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Bad experience with adhd diagnosis - anger


Marv
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I'm really struggling with anger at the moment, and I just had a shitty experience trying to get diagnosed with ADHD. 

I've basically been told that my symptoms aren't severe enough for an ADHD diagnosis. I "certainly have ADHD symptoms" but they're not severe enough for us to give you medication, I told her VERY clearly I don't want medication, simply because I don't want to be taking tablets for ever. Plus, ADHD meds would probably make me more anxious and make my tics worse. All I wanted was a diagnosis. The person I had for the  pre assessment said I definitely will get diagnosed. Now I haven't. Apparently I have 'subsyndromal ADHD', how is that just not ADHD? Every example of ADHD or question she asked me was like, have I ever done drugs, smoked, did I get kicked out of school, was I super disruptive, have I been to jail, can I drive, I've got to third year of university so I must be fine. WTF? Why are we still diagnosing ADHD on severe cases criteria? Sorry I didn't throw chairs around in primary school but I do actually really struggle at university. She didn't seem to get it. And everything just kept coming back to medication which, like I said, I told her I DON'T WANT. I feel so invalidated, like I've wasted my time, like I've wasted her time, I'm confused, now I'm scared that I'll be told I'm not autistic enough for a diagnosis. She also kept saying, to stuff I'd explain, that 'oh lots of people struggle with that', or 'I have that trait, but I'm not ADHD', which is really not helpful at all. I feel so stupid. What's wrong with my brain then, huh? 

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  • Digital Mentor
On 12/7/2021 at 4:09 PM, Marv said:

I'm really struggling with anger at the moment, and I just had a shitty experience trying to get diagnosed with ADHD. 

I've basically been told that my symptoms aren't severe enough for an ADHD diagnosis. I "certainly have ADHD symptoms" but they're not severe enough for us to give you medication, I told her VERY clearly I don't want medication, simply because I don't want to be taking tablets for ever. Plus, ADHD meds would probably make me more anxious and make my tics worse. All I wanted was a diagnosis. The person I had for the  pre assessment said I definitely will get diagnosed. Now I haven't. Apparently I have 'subsyndromal ADHD', how is that just not ADHD? Every example of ADHD or question she asked me was like, have I ever done drugs, smoked, did I get kicked out of school, was I super disruptive, have I been to jail, can I drive, I've got to third year of university so I must be fine. WTF? Why are we still diagnosing ADHD on severe cases criteria? Sorry I didn't throw chairs around in primary school but I do actually really struggle at university. She didn't seem to get it. And everything just kept coming back to medication which, like I said, I told her I DON'T WANT. I feel so invalidated, like I've wasted my time, like I've wasted her time, I'm confused, now I'm scared that I'll be told I'm not autistic enough for a diagnosis. She also kept saying, to stuff I'd explain, that 'oh lots of people struggle with that', or 'I have that trait, but I'm not ADHD', which is really not helpful at all. I feel so stupid. What's wrong with my brain then, huh? 

Hello Marv,

It's nice to hear from you again. I can really see why you're angry with the diagnosis. It can totally see how invalidating it would be for someone to tell you that your difficulties aren't severe enough, especially when you've been struggling with them. How are you feeling now that some time has passed since you posted this topic? Also, I'm wondering, what does a diagnosis of ADHD mean to you? 

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Hi Monsoon,

Well, I'm nowhere near as angry as I was. Initially, I was really angry and confused. Now, I guess I've just not thought about it really since the couple of days after. It still makes me angry and feel invalidated, but I've decided I'm just going to say to people that I do have ADHD because I'm more in the ADHD box than out of it so. 

It would have given clarity. There is a low ot stuff that goes on in my brain from different conditions and it's difficult to unravel it all. It would have allowed me to understand why I do certain things, start sorting out all the different symptoms of things I have, just make me less confused basically. But now, it just feels like I've been told I have half arsed ADHD. A bunch of my friends and my counsellor understands and agrees with my thoughts and views on this. It's also scared me too, what if when I do an autism diagnosis they give me the same?

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Hey @Marv

I'm really pleased to hear that you're feeling better now. I completely get what you're saying about how the diagnosis would have given clarity; I think that when people receive a diagnosis, there can be a certain sense of relief that comes with it, because they feel like there's a clear reason. However, some people can find it hard to then know what to do with the diagnosis, and the label itself can lead to a reduced sense of control. For example, by being diagnosed with ADHD, some people may then feel like they can't focus on something for more than a given time, and then not try to find ways of coping. In that sense, I guess that labels can be both positive and negative, and they can often become an identity in a negative way. What do you think? 

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  • 5 weeks later...

Dang it's been a while!

Hope you had a good Christmas :)

Yeah, you're right. I think it would definitely have been a more positive thing for me than negative. I'm tempted to call my GP and say I think I've been misdiagnosed but also maybe it doesn't matter. I dunno. We'll see. But I do feel better about it now and it doesn't bother me as much as it did

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Hey Marv,

It's nice to hear from you. I had a lovely Christmas and I hope you did too if you celebrate it? I think it's important to check in if you feel like something is off, as you might regret not telling them otherwise. What do you think? 

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  • 4 weeks later...

Hey @Marv.

I wonder, how are you coping with your ADHD?

I am asking because I have ADHD myself and I only got diagnosed when I was only 7 years old. If you need any extra support with your ADHD at any time just come and find me and I can support you with any questions that you may have about your Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (which is what ADHD stands for) and I can also give you information explaining ADHD which you could pass on to your friends to help them understand.

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Hey @Monsoon

Yeah,  think at some point down the line when I'm not as busy i'll contact the GP and express my concern. Thank you for all the help! :D

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Hey @TheOriginalAxel

Thank you for the message! And I'll keep your offer in mind :)

Honestly, I generally just take it as it comes really. I dunno. Sometimes it can be difficult to manage and other times I just kinda go with the flow. If I have a hyperactive period, I'll be frustrated because I'm probably trying to do something, but I'll probably just go for a brisk walk or play a high attention or high action game, I might sit and roll about and stim for a while. I don't know really. My working memory is pretty damn poor, I forget a lot of things completely. Don't really know what to do about that. I dunno it's a lot to think about and describe haha, so this doesn't really cover much.

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