one side of the open diary and a "list of things I can put off" on the other as a joke title for a to do list. I don't put things off til another day but will bury them. Not good for helping out round the house. I am also zoning out in conversations and many other traits common with conditions like ADHD. She finds that a major problem for her and I need to solve it.

One example of procrastination was when I had to send off a mailshot for my old employer. I was busy so told the bosses I would do it at home. Well, I took about Ģ60 pus of stamps home and envelopes with the documents and put it off for a few days. Ended up about 3/4 years later finding the stamps and envelopes. I no longer work for the company but I have about Ģ40 left of the stamps. I did send out to the main players though which was how I got out of trouble I think. In my current company something like that would lead to instant dismissal. I know I am still capable of acts like that.

Apart from that I would like to be able to stop my fidgeting (leg bouncing and jiggling as I sit down) and also to be able to concentrate. Meetings are a killer. I zone out into my own world and don't hear anything about me. The director told me to do something and I only just zoned back into the real world in time. When zoning out I am really thinking about something I need to do or want to do that is more interesting to me. Or it can be someone walked past the window and I tracked them until something in the background caught my eye!! I am that superficial, like a cat chasing a light.

06-13-13, 08:44 AM
A couple of youtube videos you may find relevant. ( (

03-24-14, 04:57 PM
Hello Restless,

typically, a GP will refer you to a specialist and this is a process that can be relatively time consuming. Do not fear a diagnosis of ADHD/ADD, there is nothing to be scared about.

Unfortunately, a lot of people perceive ADHD as a crazy disability. Yes, it can be, however this is very much a condition that can be harnessed and used as an asset in one's life!

There's a very cool metaphor I like to use with regards to what an ADHD person's brain is like -- A Ferrari with bicycle brakes.

May I suggest that you Google Dr. Edward Hallowell, a leading voice in the field of ADHD. He has developed great recognition for his strength-based approaches which have helped many people to redefine and utilize their condition.