We recently wrote a blog about how in 2021 thousands of women took online tests to find out if they had ADHD. According to a report in The Independent, around 254,400 women took the test online – a figure up drastically from around 7,700 during 2019.
It’s thought that the spike in diagnoses has come about because of the realisation that women and girls’ symptoms of ADHD are different from those experienced by boys and men. In the past, women may have been treated with antidepressants to counter their symptoms, having been misdiagnosed as suffering from a mental health disorder.
In this blog we aim to help women in the UK explore the pathway to take if they think they might have ADHD. Read on to find out how to understand your brain and get an assessment.
Taking the first steps towards an adult diagnosis for ADHD can be filled with uncertainties. Despite the limitations and struggles facing our health service, there is a pathway to take for a referral. Here’s a suggested place to start to help you navigate the diagnosis and referral system:
It always pays to simplify the process of assessment as much as possible. Once the specialist team has given you an appointment, you will be sent a number of forms which needs to be filled in by someone who knows you as a child and can vouch for your current self, and a self assessment rating scale. We would recommend you use the DIVA form as a reference to help you prepare for the semi-structured interview that you will have with your psychiatrist.
Once you’ve done that, watch our YouTube episode featuring an interview with consultant psychiatrist Dr Muffazal Rawala. He specialises in adult ADHD – particularly in women – and is also involved in medical education.
Sari Solden, Psychotherapist specialising in adult ADHD said, “As a woman navigating your life following your ADHD diagnosis, it is about understanding your brain, forming a new identity and integrating these new ideas about yourself.
Getting a diagnosis for ADHD is a big step to understanding yourself and treating yourself with more compassion.
If you need more support to prepare for your ADHD assessment, have conversations around ADHD Workplace adjustments or request your workplace to do neurodiversity awareness training, check out ADHD Girls’ video courses.
A social impact company with a dual mission to empower girls and women with ADHD to thrive in society and to improve societal understanding of neurodiversity.