Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is a behavioural disorder that includes symptoms such as inattentiveness, hyperactivity and impulsiveness
Common myths about ADHD
One of the biggest myths about ADHD is that it is a result of ‘bad parenting’. However, this is simply not the case. In fact, scientific evidence shows that ADHD/Attention Deficit Disorder is a highly heritable condition, mostly a combination of certain susceptibility genes and environmental risks factors during pregnancy and early childhood, like low birth weight and prematurity.
How does ADHD affect people?
ADHD/ADD is not an illness, but a condition. This means it may predispose individuals to suffer medical and psychiatric conditions like depression, anxiety, conduct disorder, and alcohol and substance abuse. However, a diagnosis of ADHD doesn’t necessarily mean that individuals will have negative outcomes later in life.
In fact, people with ADHD have many positive characteristics! They can succeed because of their charming attitude, endless energy and vitality, creativity, problem-solving skills and empathy. With the right support, the opportunities are endless.
Some famous people with ADHD include the singers Justin Timberlake and Solange Knowles, rapper will.i.am, Olympic swimming sensation Michael Phelps, and Olympic gymnastics champion Louis Smith and businesswoman Paris Hilton. Disney empire founder Walt Disney and Nobel physicist Albert Einstein also had ADHD.
What are the symptoms of Adult ADHD?
Many people experience ADHD-like symptoms. However, a diagnosis requires the symptoms to have a negative impact on your daily life. For instance, poor concentration, impulsivity, hyperactivity and risk-taking can have a negative impact on work, learning and social interactions.
- Easily distracted and make careless mistakes, particularly with tasks that do not interest you, like proof-reading a lengthy document
- Blurting out answers or thoughts, like in a meeting at work
- Difficulty waiting your turn
- Difficulty organising and managing tasks which can mean you miss important work, college or university deadlines
- Fidgeting and finding it difficult to sit still during meetings
- Being forgetful and tending to lose things for example constantly losing your keys
- Easily distracted by your environment or by unrelated thoughts, like day dreaming at work
- You feel restless or edgy, have difficulty turning your thoughts off, and find stress hard to handle
- You tend to do things on the spur of the moment, without thinking, which gets you into trouble
What Happens in an Adult ADHD Assessment?
The only way to diagnose ADHD is by completing a specialist assessment in a clinical environment. It’s important to get an early diagnosis as this can have a significant impact on the condition in later life.
The ADHD assessment lasts for approximately 1.5 hours and includes an online test, called the QbCheck, a clinical interview and the completion of a number of validated assessment scales.
The QbCheck and QbTest are the only ADHD tests that are both CE marked and FDA/TGA cleared for use as an aid in the assessment and treatment evaluation of ADHD for people aged 6 to 60 years old. They measure attention, impulsivity and motor activity and are used to support the final clinical judgement.
After the test has been completed, a Consultant Psychiatrist will conduct a comprehensive clinical assessment which will review the results of any questionnaires completed prior to the appointment as well as any other relevant pieces of evidence. Most importantly, it will include an in-depth interview to learn more about your symptoms, medical history and behaviour.
Medication is not the only treatment option available for people with ADHD. In fact, a broad range of non-pharmacological approaches exist, such as omega 3 supplements, exclusion diets, cognitive therapy, or neurofeedback. A combination of the two are found to be very successful in treating the condition in some people.