For those of you who don’t know… I have ADHD. That is, Attention Defecit Hyper Activity Disorder. I look at it as a trait to work with, not so much a disorder to be cured. There are many benefits to having ADHD and I’ve learned over the years to harness them in appropriate ways.
There are, however, some drawbacks which have created a lot of problems for me. The biggest challenge I face is my lack of impulse control. When I get nervous, anxious or bored or let my guard down, I tend to “shoot my mouth off”. And I speak loud, so when I do shoot my mouth off lots of people hear it and I get in trouble.
So, I’ve been seeing a lot of job counsellors, psychologists and so forth who’ve directed me to see a medical doctor here in Burnaby.
“Great!” I think, “I can get some help in slaying this dragon.”
So, I see the doctor and right off the bat he’s adamant that I don’t have ADHD. I’m not sure what he’s basing this on, so I furnish him with an old psychiatric report that I brought along.
He reads every page, slowly, and then proclaims “There’s nothing in here that says you have ADHD. What makes you think you have ADHD.”
Flabbergasted, I take the report from his hand and point to the diagnosis on the front page that says “I felt that Nathaniel was suffering from Attention Defecit Hyperactivity Disorder 314.01 very severe”.
He then asks me if I have been on any ADHD drugs in the past. I told him that I had taken two, but they had a very negative effect on my body and mind so I went off them. He then tells me “Well, if you really had ADHD you would have had a positive reaction. That’s an indicator of ADHD.”
I don’t know how I can convince him of anything. A stack of medical reports won’t convince him and neither will the entire BOX of school and medical documents related to my long and painful history of ADHD.
He then does the standard medical exam, checks my limbs and asks if I’ve ever broken a bone. When I tell him that I haven’t, he offers up his only smile of the appointment and says “If you had ADHD you would probably have broken a bone sometime in your life.”
He then referred me back to the mental health team where I will get yet another diagnosis. More wasted time.
Here’s the thing. I know I have ADHD. I’ve come to accept that, live with it and get on with life. It’s a part of my daily existence, but it’s not something I cling to as a crutch. I don’t “need” ADHD to be a whole person or whatever. If I get tested and the doctors all determine that for some reason I don’t have ADHD, great! Hallelujah!
But this doctor prematurely determined that I don’t have ADHD. Perhaps if I came in all disheveled, chewing my nails and tripping over my words he might have believed me. He didn’t actually read what was in front of him or listen to anything I said. In fact, he asked me to explain my ADHD and right in the middle of my statement he turned his back to me, picked up the phone to make a personal phone call. He didn’t say “excuse me” or anything.
Everything about this doctor was unprofessional.
Here’s his name so you can avoid him:
Dr. Minhas, Surinder Pal Singh
Current Status Licensed for Practice
Medical Degree (1) M.B.,B.S. – 1986 – India [Punjab]
Burnaby Mental Health
3935 Kincaid St
Vancouver BC V5G 2X6
Canada Phone: 604-412-6571