Understanding ADHD in Adults and Children

Understanding ADHD in Adults and Children

Understanding ADHD in Adults and Children

Have you ever felt like your mind races even when you're trying to focus? Maybe you constantly misplace things or blurt things out before thinking? These could be signs of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, or ADHD.

A Growing Recognition of ADHD

There's a growing awareness of ADHD in adults. More and more adults are being diagnosed, and some may even suspect they have it themselves based on online resources. While self-diagnosis can be a starting point, a proper evaluation is crucial.

How Common is ADHD?

ADHD is actually the most common mental disorder diagnosed in Australian children, affecting around 5-8% [1]. That's a significant number of kids! And it doesn't disappear in adulthood – research suggests 2-3% of adults have ADHD as well [2, 3]. While boys are diagnosed more frequently, ADHD can impact anyone.

The Two Sides of ADHD

While ADHD presents challenges, it's important to understand it manifests differently in everyone. Some experience primarily inattentiveness, while others might have excess energy (hyperactivity) or act impulsively. The severity of ADHD can also vary.

Here's a breakdown of the main symptom categories:

  • Inattentiveness: Difficulty focusing on details, making careless mistakes, losing focus easily, forgetting instructions, and being easily distracted.
  • Hyperactivity or Impulsivity: Excessive fidgeting, difficulty staying still, blurting things out, interrupting others, or having trouble waiting your turn.

Diagnosis: More Than a Simple Test

ADHD symptoms can overlap with other conditions, so a proper diagnosis from a specialist is crucial. Here at Ramsay Mental Health, we take a thorough approach. Our team considers your symptoms, their duration, and how they impact your life.

How to Get Diagnosed

The first step is to talk to your doctor. They can screen you for ADHD and may refer you to a specialist, (either a psychiatrist or psychologist for a more in-depth evaluation. This typically involves:

  • Detailed Interview: Discussing your symptoms, medical history, and family history.
  • Psychological Testing: Standardised tests to assess attention, focus, and impulsivity.
  • Information Gathering: Specialists may talk to parents, teachers, or partners to get a broader picture of your symptoms and their impact.

Why Early Diagnosis Matters

Untreated ADHD can affect mental well-being. Children with ADHD may struggle with low self-esteem due to academic or social difficulties. Adults with ADHD might experience similar issues, leading to depression or strained relationships.

The Power of Treatment

The good news is, ADHD is highly treatable. Ramsay Mental Health Services offers evidence-based approaches, including:

  • Medication: Can significantly improve focus and concentration for many people with ADHD.
  • Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT): Helps develop coping skills and manage emotions associated with ADHD.
  • Behavioural Therapy: Teaches practical strategies for managing impulsive behaviours and adapting daily routines for success.

Support for Loved Ones

Often, parents, partners, and loved ones of people with ADHD can benefit from support as well. We offer therapy sessions to help them understand ADHD and develop effective communication and support strategies.

Reach out for Support

ADHD is a lifelong journey, but you don't have to walk it alone. At Ramsay Mental Health, through our mental health clinics and Ramsay Psychology clinics we understand your challenges and can help you find the right support. We offer a variety of evidence-based treatment options to manage your ADHD and improve your quality of life.

  • [1] Australia's children, Children with mental illness - Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (aihw.gov.au)
  • [2] Global review reveals ADHD rates in adults - News at Curtin | Curtin University, Perth, Australia
  • [3] Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder in Australian Adults: Prevalence, Persistence, Conduct Problems and Disadvantage - PMC (nih.gov)