View Full Version : How To Get Diagnosed - The planetdave Story.

01-20-09, 06:01 PM
I'm putting on record my experiences for the last decade and with it some salutary lessons in what, and what not, to do if you want to be diagnosed in the UK.

I managed to sail through school on a wave of good memory and some well thought out coping stratagems.

I was born in 1961 and ADHD didn't exist so I was just considered to be a chronic underachiever. My adult life was a never ending story of unemployment and drastic measures with dreams pursued to the hilt and procrastination the bedrock of my existence.

In 2002 I was found unconcious on the floor at home and, since I was working with aircraft, my company doctor decreed I could not go back until I could prove I was safe to play with the aeroplanes again. The unconcious episode was probably due to extreme stress bringing on a faint but is only the catalyst for my story.

Due to huge NHS cock ups (:rolleyes:) I didn't get back to work for six months - in which time an old friend gave me a cast off computer and I found an internet forum where I could mouth off.

I'm a car nut but the car biased internet forum I lived on gave enough leeway to discuss any matter that came to mind.

I was letting rip all over the place, giving my opinion on anything that came up with classic foot in mouth episodes and unfeeling comments and battles all over the place.

I was befriended by a woman in Glasgow via this forum (hello - I'm still alive and doing OK :D) who slowly revealed to me that I was a dead cert ADHDer. Until that point I thought I had 'borderline' psychosis so ADHD was a bit of a relief.

So I went to my GP.
I explained that I thought I had ADHD and he was quite helpful, if a little bemused, and refered me to my local consultant psych.
The NHS ensued - appointments were issued in error (30 mins for a primary diagnosis!) and when they did get a proper examination together the psych was reading from notes cobbled together by his paediatric colleague.
Conclusion - there was something wrong with me but he didn't know what it was.
I INSISTED that I wanted a second, more qualified, opinion and had found that the South London And Maudsley hospital had an adult ADHD clinic. The psych agreed to send me there.

Many months later.........SLAM agreed to have a look at me but wanted to know how my primary care trust was going to fund it. There was a flurry of letters which ended with me in tears as my PCT refused funding at the last stage and that appeared to be the end of it.

I was suicidal. I'd had multiple setbacks and the whole thing had dragged on from 2003 to May 2006 with plenty of promises and then kicks in the teeth. I'd retire to lick my wounds and then come back for another go.
It looked like the end of the line.

I was desperate and getting irrational when my mother noticed and managed to get out of me what I thought was the problem. And she offered to pay for a private consultation.

So I asked around and had Dr Hoskins recommended to me.
Within weeks I had an appointment after doing a pile of tests on the internet.

Dr Hoskins was a revelation. My entire experience was normal to him and the entire thing was close to a formality; apparently he knew I was an ADHDer within seconds of walking through his door but had to be able to 'prove' it to others with a full examination.

I was on an enormous high - after 44 years my life finally made some sense and the prescription of a pretty low dose of ritalin worked well for me.

And then Dr Hoskins died before finalising the dosage and my treatment.

I was distraught.

Dr H was my friend and mentor. And my life was about to get horrible again.

My father died from a degenerative illness (it was awful) and the company I worked for hit the skids. I got badly depressed and sought help.

The NHS offered counselling, which was OK. My company did the same but were arses about it and made it worse (we're only trying to help - but if you refuse you're in trouble!). I had a lot of time off and had to see the company doctor. I was pestering my GP for an appointment with the new local psych who I thought might look at my diagnosis and push it forward.

I saw my local psych - it was a disaster. I couldn't have ADHD since I wasn't jumping up and down (I was medicated) and had held down a job long term (no supervisory interference) and she recommended I be taken off the ritalin.

I went back to my GP and fought this finding. I was severly depressed and having problems with blood pressure and anxiety - but my dad had just died and I was about to lose my job, what the bloody hell did the psych expect?

I insisted on a second opinion and mooted SLAM as the best NHS solution. My GP wrote off again and was again accepted if I would be funded by my PCT.
They refused.

I went bonkers.

I started fighting at work and become reclusive. I crashed my car spectacularly and somehow escaped alive (miracle - I shot backwards through the central reservation of a dual carriageway and into the oncoming traffic).

I wrote to my MP in desperation...and things kicked into life.

The NHS couldn't do enough for me. Everyone was writing reports about me and, when I found out about the 'Effective Use of Resouces' committee, I managed to strongarm my PCT into funding a consultation at SLAM.

So I travelled to London (from Manchester) to be examined by SLAM adult ADHD service. One visit was an interview (including lots pre filled questionnaires) and another visit was for testing (repeating back number chains, building block patterns, give a word that does NOT logically follow this statement and other mental gymnastics).

And then an agonising wait. About 5 weeks.

Then a confidential letter through my door recomending a higher dosage of ritalin (it works really well for me) and describing a classic ADHDer.

And that's it. Six years of rollercoaster and fighting and false dawns and setbacks.

It's been an awful experience. So much could have been avoided if the NHS had any people management skills at all and did not screw just about everything up they ever look at.
I've been seen by (probably) fifteen different doctors each with a different agenda. Most were underinformed but helpful but some were egomaniacs with personal axes to grind and the power to ruin your life.

A couple nearly did for me and one was a complete disaster.

In conclusion.

Do your homework. Know yourself and what symptoms will raise a red flag with the medic you are seeing next.

And never, ever, give up.

It's been hard and miserable at times and it nearly killed me.

But I'd do it all again in a flash.

I'm planetdave and I've got ADHD.

It helps that I know who I am and what my condition is.

A lot.

01-21-09, 07:30 AM
I'm putting on record my experiences for the last decade and with it some salutary lessons in what, and what not, to do if you want to be diagnosed in the UK.

Thanks Dave. Even with all the NICE stuff that's happened recently I don't expect much real change for a while yet, so it's good for people seeking diagnosis via the NHS to know just what a marathon they are in for - potentially. old friend gave me a cast off computer and I found an internet forum where I could mouth off.

Haha, this made me smile! ;)

It's been an awful experience.

It sounds it! :(

Do your homework. Know yourself and what symptoms will raise a red flag with the medic you are seeing next.

Yes :) Read as much as you can - and then some! Take books, lists, charts, whatever you can to reinforce how impairing your ADHD is on the quality of your life. I found using analogies was a fast way to get 'some sort of empathy' with my situation.

And never, ever, give up.

Totally. You have to stick it out. The alternative is to stop seeking diagnosis and treatment. But one day you will probably be back on the diagnosis treadmill so you might as well stick it out the first time round. I very nearly jumped off as it was doing my head in soooo much. I am sure it was making my life a lot worse... Glad I didn't!

Thanks again for sharing your journey Dave. I am glad to hear you struggle for diagnosis is over and you are in a better place.


01-22-09, 07:00 AM
Firstly - apologies to Dr Hosking for getting his name wrong. He was a proper nice bloke and I feel his loss still.

Conclusions you can draw from my experience.......

GPs generally don't have a clue about ADHD. DO NOT be afraid of them. If they spout some bull then tell them that 'in my research I found differently' and if they are constantly negative then change to a more amenable one.

It is very important to get a first diagnosis - once you have been diagnosed THEY CANNOT IGNORE YOU!. At work you will be classified under the Disability Discrimiation Act (DDA) and as a recognised condition it MUST be treated by the NHS.

Inevitably your GP will refer you to your local consultant psychiatrist. Unless you are extrememly lucky you will just have wasted 3 months waiting to see them. My first proper examination was inconclusive but the psych agreed to send me up the chain. He wanted to stay local but there was nobody in my area that was an obvious expert on ADHD. I did all my research on the internet and the only obvious place was the South London And Maudsley adult ADHD service.

As you can see in my original post getting to SLAM (or any of the other major centres) is not easy. You will probably not be in their catchment area and your PCT may not fund you and they don't do private.

So how do you get there?

Bully your GP/psych. Threaten them with self harm (watch out you don't overdo it or you will get sectioned!). Write to your MP. Write your history so you can point out obvious ADHD traits. Get out your school reports and ask older relatives to tell you what you were like growing up - they will be invaluable as evidence to back up your claim later on.

You are very likely going to run into setbacks. For some reason all the ADHDers I've ever met have been bloody minded and up for a fight. So if you do feel down about the NHS then that's completely normal - leave it alone for a bit and come back when you have your spirit back.

However...........The NHS is long winded and expensive. It took nearly a year to get from my local psych to SLAM and between the travelling costs (two visits) and days off work and journey food it cost me more than going private, and that's excluding the year of my life I have lost due to their procrastination.

Going private makes sense.

All you need is a referal from your GP......and the cash. Come on here to find your nearest specialist, we must have dealt with just about all of them by now.

OK it's going to set you back but you will be dealt with politely and efficiently and QUICKLY.

I self refered (unusual) but from e-mailing to getting to see him was five weeks.

It's money well spent.

Private psychs will send instructions to your GP recommending treatment. They don't have much choice in the way of drugs so you will get the entry level stuff on public prescription unless you can afford to pay for your lifetimes private prescription.

I'll come back to add more if/when it comes to me.

01-22-09, 06:27 PM
An amazing and inspiring story of persistence mate.

It sounds like a real rollercoaster you've been on and is slightly intimidating for me as I'm right at the beginning of the journey at 36 but it helps to know what could be.

I'm planetdave and I've got ADHD.

It helps that I know who I am and what my condition is.

A lot. However, that helps immensely.


01-23-09, 04:49 PM
Part III

Once you've been diagnosed..........

Keep your head down.

My story is full of **** and vinegar - but that's because I made mistakes, the biggest one being trusting an unknown psychiatrist.

Once you are diagnosed only see a doc about ADHD when you absolutely have to, there is too much at stake to lose it at this point.

Essentially..once you have got yourself into a stable condition don't rock the boat. If you run into troubles keep it low key - ask for cognitive behaviour therapy (CBT) or general purpose counselling, from your GP, unless you are absolutely sure that your psych is trustworthy and will do you no harm.

I know I sound a little paranoid about these things - but I lost a year out of my life just because some snot nosed psych (who had just become a general psych consultant that week - dealing mainly in senility) thought she was a bit of a hot shot and knew better than my previous doc (who had 20+ years experience in developmental psy - which includes ADHD).

You don't need any more stress in your life.

01-23-09, 04:58 PM
The brillance of your mind is shown through this very detailed, expressive exert!

I am impressed, overwhelmed, and feel this entire document should be published!
Yes, I am serious....the reality of your experience is one that could offer hope to others! obviously understand your boundaries, and your abilities. This is a massive step in the vortex of the ADD mind.
UGH...I am not gonna leave one of my seriously emotional posts...but, this one has me teared up.
XOXOX to you.
Lady X

01-23-09, 07:43 PM
Mop and bucket over here please!

Who let the septic in? You know they get over emotional just because the kitten gets run over or they find the cure for cancer.


01-24-09, 05:52 AM
I'm getting addicted to this 'advice' malarky. Here's something else I did that really helped and I'd advise anyone starting out to do.

If it looks familiar then that's because I posted it on another thread but it's part of my experience and advice so it's going on here too :p

One of the things I did to convince myself before seeing my GP initially, and boldly stating 'I've sure I have ADHD', was to do lots of online tests.

They may not be perfect but most of the ones I did seemed to be close to what I ended up being diagnosed as.

If they wont let you print them out then do a screen capture (print screen) and take these to your GP/psych/counsellor/funding panel as evidence. Don't be embarrassed about doing this, I was recently told by my works doctor that people diagnosing themselves off the net is quite common but to be taken seriously you need back up to convince them. Most GP don't have enough time to be experts in every field of medecine so a well informed patient is a boon to them.

How do you find these tests?

Go to your internet search engine and type 'ADHD test' (or variation on that theme) into it.

Easy peasy.

01-24-09, 09:25 AM
Dave, thanks for posting your story!

After 12 years of struggling with the Danish system (only knowing about ADHD for something like two years, though) I am finally getting to se...well, yet another...doc about and ADHD assessment february 3rd. And I'm already paranoid now. I have NOT had good experience with most health proffessionals until now, especially not psychiatrists. I'm so afraid he's yet another boogy man and that I'll crash again upon meeting with him...

I hope, I hOPe, I HOPE that in two months, I'll be where you are now.
And unless the psych that eventually makes my assessment and gives me the official stamp on the butt (on top of all the others - like the Borderline - we share that one) really is TOTALLY AWESOME, which I seriously doubt, I'll never be sharing with him when it comes to "bumps on the emotional road".

I'll use my care worker, family and GP for those, and fortunately, my care worker and family are on the same page as me when it comes to meds, and my GP has come off as a really good guy the 3-4 times I've seen him untill now.
If I feel I get stable enough at some point, I like for him to write the prescriptions for my meds instead of a psych.

Wow, look at me filling your excellent thread with totally pointless ramblings...
Sorry! :o

Still, thanks for sharing your story and advice, it gives me hope that at some point in the future I'll be able to come up for air and actually stay up and have time and surplus to have a look around and enjoy the sun on my face before I find myself diving again. ;)

01-24-09, 10:22 AM
Oh no! It's a Viking invader! Have you had your passport checked?

I am intrigued with the Danish health service; do you have to have your bum stamped every time you go to see them?


01-26-09, 07:24 AM
Thanks a lotn Dave, for your post it was really informative- and I actually gone through a lot of this crap myself.

Currently seeing psychiatrist- missed appt spectactularly- in my usual fashion and was completely distraught. Been told- that if I miss or is late for another appt again- I could get sent back to my GP- as the service is overstretched!

I don't think my shrink knows a lot of about ADD- I had been told I could not get referred to SLAM or other ADD specialists- there are none my NHS district- as again because of lack of funding in psychiatry- or something along those lines.

So what would you recommend? That I speak to my GP, or my current shrink to try and get me a second opinion in London? I am near the Manchester Area as well- so if you managed it- then surely they could do the same for me as well?

If things don't work out with my current psychiatrist, I am going to try this- but I am going to WAR- got everythign ready now- just need to get there on time and make the man see sense!

01-26-09, 08:57 AM
Oh no! It's a Viking invader! Have you had your passport checked?

I am intrigued with the Danish health service; do you have to have your bum stamped every time you go to see them?


We do, Dave!
Every time! Free tatoos! :D

01-26-09, 05:02 PM
I'm finding this hard to believe.....send photographic proof! :p

01-26-09, 05:20 PM

My PCT doesn't fund mental health outside the area either.

But it did in my case. Errrrrrrrrrrr.

They refused me twice. Once I gave up. The second time I stuck to my guns since I absolutely knew I had ADHD even though my NHS psych said I didn't.

So you're going to need to find that funding somehow against NHS advice.

Not easy.

Firstly I'd say cultivate your GP. They are generally
pretty helpful unless they are matey with the psych.

Refuse to see that psych again. Challenge all opposition and pull any stunt you can to garner support. But keep them onside. Tricky.

I wrote a heartwrenching letter to my MP (like my original post) describing how the NHS had continually failed me. After that it was fairly easy to get my PCTs last resort funding body (the 'Effective Use of Resource' committee) to fund my SLAM visit.

You also mooted going private.

Just ask your GP to refer you to The Priory.

It's blissfully easy in comparison to the NHS and quick. Really really worth the cash and cannot stress enough how simple it is.

In the long term I'm aiming to find a tame NHS psych to open a 'regional' ADHD clinic for Gtr Manchester - it's been done elsewhere and I'm gunning to find out if it's possible. Don't hold your breath on this one - it's sure to be big on here (coz I'll plug it like hell) IF it comes together.

01-27-09, 01:32 PM
Hello PlanetDave,

Thank you for your quick advice- I have no funding whatsoever- could you my grant towards it- but this would be a problem considering I don't have money at the moment and all the money I have is going towards my hall fees.

I am going to convince them and refuse to budge- my problem is I get confused and convinced too easily, and then I get out and realise that actually all of this was WRONG and kick myself.

I don't know how I could get funding- my parents are not aware of me getting diagnosed and due to family problems at the moment, I do not want to land this on them as well. I want to get diagnosed ASAP- just need to hang in with this doc- if like I thought he doesn't specialise in ADD, I could show him the NICE guideline which specifically state, that a diagnosis should only be made by someone who is knowledgeable of ADD and that I want a second opinion- I got my appt next week it's worth a shot

Also, my permanent home address is in London- even though I have moved my GP nearer my Uni- maybe that would be something to consider?

Having an NHS specialist in ADD in Greater Manchester would be great!

Who knows that would be me in 10 years time- if I don't mess up medical school first...

01-27-09, 04:33 PM
OK - so it's the NHS for you.

1) Funding in London is more likely to result in you seeing an ADHD specialist than just about anywhere else. Can you use your student status to switch GPs?

2) Use the NICE guidelines to press the point. GPs might not have taken them in yet so 'remind' them.

3) Work at it. Treat it as another project, write up your notes till they are good for examination and take them to your medicals. You'll never walk away having covered every possible angle but you will at least have covered a lot.
I've never left an examination happy that I'd got all my points across. It's just the way it is.

01-29-09, 01:21 PM
Thank you- Sorry to reply so late- I am having some trouble at the moment- I am going to check on my GP status- my appointment is next week- hopefully it will all go well

02-03-09, 06:52 PM
As you now know my appt went CRAP.

I am going to write a letter to my MP and post it in due time- which brings me to- how do you know who your MP is? Also- what is the meaning of 'mooted' does it mean K-oed? Soz English is not my first language :)

What should I include in the letter? You are older than I am- and would hence be taken more seriously- as my stoopid doc pointed out- I am a medic and therefore cannot possibly have ADD- apparently....

Which as is well none is a whole lot of tosh.

So how would I write this without sounding suicidal- that'd worry their mind about a 'mentally unstable' medical student and also sound like I am 'drug-seeking' - even though I have always said I would probably use drugs as a last resort unless proven otherwise...

What a life!

So yeah, help appreciated as always?

How do I solve this dilemna?

02-04-09, 01:58 PM
From what I know of you you don't appear to be anywhere near 'write to your MP' level.

Who has wronged you in public service that an MP can lean on?

AFAIK you have had a setback but still have a potential letout - play that to the end and then start to panic.

And get used to being told you can't have ADHD because you have been/done xyz. I used to be a driving instructor - you can't get much less ADHD friendly than that in the job world.

Have you not got a copy of 'Driven To Distraction' AKA the ADHD bible? The book about ADHD written by a psychiatrist....with ADHD. Take that and show it to your GP to show him how you don't have to be a low achiever to have ADHD.

Everything you have so far described is usual, ignorant, GP guff. He needs educating.

And try to be kind to him - ADHD is notoriously difficult to pin down in adults and your hyper persona could be seen as the manic phase of bipolar or anxiety, which could be associated with any number of conditions.

But don't stop pestering and try to hit him up with new and damning evidence every time you get in with him.

As for the self harm thang...dig out the statistics. IIRC ADHD has a very high incidence of suicide. If you can find those figures print them out to support your case.

02-05-09, 10:58 AM
Thank you planetdave, I did order Driven to Distraction- but got the feeling I got it sent to my home address- and not my Uni- actually that IS what I did and I called the ppl and told them so I don't know yet when or WHERE I am going to get this.
Damn my idiosyncricity- not even sure if this is a word- but I like it:)

Just really annoyed that they can as easily label me with being BD- and then remove the label as easily and now be like well you definitely can't have ADD... even though I don't actually know much about it...


Sorry- I just need to see what this new shrink says and see how it goes.

Going to see my GP- she's been really nice so far and see how I can play this out- and whether anything can be done about Maudsley.

Thanks again- I'll update as always

02-05-09, 11:22 AM
You could have BD too, co morbidity is common in ADHD. As for being anxious or self harming.....why the hell not, you're in a desperate position and it's 'normal' (not encouraging you to self harm but I've been in your position and know the frustration and desperation level). ADHD is a broad spectrum disorder and often overlaps (In my case ODD and some mild autistic tendancies)

Anywho - keep records. A diary of exactly what has been going on and how you have suffered is great ammunition to bolster your case...if you get to the point where you need funding for out of area examinations it's such material that you use on your local equivalent of 'the effective use resources' comittee (last chance funding) to show how you have been let down by their usual practioners in area.

As for getting to SLAM - if your GP is reasonably convinced you have ADHD then she can write to them for an appointment and the only thing stopping you from that point is whether or not you get funding. They were willing to see me on the basis of my self diagnosis and my local psych not being able to pinpoint the cause of my distress - pretty similar to the position you are in now.

02-05-09, 01:37 PM
Hey again, so I do not think I have BD- and the pyschs I have seen so far- including one with '30 years of experience' told me straight that I do not have it- which to them means that in comparison I am apparently mentally alright- well I guess anyone would be in that case?

But anyhooo- I could do the diary thing- and I have tried- but I am not really good at keeping diaries- what do I need to include in it specifically? and does it have to be long as well?

As for SLAM- I do not know how that is going to work- I think Current doc only said this to appease me- but I don't know if it will get anywhere and if it does- my chances of getting funded are not going to be good- Only thing I can do is speak to my GP and see what happens- and when I get my 2nd opinion- see whether I could get put on Anxiety/ADD medicine- to sort of meet the doc halfway- as KDL suggested in another post.

Do you think that SLAM is likely to see me- apparently doc said that the Adult ADD service doesn't even exist![SHOCK]- even though he used to work there about 2 years ago- is it just me that has gone crazy - ?

02-05-09, 03:25 PM
Go into your docs...pull out your (scream!) mobile and phone SLAM there and then.

Try denying they exist then!

And it's precisely for the likes of us - be confident...I got in twice by asking my GP (though I got knocked back by funding on the first attempt)

02-18-09, 07:39 AM
5 seconds on google produced this

a full breakdown of figures would be more difficult to track down but I have seen it and ADHD suicides are a lot higher than average.

It would be nice if we could all have had an easy ride to diagnosis like you did.

Darkangel is having a tough time getting to see anyone who can make a proper judgement. You had the benefit of seeing the staff at The Maudsley - if Darkangel had the same privelege then they could come to a definitive conclusion as to whether or not he (she? I've not asked) has ADHD. In the meantime I reserve the right to help out as much as I can (even though I can be a little wayward and intemperate).

I didn't think I had ADHD (I thought I was 'borderline'). I was discovered on the internet on a different forum by an ADHDer that recommended I look into that as a possibility. I fit the criteria very strongly and the diagnosis was pretty much a formality.

Unfortunately my (new) local psychiatrist doesn't believe adults can have ADHD so she tried to pull my meds which caused me to seek another diagnosis - which turned out to be another formality.

02-21-09, 06:00 AM
Dave I am going to try and open this one more time as I really think people from the UK can relate to what is being shared here

Dave if you don't want this thread open let me know okay -

It has been hand washed by two moderators and pressed more than once. . .

03-03-09, 04:22 PM
Hello again, just had my appt today- this is basically what is said in my care plan:
She continues to believe that she had ADHD. She is struggling with her coursework. She is studying Medicine at .... Some of her reported symptoms are suggestive of Adult ADD. However I do not think her symptoms are severe enough to justify treatment with stimulants:

I will refer to our team psychologist for an assessment
Next review with team consultant to confirm diagnosis

Basically what does this all mean for me????
Also had my dyslexia test yesterday- and it looks really likely that I might be dyslexic as well.

Thank yous for all your help

04-08-09, 12:31 AM
Hi folks. I just want to say thankyou for all the posts in this thread. I've got my evaluation at SLAM later on this month, and until now I was feeling pretty p*****d off with how long the process had taken, and with a couple of setbacks I've had on the way. In retrospect tho, I think I might have been one of the lucky ones.

Sorry to post off topic, but what exactly happens at the Maudlsey clinic during an assesment? Im a little nervous about whats going to happen.

Hope everything works out for you.

04-08-09, 07:13 AM
You have an assesment in the morning with an adhd specialist. Talking about your past quite a lot more than the present. Just looking for previous adhd markers I guess.

Then a break for lunch.

Then you do some mental tests with another person. Then they work out your ability compared to your intelligence and combined with the report from the morning they will make a diagnosis of adhd - if it all fits. This is done after you have gone though, so the results will be sent in a letter.

There's not really anything to be nervous about, all they deal with is adult adhd so it's kind of relaxing to be around people who know exactly what you mean when you talk about all the annoyances etc.

Well done for sticking it out, it's such a chore. I was up there yesterday and they are still swamped with adult adhders coming forward for help.

All the best : )

05-01-09, 04:05 PM
Hi all, first post. I first discovered about ADD/ADHD about 2-3 years ago (I'm 21 now) and let me tell ya, it's been disappointment after disappointment. I've seen three or four seperate NHS appointed psychiatrists, the very first one I seen I immediately liked. She had a friendly attitude, genuinely wanted to help me!

So I asked her if I could be tested for ADD (I'm quite clearly not hyperactive, more hypoactive :p) and the first couple of sessions were a complete let down (it was somewhat my mother's fault, she was brought into one of the sessions and asked about my past, school life etc and my mum ****ed it all up, saying she never noticed any symptoms like that resemble ADD, didn't recall any report cards being anything or any teachers saying a thing (I went to very ****ty primary schools, and secondary for that matter).

But anyway, after about half a year (yeah, half a ****ing year!) she was finally starting to believe me, because I was so adamant that I displayed the symptoms so profoundly I found it astonishing I wasn't diagnosed the first time I ever seen even a GP! Anyway, she finally prescribed me about 3 months worth of "Strattera" (Atomoxetine) and promised she would consult with people more specialized and get me a formal test.

If you're not familiar with Strattera, basically, it was a drug originally designed as an SNRI (correct me if I'm wrong), designed as an anti-depressant by a company called Eli Lilly. During the clinical trials, they found it had no use for depression or anxiety at all, so instead of just throwing it out, they slapped a sticker saying "for ADHD" on it and just sold it on as that, despite it helping pretty much no-one who's ever been prescribed it.

Anyway, I was as happy as could be, she was finally taking me seriously, had actually promised a test AND given me some medication (albeit useless, worse than useless actually). Then the **** hit the fan, she left the practice (haven't been able to track her down since, her name is Dr Zholia Alemi, so if anyone has really good Google skills could track her down, that would be IMMENSELY helpful) and I was appointed a new psych.

Not too bad I thought, it's still good, I was half diagnosed as far as I was concerned. So 5 minutes into the session with the new psych and all hope was gone, she disagreed about the ADD in adults and told me that there is absolutely no test for it. Again, because I'm not vibrating in my chair, breaking things and interrupting her (because I don't have the hyperactivity part) she said "you display no symptoms of ADD whatsoever".

That was at least 5 months ago I believe, I've recently seen another NHS psych (it was an emergency appointment my mum arranged, it was like next day service, no 3 months of waiting!) and again, within 5 minutes (the guy was old school, he told me during the session that just last week he learned how to turn on a PC and send an email without needing help!) he'd shot me down. Obviously in a depressive state by now, I disengaged from the session and basically ignored him as he gave me a diagnosis of clinical depression, anxiety and kept trying to shove SSRI's down my throat.

I was advised by a friend in London who I met on a well known drugs forum to seek private psychiatry (he recommended the Priory too, there's one in Glasgow) however, it seems (and I checked another couple of private places within a few hours drive of me) that I literally cannot get seen without paying at LEAST 200 an hour.

I can't get a job atm with this recession, my parents can't foot the bill either. What the **** should I do?

I recently (today infact) found a group called ADD it Up in my area who I've tried contacting but both the "office" phone and the mobile weren't picked up, so I'll just leave them my name and number.

Other than hoping this support group can finally point me in a useable direction, is there actually anything else I can do?

Should I mention I self medicate? Self harm? I've done both and continue to self medicate (although, not with anything that helps with ADD symptoms) or will I come across as a mental depressive drug seeking gimp?

Sorry about such a long post guys, but it REALLY feels good to get all of that off of my chest and out in the open, so if you read it all, I truely thank you for listening to my rant.

05-01-09, 05:51 PM
Actually, if a mod/admin could make my post into an entirely new thread, that would probably be more helpful.

Infact I'll just repost it as a new thread just now, so please delete this post.

07-09-09, 11:23 AM
PlanetDave, thank you so much for this thread. I'm just starting this process. I already have a psychiatrist because I was diagnosed with Cyclothymia (Bipolar-Lite) in January this year. Now that i have been stabilised I can see that the symptoms of ADHD in me are not caused by the mood swings. So next week I'll be seeing my pdoc again and raising ADHD again.

I have raised it before but she was very dismissive. Now I can see why! I'm armed with research now and I'm determined to persevere. So thank you.

12-11-09, 10:11 AM
Hello Dave!
Just came back from psychiatrist looks like things are finally moving forwards- my doctor is going to refer me to Maudsley and has applied for PCT funding- should they say yes- I should be able to get a diagnosis. Doc still convinced I dont have it- and told me only reason they're checking is that it might be significant for me to know as a medical student ?

Anyhoo- just wanted you to know what was going on since you'd been so helpful.