8. Advantages of diagnosis
The role of a diagnosis is to quantify the individuals’ symptoms and impairments and to ensure they are directed towards the right treatment pathway.
Diagnosis allows access to appropriate health and social care. Research studies have shown that after having received a diagnosis individuals experience lower societal and family borne costs.
While schools and parents rarely gain additional resources as a result of the individual receiving a diagnosis, the label can be very beneficial in changing attitudes and perceptions.
It can also lead to special accommodations at school, such as extra time on tests which level the playing field so that ADHD students can better achieve their potential.
In general, receipt of treatment for ADHD can be protective of future risks such as poor academic performance, engagement in criminality or unemployment and can also enhance interpersonal relationships and quality of life.
The video below describes the advantages and impact of gaining a diagnosis.
I think getting a diagnosis of ADHD is really important, it’s a disorder with a spectrum so on one end it can literally mean the difference between people keeping jobs, keeping relationships, keeping out of prison and the other extreme it just reduces the stress and anxiety of everyday life and helps people understand how they are wired and how they can manage in life, so with a lot of the women that are getting diagnosed they’ll have juggled everything fine and they’ll have to juggle kids, house, home and that when it all starts falling apart and I can’t remember the exact statistics but people with ADHD have been exposed to a lot more negative feedback than your neuro typical people so for me when I got diagnosed it was a massive relief because I stopped thinking oh I’m just thick, I’m stupid, how can I have gone to med school but can’t find my car keys erm you know it brought everything together and helped me understand how my brain works, how it’s like your average person’s brain and how to use that to my advantage, so simple things like time blindness with ADHD you struggle to see time on a continuum its either now or not now and that’s when you get a lot of your disorganisation so I started to learn to put things into a now box rather than thinking it can be done in quarter of an hour because that didn’t make any sense to me. I also know that my ways of having multi-coloured charts and things like that weren’t strange and it was fine and it was my coping mechanism that I’d learned to manage my brain. I also knew that I do need kicks up the bum, my wife is very supportive and she understands how my brain works so she will remind me. I’ve had incredibly supportive supervisors who know that I really really struggle to sit down and focus to do a written task so because I’ve had that diagnosis of ADHD I’ve been able to turn round to them and say it’s not that I don’t care, it’s not that I’m lazy I just physically can’t make my brain work so they will give me the extra prompts and the extra reminders and I don’t think I could have qualified as a GP without that additional support from those very understanding supervisors, so there’s a whole spectrum of reasons for why it’s so important to get that diagnosis and to just understand who you are and that wiring of your brain so you can make it work for you and you stop putting yourself down and you can actually achieve in life as well. So I think with the ADHD quite often you’re a bit under achieving because of the problems it brings with it and that medication can just help you reach your potential and if someone had a physical injury and was managing to walk about you wouldn’t say you’re walking you don’t need to do any more than that, you don’t need to run, it’s the same with the ADHD you know, yeah we can walk, we can get through life but with the extra bit of support then we can actually achieve what we are capable of.