By Roland Jung
Just Keep Swimming: Life Before and After my ADHD Diagnosis
Part 2- Getting Assessed
After going down this road of self-diagnosis, I decided it was time to take action. I went online and looked for a psychiatrist specializing in adult ADHD, and made an appointment. What you need to bring to the assessment will depend on the psychiatrist, but I was able to find some school reports and I brought them in.
I drove to his office and while I was in the waiting room, I was given a survey that asked me questions that pertained to ADHD. The survey was very similar to the self-diagnosis surveys I saw online, and I answered as truthfully as I could. After I finished the survey I was called into the office.
If you have never been in a psychiatrist’s office, they are just like the ones you see in the movies. The room is lined with bookshelves, filled end-to-end with literature on mental health. You sit on a large, cushy leather couch, and the psychiatrist sits across from you, legs crossed, clipboard in hand.
We talked. It was the first time I got to tackle this issue head on, to talk about things I’ve felt my whole life, things I’ve struggled with my whole life. I don’t want to be sensationalist and say that the experience was liberating, but there was definitely a sense of liberation. Based on my survey results and what I had told the psychiatrist, he diagnosed me as ADHD (Inattentive Type).
I had a lot of mixed feelings about the diagnosis. On one hand, I felt a sense of relief, that everything I had struggled with was not completely my fault. I was relieved that with this new self-awareness I could start learning how to work around my condition, and to build the life that I wanted.
But on the other hand… I was diagnosed with a condition, a condition best managed by medication. I did not even take vitamins regularly, and now I have to drive to a pharmacy every month to fill a prescription.
Part 3 will talk about my first year with ADHD