Attention deficit hyperactive disorder (ADHD), is a neurological disorder that affects concentration and impulse control. The large majority of individuals who have ADHD are diagnosed between the ages of 3 and 7, however, some cases can be missed as a child and are diagnosed in adulthood.
How is ADHD diagnosed?
In order to be diagnosed with ADHD, it requires a detailed assessment with an ADHD specialist. There are two main elements of an ADHD assessment process.
Initially, there are several questionnaires that you are required to complete prior to your appointment to support the diagnostic process. We gather information from various sources including family members/teachers/significant others who know you well.
Secondly, the patient (along with parent/carer if a child) will have a detailed assessment with a consultant psychiatrist (lasting 2-3 hours). You are encouraged to bring the person who also filled out the pre-assessment questionnaires with you to help with the assessment.
Once you have been assessed you will receive a clinical decision regarding diagnosis. If a diagnosis is given, treatment options will be discussed with you and a clinical report detailing the assessment including your, or your child’s assessment outcome will be written and sent to you within 10 days of your assessment.
Treatment Options for ADHD
There are a number of treatment options for ADHD to help relieve the symptoms and provide you with coping mechanisms.
There are currently 5 types of ADHD medications licensed in the UK:
Although they are not considered a permanent cure, this medication can be used on a daily basis to help with concentration and impulse control, making you feel calmer.
Dosage levels and when to take any medications should be discussed with your diagnosing consultant as there are implications and side effects to be aware of when taking medication to alleviate symptoms of ADHD.
In combination or as a stand-alone treatment, therapy can be very beneficial when treating ADHD. Therapy can also be a powerful tool for not only the person with ADHD but the people around them, as it can help parents or partners learn how to support the person with ADHD.
There are 4 main types of therapy available for the person with ADHD and the people around them:
Psychoeducation encourages you or your child to openly and honestly discuss how they are feeling regarding ADHD and also can provide some invaluable coping mechanisms for daily routine which may help alleviate some of the struggles patient with ADHD may experience.
Involves the caregivers of a child with ADHD, parents and teachers, as it requires behaviour management, which uses positive reinforcement to encourage the behaviours you want. Behaviour Therapy also involves learning how to structure activities, particularly boring activities to maintain attention.
Social Skills Training
Social Skills Training is mainly aimed at children with ADHD and involves them taking part in role-playing situations to learn how to respond to certain social cues.
Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT)
CBT is a talking therapy which is used for a number of behavioural conditions and mental health issues. It can be done individually or in a group therapy setting.
Getting help with ADHD
Our ADHD service is delivered by our team of specialist psychiatrists who have experience in assessing and supporting individuals with ADHD. Our pathway can be delivered both face-to-face and online. Contact us today to arrange an ADHD assessment.