ADHD Information on assessment and treatment
Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is a neurodevelopmental disorder marked by three key symptom patterns : attentional problems, hyperactivity and impulsivity. All of which can interfere with the functional ability of the individual.
ADHD is more common in males than females, and females with ADHD are more likely to have problems primarily with inattention. Other conditions, such as learning disabilities, anxiety disorder, conduct disorder, depression and substance abuse are common in people with ADHD.
- Making careless mistakes at work, home and other activities. Not paying attention to instructions and chores. Work can be poorly organised and full of errors. They may try to manage by repeatedly checking their work taking a long time to complete tasks.
- Failing to sustain attention in tasks or play, including conversations, lectures, or lengthy reading
- Often appearing not to listen when spoken to directly
- Having difficulty finishing tasks. However, they can be “hyper focused “at times on task that interest them. They may get bored easily and easily sidetracked
- They can be disorganised. They may have trouble keeping appointments on time and unable to keep to a schedule.
- They tend to avoid or dislike tasks that require sustained mental effort, such as preparing reports, completing forms or reviewing lengthy papers. As a child, they may have avoided doing homework until the deadline and avoided tasks that were repetitive.
- They often lose things necessary for tasks and activities such as wallets , keys, paperwork and phones
- They may find that they often daydream and be easily distracted by unrelated thoughts or external stimuli
- Be forgetful in daily activities, such as chores, errands, returning calls, and keeping appointments
- Fidget and squirm in their seats
- Leave their seats in situations when staying seated is expected, such as in the classroom or in the office.
- Run or dash around or climb in situations where it is inappropriate as a child . However in adults these symptoms may not be so obvious . They often feel restless when sat down for long periods.
- They are unable to engage in hobbies quietly.
- They can be constantly “on the go,” or act as if “driven by a motor”
- They may talk excessively and often interrupt others.
- Have trouble waiting his or her turn
- Interrupt or intrude on others, for example in conversations, games, or activities
- Cigarette smoking, alcohol use, or drug use during pregnancy
- Exposure to environmental toxins during pregnancy
- Exposure to environmental toxins, such as high levels of lead, at a young age
- Low birth weight
- Brain injuries
The symptoms of ADHD can often present in the normal population. To fit the criteria for ADHD the symptoms must be pervasive i.e. present from an early age and long-lasting. Patients should have suffered difficulties in several areas of their life such as in education, work, relationships and social activities. Diagnosis of ADHD requires a comprehensive assessment by a clinician who has expertise in ADHD. The assessment process at Midlands Mind Clinic will involve a clinical interview using standard diagnostic tools where information will be gathered regarding your current symptoms as well as a detailed developmental history. The doctor will also ensure that symptoms are not due to another medical or psychiatric condition. You will receive a full report following the assessment.
The mainstay of treatment in ADHD is medication . There are a variety of stimulant and non-stimulant medication used to treat ADHD. Medication is very effective in most patients. Your doctor at Midlands Mind Clinic will discuss the treatment options and side effects and work out an individualised treatment plan for you.
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