View Full Version : What happens when you go in for a diagnosis?

07-09-16, 03:50 PM
I am going in this Wednesday and have a list to give to my doctor, but I'm wondering if you could help me to know what to expect? I'm anxious thinking that the dr won't believe me because I'm 45 years old and have never spoke about it. I'm a 2nd grade teacher and I just keep up with my coping skills anymore and it's been affecting my work.


07-10-16, 05:35 PM

I'm also a teacher ... and getting treated was certainly the best move I've made to improve in my job. I can say that doing my job has become much less stressful since I've gotten diagnosed. I was 46 at the time.

You go and you describe your struggles and see what the person says. Are you going to a psychiatrist or to a general practitioner or to a therapist? In my view, psychiatrists are much more sympathetic to the struggles of people with ADHD. Some general practitioners are comfortable diagnosing and treating the condition. Some aren't.

If you don't like your diagnosis, and the provider doesn't convince you, then you schedule a meeting with a different person. It's that simple.

Your role is to simply report on your struggles ... lateness, overwhelm with work, missed deadlines, struggling to find order, procrastination, a revved up mind that jumps around. Just be honest.

My diagnosing psychiatrist and my diagnosing therapist both gave me forms to fill out. The therapist gave me a longer more detailed form. The psychiatrist gave me a shorter form. Both quickly concluded that I had the condition. You're a teacher ... you'll have credibility if that's what you're worried about.

One way to think about the meeting is to go in and explain how you came to sense that you had the condition. Start there ... and in telling the doctor how you came to think you had the condition, you'll also be giving lots of information ... about struggles you've had.

Oh, and you might notice if any family members seem to have the condition, even if they are not diagnosed. ADHD has a biological component and it shows up in families. Once I figured out I had the condition, I mentioned it to a brother, and he's also a teacher ... and he said, "That's interesting, because my students say all the time: are you sure you don't have ADHD?" ... He eventually got treatment.

I figured out that my mother had it as well, though she came up at a time when the condition wasn't really diagnosed much. She was late everywhere. She was always forgetting things. She would randomly do work (it seemed random) because she said she would forget to do it if she didn't do the thing right away.

But the family connection is a side note: even if no family members have symptoms of the condition, you can get diagnosed. Hang in there. You are doing a great thing by checking this out.

Good luck.