What is ADHD?
ADHD, or Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, is a neuro-developmental condition with strong genetic influence affecting 4% of adults. It is present across all racial, ethnic and socioeconomic lines around the world. ADHD is present from childhood and can continue into adulthood, with 50% of adults continuing to suffer from the symptoms.
It is characterised by age inappropriate symptoms of hyperactivity, impulsivity, and/or inattention. Hyperactive and impulsive symptoms are more likely to improve with age whereas inattentive symptoms and functional impairments tend to persist. Adults with ADHD are more likely to also suffer from symptoms of depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder, antisocial personality disorder and alcohol or drug misuse.
ADHD can easily be misdiagnosed or overlooked as there are similar symptoms with other mental health conditions. If a person with ADHD is left undiagnosed and untreated, it can cause significant personal, social and economic burdens that can have a negative impact on overall quality of life.
Should you find that you have been consistently experiencing five or more of the following symptoms since childhood, you may want to contact us to discuss possible treatment.
- Difficulty sustaining attention in tasks
- Not seem to listen when spoken to directly
- Have difficulty organising tasks and activities
- Avoid, dislike, or is reluctant to engage in tasks that require sustained mental effort
- Not follow through on instructions
- Fail to give close attention to details or make careless mistakes
- Lose things necessary for tasks or activities
- Fail to finish duties
- Forgetful in daily activities
- Fidget with hands/feet or squirms in seat
- Difficulty staying in seat in situations where remaining seated is expected
- Subjective feelings of restlessness
- Difficulty engaging in leisure activities quietly
- Appear on the go/acts as if driven by a motor
- Talks excessively
- Blurt out the answers before a questions has been completed
- Have difficulty awaiting one’s turn
- Interrupt or intrude on others’ activities.
Diagnosis of ADHD
A diagnosis of ADHD should only be made by a qualified health care professional with training and expertise in the diagnosis of ADHD. The process consists of a full clinical assessment including a psychosocial assessment and a full developmental and psychiatric history.
These assessments look at the person’s needs, coexisting conditions, social, familial and educational or occupational circumstances and physical health (to determine if there is a physical disorder or other problem causing the symptoms).
Treatment for ADHD
NICE Guidelines (CG-72) recommends a treatment that first consists of medication which is followed up with psychological interventions, mainly Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT). Certain medications can help someone with ADHD to concentrate better, be less impulsive, feel calmer and be able to learn and practice new skills. Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (CBT) can help a child or adult with ADHD learn better ways to handle their emotions and frustration. It can also help improve their self-esteem. Therapy can be also be effective in treating the other mental health issues often present with ADHD. Also, counselling may help family members better understand their relative with ADHD.
At The Insight Network we offer comprehensive support for all matters related to ADHD. Our highly trained specialists provide:
- An initial consultation
- Full psychiatric and psychological assessments
- Ongoing psychological support