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Our Response: Panorama Private ADHD Clinics Exposed

Panorama has positively benefited people with ADHD by uncovering some poor practices. But by broadcasting in the way they have, they’ve done serious damage to our community and real harm to individuals with ADHD. Our research, from over 1,500 people, evidences that the Panorama show’s presentation was misleading and harmful to people with a disability. We will be complaining to the BBC and ask as many people as possible to join in that complaint.

Henry Shelford

CEO and Co-Founder, ADHD UK

Update : Complaint Process

September 2023: The BBC ECU Unit has met and has not upheld our complaint (read their response here). The conclusion of the BBC process then enables us to escalate to ofcom. We have done so. You can read our complaint here. The process gives 90 days to conclude so we should hear before Dec 10th 2023.

Henry Shelford

CEO and Co-Founder, ADHD UK

2,203 people with ADHD answered our survey about the Panorama Show

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People with ADHD think ADHD Stigma has Increased due to Panorama's show

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People with ADHD think Panorama's show wasn't fair in how it represented ADHD

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People with ADHD think Panorama's show lacked balance in its representation of private clinics

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People with ADHD think Panorama's show will stop people with symptoms seeking an ADHD Assessment

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People with ADHD think Panorama's show will negatively impact them personally (1350 left comments - see below)

The most complained about Panorama ever - 1639 complaints

Data from the BBC fornightly complaints report show that the “Panorama: Private ADHD Clinics Exposed” is now their most complained about show. Data shows 1,639 complaints. This compares to 1,479 for “Panorama: Vaccines The Disinformation War” and 793 for “Panorama – Has The Government Failed The NHS?”. The significance is further highlighted by knowing that in the last decade Panorama has only 7 shows with over 100 complaints.

Panorama's most complained about show - 1639 complaints

Summary

We wrote to Panorama before their broadcast outlining our concerns that overly sweeping negativity for the private ADHD Assessment sector would risk serious harm to individuals with ADHD.

In particular, the risk of adding stigma and increased discrimination for individuals with solely an ADHD private diagnosis. This is a group usually only joined out of necessity and as a consequence of failures of service within the NHS. We also pointed out the value of equally investigating the NHS. Notably, the failure in many areas to provide adequate ADHD services that have resulted in long waiting lists, improper screening, and a lack of after-care.

Panorama changed their title, but otherwise, to all apparent evidence, ignored us (and others like us).

We specifically raised the issue of increasing stigma for people with ADHD and despite that we were told there wasn’t an issue by both the Editor, “By reporting these serious matters of concern, please be assured that it is not our intention to stigmatise people with ADHD and we are confident that we have not done so“, and the Producer, “We hope that you will watch the programme and agree that it doesn’t stigmatise people with ADHD“.

Our evidence clearly shows that stigma has increased for individuals with ADHD. This is a travesty – it didn’t need to happen. If Panorama had been balanced we could have had a positive impact without the bad.

An opportunity, that could have simply and importantly changed the world of people with ADHD for the better, has instead been forever tarnished by the unnecessary damage it has wrought. Damage that individuals now have to deal with.

Panorama knew better, because we and others told them. They have an important position and have done incredible work in bringing people to account for their failures. They now have to hold themselves to account.

If you have been impacted by the programme please join us in complaining to the BBC. We need your voice to add volume and weight to the complaint. Click here to put in your complaint.

The show had been told it would stigmatise people with ADHD and went ahead anyway. We now know that 89% of people with ADHD, myself included, who watched the show believe that stigma has been increased. 75% of all respondents felt that there would be a personal negative impact on them. This is completely unacceptable, irresponsible programme making that we will be formally complaining about.

Henry Shelford

CEO and Co-Founder, ADHD UK

Original Title: False Diagnosis: The ADHD ScandalAmended Title: Private ADHD Clinics Exposed

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Panorama changed their title between announcing and broadcasting. They reacted to complaints and concerns and acknowledged they were wrong, but they should have gone further. They should have responded by re-editing it. Instead, they ignored the facts they’d been given and have caused real damage to people with ADHD.

Henry Shelford

CEO and Co-Founder, ADHD UK

Our Pre-broadcast Letter to Panorama

Prior to broadcast, we wrote Panorama a detailed letter outlining our concerns and worries.

Panorama knowingly went forward despite alarms being raised by us and others. You can read our entire letter here or by clicking the image,

Panorama Letter First Page

Panorama's Response

Response from Panorama’s Editor:

Your letters to the Director General, Tim Davie and the Head of Current Affairs, Joanna Carr (12/5/23) have been forwarded to me. We have noted all that you have said.

As my colleague Hannah O’Grady has already explained, we have taken on board concerns raised by you and others about the title and short summary of the programme, and we have acted promptly to make changes.

The Panorama investigation began because of concerns that vulnerable people are being failed by some private clinics. As we have already said, serious concerns were raised with us by former staff members, patients, and their families as well as clinicians in the field. One clinician told us, “Thousands of these assessments are taking place and when you think about the number of people who may have received an incorrect diagnosis and may have been started on medications inappropriately, the scale is massive.”

It is our belief that it is clearly in the public interest to report these concerns and to highlight the way in which some clinics are failing in their obligations to provide good quality care.

The programme is clear that ADHD is a recognised condition affecting many people and that some may face long waits for assessment and treatment on the NHS. The programme also makes clear that if someone has received an assessment from a private clinic, including one where poor practice has been identified, that does not mean they do not have ADHD.

By reporting these serious matters of concern, please be assured that it is not our intention to stigmatise people with ADHD and we are confident that we have not done so.

Once again, thank you for contacting the BBC. We appreciate the feedback that you have provided.

Response from Panorama’s Producer:

Thank you for your letter about next week’s Panorama on private clinics who offer ADHD diagnostic assessments and treatment.

I appreciate the concerns you have raised on behalf of the people that you support.

I am afraid I can’t go into a lot of detail about the programme prior to broadcast, but I can say that the billing is a very short summary and the final programme will contain a lot more factual information and context about ADHD.

I can also assure you that the programme will make clear that ADHD is a recognised condition affecting many adults and it will highlight the long waits for assessment and treatment on the NHS in some areas.

The focus of the programme is not to query the nature of ADHD, but is an investigation into the way that some private clinics diagnose and prescribe medication for the condition following online assessments.

Panorama’s research has uncovered serious failings by some private clinics and we think there is a clear public interest in broadcasting the findings. We will be reflecting serious concerns that have been raised by clinicians specialising in this field as well as individuals who have been diagnosed with ADHD. The programme is likely to criticise specific clinics, but we will not be arguing that assessments should only be made on the NHS.

We have, however, listened carefully to the concerns that you and others have raised and we have decided to change the title and billing to more accurately reflect the content of the programme. We can tell you that the new title is Private ADHD Clinics Exposed and that a new billing has been issued.

We hope that you will watch the programme and agree that it doesn’t stigmatise people who have ADHD.

Yours sincerely,

The Resulting Damage

2,203 people, all with ADHD, answered our survey about the impact of Panorama’s show. The results are a devasting indictment of Panorama’s failure to heed our warnings before broadcast. This damage was unnecessary – solely because of how Panorama presented, not because of what it presented.

1,585 (75%) thought they’d be personally negatively impacted. 1,350 of those left a comment letting us know how they’d personally be negatively impacted. Scroll down to the bottom of the page to read them. In stark contrast, just 50 (2%) thought they’d be personally positively impacted. This highlights the disproportionate emphasis of Panorama’s storyline.

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People with ADHD think ADHD Stigma has Increased due to Panorama's Show

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People with ADHD think Panorama's Show wasn't fair in how it represented ADHD

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People with ADHD think Panorama's Show lacked balance in its representation of private clinics

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People with ADHD think Panorama's Show will stop people with symptoms seeking an ADHD Assessment

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People with ADHD think Panorama's Show will negatively impact them personally (1350 left comments - see below)

The NHS Assessment Length Norm is not 3+ Hours

The Panorama show indicated that an ADHD Assessment on the NHS was 3+ hours. The length of ADHD Assessment was repeatedly used as an indicator of quality and referenced against the 3+ hour NHS expectation. We’ve surveyed individuals (774 contributors, all with ADHD) about their ADHD Assessments and found just 1 in 5 to be over 3+ hours. This indicates strongly that Panorama was factually incorrect in both its information and the inference it took from it.

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Of NHS ADHD Assessments reported to be 3+ hours. Despite Panorama's presentation that was the NHS norm.

The NHS also does ADHD Assessments over video

The Panorama show inferred that an ADHD Assessment should be done in-person and not online. That the NHS norm as a 3+ hour in-person Assessment. Our survey (774 respondents) indicated that the NHS do use virtual appointments with a ratio of 1:2. One third virtual and two thirds in-person.

Confidence in Assessment

Confidence in Assessment is startlingly similar across ADHD Assessment Sectors: NHS Local, NHS Right to Choose, Private.

The Panorama show inferred significant issues with the entire private sector of the ADHD Assessment market. They stated that their investigation started due to individual complaints from people who didn’t trust their diagnosis. They did uncover poor practice; however, if poor practice was endemic, this graph would look different for each sector. It doesn’t. Every sector has complaints; however, this is a strong indication that Panorama’s anti-private slant in the show was not based in truth.

The NHS is has very marginally the worst confidence results.

 

Positive Confidence in Assessment Negative Confidence in Assessment
NHS – My Local Service 88% 8%
NHS – RIght to Choose 89% 5%
Private 90% 7%
Confidence in ADHD Assessment

Opinion on quality of ADHD Asssessment Service

Service Quality Opinion is similar across all sectors: NHS Local, NHS Right to Choose, and Private.

However, it is notable that the NHS scores the worst of all sectors with a 13% having a negative view of the service vs 4% and 7% for NHS Right to Choose (run by private companies for the NHS) and Private Services. Based on these numbers the Panorama show should have focused its attention on the NHS rather than Private Services.

 

Positive View of Service Negative View of Service
NHS My Local Service 74% 13%
NHS Right to Choose 85% 4%
Private 87% 7%
Confidence in ADHD Assessment

Nothing about us - without us

There should have been people with ADHD on the programme.

A common programming guideline is “Nothing about us – without us”.  When discussing any group, particularly groups that suffer from discrimination, then people directly impacted should be part of the programme. No screen time was given to anyone who identified as having had a positive ADHD diagnosis. This was a programme about us but without us.

We would challenge Panorama to identify another instance where they would do that.

– In the episode “Mental Health: Young lives in crisis” Panorama extensively featured young people talking about their situation.
– In the episode “Is the church racist”. Panorama featured people of colour talking about their situation.
– In the episode “Road Rage: Cars vs Bikes”. Panorama gave screen time to both cyclists and drivers.

It is a great sadness that a condition that is as undermined and challenged as ADHD is didn’t have individuals in the show to represent the perspective of someone with ADHD

We warned that negative "troll" attacks would result

This is one example of the negative debilitating articles and comments that the Panorama show has invigorated.

Confidence in ADHD Assessment

Below are the top comments the article generated. (over 2.9k at the time of writing)

1,585 (75%) indicated a negative personal impact. 1,350 left us a comment.

75% of people with ADHD think the programme will impact them negatively personally. Compared to just 2% thinking it will have a positive personal impact.

Of the 1,585 who indicated a personal negative impact, an extraordinary 1350 left a comment telling us more.

The vast majority of comments are below. We have removed comments with personally identifiable information or those containing expletives. If you see a comment of concern please get in touch with us.

75% of people with ADHD think the show will Impact them personally

I haven’t informed anyone other than my partner of my own diagnosis for fear of how it will be perceived, this means I will likely never do this

I believe that it will completely undermine my very real diagnosis. ADHD has impacted my entire life and the NHS is simply not funded well enough to deal with diagnosing mental health conditions. For over 10 years I was told by GPs that yes, I very likely did have ADHD but there was no point in getting a diagnosis as the waiting lists were years long and I didn’t know for certain if I wanted to be medicated. Instead I spent over a decade being treated for anxiety when that wasn’t what I was suffering with at all. Now all these years later, I have finally been able to afford to pay for a private, professional diagnosis by a reputable psychiatrist who sits on NHS boards. This misrepresentation of the process with it’s sweeping generalisations undermines that. I will now face the stigma of having my diagnosis dismissed by people who will be led to believe that I paid for a guaranteed result.

It further invalidates an already invalidated community.

I believe it will call into question my diagnosis of ADHD. People will believe I faked it.

I feel extremely angry after watching that programme. Too wound up/over stimulated to sleep tonight.Since diagnosis,I have discovered how little ADHD is seen as a serious condition.Too many people already think ADHD is over diagnosed, Panarama has just helped re-enforce that opinion even more.

As someone who got a private diagnosis, I fear this may impact other people’s view of the validity of my diagnosis. I was diagnosed in my first year of university and if I had to wait for an NHS assessment, I would almost definitely have dropped out of university and been unable to continue. If in future my private diagnosis is disregarded or doubted, I fear that I will have the supports and accommodations for my ADHD withdrawn. If that were to happen, the waiting list for an NHS diagnosis could leave me stranded without any support for years and unable to continue my academic career.

Many of my friends, family members and colleagues doubt ADHD exists as a condition. This programme has already been cited in 4 messages to me this evening as evidence that my condition is imaginary and I should just “try harder”.

ADHD is already misunderstood and this biased and leading journalism leads to further stigma. Some of the private diagnoses in the programme showed flaws, but unless the NHS is funded better in this area, it is often the only place to turn. The programme inaccurately showed the reality of what the NHS are willing or able to provide in most parts of the country.

I’m already having to justify my diagnosis to a couple of my family and friends who doubted my original diagnosis because they believe ADHD is a “made up” condition.
My boss watched it and talked about it today, and seemed to suggest it was far too easy to get a diagnosis.
I was able to talk about it with him, and explain how complicated and lengthly the process is, but I am concerned that this will effect his opinion, and the few adjustments I have at work.

There is already a stigma behind ADHD, I was lucky enough to be able to get a diagnosis through Right to Choose, through a PRIVATE company because I was told I would be waiting four to five years to be assessed through the NHS service. I was suicidal, I couldn’t wait that long. This diagnosis has saved my life.

It’s stigmatised adhd. As someone who is newly diagnosed, it was worrying telling people anyway. It’s now been made worse. My diagnosis was only 3 days ago and I am scared, even though I was seen by the nhs.

My daughter (14) had a very thorough private assessment resulting in a diagnosis but I am worried that if we wish to use the assessment in the future to gain additional educational support or medication the diagnosis will be questioned because it was done privately

Even more people are likely to tell me that I’m simply lazy and disorganised because I don’t really have ADHD.

A friend has already suggested that my ADHD diagnosis from the NHS might be incorrect. I’m concerned that this is going to happen more often, and that my university or employers might also start doubting my diagnosis.

I got my private diagnosis a week ago and was about to start telling people but I don’t think i will now because I don’t think they will believe me, because they will doubt my diagnosis is reliable.

It allows others to dismiss my diagnosis because a lot of my struggles are internal and I’ve masked all my life. Just when I was starting to feel more able to be my true self, even if only in my corner, my now feel I have to mask again. This is untold damage to those who are already vulnerable and have likely been through a lot already such as depression (inc. suicidal thoughts) as I have….when the reason for that was unmanaged adhd

The programme was triggering – having being diagnosed as an adult after suicidal ideation and major depressive disorder in my 40s, the world needs to sit up and understand that ADHD is a real struggle – and sometimes a fatal one. This is not about simply losing your keys and getting a label – a diagnosis is life-saving for some people

As someone who had no choice to turn to the private sector for an ADHD assessment, I anticipate that this documentary will contribute to a bias I have already encountered during the course of my life. When seeking an assessment my local NHS trust informed me that despite a screening assessment indicating that a full assessment would be in my interest, they were unable to refer me for an assessment unless I was an existing secondary-care patient or was actively suicidal. It took me a further three years to raise the money for the assessment I went on to have.

The bias in question states that private sector diagnosis for neurodivergent conditions is a “pay for a diagnosis” system. As someone with an ADHD diagnosis from the private sector I am concerned that the legitimacy of my diagnosis will be seen as dubious by some people.

As a counseling psychologist with many years of work behind me in the mental health treatment sector, I have heard examples of GPs refusing to prescribe medication for the treatment of ADHD symptoms to presenting patients with private assessments and diagnoses.

As a practicing therapist with clients who have ADHD diagnoses and others who strongly suspect that they would meet the diagnostic criteria for ADHD, I am very conscious of how common shame and doubt is as part of the ADHD experience in British society. I know this from my own experience as well. ADHD has become a topic of controversy and its legitimacy as a condition that can even be said to exist is often questioned in contemporary discourse. This documentary has only contributed to the view of ADHD being lacking in legitimacy since it presents the idea that the source of assessment and diagnosis that thousands of people have left open to them is itself illegitimate.

ADHD has majorly affected me my whole life, physically, mentally with money, school, work, relationships, literally every part of my life for 38 years. I tried to speak to a dr when I was 20 but was unable to advocate for myself and both he and I didn’t have the ADHD knowledge that I do now. Finding out about ADHD, and then gaining private diagnosis and treatment, was a life line that has been positively changing my life since. Unfortunately one of the difficult aspects of knowing you have ADHD is that not many people really understand it, so it can be hard to talk about with people and I tend not to. I feel this episode with it’s unbalanced view and poor scientific method will only further misinform and mischaracterise our community as people trying to somehow pay for a disability diagnosis. I am also about to ask for a shared care and terrified of approaching my GP. Will they have watched this episode, do they know that my Psychiatrist is an NHS one just working extra or do they think they are all the same. I imagine this will affect many people’s ability to get the care they need including myself. I feel like this show has given me PTSD. It feels like a death or breakup. 38 years of trauma living undiagnosed, to be given a life line, only for the BBC to take it way in a 30 min episode! How can I get the help I need at work if everyone just thinks I have a fake diagnosis. Anyway, I think I need to go mourn for a bit. Happy mental health week BBC.

Below are hundreds of the comments sent in. Please read below to get a further impression of the negative impact the show has had.

wdt_ID ID Comment Milena Check
125 General stigmatisation or people thinking that having a diagnosis is not a serious matter “because everyone can get one”
126 I received a diagnosis last February at the age of 54, from a private clinic, although not one of the ones mentioned in the programme. After the program aired I went to donate blood and had to disclose my medication. It made me feel uncomfortable disclosing the medication and it's purpose.
127 It suggests that only the NHS can provide a valid diagnosis. I implies that the assessment at the NHS takes over 3 hrs. this is not true. It increased anxiety. the programme was bias and sensation seeking.
128 I am a counsellor and an adhd service provider. This does not include diagnosis but explores ADHD with clients. I feel that this show has undermined my work, myself as a professional and I feel uncomfortable in sharing that I think I have ADHD with my doctor and my friends and family for fear of being denied my truths, like I will have work hard at trying to prove myself in my work life and home life. I have actually not heard from two of my adhd clients this week. I might not hear from them again. Life is hard enough struggling with ADHD and this program has just made it even more difficult.
129 I got diagnosed last year at 50 years old after years of thinking I was just an impatient daydreamer who was also incredibly lazy. The majority of my friends and family have not been supportive since my diagnosis, causing me to feel isolated. They think I either don’t have it, or they also have some of the symptoms I have as ‘everyone’ does. This programme has given me anxiety as people will talk and think that I’m a fraud. And have the attitude “I told you so”.
130 It will make it harder to get a diagnosis should I be able to afford to pursue one
131 I believe that this will further invalidate the perception other people have of a very real set of struggles that I have faced throughout my entire life. I already know that the perception of my difficulties varies between ‘optional challenges’ and ‘fictional distress’ and this documentary has further pushed the narrative that this condition is a label anyone can choose to put upon themself.
132 GP refused shared care, I was in the process of complaining but as the clinic I used was mentioned in the programme the GP has reaffirmed their decision.
133 Indirectly - increased stigma
134 I fear that it will become an elitism of diagnosis and that in order to validate others or NT people they will need to know who completed my assessment the NHS or private clinics. The show has put us into categories of people who have been patient and waited for the NHS assessment (which isn't always right in some areas) or was a typical adhd person and impulsively paid private. I don't want people to question me any further about my adhd and how it makes my life hard. Just because the presenter isn't struggling with everyday life of having adhd doesn't mean others aren't.
135 I think it will increase the discriminion and dismissal of adults diagnosed with adhd and therefore me too.
136 It feels like it invalidates my diagnosis and that others will be less likely to believe I have ADHD
137 I have enough trouble having my symptoms taken seriously as it is, now people such as colleagues will doubt that I’ve even got a valid assessment, despite the fact that it was carried out by an NHS psychiatrist working part time for a private company
138 The program raises suspicion and adds to the anxiety around ADHD
139 The existing stigmas associated Ith ADHD will only be strengthened. Worse still, the potential impact of NHS GPS to accept shared care agreements due to bias against private practice is a genuine concern. The BBC have failed in their duty of care to highlight the stigmas associated and mote tial impact of their programme. They could have pre tempted that we are often disbelieved and their is an unacceptable disenfranchisement of our condition that leads to lack of seeking treatment. They failed in their duty of care towards us. This is obvious as there is not a single ADHD person interviewed, only several people whose diagnosis was fully in question. That subtext sets a dangerous precedent - it's often the snyde innuendo of what isn't said, rather than what is.
140 I was diagnosed via the NHS after 3 years on a waiting list but still 7 years after that diagnosis I am learning how to manage my ADHD by myself.. because the Adult ADHD set-up cannot provide coaching or CBT, it is just to diagnose and if necessary medicate. So one of those ways is to be more open about the fact I have ADHD with my employers. The NHS has such a backlog that people who are struggling are forced to choosing private companies. I feel like I should be justifying my diagnosis now as a NHS one which means this single Panarama programme has demeaned all private assessments as false and perpetuated the old middle class idea that ADHD is not real and this is just a ‘trend’. Panarama completely missed the point.. that the NHS system is so overwhelmed with demand that people have little or no option for anything else. The message should have been about the exploitation of people who need answers to issues in their lives but it completely missed that point.
141 My daughter was assessed by ADHD direct. It makes me worry that our diagnosis, though accepted by CAMHS originally, will now be cast into doubt
142 Does jut help at all. Already I have been challenged by colleagues - did you buy your diagnosis? I have gone private and under went an extensive assessment in line with NICE guidance. This programme has just put over a huge and unhelpful cloud over the condition. Whilst I appreciate that there may be some providers who are ‘not doing it right’ but surely the story should have been about - whay the hell are the NHS lists soooooo long. All this has exposed is that yes, unfortunately there are some unscrupulous people out there who will pry on the vulnerable. Having only been diagnosed at 49, whilst getting the diagnosis was a relief- I’m not mad! But the journey has been hell and the fact that the NHS are stretched so thinly i and my family felt very unsupported and I fear this programme is going to leave people not seeking a diagnosis and I dread to think where that may leave them as an individual and their family. Shame on the BBC - classic poor journalism with no regard of the impact on folk.
143 It's an expose from a network respected and seen around the world calling us all a bunch of fakes. It's not possible for this to not negatively impact me at least eventually. I'm in the US and they even have ME fearing to continue trying to get a diagnosis and I'm homeless! Again! I can't keep a job, I get distracted by everything, but because I can communicate well for a limited amount of time when I mask even my partner acts like she doesn't believe me all of a sudden and she's been there when sounds and stuff overwhelmed me before we even knew what ADHD was. I'm in the US and this has already negatively impacted me and potentially hurt my relationship even though before we knew anything about adhd she's helped me cope with many of the issues adhd brings with it. Now she's reverting to acting like I'm lying or that adhd can't be that bad. I'm across the ocean and this impacted me negatively.
144 I believe the show did not cover enough detail as to what impact ADHD can have on somebody's life. This makes me think it could lead to people questioning my circumstances and diagnosis.
145 I believe this will add to the stigma of having ADHD. It will be taken less seriously
146 ADHD is an invisible disability and already is hugely dismissed and this is going to add to that greatly!
147 I am a SENCO so have lots of discussions with parents about their children’s attention needs. I also have 2 children of my own who have gone through and are going through thorough private assessments. I am angry about the further negativity this may have on people with ADHD.
148 Private diagnosis less likely to be taken seriously. Even lengthier NHs waiting lists
149 I've been considering private diagnosis for a while, but this makes me doubt if should take that route. I fear people in my life wouldn't take my diagnosis seriously if it was from a private clinic
150 I now won’t go to a private practice for fear of being ripped off.
151 I was considering going to a private practice for diagnosis. I won’t now as I’m 51 and don’t want to add to the long list of young people waiting for diagnosis.
152 I’m concerned my diagnosis won’t be taken seriously now.
153 The entire programme made it seem like people with ADHD are nothing more than drug seekers or liars.
154 I think friends, family and colleagues may view me differently. As I'm a women who doesn't appear stereotypically ADHD, I think they'll wonder if my diagnosis was genuine.
155 Friends already commenting on social media about people with a private diagnosis not really having ADHD
156 I am awaiting an appointment at a private clinic. Not one of the ones featured. But what I saw here did concern me about the standards of assessment and treatment provided. I hope this isn’t a reflection of the truth.
157 Regardless of any external impact this program and surrounding discussion has caused me a huge amount of anxiety as a medical professional with ADHD and both sides who seem in favour and speaking against the program
158 Will make people question whether I do have it. Its very undermining.
159 I think this will increase the stigma that it is a ‘fake-everybody-has-to-have-a-label’ condition, and undermine legitimate diagnosis.
160 It will reinforce the stigma that ADHD is a scam to make money for clinics and pharmaceutical companies.
161 Increase stigma and cause people's diagnosis to be questioned
162 I have been trying to be more open about my ADHD diagnosis because there’s nothing to be ashamed of. I’ve mentioned to others that I have gone private, including family members, and they are likely to think I’m just following a trend instead of dealing with something debilitating to me. No one ever sees our struggles, the price we pay to ADHD to try to succeed, just the result. I’m not a joke or a Tiktok trend for God’s sake. You already hear all the time how “everyone has ADHD these days…” No one actually understands the condition anyway and this is going to send us back to the dark ages.
163 Not being taken seriously about the hidden dissabilties I experience on a daily basis has had a detrimental affect on my life thus far. It's been a struggle, a ongoing fight to be heard, to be understood, to be taken seriously and because I have not I've almost nearly died by suicide. My life has been affected to the cost of my well being and mental health. I see this program as a dangerous catilyst for more stigma. It gives people permission to discriminate. I believe its why it was made.
164 I keep putting off asking my GP to be assessed because I'm afraid I won't be taken seriously and now I'm afraid it'll be even worse, but if I try to get a private diagnosis it will be looked at as less valid.
165 My parents were already sceptical because I have inattentive ADHD and they are only aware of the hyperactive type. This was the first program on ADHD that they have watched and now they think I was only diagnosed because I went to a private clinic
166 Worry if the GP refused to accept my private diagnosis and won’t do with shared care. I feel anxious about the nhs’s long waiting list to leave me struggling with my everyday life without any supports and worried about nhs psychiatrist won’t believe me.
167 I worry that NHS trusts may use any bad press as an excuse to decrease the budget for shared care agreements, which I currently benefit from as a person who was diagnosed privately.
168 Anger and upset, knowing that this will influence people's view of my ADHD negatively. Its already difficult enough as it is to be accepted and supported.
169 I already choose not to talk about my ADHD diagnosis because of the negative stigma surrounding it and this programme has massively reinforced that. Feels like BBC is jumping on the bandwagon of kicking a marginalised group when they're already down.
170 I think it will make getting work hard, I won't get the required support I need
171 I actually got my diagnosis the day the documentary aired. This meant that fifteen years after first seeking help for this, I did not even get to enjoy one day of relief/validation. Instead I will continue to feel like a fraud/imposter that has “bought” a diagnosis, even though I specifically chose a provider because it an NHS partner. I will not bother telling my family as they already have outdated views on ADHD and this documentary will only solidify those thoughts, while having the “neutral” and “legitimate” BBC backing them up. I have decided to go down the medication route but believe after the titration process my GP will refuse shared treatment and I will have to continue paying high prices for medication that will be a life-saver. This was always a possibility but I believe it’s a much, much higher likelihood now. Funnily enough the documentary did not explain that the high prescription costs typically go down after the titration/shared care process, much like they neglected many other facts.
172 Upsetting, stressful, draining, patronising, belittling
173 I just feel that people will not believe that I have it anymore and it’s invalidating
174 I just feel it will add to the stigma and make me less likely to feel comfortable opening up about my diagnosis. It’s also increased my imposter syndrome making me question my own diagnosis
175 It increases the chances that people think that ADHD is just ‘an excuse’ for laziness or incompetence.
176 I am awaiting diagnosis and trying to explain my symptoms to my employer. I feel this has made a mockery of how much we suffer and made it look like I've jumped on a band wagon
177 Invalidation of diagnosis. Already experiencing stigma and disbelief, worried this will increase.
178 My diagnosis was private and the programme has left me wondering now whether it’s accurate or not and whether I do have it. I haven’t told anyone anyway as a late diagnosed adult ( also a professional with a senior management job) as I feel embarrassed and that people will think I am just making excuses for missing deadlines or procrastinating. I already felt stigmatised, now I feel confused and angry as well.
179 I think that it was relying on very slim and manipulated evidence to create scare tactics and will undermine thousands of legitimate cases.
180 Pretty speechless at the prog fulfilling all my worst expectations - the depth and detail to which it ‘’investigated’ was laughable - it wouldn’t evens score in a gcse project as far as context and balance . Pure prolog and a. Biased , scratched one surface . Hidden agenda - terrible terrible terrible . I have an incoming that the NHS interview revealed autism in the journalist hence ADHD clinicians recognising these surface symptoms that derive frrim autism - and stimulant drugs are indeed not beneficial to these patients. So a mid- service and double-back track for not least autistics and ADHDers but all neurodivergent. Thanks BBC for producing some weird NEWSROUND-toned ….just abismal journalism . Please give the same investigation to other teams and see what they come up with in the. Way of history/context/ balance .. Shane on you BBC
181 This "article" is not a good representation of the ADHD problem. It will make shared care harder and will make wait times longer
182 People might start questioning my diagnosis and may be more skeptical about it. The belief that “adhd is over diagnosed” is just going to increase.
183 This will increase people's scepticism about the diagnosis.
184 I was already concerned that should I ready concerned that should I receive a diagnosis, people not take it seriously. I feel that that Panorama cover has made this even more difficult.
185 I'm waiting for a diagnosis on the NHS. I've been thinking about going private but now worry that if I do my diagnosis won't be taken seriously
186 I am currently waiting a diagnosis via NHS Right To Choose - this could impact on the wait time for my diagnosis as it could lead to private ADHD centres withdrawing their association with the NHS in case they are accused of not diagnosing properly. It will increase NHS wait times and will increase the stigma of ADHD as people will assume it is “easy” to get a diagnosis and won’t take it seriously as if we just have played the system to get a diagnosis
187 Fear of getting a diagnosis. Fear that this wasn’t just headlined as exposing private companies but implying we’re all being ‘misdiagnosed’. Fear of the re-stigmatising of adhd when it was feeling like we’d come so far. I’m worried for my 8 year old daughter who I’m pursuing a diagnosis for. Will feed into more of us feeling like frauds, that we are ‘flooding’ the system, wasting people’s time. No one would be actively seeking a private diagnosis at such great cost without good reason.
188 It is so sensationalised and people have latched on to this. I feel it discredits so many people. I have already had several family members and friends ask me if I've seen the panarama, and ask if that was where I got my diagnosis. As if they have sudddnly begun to doubt my diagnosis and experience of ADHD based on that panarama.
189 It’s hard enough getting people to believe you, to realise it’s a serious condition and it has a massive negative impact on my life. I was happy to receive a diagnosis at the age of 42 as I finally knew why I am the way I am
190 I am not long after receiving my diagnosis and have divulges that information to my employers so that I may receive some minor accommodations. I’ve already heard some people have had their accommodations threatened since the show aired and I’m afraid that the Panorama episode may negatively influence my ability to get the help I need.
191 I think it will cement the incorrect view that everyone is a little ADHD and it is a made up disorder
192 My adult son is seeking a diagnosis. He has to wait years for a diagnosis with NHS or pay for a private assessment. The program has invalidate any future assessment by a private clinic in the eyes of his employer and in addition has added to disbelief by many people that ADHD is a valid condition.
193 My adult son is seeking a diagnosis. He has to wait years for a diagnosis with NHS or pay for a private assessment. The program has invalidate any future assessment by a private clinic in the eyes of his employer and in addition has added to disbelief by many people that ADHD is a valid condition.
194 My family are now doubtful about my diagnosis and as well as dealing with being diagnosed at 39, I now have to justify the process of the diagnosis.
195 I have struggled to get colleagues to understand how ADHD manifests for me. They cannot reconcile that I can carry out difficult tasks, whilst struggling with seemingly simple tasks that demand too much of my executive functioning skills. Colleagues posit statements centred around intentionality- I.e if I can do the 'neurotypically difficult' task, I must be intentionally not applying myself to the 'neurotypically easy' task. The programme will do great harm to their view that ADHD is real or that I am making up excuses for my struggles.
196 Imposter syndrome, questioning my own diagnosis and if there’s something else wrong with me
197 As my diagnosis was as an adult only last year I am concerned people may think mine is false or inaccurate. I may be treated differently subsequently.
198 I’m concerned the show will reinforce societal attitudes that ADHD is overdiagnosed. I display very few outward signs of the disorder, partly due to also being autistic, so I believe the show will make it even harder to get recognition and accommodations for my struggles.
199 It gives anyone who doesn’t want to accept my reality the ammunition to do so.
200 The programme was lazy and unethical journalism. It's been a huge distraction for me looking at what parts of the programme were fair representations. The programme is adding to stigma and seemed to be trying to create moral panic with its reference to 'powerful' drugs.
201 Now worried to tell people about my diagnosis - I feel like I won’t be taken seriously. The imposter syndrome I already deal with alongside my ADHD is just going to get more extreme. It just feels so demoralising and damaging - the journalist didn’t even speak about ADHD extensively, just that we ‘can’t concentrate’ and we ‘fidget’. There’s so many more things we go through - positive and negative!
202 Makes me feel like an imposter and like I’m lying to myself about my symptoms I have diagnosed autism (on the NHS) and already don’t tell people as worry they won’t believe me and this makes me worry what will happen if I get an ADHD diagnosis also will people think it’s wrong
203 I expect more people to start not believing in my diagnosis .
204 I have already had family members question my diagnosis and question my motives for seeking an early diagnosis for my young daughter based on this documentary. I am about to send my daughters private’s diagnosis to her GP and school and am now worried about if it will be taken seriously despite being from a reputable qualified clinician with decades of experience.
205 Being diagnosed later in life after years of being told it was depression and anxiety has been difficulty to deal with. I have tried to be open about it with people in my life hoping I can be part of the change to help educate people on the condition and work toward breaking the stigma. After watching the episode I’m crestfallen, it feels like any progress that has been made over the past few years for the condition has been wiped away. It was a poorly biased piece of click-bait journalism.
206 Unbalanced content, no evidence of private practitioners who do a great job (mine did). 30 minutes of sensationalist oversimplified fodder for lazy minded couch potatoes. I found it to lack any credibility; I have suffered all my life and now am beginning to fill in the gaps, this made me uneasy "imposter syndrome", offended and upset.
207 Perhaps people will question the validity of diagnosis or even of the existence of ADHD as a true neurodevelopmental condition
208 I am recently diagnosed but have not told anyone other than my husband and a trusted friend. I had been working out the best way to tell my work in order for us to work together to get the best out of me as an employee as I love my job but am suffering significantly with certain areas of my work. I am now terrified to tell them in case they think I'm making it up.
209 People already think I'm lying or using excuses
210 As a person who was planning to disclose to my employer that I have had an ADHD diagnosis, this programme and the implication therein that diagnosis is not sufficiently rigorous, I am rethinking requesting supports and reasonable adjustments because I do not want to disclose that I have ADHD on the back of this programme. It has taken years and thousands to get the assessments that I have received, including psychometric testing, proof from my educational history, intelligence tests, further psychology appointments and further assessments by a psychiatrist. These were done privately as the waiting period to get tested is years long and I am struggling with this condition. I have already had pushback from my close personal supports, but having the foremost broadcaster show how simple the barrier is for diagnosis for malicious actors makes an already stigmatised condition worse. I am receiving a diagnosis when I am close to 30, because as a woman, the condition was thought to be gendered with disruptive young boys getting treatment at the critical intervention period. This is a condition that has been lifelong and a tremendous struggle and while malicious private companies that are giving diagnoses at an insufficient standard is appalling, there is a greater problem that this is an underdiagnosis in women, that getting help has huge barriers, not the least being financial and neurodiversity being misunderstood and stigmatised already. I wish more had been done to highlight the fact that while there are bad providers, that there is also under provision of support for those suffering with what is a genuine disability.
211 My daughter has ADHD and I now feel people won’t believe her diagnosis.
212 I am having challenges at work following my own private diagnosis in later life as a female. This will do nothing to support my needs and stereotypes
213 I think it will increase the stigma associated with private diagnosis. It tarnishes all online diagnosis as invalid which is not true at all. I was diagnosed as a child and then stopped attending therapy and taking tablets at 18. When I hit breaking point NHS didn't even suggest ADHD to me and actually misdiagnosed me with Borderline Personality Disorder. After 5 years of stress and my mental health deteriorating, someone close to me finally said are you sure it isn't just your ADHD? I said no. You can't have adhd as an adult. They said yes you can. I tried to get NHS help but 4 year waiting list. Ended up going private. I KNOW my adhd diagnosis is valid, and I KNOW the BDP was misdiagnosed by NHS due to how much better my MH is now. My issue now is that people are going to think I am just another statistic because I have a private assesment.
214 It is really depressing to see how low the BBC has sunk, that they think that this sort of sensationalist scare mongering is investigative journalism.
215 My clinic was featured.
216 I am the Mother of two daughters diagnosed recently as young adults with ADHD-privately but at different clinics. Both diagnoses were a relief-both girls had suffered with symptoms for years. There was/is no NHS offering for diagnosis or follow up. Older daughter’s diagnosis had been missed after years of CAMHs treatment. The Panorama program will cause them and others to question the validity of diagnoses.
217 The programme was completely biased from the start. They'd clearly set out to highlight shoddy and inadequate assessments, but because of the complete lack of nuance they made it appear that every second person wants an ADHD diagnosis so they can be prescribed medication. It completely fed into the recent narrative that 'everyone has a touch of ADHD' 'its trendy to have ADHD'. The programme failed to mention that the pandemic (not social media) brought a lot of people to breaking point with their ADHD struggles when their structure/oversight etc was suddenly taken away. This is a major reason why so many people have begun to seek a diagnosis - many reached a breaking point and need help! The documentary was set up with good intentions and had it been more nuanced and balanced it may have done some good. All it has acheived in doing is further stigmatizing the condition and anyone who is awaiting diagnosis or has recently been diagnosed. It never even showed the impact that the condition really has on peoples lives. I have had people tell me to my face that ADHD isn't real and that everyone just wants to be trendy saying they have it because of a TikTok trend. This documentary will bolster the people who like to dismiss the seriousness of the condition and it has really angered me and some fellow ADHDers who've been discussing it today
218 I was on the brink of arranging a private diagnosis for my son and the programme has put me off and I’m not sure whether to wait over a year for an NHS diagnosis although he needs support asap
219 People not believing my diagnosis that I most certainly do have adhd/asd
220 I'm considering diagnosis from a private clinic. I now feel that if I go this route, my diagnosis will lack validity, even to me personally. This may mean that if I have ADHD, I will not receive treatment and will miss out on the opportunity to improve my quality of life as a result
221 My daughter is now questioning her diagnosis.
222 That if I get a diagnosis, people will think it's false and I'm just trying to jump on a bandwagon
223 May undermine how others view my ADHD. Like many others, I already go through the tedious motions every time I reveal I have ADHD to someone, defending its legitimacy and confirming that yes, we all show symptoms, but there is a strict criteria that defines it as a disorder, etc. This show will only add to that stigma.
224 As a parent of a neurodivergent child I feel this narrative adds to stigma about neurodivergence and could lead to increased barriers to support or dismissal of needs.
225 Having been diagnosed privately through the right to choose option from the NHS, this could potentially impact my treatment.
226 People’s perception of my diagnosis and potentially discounting as it was through a private provider.
227 Colleagues now questioning whether I have a “legitimate” diagnosis or just paid for it to get what I wanted
228 I have been in tears frequently since the episode was announced on the morning of it going to air. I am awaiting an appointment for an ADHD assessment with one of the clinics mentioned and now I am concerned that I will not be able to get shared care. I have been incredibly anxious that what I hoped would be a way for me to begin a path to a normal life is now in jeopardy and that I will go back to being stigmatised as just being someone who "can't adult".
229 I struggle with my symptoms but don't feel its enough to warrant NHS diagnosis as I don't know if it's severe enough. I was going to go for private diagnosis and now I don't know what to do.
230 As recently diagnosed I believe this programme will drive sceptism around authentic diagnosis. I don’t believe the programme shared the true challenges or positives that people who have ADHD go though. It reinforces the idea of a “current” fad with little substance as to the effect it can have on real people.
231 Having to justify my diagnosis being real. More microaggressions as a result of it E.g everyone is a little bit ADHD
232 I already struggle with my diagnosis being recognised by friends, family, and institutions as they all misunderstand ADHD as “just being distracted” or “lazy.” This furthers the misconceptions about this disorder and how truly debilitating it is, as well as reinforces the idea that we’re all lying or exaggerating our struggles.
233 It increases people's opinion that Adhd is over diagnosed and not a real issue
234 It’s already hard having people roll their eyes saying “oh everyone has ADHD” this program will just make it worse
235 I have 2 boys with ADHD and we already suffer the stigma that ADHD carries. I am so disappointed that the BBC decided to be so narrow minded about ADHD. What about the distress it causes families that have to wait 3 years for a diagnosis? What about the children that aren't supported at school and are just punished all the time? What about adults that need to understand why they struggled so much? What about the adults that now have addictions because of the way they were treated as children and their ideas dismissed? My children are mistreated and this is another attack on them.
236 I think people will now question all those with a diagnosis, particularly those on medication. Having been diagnosed through the NHS I may find this less severe. Those diagnosed privately are likely to be doubted now.
237 Struggle to be believed in my diagnosis
238 I work as a SEND teacher in a mainstream COIN/LAN unit with children with ADHD diagnoses (as part of ASD profile). It CLEARLY exists as a condition as I can see the impact upon my students and those who are impacted by ADHD and those who are not. Yet this profile has destroyed the credibility of their diagnoses.
239 I wanted to seek a private diagnosis of ADHD as I cannot wait for one through the NHS but now I'm hesitant as I'm unsure if it will even be accepted by my GP or my university. I was told years ago (after 4 years of being misdiagnosed as bipolar) that I couldn't have ADHD and subsequently discharged from the psychiatry services. Now I have a ASD diagnosis and was hoping to treat what I believe to be ADHD.
240 I am reluctant to seek a private diagnosis and also fearful that the NHS will not diagnose me when I eventually can be assessed
241 GP likely to question validity of my assessment. I can’t possibly reveal to my peers or even friends that I have ADHD. The sensationalised stigma is becoming insane.
242 Yes. I’m pretty certain I have ADHD. My parents watched this programme and immediately said I don’t have it and that it’s just a ‘popular’ thing to have nowadays. The show has been really harmful to the publics understanding of ADHD, which is already misunderstood. It’s completely unfair to those that have it
243 We sought out a private diagnosis for my daughter, we were desperate. I'm worried she'll be judged negatively for it.
244 I’m worried people will think my diagnosis isn’t legitimate
245 ADHD is a stigmatised condition and not well understood. There is genetic links with hypermobility which was not raised on the programme. The reporter did not appear to be well informed
246 Not wanting to share my diagnosis. Further increasing stigma and burden of adhd
247 My family will think I’ve been scammed
248 I work as an ND practitioner and my sons have ADHD. TOTALLY unbalanced
249 Husband waiting on adhd assessment on nhs, child going through shocking processes of adhd assessment through camhs- considering seeking private diagnosis for both, feel that now private diagnosis will be stigmatised and ‘not the real adhd’… meanwhile both struggling in school and work with no answers or support!
250 The outlet via the increasing stigma surrounding the condition has manifested itself - at least in the modern world - as lighthearted, relatable content regarding fairly common and mild symptoms of ADHD. Whilst this doesn’t cause any direct harm, it certainly portrays the disorder in a less serious light than warranted. Internet culture has played a large part in the image of ADHD becoming nothing more than an outlet for complaints regarding very standard aspects of life, failing to showcase the much more serious and detrimental aspects of life with severe ADHD. This subverted understanding creates an insecurity amongst people - more often younger people - with the diagnosis that prevents being outspoken and comfortable in navigating their lives by an alternative set of rules. To falsely create the impression that getting a full diagnosis is simple - ignoring the fact that he actually outlines in the article that he lies to the assessors - pushes the notion that people with ADHD have heard time and time again, that ‘everybody has a little bit of ADHD’ when in fact this mindset is kept afloat by a lack of understanding and therefore a lack of empathy towards a condition that affects lives in a far more devastating way than the general public have been led to believe.
251 I assess ADHD privately (children) - a very thorough assessment. I believe clients will have lost faith in a psychologists ability to assess and diagnose. They were painted in a really negative light in the programme, whereas in reality, clinical psychologists assess ADHD very thoroughly, often more so than psychiatrists.
252 Diagnosis is a start, getting acceptance, harder. I was failed for years by the NHS, forced to go private at cost I couldn’t afford. Everyone privately diagnosed like me will face more doubting, stigma (we’re fine, paid for fake diagnosis). I’m in the middle of life-changing horror, being understood is vital, the trauma of not being understood costs lives. I hope not mine.
253 My diagnosis is already apparnetly up for constant debate by employers and friends/family. This idea that misdiagnosis is common will make my life harder being taken seriously for something that has caused me to struggle, which made me think I was just lazy and stupid for years.
254 I am due to be assessed privately through right to choose for both ASD and adhd, this has been a big decision for me and one that has taken me years to make. I am now in two minds whether to even go ahead as I feel no-one would accept if I was to be given a diagnosis.
255 I am just being referred for an assessment privately - and suspect I will be given a spot at one of these clinics. I’m concerned that it’ll be a waste of time or, worse still, I’ll have another monthly cost for my health (when I’ve just had my PIP support removed as a separate degenerative health condition has been considered as improved!).
256 My son was diagnosed privately by an excellent clinic and I would hate him to think that it was not reliable
257 The condition was not described, a man dressed like a child play acted as a person with adhd and got support and help from medical practitioners, albeit private and paid for by the BBC, the guy lied, and since that leads to an adhd diagnosis, it leads to the conclusion that adhd diagnosis is unsound.
258 I feel lost as for what too do, both for myself and my son. Im sure we both have it, but neither NHS or private seems reliable. Traditional NHS approach likely to mean it wont be diagnosed as we appear too well functioning or not enough evidence of severe enough impact. Never mind the effort and emotional costs that goes into keeping it together. And private you dont know if you can trust.
259 I had to call my clinic at 7am this morning and have a very upsetting chat.
260 Family not believing a potential diagnosis, lack of confidence personally in both private and national service and add to RSD
261 I feel like NHS doctors will be even more reluctant to take me seriously. When I went in to discuss my symptoms with a gp it felt like she stopped listening as soon as I told her I'm able to hold down a job. She put me on the waiting list for formal diagnosis, but it felt like she was trying make an assessment then and there within 5 minutes.
262 I am awaiting an nhs assessment currently and I felt that the program belittled everyone who genuinely has adhd and stigmatised the condition even further
263 I think it could makeneurotypi Al people believe that my adhd isn't a real disability. My impostor syndrome was triggered because my own assessment only took 15 minutes on a WhatsApp video Call.
264 I think I will face more stigma and apprehension about my adhd diagnosis. I will be reluctant to share it with people, for fear I won’t be believed. It’s made me feel ashamed and invalidated.
265 I want to undertake formal assessment but worry it will not be acknowledged, even though I have 3 children all been diagnosed with ND diagnosis.
266 I work with parents and children and this will worry them about perceptions of adhd. My children have adhd and I feel it has been trivialised and not highlighting the real issues ie. Lack of resources in NHS
267 I was assessed and diagnosed by one of the clinics on the programme. Although I am confident in my diagnosis, the programme has made me feel as though my diagnosis is looked down on due to where it was diagnosed. I almost feel like it’s not valid. It has effected me emotionally and I know of other people who feel the same.
268 Issues with friends and family believing that self diagnosis from social media is not valid now obtaining an official diagnosis will be devalued
269 I was sent the article by a family member who doesn't believe in ADHD, some of my colleagues also asked about it. I felt I had to justify myself in the face of their explicit and implicit invalidation of a part of myself I am still coming to terms with. It was awful.
270 Increases the stigma of adhd, people will believe people don't have it
271 My Dad raised concerns about the validity of my diagnosis and it made me question it myself. I was only diagnosed a few weeks ago with ADHD 360 and had just only really accepted that I am neurodivergent and not just 'making excuses' for my behaviour. I am due to see my in-laws in a few weeks for first time since my diagnosis. They will be staying with us for a few months in lead up to our wedding in September (they live in Australia). This has made me even more concerned about them seeing my medication or accidentally stating I have it since I'm worried that other people don't believe ADHD is real.
272 Worried about future shared care which is essential to me affording treatment
273 It makes a mockery of people who genuinely have the condition.
274 Fear of unfair treatment from GP/rejection of shared care proposal; exacerbation of poor mental health from the fear of stigmatisation; unable to access necessary workplace support for fear of refusal/stigmatisation worsened by the programme; reduction in social awareness
275 I have been questioning if I have ADHD and have been researching more about the condition and seriously considering seeking an assessment for diagnosis. I don't feel like I can wait the years-long waiting lists currently in the NHS and seeing that a clinic that the NHS refer patients on to may also be exploiting diagnoses makes me so uncomfortable. The programme has given me a huge feeling of imposter syndrome and makes me so sceptical to go and have an assessment as I don't know if the assessment is going to be thorough, if I will be misdiagnosed or that even if I was diagnosed whether I would believe it and I can imagine all of the negative comments and feedback saying that people are just "hopping on the bandwagon" because "ADHD is trendy" and dismissing legitimate disability and struggles that people with ADHD have
276 I have been questioning if I have ADHD and have been researching more about the condition and seriously considering seeking an assessment for diagnosis. I don't feel like I can wait the years-long waiting lists currently in the NHS and seeing that a clinic that the NHS refer patients on to may also be exploiting diagnoses makes me so uncomfortable. The programme has given me a huge feeling of imposter syndrome and makes me so sceptical to go and have an assessment as I don't know if the assessment is going to be thorough, if I will be misdiagnosed or that even if I was diagnosed whether I would believe it and I can imagine all of the negative comments and feedback saying that people are just "hopping on the bandwagon" because "ADHD is trendy" and dismissing legitimate disability and struggles that people with ADHD have
277 I have been questioning if I have ADHD and have been researching more about the condition and seriously considering seeking an assessment for diagnosis. I don't feel like I can wait the years-long waiting lists currently in the NHS and seeing that a clinic that the NHS refer patients on to may also be exploiting diagnoses makes me so uncomfortable. The programme has given me a huge feeling of imposter syndrome and makes me so sceptical to go and have an assessment as I don't know if the assessment is going to be thorough, if I will be misdiagnosed or that even if I was diagnosed whether I would believe it and I can imagine all of the negative comments and feedback saying that people are just "hopping on the bandwagon" because "ADHD is trendy" and dismissing legitimate disability and struggles that people with ADHD have
278 I went through the private route to receive my diagnosis, and felt totally invalidated by the lack of balance in the reporter’s approach. I seriously question the integrity of the documentary’s intentions and that of the individuals who condoned the publishing of it. The methodology rendered any points that were made baseless, as a result of the bias displayed when the reported intentionally chose to inform only the NHS clinic of the filming. Despite a very obvious flaw, those who are uneducated in ADHD and lack critical thinking skills, primarily due to the stagnant educational system in place, will not be aware of this and will perceive opinion as fact, as per the intention of the reporter. Those of us who have ADHD already face a lifetime of ableism from the world, and most will experience extreme levels of self-doubt and poor self-image as a result. What the reporter failed to portray was the reasoning behind increasing numbers of people accessing private route, specifically being the government’s severe mishandling of the NHS and COVID crisis. Waiting times for NHS clinics are, at minimum, 6 months and I believe that this is an optimistic figure, as opposed to a realistic one. I was on the NHS waiting list for 1 and a half years before my symptoms became so debilitating that I urgently sought out private help. ADHD is already stigmatised enough, especially with regards to women, and to make such a blasé documentary based on poor methodology and initial bias, while presenting opinions as facts will cause the most harm to those who are most vulnerable in our society. By informing the NHS clinic of the filming and intentions for use of the recordings, an unrealistically thorough assessment was conducted- I have multiple peers who sought treatment directly under the NHS and their assessments were a fraction of the 4 hours shown in the documentary. It’s incredibly clear that the reporter had little understanding of the healthcare system; the right to choose pathway leads NHS patients towards receiving diagnoses and treatment from private clinics and many of the diagnostic practitioners work in both the private and public sectors. I’m sincerely hoping that the reporter is incredibly naive in believing that the NHS, at this given time, has the capacity for regular 4+ hour long assessments. I would hate to think that this belief came from anywhere other than a place of naivety, as intentional and malicious bias/interference with this ‘study’ being upheld by the BBC would only confirm exactly what I believe the foundation of this country really is.
279 As someone who is neurodivergent and motger and wife to confirmed adhd people , what concerns me is that the context for the investigation seemed flimsy and not balanced. Questions about the increase of ppl seeking diagnosis and the stigma attached to having one were ignored so it was presented as some kind of vanity project for ppl who had spare cash to blow on a superficial online test run by bogus professionals. That part was fine but it failed to show how exploitative this is, how vulnerable lol are being exploited, how adhd is a seriuos lifelong condition that really does exist and can be very impactful on ppls lives, how little understanding & sympathy there is generally for the condition and how these con doctors are a product of a failure in the nhs to provide timely services of a seriuos mental health condition.
280 I had a private diagnosis with a psychiatrist consultant. Thought my mum has always questioned this and said I paid for a diagnosis and doesn’t believe it when the assessment I had was much more thorough than on the documentary though this will feed into her argument
281 GP refused shared cared because of this
282 I feel that when I tell people I have an adhd diagnosis, they will think of this and see it as “easy” which is a complete misrepresentation of what I had to do for my diagnosis. I think it portrays people with ADHD as being lazy and just paying for a diagnosis, therefore being given access to controlled drugs very easily. It also makes it seem like it is easy to lie your way through a diagnosis and then invalidates the fact that you have one.
283 Previously I have been very open with my diagnosis and my experience with it. Now I fear I will face stigma and judgement if I reveal this information about myself.
284 When I finally get a diagnosis I think I will be less inclined to inform people I associate with i.e. in my work place, some friends and family etc for the fear there will be the stigma or the negative views/opinions.
285 People think it’s a fashionable label and an excuse
286 It's just adding fuel to the fire to an already stigmatised condition.
287 I’m worried that if I have ADHD I won’t be diagnosed because professionals are being pressured to turn away a certain percentage of people - the comments about percentages suggested clinics were overdiagnosing, but if someone has ADHD symptoms and is struggling and impulsive enough to pay for a private diagnosis, they’re much more likely to have ADHD. Then because the documentary made ADHD diagnoses seem like a misguided fad, even if I do get one then people won’t believe me that I can’t do this or that.
288 I think it will reinforce the idea that adhd is a trend or that it is over diagnosed, as well as limiting understanding of how adhd looks in adults.
289 It makes me feel guilty about trying to get a diagnosis and not trust the result. I feel disbelieved as it is and it will stop people from believing I may have ADHD.
290 I suffer with RSD as well as imposter syndrome. Currently 56 and diagnosed at 54 privately I feel everyone who I have told will think it's a hige lie.
291 It's made me more nervous of raising issues with people and providers because they will take me less seriously.
292 Since my son & then my daughter were diagnosed ADHD and the more I have researched, the more I realise I have lots of ADHD traits myself I’ve considered reaching out (and still might) but this programme has added to the doubts & increased the feeling imposter syndrome
293 This "documentary" will for sure exacerbate misunderstanding and negative connotations around ADHD. It was blatant bias reporting and exposure to biased information can lead to negative societal outcomes, including group polarisation, intolerance and segregation of an already struggling subsection of society. It was truly unfair and I worry that as someone who has struggled my whole life with ADHD, RSD and C-PTSD, and despite doing really well for myself, the battles I've faced to survive are now minimised, and any support I require in the future may be withheld.
294 I feel I will be stigmatised more so now, and will not be able to get the help I need
295 As I'm waiting an assessment with a serious case of imposter syndrome, I'm now worried that if I am diagnosed it will feel untrue or perhaps that clinics will be more cautious and diagnosis less as a result
296 I am waiting for a private diagnosis and am worried my GP may no longer take me seriously.
297 My sister has recently recked an Adhd diagnosis and I ha e been negatively effected by the programme, as has she, because of how it made us both feel. How it trivialised the condition and tried to make us feel like her diagnosis was invalid because it was reached privately.
298 More stigma and inaccurate understanding of adhd and neurodiversity
299 My son has adhd diagnosis via private psychiatrist . 4 years in and we have been constantly told from his school and LA that they refuse to accept as it’s not nhs diagnosis . Parents are waiting years and the show portraying as it did it’s harmful and deceitful
300 This programme will contribute towards an emerging moral panic around ADHD diagnosis and treatment that will very likely include attacks on privately-diagnosed people's already precarious ability to receive ongoing shared-care treatment. As a right-to-choose patient I already feel vulnerable to having the rug pulled out from under me. This is incredibly anxiety provoking.
301 I'm waiting for my assessment. I don't know if I have ADHD or not, but I'm struggling with some aspects of my life and I just want to understand why I'm like that. I have quite a few traits of ADHD, but quite often I think that I'm just an impostor and I'm just lazy, just can't manage my emotions, just need to work harder and so on. I watched that episod and started to think that if I go privately now, I'm afraid of being diagnosed wrongly. I don't know who to trust.
302 People didn't believe me that I was struggling and had ADHD before the article and program now my husband and father have already mentioned that I might have been missdignosed. The closest people too me don't believe me how is the rest of the world going to respond
303 I have already been told I would have to wait 6 years to be assessed on the NHS and am seeking to be seen via Right to Choose. GP was already not very willing to help and this will make them more so!
304 People already think adhd is an excuse for bad behaviour but this programme just makes it look like adhd is not a thing and anybody can get a diagnosis
305 Increased stigma. Increased imposter syndrome.
306 My family will have more ammunition to think it's nonsense 🙁
307 I think people will start to disbelieve many of us more than they already do.
308 I think it will make people believe my diagnosis is invalid and increase stigma towards me.
309 I believe that if I get privately diagnosed it will not be taken seriously. It will also stoke more ignorant denial that the condition even exists
310 The material shown in the programme was presented in a highly inappropriate manner. The conclusions presented were heavily biased by a pre-established assumptions, did not fully present the whole truth and were only made to fit the pre-cooked thesis. The staff of these clinics, who were secretly filmed, were not given the opportunity to respond to the objections raised in the programme. It is clear that the real aim of this programme was not the public interest as claimed, but to increase the number of viewers with the proclaimed 'scandal'. The way it was presented made me question the quality standards the BBC is supposed to uphold.
311 I am also an experienced private consultant clinical psychologist who assesses people privately using a robust and evidenced based approach, condidering issues of trait specificity and comorbity. I have already had an adult patient that their mother is concerned about the legitimacy of private assessors.
312 I’m now worried that I will be unable to transition to shared care because the validity of my diagnosis may be called into question. I have had to pay a lot of money to get my diagnosis and treatment without having to wait for the NHS and since starting treatment my life has been so much better. The thought of losing that is filling me with dread!
313 I'm an adult and got a diagnosis in Ireland. I'm worried if my parents find out about my diagnosis they will consider it invalid due to the show.
314 I think people will question my diagnosis and I am afraid that my issues will not be taken as seriously.
315 As a female I work in a male dominated industry where there is already a lot of stigma around ADHD. The BBCs biased reporting, the lack of factual evidence (NHS wait times, adult diagnosis only available since 2008 and the gender bias that has impact the UK for decades) and the accusations towards private clinics will only feed the stigma. As I was privately diagnosed I now find myself justifying the provider, the process and fighting for my diagnosis to be recognised and respected (yet again).
316 It increases cynicism around diagnoses (I am a “successful” adult woman, so I “can’t have ADHD” and makes the condition less believable
317 I think it could make it harder for me to get a shared care agreement between my private clinic and NHS GP by further eroding trust in private providers as a whole and giving often already reluctant GPs an excuse to reject.
318 I've already had discouraging and othering comments from people as I had a private diagnosis. It was a very thorough diagnosis with 3 meetings and many surveys for myself and friends/family. Unfortunately the headline and the content of the show showed one scrupulous clinic, they should have sampled a much wider amount of clinics including an NHS appt instead of the consultant that knew what to expect, 3 hour appts are not my NHS diagnosis experience, 10 mins in actual fact as they had my private diagnosis so the job was done for them.
319 Some family members don't want to believe my private diagnosis and this sensationalist 30 minute documentary validates there belief and invalidates my diagnosis by an accredited psychologist.
320 I am concerned that my diagnosis will be doubted and challenged and that I may be refused support that I would get otherwise at university or a workplace.
321 It will create more stigma. I’m an adult with adhd and have two children with adhd. We need to keep educating people with accurate facts not taking steps backwards with bias reporting!
322 I was diagnosed by one of the clinics featured in the programme. I am worried that my shared care agreement with my GP may be affected. I can’t afford to pay for my medication privately and would have no choice but to stop taking it.
323 Already people doubt private adult diagnosis. This just increases it
324 I worry about being taken seriously when it comes to reasonable adjustments at work even though I have a diagnosis it is already difficult for people to take it seriously. I think it feeds into this narrative adhd isnt real or people use it as an excuse and people are just lazy
325 Some of my clients take 6 months to get clarity and seek diagnosis. I see this increasing. I think the self gaslighting of those pre diagnoses and those curious as a result of my neurodiversity training will go up. I think I will see more shut downs as my clients deal with stupid comments from those around them like the questioning of their diagnosis
326 I received a private diagnosis in 2021, having initially consulted my GP who recommended the private to shared care route given the lengthy waiting lists and administrative difficulty pursuing RTC (as well as relatively lengthy waiting lists that route too). At the time, my assessment was undertaken online in line with typical Covid-19 precautions. My psychiatrist (thankfully) did not appear on the show, but like many including those featured on the show as both NHS and private consultants, does offer NHS as well as private services. I specifically chose this psychiatrist as I hoped that, by using the chosen provider for a neighbouring NHS trust, my diagnosis would be given more credibility if future challenges around shared care or my diagnosis arose. I fear this credibility is now at risk and could cause challenges if I was ever to change my GP.
327 There are many people who do not or will not accept adhd as a disability and debilitating condition, this program has no doubt played to their conscious bias. I struggle massively day to day, and have my entire life, programs negating diagnosis are not helpful.
328 I think it may cause people -- particularly older relatives -- to question the validity of my diagnosis as they implicitly trust the BBC and, to an equal extent, Panorama.
329 Woke colleagues discussing the show in front of me knowing I have ADHD, in quite a negative manner. Saying everyone who has been diagnosed as an adult needs to be re assessed if done private.
330 I feel people will think my son”s diagnosis is a sham.
331 I went for a private diagnosis because the NHS waiting list in my area is 6 to 10 years long. I've already had a close school friend who I have known for years question whether my diagnosis is valid and saying that all private ADHD clinics are bad and that the only way I can have a proper ADHD diagnosis is through a face to face appointment with the NHS. I am concerned about what impact this documentary has had on our friendship. I spent last night crying because I'm so tired of fighting. Of feeling like I have to justify myself.
332 Some people I know believe it's all a tik toc fad and trivialise/ misunderstand the impact. This program adds to them believing it's also about ripping people off and an overdiagnosing issue. Taking us backwards
333 I have had to deal with colleagues pedalling the idea that all private diagnosis is invalid, and is a symptom of young people obsessing about labels. I have had to defend my (very robust) ADHD diagnosis to them.
334 I was diagnosed privately, and was already struggling to share this information with people. This has made me even less likely to share.
335 I am worried people getting false diagnosis will take away the seriousness of my daughters condition. She may not get taken seriously or given the right support.
336 I am awaiting an assessment through NHS as I can't afford private. It has took all my time talking to family about ADHD and everyone realising the signs. I think now people who genuinely have symptoms are now going to be brushed aside or be made to feel crazy and struggle with mental health the rest of their lives.
337 Feel invalidated and low
338 Stigma that it is made up. I was diagnosed by a Consultant Psychiatrist who also picked up on my autism. I was diagnosed with that later separately in a very thorough way which involved my mother, myself and was very lengthy. This shows the Consultant for ADHD was not a fraud.
339 I already struggle with family and friends not taking my diagnosis seriously. All of those family and friends will have seen the bbc article and some will watch this panorama episode. This will reinforce their prejudices about the condition and will call my diagnosis into question in their minds.
340 I am on the referral list for a private clinic for ADHD so I am concerned that it won’t be seen as genuine from the NHS
341 As a woman with an adult diagnosis of ADHD, this has only made me more uncomfortable talking about my condition.
342 Fighting for my daughters education. She is out of school due to emotional school refusal. She has an ASD diagnosis and awaiting ADHD inattentive. I am now frightened people will think we have jumped on the ADHD bandwagon
343 It will increase stigma around ADHD and the fact that I got a private diagnosis.
344 Contributes to imposter syndrome. I underwent private assessment. Spoke to my NHS GP before paying and he warned me that private assessment positive outcome rates were higher than they'd expect in general populace, so he advised I waited the 3 years. But that I could go for it if I wanted to get the ball rolling. Fair enough. I went ahead with it. This article and documentary has contributed to the imposter syndrome I feel with my diagnosis, and my GP's comments do too. I think more research needs to be done into this, whether there is a problem. It is doing a disservice to people who really do have ADHD and were diagnosed privately.
345 Despite the fact that I am an nhs clinician myself, and at the midpoint of a MSc in neurological studies, I have no doubt at all that my elderly parents will now doubt the validity of my adhd, because they trust the bbc and the programme essentially rubbished the validity of private adhd treatment (the only option in my area as my trust do not aocept any new adhd patients, even those with diagnoses). As such, my parents will be worried that I have had 'dangerous stimulant medication' prescribed inappropriately.
346 If I get a private diagnosis it’s less likely to be accepted by the NHS and by employers in general. And it highlights imposter syndrome, am I just faking?
347 There is already a lot of stigma and misunderstanding of ADHD and now anyone with a private diagnosis, regardless of how well it was conducted, will be scrutinised and judged against what was shown. Not all private clinics are like that and it has always been the responsibility of the patient to do research to ensure the service they recieve is of professional standard and compliant with the relevant guidelines and criteria.
348 I was privately diagnosed and am concerned I will face additional difficulties with acceptance of my diagnosis eg getting reasonable adjustments. It harms the adhd community generally by adding to stigma.
349 Furthering the stigma of the condition
350 My son 17 has recently been diagnosed, I have been struggling with him since he was little but it all came down to him actually breaking down doing his A levels. We didn’t think we had an option but to go private as the nhs was a minimum 1 year wait to be seen! I used all of the money I had for this assessment in desperation so that I could get my son help in time and it didn’t ruin his academic life…he was at breaking point. This programme is unfair and only goes more into stigmatising an already fragile group of people struggling to access services or help
351 I’m a teacher/Senco and the issue is with the wait for NHS ADHD pathway wait not private providers.
352 I went to NHS ADHD assessment where it lasted less than 40 minutes and they did no questionnaires in advance and I was dismissed by the Dr due to shitting down because of my autism. I was told I didn't have ADHD as she didn't think I was a danger to myself or others and that is apparently required for ADHD diagnosis. It took half a year of continuing to struggle with my ADHD before I did some research and made the decision to go private to try and get answers (not one of the companies on the programme). I got a psychiatrist who has an understanding of ADHD and autism and I, my partner, and my mum filled out forms in advance and he went in to an in depth background of my psychiatric history and why I believed I had ADHD. I got diagnosed with ADHD and on medication I can actually concentrate and get work done. It has been such a huge life changing positive experience. Unfortunately my experience is that there are useless people in the NHS and privately and he is skewing it against my diagnosis because it's not NHS when they can be stuck in a period where only jumping of walls/dangerous people can have ADHD.
353 It will make me more reluctant to share my diagnosis as it increases the anxiety that it won’t be seen as genuine
354 I’m glad I got my diagnosis shortly before this documentary aired because I would have probably doubted myself and any potential diagnosis. I now worry though that as an adult recently diagnosed people will now think I’m someone who just paid for a diagnosis, even though I went through the NHS.
355 Because people will now think that I have just simply paid to be diagnosed and not diagnosed because I have spent all of my life up until aged 34 hating myself as a person because “I’m the way I am” and constant burn outs. Just further gives people the ammunition to throw out the whole “we are all a bit ADHD. Anyone can be diagnosed with ADHD.” I now feel like my private diagnosis will be viewed as not valid and I’ll now just be viewed as someone who paid for a fake diagnosis because “it seems to be a trend”.
356 I am reluctant to pursue a diagnosis now because of the increased stigma. A good friend of mine who was diagnosed joint NHS and private is now suffering from severe anxiety due to the impact this panorama episode is expected to have. People will be harmed because of the repercussions of this, whether by their own hand or a third party.
357 ADHD is such a stigmatised condition, many and don’t believe it even exits. This programme will make it even harder for me to get the support & understanding that I need.
358 The programme was triggering - having being diagnosed as an adult after suicidal ideation and major depressive disorder in my 40s, the world needs to sit up and understand that ADHD is a real struggle - and sometimes a fatal one. This is not about simply losing your keys and getting a label - a diagnosis is life-saving for some people
359 Hi, there not enough facts and advice in how actually approach NHS services 1st
360 Stigma faced for getting an ADHD diagnoses. Family members are already not supportive (ADHD doesn't exist), and this will just feed the fire as I was privately diagnosed. I'm also worried I will now be refused shared care by my GP as I am currently titrating privately.
361 My parents, who didn’t want to believe my diagnosis, are now once again questioning it after 2 years of ‘proving’ to them I have it. I am about to transfer to shared care, and I am extremely stressed that this shoddy journalism will impact my GP’s acceptance of the care plan.
362 I am worried that people will be less likely to believe that I have ADHD due to the episode making it look as though anyone can get a diagnosis
363 I'm worried that people will doubt diagnosis as I received it through a private provider. I'm worried I won't be taken seriously, and if my GP may even refuse to acknowledge it's validity.
364 I worry that people will see private diagnoses as inferior. Especially if they already believe ADHD doesn't exist!
365 People will assume I’ve paid for my diagnosis by going private, or that I don’t genuinely have adhd even though I received a diagnosis
366 People will disbelieve my son’s diagnosis
367 I'm worried I might not reach shared care stage if GPs start rejecting private diagnoses. I'm also worried about what it will have done to public perception of ADHD and the impact it might have on the response of colleagues and family if I do disclose my ADHD
368 I was diagnosed through a private clinical practice and now this programme shall completely prevent me from transitioning into a planned GP care plan 100%.
369 I feel very upset because it takes a lot of courage to seek a diagnosis and disclose ADHD and I feel that this show could make ADHD even more stigmatized. I feared stigmatization for years and didn't seek a diagnosis because I was worried I wouldn't be given opportunities at work due to lack of understanding around the condition. It's therefore taken me over 10 years to get a diagnosis and it's awful to think mine or someone else's experiences might be invalidated due to people coming away thinking someone with ADHD doesn't really have ADHD because of what they've seen on Panorama.
370 I am currently a research student looking into female ADHD. One of the companies in the show are part of my subject matter experts review. I think this impacts the credibility of their business and the work I have undertaken in its misrepresentation of them as charlatans. Personally, I feel that I will struggle even more to communicate that ADHD is a real condition that impacts the quality of people lives. There is already so much stigma, shame and misinformation. The show feeds the notion that we’re all a bit ADHD because we have the capacity to be fidgety at times. This undermines the severity of the condition and the very real issues around learning differences , workplace accommodations and requirements. Neurodivergent communities are Ali most six times more likely to take their own life, self harm and have maladaptive coping strategies such as substance misuse. This show could cause serious harm to this vulnerable group.
371 It is already a struggle to get NT people to accept the existence of ADHD. My diagnosis ( which I received after being referred by my NHS GP to a private psychiatry group with an NHS contract under the RTC initiative ) has been met with skepticism from a variety of people in my life, most commonly I hear things along the lines of 'everyone seems to have ADHD these days' or 'ADHD is pushed by pharmaceutical companies to make profits'. I feel this documentary is going to add more doubt to mine and others diagnoses.
372 I have already have people in my life sending me the documentary and warning me about it. I expect I will have to justify myself a lot more than without it.
373 Support at work for ADHD. They already think I can just get on with it. That's not true. It's hard.
374 I was privately assessed for ADHD and subsequently diagnosed last year at the age of 22. Although the ADHD clinic that diagnosed me was not one of the clinics featured in the show, I worry that my diagnosis will now be questioned by those in the NHS and my shared care agreement might be discontinued. I cannot afford to pay for private treatment for the rest of my life.
375 It impacts the questioning off ALL ADHD diagnoses, not just the ones done under questionable providers. I have a valid diagnosis, under a private company, but the assessment was long, indepth (both family and past medical history assessed) and I was not a tick box exercise (not yes a d no, but how I experience traits, when they started- childhood evidence verbal and written reports- and whether I still experience them). It was done by a Psychiatrist, qualified for many years, who also works within the NHS. But I'm sure I will be invalidated by my GP and the general population latches on any reason to invalidate 'labels' and neurodevelopmental conditions. I am tired of being second guessed, I got an answer to stop people judging me (after a general psychological assessment) and now they are going to continue invalidating me, it's rubbish.
376 It impacts the questioning off ALL ADHD diagnoses, not just the ones done under questionable providers. I have a valid diagnosis, under a private company, but the assessment was long, indepth (both family and past medical history assessed) and I was not a tick box exercise (not yes a d no, but how I experience traits, when they started- childhood evidence verbal and written reports- and whether I still experience them). It was done by a Psychiatrist, qualified for many years, who also works within the NHS. But I'm sure I will be invalidated by my GP and the general population latches on any reason to invalidate 'labels' and neurodevelopmental conditions. I am tired of being second guessed, I got an answer to stop people judging me (after a general psychological assessment) and now they are going to continue invalidating me, it's rubbish.
377 It's contributing to the narrative that adhd is a fad and it's not a 'real' condition,and that it's overdiagnosed. It's making me concerned about people taking my adhd seriously, the increased stigma and lack of accessibility. I'm also concerned about the potential impact it might have on people, like myself, who were diagnosed under RTC (eg. GPs refusing shared care)
378 I'm already having to justify my diagnosis to a couple of my family and friends who doubted my original diagnosis because they believe ADHD is a "made up" condition. My boss watched it and talked about it today, and seemed to suggest it was far too easy to get a diagnosis. I was able to talk about it with him, and explain how complicated and lengthly the process is, but I am concerned that this will effect his opinion, and the few adjustments I have at work.
379 I was diagnosed privately three months ago, at 50, after a lifetime of struggles in all areas of my life. I was repeatedly misdiagnosed with anxiety, depression, panic disorder as well as migraines and insomnia. I’ve been gaslit by the medical profession into thinking I’m just broken when in fact I’m actually neurodivergent. My life has transformed already, just from understanding why life seemed so much harder for me than most. I’ve been cautiously sharing my diagnosis but as a result of this BBC programme, I don’t feel confident in doing so as it’s made me feel like a fraud. To say the show was invalidating would an understatement!
380 The ability for my children and clients to get a diagnosis and whether they decide to go privately will have a huge impact. The wait on the nhs is too long, especially for my children to wait and the fact the people mostly come out with a diagnosis privately, we’ll you wouldn’t pay £700-2000 if you weren’t pretty certain you had it in the first place!
381 As a woman with ADHD my diagnosis is often not taken seriously. Even just one day after the programme aired I'm receiving negative comments and questions asking me if I'm sure I definitely have ADHD and wasn't misdiagnosed. I feel very vulnerable and more of a burden
382 It'll be even harder to be taken seriously now and the probability to be dismissed has risen exponentially
383 Quite a lot of us already have imposter syndrome and doubt ourselves. I’ve struggled all my life and have only recently been diagnosed at 42, this documentary will increase cynicism and decrease empathy.
384 I think the wait time for NHS assessment will take even longer.
385 I was considering going for an adhd assessment, but now feel put off.
386 I fear that it will lead to a lack of acceptance or outright dismissal of my private ADHD diagnosis, and make discrimination permissable
387 There are enough issues in the system without adding more layers. The documentary was not balanced and was potentially just scaremongering so local authorities and NHS can save more monies at the detriment of the ND society
388 I feel like this will make people see ADHD as less of a disability and causes an already struggling community to struggle more. I already fight daily with my struggles with ADHD and now feel like people will belittle those even more than they already do. It could lead people such an employers or health care providers to question my diagnosis of ADHD with could be incredible harmful to my mental and physical health.
389 I am worried that people will now question my diagnosis because it was by a private clinic (not the ones featured) and that I don’t have a “real” diagnosis.
390 People will not be as ready to accept my diagnosed and it will impact on mine, and others' feelings of imposter syndrome
391 My family, my work, society already don’t take my diagnosis seriously. This will make that so much harder to fight against.
392 I am worried about my shared care being rejected as a result of this programme
393 Makes me wary about going for private diagnosis due to other people's perceptions.
394 I'm treated under a shared care arrangement with my GP and private psych. Now worried that GP practices will simply cut off ADHD patients due to the stigma/fear induced by the Panorama programme. Should I need workplace accommodations in the future, I'm also worried this programme will empower employers to violate the Equality Act.
395 I'm currently on a waiting list for an assessment with a private provider. I'm now wondering if that is the best choice and will cast doubt on my diagnosis if given one.
396 It belittled the condition for children and adults
397 I have worked hard to convince the sceptics in my life of the validity of my diagnosis and I feel I am back to square one. It has given them more ammunition to deny my reality.
398 It was already hard enough to convince family that adhd is real and that I have it. We’d finally reached a good place with it I thought. Then today I got a call from my mum (about unrelated things) and she mentioned the programme to me with a quizzical tone. I now feel I’m going to have to explain all over again with this as an added hurdle. For others too.
399 It is already hard enough to tell people in my life that I have ADHD. Often people do not take it seriously and I do not need any more reason for them to unfairly question my diagnosis.
400 I am on the NHS waiting list for an ADHD diagnosis, but have recently felt that my mental health is currently too bad and am seeking a private diagnosis of ADHD for which I absolutely cannot afford but I am making it work. I think this programme will increase stigma around private diagnosis clinics so NHS doctors might not take a private diagnosis seriously, and is going to stigmatise further a condition that is very misunderstood.
401 I am awaiting diagnosis and believe it could hinder my chances of getting help or being believed about stuff.
402 Before my diagnosis, I didn't feel I would be taken seriously if I told people I believed I had ADHD. Now I feel like telling people I was privately diagnosed will have the same effect.
403 My daughter has ADHD and I see the stigma and shame she already experiences through societal misconceptions. We sought a private diagnosis at an excellent clinic and it has changed her life (for the better). I also work as a psychotherapist and see clients who are embarrassed to seek diagnosis due to being judged by family and friends claiming adhd is a “fad” or “trend”. This programme has further increased the obstacles to getting diagnosis.
404 I’ve already had people sending me links to it in a snidey way. I have issues with my private diagnosis because of the lack of support but I know I will be diagnosed in the nhs.
405 Stigmatised
406 It reinforces the still widely held perception that ADHD is not a real disability and a diagnosis can be bought. My son is autistic & ADHD and we have had lengthy (I.e. 10 years) of battles with school and other professionals. We have ongoing issues to reinforce that symptoms of ADHD are not a ‘choice’ or ‘deliberate bad behaviour’ or that ‘he just needs to focus more in lessons’. There is so much stigma about ADHD still and this programme serves to reinforce that. EHCPs are seen as golden tickets bought by sharp elbowed parents: this whole programme just fed that pernicious narrative which has a daily negative impact in my child and damages his self-esteem. I feel there was no exploration of the much worse damage caused by long waiting lists, poor diagnosis etc. There are issues with CAMHS assessments too. Initially, my son underwent triage by a CAMHS worker (not a psychiatrist) who said he didn’t have ADHD. That did huge damage and it took us 4 years to get back through the system for another assessment, this time a full assessment. This assessment did involve a psychiatrist, but also assessments were done first by SLT, OT, a mental health practitioner etc. The idea that everyone who is seen by NHS has a 3 hour assessment with a consultant psychiatrist is for the birds.
407 People not believing I have it
408 I am very angry it belittled the struggle of people with ADHD to get a diagnosis. It will increase the stigma that people make it up and that a private diagnosis is not valid. It will make people with ADHD question the validity of their own diagnosis increasing the feeling of imposter syndrome.
409 I feel stigmatised.
410 I am in the process of seeking an ADHD diagnosis - I became aware of it as a possibility through training as a counsellor, both in my work on myself, and working with ADHD kids and adults. I went to the ADHD Foundation to get pre-diagnosis info (and paid for it), and am now pursuing the diagnosis slowly though the NHS. My daughter was diagnosed via the NHS (17), and my son is in the process. My brother is over 50 and has schizophrenia and I am pretty sure ADHD as well, which has been completely missed by the NHS. I have been pushing for a neurodivergent psychiatrist's appointment for over 2 years, and it will finally be happening next week. The NHS even told me to go private for him! (All this is confidential for your research FYI). Do drop me a line if you want more info (@kiddycharts on Twitter)
411 Stress and worry to my daughter who has just been diagnosed and has been struggling for over 2 years and has been able to work for the last six months
412 My daughter has been recently diagnosed and I feel like people will not respect her diagnosis . We went to a clinic in Harley street- not the one in the report - but already had assumptions and doubts passed on to me by viewers of this programme.
413 As someone who got a private diagnosis, I fear this may impact other people's view of the validity of my diagnosis. I was diagnosed in my first year of university and if I had to wait for an NHS assessment, I would almost definitely have dropped out of university and been unable to continue. If in future my private diagnosis is disregarded or doubted, I fear that I will have the supports and accommodations for my ADHD withdrawn. If that were to happen, the waiting list for an NHS diagnosis could leave me stranded without any support for years and unable to continue my academic career.
414 Increases stigma. I was diagnosed by a psychiatrist but I feel that my shared care will be looked at with doubt.
415 People already doubt my ADHD diagnosis because they'd "never have thought I could have ADHD" And I've already been asking if I'm sure they got it right. I shouldn't have to justify my diagnosis to anyone, especially family and employers, because someone a shoddy investigation with skewed results (he told the NHS psychiatrist that it was an investigation but not the private staff)
416 I was diagnosed privately because I couldn't access appropriately timed help from the NHS. I now feel even more invalidated, ashamed and frightened even more to express my struggles and advocate for myself. I've also now lost faith in nhs psychiatrists and adhd services following this program as I feel bitterly let down by the healthcare professionals who were interviewed as they failed to take this opportunity to raise the wider, worsening and more significant problems that adhd sufferers continue to face. Eg, how debilitating life long suffering is, highlighting the vast symptoms and extent of impact faced, evidence based facts and statistics (increased death and suicide risk), associated Co morbidities, lack of nhs support available, how desperate people are and this situation is, how reform is needed to ensure accessible treatment for all and how that would almost empty the prisons!!!
417 I had to watch it with my partner, for reassurance. I'm a late diagnosed female who had to do right to choose for an assessment. As the waiting list was 3+ yrs, let alone the fact some areas don't even have a provision. The entire time I felt guilty, I felt like I had 'convinced' myself I have ADHD previously, let alone after seeing this. My partner fully supported me, filled out the paperwork to demonstrate objectively my symptoms, I had 2 sets of forms, another filled out by my partner, an hour long online assessment, asked about previous mental health/medications. I was then checked during medication titration, then another hour long assessment after completing titration to check how I was getting on & confirm diagnosis. Mental health is rather subjective as a whole, what someone might struggle with day to day, or feel overwhelmed with, might not be an issue for others. There are also only so many physical symptoms that can manifest & the symptom crossover is big! Many of us show more outward signs of other conditions such as depression and anxiety as either that's what society expects, or we develop secondary anxiety/depression etc as a coping mechanism or as 'side effect' of being undiagnosed. I have previously been given anti depressants in 7mins after a GP appointment, with no psychological assessment at all, which whilst not stimulants still have side effects. I have been on several types of these for over 15yrs and the only thing that has helped me so far has been the stimulant medication. It took no notice of the fact that society as a whole ignores 'female' ADHD. My husband has to reassure me the whole time what a difference he has seen and how much of an improvement the diagnosis and medication has had. The reason so many people are diagnosed at the end, is because people who aren't struggling with life/ADHD symptoms don't go for an appointment, wade through the continuous stigma, research why they are struggling with 'life' and have to either pay or jump through hoops to be seen. They also absolutely skated over the fact it's the government who have created this by not having an adequate mental health/neurodivergent provision! As well as chronic NHS underfunding. The amount of people who are in acute mental distress or even in prison, suicidal, anxious due to misdiagnosis, missed diagnosis is probably an awfully lot more important than the odd person who has seemingly managed to 'game' the system.
418 As someone who had no choice to turn to the private sector for an ADHD assessment, I anticipate that this documentary will contribute to a bias I have already encountered during the course of my life. When seeking an assessment my local NHS trust informed me that despite a screening assessment indicating that a full assessment would be in my interest, they were unable to refer me for an assessment unless I was an existing secondary-care patient or was actively suicidal. It took me a further three years to raise the money for the assessment I went on to have. The bias in question states that private sector diagnosis for neurodivergent conditions is a "pay for a diagnosis" system. As someone with an ADHD diagnosis from the private sector I am concerned that the legitimacy of my diagnosis will be seen as dubious by some people. As a counseling psychologist with many years of work behind me in the mental health treatment sector, I have heard examples of GPs refusing to prescribe medication for the treatment of ADHD symptoms to presenting patients with private assessments and diagnoses. As a practicing therapist with clients who have ADHD diagnoses and others who strongly suspect that they would meet the diagnostic criteria for ADHD, I am very conscious of how common shame and doubt is as part of the ADHD experience in British society. I know this from my own experience as well. ADHD has become a topic of controversy and its legitimacy as a condition that can even be said to exist is often questioned in contemporary discourse. This documentary has only contributed to the view of ADHD being lacking in legitimacy since it presents the idea that the source of assessment and diagnosis that thousands of people have left open to them is itself illegitimate.
419 A friend has already suggested that my ADHD diagnosis from the NHS might be incorrect. I’m concerned that this is going to happen more often, and that my university or employers might also start doubting my diagnosis.
420 We have a child newly diagnosed with ADHD. we used right to choose through a reputable private provider. this is because we could not cope with the length of NHS waiting list. Our child is not being adequately provided for in education and not achieving or reaching their potential without correct understanding or support. We are now back on a camhs waiting list for medication which is 2.5 years. the program does not highlight any issues relating to children or adults in desperate need of diagnosis to help them with the daily challenges that they face without support for their ADHD and the negative impact this has on their mental health and access to work and education or the impact this has on the whole family and carers. the programe lead to very biased negative representation on ADHD a condition which is already stigmatised and misunderstood, judged negatively by the public. People need education on the issues not to be told people are being misdiagnosed. this discredits some individuals diagnosis and prevents some from attempting to get throught the battle field to reach a diagnosis which is very challenging to do. People who have been diagnosed may now have seeds of doubt planted as to how accurate their diagnosis is and those already on or awaiting medication have have second thoughts about the value of their diagnosis and need to be on medication. this could be very damaging. preventing those in real need of medication from accessing it.
421 I genuinely have ADHD and day to day life is very difficult and fraught with failure without (non-stimulant) medication to help me stay organised and functional. My son also genuinely has ADHD (which is 70% heritable) and needs a small amount of stimulant medication to help him successfully avoid social trouble due to his symptoms of emotional reactivity. However, my parents have found our diagnoses and prescriptions very hard to accept and are likely to interpret this Panorama programme as undermining our diagnoses and the validity of ADHD as a condition. I am dreading it opening another long chapter of distrust and judgment from my parents, just when they had been getting more on board. So, I’m basically worried this programme will seriously damage my close family relationships due to unbalanced reporting. I will also worry more that I’ll receive more suspicion, doubt and judgment from friends and strangers that may have watched the programme and taken negative messages from it that ADHD is mostly a case of erroneous diagnosis, and that they will be less willing to be understanding of the real impact it has on my relationships, behaviour and needs.
422 I have been on the NHS waiting list for 3 years. Being undiagnosed for 42 years of my life was having an extremely damaging impact on my life and my health. I needed understanding and help. Reluctantly I recently got a private diagnosis which has given me a lot of comfort and understanding of my difficulties and has allowed my to start trying to explain to others why I find things difficult and work out accommodations to help me function better. I needed the legitimacy and explanation i got from an assessment and diagnosis to be able to do this. This has given me more confidence to be able to be open with others and make the changes I needed. The panorama program threatens to take away the legitimacy and understanding I have recently found because I feel that people might not take my diagnosis seriously now because I had to get it from a private clinic. I was already facing a lot of misconceptions and doubt about ADHD and this has strengthen those. It's hard because it's a hidden disability so the diagnosis is so needed to give us legitimacy but this program has taken that away now. I didn't want to spend over £2k on an assessment but I was not functioning in my life and the NHS was not providing what I needed. I wish panorama had focused on why the NHS is so under equpit to assess and diagnose. That is the real problem. Waiting over 3 years is totally unacceptable and wouldn't happen with other disabilities or health conditions. My life has been severely negatively impacted in NHS delays in diagnosis. Not only for me but for my 2 children who missed most of their education due to them not getting an earlier diagnosis. Neurodivergent families are being extremely let down by the public sector under this government. I'm so angry about the program. I found it hard to sleep last night after watching it. I've waited 3 years for the NHS then out of desperation gone private, finally got a bit of clarity and understanding and this 30 minute program has lead to me potentially being additionally discriminated against. This program has not helped ADHD people in any way. It has just added to the stigma against us. I got my private diagnosis a week ago and was about to start telling people but I don't think i will now because I don't think they will believe me, because they will doubt my diagnosis is reliable.
423 I have a private diagnosis - not through any of the clinics mentioned but via a private Consultant Psych (who works one day private and 4 days NHS), I have already have a couple of people in my life suggest that private is not as valid as NHS prior to this doc so this will no doubt cement their opinion that all private diagnoses are invalid.
424 i was in process of applying for assessment with a private provider but now im back to doubting if it's a good choice to go to that provider. I Have been trying to get referred to NHS specialist since 2020 (pre-lockdown) but my documentation was not sent so only in 2023 was my referral sent and i was told to wait 3-5 years. Waiting that long is not an option so im back to looking up every source to find a reputable private clinic/doctor/etc.
425 The show gives the impression that NHS care for ADHD assessments and follow-up care is somehow accessible. This could not be further from the truth in our family experience. Casting doubt on the private care of the condition makes it difficult especially for children with ADHD who cannot always defend their needs.
426 I'm now concerned that my GP will renege on the shared care agreement I have with them. Whilst my private clinic was not one of the ones on the show, it's hard not to feel anxiety around people doubting my diagnosis because it came from a private provider. This is anxiety and stigma that I really do not need! I already doubt myself enough; living as a woman undiagnosed for 33 years was also anxiety provoking enough. It's really stressful (and we all know stress is not good for health and wellbeing)...
427 I have a private diagnosis, though not from a provider name in the programme & it is making me worried that people will now doubt the veracity of my diagnosis. I had no choice but to seek a diagnosis privately as I had unable to work for significant periods over the last few years and knew that my employers patience was starting to wear thin. I now feel like I will have to justify my diagnosis to people by explaining how my experience differed to that shown in the programme. I am also scared that for people in my family who already think ADHD is a trend/fad this will give them more ammunition to dismiss me and the real & huge struggles I have faced in my life.
428 I think some people in my life may now doubt my diagnosis which has been so important for me. Telling anyone about my ADHD specially in a work capacity to access adjustments has taken a lot of soul searching and I worry know people who’s opinions I really value ma have a skewed view due to their documentary.
429 My mother immediately texted me asking where I got my diagnosis. It throws legitimate diagnoses into doubt. Adhd in particular is a disease which has a lot of stimga and scepticism so it's really affected me.
430 Having already encountered dismissive remarks like "everyone is diagnosed with ADHD" and "it's not real" "why does everyone want to be special why can't they accept they are normal" when I disclosed my ADHD, it was an incredibly challenging experience that triggered suicidal thoughts. Unfortunately, this episode's misrepresentations and stigmatizing language around ADHD medication will likely exacerbate the already disheartening conversations that may arise at work. It is crucial to address the misconceptions and foster a more empathetic and inclusive environment. Promoting accurate information, dispelling stereotypes, and creating open dialogues about ADHD and its profound impact on individuals' lives is essential. By doing so, we can work towards a society that understands and supports those with ADHD, while also ensuring their mental well-being.
431 I am already stressed and worried that my GP won’t provide a shared care agreement even though I did right to choose. I am worried others will doubt my diagnosis.
432 Having been diagnosed by a provider shown on the programme this is not my experience of them but now I worry people will doubt my experience. I’ve already had problems at work since my diagnosis resulting in losing my job because people don’t understand ADHD and constantly questioned my diagnosis. Programmes like this make the bias, misunderstanding and discrimination so much worse.
433 I already feel that some people doubt the validity of the condition/ my diagnosis and so this show only increases that perception.
434 I work in the nhs where many colleague doubt the diagnosis. This feeds into the idea that a high percentage of patients are diagnosed which makes it a false diagnosis. This is ridiculous already. A high number of patients referred to heart failure clinic walk away with heart failure diagnosis because tests have been done before hand to almost confirm. Same with ADHD. This comparison isn’t made. It now increases stigma and the idea that it’s false. The show was very bias. Many private providers do provide the same service. Nhs services do not give you 2 hours normally either. Sneaking for private diagnoses verses announcing your intentions. So bias.
435 Having had a diagnosis 4 years ago I have already felt a shift in attitudes towards me from some people who I have known for a long time. I have felt some people I have told don’t really take my diagnosis seriously and I now feel this will lead to possible further bad reactions from people who don’t understand the impact ADHD can have on life. I got very upset after watching the programme tonight.
436 I had my first actual what I can only describe as a panic attack, witnessed by two family members....essentially my nervous system broke for 20 minutes or so and deep breathing helped to bring me back. I am 31 and a working professional and I had bad anxiety a lot at work and in anticipation of this, having been sent the BBC article at 9am in the morning by a friend and work colleague. I don't think it was completely the programme but rather other peoples perceptions and suggestions that my diagnosis could be invalid. After doubting my own diagnosis for 3 months and 8 months of thorough research into Adult ADHD, since diagnosis, the programme did not fairly explain the condition at all for those who actually have it. It did however highlight a major lack of funding, suitable regulation and clinicians who should diagnose and treat the condition.
437 From where I'm sitting, the programme is an imbalanced and unfair portrayal of private sector assessments. My experience couldn't be further from what was shown on this programme. Moreover, this could not be further from what is reported in the communities that I am part as well. Where was the engagement with our communities? This programme is about us, but has excluded us from the discussion. It makes me feel awful With regards to the narrative this programme is trying to sell, I fear it could lead policy makers and healthcare institutions to tighten controls on ADHD assessments. Perhaps affecting and calling into question the validity of my diagnosis and others also. And, from a broader perspective making it increasingly hard for ADHDers to seek diagnosis and treatment. This programme, like much of the mainstream media's approach, makes the assumption that there are people seeking diagnosis who don't have ADHD. Yet, fails to prove this. Yet we know, as people with it, that our struggles are normalised by neurotypicals and our masks reinforced by the stigma. We are a significant proportion of the population and most of us are undiagnosed and even less are on some kind of treatment. The programme also adds to the stigma of using stimulant medication, by at times making it appear as something to be feared. And yet, for most of my community and myself, stimulant medication has saved our lives. Allowed us to actually start living, no longer being the burden that we have been for so long, doing the things we always wanted to do but were unable to. Starting our lives, late. We as a community have fought so hard to get where we are. Having been let down by the systems that are meant to be have caught us early and intervened. I despair at the thought of the rebirth that I have experienced so late in my life being cut short by stigma and a journalists determination to advance their career. I feel depressed thinking about these ramifications and angry at those self-centred enough to use a group of vulnerable disabled people for their own benefit. Sickened actually. Portraying the private sector in this way will only do harm. I'm already feeling it. And, I'm seeing that harm happen to the ADHD friends I have. It's splitting our community into NHS and private diagnoses, with people questioning each others diagnoses, which never would have occurred before. Friends against friends. It's so sad.
438 I believe it will call into question my diagnosis of ADHD. People will believe I faked it.
439 I haven’t informed anyone other than my partner of my own diagnosis for fear of how it will be perceived, this means I will likely never do this
440 My assessment was done through the NHS. However, the general stigma surrounding those of us who have received a diagnosis in recent times is huge. We are seen as following a 'trend' because of the upsurge of social media coverage. On a number of those posts, the denial and bias shown by some in the comments is rife. This 'documentary' did nothing to help demonstrate the actual impact and severity of this condition, in fact, it was barely mentioned. The reporter listed a few of the 'minor' symptoms but it seemed to be in a dismissive... 'everybody is a bit ADHD' way. That is only going to feed into that bias and stigma that affects all of us with the condition. People, on hearing that you've been diagnosed will not think to ask if you have been diagnosed on the NHS or not (and rightly so, it shouldn't matter), they will simply jump to their own conclusions that you have a 'made up' illness. This is particularly concerning in terms of prospective employers etc.
441 I struggle to get a serious recognition from some people with my diagnosis. This programme has made me worry that genuinely diagnosed people will be -doubted by others as it looks so easy to get a diagnosis without having a professional diagnosis in line with nice guidelines
442 I believe that it will completely undermine my very real diagnosis. ADHD has impacted my entire life and the NHS is simply not funded well enough to deal with diagnosing mental health conditions. For over 10 years I was told by GPs that yes, I very likely did have ADHD but there was no point in getting a diagnosis as the waiting lists were years long and I didn't know for certain if I wanted to be medicated. Instead I spent over a decade being treated for anxiety when that wasn't what I was suffering with at all. Now all these years later, I have finally been able to afford to pay for a private, professional diagnosis by a reputable psychiatrist who sits on NHS boards. This misrepresentation of the process with it's sweeping generalisations undermines that. I will now face the stigma of having my diagnosis dismissed by people who will be led to believe that I paid for a guaranteed result.
443 Gp's are already hesitant with shared care, plenty of stigma even among medical professionals. I also will not be telling friends/family about my diagnosis.
444 I can't afford private treatment so my Aunt and Uncle are paying. They expressed concerns before agreeing to pay and talked to my dad who is incredibly against any type of medication which made it much harder for me to get the help I need. If any of these people see this documentary and take it to heart I could be barred from life saving treatment. It's disheartening and terrifying.
445 I am now waiting to see if my shared care is affected. I already am in a downward spiral directly because of the program and how it was put together.
446 It further invalidates an already invalidated community.
447 Risk of private diagnosis being taken as not serious or shifty. Could cause problems at uni if they decided only NHS diagnosis are valid. Worrying given the multi year waitlist
448 I hope that it doesn't make shared care harder to access. I now also feel like I can't open up about my diagnosis, and probably won't mention it
449 People will question my diagnosis and not take me seriously. This will cause further anxiety in coping with my debilitating lifelong adhd conditions- severe executive dysfunction. I am receiving adhd coaching for this via access to work.
450 It will make it harder for my GP to accept a shared care. It will also make the GP not take my issues seriously.
451 I have already had my mother query my diagnosis after seeing the panorama headline. I also fear my diagnosis will lose credibility with my employer who I recently informed. Ultimately this puts doubt back into people's minds about the struggles I face and makes them doubt that I have a condition. In which case I'm just lazy and weird and annoying for no reason. It also makes me think they are thinking that, even if they are not. My self confidence is at rock bottom and I incredibly anxious. Finally, I am waiting to move to shared care with my GP and fear this may prevent that. We know some GPS are incredibly ignorant of ADHD and I don't trust that their opinions and willingness to help people with ADHD will be influenced by this show.
452 It’s stigmatised adhd. As someone who is newly diagnosed, it was worrying telling people anyway. It’s now been made worse. My diagnosis was only 3 days ago and I am scared, even though I was seen by the nhs.
453 Many of my friends, family members and colleagues doubt ADHD exists as a condition. This programme has already been cited in 4 messages to me this evening as evidence that my condition is imaginary and I should just "try harder".
454 There was already negative reactions about my diagnosis and medication treatment plan from certain people in my environment. This will give them fuel to the arguments they have made before. Eventhough my assessment process is completely different than the 45 minute online chat that was shown.
455 I feel extremely angry after watching that programme. Too wound up/over stimulated to sleep tonight.Since diagnosis,I have discovered how little ADHD is seen as a serious condition.Too many people already think ADHD is over diagnosed, Panarama has just helped re-enforce that opinion even more.
456 Even more people are likely to tell me that I'm simply lazy and disorganised because I don't really have ADHD.
457 Already some friends and family are sceptical about adhd and my diagnosis. This doc will make that worse
458 I have been diagnosed via RTC with a company NOT represented on Panorama. I am confident that my experience was exceptionally different to that shown on the programme and am very satisfied with the extensive assessment, treatment options and titration programme I have gone through. I am anxious that when my psychiatrist approaches my GP for shared care that the negative stance on RTC companies conveyed in this episode will impact on my GPS decision to take on shared care . I cannot afford this privately and my medication has been absolutely life changing for me.
459 My daughter (14) had a very thorough private assessment resulting in a diagnosis but I am worried that if we wish to use the assessment in the future to gain additional educational support or medication the diagnosis will be questioned because it was done privately
460 I am worried about how my diagnosis will be perceived by my friends, family and coworkers. I think they will not take my diagnosis seriously following this show even though I am really struggling
461 I feel like the people who know about my diagnosis will no longer believe me if they watch this. This program makes it sound like you can be diagnosed with ADHD with very weak evidence, and that if pretty much anyone answered the questions truthfully at an assessment they would be told they have ADHD. I felt embarrassed to tell people about my diagnosis before, but if feel even more embarrassed now (in case they have watched the program).
462 I have been privately diagnosed but am still to go through titration and fight the Shared Care battle with my GP. I think this program has already contributed to the stigma, harm and medical-gaslighting we already face.
463 Currently in titration with an incredibly helpful and thorough private provider. I'm worried the current narrative will impact my ability to obtain a shared care agreement.
464 I’m annoyed. I think this program will just add much un needed stigma where there is already so much, ‘look how easy it is to get a diagnosis, pfft everyone’s got ADHD these days! ☹️ coming from someone who’s NHS ‘assessment’ was around 20 minutes, I think it was very unfair to imply that every person seeking a diagnosis with the NHS gets the same treatment as shown tonight, 3 hours, really? I’m given a 15 minute appointment 3 times a year if I’m lucky with local mental health services. That’s after waiting 10 years to be seen and figuring out I have ADHD myself after 10 years on the wrong medications. It’s held me back in every aspect of my life You should make a tv show on how many have been failed, especially women because they’ve been dismissed by doctors over and over, to the point where they’ve simply given up trying to seek help. Ive been so depressed for so many years I’ve felt like I’ve had a terminal illness and that my brain was literally going to kill me, that’s what undiagnosed ADHD will do. I would strongly urge you to make a show about suicide statistics in autistic/adhd females, how many of those have we lost because no one got to the root cause and they didn’t get the support they needed, make a show about how the NHS through no fault of its own have and continue to fail so many. Please don’t imply it’s the easiest thing to get a diagnosis. I’m paying privately and that’s after having an NHS assessment, because it was in no way thorough, clear, or clarified anything for me, I was simply told ‘well if the medication works it means you have ADHD’, like I say, the 20 minute much anticipated first appointment with an NHS psychiatrist left me feeling unheard, unseen and no further forward in terms of getting the support I need in order to function in life. Not everyone gets the treatment you showed tonight, it’s unfair to think everyone does, and it’s unfair to make out that everyone that goes private has a shitty experience, chances are they will be much more thorough than the NHS simply have the resources to provide.
465 Completely dismissive of the condition - suggests the main symptoms are being “figgety” - no explanation of what ADHD actually is, why demand for assessment has increased, or any sense of why someone would ask for a diagnosis if they don’t think they have the condition. Smacked of “it’s not real” “everyone is a little bit ADHD” “it’s a band wagon/trendy”
466 I am currently working on a dissertation project exploring ADHD and how my subject area could improve symptoms. I'm really worried this will undermine my work, and I'm now very worried about submitting this and it has been very hard to face an already difficult task/subject. Also, I have told some friends and colleagues about my diagnosis and have already been subject to stigma about ADHD not being real and how I shouldn't take stimulant medication as it's dangerous, this will now be worse and I'm worried about talking to people. I'm actually considering cancelling social engagements that I have this week as I don't think I can face it. I'm very upset about this and it's hard to try and articulate
467 ADHD is already misunderstood and this biased and leading journalism leads to further stigma. Some of the private diagnoses in the programme showed flaws, but unless the NHS is funded better in this area, it is often the only place to turn. The programme inaccurately showed the reality of what the NHS are willing or able to provide in most parts of the country.
468 People may question my diagnosis
469 More stigmatised by others due to misinformation and lack of understanding, especially given as I went private for a diagnosis as I couldn’t wait 4 years for the nhs to be able to start living. I already had to explain what it is and why I know I have it, now I have to justify the diagnosis I was given (3+ hours incidentally). Very damaging for this vulnerable community
470 Judgement from others it is already hard with adhd. Now all diagnosis will be placed into question and I fear for those who are undiagnosed
471 My son Is unable to access NHS services to have an ADHD assessment despite exhibiting many symptoms that have a negative on his daily life. We are considering seeking a private diagnosis and this programme simply suggests it’s a scam.
472 I work in psychiatry and had a thorough assessment and many follow up appointments from a psychiatrist who worked in the nhs for a long time but is now private but is one of the leading experts of adhd in the country. Despite the rigorous process of diagnosis, I have faced a lot of stigma at work from psychiatrists, some of whom believe adhd is over diagnosed and that if you get good grades at school or are in a decent profession you can’t have adhd. I wouldn’t have disclosed it but because it had an impact on my work and resulted in burn out and my ability to self care (as it has done my whole life), it caused issues resulting me being off work for a while and having to disclose it. I keep really quiet about it on a daily basis because of the toxic dialogue about it however I feel a lot of internalised stigma as it is and I am really concerned this programme won’t help the situation and will add to stigma and increase my senior’s dismissiveness of it. I try to manage without reasonable adjustments as it is because of embarrassment about it even though they made a big thing of it but this will result in me being embarrassed to ask for help in the future because of society’s and the profession’s perception of the diagnosis.
473 I'm about to be assessed privately... I'm afraid my gp may now refuse shared care if I get diagnosed and treated. I feel like family, friends etc will scoff at my diagnosis after watching panorama, regardless that my life has been ruined by it.
474 I decided last week to book a private assessment, following a great deal of research. Following the BBC article this morning and the Panorama show this evening I have already suffered an anxiety filled day worrying about it and its validity. Also, after having felt quite confident about talking openly about it to people, I'm now much less likely to do so for fear of judgement and invalidation. I also imagine that my GP will be a lot less likely to agree to shared care than they might have been before.
475 I think it is now going to be even more difficult to get a diagnosis.
476 People already question whether ADHD is just fashionable and people are jumping on a bandwagon, and the idea that you can pay for a diagnosis regardless of whether you have ADHD or not already exists. I’m on a rtc waiting list because if I wait for NHS that could be up to 5 years, and my life is being negatively impacted now. I know other people’s opinions shouldn’t matter, but I have had my experience questioned my whole life and stigma/ableism does negatively impact me, on an emotional level and I’m sure on a structural level as well. I’m also worried about GPs being less likely to accept shared care agreements if stigma continues to increase regarding private diagnosis.
477 I already went through the process of grieving who I could have been, questioning whether my problems were real, and watching that investigation today brought it all back for me. The frustration of the inaccuracies and misrepresentations in the programme has ruined my day, and I'll continue to dwell on it until the BBC issues their inevitable retraction/apology, and I'll probably end up thinking about it after that too.
478 Family could now doubt diagnosis as it was carried out via right to choose which was highlighted but not explained in detail.
479 I was diagnosed privately last year. I have no complaints about the service I received. Having always felt I was different I am 100% confident that I have been diagnosed correctly.
480 As a parent of 2 adult Autistic ADHD diagnosed women, I am very concerned about the negative impact on them. Their lifelong difficulties are diminished and trivialised by this sort of documentary.
481 It reinforces the harmful rhetoric of private ADHD diagnosis’ being invalid. It failed to explore the chronic underfunding and below par ADHD services the NHS have to offer, meanwhile demonising the services which provide an alternative to those struggling to cope. The ‘investigation’ lacked balance with the NHS professional being made aware of the investigation, it’s purpose and its biases which would easily influence them not to provide a diagnosis, along with the practitioner stating they had a pre-existing concern surrounding private clinics, the outcome is not one of surprise or scandal. It was also eye opening to see a journalist be given the privilege of access to an NHS consultation, for media purposes, while many people sit on 3+ year waitlists while struggling to cope. The episode being aired during mental health awareness week is extremely ignorant. Many viewers who are uneducated on the subject will see this and take the one sided argument as the truth, who may then further invalidate those with the condition, and/or discourage those in need of help from seeking it. The BBC painted a despicable picture of themselves by making the deciding of airing the episode.
482 There is already such a stigma surrounding ADHD regardless of NHS, Private or Right To Choose diagnoses and I feel as though this will just add to that. It gives off the narrative that people are paying for a guaranteed diagnosis when this isn’t the case. I was diagnosed privately via right to choose for Autism and I feel as though that may be the next “scandal”. I already feel as though I have to justify my struggles as someone with ADHD without the BBC feeding into the already stigmatised and negative perspective people have of ADHD.
483 I am still waiting for diagnosis and now even more people will be dismissive. This is more ableism in the media and I'm furious
484 I was diagnosed in December after waiting 6 months for a RTC assessment and about to start titration, I have spent almost an entire year building the courage to share with my friends and family as currently I only have the support of my partner and the online community and I desperately need more support around me but this has frightened so much I am now very unlikely to tell anyone else I know in real life. I have just come out of one of the worst anxiety slumps of my life and I’m scared there are many more to come.
485 I feel the rhetoric is now that if we have a private diagnosis from one of those providers it's not legitimate. I waited so long and since the NHS does use the provider I choose the one I did. Who's going to believe that diagnosis now? Will I still be able to get shared care with my GP as per the initial consultation of my GP.
486 I have recently had a diagnosis of ADHD via one of the clinics featured in the documentary. Receiving a formal diagnosis was so important to me and was such a relief, but now I don’t know if I can trust it or whether I should be in the medication I’ve been prescribed. I’m in complete turmoil and I don’t know what I’m supposed to do now.
487 I went private via RTC and due to my history I am terrified my diagnosis will be removed and a more stigmatising label applied more harshly. I am terrified that I will be told that my lifelong difficulties didn’t exist before the age of 12 despite evidence and that they only came about due to trauma. My trauma wasn’t until I was age 6 and it was caused by my unrecognised ADHD.
488 Stigma is being fanned and the flames are getting larger from this biased study which is design flawed.
489 I received a private diagnosis around 4 years ago after being told I had to wait 3 years for an NHS appointment. I’ve been quite open with work colleagues about this diagnosis path and feel that this programme serves to leave me needing to justify the validity of my diagnosis.
490 I've already seen posts from friends on social media questionaing private diagnoses and saying 'well no wonder so many people are diagnosed'. Apart from people doubting my diagnosis (they can get in the sea!) it is also really triggering RSD seeing these posts. I have enough to contend with in life and I don't need this click bait misinformation on top of that.
491 Perpetuated misunderstandings, stereotypes, stigma, reason for diagnosis, lack of compassion and understanding for those who are neurodivergent ADHD, Like we don't face enough of a barrage of dangerous, out of date, ignorant, lacking in scientific and lived experience knowledge and spouting prejudice and oppression. Sad, angry, let down, invalidated, vilified, judged, quick easy television. Nice work in mental health awareness week (which neurodivergent brain stuff gets lumped in with). Just to be clear ADHD is not a mental health condition.
492 I chair a peer support network for people with adhd or seeking assessment for it. I will now be inundated with concerned and distressed individuals worried about balancing a 5 year nhs wait against a private clinic.
493 My son had a recent private diagnosis and teachers still roll their eyes at this! This program will only add to the understanding of ADHD.
494 Perpetuates stigma and misunderstanding around neurodivergent conditions.
495 I was diagnosed less than a week ago. My family haven't believed me but this diagnosis they finally took seriously. Until today. They have now watched this and have decided that I don't have it. I am in my mid twenties known for 10 years that I have ADHD. I am literally back to 10 years ago with my family not believing a diagnosis from a psychiatrist. My NHS referred private provider wasn't even mentioned. Thanks Panorama.
496 I had a diagnosis from a respected psychiatrist I met in person who I initially visited for anxiety and burnout, he suggested ADHD to me, and who I then had a follow up assessment with and multiple titration reviews. I already worry too many people are ignorant about this topic, especially the historic underdiagnosis in women leading to many of us burning out in our late 30s, and am worried about how this is further going to cause stigma and ignorance and minimise the struggles of the neurodivergent
497 I have just disclosed my ADHD to my employer. They are struggling but trying to understand. I’ve invested so much time in diminishing the myths of adhd and getting them to understand the extent the condition has on my work life. I feel that since they know my diagnosis was private, they will judge the validity. The show also seemed to describe only 2 vague symptoms poorly which diminishes the real impact over a lifetime. My family have also gaslit my diagnosis and this will only serve to confirm their opinion that there is nothing wrong with me.
498 I feel it will make people take my diagnosis less seriously
499 It makes me feel hugely invalidated and as though the stigma and beliefs of those around me will worsen, and as though I have to prove or justify my diagnosis
500 We will be treated “lesser than” by society with our “fake” diagnosis
501 Both my son and I have recent private ADHD diagnosis”s it was a very difficult decision to decide to go down the medication pathway for my son. We are on week 2 of meds and I am very anxious on this decision now.
502 Recent diagnosis so now feel like I’ve joined a cult instead of getting control of my life at 53.
503 I'm worried that people who have watched the show will now not take my diagnosis seriously
504 I am due to have an assessment via right to choose (so with private clinic) I now worry will it be a true reflection and if I am diagnosed will it be believed that its true.
505 I think it will invalidate my diagnosis and people will think it is easy to get diagnosed. It will be taken less seriously and will increase the stigma of drug searching
506 It serves only to instill anxiety and imposter syndrome that makes life very difficult to manage as it is!
507 I’m concerned about the impact this will have on my GPs (or any future GP I am in contact with) opinion on my diagnoses validity. It’s making me question myself.
508 It was a lazy description of adhd and mainly it will make people doubt the veracity and impact of the challenges I live with
509 It’s a struggle trying to get people to take ADHD seriously and this will reinforce the message that we are all making it up
510 ADHD has majorly affected me my whole life, physically, mentally with money, school, work, relationships, literally every part of my life for 38 years. I tried to speak to a dr when I was 20 but was unable to advocate for myself and both he and I didn’t have the ADHD knowledge that I do now. Finding out about ADHD, and then gaining private diagnosis and treatment, was a life line that has been positively changing my life since. Unfortunately one of the difficult aspects of knowing you have ADHD is that not many people really understand it, so it can be hard to talk about with people and I tend not to. I feel this episode with it’s unbalanced view and poor scientific method will only further misinform and mischaracterise our community as people trying to somehow pay for a disability diagnosis. I am also about to ask for a shared care and terrified of approaching my GP. Will they have watched this episode, do they know that my Psychiatrist is an NHS one just working extra or do they think they are all the same. I imagine this will affect many people’s ability to get the care they need including myself. I feel like this show has given me PTSD. It feels like a death or breakup. 38 years of trauma living undiagnosed, to be given a life line, only for the BBC to take it way in a 30 min episode! How can I get the help I need at work if everyone just thinks I have a fake diagnosis. Anyway, I think I need to go mourn for a bit. Happy mental health week BBC.
511 I am a neurodivergent individual who is always advocating for myself and others. This just fed into the ADHD isn't real narrative.
512 I was diagnosed as a right to choose patient in a private clinic. I sought an assessment because i was struggling with difficulties consistent with adhd, as will most others accessing these services. I gave an honest description of my experienced, as a person who has lived my experience for 28 years. This documentary discredits my experience and those of others like me. I worry that my diagnosis will be seen as invalid by those who don't understand.
513 I feel like people won't take my condition seriously as they think it can be diagnosed to anyone willing to pay for it. Yet they have no idea about just how much I struggle
514 People already perceive us as 'lying' about ADHD, this show has just made it worse.
515 As a parent of a child with a private ADHD diagnosis I already feel the disorder is misunderstood by most and constantly have to explain myself/my child and advocate for my child. This programme only scratched the surface and was not a true reflection of the way most private assessments are conducted.
516 ADHD will be considered a fake thing and not a real issue
517 I have already had one person close to me tell me my diagnosis is fake and I'm "doing it for attention" after he watched the episode. He will not listen to me when I tell him I was assessed by a qualified psychiatrist, or that the medication is changing my life for the better, or even that my clinic is not featured in the episode. He just thinks I'm lying. How long before someone with a significant role in my life thinks the same thing? Is my disability no longer going to be respected?
518 I was diagnosed at 30 and have had many struggles. Noone seems to believe me and say I need to get a grip, toughen up, pull myself together, be less lazy, think about consequences etc and I finally started to feel like my family were coming round and beginning to understand and accept my diagnosis instead of blaming me for everything and now will be right back to square one
519 I've been learning about ADHD since last July and strongly suspect I may have it, as I experience most of the symptoms on a daily basis. For the first time I feel seen with my behaviours and feel I have an explanation for why I do things in certain ways. I'm hesitant to get a diagnosis though, as I feel it would just be seen as me jumping on a bandwagon and not worthy of assessment. This program hasn't helped with that, I'm going to need to push myself past my comfort levels to be seen by a GP and hope that I won't be dismissed at the first hurdle.
520 It vastly increases the likelihood people won’t perceive adhd as a real or serious disease, and increase stigma around it
521 My daughter has a private diagnosis. It is already hard enough to find support from schools and GPS for the atypical adhd female - well behaved and presented, intelligent, who masks well. But at home the wheels were falling off and we were having to put scaffolding around every aspect of her daily life. This documentary will make it even harder; the cynics even more sceptical. It also makes me question everything as a parent around my daughter and her diagnosis, and I don’t want her to have these insecurities. Where is the support from the NHS? I asked for a referral almost two years ago and still haven’t heard anything, hence the need to go private. My daughter could have failed at school due to a lack of support based on no diagnosis. It’s not good enough.
522 We are looking to go down the RTC path for our son with a private provider and feel that the diagnosis may not be seen as valid?
523 I now feel concerned about the validly of my assessment. I will now lack confidence divulging that my diagnosis was private as it may be perceived as not valid
524 Im awaiting diagnosis NHS. Told 1-2 year wait - GP was great 40 minute appointment ahead of referral. Think there could have been more coverage about challenges other than reporter saying bored and fidgety. Such a small aspect! Perhaps a good 3 hour private assessment should have been featured alongside the NHS one. Just after the programme spoke to my mum. I'm 45 with another ND condition Which makes ADHD more likely but she is sure I don't have ADHD after watching the programme and why do I want an assessment?! And everyone has it!! To be fair if the documentary hadn't of aired I doubt She'd have something to say. Made me feel invalid! I
525 Will hide my diagnosis at work. Ive already had to "defend" my private diagnosis to my parents after they watched the programme. I am 54 and was diagnosed 18 months ago. I am just about ready to move to shared care agreement proposal. I am very concerned my GP won't accept it after the approach taken in this programme.
526 I got diagnosed privately and already had people before invalidate my diagnoses by saying 'you haven't got ADHD' and now I feel this will make them believe even more that I don't which is very upsetting to me after finally feeling that it all makes sense to my life.
527 My parents are already sceptical, this will only make it worse. Even though I didn't go private - I'm not sure many people will make that distinction. A lot of people will just read the headline in the TV guide, or an inevitable article in the Express/Mail and assume it's all the same.
528 It’s making me question if I should pursue a diagnosis or just carry on struggling in day to day life
529 I was diagnosed at one of the clinics mentioned in the episode and I'm now starting shared care, due to this documentary I'm afraid my NHS GP will reject the private diagnosis and I won't be able to get the medication that literally saved my life.
530 It's hard enough telling people you have ADHD as it is. This will make people even more judgemental
531 People are dismissive of adhd anyway and this will just add fuel to the fire
532 I am awaiting assessment and feel incredibly worried and intimidated by the whole process. I feel like an imposter and that I probably just waste everyone's time and might not even have ADHD even though I genuinely believe I do. I'd prefer to avoid medication, but understand if I need it that they help, but now I feel that maybe I shouldn't take the medication as I probably don't have it and feel like I've been faking it all and my whole life was a lie and that I just have something else that is wrong with me that I need to find out now. I feel triggered and angered and I just got to the point that I felt I was a bit in control of my life and hopefully getting an assessment and now I feel like I am just someone who randomly desires an ADHD diagnosis, as if this was something people do for fun. The show made me cry and angry, it should have not been aired.
533 It increases the associated stigma and will make it harder to disclose in the workplace to colleagues who may need to know.
534 I'm a teacher working with students with ADHD, autism and dyslexia. It is a constant fight to get other staff to believe that their challenges are real and they cannot always just "control their behaviour". This programme is likely to make that battle worse.
535 People not believing my diagnosis is valid. 'Oh yeah but we all have a bit of adhd.. Oh yeah but you need to be careful of those clinics'
536 I worry that people will think that my diagnosis is invalid now. My diagnosis was not through one of the companies mentioned, but RTC through another well known company. I had a comprehensive pre assessment, showed lots of school reports that back up my symptoms and had a consultant psychiatrist diagnose and tritrate me. Medication has been life changing for me.
537 People will question whether my diagnosis was reliable