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ADHD In Adults

Treatment for ADHD

Adult ADHD, also known as Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, is a condition characterised by a short attention span, hyperactivity and impulsive behaviour, as well as other symptoms that can impact daily life, work and relationships.

Video: ADHD Symptoms & Treatments

Since 2011, our team at The London Psychiatry Centre has been diagnosing and treating ADHD in adults. We are dedicated to delivering world-class care to those with this challenging condition, which affects between three to four percent of adults in the UK with a male-to-female ratio of approximately three to one.

Our team of practitioners offers a wealth of experience with a broad spectrum of mental disorders; this is underscored by our recognition for outstanding effectiveness by the Care Quality Commission.

Understanding ADHD In Adults

Adult ADHD is a neurological disorder with symptoms including persistent difficulties with attention, short-term memory, hyperactivity and impulsiveness.

ADHD can disrupt many aspects of daily life, from work and administrative tasks to home life and relationships.

A percentage of those with adult ADHD may have already been diagnosed in childhood, but there are many reasons why this might not happen, including familial or societal stigma around mental health, poor access to mental health services, or having mild symptoms that resulted in no diagnosis or misdiagnosis.

Some adults with ADHD may not know they have it, especially those who have not been diagnosed as a child. However, they may identify that they find everyday tasks challenging, including:

  • Meeting deadlines at work, college or university
  • Prioritising responsibilities
  • Remembering or being on time for appointments and social plans
  • Taking medication consistently
  • Consuming a balanced diet and eating regular meals throughout the day

Furthermore, individuals with ADHD may be at risk of developing other mental conditions, for example bipolar disorders. It is therefore important to screen for ADHD features and address them in order to prevent the development of other mental disorders.

+ - How common is adult ADHD?

While ADHD has an estimated prevalence of five percent in children according to NICE, adult ADHD is estimated to affect between three to four percent of the UK adult population. More men are diagnosed with adult ADHD than women, just as more boys are diagnosed than girls. This could be due to the differences in the way ADHD symptoms present between genders, as well as gender bias and how symptoms are perceived by others, including those in the medical community.

+ - What is ADHD?: The different types of ADHD

ADHD is a condition that comes under the wider umbrella of “neurodevelopmental disorders” because of its typical origin during the developmental phases of individuals. It affects the structure and function of the brain, and impacts areas of the brain that control executive function, emotion, attention and memory.

For example, a 2017 study followed a cross-section sample of participants with ADHD across six decades, and found that certain areas of their brains were smaller compared to those without ADHD. This was found to be most prominent in childhood, and therefore delays brain development and maturation.

ADHD can be broken down into three subtypes. These are:

  • Inattentive type – those with inattentive type ADHD are usually easily distracted; quick to become bored; can miss details; have trouble focusing on a single task; struggle to organise thoughts; may appear to be daydreaming or not listening; find it difficult to take direction; and often forget or lose items.
  • Hyperactive-impulsive type – those affected by hyperactive-impulsive type ADHD often fidget or feel restless; absentmindedly touch objects around them; constantly talk or blurt out speech; find it difficult to be quiet or patient.
  • Combination type – those with combination type ADHD will find that most of their symptoms do not fall mostly within inattentive or hyperactive-impulsive type ADHD. Instead, they have a combination of symptoms of both these types. Most cases of ADHD are combination type.
+ - What are the symptoms of ADHD in adults?

The symptoms of ADHD in adults may not be as clear as those in children, and adults may develop ways to mask their symptoms so they become less obvious to other people.

Alongside the typical symptoms of a short attention span, hyperactivity and impulsive behaviour, adults with ADHD may experience other mental, emotional and physical symptoms.

Mental symptoms include:

  • Forgetfulness
  • Hyperfocus
  • Poor self confidence and self image
  • Lack of motivation
  • Disorganisation
  • Impulsivity
  • Mood swings
  • Anxiety
  • Depression

Emotional symptoms include:

  • Difficulty controlling emotions
  • Lack of sensitivity or attentiveness towards others
  • Conduct disorder (antisocial or aggressive behaviour)

Physical symptoms include:

  • Fidgeting and restlessness
  • Fatigue
  • Trouble sleeping
  • Constant talking
  • The need to touch or play with objects around them

Those with ADHD are also more likely to abuse substances in comparison to those who do not have ADHD.

Getting An Adult ADHD Assessment

When seeking a diagnosis for ADHD, it is best to attend a clinic that deals with a variety of different mental health and neurodevelopmental issues, where expert clinicians are best placed to rule out other problems so that you can be confident in your diagnosis and treatment.

To be diagnosed with ADHD, a patient must have symptoms that cause significant difficulties in at least two areas of daily life. These areas include home life, education or employment, relationships and housing.

There is no single diagnostic test for ADHD. Instead, you will undergo a comprehensive assessment that involves utilising the latest digital technology, screening tools, physical health examinations and face to face consultations.

What’s involved in our adult ADHD enhanced assessment package?

3.5hr face-to-face with consultant psychiatrists who have years of specialist knowledge diagnosing and treating ADHD

Easily accessible Central London location

State of the art computerised assessment: Qb test – a NICE-approved test with instant results to give us objective data beyond subjective data

Physical health investigations, blood test, ECG, blood pressure, height and weight measurements

Self-rating screening tools to carefully map personal needs

Full report with diagnosis, scoring, and treatment recommendations

+ - What is the treatment for ADHD in adults?

For adults with ADHD, there are two types of therapy that can be used in treatment: psychotherapy and medicine. These therapies can be combined, and your psychotherapist will advise on the best treatment plan for your individual case.

One type of psychotherapy offered for the treatment of ADHD is Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, or CBT. It is a talking therapy that focuses on teaching you skills to manage behaviour, and on how your thinking patterns affect your feelings and behaviour. It is widely successful across the spectrum.

NICE guidelines suggest the following medications for adult ADHD: Methylphenidate, Lisdexamfetamine, Dexamfetamine, Atomoxetine and Guanfacine. It is important to note that these medications are not a cure for ADHD. Instead, they support the management of the condition by improving concentration, impulsivity, emotional balance and the ability to process and learn new information.

We will also work with you to ensure you have practical techniques you can use to help manage your condition on a daily basis.

+ - Do I have adult ADHD?

To be diagnosed with ADHD, you must have ADHD symptoms that significantly impact at least two areas of your life. These areas could be your work or education, relationships, home life or housing. However, don’t discount yourself from diagnosis if you are unsure; these areas of your life could be impacted without you realising, especially if you have developed some form of coping strategy. Getting diagnosed and treated could help increase your quality of life and allow you to take control of your mental wellbeing.

+ - Why choose TLPC for your adult ADHD diagnosis?

At The London Psychiatry Centre, our consultants have many years’ experience in diagnosing and treating ADHD in adults. In addition, our team specialises in a wide range of mental health conditions, allowing us the expert capability of ruling out other conditions and providing you with an accurate diagnosis and appropriate treatment recommendation. We utilise the very best, NICE-approved testing methods, including the Qb test.

+ - Why do we use the Qb test?

The Qb test is a state-of-the-art test used to support the diagnosis of ADHD, and for treatment optimisation. This NICE-approved test takes just 15 to 20 minutes to complete, and combines a computer-based task requiring patients to use a subjective rating scale, with facial recognition technology to measure activity.

+ - How much does ADHD treatment cost?

You can view the price for our adult ADHD assessment packages on our fees page. There are factors which influence the type of treatment necessary for ADHD, including the severity of the case and whether any other conditions are diagnosed in tandem. For this reason, treatment costs can vary.

If you have any questions about ADHD symptoms or treatment, or would like to book a consultation with one of our specialist ADHD consultants, please call us on 020 7580 4224.

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