B.C. Lacks Resources to Treat, Diagnose Adults with ADHD – Vancouver Sun

Today’s Vancouver Sun Monday April 13th 2009 has an article on Adult ADHD on p A5. The title is B.C. lacks resources to treat, diagnose adults with ADHD by Amy O’Brian. Web version is here.
They interviewed a local adult with ADHD, John Scrivin.

Please check it out and let others that might be interested in it know about it.

If you have any opinion about the article you might want to express it in the comments section at the end of the article. Here’s a few excerpts.

John Scrivin spent his whole life feeling like he didn’t fit in — like he never quite understood what was going on.

As a teenager and an adult, he identified as an outsider. Angry outbursts were common and he was eventually diagnosed with depression.

But Scrivin always suspected there was something more going on.

It wasn’t until he was 55 that he was diagnosed with Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder or ADHD, a disorder most commonly associated with children, but also highly prevalent in adults.”

Finding out it had a name and treatment was huge,” he said.

“Even at the tender age of 55, it made a world of difference in terms of my happiness.”

How many more people will have to wait 5 decades or more to get diagnosed with ADHD?

John Scriven: “There is no doubt I would have been diagnosed sooner if there had been more resources.”

Yes this is a very common problem for adults with ADHD in BC. As an Vancouver based adult ADHD coach, I get calls and emails on a regular basis from people trying to find someone that knows enough about ADHD to diagnose it, especially in adults. Some say their doctor says they can’t have ADHD because they did well in school or work, which show their ignorance of the condition since there’s a MENSA ADHD group with 500 people in it and billionaires with ADHD. But there’s also a lot of addicts with ADHD, people in jail with ADHD and many in between

Medical student’s & psychologists aren’t properly taught about ADHD in University according to many BC based doctors, psychiatrists & psychologists I’ve talked to who DO know about ADHD because they went out of their way to learn about the condition on their own time and dime.

“There are few resources for adults with ADHD and not enough awareness about symptoms and diagnosis, says Dr. Derryck Smith, a Vancouver-based psychiatrist who treats people of all ages with ADHD — including some in their “geriatric years.”

“There’s nowhere to send these people for treatment,” Smith said.

“We want more resources in the adult treatment sector. We want Pharmacare to cover some of the longer-acting, more modern medications. And we want the government to have a treatment strategy for dealing with this as a public health issue.”

The BC government currently has NO STRATEGY for ADHD. None.

Also there’s no sign that the NDP will be any better at dealing with ADHD. The Green party leader is pretty clueless about ADHD.

Expecting people with a condition that’s known for having problems with distraction, impulsivity, poor time management, and forgetfullness to take a pill 3 times a day every day on a regular schedule? Isn’t that sadistic? Even without the problems of the rebound effect of short term ADHD medications? Maybe one day BC will catch up to Saskatchewan, Ontario & Quebec that do cover long acting ADHD medication.

The only public Adult ADHD clinic in the province, the BC adult ADHD clinic at Children’s hospital had a year long wait list for an entire year for adults. They asked the government for money to deal with the waiting list, the BC Liberal government refused and they closed the clinic in 2007, and didn’t reopen the clinic at another hospital, they abandoned adults with ADHD because the long wait list was politically embarrassing.

Hopefully people with ADHD & their family members will ask their potential MLA’s if they will implement the 8 recommendations of the BCMA’s ADHD policy paper. Best time to get a politician’s attention is when they want your vote. There’s a BC election May 12 next month.

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