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ADHD in the UK

Struggling for support and diagnosis

Hi, I’m 42 years old and recently come to the revelation that I have ADHD. It is like the missing piece of the jigsaw. Suddenly everything in my life makes sense. I have done a lot of in depth study sand am confident that this is my problem, but I am struggling to get a formal GP diagnosis. My usual GP is off long term sick. The other GP says “adhd is very fashionable at the moment” which I found hurtful and patronising. She insisted I persevere with sertraline (SSRI antidepressant) even though I know it’s not right for me, before she would consider anything else. I have little family support and am struggling as a single parent, seeing my daughter growing up with the same problems as me. Her teacher dismissed my suggestion of ADHD, as she tries hard in class to fit in and is very bright. It only shows there as slow working and being talkative. She is really struggling in her friendships and feels no one likes her. I felt like this and it’s so painful to see her going through it. I feel so alone with this and need to talk to people who understand. I feel like no one is taking me seriously and am so exhausted, it’s difficult to explain to people. I’m not necessarily looking for medication in the first instance, but for support for both of us and most of all acknowledgement so I can move on from feeling so ashamed and disappointed with myself.Did anyone else struggle to get taken seriously? How do I go about getting diagnosis and support? Thank you


I’m going to try ringing the single point of access phone line to try and get a referral to the Adult ADHD Team.

Posted by Janeybee on Mar 17, 2014 at 2:10am

Hey, my advise would be to seek another doctor! I have recently been diagnosed with Adult ADHD (I’m 22 years old) and got dismissed by 3 doctors (including a mental health specialist) before I finally got an appointment with a mental health practitioner. They referred me to ADHD specialists in Bristol and finally I got my diagnosis (I was told I was one of the most obvious cases he’d seen in a while). It took 1 very long and stressful year of constant follow ups and harassing before I finally got the assessment but it was worth it. DONT GIVE UP! If you honestly believe you have ADD/ADHD then you must get assessed. For your own piece of mind you need the correct diagnosis. Also, if your daughter has this too, she needs to know so she can learn to manage it now.
Be strong and I wish you all the best!

Posted by Jenii on Apr 07, 2014 at 3:05am

Hi Just joined the group, found out about adhd 3 years ago(age48) what a relief, still the struggle continue but with so much more hope and confidence, did eventually get diagnosed, thats a good thing but really just a bit of verification to the world(and a licence to try meds). What’s really helping me are two things: 1 learning about adhd from books, youtube, websites etc. 2, other people with add/adhd I meet through local support groups(travel if u have to, did that for a year now also run a local one myself) guess online is good as well. Other adders got the understanding, love to help, often got tips and are great at finding solutions, giving support. Still you have to be brave enough to go there, ask a few to exchange numbers so you can support each other, then contact call, text etc. Keep going forward as you will make so many great new discoveries that will help you and your daughter. Remember, The past does not equal the future. Peter

ps. reg doc Yes agree visit another one,I brought in a few self test results and a book think that helped. ps2. reg. feeling of shame and disappointment in self Louise Hay might help, youtube or google her.

Posted by PeterSv on Apr 09, 2014 at 3:50pm

Thank you. I have managed to get a referral through my counsellor. I am waiting to hear from the adult adhd team. I decided not to pursue it with that dr as she clearly was not taking me seriously even though i did show a self assessment questionnaire. I am hoping my usual GP will be back at work soon so i can talk to her but at least i’ve got the referral in the pipeline now. Thanks for your support. I am finding this group really helpful and also the rest of the website. I am doing lots of reading and am feeling a bit more positive and getting a better understanding already. I think it was just a bit of a shocking revelation at first and i went into a bit of a panic. I am managing myself a bit better now and also dealing with my daughter in a better way, which means we are both calmer. Still not all sorted but some improvement, although might also be because its the school holidays! Best wishes

Posted by Janeybee on Apr 18, 2014 at 9:46pm

Hi Janeybee!,

So sorry to hear that you are having such a rough time trying to get a GP to take you seriously.  I too have been through it all myself, and was made to feel helpless, humiliated and crazy!  As if we ADDers diagnosed later in life haven’t already had to deal with enough of that in our lifetime! 

Let me start off by saying that although you may feel helpless, it is a FANTASTIC thing that you have recognised and acknowledged the same ADD symptoms and behaviors in your daughter that you have struggled with yourself.  I struggled with these symptoms for years before finally being diagnosed at the age of 21, and although I still don’t think I have completely come to terms and accepted my diagnosis (and why nobody diagnosed me sooner when I clearly had near enough EVERY symptom) it has been life changing.  The fact that you can relate to your daughters behavior and crazy ADD way of thinking is in some ways a blessing.  A lot of us ADDers spend years of our lives feeling like not even our closest friends and family understand us and that maybe we really are just “lazy, un-motivated, un-organised” individuals who could achieve such great things…. if only they would just “APPLY themselves” and “stop daydreaming” (I can’t even BEGIN to tell you how many times those phrases were quoted in my school reports!)  Looking back I can see how incredibly frustrating this must have been for my mum, who at the time knew nothing about ADD, and was trying desperately during my teenage years to help me keep my life together, whilst being repeatedly shut out and yelled at.  Whilst I am proud of who I am today and have learned to manage (and even quite like!) a lot of my ADD traits.. I would not have wished me upon my worst enemy during my teenage years. Luckily, like your daughter, I am relatively bright and managed to make it through school and college without having to study or try too hard academically, however my social life was another story.  Whilst i managed to make friends easily (probably due to my talkative ADD nature and ability to get even the quietest of people to open up and chat to me!)  I found it near enough IMPOSSIBLE to hold on to those friendships.  I ended up feeling like nobody liked me and was slowly but surely shut out of most of my various groups of friends I made along the way.  I spent years beating myself up about it, blaming myself, taking it out on my mum, runn

Posted by georgiadd on Apr 27, 2014 at 2:29am

Thank you georgia. I can really relate to some of your experiences. I went completely off the rails as a teenager and my parents really struggled to cope with me. And I also make friends easily but struggle to keep them. It never occurred to me that was adhd, but it makes sense now! Have you found a way to overcome that now? I do have a few friends who have stuck by me fortunately although i tend to choose to spend a lot of time alone as i get easily overwhelmed/ overstimulated. I think my daughter may be similar. She keeps having to move tables at school because the kids on her table pick on her. I’ve come to the conclusion it’s probably because she fidgets so much, so i’ll go and have a chat with the teacher. I’ve decided to stop worrying about a formal diagnosis until the referral comes through and focus on learning strategies and getting what support i can.

Posted by Janeybee on Apr 27, 2014 at 10:24am

Hi all
I am writing on behalf of my daughter Victoria who was diagnosed last year, at the age of 31.

The diagnosis has made a massive difference to her. She now has an understanding about her behaviour and has made great progress with putting coping strategies in place.

She is just about to start taking concerta and would be interested in sharing experiences but it’s very difficult getting in touch with fellow ADHDers. Is anyone interested?

Posted by Ham on Jul 08, 2014 at 5:25pm

I’m 40 and have just stumbled across ADD. Now everything in my life makes sense!! I can finally let go of the guilt for being Lazy and untidy!! I am going to my GP on tuesday and I will be asking for an assessment to get a proper diagnosis.

In case he won’t refer me, does anyone know how I go about paying for a private diagnosis. I don’t know who to ask :/

Posted by Scraggy on Sep 06, 2014 at 12:45pm

hey - ask your GP for a referral to the maudsley. may take a little while for them to get to you but it is absolutely your right to ask for a referral for a second opinion. Stick by your guns and don’t let him fob you off. I was diagnosed just over a year ago by the maudsley and it feels like a weight has been lifted and that its ok to just be ‘me’! Its not mental illness - its a neurolgical disorder so you probably won’t get much help from the single point of access.

Posted by bee 13 on Apr 05, 2016 at 8:57pm

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