Often misdiagnosed or only diagnosed late in life, doctors and psychologists finally understand more about this condition, which certainly does not always present as the ‘classic hyperactive school child!’
ADHD is a well recognised and studied abnormality of the functioning of the brain, which results in difficulties in concentrating, organising and in some people a constant feeling of restlessness or fidgeting as well as difficulty with regulating the emotions.
Crisis Telephone numbers and support- Helpful-contact-numbers-and-links
Adults and children with this condition may notice-
Difficulty keeping appointments, remembering boring tasks such as paying bills or doing bookwork
Difficulty in social situations including struggling to read social cues, interrupting in conversations and misinterpreting facial expression and conversations
Impulsive behaviour- this may look like temper tantrums or outbursts in a child, angry outbursts or emotional difficulties in an adult; and at any age people with ADHD may find their mood fluctuates from 0-100 in the blink of an eye which is confusing and distressing for the patient, their family and friends, and also doctors who may struggle if the issue is a different mood disorder like depression or bipolar disorder. Other impulsive behaviour can include drug misuse, breaking the law, alcohol overuse, and some ‘chaos’ throuoghout life such as losing jobs, not being able to complete education and breakdown of relationships.
Thankfully ADHD now has many treatment options, including medication, ADHD coaching, mindfulness practices and psychological support.
What is the best next step if I think I or my child may have ADHD?
- Book an appointment with one of our doctors if you would like a medical opinion and to discuss further options.
- Consider completing this questionnaire for adults (yourself and an adult close to you to complete also eg your partner or spouse) and bring this to your appointment. ADHD-Adult-Screening-asrs-v1-1 ; and for children- WSR-II
- Take some time when waiting for your appointment to write down a summary of your symptoms and difficulties. This will greatly help your GP to consider a diagnosis and suggest the best management. For example- you might write down some notes about your family history (does anyone have any mood or emotional difficulties whether diagnosed or no?), How were your younger years? (happy, anxious, always getting into trouble, loved or hated school, relationships and friendships?), How were your teenage years? (happy and sociably, anxious or depressed mood, struggled to reach potential at school or work, getting into trouble with peers or teachers, any drug use or legal problems?); How have close relationships been? (settled and happy close relationships, rocky and volatile relationships even angry outbursts or violence?); Have you had any issues with drugs or alcohol? What currently affects you from having a happy and fulfilled life? (emotional ups and downs, frustrations with never being able to keep on top of the tasks of life, rocky relationships with friends or family, financial issues due to impulsive spending, trouble with drugs or alcohol?) Remember, you have had many or none of these difficulties, but taking time to think about and write this down helps your GP to help you.
- If available gather school report cards (or for your child if your child is the patient) and any information from school teachers.
- While waiting for your appointment, you might want to look at the below videos/ blogs/ podcasts and helpful websites to learn more about this condition and to start with some self help exercises. Our doctors look forward to seeing you soon.
Mindfulness in Everyday life- a useful summary from Black Dog Institute on bringing mindfulness to daily life. Mindfulness-in-Everyday-Life
ADDitude – a fantastic website with free videos, information downloads and a very comprehensive resource website. https://www.additudemag.com/tag/download/
ADHD Experts Podcasts- an excellent podcast series with paediatricians and psychologists from around the world with expertise and experience in ADHD https://www.additudemag.com/category/adhd-podcast/