Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) in Adults

Research and knowledge of ADHD and how in particular, it affects adults is increasing. For years, it has been a poorly understood condition and many adults have had their diagnosis missed when young. They may for example have had difficulty concentrating and organising themselves as a child but were not particularly overactive.

In adults, ADHD symptoms continue to be poorly recognised and therefore undertreated. We have the experience and the skills required to help determine if you may be suffering from this illness and can offer you treatment to help you regain control over your life.

Symptoms

Symptoms of ADHD start in childhood and include a combination of persistent problems such as difficulty paying attention, over activity and impulsive behaviour.

It was initially thought that ADHD was an illness that only affected children. However, it has become increasingly recognised that in many cases the symptoms continue into adulthood. A study published in 2009 suggested that the illness affects around 2.5% of the adult population. In the UK that equates to around 1 in 50 people.

Adult ADHD symptoms may not be a clear as some of the ADHD symptoms in children – over activity may decrease but other symptoms such as impulsivity and difficulty paying attention may continue.

Many adults with ADHD feel inadequate and frustrated and find it difficult to cope with the everyday stresses of life. They may feel ashamed or frustrated with their own disorganisation and forgetfulness. They may also have problems with anger control and some feel like they are living on an emotional rollercoaster.

Experiencing symptoms of adult ADHD can have a significant impact on everyday life and may lead to unstable relationships – at home and at work. Others may experience poor work performance and low self-esteem. In addition to this, Adult ADHD often coexists with other illnesses such as depression, anxiety and alcohol/drug abuse.

Treatment

If you think you may be suffering from symptoms of adult ADHD, we recommend that you are assessed by a Consultant Psychiatrist experienced in this field. They can help identify whether you have this illness and in addition will also assess whether you have any of the coexisting illnesses, listed above.

Here at the Psychiatry Group, Bristol, we can prescribe medication if indicated.