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Old 08-18-20, 06:08 PM
stromberg_xy stromberg_xy is offline

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Does a childhood ADHD diagnosis still "count"?

Hi! 37 year old man here, located in the United States.

I was diagnosed with ADHD as a child, probably around 8-10 years old. I was on Ritalin for several years but had significant issues with appetite and weight loss, so I was eventually switched to another med that gave me issues with nausea, and then to an antidepressant. I never personally noticed any benefit from the medications, but my parents claimed they were helpful.

I stopped taking any ADHD medications right before starting high school, I was tired of the side effects and convinced my parents to let me stop taking them. I excelled in high school and did very well in college too, so I have always figured that either I never had ADHD in the first place, or that I grew out of the symptoms. After running across the "ADHD Alien" comics though, I feel like ADHD may be an explanation for some of the issues I have around concentration, motivation and memory. I especially feel like anything that involves time is terribly confusing for me, and I only recently learned that that is an ADHD symptom. I am generally a successful and functional adult, I receive excellent performance reviews at work and handle the necessities of daily life well, but I feel like everything is harder for me than it is for everyone else, and I've reached the point of being stressed out and worn out and ready to basically walk away from my life to avoid the stress.

With all that background, my question is whether I would need to be re-diagnosed as an adult, or if that childhood diagnosis still applies. In either case, what would be the best way to go about finding a healthcare professional to discuss this with? I have a physician I usually see but I don't have that much confidence in them for this issue. I would like to find someone who has some specific knowledge of ADHD but am not sure what type of doctor I should be looking for or where to look.

Thanks for any advice you are able to provide!
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Old 08-18-20, 08:00 PM
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Re: Does a childhood ADHD diagnosis still "count"?

Your childhood diagnosis still "counts" in the sense that we know recognize that most people never fully outgrow their ADHD.

But most psychiatrists would still want to evaluate you again, especially before prescribing medication. This is often true even if you're diagnosed as an adult and need yto change providers for some reason. They'll want to understand how your symptoms currently affect you, and what else may be going on -- many adults with ADHD also have anxiety, depression, learning disabilities, difficult family or work situations, or other complicating factors.

If you have any records of your childhood diagnosis, such as records of accommodations in school or medication, those can help demonstrate your history of symptoms throughout life. Similarly, if your parents are still around and are willing to talk to the doctor, that can also go a long way towards (re-)establishing the diagnosis.

In terms of finding someone knowledgeable -- ask around. There may be a CHADD or ADDA chapter near you that can suggest names. If you're near any university medical centers, they may have an ADHD clinic. Even if it only treats kids, they may be able to provide a referral. Sometimes a web search can turn up local experts, too. For medication, you'd need to see someone with a medical degree (psychologists cannot prescribe in most jurisdictions). But psychologists may be knowledgeable about non-medication management strategies, and some will work with general practitioners to arrange evaluation and treatment as a team.

Best wishes!
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Old 09-13-20, 04:57 AM
8doobies 8doobies is offline

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Re: Does a childhood ADHD diagnosis still "count"?

in my experience your diagnosis does count. They do give it a lot of weight in rediagnosis. But for accommodations or disability, thats another story.

The first question people will ask is why get rediagnosed after all these years of being 'successful' without treatment. Is it for disability? Is it for school? If there is a secondary gain, many people may think about 'malingering'.

For the most part it also depends on which area you live. I found a lot of people have a tough time getting diagnosed and treated in the south and east coast compared to the west but with your diagnosis as a child, it should not be a huge issue with treatment.
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