Adult ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder) is a mental or neurobehavioural disorder characterised by significant difficulties of inattentiveness, hyperactivity, impulsiveness or a combination.
ADHD is a pattern of problems, which is often picked up in childhood however, in many cases the symptoms are not recognised until people are over the age of 18. Around 3 to 5 in every 100 school aged children have ADHD. More than two out of every three of those diagnosed with ADHD as children continue to have these problems as teenagers. 2 out of 3 of these will still have problems as adults and it is significantly under-diagnosed in the UK. The way ADHD presents in adults can be more subtle than in children, this is why a careful and thorough clinical assessment by a specialised and highly skilled clinician is needed to ascertain the diagnosis.
It is crucial to see a clinician who is skilled in diagnosing Adult ADHD and at the same time is experienced in diagnosing patients who suffer with other mental health disorders that can be mistaken for ADHD. It is well known that treatment of these disorders is quite different and successful outcomes depend on accurate diagnosis. ADHD sufferers are often very intelligent, creative and intuitive people who regularly exhibit symptoms including:
- Sense of underachievement, organisational difficulties, procrastination, and many projects underway simultaneously which are seldom completed
- Interpersonal problems, a tendency to blurt things out without thinking and problems in relationships
- Search for high stimulation and low threshold tolerance
- A tendency to worry, a sense of insecurity and mood swings
- Anxiety, depression and substance misuse