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Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) assessments play a pivotal role in diagnosing, identifying and addressing your unique needs if you think you might be experiencing this condition. A thorough evaluation, conducted by an experienced consultant psychiatrist or other qualified professional, is essential for obtaining an accurate diagnosis and formulating an effective, personalised treatment plan. By delving into your personal cognitive, emotional, and behavioural patterns, adult ADHD assessments provide valuable insights that will empower you to better understand your challenges and harness your strengths, resulting in an overall healthier and happier you.

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Symptoms of adult ADHD

Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) is a disorder that the NHS summarises as “a condition that affects people's behaviour.” It is a neurodevelopmental condition with a range of symptoms including inattention, impulsivity, and hyperactivity, although it can present differently in women and girls. If you have ADHD you may find that you struggle to focus on tasks, are prone to forgetting details, and might have difficulty in following instructions. You might also experience the reverse, where you become so hyper-focused on a single topic or task that you forget about everything else. You could find yourself exhibiting impulsive behaviour, such as interrupting conversations, or engaging in risky activity, like overspending, without considering the consequences. You might also experience hyperactivity; excessive fidgeting, restlessness, and an inability to stay still for extended periods, whether at home or at work or school.

What happens in an adult ADHD assessment?

An adult ADHD assessment is a comprehensive evaluation process conducted by a qualified mental health professional to determine if you meet the diagnostic criteria for Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). The assessment will last around two hours and typically involves gathering information from various sources, and reviewing any relevant historical records. Standardised questionnaires and rating scales may be used to assess the severity and frequency of the ADHD symptoms you are experiencing Additionally, cognitive and psychological tests may be administered to evaluate attention, memory, and executive functioning. The assessor, who is usually a psychiatrist but may also be a qualified ADHD nurse, then analyses your replies to identify patterns consistent with adult ADHD, rule out other potential causes for the symptoms, and provide a clinical diagnosis. Based on the findings, appropriate recommendations for treatment and support will then be offered to help you better manage the condition, so you can improve your daily life and wellbeing.

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Types of adult ADHD

Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) is formally classified into three primary types: predominantly inattentive, predominantly hyperactive-impulsive, and combined presentation. The predominantly inattentive type is characterised by difficulties with focus, organisation, and task completion, while the predominantly hyperactive-impulsive type involves excessive activity, impulsivity, and restlessness. The combined presentation exhibits symptoms from both categories. It is a spectrum disorder, meaning that you might find yourself experiencing a blend of symptoms from different types of ADHD at different times or under different circumstances, some of which might be more severe, and some symptoms you might not experience at all - it is different for everyone, which is why an assessment is so personalised.

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Adult ADHD treatment & support

Treatment for adult ADHD typically involves multiple approaches: taking medication, use of behavioural therapy, and general support strategies. Medication for ADHD helps you to manage your symptoms by improving your focus and reducing impulsivity with adjustments to your brain chemistry. Behavioural therapies aim to teach coping mechanisms, organisational skills, and social interaction techniques, so you can better identify when your ADHD is causing you problems and aim to address it in your everyday life. Support strategies may include accommodations at work, training, and self-help resources. You need a fully tailored and personalised treatment plan in order to effectively manage your adult ADHD symptoms and enhance your quality of life.

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Learn More About Adult ADHD

Learn more about adult ADHD and its associated challenges on our blog.

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