February 9, 2014 at 11:36 am #124104
helenbollMemberFebruary 9, 2014 at 11:36 amPost count: 29
I’m Swedish, and the process of diagnosing works a bit different here, at least where I live. There is a diagnostics team (doctors, psyciatrists, nurses etc.) at the hospital that work only with diagnosing. Which is kind of great, although not in every way.
My problem is that they keep saying that the symtoms must have been present in my childhood, AND that they need to have proof of that.
I was not hyperactive as a kid. I was hyper sensitive and had breakdowns, but most of these happened at home, and my family always found other reasons for them. I am a typical example of an undiagnosed “good girl” if you know what I’m saying.
Thing is, I really need this diagnosis. It will help me a great deal, as people with add/adhd can get extra help in finding jobs etc. in this country. Without that, I feel that I will give up. Been trying on my own for so long, and I dont have the energy anymore.
So, what can I do about this proof-finding thing?
Would appreciate some support immensely.
/HelenREPORT ABUSEFebruary 9, 2014 at 12:41 pm #124106
blackdogMemberFebruary 9, 2014 at 12:41 pmPost count: 906
Hi @helenboll, welcome. 🙂
That sounds like a really great way to do things, with a whole diagnostic team working together. I wish they took it seriously enough to do that here (Canada).
First, not being hyperactive as a child does not mean you don’t have ADHD. Hyperactivity is only one symptom. But there should be signs going back to childhood if it is ADHD. Daydreaming, seeming kind of spaced out, being forgetful, late all the time, poor or inconsistent performance in school (in some cases), being impatient or impulsive, interrupting and blurting things out without thinking, procrastinating, having a cluttered and disorganized room…….Just to name a few.
I recommend making some notes before you go so that you won’t forget what you want to say. Sit down and think about your childhood and jot down anything that you can remember that might be important.
If you can possibly show them any report cards or school records that would help. Comments from teachers like “not meeting full potential”, “does not apply herself”, “does not listen” etc. are all indications of ADHD.
Another thing that might help is if you have any family members who can either go with you to talk to them or write a letter about what you were like as a child. Having an outside view from an observer is very helpful because we have trouble remembering things and often can’t really put things in perspective ourselves.
Also, ADHD is genetic at least 80% of the time. If you have it then it is very likely that at least one of your parents does and other members of the family as well. If they haven’t asked you about that yet they will.
It is a very difficult diagnosis to make, especially in adulthood. And it is good that they are being thorough and getting as much info as they can. You want to be certain that you are getting the correct diagnosis and the treatment and support that you need.
If you have any more questions, post them here and someone will likely be able to answer them for you. Also, take a look around the site. There are lots of resources available here to help you.
Good Luck. 🙂REPORT ABUSEFebruary 9, 2014 at 3:13 pm #124113
sdwaParticipantFebruary 9, 2014 at 3:13 pmPost count: 363
In the U.S., the doctors usually have other people who know you well answer questionnaires about your behavior, including your personal history. My mother, who knew me as a child and lived with me at the time, filled one out about me. Maybe you know another adult who was close to you as a child who could provide a third-party account. It seems like it shouldn’t matter how they explained your behavior then – what should matter is getting an accurate description of the behavior itself.REPORT ABUSEFebruary 9, 2014 at 4:26 pm #124116
helenbollMemberFebruary 9, 2014 at 4:26 pmPost count: 29
Thank you for your answers!
I guess I need to explain a little bit more thoroughly, and not so briefly. 🙂
I am 33 years old, and growing up, nobody was familiar with adhd. The only thing close was DAMP, and that was only for hyperactive boys, who could not sit still and who interrupted in class.
I’ve had ADD symptoms all my life, but nobody saw them, or knew what they were or could interpret them! I was a clever, quiet girl who never disturbed anybody, but always felt different and as though I did not fit in. I’ve never had any trouble with reading or writing, and I got along fine in school until junior high. In Sweden there are no grades in school until kids are 12-13, and in those days they did not really keep track of you if you were not causing trouble.
So that is one factor: No academic troubles in childhood.
Factor number two is that although I did show symtoms at home, my parents did not hade any knowledge to interpret them, and they are also very ADD-ish, so for them my behaviour was not strange. I grew up in a family where having ADD was the norm. My older brother was diagnosed a few years ago, at age 32. My father could also get the diagnosis, I think.
I have suspected that I also have it for years, and read up about ADD and ADHD a lot in the last year. I know every symptom and thing that can cause suspicion. I am a textbook undiagnosed adult woman. Intelligent, yet failing to finish school or keep a job. Struggling with relationships, keeping things together, working extremely hard at seeming normal and hiding my problems. Have been on sick leave for depression because of this.
The team has spoken to my mother and made her fill out a questionnaire. They interpreted her answers as me not having adhd, or being bipolar, as that was also being checked. They were at least correct about the bipolar part. =)
When a doctor told me about this conclusion, I objected strongly, and then he really _listened_ to me. (The first time someone did in the process, I think.) He let me talk, and listened as I explained about my mother not seeing, or wanting to see the signs. About the nostalgic shimmer she puts on my childhood, going through a questionnaire and me explaining. He told me then that he believed me, and was now on my side. So after that they decided to re-do, or continue, with me.
But as so much is in the balance for me, I am very anxious that they will not give me my diagnosis. Maybe I am being overly pessimistic.
On thursday I am doing a QB test at the hospital. (https://www.qbtech.com/en/qbtest/) Hopefully that will give the results I am hoping for.
Well. That felt good, writing everything down. 🙂
Is there anything else you think I can do to make them able to diagnose me?REPORT ABUSEFebruary 9, 2014 at 5:36 pm #124117
ScattybirdParticipantFebruary 9, 2014 at 5:36 pmPost count: 1096
Hi – it sounds like you’re doing all the right things. What you must do is stress the fact that your brother has been diagnosed. That increases the chances of you also having ADHD so you must tell them that.REPORT ABUSEFebruary 9, 2014 at 7:09 pm #124118
kc5jckParticipantFebruary 9, 2014 at 7:09 pmPost count: 845
The members posting above have given you excellent advice to which I can add nothing.
My son, at 20 years old, took the TOVA (http://www.tovatest.com/) to get diagnosed. He passed with flying colors, if you want to call being diagnosed as ADHD passing.
A year later, after getting educated about ADHD, I took the Tova and was identified as moderate ADHD. I suppose the point I’m trying to make is that if the test can pick out someone who has slipped by for 60 years undetected, then it must be pretty good. I suspect, or at least hope for your sake, that the QB will be as good.
http://totallyaddconnect.com/forums/topic/survival-in-an-add-relationship/ towards the end of the tread describes my experience with the TOVA test. This tread is the one that contains many of my initial posts to the site describing myself, symptoms, and problems. (For all the nosey members interested in my story. Actually that should be phrased “For my many and dear friends here at TotallyADD.com that want to know more about me. 🙂 )
Regardless of your results, it should be viewed as a tool in the attempt for a diagnosis and not a definitive go or no go. As mentioned above, ADHD has a large genetic component. Having a brother that is diagnosed should really help support a diagnosis for you.
The important thing is that you have found someone on the diagnosis team who seems knowledgeable and is willing to make a definitive determination. I feel that someone, like yourself, who has reached their late twenties and has learned about ADHD, is able to fairly accurately self diagnose with respect to ADHD. And it is important, as you have done, to recall the ADHD behavior and traits you exhibited as a child. You seem to have done this. Whenever I start to have doubts about my diagnosis being correct, I reflect back to my youth and how accurately it is described in Hallowell’s book “Delivered from Distraction.” That and having watched my life lived over again in my son.
However, in the unlikely event it is determined that you are not ADHD, it will be good for you to know so that you can consider other causes of your difficulties. Regardless, if the coping strategies used for ADHD help, use them. They’re free.
Finally, is really good to have someone from Sweden on the site. I seem to recall other members from Sweden posting on the site. See:
My mother’s side of the family all came from Norway and way back on my father’s side are some Swedes. So I’ll give you a big “Howdy from Texas, cousin.”
Let us know how it goes with you, not only to satisfy our curiosity, but to help any other Swedes coming around looking for help.REPORT ABUSEFebruary 9, 2014 at 7:27 pm #124120
helenbollMemberFebruary 9, 2014 at 7:27 pmPost count: 29
Thank you, Scattybird and kc5jck. Good answers. I feel a bit calmer about the whole thing now. I sure will continue fighting for myself! And kc5jck, cool that you have Scandinavian ancestry! Do you have a last name or something that goes back?
I’d love to keep you updated! This forum seems really good, I’ve tried facebook groups for adhd but they were not really to my liking. 🙂REPORT ABUSEFebruary 9, 2014 at 8:25 pm #124122
kc5jckParticipantFebruary 9, 2014 at 8:25 pmPost count: 845
@helenboll – here’s a link to information about the Swede in my ancestry:
My Norwegian ancestors were from Fresvik and Laerdal on the Sogn fjiord, the area around Stavanger on the coast and Roa, which is about 60 km north of Oslo. I have been to all these places except Stavanger. I can say that Norway is the only place I have been that was more impressive than I had imagined. ADHD imagined. 😉
When I was in Oslo at a store looking at sweaters to buy, a young sales girl came up and started chattering away in Norwegian. (With blonde hair and green eyes, I suppose I look more Norwegian than my mother who has dark brown hair and brown eyes.) I looked at the girl and with a thick Texas accent said, “I’m from Texas.” She blushed and quickly returned with someone who spoke English. It was pretty funny.REPORT ABUSEFebruary 9, 2014 at 10:38 pm #124124
blackdogMemberFebruary 9, 2014 at 10:38 pmPost count: 906
@helenboll, I agree with the others, it is very important to make sure they know that your brother was diagnosed. Also, maybe your brother or someone else could fill out the questionnaire that your mother did, to provide a second opinion.
When I went for my assessment the psychiatrist insisted that I bring a “collateral historian” with me. The only person I have is my mother and I was afraid that she wouldn’t see the signs in me. I tried to use the excuse that she is elderly and might not remember things very well. And I have to admit that I tweaked the questionnaire a little bit. She can’t see well enough to read so I had to read the questions to her and fill in her answers. I did it honestly but I kind of prodded her a little, giving her little reminders where necessary.
But I didn’t need to worry. By the time the psychiatrist was done talking to her his mind was pretty much made up, before he even looked at the questionnaire. It was more what she said than anything that convinced him, though I also scored pretty high on the tests.
The myth that people with ADHD can’t do well in school gets in the way of getting a diagnosis all the time. I was told that I couldn’t have ADD because I graduated from high school. And before that I was told that it wasn’t ADD because I said that I had good days and bad days and if it was ADD every day would be the same. Which could not be further from the truth.
But it sounds like the doctor you were talking to understands and is willing to listen.
@kc5jck You have plenty to add. A cheery welcome, an extended hand of friendship, interesting conversation. And all those links to other threads. I don’t know how you do it. Really, I can’t even remember where I read something, never mind finding it again.February 10, 2014 at 12:44 pm #124130
helenbollMemberFebruary 10, 2014 at 12:44 pmPost count: 29
Yes, they know about my brother, and I will bring that up again if necessary. He was diagnosed at the same clinic (if that is the right word) but not by the same team, I guess.
The understanding doctor I saw talked about the fact that since my brother’s add is more “severe” (if you can call it that,) all attention was on him and that is why my problems weren’t noticed. It also made me the “easier” child. I can go along with that theory it it helps me. 🙂
Should I start a new thread for every question that pops into my mind?REPORT ABUSEFebruary 10, 2014 at 5:27 pm #124139
blackdogMemberFebruary 10, 2014 at 5:27 pmPost count: 906
My opinion is no, don’t start a new thread for every question. It gets confusing enough around here with the threads we have, since none of us ever stay on topic for very long. 😉
You can post all of your questions in this thread. Or, if you have a specific question that fits one of the other threads we already have, post it there.
Of course, it’s up to you. If it makes it easier for you to start new threads then go ahead. Sometimes it’s easier to keep track of things that way.
I have a brother too. And he got most of the attention too. Mostly because he was so whiny. He has never been tested for ADHD but he does have some signs of it, though it may not be enough for a diagnosis. I am much worse. But I was a “good girl”, the typical quiet daydreamer. And of course, no one knew about ADD then. They couldn’t figure out why I struggled in school even though I seemed to be able to understand everything very well. And so I was labeled “lazy”. Everyone assumed that I just wasn’t trying.
And speaking of being lazy….. I really am not supposed to be doing this right now. I have to go clean something before the day is over.REPORT ABUSEFebruary 10, 2014 at 5:54 pm #124140
kc5jckParticipantFebruary 10, 2014 at 5:54 pmPost count: 845
Should I start a new thread for every question that pops into my mind?
No one else does. Most threads change subjects after about ten or twenty responses. Somehow we just can’t stay focused on one subject at a time. Or we get bored and move on. And it is almost impossible to go back and find some discussion from the past.
If I am trying to find something, like the postings by our other Swedish members, I’ll do a search such as
This gives me results containing postings with the word Sweden from this site. Usually, I can remember a few words or phrase of what I’m looking for to use in the search.
Diagnostics team wants “proof” from childhood will be kind of hard for me to remember if later I want to find this thread. Foxy Swede needs help would have been much easier, at least for me.
I can see why your brother would have gotten all the attention if you were the easier child. Like ignoring the leaches when wading out into the swamp to check the crawfish traps when you know there are alligators around.REPORT ABUSEFebruary 10, 2014 at 5:57 pm #124141
helenbollMemberFebruary 10, 2014 at 5:57 pmPost count: 29
Oh, good, blackdog, starting a lot of new threads are confusing.
So you are also a good add-girl? Nice to meet another one! =)February 10, 2014 at 5:59 pm #124142February 11, 2014 at 10:14 am #124148
blackdogMemberFebruary 11, 2014 at 10:14 amPost count: 906
It’s nice to have you here. Too many people just lurk and don’t post at all. It’s good to have more participation, different opinions and experiences. And especially from other countries because it gives us a more global perspective. 🙂REPORT ABUSE
Diagnostics team wants "proof" from childhoodhelenboll2014-02-09T11:36:59+00:00
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