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Where’s my diagnosis?


By Abby Kozal

It’s easy to say that mental health is a precedent in our lives, but how many people actually put their mental health first? And when it’s time to tackle mental health, is our society well equipped for it?

For me, I discovered that while I wanted to put my mental health first, and it was far easier said than done. This was proven when I tried to schedule testing for Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, more commonly known as ADHD, for myself earlier this year.

For a while, I had suspected that there was some underlying cause affecting my mental health. From what I had researched, I assumed ADHD was what I could possibly have. I’ve experienced moods of mania in which I’ve been hyperactive and so focused on the task at hand. Other times, I can’t focus at all, and it’s difficult to keep a clear line of thoughts. I was a bit wary of talking to a doctor about this as ADHD is something usually underdiagnosed in women. It’s also harder to get an ADHD diagnosis when you’re an adult. 

Back in August of 2022, I reached out to my doctor about the possibility of having ADHD. Unlike depression or anxiety, primary care physicians cannot prescribe ADHD medication as they’re more addictive than other medications, and they can really throw you off if misprescribed. 

So, my doctor sent in a referral to Pine Rest Christian Mental Health Services, which is the closest facility that offers ADHD testing. Unfortunately, this type of testing had a nearly three-month-long wait list.  While my doctor had sent in a referral for me, I would not be able to get tested until much later.

In December of 2022, I finally received a call from Pine Rest and was able to schedule an appointment to get tested. However, the earliest I could get in for testing was at the end of February.

On March 14, I finally got in for testing. But what’s more is that it took another three weeks to get any sort of result of diagnosis. From the time I had asked about the possibility of having ADHD, it took me over six months to even get tested. Finally, I’m able to say I’m diagnosed with ADHD as I fit the requirements for the combined type of ADHD, which is both attention deficit hyperactivity.

Luckily, having ADHD didn’t have a drastic effect on my life growing up. I was able to function long enough to slip under the doctor’s radar. However, the fact that it took me six months to even get tested is concerning. What if I had been at a greater risk? This generation prioritizes mental health more than ever, but who’s helping us to get the resources we need to succeed? 

From my experience, my community was not well-resourced enough to sufficiently help with my mental health. I’m sure it’s even more difficult for people in communities with less resources. Clearly, a change needs to be made when it comes to testing for mental health matters like ADHD, or people will continue to slip through the cracks.

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