ADHD Frequently Asked Questions

If you’re seeking information about ADHD symptoms, diagnosis, treatment or its impact on various aspects of life you’ll find valuable insights through these frequently asked questions. Whether you suspect you have ADHD, have recently received a diagnosis or want to support someone with ADHD these answers are here to provide clarity and guidance.


What is ADHD?

ADHD (Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder) is a neuro-developmental disorder that primarily affects attention, impulse control and hyperactivity. It is characterised by persistent patterns of inattention, impulsivity and hyperactivity that can significantly impact daily life.

Common signs of ADHD in adults encompass a wide range of symptoms. These may include difficulty focusing on tasks, impulsivity, forgetfulness, disorganisation, difficulty with time management, restlessness and trouble sustaining attention on activities.

Diagnosing ADHD in adults involves a comprehensive assessment by a qualified healthcare professional. This typically includes a thorough review of the individual’s medical and psychiatric history, an assessment of current symptoms and sometimes psychological testing. It’s essential to rule out other potential causes of similar symptoms by a trained and experienced psychiatrist.

ADHD certainly does persist into adulthood. While it is often diagnosed in childhood at least 2 out of 3 individuals continue to experience symptoms into adulthood.

Yes, ADHD is a recognised and well-documented medical condition. It is supported by extensive scientific research and its validity as a distinct neurodevelopmental disorder is widely accepted in the medical and psychological communities. It is clearly defined by international and national diagnostic criterion such as the DSM and ICD criteria.

Yes, ADHD symptoms can overlap with those of other mental health disorders. Conditions like anxiety, depression, bipolar disorder and even certain learning disabilities can sometimes present with symptoms similar to those seen in ADHD. This overlap can make accurate diagnosis challenging and hence diagnosis should only be carried out by a suitably qualified psychiatrist that has experience not only in ADHD but other mental disorders.

There is a strong genetic component to ADHD. Research indicates that individuals with a family history of ADHD are at a higher risk of developing the disorder themselves.  This means if you have a child, parent or sibling that has been diagnosed you should consider having an assessment for yourself.

The exact cause of ADHD is not yet fully understood. Research suggests that it involves a complex interplay of genetic, neurological and environmental factors with genetic factors playing the biggest role. Differences in brain structure and neurotransmitter function are believed to contribute to the development of ADHD.

The treatment of ADHD typically involves a multi-modal approach. Treatment options include medication, ADHD coaching, psychological therapy, counselling and lifestyle adjustments. The specific treatment plan should be tailored to the individual’s needs and preferences.

Medications used to treat ADHD include stimulants (e.g., methylphenidate) and non-stimulants (e.g., atomoxetine). Stimulants are often the first-line treatment but the choice of medication depends on factors like individual response and potential side effects.

Medications for ADHD can have side effects although not everyone experiences them. Common side effects of stimulant medications may include decreased appetite, insomnia or increased heart rate. Non-stimulant medications may have different side effects such as drowsiness or changes in blood pressure. It’s important to discuss potential side effects with your healthcare provider and to have a healthcare provider that has expertise in monitoring and managing any side-effects.

Yes, therapy can be highly effective in managing ADHD symptoms. ADHD Coaching and Cognitive-Behavioural Therapy (CBT) which helps individuals develop strategies to improve focus, time management, organisation and impulse control. Counselling and therapy can also address emotional and psychological aspects of living with ADHD.  Therapy is shown to be of most benefit when combined with medication

Exercise has been shown to significant improve ADHD symptoms.

Some individuals explore alternative treatments like mindfulness practices or dietary supplements. The evidence supporting the effectiveness of these approaches varies and it’s essential to consult with a healthcare provider before pursuing alternative treatments.

Yes, many adults with ADHD excel in their careers with proper management and support. ADHD does not determine a person’s potential for success and with the right strategies and accommodations, individuals with ADHD can thrive in various professional fields.

Untreated ADHD symptoms can indeed impact personal relationships. Impulsivity, forgetfulness and difficulty with communication can strain relationships. Therapy, counselling and effective communication strategies can significantly improve relationship dynamics for individuals with ADHD.

Supporting someone with ADHD involves understanding their unique challenges and providing empathy and encouragement. Encouraging them to seek professional help, offering assistance with organisation and being patient and understanding can make a positive difference.

With proper management adults with ADHD can drive safely. It’s essential to follow treatment plans, stay organised and minimise distractions while driving to ensure safe and responsible behaviour on the road.  ADHD medication has shown to significant reduce the risk of car accidents.

Individuals with untreated ADHD are at a higher risk of substance misuse and addiction. This risk underscores the importance of early diagnosis and treatment to help mitigate these potential challenges.

Yes, ADHD does affect sleep patterns. Many individuals with ADHD experience sleep difficulties  such as insomnia or restless sleep. Proper sleep hygiene and routines can help improve sleep quality.

Stress can exacerbate ADHD symptoms making stress management crucial. Techniques such as mindfulness, meditation and relaxation exercises can help individuals with ADHD manage stress more effectively.

While some children with ADHD may see a reduction in symptoms as they age many individuals continue to experience symptoms into adulthood. ADHD is not something that individuals typically “outgrow.”

Improving focus with ADHD often involves implementing strategies and routines. These may include creating structured schedules, using lists and reminders, breaking tasks into smaller steps and minimising distractions in your environment.

Yes, ADHD coaching can provide valuable support and strategies for managing symptoms. Coaches can help individuals set goals, develop time management skills and create effective routines to maximise their potential.

Executive dysfunction refers to difficulties with tasks involving planning, organisation and decision-making. It is a common challenge for individuals with ADHD and can impact daily life including work and relationships.

Yes, this presentation is often referred to as “inattentive type” ADHD and may include symptoms like difficulty concentrating and disorganisation and overactive thinking without hyperactive behaviour.

Untreated ADHD can contribute to impulsive behaviour, potentially leading to legal issues. Seeking early diagnosis and treatment is essential to address these challenges and minimise the risk of legal problems.

Yes, ADHD can coexist with other mental health conditions. Many individuals with ADHD also experience symptoms of anxiety, depression or bipolar disorder. These coexisting conditions can complicate diagnosis and treatment as they share some symptoms with ADHD. It’s not uncommon for someone to have more than one mental health condition simultaneously. A thorough evaluation by a suitably experienced psychiatrist is essential to identify all relevant factors and develop an effective treatment plan that addresses all aspects of an individual’s mental health.

If you are diagnosed with ADHD you can apply for reasonable adjustments both in your workplace as well as in education for example at university.  At ADHD Health Clinic your psychiatrist would be able to assist with appropriate supporting documents for this.

ADHD stimulant medication effectively manages ADHD symptoms in 70-80% of cases.  In order to optimise your medication you must be monitored and managed by a highly experienced and trained psychiatrist in this field.  This combined with adjunctive talking therapies pushes up the effectiveness rates of management and ensures long-lasting management and control of your symptoms.

Understanding ADHD Symptoms

Symptoms often manifest differently in individuals and can have a significant impact on various aspects of life.

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Who can be affected by ADHD?

ADHD can affect individuals of all ages, genders, ethnicities, and backgrounds.

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