Hi there! Just a bit of a ramble... hope it's ok

Hi everyone! I am not sure how to start really. I’m 26, a doctor (lol) and I think I may have ADHD. There’s a couple of things I wanted to chat about with you guys, I’m not really sure what I want out of it. To connect, maybe! So first off - I have been to see my GP about it, and have been referred to a specialist. However the waiting list is at least 2 years!! I’ve been looking into other ways to go about it and am going to apply for NHS funding for private diagnosis, apparently that’s a thing although don’t know if I’ll get it. If not I think I’ll pay for a private diagnosis. 2 years just seems so long. And I feel like I’ve found my tribe, but because I don’t definitely have a diagnosis it’s like I’m looking through the window, you know? And I’m scared that I don’t have it. Like maybe I am just lazy and not motivated and selfish and ditzy and trying to find excuses for myself. I’ve been obsessively looking into it and so many things make sense, but I always have the worry that I’m just making it all up.
Second point - my mum works in education and specialises in behaviour. She is extremely brilliant and forward thinking and kind and knowledgeable in her work… so why didn’t she see this? Unless I’m making it all up and I don’t have ADHD!! But then I fulfill pretty much all the criteria for inattentive subtype in the DSM5 I think (and some from hyperactive as well). Argh. When I broached the subject recently she initially said she didn’t think I had it, immediately without even considering it (despite having said she thinks I have trouble with executive functioning before). A while later she told me she’s told her friend (who I know as well) about it… I was trying not to tell too many people in case it’s not true! Although at least it tells me she’s thought more about it I guess, so that’s a positive. The logical side of my brain knows she just loves me and doesn’t want me to have any problems, and she would never have meant to hurt me and I’m getting less and less upset about it, and even less so writing it down on here, it’s quite therapeutic!
I think I’ll stop rambling now… thanks to anyone who read it, pretty sure it doesn’t make total sense and isn’t exactly what I’m trying to say… but I’m doing this instead of something important so I guess I’d better go try and do that! Thanks x

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Welcome!

It’s easy for high functioning people with ADHD to go unnoticed. A lot of times we learn skills that help us navigate the challenges and symptoms, and we aren’t necessarily sure why we have to learn them. We may do very well in school or work, but be exhausted by doing it or struggle in other areas. It’s likely that if you have ADHD you’ve had the resources to manage in the past but may be facing more challenges or stressors now that highlight the limitations.

I don’t know where you’re located (sounds like EU/UK area?) so I don’t know how to make recommendations about best getting evaluation sooner. That being said, I think if you are able to seek help from a general mental health provider in the short term you can talk with them about the ADHD diagnosis. The fact that you are a doctor may give you an edge in presenting them the symptoms. It may also be useful to write them down or take some self-screening exams prior to the appointment to help illustrate your concerns.

My experience is that ADHD diagnosis takes some time, as a provider needs to get to know you for themselves and feel like they’ve come to the diagnosis versus you leading them there. But, that may just be my experience.

Whatever the case, welcome! Thanks for reaching out!

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Thank you so much for the welcome and for replying!!
Yes I think you’re right, although it’s always been obvious that I’m not good at organisation or time keeping, always lose things etc. I have managed to get good grades through last minute panic revision, doing subjects I’m interested in and being reasonably smart. Luckily working in medicine (although I’m only now realising it) is perfect! Lots of varied, interesting things to do, each task generally lasts a short time, I only have to organise the really important stuff a day at a time and it’s often obvious what to do and what order to do it in, some bits of stress to keep me interested and engaged. The ‘other stuff’ is what I really struggle with - keeping a portfolio, organising audits and teaching sessions and looking at conferences and courses to attend, being on time. I basically only do the ‘extra things’ that are absolutely needed and even then only close to the deadline. Not because that’s what I want to do - I really want to do super well! But because that’s all I seem to manage. I’m worried it will affect my career progression.
It’s all come more to light because I’m taking a year out to travel etc. But I’m finding the organisation and lack of purpose incredibly difficult. It shouldn’t be this hard to organise nice things… but it really is! It’s made me realise how much I actually struggle and how low my self-esteem is. That’s what led me here!
Yes I’m in the UK, very behind in ADHD unfortunately. In the future I’d like to look into raising awareness about it. Even in the medical community it’s not well known - the GP I went to see clearly didn’t think I had it at first because I said I could focus great on really interesting things (hellooo hyperfocus). And I’ve talked to many of my supervisors and colleagues through medical school and subsequently the hospital about struggling before I realised it could be ADHD - not one of them thought about ADHD.
I have taken a few self screening online tests (been a little obsessive about it) and all say likely to have ADHD. I’ve also looked at the DSM5 and feel I fit the criteria. But the self-doubt always comes back! Especially as of course no-one should diagnose themselves!
It’s a great idea to talk about someone in general mental health. I really struggle with asking for help so I’ll have to try and convince myself!
Thanks again for reading and replying, you have no idea how much it means to me!

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I too work in the medical profession and find that it is definitely more ADHD friendly. My previous job was in the hospital on an inpatient unit where I was on my feet often, moving and dealing with random things that came up during the day. I was able to take walks throughout the hospital on breaks, and was able to engaged with a variety of people to stay stimulated. My new job is a lot different, as it’s more desk and phone oriented, so it would be a struggle if I hadn’t gotten on medication a few months ago. Medication has been life changing for me.

I also struggle with organization. I often have to prepare my supervisors and coworkers for how bad I can be about it. In my jobs I have to make lists and get in the practice of referring to those lists regularly so I don’t lose things. At home I’m constantly losing things or forgetting things. I also forget to do things and put things like laundry, haircuts, trimming nails, getting gas, etc. Organization has been a chronic issue, and one that I dealt with long before I knew I had ADHD.

I definitely think there needs to be more provider education on ADHD. Here in the States not a lot of providers are educated on it and there’s still a bias against it. That’s partly due to the fact that ADHD medications are highly regulated here. I don’t know if it’s the same in the UK. I’m actually working on a project myself to present to the providers at my current job to help educate them on ADHD in our patient population. Knowledge is needed to help lead to awareness and then to treatment.

I really hope you’re able to get the official evaluation and diagnosis if that helps you get treatment. In the meantime, there’s nothing wrong with knowing that you have ADHD and trying to treat it with skills and resources beyond medication. Getting support here is great, the Youtube channel is great, and there are podcasts and books as well. Hopefully you find what you need to deal with these new challenges and address some of the chronic issues that have made things so difficult.

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Hello and welcome, @Lucy1!
Your story sounds very familiar - if you looked around here, you’ll probably have come across quite a few very similar ones. The inattentive type in particlar gets overlooked a lot. My own story was a lot like yours - except it was only 9 or 10 months and they came in increments. Also, not a doctor. But even as an underperforming artist, I still had a hard time getting people to believe I’d have a shot at getting diagnosed.

Even without a diagnosis, though, you can get a lot out of taking the possibility of ADD into account. Not the meds, obviously, but whatever strategies discussed here or in the books or podcasts or Jessica’s videos work for you, will work no matter what. Nobody can take that from you!

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I’m another one with a similar story. I’m in the diagnostic process in my mid-thirties. My mother is a psychologist and also didn’t see it in me. She still had a hard time seeing it when I brought it up earlier this year though over time we have continued talking about it and she now thinks I do have it. When I started compiling history information from my childhood there were lots of symptoms of ADHD including hyperactivity but being smart and generally personable covers for a lot and people around me shrugged all these other things off. They interpreted my habits in the nicest possible way. Many of them helped me come up with creative solutions without seeming to even realize precisely what they were doing. Your mother may be seeing you through a similar loving and accepting lens.

Good luck with the diagnostic process and I hope you won’t have to wait for 2 years

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I’ve had a similar experience although im a bit older and I’m not an MD but a PhD. My mum was a SEN and fairly dismissive that I could have adhd since I’m mainly innatentive and wasn’t disruptive at school. In my region NHS waiting times were around the 6 year mark! I too felt a lot of doubt but couldn’t wait so paid for a private assessment. Since my mum wasn’t really open to the whole thing I took school reports that highlighted my problems with procrastination, concentration and “lack of effort”. I’m now diagnosed, and under shared care with my GP. Whilst it wasn’t cheap (£575 all in) I’m glad I did it, hopefully I’ll recoup the costs through reduced impulse purchases!
I rationalised it like this: Somethings not right. ADHD seems the best fit. If it’s not ADHD at least I’m years closer to figuring out what it might be and there’s more wasteful things I could have blown the money on :joy:

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Yes being able to move around in your job is perfect isn’t it! I’m really glad you’ve found medication to be so helpful!! Especially with it coinciding with your new job!!

Yes organization is so hard. It’s like I know how to do it and what to do but it just doesn’t ever happen and I don’t know why :confused: I really struggle with the knowledge that there will always be something else to organize… lol does that make sense. Like yeah I’ll overcome this hill because I always have but there’ll always be another one because I have to adult. Bleh.

In the UK yes medications are highly regulated it’s controlled medication. There is a whole lot not known about it, I don’t even really remember learning much about it at med school (although… could have zoned out…).

Yeah you’re so right about using the other resources (I freaking LOVE how to adhd <3 ). So useful. But I still struggle with the ‘maybe you don’t have it and you’re just shit’ thing while I try and look it up. Trying to tell myself that it’s just information, even if I don’t have it it doesn’t mean I don’t struggle with things and that’s ok.

Thanks for all your awesome advice <3

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Hi Ion! Thanks for the reply!! You guys are the best!

Was it only recently you realised you might have ADHD? (If you don’t mind me asking). Thank you for telling me about your mother, it’s super helpful to hear similar stories! I guess sometimes it’s difficult for parents to see problems in their child. I think if I talk to my mum more she’d be fine with it all, I’m just finding it a little difficult to open up to her right now. Luckily I have you guys! And I also have a couple of fantastic friends (one of which just told me when I first said I was wondering if I had ADHD it was like the clouds opened and a light shone down with angel music… lol). I’m sure I’ll come around to talking to her though.

Ah that sounds so similar I’ve always (without even realising it!!) had friends help me with staying organised, keeping me on track with deadlines and important dates and instructions and things. Before I started looking into all this I didn’t even realise!

Thank you so much for your kind words and advice! I hope your process goes well too and you find everything you need!

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Hey adhdBob, thank you for replying!!
Ooouuuch 6 years??! That’s completely and utterly ridiculous!! Gosh I can’t believe it how awful!! I’m glad you got your diagnosis much quicker, it makes me so mad that you were pushed down the private route though. If you don’t mind me asking (otherwise just ignore this), did your mum accept it after you got the diagnosis?
That’s a good way to rationalise it! I have decided I just can’t wait 2 years to find out, it’s driving me crazy! I’m going to see if I can get NHS funding (note to self… actually finish the damn form!!) and if not I’ll pay privately.

Thanks for letting me know your story! It’s really so helpful!

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Hey themax! Oops I almost didn’t see you there!

Ah thanks for letting me know that, feels a bit less lonely! Yes I’m more inattentive I believe (although fiiiidgety… side note, just bought a fidget cube and I LOVE IT!!) If you don’t mind me asking - did you get the diagnosis in the end? How is your art going now? Wh
at kind of art do you do?

You’re so right about the strategies etc and I love Jessica’s vids she has the best advice! I find it so funny watching most of the time I’m like wait… that’s not a problem for everyone?? Huh. Lol. Thank you for replying and sharing your story with me! And for your awesome advice!

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It was in the last year that it became a serious consideration, though the idea came up occasionally before.

When I was a teenager my mom once pointed out how much I have always hyperfocused and wondered if I might have ADHD, but neither of us thought that was very likely, especially because this was before I started having big problems. She also once told me that after she married my father she thought he might have ADHD and she read up on it, but eventually decided he probably didn’t. She doesn’t remember these conversations, but I’m glad I retained them. My father very likely has ADHD (he’s practically textbook), but she talked herself out of the idea.

Around university was when this really started to impair me, but I thought it was depression and so did all my doctors and therapists. I discovered “How to ADHD” years ago and watched it regularly, but I thought of it as overlap between ADHD problems and depression problems. My spouse was the one who finally said “I really think you have ADHD”. I still keep running into that issue of talking myself out of it: “It probably doesn’t count”, “Maybe I’m making excuses”, “Maybe I’m making it up”. Thankfully my spouse has kept a really clear view of my symptoms and encourages me to keep moving forward in the process. I think the end is in sight and I will hopefully be getting a decision at my next appointment in February.

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That sounds like me. I am not going for a diagnosis, I am just using the techniques that help ADHD. I guess medication might improve things, but I will do without for the moment. The techniques work, so I either have it, have some of it, or have something which is just like it. In terms of solving a problem its all the same. I thought I might be lazy too but its not so. Good luck.

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I haven’t really spoken about it anymore with my mum. She half interestedly asked over Christmas what came of it all and I just deflected a bit and said “they” thought I had inattentive adhd and I can have some work allowances. I didn’t mention a Psychiatrist or medication, I’m not sure I ever will. She has also trained as a counsellor and seems convinced I have childhood PTSD (im pretty sure I don’t). I think she’ll either continue to be sceptical or accept it and feel bad for not spotting it earlier.
Yes the paper work is a hassle, I think my wife used it as an example in her evidence for the assessment, of despite me being highly motivated not being able to get things done until the last minute!

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Oh wow so it’s been a long time not knowing! I feel like there’s so much awareness needed to be raised about ADHD! I’m so glad your spouse is so encouraging they sound great!! Yep, those thoughts are so familiar. It’s nice to know it’s not just me, although of course I don’t wish them on you! I hope you get the decision soon and it all goes well!

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Hey Kurremkarmerruk! Thanks for replying!
Fair enough, I think the techniques are a huge part of what helps people with ADHD anyway. I may have a crack at the medication if I do have it, but for me the main reason for going for the diagnosis is for my self esteem. I’m glad the techniques are helping you! Thanks for the luck, same to you :slight_smile:

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I’m glad you managed to talk a little with her at least. I hope it gets easier between you both <3

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No worries, I don’t feel overlooked! :grin:

I make webcomics and (self-published) comic books. I tried to do that for a living but now I’m transitioning it into a side gig - or trying to; I’m still struggling to get back from a hiatus dating back to before I got the diagnosis. It’s one of many things that made me seek one: not being able to do the thing I enjoy most? There must be something off!

Yeah, I got diagnosed. After months of waiting and of people telling me I can’t possibly be a brain, the diagnosis itself went by surprisingly quickly and easily. To the point of me suddenly being the one to raise doubts! (Also, I didn’t expect to get diagnosed with the mixed type.) I still get doubts now and then but instead of “am I ADHD or do I just suck” it’s more like “is it my ADHD making me do X or is this just something I suck at” or, this is a tough one: “Maybe it’s all sleep deprivation after all?”

Like you, I had a lot of moments in this forum or with Jessica’s videos thinking “wait - that’s an ADHD thing? I thought everybody did that!” Truth is, for most of these things, everybody does - just not all the time.

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Phew :stuck_out_tongue:
Oh that’s so awesome go you!! What topics are your comics usually on? I’ve never got into comics that much but I bet I’d love them if I did! I hope you manage to get back into it. Hey how about this - if you make a new comic I’d love to check it out! It’d be cool to see your old stuff too. Idk if you have a link or something. Only if you’re happy to share though!
Haha, I can just imagine if I do get diagnosed I’m going to be like hmmm but are you sure though??
Ah I’m so glad you got the diagnosis easily. Shame to know there’s still doubts after though lol. Hope you manage to deal with the internal bully ok!
Aye you’re right about everybody experiencing ADHD problems sometimes. I guess that’s one of the reasons why it’s hard to know if you have it or not, although if it’s causing problems and it’s all the time that’s a good indicator! Also, that’s one of the biggest stigma problems isn’t it :confused:

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Hi! I really recognise myself in your story, although I am a few years younger. I’m not diagnosed either, but am currently building up the courage to talk to my parents about it.

I have always been good at school, because I’ve always found it interesting. Now I’m in the last year of Swedish high school, studying Natural Science. The previous two years I’ve had only subjects I enjoy and I’ve gotten straight A’s, but now I have to do Social Science, History and Religion to get a diploma, which is not very fun… And I am struggling with these subjects. I think that’s why I’ve only now considered I might have ADHD: because the last two years went completely fine.

If I have ADHD, it would explain a LOT of things from when I was younger, even though I’ve never connected it to ADHD before: my “natural talent” for school and my restlessness when school is boring or not challenging, why I have such trouble starting and completing small short tasks that really shouldn’t take this much time to do and why it’s impossible for me to judge how much time a task will take and how much time has passed.

Also, I really relate to the feeling of what if it’s not really ADHD and I’m only using it as an excuse… It’s comforting to see someone else has the same thoughts! But someone wise on here wrote to me yesterday, that the way you are affected by your symptoms is also important, just as the symptoms themselves!

I wish you good luck with filling out your form (if you haven’t already) and with getting tested!

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