Back in November 2015, after months of research, I visited my GP asking for an assessment, only to be turned away.
Shortly afterward I returned, this time armed with several documents of evidence I thought I needed, and demanded the referral to a specialist I wanted. It worked, and in December 2015 I received confirmation I'd made it onto a 6-9 month waiting list.
It took eight months to get the assessment (much quicker than many other places in the country), and on 22nd July 2016, the diagnosis confirmed that I had a subtype of ADHD. Specifically the 'ADHD predominantly inattentive type', although I'd clearly had symptoms of hyperactivity during my childhood.
As I broke the news to friends and family, I had a surprising range of responses, including:
"You don't have that, because ..."
"Oh I get ... too, everyone does"
"You can't get that as an adult"
"It's just a term made up by big pharma to make money on medication"
Yet the response which had the most impact on me was from my mother
"I always suspected you had it, but the doctors didn't believe me back then".
It resonated so much with me because of the difficulty I'd personally experienced in getting my referral, not once, but twice. I'd first suspected ADHD around 2007 and had attempted to discuss this with my GP, yet I was practically laughed out of the office.
Missed, ignored or misdiagnosed. ADHD is clearly a condition that's widely misunderstood by many, even medical professionals.
ADHD Action aims to change that. It's a new charity founded in September 2017, after experiencing first-hand the impact that lack of awareness and patchy or non-existent provision can have on individuals and families.
Kickstarted with this fantastic speech at a political conference, Michelle Beckett highlighted the huge societal and financial costs to not fully recognising or supporting the condition in the UK.
The burden ADHD brings to those who have it is well known, yet the burden to society across health, education, criminal justice, work and benefits, homelessness and social care is little understood or discussed, let alone addressed, and its impact is vast.
Huge cost savings are possible for stretched public services if this highly treatable condition was given the attention it desperately needs.
It needs to change.
We need to build a future where no individual or family affected by ADHD is ever misunderstood or unsupported, but above all, we want a world where individuals with ADHD or their loved ones never have to feel ashamed, unsupported, or where our voices are not heard.
How I'm helping...
ADHD Action needs help in order to raise awareness and campaign for the changes we so desperately need. Working together for the sake of others, so they don’t have to suffer as we have (and boy do we suffer)
I want to help ADHD action by raising money in true ADHD fashion. People with ADHD are notoriously "all or nothing". Until September this year, I'd never run in an organised race, and had never ran further than 5km either. Now in aid of ADHD action, I aim to run ten 10km races in ten months!
This challenge will be helping me too. Exercise turns on the attention system, the so-called executive functions — sequencing, working memory, prioritizing, inhibiting, and sustaining attention, all those things us ADHD-ers struggle with.
How YOU can help...
- Please sign this petition for ADHD to be discussed in Parliament, or
- Please sponsor and encourage me in this campaign, or
- Do both of the above
Thank you <3
Planned Races and results so far
24/09/2017 - Sheffield 10k - Finished - 52:43
08/10/2017 - Bramley 10k - Finished - 57:26
05/11/2017 - Leeds Abbey Dash - Finished 51:28
- 10/12/2017 - Leeds Christmas 10k Challenge
- 06/01/2018 - Sir Titus Trot
- 25/02/2018 - Harewood House 10K
- 18/03/2018 - Bradford 10k
- 31/03/2018 - Daffodil Dash Temple Newsham
- 01/04/2018 - Guiseley Gallop
- 20/05/2018 - Sheffield Head Start 10K