There is no blood test or brain scan that can be used to diagnose ADHD. At our service, we use a combination of clinical interviews and rating scales to assess symptoms and determine if they meet the diagnostic criteria. To receive a diagnosis of ADHD, symptoms must have been present since childhood, be severe enough to interfere with daily functioning, and be present in more than one area of life.
The main symptoms of ADHD include problems with attention, concentration, and impulse control. People with ADHD may have difficulty staying focused on tasks, completing tasks, and may be forgetful or disorganised. They may also be impulsive, and engage in activities without thinking them through, leading to negative consequences. Hyperactivity can also be a symptom of ADHD, although this can manifest differently in adults than in children.
To receive a diagnosis of ADHD, symptoms must meet specific diagnostic criteria outlined in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5). This includes a minimum number of symptoms and a level of severity that must be present in multiple settings, such as work, home, or school.
At our service, we use a combination of clinical interviews, rating scales, and behavioural observations to assess symptoms and determine if a diagnosis of ADHD is appropriate. We also consider the impact of symptoms on daily functioning and assess for any co-occurring conditions that may be contributing to symptoms.
Other conditions, such as anxiety, depression, or substance use disorders, can sometimes mimic symptoms of ADHD. Our team of psychiatrists are experienced in identifying and differentiating between these conditions, and can provide appropriate treatment recommendations.
Treatment for ADHD typically involves a combination of medication and behavioural interventions. Stimulant medications such as methylphenidate and amphetamines are commonly used to improve attention and impulse control, and can be very effective when used appropriately. Behavioural interventions, such as cognitive-behavioural therapy or coaching, can also be helpful in managing symptoms and improving daily functioning.
Our service provides comprehensive assessments and personalised treatment recommendations for adults with ADHD. To learn more about ADHD and treatment options, please visit the following resources:National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) ADHD Page: https://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/topics/attention-deficit-hyperactivity-disorder-adhd/index.shtmlCHADD (Children and Adults with Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder): https://chadd.org/ If you think you may have ADHD or would like to learn more about our services, please contact us to schedule a consultation.