Adult ADD in the UK
September 19, 2009 11:44 AM   Subscribe

Anyone with Adult ADD in the UK - Did you try a private route to get a diagnosis? If so, who would you recommend? How did a diagnosis affect things at work? If you have a history of heart disease in the family is it too risky to take meds?

I asked a similar question years ago, but got mostly US people responding who, though helpful, couldn't address the problems of getting a non-NHS diagnosis in the UK. The condition is barely recognised in Scotland, where I am, so there's little point in going to my GP, but I have enough money to follow a private diagnosis route and would like recommendations, especially in London.

I've known for some years, since I first came across the concept, that this is very likely what I have - I can see all the symptoms from my childhood onwards. I've previously managed quite well with it because my chosen job is a good fit. However that has all changed. My employers have been making rounds of cuts and outsourcing which have left me without admin help, having to cope with a myriad of nasty online form filling tasks which reduce me to a wreck, and having to remember to do more and more admin tasks without prompting, or face failure, and doing all the admin and organisation slows me down and demotivates me, causing me terrible stress and overwork to make my deadlines, which were never a problem before. I can't pay for outside admin help, as these bloody forms are all on internal systems which are only accessible within the organisation to employees.

This is a reason why I'm considering going down the medical route. If I turn out to be right, and get a formal diagnosis, do my employers have any responsibility to provide help for me? Or could this be a bad move which might lead to discrimination against me in the future? I'm also worried because of the shocking history of heart disease in my family, and my own age and risk factors, as to whether medication for ADD could increase my risk of a heart attack. Any relevant experience and recommendations would be appreciated. Thanks!
posted by anonymous to Health & Fitness (3 answers total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
Your question asks about both Scotland and London - in which will you be seeking diagnosis? The info for each might be different (maybe? I don't know). Regardless, though - have you talked to your GP about this at all? That needs to be your first step, whether you want to go NHS or private. In England at least there are no private GPs, and so all specialist referrals must come through your NHS GP - however, there are 'emergency care clinics' in most private hospitals that will see you and refer you on for around £60 per visit. They will probably not diagnose you with something like ADD in the 15 mins you will get, however, so will either refer you to a consultant or tell you to back and talk to your GP. Private consultant fees run at about £150 per session, unless you have private insurance which runs to around £600 per year for a single person (depending on which plan you choose - including hospital cover will bump it up). Your prescriptions will be the usual price (£7.20 in England), unless you're in one of the free categories or want a non-subsidised script,

Otherwise I would suggest looking into to-do management lists to help you to manage your task list - search 'todo' here at AskMeFi or look into 43 folders or another GTD system (google, there are plenty).

Good luck! I know many people who have chosen to self-medicate with this, so all kudos for choosing to go through the legal channels.
posted by goo at 2:12 PM on September 19, 2009

Oops, here is the correct 43 folders link: 43 folders. Sorry.
posted by goo at 2:25 PM on September 19, 2009

As you have found, getting a diagnosis of adult ADD in the UK is near impossible - I had a doc nearly laugh me out of the office when I brought it up once (I have been diagnosed in the US as both a child and adult with ADD). I don't have any specific recommendations for you, but you may want to start with this thread on the ADD Forums which will hopefully point you in the right direction. Good luck!
posted by triggerfinger at 3:02 AM on September 20, 2009

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