View Full Version : Does this sound like ADD / Getting diagnosed in the UK


dave988
06-14-08, 04:32 AM
Hi, I'm David.

I've recently found out about ADD in adults, and after reading about it, I've really noticed that I seem to tick most of the boxes (I know it's possible to diagnose yourself with just about anything on the internet, but hey...)

As far back as I can remember, I've been constantly late, losing things, and procrastinating, and although I was never really the type to start fights or seriously misbehave, I was often in trouble at school. That was OK when I was at school, where I had good teachers and was bright enough to do pretty well without doing any work, but when I came to university I really started to struggle. I find it an enormous struggle to get work done on my own time. When I'm in the lab or in a tutorial, it's fine and I can focus, sometimes very intently for a long time, but doing a piece of work at home by myself is like pushing a car up a mountain. Reading in general I find very difficult, although I used to read quite a lot when I was much younger, I just turn off after a few pages unless it's really gripping (which university textbooks don't tend to be...). This is something I've always experienced, doing homework for school was agonizingly painful. It's getting to be a bit late, because I just finished my 3rd year (out of 4), and I just didn't do enough to get a mark that I should have. I've had this sneaking suspicion that there's something wrong with me for some time, and I don't know if it could be ADD, some other mental health issue (I think I have some personality traits that look rather like Asperger's) or if it's just plain laziness.

I have always had things that I focus on intently, like different projects and hobbies, but the trouble is that these usually last for about a week, then get forgotten about. I find the internet to be one thing that does manage to hold my attention, probably because it's interactive and I can constantly look at new things. I'm also constantly fidgeting and fiddling with things.

I'm also pretty socially inept. I have been to a doctor to talk about this and was diagnosed with depression, and I was prescribed Seroxat (which worked to some extent, but made me tired all the time), then Prozac (which did sod all), then I sort of gave up and stopped going. I did actually ask my doc if she thought I could have ADD, and she just said "you're too high-achieving to have ADD" (she's my doctor at university), and said something about it being an American thing.

Does it sound to you people who have been diagnosed like I might have ADD? I wonder if I should have another go at talking to a doctor, or maybe write to someone who knows about these things? Anyone, particularly students, have any experience in the UK?

Thanks (and sorry for the long post, not exactly a great start for an ADD forum, eh? :D)

theta
06-14-08, 05:21 AM
I have always had things that I focus on intently, like different projects and hobbies, but the trouble is that these usually last for about a week, then get forgotten about.

Thats very ADDish.


she just said "you're too high-achieving to have ADD" (she's my doctor at university).

I'd trust your gut. You sense your not working up to your full potential.

sydney
06-14-08, 07:21 AM
Hi,
I was going to make a seperate post, but my situation seems to me to be so similar to yours I saw no point! I'm a second-year History student at Warwick Uni. I've gotten away with doing virtually no work on my own time my whole life, but now it's dragging me down. I've never revised for an exam, constant under-achiever, get told I'm lazy all the time etc. I don't get how I can lock myself in a room with (supposedly) no possible form of distraction stare at a book constantly and see out the whole day thinking I've done loads and feeling really tired and yet have no work to show for it. I can't focus to write decent notes in lectures. Every time I have a project to do I leave it till literally hours before and then I stay up all night and the work comes out terrible and with no attention to detail (on the plus side, under pressure I can focus amazingly for hours at a time!). I don't consider that lazy, there's something wrong here. My parents say I always had my nose buried in a book as a kid but I don't remember having read much. I've always been a total daydreamer, but didn't really get into fights as a kid (because I'm a girl maybe?). Never able to finish anything I've started, and never been able to concentrate on anything I'm not interested in. Luckily, I found a great group of friends at the start of uni who forgive all my social awkwardness, but otherwise I always felt like I just don't 'get' people. I went to my GP with all this, and she just told me to study harder. I don't know what to do.
Sorry for crashing your post!

theta
06-14-08, 07:59 AM
. My parents say I always had my nose buried in a book as a kid but I don't remember having read much.

Interesting that reminded me that I did read a lot books as a very young kid.
But shortly after that I have read very few books.

As far as the "study harder". In theory if an ADHDers only has inattention/(working memory) problems it would mean it would merely take you more time
to "study harder". But impulsivity which your doctor undoubtedly does not understand makes putting in that extra effort nearly impossible. Getting a medical degree is a long difficult process. Having a lot of impulsivity significantly reduces the odds of becoming a doctor.

I'm making the case your doctor simply can not empathize /understand your situation. Telling an ADHDer with impulsivity to "study harder" would be the equivalent of telling a heroin addict "stop using heroin". Sure thats good advice and they should stop but as we all know that uttering 2 or 3 words is not going to work for most people.

Oh drug addiction and impulsivity are actually very similar. A person discounts the future for short term rewards.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hyperbolic_discounting

Hyperbolic discounting and impulsivity are essentially the same thing. All people discount the future some. Some people do it a lot more. And there is likely a neurological basis for it in most cases.

Ariosto
06-14-08, 08:17 PM
"I did actually ask my doc if she thought I could have ADD, and she just said "you're too high-achieving to have ADD" (she's my doctor at university), and said something about it being an American thing."

How annoying of your doctor and what does she think ADHD is; which books has she been reading? I have adhd and also a master's degree with distinction.

Anyway, I suggest you get an assessment and find out for certain whether or not you have adhd. You can then start moving forward. You don't say which part of England you live in. I'm wondering because there are a few NHS clinics in the UK (there's one in Bristol without too long of a waiting list) and also some private specialists who will do assessments.

Mouseinthehouse
06-15-08, 06:50 PM
"..an American thing.." Well I'm darn sure most of us, regardless of our nationality, wish it were just confined to another nation!!

I'll happily pass on my ADD to anyone else who'd like to take over ownership.

Mouseinthehouse

x Alanna x
06-15-08, 06:57 PM
Hellooo David!!

Yes.. it does sound like you have ADD -

if you want to get diagnosed for this, be prepared for a very long wait!

i have been waiting since september, it's useless

you are lucky to get to uni

i couldnt even managed to stay in high scool long enough to do my GCSES. lol!

i'm hoping to get diagnosed soon..

i find illegal drugs help me concentrate alot...:rolleyes: lol!

skatty
06-15-08, 10:17 PM
Being told that you're too intelligent to have ADD or too high achieving is a common thing. I never thought I had ADHD until someone mentioned it in passing. I did some research and found out a lot more about it and that it wasn't "just kids with bad parents" who had it.

As for you being quite socially inept- it's a good thing to be a bit different! ;)

Sounds like it's the Uni doctor that's a bit inept to be honest...if she was more helpful she could've informed you about the DSA. There are also guidelines that doctors SHOULD follow but don't seem to know about them.

DSA- Disabled students allowance.
You can get help with your studies if you have ADHD. I'm going to Uni in September-( at last- I'm 28!) and I'm in the process of applying for it.

Ariosto
06-16-08, 02:18 AM
There's an article in today's (16 June 2008) about adult adhd and one of the men quoted has a degree in neuroscience and the other has a mensa level IQ, and yet both struggle with adhd.

You could print it out and show it to your doctor.

Here's the link:

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/health/main.jhtml?xml=/health/2008/06/16/hadd116.xml&page=1

Just in case the link doesn't work, the title of the article is "Doctors say attention deficit disorder is a growing problem in adults."

x Alanna x
06-16-08, 01:06 PM
hmm.. i am going to tell my doctor to reffer me to addenbrooks hospital in cambridge!!

im sick of going to the doctor and him saying " we have had a reply back and they have told us to try somewhere else "

i'm fed up of trying.. ill have to tell him i wanna go to cambridge, like it says it in the newspaper article.

thanks for the link :)

Destracted_UK
06-17-08, 07:44 AM
Ooo well done, you beat me to that link!

It sounds from what you said that ADHD is definitely worth getting investigated. As you say, it ticks all the boxes. This is how I felt when I started to read about, a real revelation as to the reasons why my life has taken a certain course.

Being intelligent means that you are probably able to mask your ADHD to a certain extent. Getting into university may cause some people to question why you think you have ADHD and how it cant be that bad if you managed that. But being clever means, like you say, you can wing it to a certain extent. It is only when your mind is REALLY tested that you start to see how you might be different to others when it comes to getting things done/started/finished and start to question if you are on a level playing field in comparison to your peers.

Keep pushing. It's a slog in the UK, but hopefully things will become a bit easier soon with regards to getting diagnosed, especially with the guidelines that are due out later this year ( see that telegraph article ).

Naomi88
06-17-08, 10:02 AM
Hello =]
I was having all the same problems throughout uni but managed through school with okay grades. I was recently diagnosed with ADHD... But the diagnosis does take a very long time, it took about 6 months in all for the doctors and numerous psychiatrists to realize what was wrong with me. I was also told that I was too high-achieving to have ADHD... But that's not the case, I was also told it was "more of a child thing" which again, isn't the case.

Good luck to you, I hope you eventually get the diagnosis!

Penny2007
06-25-08, 02:51 PM
I could have written that myself! As you mentioned Labs, I guess you are doing a science degree? If so what (nosy, sorry)

Anyhow, your GP's statement that you are too high achieving to have ADD is a plie of s*it IMO. I have a PhD in science and I have inattentive ADD.

Go back to see another GP and ask for a psych referral. You may find that you have to pay to see someone who believes in adult ADD, but I promise it is worth it

Mantis
06-27-08, 10:37 AM
My dad is a doctor so he's trying to help get me diagnosed. Hopefully he can speed up the process for me quite a lot, I don't want to have to wait 6 months for this. I'll go crazy!!

He has something like 20k patients at his surgery, none of which have been diagnosed with ADHD...seems a bit odd. It's pretty much unheard of in adults it seems, which is crazy.

There's some kind of ADHD center in Cambridge, I'm hoping to get refferred to there.

Can'tregister
06-27-08, 02:30 PM
Mantis said

[quote=Mantis;607346]My dad is a doctor so he's trying to help get me diagnosed. Hopefully he can speed up the process for me quite a lot, I don't want to have to wait 6 months for this. I'll go crazy!!

He has something like 20k patients at his surgery, none of which have been diagnosed with ADHD...seems a bit odd. It's pretty much unheard of in adults it seems, which is crazy.

According to the 2006 report compiled for the British Association for Psychopharmacology on Adult ADHD that I showed to my doctor several days ago up to 90% of adults will have a coexisting problem with the ADHD . Your father and his collegues will often ascribe ADHD symptoms to the other disorder wether it is depression , substance abuse ,aspergers or any other of the common comorbid disorders . To be fair to them they won't have had any training in recognising Adult ADHD .

http://www.nice.org.uk/nicemedia/pdf/ADHDFullGuidelineFinalDraftPrepublicationCheck.pdf

SparklySarah
06-27-08, 10:16 PM
I did actually ask my doc if she thought I could have ADD, and she just said "you're too high-achieving to have ADD" (she's my doctor at university), and said something about it being an American thing.

Does it sound to you people who have been diagnosed like I might have ADD? I wonder if I should have another go at talking to a doctor, or maybe write to someone who knows about these things? Anyone, particularly students, have any experience in the UK?



Your doctor has just proved that she actually knows eff-all about ADHD and is perpetuating the myth that either people with ADHD are stupid or that it doesn't actually exist.

I had a psychiatric nurse tell me that she didn't think I could possibly have ADHD as I'd done "very well" to get to degree level (even though I'd semi-dropped out and felt like my degree was slowly killing me) and that it would have been picked up by now. When I challenged her on it and said that, from what I knew, most females went undiagnosed as they tend to be inattentive and not hyperactive, she actually admitted that she didn't know very much about ADHD - yet she had still felt qualified to tell me I couldn't have it.

My advice to you would be to go to another doctor if you can as the attitude of your current one is appalling - how on earth can a disorder be restricted to one nation?! Do the Americans have different brains to everyone else??

If you can't go to another doctor, take along all the research you have on Adult ADHD to her (highlighting all the important bits, particularly any case studies regarding "high achievers" and ADHD) so she can educate herself. I find it interesting that she diagnosed you with depression as, from what you've written, you don't sound depressed. Did you feel depressed when you went to see her?

Another option may be to contact the student support services at your uni (who normally help out students with learning difficulties like dyslexia etc.) to see if they offer any screening for ADHD. My uni didn't but I know some unis do. If they do this could be a good route to go down as it might not take as long as trying to get diagnosed on the NHS and, if it turns out you do have ADHD, they will be able to offer you learning support.

Of course, yet another option would be to see a psychiatrist privately; however this would be VERY expensive and you'd still need a private referral from a GP before you could see anyone.

Best of luck :)

x Alanna x
07-03-08, 04:23 PM
i have an appointment on the 13th august to go to the altrincham priory hospital to get diagnosed there, its private and zuzu gave me the address, can't wait to go and be diagnosed :D

xstarchildx
07-04-08, 10:25 AM
Hellooo David!!

Yes.. it does sound like you have ADD -

if you want to get diagnosed for this, be prepared for a very long wait!

i have been waiting since september, it's useless

you are lucky to get to uni

i couldnt even managed to stay in high scool long enough to do my GCSES. lol!

i'm hoping to get diagnosed soon..

i find illegal drugs help me concentrate alot...:rolleyes: lol!


Hi Alanna, just read your post i was exactly like you in the school and drug thing, now iv'e been diagnosed started on me meds, not touched street drugs since.

Good luck with your appointment in Aug, please let us know how it go's. :)

x Alanna x
07-04-08, 11:26 AM
Hi Alanna, just read your post i was exactly like you in the school and drug thing, now iv'e been diagnosed started on me meds, not touched street drugs since.

Good luck with your appointment in Aug, please let us know how it go's. :)

hey!!

i defo will let you know how it goes :D

planetdave
07-04-08, 01:33 PM
lots of good stuff +
Of course, yet another option would be to see a psychiatrist privately; however this would be VERY expensive and you'd still need a private referral from a GP before you could see anyone.

Best of luck :)

I don't know if I slipped through the net or what - but I didn't have a GP referral to see a private psychiatrist. I asked around for advice and just e-mailed one.

It worked for me.

xstarchildx
07-05-08, 12:19 PM
No harm in trying different way's of getting help if it works it works, cool!! :)