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Adult ADHD Advice

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  • Registered Users Posts: 124 ✭✭cannex


    Glad you came across this thread too.

    Look into Cognitive Behavioural Therapy for ADHD too.
    I'm doing it at the moment.

    And remember, dosage of methylphenidate is not based on body weight but on the theraputic effect so dont get hung up on your dosage. Focus on how you feel on it.

    best of luck, let us know how your getting on or any questions or thoughts on this new diagnosis, there are a stages a person goes through, generally when they are diagnosed as an adult, from anger, to grief etc.


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


    Oh I got the anger right now.

    I'm ready to go back to my old primary school and make some heads roll.


  • Registered Users Posts: 124 ✭✭cannex


    Its sucks, I was angry for quite a long time too, still a little bit, pissed off with all those teachers and people who were supposed to know that something was up. But there was nothing wrong with my intelligence so it must be that I was lazy or couldnt be bothered and if they just applied more pressure and more punishements I would whip myself into place. Well that didnt happen, ever.

    Just applied for college again through the CAO and last week was my final session with CBT for ADHD.

    I now feel hopeful because I have the medication and tools to replace my deficit of the executive function. Tools: a filofax that I bring everywhere with me and tasks divided in order of importance: A< B< C < D.

    Getting treatment is life changing and I am feeling it already.
    I started yoga, before, I was so disorganised I would forget to buy suitable clothes, not have the money for the class, just completely forget about it or impulsively decide not to go.
    Things are different now. I get up at 7am most mornings with a plan.

    Fight to get the right treatment!!!

    Here is a playlist from a talk given by Dr Russell A Barkley describing everything you need to know about adhd and how the word attention is not even close to how it affects every aspect of life.
    https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLzBixSjmbc8eFl6UX5_wWGP8i0mAs-cvY


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


    Good luck with college!

    Even though I hadn't finished school I did manage to worm my way into university in the UK and get an honours degree in Science.
    It would have probably been easier if I had known what I know now. My biggest let down at the time was paying attention in lectures and keeping organised. I'd say if your able to do those things now you'll fly it. I struggled alot but got there in the end.


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,540 ✭✭✭Seanachai


    cannex wrote: »
    Its sucks, I was angry for quite a long time too, still a little bit, pissed off with all those teachers and people who were supposed to know that something was up. But there was nothing wrong with my intelligence so it must be that I was lazy or couldnt be bothered and if they just applied more pressure and more punishements I would whip myself into place. Well that didnt happen, ever.

    Just applied for college again through the CAO and last week was my final session with CBT for ADHD.

    I now feel hopeful because I have the medication and tools to replace my deficit of the executive function. Tools: a filofax that I bring everywhere with me and tasks divided in order of importance: A< B< C < D.

    Getting treatment is life changing and I am feeling it already.
    I started yoga, before, I was so disorganised I would forget to buy suitable clothes, not have the money for the class, just completely forget about it or impulsively decide not to go.
    Things are different now. I get up at 7am most mornings with a plan.

    Fight to get the right treatment!!!

    Here is a playlist from a talk given by Dr Russell A Barkley describing everything you need to know about adhd and how the word attention is not even close to how it affects every aspect of life.
    https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLzBixSjmbc8eFl6UX5_wWGP8i0mAs-cvY

    I'm considering diagnosis, my brother was diagnosed and amazingly teachers pointed out the same issues with me, but never suggested testing. I have lots of energy, just no focus or patience. I've hidden it well for a long time but I'm now stuck in a massive rut because of inability to focus or apply myself.


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  • Registered Users Posts: 1 liz12345


    hi so I just noticed this thread. Over the past few months, I have noticed a lot of Adhd symptoms present in my life. I went to a counsellor at university to see what could be done. I have an appointment for a diagnosis with a psychiatrist next month and they think if diagnosed i may need a bit of medication and basically what Im looking to see is what are peoples experiences are as i am a small bit worried about it all !

    just a few questions:

    What happened during the diagnosis phase?
    Was there many appointments to be going to after diagnosis and follow up? (im a bit worried on this one as Im hoping to be doing a summer job as an intern and wouldnt like to be having to ask for lots of time of and stuff even though if it has to be done it will take priority of course!)
    Was medication helpful and what other things can you do for yourself to reduce symptoms
    and is medication expensive

    Any feedback would be great , a lot of questions there but its quite hard to find alot of info on the websites so its quite daunting so far and i really dont know what to expect if i am diagnosed so i just want to be ready ! thank you :)


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 1,616 ✭✭✭masculinist


    ADHD presents itself differently in adults to children. Theres a huge reluctance to diagnose this condition in adults and would require a complete history e.g of childhood, school reports etc. Is there an Irish support network I can connect with or is it just this thread ?


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 1,616 ✭✭✭masculinist


    cannex wrote: »
    Very descriptive indeed! From waking to the the last minute before sleep usually. Thats where the meds help me. I can get things done in the right sequence and not just jump from one thing to another, well less anyway.

    Sorry now gonna do some shameless promotion....
    This is a thread I made on Russell Barkley, thanks orion for introducing him to me. I had him mixed up with Hallowell who goes on about the gift of adhd, that pisses me off as I am struggling with the crappy bits a lot too. There are good times to be a quick thinker and think in a different way obviously.

    Anyway here is the link from the new forum, a thread for Russell Barkley videos. :)
    http://adhdadultireland.boards.net/thread/6/dr-russell-barkley

    This video blew me away

    I applied to join the page. Is it still active ?


  • Registered Users Posts: 146 ✭✭lctake2


    Hi, currently undiagnosed but considering finally taking the plunge and getting assessed. Does anyone know where CBT for ADHD is available? I've had CBT before but for depression and wondering if there's much difference.


  • Registered Users Posts: 30 Greengearz


    Hi Guys

    Just to clarify I am not asking for medical advice - just opinions from people who think they have or have add/adhd and live in Ireland (and have dealt with or are dealing with getting diagnosed /treated in Ireland)

    I could rattle on for a while about why I think I have this but I'm going to try and summarize my main symptoms in a concise a way as possible.

    25 & female:

    To summarize, I'm an intelligent person, I got through secondary school and got well above average grades without ever really lifting a finger, even for the final exams, which in itself annoyed me as I was always saying to myself if I could just put my head down and focus I could have done even better. (for one of my the mock exams I got the highest in the yr (A-) and I didn't even open a book yet for the final exam, although I did well, I didn't get the 'head down' like I wanted to)

    Forward to today I'm in college and going into my final year. While I have done fine so far and I really enjoy myself, I don't think I have been satisfied ever with any of my grades/reports/assignments I hand in because every single one (bar one- that was a great day and got an A) is done at the last minute, if its due at 12pm, I'll be furiously typing at 11:59.

    My friends think I cope well and perform under pressure, I guess I do to a point but I hate that fact as it means everything is normally only half done as once I get started I get really into it and then ofc I become more annoyed with myself for leaving it to this point and not being able to get it finished on time.

    The last exam I most recently sat, I started to study the day before, however I spent 15 hours in front of my notes and laptop (no social media distractions etc) and nothing new went in. I kept focusing on every other thing but the subject I was sposed to be studying.
    Like I said earlier I can get away without studying and pass and even do quite well but I wanted to actually study for an exam for once and 'do the best I could'. I almost didn't go to the exam because, although I knew I would pass, It wasn't going to reflect my level of interest for the subject.

    Even in an exams, while everyone is furiously writing, and I know I should be, I've found myself staring/observing all around me and the small noises that ones hears e.g. the clock or people coughing.

    I am also extremely untidy, I used to think this as one of my quirks but I feel it definitely represent the chaos in my brain. I also lose things frequently esp. my phone and bank cards, never normally permanently though. Also a chronic procrastinator, even in areas I really enjoy & plan in advance in my head. Unless I hyperfocus on something then I do all that straight away to the detriment of other areas. Even just when I have a day off work, I want it to be productive and get gardening done or whatever, I think/plan and yet nothing gets done (Eg I plan what plants to plant where and I get 'stuck' trying to figure what plants to put where etc. Some days I'll manage to get organised by 6pm and walk the dogs then just to feel like I've done something productive, not this bad all the time obviously but often it really feels like my brain is cloudy/foggy.

    I would consider myself quite a hype type, and I definitely feel very restless if I don't get out most days, thankfully I love hiking and I have three equally energetic dogs who need a lot of exercise.. With regards to sleeping, if I don't tire myself out w/exercise I often cant sleep for ages. I can stay up all night and go to college and function fine. I seem to do well on little sleep, which annoys me in itself as I'm always like 'aim for 8hours or whatever'.
    I find it very hard to get up sometimes, even though I love mornings in some ways. Just the whole snooze, snooze thing and complete loss of motivation. Other times I am exhausted after work and will sleep for 3/4hours.

    Re: my childhood, I've read a lot that you might have had symptoms earlier but overlooked or whatever. While I wasn't a particularly bad child, I was quite quite hyper/cheeky at times, I remember my mum telling me that once my nan put me in the boot of the car, (lg. Montego estate type boot- which had a dog guard), while they were visiting a neighbour as I was causing chaos inside. I also spent a lot of my childhood climbing trees and on the roof of the house. I lived in the country so I had wide open spaces to explore and burn energy. Apparently I also day dreamed quite a lot. Like others I can definitely see other family members/cousins who could be other potential ADHD candidates.



    Another thing which is very hard for me to control is the speed at which I talk, so much to the point that I regularly trip over words and can't seem to get things out fast enough, regardless whether its through excitement or nerves. It's annoying because just having a normal conversation with someone can be annoying as although the sentences are fine and pre-planned in my head, forming proper sentences at a decent pace where people understand me? Forget it! Even my sister often asks what the hell did I just say- and she's used to my racing pace of speech.

    I am actually seeing a counsellor, one of the reasons I started was to look at how fast I was talking- which I think everyone assumes is due to anxiety. Although I definitely have moments/periods of anxiety, the speech is constantly fast regardless.

    I know these aren't the places for diagnosing but I would like an opinion as to whether people can identify with these symptoms. I've taken several online tests and they have all indicated a high chance of having it. (I know they're not 'diagnoses' in themselves but in combination with my own 'symptoms' and reading other peoples accounts etc I've done quite alot of reading and research around the area (another example of hyperfocusing)

    I'm considering mentioning it to my counsellor or doctor, not sure how they will react. Basically I cannot allow my final year in college to go as the rest of my education has done, fine- but I'm not happy with fine and I know I am capable of so much more if I could just focus! Also not sure how my dr would react, I would consider going private if it would speed the process up (I do have a medical card but if poss I would like to make move so to speak by September for my final yr in college)

    Another bad habit I have is constantly picking my fingers- whether I am anxious or not, often to the point they bleed. Also regularly click/crack my fingers/toes if I am sitting down. I also sing alot, sometimes randomly and loud (at home mostly- just hum if in work or wherever). Not sure if that's anything.


    Thanks for reading, sorry for the long winded post.


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  • Registered Users Posts: 355 ✭✭lucat


    Greengearz wrote: »
    Hi Guys

    Just to clarify I am not asking for medical advice - just opinions from people who think they have or have add/adhd and live in Ireland (and have dealt with or are dealing with getting diagnosed /treated in Ireland)

    I could rattle on for a while about why I think I have this but I'm going to try and summarize my main symptoms in a concise a way as possible.

    25 & female:

    To summarize, I'm an intelligent person, I got through secondary school and got well above average grades without ever really lifting a finger, even for the final exams, which in itself annoyed me as I was always saying to myself if I could just put my head down and focus I could have done even better. (for one of my the mock exams I got the highest in the yr (A-) and I didn't even open a book yet for the final exam, although I did well, I didn't get the 'head down' like I wanted to)

    Forward to today I'm in college and going into my final year. While I have done fine so far and I really enjoy myself, I don't think I have been satisfied ever with any of my grades/reports/assignments I hand in because every single one (bar one- that was a great day and got an A) is done at the last minute, if its due at 12pm, I'll be furiously typing at 11:59.

    My friends think I cope well and perform under pressure, I guess I do to a point but I hate that fact as it means everything is normally only half done as once I get started I get really into it and then ofc I become more annoyed with myself for leaving it to this point and not being able to get it finished on time.

    The last exam I most recently sat, I started to study the day before, however I spent 15 hours in front of my notes and laptop (no social media distractions etc) and nothing new went in. I kept focusing on every other thing but the subject I was sposed to be studying.
    Like I said earlier I can get away without studying and pass and even do quite well but I wanted to actually study for an exam for once and 'do the best I could'. I almost didn't go to the exam because, although I knew I would pass, It wasn't going to reflect my level of interest for the subject.

    Even in an exams, while everyone is furiously writing, and I know I should be, I've found myself staring/observing all around me and the small noises that ones hears e.g. the clock or people coughing.

    I am also extremely untidy, I used to think this as one of my quirks but I feel it definitely represent the chaos in my brain. I also lose things frequently esp. my phone and bank cards, never normally permanently though. Also a chronic procrastinator, even in areas I really enjoy & plan in advance in my head. Unless I hyperfocus on something then I do all that straight away to the detriment of other areas. Even just when I have a day off work, I want it to be productive and get gardening done or whatever, I think/plan and yet nothing gets done (Eg I plan what plants to plant where and I get 'stuck' trying to figure what plants to put where etc. Some days I'll manage to get organised by 6pm and walk the dogs then just to feel like I've done something productive, not this bad all the time obviously but often it really feels like my brain is cloudy/foggy.

    I would consider myself quite a hype type, and I definitely feel very restless if I don't get out most days, thankfully I love hiking and I have three equally energetic dogs who need a lot of exercise.. With regards to sleeping, if I don't tire myself out w/exercise I often cant sleep for ages. I can stay up all night and go to college and function fine. I seem to do well on little sleep, which annoys me in itself as I'm always like 'aim for 8hours or whatever'.
    I find it very hard to get up sometimes, even though I love mornings in some ways. Just the whole snooze, snooze thing and complete loss of motivation. Other times I am exhausted after work and will sleep for 3/4hours.

    Re: my childhood, I've read a lot that you might have had symptoms earlier but overlooked or whatever. While I wasn't a particularly bad child, I was quite quite hyper/cheeky at times, I remember my mum telling me that once my nan put me in the boot of the car, (lg. Montego estate type boot- which had a dog guard), while they were visiting a neighbour as I was causing chaos inside. I also spent a lot of my childhood climbing trees and on the roof of the house. I lived in the country so I had wide open spaces to explore and burn energy. Apparently I also day dreamed quite a lot. Like others I can definitely see other family members/cousins who could be other potential ADHD candidates.



    Another thing which is very hard for me to control is the speed at which I talk, so much to the point that I regularly trip over words and can't seem to get things out fast enough, regardless whether its through excitement or nerves. It's annoying because just having a normal conversation with someone can be annoying as although the sentences are fine and pre-planned in my head, forming proper sentences at a decent pace where people understand me? Forget it! Even my sister often asks what the hell did I just say- and she's used to my racing pace of speech.

    I am actually seeing a counsellor, one of the reasons I started was to look at how fast I was talking- which I think everyone assumes is due to anxiety. Although I definitely have moments/periods of anxiety, the speech is constantly fast regardless.

    I know these aren't the places for diagnosing but I would like an opinion as to whether people can identify with these symptoms. I've taken several online tests and they have all indicated a high chance of having it. (I know they're not 'diagnoses' in themselves but in combination with my own 'symptoms' and reading other peoples accounts etc I've done quite alot of reading and research around the area (another example of hyperfocusing)

    I'm considering mentioning it to my counsellor or doctor, not sure how they will react. Basically I cannot allow my final year in college to go as the rest of my education has done, fine- but I'm not happy with fine and I know I am capable of so much more if I could just focus! Also not sure how my dr would react, I would consider going private if it would speed the process up (I do have a medical card but if poss I would like to make move so to speak by September for my final yr in college)

    Another bad habit I have is constantly picking my fingers- whether I am anxious or not, often to the point they bleed. Also regularly click/crack my fingers/toes if I am sitting down. I also sing alot, sometimes randomly and loud (at home mostly- just hum if in work or wherever). Not sure if that's anything.


    Thanks for reading, sorry for the long winded post.

    Yes that's me all over! ADHD is subdivided to 3 categories: "predominantly hyperactive", "predominantly inattentive" and a combination of those two, but the reality is that everyone has a hyperactive mind. I've the inattentive subtype.


  • Registered Users Posts: 124 ✭✭cannex


    Hi folks, I had no idea there were so many posts since I was last here, I didnt get any notifiations because boards signs me out every time.
    Getting ready for work now but I will respond to people and send them in the right direction with links etc when I'm home this eve.

    On a side note, to the folks asking questions, please read through all the posts from the beginning and you will get lots of answers there too, I will still respond individually later. xx


  • Registered Users Posts: 705 ✭✭✭Feu


    HI folks,

    I've been following this thread with interest, thanks Cannex for setting it up. I've been reluctant to post to date, as I am not a person with ADHD/ADD but I do work with lots of people that do have it. This board seems to be working really well with advice from each other about differing experiences with the health services :rolleyes: and you can let me know where to go if ye like.

    However, with regards to liz12345 and Greengearz particularly, I would encourage you to seek a diagnosis, privately if neccesary. (hope this does not break rules of posting?!) As Cannex and a couple of others have mentioned, getting through college without a diagnosis can be gruelling, and with a diagnosis you can register with your Disability Service for extra supports (with a confirmed diagnosis of any mental health or neurological condition from a consultant). Every college has at least a disability officer, if not a whole office, and you can access supports like Exam accommodations e.g. smaller hall, or even individual room - really reduces distractions (for some - increases for others :)), extra time, a reader or using a computer - whatever will be helpful. Some colleges also have further supports like academic support workers (help with actual content, essay writing), and even Occupational Therapy (help with organisation, building routine, sensory needs, executive functioning difficulties). Any questions on any of this, give me a shout

    Also, just wanted to pick up on something else Cannex mentioned, the Canadian ADHD resource alliance CADDRA guidelines (specifically the ADHD checklist).https://www.caddra.ca/practice-guidelines/download I feel this is some of the best clinical stuff written on ADHD/ADD. While it is a bit dense, and I know could be hard to stick with if your attention is dysregulated, it is well worth reading Chapter 1 on diagnosis, and Chapters 5 and 6 on specific management of ADHD in adults, and psychosocial interventions. I notice a lot of queries and comments about behavioural intervention, cbt, medication, and it can be hard to know what is right for you if you've never tried any of it! This at least lays out possible treatments, and evidence for these.

    The Checklist is in the toolkit section (chapter 8 basically) and starts on page 22 of that section. May be helpful for people preparing for an assessment or who are just at the stage of wondering if this is something they may have.

    Something else a couple of you have picked up on is rage and grief. I think that getting a diagnosis is a positive experience for most people, as it can really help to explain why certain things have happened, or why certain things have been difficult - it is not you that is at fault, but rather certain strengths and challenges that prevented you succeeding in the way you wanted to. And I personally think that anger is a perfectly reasonable response to this, especially where there has been missed opportunities e.g. previous meetings with educational psychologists, or engagement with mental health services that has not been in any way satisfactory.

    Just coming back to my own interest, while I work with a lot of people with formal diagnoses of ADHD/ADD, i also work with many people with mental health diagnoses, where i sometimes wonder if there is an underlying attention difficulty, that has made things really hard for the person, which has resulted in depression and/or anxiety. While I have no wish to lump multiple diagnoses on people, especially where it makes no difference to treatment, I feel that this is a seriously overlooked/under-resourced area of need, which to be fair, Pats Hospital/Dean Clinic and St John of Gods have started to take notice of, stemming from the addiction side of things. But they are somewhat dependent on a clinician having an interest in this area. I can't speak too much re: HSE as I have never really worked for them. The reason this is important (imo) is if you are trying to help someone with chronic depression/anxiety/addiction difficulties, and they have undiagnosed ADHD, it can be extremely difficult for that person to take on the recommendations you are suggesting, from taking medication (forgetfulness) to establishing a routine (disorganisation), therefore meaningful change can be difficult. This is not to say that people with ADHD cannot engage in meaningful treatment, quite the contrary, but rather, professionals could be doing a lot more with their intervention, tailoring to them if that diagnosis was explored.
    Save


  • Registered Users Posts: 124 ✭✭cannex


    While I have made some progress and maaged to get a part time job, this is what happenend today: Too burnt out and exhausted to respond to folk tbh at the moment :(
    Decided I need more therapy.
    People with ADHD need SO MUCH MORE SUPPORT!



    Had a day from hell. I forgot to take my meds. By 2pm today in work I was fit to cry my eyes out, By the time I got home I bawled for 2 hours straight. Had a massive heart to heart with my bf and he is finally getting how debilitatiing it really is, how people laugh at it. At least he gets it now, it helps a lot. We watched a bit of Russell barkley, progress. Now I have to make the decision whether to tell my manager I have adhd. I'm driving colleagues mad because I keep asking what to do next - it takes me much longer to remember steps and get used to a routine in a new job, they dont understand and are starting to hate me. Not being on meds today was unbearable and traumatic.

    Thats the reality of treated v's untreated adhd. Debilitating!!
    Pay for help, save up, make it a priority, forget about the new fancy phone, the holiday, focus on getting yourself the best treatment you can find. It is your health and this disorder has a massive impact on your life and the people close to you.

    The sucess rate for properly treated adhd is very high and can be life changing.

    I hope some people reading this thread understand to not take this issue lightly.

    Private tests, diagnosis and private therapy - forget abou the HSE. Make your mental health your number one priority.


  • Registered Users Posts: 124 ✭✭cannex


    I applied to join the page. Is it still active ?
    Yes it is still active and all threads are private unless you are a member.
    You cant read anything unless your a member. Privacy is important.

    Nobody has posted anything yet except me!!!

    Like to change that? :)

    http://adhdadultireland.boards.net/


  • Registered Users Posts: 124 ✭✭cannex


    liz12345 wrote: »
    hi so I just noticed this thread. Over the past few months, I have noticed a lot of Adhd symptoms present in my life. I went to a counsellor at university to see what could be done. I have an appointment for a diagnosis with a psychiatrist next month and they think if diagnosed i may need a bit of medication and basically what Im looking to see is what are peoples experiences are as i am a small bit worried about it all !

    just a few questions:

    What happened during the diagnosis phase?
    Was there many appointments to be going to after diagnosis and follow up? (im a bit worried on this one as Im hoping to be doing a summer job as an intern and wouldnt like to be having to ask for lots of time of and stuff even though if it has to be done it will take priority of course!)
    Was medication helpful and what other things can you do for yourself to reduce symptoms
    and is medication expensive

    Any feedback would be great , a lot of questions there but its quite hard to find alot of info on the websites so its quite daunting so far and i really dont know what to expect if i am diagnosed so i just want to be ready ! thank you :)

    I was worried too. If you think you something may be up and it is effecting your life in a bad way - get tested.
    I was afraid of meds too and i had no access to support, this is why this thread exists, so no one else will have to do this in the dark.


    Follow through and see, if you had a lump in your neck you'd follow through?

    join the forum, link above, there are dedicated threads to all different aspects related to dealing with adhd in Ireland and in general, where to get help and to hash things out in an understanding environment.

    I am on a medical card so I have no idea how really expensive it is. I'm not sure adhd is even considered a long term ilness in ireland, therefore no medication allowance. Especially for adults.
    FIrst step is see if you are entitled to a gp visit card at aleast, there is a 150euro cap on medications person per month.

    You will need a minimum 2 hour appointment, sorry but wrote about it already in detail, have a look through the threads :)
    SaveSave


  • Registered Users Posts: 30 Greengearz


    Feu wrote: »
    HI folks,

    I've been following this thread with interest, thanks Cannex for setting it up. I've been reluctant to post to date, as I am not a person with ADHD/ADD but I do work with lots of people that do have it. This board seems to be working really well with advice from each other about differing experiences with the health services :rolleyes: and you can let me know where to go if ye like.

    However, with regards to liz12345 and Greengearz particularly, I would encourage you to seek a diagnosis, privately if neccesary. (hope this does not break rules of posting?!) As Cannex and a couple of others have mentioned, getting through college without a diagnosis can be gruelling, and with a diagnosis you can register with your Disability Service for extra supports (with a confirmed diagnosis of any mental health or neurological condition from a consultant). Every college has at least a disability officer, if not a whole office, and you can access supports like Exam accommodations e.g. smaller hall, or even individual room - really reduces distractions (for some - increases for others :)), extra time, a reader or using a computer - whatever will be helpful. Some colleges also have further supports like academic support workers (help with actual content, essay writing), and even Occupational Therapy (help with organisation, building routine, sensory needs, executive functioning difficulties). Any questions on any of this, give me a shout

    Also, just wanted to pick up on something else Cannex mentioned, the Canadian ADHD resource alliance CADDRA guidelines (specifically the ADHD checklist).https://www.caddra.ca/practice-guidelines/download I feel this is some of the best clinical stuff written on ADHD/ADD. While it is a bit dense, and I know could be hard to stick with if your attention is dysregulated, it is well worth reading Chapter 1 on diagnosis, and Chapters 5 and 6 on specific management of ADHD in adults, and psychosocial interventions. I notice a lot of queries and comments about behavioural intervention, cbt, medication, and it can be hard to know what is right for you if you've never tried any of it! This at least lays out possible treatments, and evidence for these.

    The Checklist is in the toolkit section (chapter 8 basically) and starts on page 22 of that section. May be helpful for people preparing for an assessment or who are just at the stage of wondering if this is something they may have.

    Something else a couple of you have picked up on is rage and grief. I think that getting a diagnosis is a positive experience for most people, as it can really help to explain why certain things have happened, or why certain things have been difficult - it is not you that is at fault, but rather certain strengths and challenges that prevented you succeeding in the way you wanted to. And I personally think that anger is a perfectly reasonable response to this, especially where there has been missed opportunities e.g. previous meetings with educational psychologists, or engagement with mental health services that has not been in any way satisfactory.

    Just coming back to my own interest, while I work with a lot of people with formal diagnoses of ADHD/ADD, i also work with many people with mental health diagnoses, where i sometimes wonder if there is an underlying attention difficulty, that has made things really hard for the person, which has resulted in depression and/or anxiety. While I have no wish to lump multiple diagnoses on people, especially where it makes no difference to treatment, I feel that this is a seriously overlooked/under-resourced area of need, which to be fair, Pats Hospital/Dean Clinic and St John of Gods have started to take notice of, stemming from the addiction side of things. But they are somewhat dependent on a clinician having an interest in this area. I can't speak too much re: HSE as I have never really worked for them. The reason this is important (imo) is if you are trying to help someone with chronic depression/anxiety/addiction difficulties, and they have undiagnosed ADHD, it can be extremely difficult for that person to take on the recommendations you are suggesting, from taking medication (forgetfulness) to establishing a routine (disorganisation), therefore meaningful change can be difficult. This is not to say that people with ADHD cannot engage in meaningful treatment, quite the contrary, but rather, professionals could be doing a lot more with their intervention, tailoring to them if that diagnosis was explored.
    Save
    @Feu, Thanks so much for the informative post, I have read this thread several times since you posted and only now managing to reply. Kept saying I would do it later and later and so on.

    Read the CADDRA guidelines you mentioned, I found them really interesting, very well laid out and to the point and might be good supporting material if I decide to see a specialist, or even my own GP as not sure how familiar mine is with this area (or even believes in it). I'm leaning towards the idea that I may have this and I've been reading as much as I possibly can. This weekend I managed to lose my purse, bank card and passport, only for them to be found right beside where I was looking the whole time. Well, actually it was my mother that found them lol


  • Registered Users Posts: 705 ✭✭✭Feu


    liz12345 wrote: »
    hi so I just noticed this thread. Over the past few months, I have noticed a lot of Adhd symptoms present in my life. I went to a counsellor at university to see what could be done. I have an appointment for a diagnosis with a psychiatrist next month and they think if diagnosed i may need a bit of medication and basically what Im looking to see is what are peoples experiences are as i am a small bit worried about it all !

    just a few questions:

    What happened during the diagnosis phase?
    Was there many appointments to be going to after diagnosis and follow up? (im a bit worried on this one as Im hoping to be doing a summer job as an intern and wouldnt like to be having to ask for lots of time of and stuff even though if it has to be done it will take priority of course!)
    Was medication helpful and what other things can you do for yourself to reduce symptoms
    and is medication expensive

    Any feedback would be great , a lot of questions there but its quite hard to find alot of info on the websites so its quite daunting so far and i really dont know what to expect if i am diagnosed so i just want to be ready ! thank you

    Hi liz, sorry didn't really reply to any of your questions specifically! I will try to answer based on discussion with people who have gone through this process, hopefully i will not cross forum rules. As Cannex mentioned, there is a lot laid out in adhdadultireland.boards.net but perhaps i can add a little more here

    A psychiatrist may diagnose you in the one visit, depending who it is. This is a relatively painless process (:pac:) just asking questions about your history and behaviour. Again it is worth having a think about this before you go along (although attending unprepared could be seen as symptomatic in itself ;)]), like what are the functional difficulties you are having, what impacts your day to day life. While many adults will not have "documentation" from when they were at school, it is actually worth bringing along a school report or something if you have one, they are often illuminating! Frequent comments along the lines of "X won't stay in their seat" or "X daydreams through class" can speak to history of these difficulties. If a clinical psychologist does the diagnosing, you will still need to see a psychiatrist or GP before medication is prescribed. Liz i think you said you were going to a psychiatrist, but if being diagnosed by a clinical psychologist, this can take up to 3-4 visits depending on the psychologist. You shouldn't have too many appointments if being diagnosed by a psychiatrist, but there will be follow up if medication is commenced.

    If you have not already had your appointment, it is worth thinking ahead of time about whether you want to try medication or not, and discussing any concerns re: medication with the psychiatrist when you meet them. There's lots of research out there on the efficacy, side effects, long term outcomes of medication, mostly on children (i.e. started when kids, followed through to their late 20s/30's). Laurence Greenhill is one of the experts on this, he actually spoke here a couple of years ago, and he really knows his stuff: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18573923.
    This is also a nice article on the European situation for adult treatment, although 6 years old: https://bmcpsychiatry.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/1471-244X-10-67 That article states that stimulant medication is effective for about 70% of people with ADHD.

    Most people say that stimulant medication is very effective in increasing focus, and decreasing distractability. Therefore doing what they want it to do. Some people express side effects such as reduced appetite (and when prescribed to children and adults they will monitor their weight), weight loss, nausea, sleep difficulties, and one of the reasons some people dislike it is a feeling of "not myself", which could be described as being less emotional, feeling "robotic", or even devoid of emotion. There is lots about this online, obviously. Cost really varies, I've seen from €65 a month to over €100, so definitely shop around.

    There are lots of behavioural and environmental modifications that you can make apart from or in conjunction with medication. I have a lot to say about this, depending on the difficulties you are having, so maybe I'll hold off unless people are interested :)
    In a nutshell, routine routine routine! Routine will help prevent/improve some of the functional difficulties associated with add/adhd e.g. losing things as mentioned by numerous posters above. I think it was also Cannex that mentioned having a little chest of drawers for like bills and things like that, that can so easily be lost or misplaced, and leaves people with ADHD tearing their hair out. Having a set place for things, and then developing the habit of always putting things there, can really work over time. Some people i work with have a literal checklist for when they come in the door, and for when they are leaving the house, to reduce stress and anxiety.

    I think as well for people with a recent diagnosis of ADD/ADHD, considering seeing a counsellor, with experience/knowledge of the difficulties associated with ADHD would be beneficial. There is a high incidence of other difficulties correlated with ADD/ADHD particularly depression, anxiety, substance abuse and sleep disturbances. Some people are interested in ADHD coaches which is more of a thing in america :)

    You could also consider seeing a life coach or OT on a regular basis, who may focus on the more practical side of things then therapy, like helping you set and achieve goals to reach a particular milestone in your life


    On another note, it is of interest to me that several of the posters here (cannex included I think!) are ladies, and I think it is good to see you investigating your situation. Like Autism, ADHD in women is underdiagnosed, and I think the high incidence of associated anxiety contributes to this i.e. both women and men (without diagnosis) can become highly anxious as a result of struggling to the things they want and need to do, and as a result may mention anxiety to GP – but women are more likely to mention this to GP, and so may be simply identified as having anxiety, when the reason for it is overlooked. There is a brief article on the HADD website that highlights women with ADHD here: http://www.hadd.ie/article/adhd-women-often-misdiagnosed The HADD website is worth keeping an eye on, as there is sometimes talks aimed at adults advertised, which may be of interest to some of you. There are some good resources on the site too, although it is primarily aimed at supporting children. Under the adults tab, there is a link to a presentation by the amazing David Carey on adult ADHD, it is worth checking out.


    Cannex, I am so sorry you're having such a rough time. I'm sure you are already doing this, but depending on where you work, could you get instructions emailed to you, rather than verbally, this helps enormously, and prevents people needing to ask repeatedly what they are supposed to be doing. Also a lot of people with ADHD can be very good aurally, so repeating instructions back to the person who has provided them could help you integrate them better.


    Disclosing to your workplace can be a really good idea depending on the setting. Sometimes employers can be really supportive, and really open to modifying your role etc, and sometimes it is hard for them to understand the condition. Their attitude can depend on how much "this will affect the business", i.e. if it is quite easy to move you to a slightly different role, that's handy. Having a good idea of how things could be improved for you is helpful when thinking about having this discussion i.e. if i could change x and y, I will be able to work mostly independently, that kind of thing.


  • Registered Users Posts: 3 poolshapedmoon


    This post has been deleted.


  • Registered Users Posts: 124 ✭✭cannex


    I forgot to take my meds one day in work, I was literally distraught when I got home, thought I destroyed everything and I would be hated by all my -workers........ and....... the next day was uneventful lol, totally normal, I wont forget again. Understanding how my brain works, where I have issues and where I need to watch behaviours, all of this is why is I am able to now hold down a part time job - big achievement for me. Getting ready for college (again) in Sept. This is what a "label" is.

    Poolshapedmoon
    Well you sound exactly like me when I was coming to the realisation that I migt have adhd.
    I had all the same worries.

    Yes you can do all of the above: bypass the Gp nd make a private appointment for a private assessment and not go through the public health system but as far as I know the GP needs to write the prescription for the pharmacy to dispense. I could be wrong here but I cant think of any other way, unless, I think, you would have to pay privately or full price for the meds.
    You mentioned you were a student, is ti possible to speak the the GP in your area who deals with student patients?
    You could just turn up at your GP with the diagnosis letter and a prescription and say nothing more. This is my experience, my GP practice/GP is fine with writing the prescription but I dont discuss the meds with them really. If your GP is not, change GP.

    In regards to follow - up: there is none really, it is up to you to follow-up, oh the irony, I get it :)
    I learned that the hse is too bogged down in "real" mental health issues and adult adhd isnt top of the priority list.

    I followed up by emailing to discuss some medication issues with the Prof and he responded promptly.
    Other than that I strongly suggest you look for adhd focused therapy and/or CBT for adhd.
    Its a long journey but reaching goals and staying on track feels really good :)


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  • Registered Users Posts: 30 Greengearz


    I wish I could quote multiple people.
    I've been meaning to reply back to this thread for the last few days but everytime I come on my laptop, I get distracted by something else on it fir 3/4hours. Sound familiar lol?

    This last week I've managed to lose an array of things, including my camera lens which I had 60 seconds prior, then left my phone in the woods while walking, got them both back though.

    I'm in the same boat as you poolshapedmoon, i have an OK doctor but now one I would really feel content talking to her about this kind of stuff, also not sure how serious she would take it. I can't be 100% certain without being diagnosed but I feel like it's a strong chance that I could have this and it would make alot of sense, Going from top of class (and top of the school in some subjects) in secondary (when you had to do your homework) to doing only average as I haven't studied for one single exam and every single assignment is late/incomplete and Im always kicking myself as soon as the deadline is up and every semester I say "I'll gt my crap together, can't repeat last semester" etc However I can spend hours, on areas that I love (hyperfocusing).

    Really thinking of going private, at least it would be somewhat faster. Not sure if it can be discussed here but I don't know where to start in terms of can anyone recommend any Dr's/physcologists who specialize in ADHD in adults? I'm in the south of the country but would travel if necessary.

    For those of have gone private, how long did it take from making of appt to diagnosis?

    This post has been deleted.


  • Registered Users Posts: 124 ✭✭cannex


    Greengearz wrote: »
    I wish I could quote multiple people.
    I've been meaning to reply back to this thread for the last few days but everytime I come on my laptop, I get distracted by something else on it fir 3/4hours. Sound familiar lol?

    This last week I've managed to lose an array of things, including my camera lens which I had 60 seconds prior, then left my phone in the woods while walking, got them both back though.

    I'm in the same boat as you poolshapedmoon, i have an OK doctor but now one I would really feel content talking to her about this kind of stuff, also not sure how serious she would take it. I can't be 100% certain without being diagnosed but I feel like it's a strong chance that I could have this and it would make alot of sense, Going from top of class (and top of the school in some subjects) in secondary (when you had to do your homework) to doing only average as I haven't studied for one single exam and every single assignment is late/incomplete and Im always kicking myself as soon as the deadline is up and every semester I say "I'll gt my crap together, can't repeat last semester" etc However I can spend hours, on areas that I love (hyperfocusing).

    Really thinking of going private, at least it would be somewhat faster. Not sure if it can be discussed here but I don't know where to start in terms of can anyone recommend any Dr's/physcologists who specialize in ADHD in adults? I'm in the south of the country but would travel if necessary.

    For those of have gone private, how long did it take from making of appt to diagnosis?

    Welcome!
    Yes everything you describe is familiar, reading through other peoples posts and getting those aha moments!! :)

    Going private means waiting approx 2 months. Prof Fitzgerald has a clinic in Cork once a month. Go to his website and you will find the instructions on how to make an appointment.
    http://professormichaelfitzgerald.eu/consulting-room/


  • Registered Users Posts: 30 Greengearz


    Thanks Cannex, I think I'll give them an email. Can I ask did you (or anyone else reading this rn) have to bring a family member or school reports? I haven't discussed this with my parents.. yet. I would prefer to find out on my own, and then be able to tell them (or I may not have to if I end up not being diagnosed).

    As to school reports, no idea where they are, primary school was OK for me as I went to a very good school, and the short deadlines for homework meant it may not have been apparent. Apparently I use to daydream a lot though and was a bit introverted.

    Today has been a strange day, first day off work/college in a few weeks and its lashing rain so I haven't spent most of my day outside like I always would. I planned to get college work done today and I still haven't even made a start. I've spent all day sorting out data that should only take an hour or two. Worse is the college work has no deadline, and I'm sure you know what no deadlines means! Even from only having one day with no physical excursion I feel much more fidgety and adrenaline fueled. Also annoyed with myself that I haven't made the most of this rare 'free' day.


  • Registered Users Posts: 30 Greengearz


    cannex wrote: »
    Welcome!
    Yes everything you describe is familiar, reading through other peoples posts and getting those aha moments!! :)

    Going private means waiting approx 2 months. Prof Fitzgerald has a clinic in Cork once a month. Go to his website and you will find the instructions on how to make an appointment.
    http://professormichaelfitzgerald.eu/consulting-room/[/QUOTe

    I've been doing a little more searching and the name Dr. Sean O'Domhnaill came up through Google and then led me back to here and I read one of your previous posts saying he diagnosed you? I would love to here more if thats OK re costs and other more info, if that's OK. Through private message might be more preferable. :)


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,864 ✭✭✭empacher


    Hi guys looking for whatever advice I can get. Got diagnosed as an adult about two years ago. First my a psychologist, then got refereed to the HSE in Galway.

    I've being on two different forms of meds, straterra and concerta. Both didnt agree with me even after taking them for a few weeks.

    The last appointment I had with the HSE the psychiatrist. Said something along the lines of '' That I wasn't that bad of a case, and that meds might even help me" he then gave me a prescription for fish oils and said they might help.

    The psychologist who originally diagnosed me said I'd never be able to complete college without the help of medication.

    So at the moment I'm in the middle of exams, can't focus enough to get any meaningful study done. sometimes I'm here for 12hrs and get maybe 2hrs work actually done.

    During the college year, I'd get 5 minutes into a lecture before I'd switch off. Which kind of left me teaching myself for the year.

    Particularly for second semester every assignment was either submitted late or not submitted.

    Am I wasting my time going the HSE route? Should I go private, and what roughly is the cost. I'm thinking if i get past these exams. Next years going to be worse again.

    If anyone can recommend anyone in Galway to see, or am i best travelling to Dublin?


  • Registered Users Posts: 30 Greengearz


    Empacher, I can't explain how much I relate to your post on so so many levels. I feel like we are in a very similar situation, esp in relation to college

    "Particularly for second semester every assignment was either submitted late or not submitted."

    This has been the same for me for every semester since I've started. Out of all the reports I have done, only one was complete, the rest are all incomplete/done at the last minute which absolutely kills me as I genuinely love what we study and at the start I'm full of great plans which I could achieve if only I could focus and not procrastinate!!

    Also in the same boat w/regards to study. Spent 16 hours recently trying to study one of my favourite subjects and got maybe 15mins of actual work done. Very nearly skipped the exam but I decided against it.

    Unlike you however I have never been diagnosed, but I am considering going private as I have my final year next yr and I hope to go on a do a masters but not a chance if I can't sort this out.


  • Registered Users Posts: 18 Orionis


    Hi guys looking for whatever advice I can get. Got diagnosed as an adult about two years ago. First my a psychologist, then got refereed to the HSE in Galway.

    I've being on two different forms of meds, straterra and concerta. Both didnt agree with me even after taking them for a few weeks.

    The last appointment I had with the HSE the psychiatrist. Said something along the lines of '' That I wasn't that bad of a case, and that meds might even help me" he then gave me a prescription for fish oils and said they might help.

    The psychologist who originally diagnosed me said I'd never be able to complete college without the help of medication.

    So at the moment I'm in the middle of exams, can't focus enough to get any meaningful study done. sometimes I'm here for 12hrs and get maybe 2hrs work actually done.

    During the college year, I'd get 5 minutes into a lecture before I'd switch off. Which kind of left me teaching myself for the year.

    Particularly for second semester every assignment was either submitted late or not submitted.

    Am I wasting my time going the HSE route? Should I go private, and what roughly is the cost. I'm thinking if i get past these exams. Next years going to be worse again.

    If anyone can recommend anyone in Galway to see, or am i best travelling to Dublin?

    In short, yes i'm afraid you are probably wasting your time with HSE. How did the psychiatrist reach the conclusion that you weren't that bad a case? The fact that as you said you have been submitting every assignment in college late or not at all [Welcome to to the club..!!] would really suggest otherwise. Unfortunately this is the trouble as you will find - too many doctors don't take the condition seriously and people suffer needlessly.

    I'm afraid it's safe to say that your psychiatrist probably doesn't know very much about ADHD at all. The evidence base for fish oils is pretty weak. And even at that, benefits are only seen at high doses with particular blends. Even then, the benefits are very small compared to the medications.

    What were the particular difficulties you had with strattera and concerta? You should consider whether it's possible the dosage was too low or indeed too high. I'm also wondering how long you took strattera for as the full benefits don't occur for 4+ weeks.

    If you really can't tolerate either and can rule them out, you could talk to the psychiatrist about Tyvense. It's not licensed here for adults but it is in the UK and would generally be the medication tried if Concerta (methylphenidate) doesn't work. Tyvense (lisdexamfetamine) works for a lot of people when methylphenidate doesn't. It's very popular in fact and works extremely well for a lot of us. Sorry, I appreciate all the drug names are confusing. Best bet is if you go back and discuss with the psychiatrist.

    I'm not aware of anyone in Galway i'm afraid. You could go see Michael Fitzgerald in Dublin who has been mentioned above and that's what I'd recommend to be honest. But bear in mind that no matter who you see, Ireland is 20+ years behind say the UK in terms of ADHD services so it's imperative you become your own expert to be honest. I'd recommend buying two books: Firstly read "Driven to Distraction" by Hallowell & Ratey (make sure you get the more recent updated version. Even then, the science is a bit dated but it's still the classic book on ADD and rightly so.) and secondly (once you have read driven to distraction) : The Adult ADHD Tool Kit by Ramsay & Rostain. [This is imho the best current book on ADHD in terms of psychological strategies and CBT though there's plenty of other excellent ones]

    But seeing as your in the middle of exams, I'd really suggest focusing on the basics. Regular sleep [Unfortunately sleep problems occur frequently with adhd. Delayed Sleep Phase Disorder is very common unfortunately. The very latest research suggests there's a genetic link between the two so don't beat yourself up if you have never slept well. Biology > Moralising!

    Also regular aerobic exercise [major benefits for adhd]

    But most importantly of all as I'm sure you know already [and you will still have to do this on the right Meds] is to structure your life. Timetable everything. Use to do lists. Create external accountability. Best of luck with the rest of exams! I hope this helps in some way. If you have any specific Q's, feel free to PM me.


  • Registered Users Posts: 226 ✭✭MrSzyslak


    Hey everyone.

    I wanted to add my piece to this thread after reverting back it for valuable information over the last few months.
    Firstly thanks to Cannex for setting up this and also for her answering many questions I had about diagnoses and available treatments etc... Was extremely helpful.

    So briefly my story: I was diagnosed with Anxiety about 7 years ago and subsequently depression have been on numerous anti-depressants (SSRI/SSNR) over the years currently back on Lexapro I also take some Benzodiazepines on occasion if required. I always suspected I could have ADHD and have struggled immensely through college and the last few years working life. Recently being put on a performance improvement plan so under tremendous pressure in work etc..

    Anyway I went for an assessment with Michael Fitzgerald and was diagnosed with ADHD and possibly Asperger’s however the latter would take additional appointments for a conclusion on a diagnoses. Personally I dont think so he seemed to base this from one comment from my mother regarding being a little slow to start making friends in school but this was only for the first year and then I had plenty of mates I also started school at 4 which could explain it.

    I was lucky to get a cancellation and received an appointment in five days. The appointment ran for about 35 minutes. However I came prepared with the (DIVA Adult ADHD checklist, some old school reports with comments such as not reaching potential, disruptive, distracts other students etc...) I also had an email from a manager in work pointing out my short falls and how I wasn’t taking her instructions on board. In addition my mother came along he actually seem to speak to her more than me which was rather annoying. Anyway he wrote a prescription for Ritalin AL, is preparing a report for my GP and instructed me to have Therapy with David Carey in Stillorgan its specific for adhd. I actually already had an appointment book to see him, there is about a month wait if anyone is interested.

    The cost of the above
    Assessment with Michael Fitzgerald €350
    Therapy with David Carey €140 per hour
    For months’ supply of Ritalin LA €73.05

    I actually have a medical card so once my doctor gets the report I will make an appointment and bring along prescription I got and hopefully will get these on the medical card.

    Today I took my first dose on Ritalin LA (starting 20mg working up to 40mg over the next week and a half) unfortunately it hasn’t gone well so far which is disheartening I have been very tense, nervous and anxiety was greatly increased. I think maybe my concentration had increased but I can’t be sure. (This is not medical advice for anyone btw just how I feel from the initial dose today this can be removed if needs be)

    I will continue for the week and fingers crossed this improves. I am off work at the moment with Anxiety/Stress so this gives me a good chance to give the medication a go.

    I am available to answer any questions (even if others wish to PM) I will also add to (over the next period)
    http://adhdadultireland.boards.net/ forum which Cannex was very good to set up.

    As the last poster said Ireland seems to be a bit behind with Adhd services in general (especially in adults) so it’s great we can help each other out. I have hyper-focused haha on Adhd over the last few weeks and learned a good amount.


  • Registered Users Posts: 124 ✭✭cannex


    Thanks to everyone who has taken the time to contribute to this thread, whether it be looking for answers or writing excellent information.
    A good few new posts lately and I am struggling a little bit to respond to everyone but sometimes the thread has already covered a lot of the questions asked. When I see a question that hasnt been discussed before I will try to answer.

    So, to the people who are helping others here with their knowledge and experience of what it means to have adhd as an adult in Ireland. I really appreciate it so much.
    And for the folks who come here trying to see how they can help themselves, looking for answers, some help on where to go next, you are on a positive path so please do read the whole thread - not all at once unless you are hyperfocusing. :)
    It is Ireland specific.
    :)


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  • Registered Users Posts: 124 ✭✭cannex


    Greengearz wrote: »
    cannex wrote: »
    Welcome!
    Yes everything you describe is familiar, reading through other peoples posts and getting those aha moments!! :)

    Going private means waiting approx 2 months. Prof Fitzgerald has a clinic in Cork once a month. Go to his website and you will find the instructions on how to make an appointment.
    http://professormichaelfitzgerald.eu/consulting-room/[/QUOTe

    I've been doing a little more searching and the name Dr. Sean O'Domhnaill came up through Google and then led me back to here and I read one of your previous posts saying he diagnosed you? I would love to here more if thats OK re costs and other more info, if that's OK. Through private message might be more preferable. :)

    The NAAS Clinic is no longer open and as far as I know Dr O Domhnaill isnt assessing at this point in time.
    Save


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