ADHD (Attention Deficit and Hyperactivity Disorder) and ADD (Attention Deficit Disorder).
ADHD is a clinical syndrome defined in the DSM-IV and ICD-10 (hyperkinetic disorder) by high levels of hyperactive, impulsive and inattentive behaviours beginning in early childhood, persistent over time, pervasive across situations and leading to clinically significant impairments.
The disorder is common in the population with prevalence estimates in the UK around 3-4%. Follow-up studies of ADHD in children find that the disorder frequently persists into adult life, with around 15% retaining the full diagnosis by the age of 25 years, and a further 50% in ‘partial remission’ with some of the symptoms persisting and leading to continued impairments in daily life.
How do I know if I need an evaluation for ADHD?
Most adults who seek an evaluation for ADHD experience significant problems in one or more areas of living. Some of the most common problems include:
- Inconsistent performance in jobs or careers; losing or quitting jobs frequently
- A history of academic and/or career underachievement
- Poor ability to manage day-to-day responsibilities (e.g., completing household chores or maintenance tasks, paying bills, organizing things)
- Relationship problems due to not completing tasks, forgetting important things, or getting upset easily over minor things
- Chronic stress and worry due to failure to accomplish goals and meet responsibilities
- Chronic and intense feelings of frustration, guilt, or blame
What happens after I have been referred?
We prefer it if your GP refers you to the Anchor Psychiatry Group, Norwich Adult ADHD clinic. After you have arranged an assessment with our administrator you will be sent a pre-assessment pack, including screening questionnaires that will help in making an accurate diagnosis. This is followed by;
- A detailed specialist Adult ADHD assessment (Diagnostic Interview for ADHD in Adults, DIVA 2.0, DIVA foundation 2010)
- General psychiatric assessment to exclude any other co-existing mental disorders, developmental history and mental status examination
- Additional psychometric testing will be undertaken such as the Brown Attention-Deficit Disorder Scale. This scale obtains a consistent measure of the executive cognitive functioning aspects of cognition associated with AD/HD (ADD)
- It is very helpful if you have any information from childhood like old school reports or if any assessments have been carried out. You may also bring a relative and/or partner or somebody who knows you well. The assessment involves looking back at your childhood and what things were like for you then, so it is helpful if you bring somebody who knew you well during childhood like a parent. If you are not able to bring any one along, don’t worry about it as the diagnosis can be made without it
The treatment of adult ADHD/ADD involves medication, psycho-education, coaching and in some cases psychological therapy such as Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT). We can refer you to a therapist if necessary. Medication for this syndrome is effective in alleviating most symptoms and can make a big difference in daily functioning. There is increasing evidence that treatment can help in preventing the development of substance abuse disorders. All Anchor Psychiatry Group Consultants are able to prescribe medication used for ADHD/ADD, including controlled drugs prescriptions (like Methylphenidate). The assessment will include a clear treatment advice and treatment plan that you should discuss with your GP. The clinic will provide further support and guidance to your GP regarding long-term treatment.
There are two main treatment options for ADHD/ADD.
1. Stimulant medication: the main drugs are Methylphenidate, Lis-Dexamfetamine and Dexamfetamine.
2. Non-stimulant medication: the most commonly used drug is Atomoxetine.
Further detailed medication information can be obtained through the following link to the National Resource Centre on ADHD (based in the US) http://www.help4adhd.org/documents/WWK10.pdf
Further information can be obtained through the following link http://www.rcpsych.ac.uk/expertadvice/problemsdisorders/adhdinadults.aspx
Patient information for Guanfacine can be obtained through the following link http://www.drugs.com/cons/guanfacine.html
Coaching – Rebecca Champ, ADHD Psychotherapist & Coach
Since 2008, Rebecca has been coaching adults and couples living with ADHD, and in 2010 she received her diploma in Contemporary Psychotherapy. Offering both face-to-face and online services, her work takes an Integrative approach; combining person-centred therapy principles with techniques in goal setting, organisation, and time management. Having ADHD herself, Rebecca offers a unique perspective: one that places personal growth, self worth and individual potential of clients at its heart.
Rebecca has worked very closely with the Cambridgeshire Adult ADHD Clinic, raising awareness for a need for local services. She supports students with learning disabilities at the University of Cambridge, and has done work in the community with the homeless. She is a member of the Expert Advisory Board for the UK Adult ADHD Network (UKAAN), and is an active speaker on the Lived Experience of ADHD.
Coaching – Andrea Bell, BSc (Hons) Crim Psy and ADHD Coach (Norfolk)
Andrea was originally from a criminal justice background but then went on to be the founder of the non for profit organisation ADD Norfolk in 2007 and has worked extensively to raise awareness of ADHD/ADD in the Norfolk area. Now currently the CEO for ADD Norfolk and the Director for ADD Pro. Andrea has a counselling diploma, mental health qualification and a degree in Criminology and Psychological studies. Andrea and her team actively work to promote and deliver ADHD training for staff in schools and colleges so that individuals can have solid support from an early age and a newly launched ADHD parenting program for 2017.
Andrea herself has ADHD and fully understands the challenges that an individual can face with ADHD/ADD. She has been an ADHD/ADD relationship coach for the last 3 three years, working with couples to understand each other and how ADHD/ADD impacts upon their relationship. With the right help and support a relationship that once suffered from a lack of communication, empathy and patience can develop understanding and become more harmonious, leading to the quality of relationship both individuals deserve. Andrea also works with individual adults who struggle with day to day life to better understand themselves and develop strategies to make the everyday more manageable and those struggling with employment either sustaining or finding.