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by Dr. Becky Spelman on 30/10/2014

Could you have ADHD?

You’ve probably heard of ADHD (Attention Deficit Disorder) with respect to childhood disorders, but ADHD is prevalent among adults, too – and just as with children, sufferers tend to experience a range of issues that can impact on their everyday lives, from difficulty sitting still to problems with concentration.

Because many of the behavioural and emotional symptoms involved in ADHD can also be associated with other conditions, strict criteria need to be fulfilled before someone is given a diagnosis. In particular, they have to have displayed several of the symptoms persistently before the age of six. However, because the study of ADHD is relatively new, many adults were never diagnosed as children and finally start getting the help they need only when they themselves look for support with the issues that impact on their daily lives.

What does ADHD in adulthood look like?

ADHD in adulthood can be manifested in difficulties with starting and organising tasks, problems with sustaining focus and effort, difficulties with regulating stress and emotion, issues around short term memory, and with self-control and emotional regulation. Needless to say, all of this can contribute to significant problems in one’s daily life, both at home and at work. Adults with ADHD often worry that they are dealing with problems that they should have “grown out of” by now, or that there are not treatments to help them. Many may have experienced periods of their lives when they attempted to “self-medicate” for their problem behaviours with alcohol, illegal drug use, or other damaging factors.

In fact, while most people with ADHD will experience a range of symptoms all their lives, there are actually many potential approaches to treatment.

What is involved in an ADHD/ADD assessment?

In order to asses for ADHD/ADD properly in order to get an accurate diagnosis it’s import to used a combination of psychometric screening tools along with clinical interview.

The Psychometrics tools we use are as follows:

Adults: CAARS Conners Adult ADHD Rating Scales
Children: Connors 3rd edition

What sort of treatments are there?

Some sufferers benefit from medication, particularly if a suitable non-stimulant medication can be prescribed. Most, if not all, also benefit from a range of psychotherapeutic approaches, including cognitive-behavioural therapy, behavioural training, relaxation and stress management, and coaching or mentoring designed to help them to manage their symptoms in the various areas of their lives.

Cognitive Behavioural Therapy

CBT may be a good choice for adults with ADHD when:

  • Your preference is not to have drug treatment
  • You aren’t satisfied with drug treatments you’ve tried in the past.
  • You find it difficult to take medication.
  • Your symptoms are mild to moderate rather than severe.
  • You are concerned you may misuse the substance based on a history of substance misuse.


For medication options, please call to discuss. Our psychiatrists can discuss all the ADHD/ADD medication and treatment options with you and help you decide what might be best for you.

If you would like to talk to someone about ADHD, please get in touch with us at the Private Therapy Clinic by telephone at: 020 38871738 or by email to: info@privatetherapyclinic.com