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Old 11-20-17, 07:00 PM
Nlight56 Nlight56 is offline
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Doctors assessment, UK- is this ADD?

Hi all

For as long as I can remember, I have been having difficulty with a number of different issues regarding focus, I struggle to pay attention to reading, following films/TV, losing my keys, wallet and phone (constantly!) and I have difficulty following conversations/instructions, I tend to not look at what I'm doing and instead just seem to be in my head with thoughts. I've done silly things like pouring boiling water that was meant for tea in my cereal and putting a milk bottle top on top of the kettle as opposed to back on the milk bottle itself. Also procrastinating, I'll put off boring tasks as there is no immediate reward for doing them and sometimes I just don't feel like I have enough energy or motivation to do them.

So today I went to my GP to discuss my symptoms and fill in an assessment form. Although the doctor has forwarded the assessment to a psychiatrist, I generally think because I have no hyperactivity symptoms this is going to be overlooked. The doctor said it's very rare for ADD to be diagnosed in adults and seemed skeptical. I'm not sure of its ADD or if I'm just incredibly lazy.

Do these symptoms sound like ADD, and has anyone else had trouble with getting referred for a diagnosis?

Thanks
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Old 11-20-17, 07:47 PM
Arthos Arthos is offline
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Re: Doctors assessment, UK- is this ADD?

Alas the UK is notoriously sh*t at assessment and treatment of adult ADD. More often than not GPs seem to have no idea where to refer people. All you can do is make sure that you DO know, and to guide your GP if need be.

Do you know if there is a place in your county that "does" adult ADD? I had to join some local Facebook groups and talk to people to find out that there is one hospital in my county that does it
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Old 11-20-17, 08:38 PM
allesandro1 allesandro1 is offline
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Re: Doctors assessment, UK- is this ADD?

I think difficulty with focus and procrastination can be symptoms of ADD or something else depending on what else might be going on. I don't think that being diagnosed with ADD is extremely rare in adults because many people don't get diagnosed in childhood as they should be. I do think however that it warrants more direct attention by a psychiatrist or other professional who is skilled in the diagnosis and treatment of ADD; I think you need more than just a form to fill out.
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Old 11-20-17, 11:16 PM
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Re: Doctors assessment, UK- is this ADD?

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Originally Posted by Arthos View Post
All you can do is make sure that you DO know, and to guide your GP if need be.
It's definitely important for adults with ADHD or who think they might have ADHD to educate themselves about this disorder if they can, especially because many doctors, including many psychiatrists, are often not well informed about ADHD and/or haven't kept up with the most recent research about it. And more generally, it's always a good idea for patients to advocate for themselves and be active participants in their own healthcare.

I always try to come prepared to my appointments and write down important things that I want to talk about on a piece of paper to bring with me so that I won't get sidetracked or flustered and forget.

And I'm not shy anymore (although I used to be a very shy person when I was younger) about bringing articles or books by ADHD experts with me to back myself up. Earlier this year I had an appointment with a psychiatric nurse practitioner who said that he thought it would be best for me to use Strattera instead of a stimulant. So I whipped out my copy of Ari Tuckman's book Integrative Treatment for Adult ADHD which I had brought with me and read the section where Tuckman says that "the bottom line on Strattera is that it just doesn’t seem to be as effective as the stimulants....An informal survey of therapists and psychiatrists whom I know support my experience with the medication in that it is just not as likely to be of significant benefit". My current doctor is more sensible than this NP and suggested either Vyvanse or Adderall XR instead.
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Old 11-21-17, 05:40 AM
Nlight56 Nlight56 is offline
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Re: Doctors assessment, UK- is this ADD?

Thanks for the quick replies it seems like it is quite difficult to get a diagnosis then.

Arthos- thanks for the suggestion, I'm not sure whether there is anywhere that does adult ADD around here, I may look into going private depending on my health costs.
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Old 11-21-17, 07:05 AM
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Re: Doctors assessment, UK- is this ADD?

AS Arthos says.... educating yourself about ADHD and it's various incarnations so that you can discuss it with your GP in an informed way is a good move.

It also helps if you can tell the GP that you want to be referred to a specialist and give the GP some options.

I found it best to ask my GP to refer me for a private diagnosis. Once the diagnosis was received my GP was OK with prescribing and monitoring as long as I had yearly consults with the diagnostician.

Once I became contra-indicated for meds the need for an annual consult ceased.

It is not "rare" for Adult ADHD to be diagnosed in the UK..... but I suspect that a significant proportion of Adult ADHD diagnoses occur outside the NHS and therefore don't show up in NHS stats.

In short..... if it's causing serious impairment in daily life, it's worth paying for a private assessment.
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Old 11-21-17, 04:08 PM
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Re: Doctors assessment, UK- is this ADD?

Going private is potentially much less stressful and definitely faster than going the NHS way. If your GP agrees to shared care it would save you a lot of money on private prescriptions.

Tbh I would have gone private if my GP was willing to do shared care. Since he isn't I am still waiting on a date for my first NHS appointment.
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Old 11-22-17, 10:34 AM
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Re: Doctors assessment, UK- is this ADD?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Arthos View Post
Going private is potentially much less stressful and definitely faster than going the NHS way. If your GP agrees to shared care it would save you a lot of money on private prescriptions.

Tbh I would have gone private if my GP was willing to do shared care. Since he isn't I am still waiting on a date for my first NHS appointment.
I have a friend who went private and she had many other medication options available to her.
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Old 11-22-17, 10:50 AM
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Re: Doctors assessment, UK- is this ADD?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Arthos View Post
Going private is potentially much less stressful and definitely faster than going the NHS way. If your GP agrees to shared care it would save you a lot of money on private prescriptions.

Tbh I would have gone private if my GP was willing to do shared care. Since he isn't I am still waiting on a date for my first NHS appointment.
My GP refused shared care as well. I quote 'why should I do what some guy in London tells me to do??'

At this point I was already seeing an NHS psychiatrist (who insisted that allmy problems were due to depression and would-be solved with psychotherapy, which of course never materialised).

Thankfully when my GP referred me back to the NHS I got to see a locum psychiatrist who went over the notes from my private ADHD assessment, carried out another assessment and confirmed that I do indeed have ADHD. This locum had years and years of experience in diagnosing and treating ADHD so I got lucky I guess. I'm back to seeing my regular NHS psychiatrist who prescribes my meds. I'm not sure he agrees with it but he has to follow the locum'sre commendation.

If nothing else it might help to have a private diagnosis which the NHS psychiatrist can then refer to.
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Old 11-30-17, 06:30 AM
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Re: Doctors assessment, UK- is this ADD?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nlight56 View Post
The doctor said it's very rare for ADD to be diagnosed in adults and seemed skeptical.
I went see an NHS psychiatrist and he said that it is indeed rare for ADD to be diagnosed in adults unless there is a compelling reason why it wasn't diagnosed in childhood. In my case, he accepted that growing up in a country where nobody had heard on ADHD in the 90s and early 2000s counts.

Also, after asking me a lot of questions from what I think is a standard NHS ADHD questionnaire, at first he told me that he didn't think I had ADHD because I only had "inattentive" symptoms but to be diagnosed with ADHD in the UK you need both attentive and hyperactive. After some more conversation including me telling him some stuff I knew about ADHD such as women not usually showing hyperactivity, he said that he would see me in a month because he would need more information to decide on a diagnosis. After a few weeks though I got a letter addressed to my GP saying that I do have ADHD and recommending me for medication and would only need to see me in 3 months. Based on that letter, I think he must have read more about ADHD based on what I pointed out and convinced himself that I had it.

I hope you run across NHS doctors like him, who will take the time to document themselves even if they don't know everything upfront.

It did take me a while after my first GP referral to get to see a psychiatrist through NHS. Like others said, I heard that private is faster but I for one cannot afford it and I had positive experiences with NHS staff (well, other than them always running ridiculously late with their prior appointments despite ADHD me always making the effort to be on time).

Finally, you may want to check simplywellbeing . com . That guy is a London-based professional coach with ADHD himself and advertises his business there, but he also has some nice information about ADHD from his UK-based viewpoint, including his experience with NHS and private doctors.
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Last edited by adhdGirl17; 11-30-17 at 06:31 AM.. Reason: not the most relevant quote
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