HOW DO YOU GET YOURSELF ASSESSED FOR ADHD?
You will have likely read an article or seen something in the news about ADHD. You think that you may have ADHD. You want to get a diagnosis.
Here are some pointers to help you along your journey. To get an ADHD diagnosis in the UK you will need to be assessed by a qualified adult ADHD specialist such as an ADHD psychiatrist. Sadly the process may not be that smooth for you. This is due in large part to the total ignorance of GPs and even specialist ADHD professionals about the true nature of ADHD in adults. You may need to push through some barriers until you get yourself referred and then seen by an ADHD specialist.
Find out more about ADHD here.
GETTING AN NHS ADHD DIAGNOSIS
In England and Wales, adult diagnosis and treatment is based on the NICE Guidelines which were published in September 2008, prior to that date, the NHS did not recognise adult ADHD. There is no consistent ADHD procedure across the UK. Some regions have better services and shorter waiting lists than others. Tragically in some areas there is no ADHD adult service.
I tell my clients that they need to prepare well before their 10 minute GP appointment. They should take along the ICD 10 diagnostic criteria, with the relevant symptoms circled, and to have some ‘extreme’ instances of how they think their ADHD has impacted them. My book “Own Your ADHD – Discover Your True Potential” has a detailed self-test that is based on the ICD 10. Fill it out and take it with you. Buy the book here.
I tell my clients that if the GP refuses to refer them to an ADHD specialist they should make another appoinment with another GP in the practice and repeat the process. If the GP still refuses to refer, I advise my clients to change GPs or practice.treatment. It is handy to take along a copy of the NICE Guidelines so that if necessary you can show that the NHS fully supports adult diagnosis and ADHD.
If your GP agrees to refer you further, then please do follow up with the GP a week after the appointment
If you have gotten past this hurdle the next step is that your GP will refer the you to a community mental health team, who in turn can make the referral to the ADHD specialist psychiatrist. Or your GP could refer you directly to the ADHD specialist team.
The NHS assessment will be free, but you may have to wait an awfully long time.
GETTING A PRIVATE ADHD DIAGNOSIS
The private route is the quickest and least painful. There are many independent psychiatrists who offer a good ADHD assessment and you can be seen within a week. A word of warning here, just because you are paying for your assessment will not guarantee a good treatment plan. Unfortunately so many clients have told me shocking stories of their awful experiences with private ADHD specialists. So choose carefully. Only go to a recommended ADHD specialist.
Contact me and I am more than happy to advise you further.
Please be aware that the symptoms of women with ADHD differ greatly from those of men with ADHD. Anxiety and depression are the most common ADHD symptoms. So many clients tell me their story how they were misdiagnosed with anxiety or depression or worse, and the underlying root condition, their ADHD was not even looked for.
Find a good psychiatrist who will screen you for comorbidities. Over 80% of those with ADHD have a second comorbid condition.
I prefer the shared care route. The ADHD medications are expensive and you will have to pay for them the first time your psychiatrist prescribes them to you. After this you can ask your GP to prescribe the medications on the NHS. As your psychiatrist to write to your GP and create a shared care agreement. This means that your psychiatrist takes the responsibility and determines what the GP will prescribe for you. Once this has been set up, your only ongoing costs will be a 6 monthly or annual visit/call with your private psychiatrist.
Adult ADHD treatment is Pills and Skills. Find out how you can benefit from coaching, and learn the skills that you need to live your successful life with your ADHD. Book your Discovery call here.