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Adult ADHD Advice

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  • Registered Users Posts: 1,102 ✭✭✭manonboard


    Messyhead wrote: »
    ...

    I don't have any advice MessyHead. I just wanted to say I'm sorry for the difficulty you've encountered with the professional medical practitioner so far. It was, was you said, courageous to go in the first place, and the second place!
    I hope you keep following your understanding to whatever help you need. I hope you get a better practitioner that takes you more seriously.
    Thanks for sharing your story so far.


  • Registered Users Posts: 23 Messyhead


    Thank you manonboard - wow I don't think I've ever been replied to so quickly on a forum before!! Thanks for your support and empathy - it helps.


  • Registered Users Posts: 23 Messyhead


    P.S. If anyone went somewhere for assessment (even if it was really expensive) and would recommend it (or not) that would actually be really helpful.


  • Registered Users Posts: 124 ✭✭cannex


    hey Messyhead, hope you had a good xmas. I recently replied to the same question so I'm gonna copy and paste it here for you too.
    I'm female too and we generally are more often diagnosed inattentive.

    Prof Michael Fitzgerald: here is his no. 018211796, you can only ring the secretary in the morning I think.

    I would strongly recommend that you let your GP in on the whole process. Discuss it with GP and tell them why you made an appointment to see a specialist. If you just arrive at you drs appointment with a prescription and a report out of nowhere you might have a harder time with presribing meds and the dr being on board with your treatment. (or change Dr)

    As far as the appointment went with Fitzgerald - I went there with 2 questionnaires filled out. I got it from a Canadian website. It was a good few pages long and it was checking for all kinds of disorders. I filled in blue the things that affected me as an adult and I marked red that effected me as a child. - So I brought that.....

    I had spent weeks writing down, when I got the chance, examples throughout my life that included extremely impulsive behaviours and all other behaviours I thought could relate to why I thought I had adhd. By the time my appointment came around I had both sides of 5 foolscap pages written out describing my life and behaviours. (aged 35 at the time)
    I also asked my mum to come with me as it is recommended that you bring someone to the appointment who knows you well, preferably from childhood and she was able to tell him about my behaviour as a child. But, it can also be a partner, sibling etc. Just someone who knows you well.

    So, if you go ready with all the info he needs the appointment will give you the best chance of coming out with the right diagnosis.

    The HSE will need a more detailed report but they just dont have the resources. If only these things were treated with the same urgency as something physical.

    If you have the co-operation of your GP, and go on the waiting list to see the mental health team in your area, its a long pointless wait but it means you will probably be doing what you dr considers good protocl - find out, discuss.


    Have a read of the posts, lots of info and others who are trying to figure our way through getting treatment in Ireland. It feels good to have aha moments and relate to the same stories and nod in agreement and not fel like its just you.


  • Registered Users Posts: 124 ✭✭cannex


    cannex wrote: »
    By the way, heads up. I had my appointment with Dr O Domhnaill in August. Paid 420 euros and I 'm still waiting for my report.

    I should also say the appointment was excellent and he took the time nescessary to come to the right conclusion.

    A very busy person, trying to help adults in ireland with adhd be taken seriously and he understands how pervasive and debilitating it can be.

    Just to be fair.


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  • Registered Users Posts: 23 Messyhead


    Hi cannex,
    Thanks, hope you had a good xmas too!

    Thanks, that's all really helpful. If I was to go to either Michael Fitzgerald or Dr O'Domhnaill which do you think would be the better one to go to? (In terms of whose assessment would be more listened to afterwards, by GPs etc.)

    Is it possible to circumvent the public mental health services altogether? For example if a private specialist diagnosed you would a GP be able to prescribe meds? I've been through the public mental health service before for other issues (which I now begin to suspect might be ADHD related) and it was a completely devastating, life-endangering experience. I know that sounds melodramatic but it's really true! I really can't face going near them again. My GP also told me they can only deal with depression and psychosis, and I suspect he's right. I have been seriously considering changing GP but at least this one recognises that referring me into the public system won't be helpful and so won't push me to go down that road for the sake of protocol.

    I don't suppose you remember the name of the tests you filled in or the website you found them on?

    Did you get your report in the end?

    Hope everything is going well anyway and that if you are getting treatment it's helping.

    I really appreciate the help - it's hard to navigate all this, and probably the people who are kindly sharing information now had even less to go on when they started on this journey. And yes the aha moment of not feeling like the only one is a huge relief.


  • Registered Users Posts: 23 Messyhead


    Oh I just saw you didn't have the report yet on the 21st so I'm guessing you still didn't get it - hope it arrives soon!


  • Registered Users Posts: 124 ✭✭cannex


    Hey, glad to help. I had no info at all and swore that others wouldnt have to go through that too.
    I also had a terrible time dealing with public health system and it ended up me feeling a lot worse too. Now I want to run a mile.

    SO, yes, after 2 years of horrible stress trying to get treatment I have managed to not have to deal with them. I told my occupational therapist that I was not willing to continue the treatment she was offering, meeting for 40 mins once a month and getting hand-outs designed for children. I also found out that I was being treated with an entry level behavioural intervention therapy by someone who was still in college studying occupational therapy! The treatment I was getting was for low motivation and depression. Anyway, not the right treatment, not enough time spent one on one, meetings too infrequent. They are not equipped to deal with adult adhd full stop. All the money and expertise going to childrens services.

    ANyway to circumvent having to be further traumatized by the mental health services in Ireland I would suggest you get your diagnosis, spend some time getting used to meds and then get CBT for ADHD.

    If you want to go through the HSE its the NAAS Clinic as the report will be more detailed. Prof Fitz will be less detailed but they will both be giving you the same/similiar/less or more detailed diagnosis report. So, its up to you. I found both of them to b very nice, professional and understanding.

    It is by far the most helpful thing for someone who has gone through life undiagnosed but it is recommended to be on the right medication dose before starting CBT.

    I gave a link to mymind ina previous post, hopefully you are near cork, limerick or dublin. They will more than likely have a therapist who will be able to offer you CBT for ADHD on a sliding scale.


  • Registered Users Posts: 23 Messyhead


    Thank you cannex - sorry to hear you had horrible experiences with the public mental health system too. I can't believe they gave you a handout for children...no wait...I can totally believe it! It's scary, I hear/read so many stories of people being made so much worse by their dealings with them. Maybe lots of people are helped or at least have a neutral experience but then they just go on with life and don't have a reason to tell their story, but still, so many people get really damaged who were hoping to get help.

    Anyway...off topic...sorry! Thank you so much - all your info really helps with feeling less bemused and more confident going forward with this. I'm going to see if I can do some kind of payment plan with Dr. O'Domhnaill, otherwise save for a while, it will be worth it.

    I am in Galway but I think MyMind do online stuff as well, so that might be an option.

    Wow it took you 2 years to get treatment - I'm so glad you stuck with it, I know that must have taken a lot of strength.


  • Registered Users Posts: 23 Messyhead


    One more question - just wondering if health insurance would cover a visit to a private psychiatrist? I was wondering if it would be worth getting it for this purpose. I'm guessing not or it would have come up before, but just in case...


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  • Registered Users Posts: 124 ✭✭cannex


    Messyhead wrote: »
    One more question - just wondering if health insurance would cover a visit to a private psychiatrist? I was wondering if it would be worth getting it for this purpose. I'm guessing not or it would have come up before, but just in case...

    I'm not sure about private health insurance but I do know that you cant get health insurance for any previous health condition so if you previously dealing with the mental health system in any way you may be excluded from claiming.

    You should look at the companies as I said I dont have a clue.


  • Registered Users Posts: 23 Messyhead


    Thanks, will do, if I find out anything useful i'll report back.


  • Registered Users Posts: 339 ✭✭lucat


    Can anyone recommend a decent GP in the Dublin or Wicklow area for this? My GP won't prescribe...and I am running out of my meds (just moved to Ireland). I'm up the creek without a paddle so to speak, and I'm seriously freaking out about this. I already have a referral from my psychiatrist abroad...I just need the GP.


  • Registered Users Posts: 124 ✭✭cannex


    lucat wrote: »
    Can anyone recommend a decent GP in the Dublin or Wicklow area for this? My GP won't prescribe...and I am running out of my meds (just moved to Ireland). I'm up the creek without a paddle so to speak, and I'm seriously freaking out about this. I already have a referral from my psychiatrist abroad...I just need the GP.


    Can I ask why your GP wont prescribe?
    I'm guessing they want a prescription written by a psychiatrist in Ireland...

    What country were you diagnosed in?

    Cant recommend a GP anywhere who is more likely to prescribe or not.
    Best bet is to research online, look for a new, young, progressive practice that specializes in mental health. Ring around and dont ask about adhd meds over the phone.

    Hope it works out for you. If you need any more info just ask.
    Would be helpful to know why GP wont prescribe and go from there and jump through a few hoops.


  • Registered Users Posts: 339 ✭✭lucat


    cannex wrote: »
    Can I ask why your GP wont prescribe?
    I'm guessing they want a prescription written by a psychiatrist in Ireland...

    What country were you diagnosed in?

    Cant recommend a GP anywhere who is more likely to prescribe or not.
    Best bet is to research online, look for a new, young, progressive practice that specializes in mental health. Ring around and dont ask about adhd meds over the phone.

    Hope it works out for you. If you need any more info just ask.
    Would be helpful to know why GP wont prescribe and go from there and jump through a few hoops.

    Yes that's right, the psychiatrist is in Belgium and they want an Irish one. Problem is that the letter from him gives all my test results (Connors, utah etc.) so I don't need to be re-tested. It's just a formality for the GP but the prospect of going without meds is having a massive impact on my stress levels. I've just started a new job so the timing couldn't be worse!


  • Registered Users Posts: 124 ✭✭cannex


    Ya thats pretty bad timing for you.
    Problem is all GPs will require a prescription to be written by a psychiatrist as medication like this needs to be prescribed by a specialist and your GP does not have the authourity to do this unfortunately.

    Just a couple of more questions so we can figure out the fastest way for you to get your meds...

    I dont think your GP will require you to be re-tested but they will need a prescription written by an Irish psychiatrist.
    So.....
    Is your diagnosis letter from Belgium written in French/Vlaams?
    If so, it will need to be translated.
    If it is written in English then you will need to make an appointment with a psychiatrist, go with your diagnosis letter and they should be able to do a few checks for themselves and write you a prescription.

    You will have to make a private appointment.
    As far as the right psychiatrist - this you will need to research online, you can ring around private practices and ask about whether they diagnose ADHD, if they do you may be able to just get a prescription from them.
    You give that to your GP and your GP will be then able to PRINT a prescription for you.

    In the meantime it might be worth getting a cheap flight with ryanair to get your meds at home and fly back to Ireland.

    Its really important you find the right psychiatrist as a lot of them in Ireland still think that once you turn 18 it all magically disappears, so be careful. :)


  • Registered Users Posts: 339 ✭✭lucat


    cannex wrote: »
    Ya thats pretty bad timing for you.
    Problem is all GPs will require a prescription to be written by a psychiatrist as medication like this needs to be prescribed by a specialist and your GP does not have the authourity to do this unfortunately.

    Just a couple of more questions so we can figure out the fastest way for you to get your meds...

    I dont think your GP will require you to be re-tested but they will need a prescription written by an Irish psychiatrist.
    So.....
    Is your diagnosis letter from Belgium written in French/Vlaams?
    If so, it will need to be translated.
    If it is written in English then you will need to make an appointment with a psychiatrist, go with your diagnosis letter and they should be able to do a few checks for themselves and write you a prescription.

    You will have to make a private appointment.
    As far as the right psychiatrist - this you will need to research online, you can ring around private practices and ask about whether they diagnose ADHD, if they do you may be able to just get a prescription from them.
    You give that to your GP and your GP will be then able to PRINT a prescription for you.

    In the meantime it might be worth getting a cheap flight with ryanair to get your meds at home and fly back to Ireland.

    Its really important you find the right psychiatrist as a lot of them in Ireland still think that once you turn 18 it all magically disappears, so be careful. :)

    Thanks for your reply. I was hoping to avoid going the psychiatrist route for the time being at least, as they will most likely insist on doing a re-assessment and there are waiting-lists for them anyway, even the private ones. It's too urgent for me to be able to wait.

    The letter I have is in English. Prescribing medikinet is also (I believe) at the GP's discretion to a certain extent so the issue really is finding another GP who will prescribe at least temporarily from the letter I have already. Of course I'd prefer not to have to fly back to Brussels if I can avoid it.l but if I can't find a GP here it looks like I might have to. And my Pharmacy there know I moved so they might not be able to dispense it to me anymore, I'm not sure. I'll have to check.

    Thanks for the advice. Wish me luck :)


  • Registered Users Posts: 124 ✭✭cannex


    Medikenit is methylphenidate - it is a controlled medication in Ireland, probably in Belgium too.

    It is not at the discretion of the GP. They cannot prescribe a controlled substance unless it is prescribed by a specialist in Ireland.
    If you have a letter saying you need to be prescribed methylphenidate, it is still not a prescription but a letter, you still need an Irish psychiatrist to write the prescription.
    You will only need one appointment.
    You do not need to be re-assessed.

    And probably get a new GP, because if they are telling you need to be re-assessed in Ireland they dont know what they are talking about.


    Best of luck with it. :)


  • Registered Users Posts: 339 ✭✭lucat


    cannex wrote: »
    Medikenit is methylphenidate - it is a controlled medication in Ireland, probably in Belgium too.

    It is not at the discretion of the GP. They cannot prescribe a controlled substance unless it is prescribed by a specialist in Ireland.
    If you have a letter saying you need to be prescribed methylphenidate, it is still not a prescription but a letter, you still need an Irish psychiatrist to write the prescription.
    You will only need one appointment.
    You do not need to be re-assessed.

    And probably get a new GP, because if they are telling you need to be re-assessed in Ireland they dont know what they are talking about.


    Best of luck with it. :)

    Yes but I'm still facing a wait, which probably can't be avoided. You're right that in theory I don't need to be re-assessed but just from contacting some of them I think I might have to be. I assume each practice might have different rules for new patients if they were diagnosed abroad. The gp wasn't sure.


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,657 ✭✭✭somefeen


    I went to my GP recently about my problems with concentration, short term memory and perception of time.
    I didn't think I had ADHD because I was assessed when I was a child and at the time the psychologist said that I was fine.

    As an adult I have tried everything to improve and couldn't really hold down a job at all. I was pretty much forced out of school because of the issues and then had 8 jobs in 4 years. I left job number 14 last year since the writing was on the wall. I'd say I had another month before I'd get turfed out and packed it in.

    Anyway I talked to the doctor about it and was given an apointment for a DIVA(?) test. The results came back that I was highly likely to have the innattentive version of ADHD.
    Two months later I had another appointment with different doctor at a psychiatric unit. He did another assessment and said the same. He said I won't be able to get a formal diagnosis for ADHD publicly but did say
    "In the absence of a formal diagnosis you are very likely to have predominantly inattentive Attention Deficit Disorder"

    He asked me if I was willing to try medication, so I said I'd give it a go as long as I got some other help as well.
    So in light of that he prescribed me some medication and I have an appointment to see a multi disciplinary team in a few weeks.

    I don't really know what to make of it all to be honest. The lack of a formal diagnosis does bother me somewhat but I think on the balance of evidence I'm happy to say I have ADD.
    Bit worried about meds though and not sure whether to try them or not.


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  • Registered Users Posts: 339 ✭✭lucat


    somefeen wrote: »
    I went to my GP recently about my problems with concentration, short term memory and perception of time.
    I didn't think I had ADHD because I was assessed when I was a child and at the time the psychologist said that I was fine.

    As an adult I have tried everything to improve and couldn't really hold down a job at all. I was pretty much forced out of school because of the issues and then had 8 jobs in 4 years. I left job number 14 last year since the writing was on the wall. I'd say I had another month before I'd get turfed out and packed it in.

    Anyway I talked to the doctor about it and was given an apointment for a DIVA(?) test. The results came back that I was highly likely to have the innattentive version of ADHD.
    Two months later I had another appointment with different doctor at a psychiatric unit. He did another assessment and said the same. He said I won't be able to get a formal diagnosis for ADHD publicly but did say
    "In the absence of a formal diagnosis you are very likely to have predominantly inattentive Attention Deficit Disorder"

    He asked me if I was willing to try medication, so I said I'd give it a go as long as I got some other help as well.
    So in light of that he prescribed me some medication and I have an appointment to see a multi disciplinary team in a few weeks.

    I don't really know what to make of it all to be honest. The lack of a formal diagnosis does bother me somewhat but I think on the balance of evidence I'm happy to say I have ADD.
    Bit worried about meds though and not sure whether to try them or not.

    The meds are by far the best thing I've ever done for myself. Don't worry about that side of things, you'll be fine. The system here is so crazy, that you can go on meds without a formal diagnosis, or as in my case end up with no meds even with a formal diagnosis because they're so over-regulated.

    Happy ending for me though- I tried a new GP today & he gave me a prescription & a referral to a psych for a later date. I'd been going to the other GP since I was a kid & he's retiring now anyway.

    Phew!


  • Registered Users Posts: 124 ✭✭cannex


    lucat wrote: »
    The meds are by far the best thing I've ever done for myself.

    Me too!
    They make me feel even!

    So glad you got sorted Lucat! Bet you used your quick mind!!! There are some benefits :)


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,657 ✭✭✭somefeen


    What really annoys me is that I started taking this medication 3 days ago but no one told me very much about it.
    I've only just found out myself that I shouldn't drink while on it. No one mentioned that, I didn't even get a leaflet from the pharmacist with this info.

    Seriously I'm lucky that I know to check these things out and do my own research but its really not right to just give out the pills without key info like side effects etc.


  • Registered Users Posts: 339 ✭✭lucat


    somefeen wrote: »
    What really annoys me is that I started taking this medication 3 days ago but no one told me very much about it.
    I've only just found out myself that I shouldn't drink while on it. No one mentioned that, I didn't even get a leaflet from the pharmacist with this info.

    Seriously I'm lucky that I know to check these things out and do my own research but its really not right to just give out the pills without key info like side effects etc.

    Which one are you taking? Can't say I've heard of any that you can't drink on.


  • Registered Users Posts: 7,806 ✭✭✭Calibos


    lucat wrote: »
    Which one are you taking? Can't say I've heard of any that you can't drink on.

    I've a feeling we're going to find out somefeen was actually prescribed benzo's or Beta Blockers for the anxiety caused by the ADD rather than a medication without formal diagnosis for the ADD itself.


  • Registered Users Posts: 124 ✭✭cannex


    When you read the leaflet for Ritalin it says not to drink alcohol, well it does on mine anyway.

    But obviously the reason not to drink according to the GP is because it can make the side effects worse - I experience this when I drink.

    What were you prescribed Somefeen?

    We cant advise on what dosages you should or should not be getting or give advice on how to take the medication on this forum but I can send you links to and info about the meds u were prescribed that talk about dosage regimes.

    Strattera isnt a controlled medication like methylphenidate and other stimulants so its possible to be prescribed them without a diagnosis.


  • Moderators, Science, Health & Environment Moderators Posts: 2,881 Mod ✭✭✭✭Kurtosis


    cannex wrote: »
    When you read the leaflet for Ritalin it says not to drink alcohol, well it does on mine anyway.

    But obviously the reason not to drink according to the GP is because it can make the side effects worse - I experience this when I drink.

    What were you prescribed Somefeen?

    We cant discuss dosages on this forum but I can send you links to and info about the meds u were prescribed.

    Strattera isint regulated so its possible he was given them, the GP can prescribe without a diagnosis. Lets hope its not benzos or beta blockers.

    Cannex I'm not sure why you think posting about dosages is not permitted, this is fine as is posting links to information about medicines e.g. www.hpra.ie.

    Seeking or imparting medical advice is not permitted. Have a read of the charter or drop me or another mod a PM if any clarification is needed.

    Also I'm not sure what you mean by saying Strattera isn't regulated, it's listed on the HPRA website as a licensed medication in Ireland.

    Mod note

    To all posters, please don't speculate about what medications another poster has been prescribed or symptoms another poster may have. Any issues with this please PM me.


  • Registered Users Posts: 124 ✭✭cannex


    Strattera is not a controlled medication because it is not a stimulant.
    So its not regulated in the same way as the stimulant medication like methylphenidate. Thats what I meant.

    WHen I said we cant discuss dosage I meant giving advice on a persons particualr dosage regime. I am aware that we can discuss the medication.

    I take Ritlain LA 20mg twice daily.

    My apologies if I wasnt clear enough.

    I corrected the above post to clarify what I meant and you have the original post in the quote.
    Hope that clears things up.


  • Moderators, Science, Health & Environment Moderators Posts: 2,881 Mod ✭✭✭✭Kurtosis


    No worries. Just on a point of information, although Strattera is not a controlled drug, this does not relate to the requirement for a diagnosis. Its product licence states it is indicated for ADHD with details on diagnosis (which can be viewed on the HPRA website here.


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  • Registered Users Posts: 1,657 ✭✭✭somefeen


    I'm on 18mg of Concerta at the moment, will be increasing it up to 36mg after two weeks.

    I think I may have read to much into the effects of alcohol combined with the drug. A bit of further reading suggests the main consequence of mixing the two is that the methylphenidate suppresses the effect of alcohol causing the person to drink more.
    I did say to the doctor that I rarely drank, but did have problems with alcohol in the past.

    In light of that I had a beer last night. I still felt strange after it so I don't think I'll be drinking while on these anyway.

    Really glad I came across this thread. There is hardly any support out there. It seems to be almost entirely geared towards parents of children with the condition.


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