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I think I have ADHD - what next?

Updated: Nov 11, 2023

The most mentioned mental health condition on the social media conversations of both Twitter influencers and Redditors on the topic ‘diseases’ during Q1 2022, (according to the Social Media Analytics platform of GlobalData, a leading data and analytics company.)

Around 2 - 3 years waitlist to be diagnosed by NHS

Some experiencing a 9 month waitlist on private healthcare

Rise in adult diagnosis by 123.3 percent among adults in the US ( from ADD magazine June 2022) and are continuing to rise.

ADHD is most definitely having a moment, and it's about bloody time!!

And let's hope this awareness continues to shine a light on what ADHD actually is so that society can start to support the millions of people suffering.


We are seeing a HUGE increase in ADHD diagnosis and it really is no surprise ADHD is NOT a new condition,.new has been affecting the lives of so many for YEARS! However it is one that’s been misunderstood for centuries.


The main question that I keep getting asked is - I think I have ADHD, SO WHAT DO I DO NOW’?


Getting a formal diagnosis in my option has changed my life however if you live in the UK getting a formal diagnosis is not a n easy thing to obtain.


It’s a lottery draw but the most common response we are seeing is between 18 months - 3 year waiting lists!!! Mine was around 2 years and then because I missed the 2 week deadline ( not very ADHD friendly) to send back my blood pressure numbers I was then discharged and had to start the whole process again!


The process is everything but easy and due to this we are seeing MANY being misdiagnosed with depression,bipolar disorder and many other mental health disorders when all along the root of the problems was Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder ( a name many ADHDers think should be renamed).


What is ADHD exactly…. now this is part of the problem for so many late diagnoses. MOST people do not understand the POWER & MAGNITUDE of this condition this includes GPS and in my option I can understand why.


  1. Firstly due to the lack of research on adults with ADHD because it was thought that it in fact only presented itself in young children that they would then grow out of. ( and not forgetting that we hadn’t even considered females with ADHD until late 90s)

  2. Secondly medical professionals such as GPs who are the gatekeepers to sending you for a diagnosis referral have been said to have just 1 hour's worth of training on ADHD.

  3. Lastly the paradoxical symptoms shown from having ADHD make it really difficult for those not suffering to understand. SEPERATE BLOG ON THIS COMING SOON

This is having a damaging effect on people and is preventing them from seeking help & even if they do from seeking the right help.


As Ned Hallowell perfectly puts it….

In the world of ADHD ignorance is public enemy number one.


HOW ADHD CAN SHOW UP

To make things more confusing there is not one size fits all when it comes to how ADHD presents itself. Although many report the same symptoms due to situational variability these symptoms can show up differently.

There are a few different types of ADHD and one that is interesting to look at:


Hyperactive and Impulsive Type ADHD

People with hyperactive ADHD feel the need for constant movement. They often fidget, squirm, and struggle to stay seated. Children often appear to act as if “driven by a motor” and run around excessively. People of all ages may talk non-stop, interrupt others, blurt out answers, and struggle with self-control. This type of ADHD is more recognizable and more often diagnosed in children and men.


Inattentive Type ADHD ( Probably the most undiagnosed and missed is inattentive).

People with inattentive ADHD make careless mistakes because they have difficulty sustaining attention, following detailed instructions, and organising tasks and activities. They have weak working memory, are easily distracted by external stimuli, and often lose things. This type of ADHD is more commonly diagnosed in adults and girls, and was formerly known as ADD.


Combined Type ADHD

People with combined-type ADHD demonstrate six or more symptoms of inattention, and six or more symptoms of hyperactivity and impulsivity.

Here are a few ways that my ADHD showed up that I wasn't aware was ADHD until I decided to get diagnosed.


NOTE: Yes many neurotypical brains may also suffer from the below at times in their lives however if you have ADHD ( esp undiagnosed) it isn't a choice. The difference between having ADHD & showing ADHD like symptoms; it's the intensity & frequency of these symptoms. The below totally consumed my life to a point that they then went on to impair the quality of my life. It's a question of is it WON'T do it or CAN'T do it?


  1. Constantly misplacing my belongings - and I do not mean once every couple of weeks, I mean every day all day. It's like a running joke whenever I leave a location that I would leave something behind. I once walked off a tube and left my suitcase that was directly in front of me there and didn't even realise until two hours after that it was missing.

  2. Find it hard to focus on unstimulating tasks - ever sat down to do some important paperwork to find you are constantly distracted, daydreaming, text your whatsapp groups, make some food, go to the toilet a 100 times - to then realise you have basically spent hours doing everything but the task in hand?

  3. Impulsivity - are you able to control your impulses? The biggest revelation I had was learning ADHD brains are dopamine driven because we have lower levels of the stuff so impulsivity is often a big one in realising you have ADHD. I have ALWAYS been impulsive for example overspending, overeating, booking last minute trips when I have commitments & probably couldn't actually afford to go, jumping into relationships too quickly and not to mention not being able to stop myself from talking over people during conversations!!

  4. Inability to manage rejection - now this was a huge one for me my personal experience from RSD was like I was constantly living in fear & paranoia things like overthinking texts from my friends, thinking my partner was going to leave me or i was always just about to be sacked from my job and if i was rejected in ANY way it would take me forever to get over it.

  5. Procrastination - I often find I have moments where I would have all these amazing ideas & bursts of energy to get them done and then all of a sudden I would start to experience extreme overwhelm when it came to sitting down and completing the task. I start to do odd chores, stand in front of the fridge and basically do anything by the tasks. YET I would be totally anxious and consumed by the fact I am not doing the thing I need to do. A lot of this also shows up as perfectionism and we see this a lot with ADHDers. We hold back on a lot of goals, dreams & tasks in general due to an unrealistic desire for it to be perfect.

What to do now?


Understand what ADHD is...

Due to lack of research & knowledge on ADHD, what eventually brought me to the realisation that ADHD could be the very thing that caused me so much suffering over the years was listening to real life stories of others. The more I listened the more I learnt and the more I could hear myself in these stories.

Educate yourself as much as you can on ADHD, listen to other peoples experiences and how it showed up for them in their life is


THEN.. do some Self Assessments below are a few popular ones you can find online.

I know many people out there that are self diagnosed and a self diagnosis is just as valid as an official diagnosis.



Even if you are set on getting an official diagnosis doing the self assessments are a great way to get some clarity alongside your ADHD official diagnosis and due to the process not being very ADHD friendly it may give you the answers you need in the meantime.

DON'T STOP THERE.


If you have the inclination you have ADHD start the process NOW because it isn't always a quick & easy one.

Below are some routes you can go down to receive you ADHD diagnosis and also a copy of the current DSM5 ( the ADHD assessment)

REMEMBER that ADHD is the most treatable psychiatric disorder bar none. So if you do have ADHD & decide to be diagnosed KNOW that there are many ways to treat your ADHD & STEP ONE IS AWARENESS.


LOVE ROSIE X



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