Is a diagnosis worth it?

Hi, brains!

Sorry I haven’t been active in a while, I tend to get heavily obsessed with things for like a week and then have no interest in them at all for a while, I’m sure some of you can relate😅…

I’ve been doing a lot of research into ADHD, anxiety, and depression (annoyingly I haven’t been able to find much on anxiety or depression, but from what I have gathered the symptoms can be both similar and or linked with ADHD) and have been working on understanding my symptoms and think I am almost ready to ask my GP for an appointment.
My problem is that from the get go I have been constantly telling myself not to bother with the appointment for multiple reasons:

  • What if I am making the symptoms up in my head
  • What if I am just lazy or stupid
  • What if I don’t get diagnosed
  • What if it costs a lot of money
  • What if it takes a lot of long and mentally taxing work to get the diagnosis
  • What if I get diagnosed but nothing changes
    And the list goes on…

As part of my preparing I have made a list of what I would like to get out of this:

  • To get a diagnosis (or not get diagnosed if that is the case)
  • To gain better understanding of my symptoms and how to deal with them, and gain more access to useful resources
  • To get medication/therapy if that is required
  • To get a therapy referall even if I am not diagnosed (I live in a very small town so just up and finding a therapist myself is not very easy)

I just want to know, based on what I have said above and your own experiences, has getting the diagnosis been worth it and was it useful to you and did you get what you wanted from it?

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To me, just getting a diagnosis was worth it. It helped me to know myself better. I’ve struggled with time management and distraction my whole life. The diagnosis reassured me that I am not lazy or willfully resistant to changing my ways, that these are my natural tendencies (in other words, I’m wired this way). This gives me a better starting point to improve.

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Yep! As the clinical lingo states anxiety and depression are often co-morbid with ADHD! It is true for me and other :brain::brain::brain: too.

I’ve been taking meds for depression (mostly) and not for my ADHD.

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Excuse me if i’m intrusive, but how do meds help against depression?

I fought with one too, i guess. For about 3 to 8 years, i don’t actually remember when it started, because it felt like it always was there. Didn’t take any meds and never was diagnosed with anything. Met a therapist online, she taught me basic knowledge of CBT, and i gradually learned to mindfully talk to myself without her.
In the end, my way was about severing myself from things that triggered the feeling of being helpless, unable to change what bothered me. If i can’t change it, then i should not care about it, caring about what i can change instead.
Well, turned out there are lots of wrongs in the world around i can’t change that made me depressed, because i was somewhat sensitive. I had to close my ears in the end. I still have doubts, sometimes i am bitter, but i’m not really depressed anymore, just maybe some exacerbation happens sometimes for a day or two, before i remember to sever myself from something.
It’s like touching a live wire and being unable to release it. If i experience it, then i or someone near me needs to recognise it and use an axe. There are live wires in the world, and one needs not to touch it to have a nice living, yes? :slight_smile:

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Not intrusive at all. Meds help me, although so do other things in concert with meds. Aerobic exercise is extremely important and helps me a great deal. That’s why I spent more money that I wished on a good exercise bike. Of course getting on it regularly is the challenge. But when I do I feel a noticeable improvement in my mood. Back to meds, scientifically, it is my understanding that they increase certain brain chemicals which, If not in sufficient quantity floating around in one’s brain . . . leads to depression.

Meds are not THE answer. But for me it is an important piece of the answer. Funny you should mention CBT. I tried that for a while but it didn’t last long. The person who I was seeing was not in my humble opinion very good at it. She and I got into a struggle over diagnosis. And when we didn’t agree on that she decided we could no longer work together.

Meds and exercise however, do not always work when I am surprised by some life changing event or even some unanticipated little situation. Then my ADHD, with my easily aroused startle response, can take over. Once that kicks in it’s hard for me to lower my anxiety level. And a long time ago I learned that my anger was often a result of being anxious. In fact during one of these episodes many years ago, when I was spewing my anger all over my wife, she did not respond in kind but asked me a simple question: “Are you angry or are you anxious?”. I responded immediately with an insight that never before occurred to me and said: “I am angry BECAUSE I am anxious!”. It was then that I promised that I would seek some help with respect to medication. Parenthetically, I’ll add that for many years before that day I had been in psychotherapy. And while helpful in making me realize some things and moving on with some important life decisions . . . therapy (individual and group) did little in addressing my ADHD issues.

Rather than go on and on . . . I’ll stop here. Hopefully this has been of some help to you.

btw: You have nothing to lose by keeping the appointment . . . And perhaps a lot to gain.

:sunglasses:

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It is definitely worth doing whatever the outcome, nothing bad can come of it, even if it turns out you are just lazy (which i highly doubt) then that is something worth knowing, i had all of the same concerns as you before i was diagnosed, it is perfectly normal, but I am so much better off now.

Don’t forget the link I sent you, about getting an assessment for free, it cost me nothing at all to get diagnosed.

Obviously it is up to you, but i would say just go for it.

:+1:t3:

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@Joshua_Hart

:+1:

Absolutely, a diagnosis is worth it.

I have diagnoses of dyspraxia, ADHD and aspergers traits.

The diagnosis of aspergers traits is worth it because if I did not get a diagnosis of aspergers traits, I would not have understood my real difficulties and disabilities dyspraxia and ADHD.

I can take medication, make better decisions, show cognitive empathy , establish creative outlets. I hope to do a board game / games, write books. In May I hope to buy a property in a chap part of England and can get rent. If I had a diagnosis of ADHD, earlier . I would achieved much better results . I have a better chance of getting a graduate job as a Data Analyst in a UK hospital , especially if I am medicated.

Having a diagnosis of ADHD , explains my difficulties and why I am different.

There is a lot of research into ADHD.

These days, therapy can be online !

I was told that if I had got a diagnosis of ADHD with treatment I would have probably got a 1st class degre, could have done a PhD.

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Sounds like me alright lol.

I am the same way. That is why I still have not been able to talk to my parents to get myself diagnosed.

Im glad i saw this as I am interested in this topic aswell.

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I would always say that I assume everyone is doing the best they can. So even if you don’t have ADHD there may be a different reasoning.

Wait WHAT can I check out this link?

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Heres the link to who i used with a template letter for your GP, you don’t have to use the same people (but they were very good), the law does apply to any mental health specialist who are affiliated with the NHS, you do have to live in England though.

https://psychiatry-uk.com/right-to-choose/

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See above :upside_down_face:

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(@vh0622) Trent, since you live in the US, that won’t work for you. You’ll have to check what the laws are in your state. It is likely that there is ADHD testing services through your doctor (GP, or General Practitioner); your doctor may even be able to do the initial screening.

My doctor did have me fill out an ADHD screening questionnaire to confirm the diagnosis I got from a licensed counselor.

  • He has had me retake the questionnaire each month that I’ve met with him to track how effective my ADHD medication is.
  • He made a referral to his choice of psychologist, who has been booked solid for months. I’ve recently found out about another service through a local university, but I don’t know if they will share records with my doctor’s office, and they probably won’t be able to prescribe medication.

Trent, when you have a doctor’s appointment, you may be able to speak with your doctor privately (without your parents present), but the law on that varies by state. However, ADHD testing through a doctor would probably have to be billed to your health insurance.

Was your school counselor any help at all? Can testing be done through your school?

I think that in many states, social services might be able to do ADHD testing, or make a referral for it. However, I’m certain that your parents would have to give consent for any kind of treatment (medication, counseling or coaching).

According to many sources I’ve read, for a youth to be diagnosed, adults responsible for the youth are interviewed as part of the diagnosis.
“The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends that healthcare providers ask parents, teachers, and other adults who care for the child about the child’s behavior in different settings, like at home, school, or with peers.”

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I’m In school currently I will try to remember to reply to this after school if I can remember to do so.

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Yeah I wanted to atleast check it out I did not mean the cap lock for “WHAT” but i could not get myself to fix it. Lol.

I have another APPT. Thursday for my knees but the doctor leaves before myself and my family does so not sure how that would work.

I forgot to talk to her about getting Diagnosed but we are working on ways to get my caught up with school work.

I’m pretty sure you need your parents just to get tested anyways.

I think that they interview anyone that would be with you for long periods of time. Ex. Teachers, Parents, Sports Coaches, Friends, ect.

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I would start by asking, “Is a diagnosis important to you?” What would a diagnosis give you that you don’t have now? What would a diagnosis change?

For me, I think the diagnosis has been incredibly important. It has given me new perspective on the challenges I’ve faced and new ways to move forward. It has validated some of the struggles I’ve had in the past, and it has given me a lens through which I can view my current problems, relationships, and goals. It also informed my treatment and I was started on a medication to help with the diagnosis. It has also connected me with this community and a vast array of resources that I had never utilized before. So, for me, it has been important and useful.

I can echo a lot of the feelings and doubts you have. I still get those all the time. I try to discount my struggles and compare myself to other people who struggle. I try to think back to how I managed for years without a diagnosis and how maybe the diagnosis is wrong. Maybe I’m just “weak, lazy, bored, or irresponsible.” I think that’s part of the ADHD in and of itself. That sense of doubt. The feeling like our struggles “should” be easy to overcome.

It’s important to try to be kind to ourselves and give ourselves the credit we deserve.

I also have a mood disorder and many, many times in the past I’ve questioned my diagnosis, stopped treatment, stopped medication, stopped using skills, and I’ve watched time and time again as the wreckage and carnage builds up in my life from untreated illness. I think it’s the same with my ADHD. If I don’t treat it, the results will be evident soon. So, I’ve learned to stick to the plan, to remind myself that I am valid, my struggles are valid, and the diagnosis makes sense.

Ultimately, from a clinical sense, a diagnosis is important if it informs treatment. On a personal sense, a diagnosis can feel like being seen. “Yes, that’s me. You get it. I knew I wasn’t making it all up. Now I have a name to know why everything is so hard.”

Whatever you do, good luck. And know that you still belong here.

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Not sure if you’re talking to me but Ima assume you are.

I would like to have one because then I can confirm that I would have ADHD and I could get more support from my school. Also, I think it would help take away my thinking of it’s my fault, I’m just stupid, I’m not trying hard enough.

Good to know Im not the only one like this.

Thank you

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I’m a bit late but I don’t know where I would be with out my diagnoses because the years of medicine that has helped me so much would have turned into a complete disaster so I personally think it is better to get a diagnoses. but you all have my support no matter what.

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This is something I am hoping for from mine, so thank you for sharing. I already do a lot to help myself function as easily and as well as possible, but without getting the diagnosis I feel like I’m just making a big deal out of nothing and some days I just want to stop trying the things that help me, which I know won’t end well, but I doubt myself so much.

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I suppose that is true. Whatever the answer is, at least it will be an answer.

I think one of my main concerns is that I will mess it up for myself. I am expecting the process involves a lot of sitting down and answering questions, but in situations like this my mind tends to go blank and I will forget all of the things I want to say. I have made myself some documents with a list of what I might need to say, but I am still worried I will blank or say the wrong thing and then possibly get misdiagnosed entirely.
Sorry, I feel like I am venting.

I haven’t forgotten, in fact I have that saved on my laptop so thank you for that :slight_smile: .

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I think this might help https://www.verywellmind.com/diagnosis-of-adhd-20584 and a quarter down the page might answer some questions(for any one who is deciding on whether or not to get a diagnoses)

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