Getting my ADHD diagnosis

Squirrel! [228]

Getting my ADHD diagnosis

Greetings

Welcome to Hello Computer. A newsletter about being different. I’m Pete Carr (they/them) an autisticwriter and photographer identifying as non-binary with ADHD and sprinkles on top.

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The photos in this post are photos taken on my new iPhone 15 Pro Max Sugar Daddy Edition processed in the style of Daidō Moriyama.

Mersey Ferries Seacombe linkspan bridge at high tide in black and white.

Captain’s Log

My birthday was lovely. I mean it was a sandwich of happiness with an anxiety jam filling. A lovely start to the day with a chilly river dip amongst friends, followed by a mild panic over clothes and decision-making, ending the day with tiramisu in the company of my wife. A classic birthday.

Christmas soon eh? Woo! Tis the season to get stunningly stressed over the best way to ruin a roast all because we absolutely must celebrate the birth of Jesus who was born 6 BC… That’s 6 Before Christ. But, TRADITION! Ah, we’ll get to Christmas. Mark my words. We will get to Christmas.

ADHD diagnosis

In early 2021, I started streaming after a few months of watching people on Twitch. After a while, I recognised that the way I interacted with my audience was not too dissimilar from that of ADHD streamers. Knowing that there is a Venn Diagram for autism and ADHD I asked my doctor for a diagnosis. After waiting to get on the waiting list, and waiting 2 years, I got my diagnosis. ADHD type inattentive. Basically, ADHD without the H, hyperactivity. It’s taken a while.

What does that mean? You’re a nut! You’re crazy in the coconut! What does that mean? That boy needs therapy I’m gonna kill you, that boy needs therapy Play the kazoo, let’s have it tune On the count of three That, that, that, that, that boy.. boy needs therapy.

Sorry, got distracted by a song lyric. If there was ever a song that displayed ADHD it’s Frontier Psychiatry by The Avalanches.

2.5 years to better understand yourself at the age of 45. Do I wish it had come sooner? Absolutely. I’m doing 20 things all at once and getting nothing done. I have been for years. I’m not getting anything done. Time blindness makes me late for too much which causes me to rush around which triggers anxiety and then depression. The whole out of sight out of mind object permanence thing means I will completely forget about everything that isn’t in front of me, even stuff I love. I’ve been updating my website for years, trying to blog new work for years, never having the time to update Instagram, send invoices, or do anything important.

At 45 I feel like I’m just starting out. Now I know I’m autistic with ADHD, now I understand why I could never manage money, my diet, my health, and my life. Now I can start to work with my issues instead of comparing myself to neurotypical people and sinking into depression, at 45. Blergh. Maybe…

I could have got a diagnosis sooner by going private but I don’t have £300 to drop on a whim that might not pay off. Even if I did, you can’t get the medication on the NHS for free, so you have to spend £100 a month on it. I don’t have that extra cash. So, I waited. Now I’m on a 7-month waiting list to start medication. It may not help and it could worsen my anxiety, but it may actually help. I might be 50 by the time I’m just getting a handle on it. Listening to people on podcasts, I may never get a handle on it.

If you’re curious about fees, the company I was referred to has a price listing page.

Where next? I have to work on this by myself. Better focus on task and time management. Annoyingly I’ve already forgotten about the Pomodoro time management app I tried 2 weeks ago. Ugh. I need to rebuild my phone into a focus machine. If I could only stay focused long enough… squirrel!

I’m happy with the diagnosis. I’ve been living with it for 2 years as a self-diagnosed ADHD person, but now I know it’s real. It’s good to have that information. Other than access to possibly helpful medication I didn’t think there was any real benefit to knowing. The psychologist informed me of the UK’s ‘Access to Work’ scheme whereby, with a formal diagnosis, you can get access to funding which could pay for an ADHD coach. Useful maybe? During peak Covid times I was able to get a booster before my wife because I was officially diagnosed as autistic. I would suggest you speak to your GP if you are curious. The waiting list is probably longer now and there is a global shortage of medication. Good news is that may not be an issue by the time you’re diagnosed.

What now? On top of trying to get anything done, I have to work on trying to get anything done. Good job I can focus on


Clouds move over the River Mersey as the tide rolls in. A street sign is silhouetted against the sky.

Transporter room

At low tide, underneath the Mersey Ferry terminal, two young men are fishing.

End program

“Be bold. Be brave. Be courageous.” Christopher Pike, Captain USS Discovery.

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petes out 🖖

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The Liverpool waterfront in black and white in early evening light.

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