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Treatment for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)

We offer specialist consultations and treatment for adults with ADHD

Doctor physician consulting with male patients in hospital psychology clinic exam room
ADHD is an abbreviation for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. The exact cause of ADHD is not fully understood, but we know it is a type of neurodevelopmental condition, meaning it is a condition that affects the way your brain develops from childhood into adulthood. The main symptoms of ADHD are related to hyperactivity (constant motion), impulsivity, and inattention.

ADHD is common and can affect both children and adults, but symptoms impact each group differently. This is mostly because adults and children live very different lives. For example, ADHD in children can affect their ability to complete homework, follow instructions and rules at home, and pay attention in the classroom. In adults, the condition can lead to difficulty managing stress, restlessness in their everyday lives, and trouble staying organised at work. Adults with ADHD are significantly more likely than the general population to experience other mental health conditions such as mood and anxiety disorders.

At Circle Health Group, we offer specialist consultations and treatment for adults with ADHD. To find out more about treatment delivered by our network of psychiatrists, call us or book online.

Key symptoms of the condition fall under the categories of inattentiveness (difficulty concentrating and focusing) and hyperactivity and impulsiveness.

Symptoms related to inattentiveness

  • Being easily distracted
  • Making careless mistakes at school or work
  • Being forgetful or losing things regularly
  • Being unable to complete tasks that are tedious or time-consuming

Symptoms related to hyperactivity and impulsivity

  • Being unable to sit still and fidgeting frequently
  • Being unable to concentrate on tasks
  • Excessive physical movement
  • Excessive talking and interrupting

People in the following groups may have increased prevalence of ADHD compared with the general population:

  • People born preterm
  • Children and young people diagnosed with oppositional defiant disorder or conduct disorder (behavioural problems)
  • Children and young people with mood disorders (for example, anxiety and depression)
  • People with a close family member diagnosed with ADHD
  • People with neurodevelopmental disorders (for example, autism spectrum disorder)

ADHD can impact a person's ability to focus, control impulsive behaviours, and manage hyperactivity. This can make it difficult for individuals with ADHD to perform everyday tasks, maintain relationships, and regulate their emotions. People with ADHD may have trouble with social interactions and maintaining friendships. They may also experience impulsivity and difficulties with communication. Individuals may have difficulty following through with responsibilities and managing their time, which can lead to conflicts with loved ones. They may also struggle with maintaining a consistent daily routine.

People with ADHD may also have trouble falling asleep and staying asleep, leading to fatigue and difficulty functioning during the day. They may be at an increased risk of having anxiety and depression, as well as other co-occurring conditions.

If you have ADHD, you might struggle with any of the challenges mentioned above. But with proper treatment and support, you can learn long-lasting strategies to manage your symptoms and lead a normal, happy life.

"People with ADHD can manage their symptoms and lead normal successful, fulfilling lives. While ADHD is a chronic condition that cannot be cured, it can be effectively managed with appropriate treatment and support.

This may include medication, therapy, and/or lifestyle changes. Medications such as stimulants can help to improve attention and impulse control, while therapy can help individuals learn strategies for managing their symptoms and improving their overall functioning.

Lifestyle changes, such as creating a consistent daily routine, making changes to the environment, and learning time management strategies can also be helpful." - Dr Olga Runcie, Consultant Psychiatrist at The Albyn Hospital.

ADHD does not mean that a person is unintelligent, lazy, or "difficult" to be around. ADHD is a disorder that affects your attention, impulse control, and hyperactivity. It is not a measure of a person's intelligence or work ethic.

People with ADHD can be just as intelligent and hardworking as anyone else, but they may have difficulty with specific tasks such as staying focused or completing projects on time. Additionally, some people with ADHD may also have difficulty regulating their emotions, which can lead to impulsivity or difficulty in communication with others, but that also doesn't mean that they are difficult to be around.

ADHD and communication

ADHD can affect communication in adults in a number of ways. Some adults with ADHD may have difficulty with verbal expression and may struggle to find the right words to express themselves. They may also have difficulty with listening, following instructions, and understanding conversations.

Adults with ADHD may also have trouble with social interactions and may struggle with maintaining relationships. They may have difficulty with impulse control, which can lead to impulsivity, irritability, and difficulty in communication. They may interrupt others, speak too loudly or too fast, or have difficulty taking turns in conversations.

Individuals with ADHD may also have difficulty with nonverbal communication such as understanding facial expressions, body language, or tone of voice. They may also have difficulty with understanding sarcasm, jokes, or irony.

Research has shown that adults with ADHD have a higher risk of developing anxiety and depression compared to adults without ADHD. Studies have found that adults with ADHD have a two to three times greater risk of developing anxiety and depression than adults without ADHD.

Anxiety and depression may be caused by the difficulties that people with ADHD experience in their daily lives. Difficulty with time management, organisation, and planning can lead to stress and anxiety. Difficulty with social interactions and maintaining relationships can lead to social isolation and low self-esteem. Difficulty with self-motivation and procrastination can lead to feelings of guilt, shame, and failure.

Managing your emotions with ADHD

ADHD can affect emotions in adults in a number of ways. Some adults with ADHD may have difficulty managing their emotions and regulating their mood, which can lead to impulsivity, irritability, and difficulty in communication. They may also have difficulty with emotional regulation and experience mood swings, frustration and anger.

There's no one simple test to diagnose ADHD - but there is a specialist assessment your consultant can carry out at your initial consultation. This involves assessing your medical history and gathering information from third parties, such as previous school reports, developmental assessments, and opinions from parents and partners. It is always helpful for your consultant to speak directly with a parent or relative who has known you since childhood.

Your consultant will want to know how ADHD affects your ability to carry out everyday life as usual. Examples can include educational and occupational problems, as well as difficulties in your social life and relationships.

As part of your assessment, your consultant will ask about your present symptoms of hyperactivity and impulsiveness. Under current diagnostic guidelines, a diagnosis of ADHD in adults cannot be confirmed unless your symptoms have been present from childhood.

If you are diagnosed with ADHD, your consultant will go on to explain the various treatment options available to help you manage the condition.

There are various treatment options for ADHD. Medication (stimulants) can help people manage their symptoms.

Behavioral therapy, such as cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) or coaching can help adults with ADHD develop strategies for managing their symptoms and improving their overall functioning. It can also help to address any co-occurring conditions such as anxiety or depression.

Adopting healthy lifestyle habits, such as regular exercise, a healthy diet, and good sleep hygiene, can help to improve symptoms of ADHD. Additionally, simple changes to your environment, such as decluttering, breaking down tasks into smaller steps, and setting reminders can help to reduce distractions and improve focus.

We offer all of the above treatment options for ADHD across our network of hospitals at Circle Health Group.

When you choose to go private with Circle Health Group, you can expect:

If you want to know more about treatment for ADHD and if it's right for you, book your appointment online today or call a member of our team directly on 0141 300 5009.

Content reviewed by Circle in-house team in March 2023. Next review due March 2026.

  1. ADHD, NHS
  2. Adult Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), Mayo Clinic
  3. Symptoms of ADHD. NHS
  4. What is ADHD?, CDC

Specialists offering Treatment for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)

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