The fact that I am 37 years old, two months ago, feeling my best years were a long way behind me and increasingly becoming sceptical about medical professionals’ ability to make a significant tangible impact on improving, let alone curing serious mental health ailments has left me pleasantly humble.
I cannot possibly put into words just how grateful my loved ones and I are to Dr Kah Mirza for doing just that. The most significant and reoccurring comment I get is that I have become a better version of myself. I know the comments are sincere as that’s exactly how I felt within a few days of my first session with Dr Mirza. Not usually one to even afford time to give very quick verbal feedback, I feel I have to put my experience into words in the hope that anyone feeling rock bottom, hopeless and devoid of any reward or meaning from life may feel reassured enough to make an appointment with Dr Mirza and take control of their lives.
I did my research on my symptoms, previous medical history, most probable missed diagnoses and various practices that would most likely be specialists in those areas as I felt as if I was speaking a different language when I consulted with Doctors and counsellors. Despite my persistence and numerous appointments with several professionals I frequently walked out feeling worse and less hopeful than when I went in. If there was one positive to take from all those assessments, it’s the fact that, yep, I could still fall lower!
I provide a very brief summary of my history and symptoms as I understand there is some scepticism around ADHD symptoms. Even I questioned myself at times, wondering if my inability to cope with so much background noise and ordering my thoughts wasn’t a condition but rather my own failure in effectively planning my day, articulating my thoughts or as a result of so many more distractions being available now than ever before in the form of modern phones, internet, social media, portable computers, busy lives etc. I can now undoubtedly say there is a distinct difference between spending too much time being distracted and having to turn your life upside down in a well meaning yet draining set of coping mechanisms which will eventually leave you completely drained at best.
My school years were not my happiest. In my early stages of school, I seemed to just somehow get by despite feeling constrained, unable to effectively express myself and being easily distracted. I missed whole lessons despite bring present in body. As I became older, my inability to pay attention (sometimes falling asleep in class), complete homework deadlines and perform as class clown were no longer deemed quite so cute. My grades deteriorated as did my behaviour.
Unsurprisingly I vastly under achieved and lost all confidence in my academic ability. In hindsight I now look back and wonder what might have been if appropriate diagnosis for ADHD and treatment were put in place. I had learned that I was different but had no idea how or why.
Over the years as an adult I developed numerous coping mechanisms and I did have many successes and memorable moments in my career yet I felt it was a mixture of these mechanisms and having to work far longer just to be at a level playing surface with my colleagues. Deep down I found myself questioning why life was so difficult.
In my early 30’s I collapsed at home due to ignoring symptoms of what seemed like a worsening flu or fever for two weeks (I was often ill despite being into health and fitness). I fell in a coma as I in fact had pneumonia which had by that time infected both lungs, perforated one and spread further into my blood stream causing septicaemia.
From the time I was discharged from hospital up until very recently I suffered from debilitating panic attacks, anxiety and depression on top of my underlining ADHD. I believe it’s important to learn from mistakes and not have regrets however I do occasionally wonder what might have been if I saw Dr Mirza prior to my collapse.
When I researched my symptoms on the internet I realised that a lot of my searches pointed to Dr Mirza. Due to his truly impressive and extensive experience with PTSD, substance misuse (self medicating in my case) and ADHD in adults as well as children I realised that all I had to do when I got an appointment was to be painfully honest and unguarded and I would finally be in the hands of a true professional. The more I read about Dr Mirza and ADHD the more I recalled my childhood through till present and it seemed to directly correlate. Despite being excited about finally getting to see a foremost expert I felt very nervous initially. After all, Dr Mirza is a top Neuro Scientist, Psychiatrist, on the board of Mindfulness Centre of Excellence and had been practising medicine before I even learned to walk. I imagined raised eyebrows, disapproving looks and a lecture to boot as I divulged the most sensitive parts of my history at a time I was at my lowest.
My fears were could not have been further from the truth. Dr Mirza is an extremely warm and compassionate human being. Within minutes I felt a rapport, bond and trust I had not felt before. Due to my inability to focus and continually digress I was concerned I would not be able to convey everything effectively. My advice is not to worry as I did. No matter how many times I went off track Dr Mirza had this uncanny ability to bring me back on track. Dr Mirza has a multi approach method to positively re wiring the brain which in my case involved objectively re examining my thoughts and the way I viewed myself mindfulness and tailor suited medication. I didn’t expect to see such life changing results in such a short space of time. I wasted so much energy chasing after abilities and virtues I wish I had not realising I they were present all along. Without wishing to overstate the point, I can’t thank Dr Mirza enough for not only helping me realise my best years are not behind me but that I am living them.