This article was written by a close friend of mine, at my request. I hope that it will help parents, family, adults and children with ADHD, and potential, not yet diagnosed sufferers of ADHD.

Dr Carmel O’Toole

What does ADHD feel like?

Having been asked what it’s like to have ADHD is a difficult and painful question to answer.
Does the person asking the question really care, or are they an ADHD sceptic and I’ll have to justify, argue, defend, or get angry. Here is my attempt to explain what if feels like to have ADHD.

Just over three years ago I was diagnosed with ADHD. I was given a prescription of Ritalin, told to take a tablet the next morning and see what happens…..

If I go back about 8 year earlier, my oldest son was diagnosed with ADHD and was prescribed Ritalin. His Doctor advised “ you will know within 30 minutes if the medication has worked”
My son took the tablet. I waited; we went outside and played cricket, and for first time my son didn’t take a swing at the first ball, and run off.
We played for twenty minutes. We had a conversation that lasted longer than one minute. None of that had never happened before in his entire life.

I take the tablet and wait…(with little hope, having seen psychologists, psychiatrists, counsellors for years and nothing has worked)….45 minutes and now I know what it’s like to have ADHD.
That because I now know what it’s like to not have ADHD.

The voices stop for the first time (and I cry).
I have one thought at a time.
I can sit, I can type a report in one sitting, I can do one task from beginning to end, I can sit in a cafe and have a coffee.
I can eat in a restaurant and not have to leave as soon as I have finished, I can wait quietly in a queue, I can listen to boring things, I don’t blurt out things impulsively, and regret it later.
I can now concentrate and remember so many things, for example, to pick up all the things I need when I leave a room; if I am making appointments, I remember to write down the name and the telephone number and other details so I will actually remember appointments and how to get to them; I can now remember what I have entered the room to get…..

These are all new to me; it feels like I was blind for 51 years, and now I can see. When my eldest son took Ritalin he could talk to me.
I take a tablet .
60 minutes later, as I am walking my youngest son to school, I ask him
“What are you doing at school today?”
He replies: “Today we have sport and we are seeing how many repetitions of exercises we can do in a minute, push ups, sit-ups, pull-ups, last week I got to 49 sit-ups this week I want to get to 60, we have got music and we are doing a play but this play will be harder because I have to learn the lines……”

I listen intently for 15 minutes with no other thoughts entering my head.

My son takes a tablet and he can talk to me for the first time , eight years later I take a tablet and I can listen to my son for the first time.
What does ADHD feel like? You really don’t want to know.


Mental Health Week Victoria

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Have you got a holiday planned for Spring or Summer?

If so, we can help you prepare for that holiday so that it is not spoilt by preventable illness. We have a variety of travel vaccines for every traveller and we can tailor the information exactly to your trip and your itinerary. We have a travel medicine form which we get you to complete and this will help us help you. In this form you’ll be asked to give as much information as you possibly can, so please give us as much detail as possible. We will go trough it with you when you come in, but having accurate information that you’ve researched beforehand makes it very efficient. Remember: don’t leave it until the last minute as vaccines take time to work. We would like you to ideally come in and see us 6 weeks before your intended departure date.


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Dr Carmel O’Toole has been doing an update in menopause management at the Jean Hailes Medical Centre in Clayton. As part of this, she recently travelled to New Zealand for the Australasian Menopause Society’s annual conference. She has come back from this conference full of enthusiasm and new ideas, which she will be sharing with other members of the medical team. Last year, she ran a successful education evening on menopause, and she is keen to repeat this if there is interest.

It’s stating the obvious but Menopause affects all women. The interesting thing is that no two women are the same. Menopause management is now seen as an opportunity for health interventions and health promotion in the midlife transition. This is because it’s not just about the symptoms that you may experience, but also about the changes that occur in our body at this time. These changes affect your heart, your blood pressure, your cholesterol, your weight, your bones and your mood! This is the time to implement a proactive wellness strategy, and all the doctors here are ready to help you do this.

For more Information on Menopause, visit Jean Hailes on the following link.