View Full Version : UK doctors cynical of ADD?

07-15-07, 05:07 PM
This is what I have found. I saw two separate GPs, both of whom politely expressed a great deal of cynicism at the idea that ADD was anything other than an American fad invented by drug companies. They did listen when I described my symptoms, but when I told them I have made it through university and law school (albeit with difficulty) that was pretty much game over in their eyes.

Has anyone else had a similar experience?

07-16-07, 03:53 PM
Yes, your situation happens here in the US too. If the GP's don't specialize in add/adhd they just aren't well read on the latest findings science has to offer on the topic. This lack of understanding allows them to be more skeptical.

I was diagnosed as a child and had mixed/poor results with the meds available then so eventually I gave that up and got through college, with difficulty. I'm now finding that 2 yrs after college into a job that I'm not performing as well as I could. So I saw a GP who upon filling her in on my situation treated me similar to how your GP's did.

I'm pursuing one follow up appointment with her since she mentioned next time she would refer me to a specialist. (After the antidepressant she prescribes to me for the depression I don't have doesn't work) But in the mean time I'm doing some research to find a doctor who has more of an open mind on the subject.

I don't know why the idea that a person who is highly intelligent might also have an attention disorder is such a difficult concept for some GP's to swallow. Good luck to you! Keep searching for a doctor who can help you, be stubborn, and give an update when you can.

07-17-07, 03:51 AM
I have been to two doctors already, both of whom said the same thing: I had a degree and a postgrad degree and therefore I did not have ADD. I would be pushing my luck a bit if I saw a third!

07-17-07, 03:42 PM
I have been to two doctors already, both of whom said the same thing: I had a degree and a postgrad degree and therefore I did not have ADD. I would be pushing my luck a bit if I saw a third!
You could be right. However, allow me to point out that neurologists and psychiatrists have developed tests that can help to diagnose, if you can get to see them. Brain scans of even mild and moderate add cases are drastically different from normal brains.

08-22-07, 02:42 PM
The British Association of Psychopharmaologists have released a consensus statement about Adult ADHD, so it might be an idea to read up on that and quote it to you GP if you think it might help.

Personally, I think that doctors who refuse to refer adults for specialist diagnosis on the basis that they think it is made up should be done for malpractice and disability discrimination. Grrrr...

Go to a third GP. If you don't get very far, you should follow a complaints procedure. Even doctors need to abide by disability discrimination law.

Hope you get somewhere with this. If not, see if you can get an ADHD coach to write a supporting letter. That sort of thing can sometimes add weight to your case.

Let us know how you get on.

08-22-07, 02:54 PM
By the way, I graduated with a 2:1 honours degree, and am doing a postgraduate course, and have an IQ of 143 (not boasting, just saying!) and I still have ADD. What those GPs said was pure discrimination if you ask me.


Ask if they are prepared to put their opinion in writing and see what they say.

10-22-07, 06:56 AM
Yep, total *********. I would go back to the GP, a different one if necessary and INSIST you be referred to a psychiatrist as even if you didn't have ADHD theres still a psyche issue to be addressed. Just don't take no for an answer. Checkout the Assesssment centre thread to suggest a psychiatrist to the doctor you see.

I have 3 degrees and some post grad qualifications but still have ADHD !!

10-22-07, 07:30 AM
your situation seems to be a recurring thing here on these forums. I have't yet seen a post about the UK that says otherwise...I'll go look and see what i can find :-)

10-22-07, 11:42 AM
There used to be that large group of folk who experienced poor attention associated with episodic involuntary interruptions of consciousness and spasms that even doctors used to ascribe to either their own moral turpitude or those of their parents. Thankfully, epilepsy is now far better understood.

10-23-07, 04:47 AM
If Adult ADHD is a US fad why are NICE working on treatment guidelines? Tell your GP that either he waits for NICE to publish the guidelines and you will be on his doorstep the following day, or he accepts the inevitable and refers you on now.

Put it this way....if you believe you have issues affecting your life it is up to your GP to access the correct treatment for you. It has taken me 10 months to get a referral, and even then I have had to go private. In the UK this is the avenue I would my GP says that once diagnosed he should be able to get treatment on the NHS. In your case diagnosis will allow you to force your GP to allow NHS access to treatment.

In addition my own GP tried and failed to find an NHS or private clinic that would assess me. It took me doing the research to find a clinic and arranging things so that all he had to do was write the referral letter.

GP's are human and many are quite demoralised at the moment. As I pointed out in another thread they have little time with a patient and less time to do any research on new developments.

Many ADDers have degrees and postgrad degrees, but often still operate below potential. I have a 2:2 BSc Hons and an MSc. The 2:2 was nearly a 3rd according to a staff member however I know that I was/am capable of a high 2:1 if not a 1st in the subject I took.

If not tackled Adult ADD has a high likelihood of messing up your life.


10-23-07, 10:47 AM
I remember going to one exam.I travelled 300 miles on a train to London, paid 500 for the entrance fee and 80 for the hotel then realised I'd forgot the one thing I needed to take it ! >600 down the drain !! LOL