Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) & Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD) are now more commonly recognized in adults. For example, problems with attention, concentration, or restlessness may affect students at university who struggle with coursework, revision, or examinations. Professionals such as lawyers, accountants, or business executives may also underperform at work due to attentional and organisational problems despite high intelligence. Recent research has identified adult onset forms of ADHD & ADD, explaining why symptoms were not present in childhood in some cases:
JAMA Psychiatry. doi:10.1001/jamapsychiatry.2016.0465 www.archpsyc.jamanetwork.com/article.aspx?articleid=2522750
Diagnosis of ADHD or ADD in adulthood requires careful assessment because co-existing mental health problems (such as depression, anxiety, or substance misuse problems) are common in people with ADHD or ADD, and may themselves contribute to problems with attention, impulse control, or activity levels. In some cases presenting symptoms may be fully explained by another mental health condition, requiring different treatment and support.
Dr Deeley will undertake a history and mental state examination, and conduct a Diagnostic Interview for ADHD in adults (DIVA). Diagnosis is based on DSM-V criteria for ADHD (the 5th Edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of the American Psychiatric Association).
Dr Deeley may also seek to interview others (e.g. a parent to provide information about childhood development and symptoms) where relevant. Dr Deeley will also assess for the presence of co-existing mental health problems (such as depression, anxiety, or substance misuse problems). Dr Deeley will feed back the results of the assessment and explain options for treatment and support.