Whether you are currently undiagnosed or not, you may need some extra
support navigating your way through.
Here are some ways you could start exploring your neurodiversity.
Initial Steps for the Undiagnosed
Accept the rollercoaster
Any steps that you should take should be governed by you and
your current situation. It is important that you remain patient while
you await your diagnosis and wherever possible, be kind to yourself.
You didn't know... So you need to stop beating yourself up!
How could you have known what close family members didn't even suspect?
The words that you speak to yourself, and to others about yourself, matter
more than you can imagine - so be kind with how you think of yourself
while you are learning.
Request a GP appointment
This may feel like the hardest hurdle to cross - many of us have had so many
negative interactions with Doctors being overly dismissive of our struggles
historically, so it can feel daunting to entertain the idea of tryin one more time.
This time will be different because you will be going in to that appointment,
feeling prepared. How?
Take the next week, and keep a note of all of your daily struggles. Make notes
on each, in as much detail as you can. At the end of the week, you should have
a hive of information to read through, and with your suspicion of what may be
causing them, you can better advise your Doctor.
I want you to think about somebody that you could take with you to your
appointment - this should be somebody who has the time to attend with
you, or be available for a telephone call during the appointment. This
person will ideally be comfortable advocating for you, should you find
yourself unable to.
(More info on GP appointments are below)
Find a Community
Social Media choices are personal - so try to look on your chosen one, for
an active community that is happy to offer their experiences, tips and tricks
as well as friendship. I have included potential YouTube channels and
TikTok accounts that you may find useful, in the resources section - all
hyperlinked for your ease.
If you are unsure on the safest ways of achieving this, it could be beneficial
to set up an account for the diverse side of life - therefore ensuring your annonymity.
*** Please do not give out any personal details that could be used against you
at a later date - scammers are everywhere so protect yourself accordingly.
Dive right in - if you are unsure where to start, check out the resource
I cannot advise on specific areas you will need to become familiar
with, as each journey is different. So follow your instincts and look
at what interests you. Use this time as a way of understanding your
brain, so that you can reduce your frustration and stress levels.
Start getting to know yourself
Now that you suspect you have ADHD or another diversity,
you can look at your life witha new lense...
You have already researched the various aspects of
condition, so now its time to work out what applies to your life.
What observations can you make about the struggles you are facing?
What emotional responses from your past now make sense?
How could you treat yourself with more compassion?
Tips for requesting an assessment
#1 - Take your trusted person with you - they will advocate for you if needed, and help you remember the important information you need to pass along to the Doctor.
#2 - Take your weeks worth of observations with you for reference.
#3 - Clearly and concisely request an assessment for adhd.
#4 - Highlight any previous visits where you have attempted to address your adhd (knowingly or not) - this could be appointments that you have attended in the past for specific aspects of ADHD that you were previously unaware of like sleep issues, or low mood.
#5 - If your Doctor isn't inclined to complete the referral for an assessment, request that He/She/They document that on your medical records as a refusal of your request. This seems to be a magical cure all phrase that they respond favourably to, as once a note is entered onto your medical file, there is then a paper trail of your requests.
My experience of the assessment process...
For me, once the idea had taken root, and my eldest Son was diagnosed with ADHD, I knew
I had to be assessed. The idea of waiting for potentially two years - which was the current
waiting time then they estimated - was a nightmare I honestly didn't think I would survive.
That sounds super dramatic, I know - but true none the less.
You see, when a carrot is dangled in front of a hungry person, its impossible to not snatch it up.
For me, the carrot was answers. I didn't know how my brain was different to others, but I knew
the life experiences I had been thrust into, was not the typical experience most get.
I was in a hurry to get my answers, and luckily for me, I found an option that worked for me,
privately. At that time, I was fit in very quickly, and even before my assessment date, I had
spoken to the Doctor. My anxiety had sky rocketed on the run up to my assessment, with
my brain telling me all kinds of unhelpful - and totally incorrect - nuggets that drove me balmy.
Doctor Malhan worked through my worries, got me to and through my assessment, and wasn't
happy until he felt I was OK. My assessment was a full on experience, that lasted an hour and a half.
It took days for my energy levels to recharge again, to a point where I felt like me.
Ten days after my assessment, I had my full written report land in my email box.
I had thought prior to my diagnosis, that I would want to try medication to ease some of the
ADHD sypmtoms I knew I struggled with. I booked the next appointment to discuss it all,
but then at the last minute, I chickened out. Since then, I have come to see that if I
take the time to educate myself, on the science behind ADHD, that I can actually
tolerate, and in some cases, manage my symptoms a whole lot better.
For me, at this time, it works.
As I said, I was extremely lucky with how my assessment went. I have heard many stories
that have not left the people involved feeling positively. So I urge anyone wanting to
seek their diagnosis through the private avenues, to check recommendations and reviews
thoroughly before booking.
"Neurodiversity is the future of innovation and progress."
"Doubts kill more dreams than failure ever will."