Contrary to many people's views, ADHD is not a condition that disappears as children grow old. On many occasions it has never been diagnosed in childhood and mistaken for other conditions in adulthood.
ADHD might affect many aspects of people's lives. There is a range of effective treatments for this condition which will be adjusted to the person's needs.
ADHD was recognised in Adults in the late 1980s and it is now accepted as a medical condition which can and should be treated in order to prevent a serious functional impairment. There are limited reports on the prevalence of ADHD in Adults. Comorbidity makes the diagnosis more difficult. It is now recognised than 10% of children suffer from ADHD.
Studies suggest 4-6% of adults are affected and that 66% of children who at the age of 13 present with ADHD symptoms carry their symptoms into adulthood and that from those, 50% will be referred to mental health services for various reasons. (Barkley 2002).
For General Practitioners it can pose a challenge as ADHD in adults can easily be mistaken for affective disorders which do not respond to antidepressants or mood stabilisers, and on many occasions mistaken for Emotionally Unstable Personality Disorder. The patients who had been diagnosed in childhood do sometimes fall through the net and they either decide not to be treated or the system forces them out, but the diagnosis has already been made; there is still a considerable percentage of people in their 30's, 40's and 50's or even older who could greatly benefit from treatment but who were never diagnosed and later on in life, as the condition has become better understood by the general public, have realised that they might have it.
The diagnosis in adults is less easy to make than in children, and it is mainly made on clinical presentation with the help of tools like specific questionnaires. The treatment for this condition is very cost-effective. There is high comorbidity with other conditions like Substance Misuse and appropriate treatment is going to significantly reduce the likelihood of an addiction and its associated problems. This condition is also likely to affect all aspects of the person´s life, like family interactions, relationships as well as career prospects.
This clinic offers the opportunity to refer patients for an accurate diagnosis and subsequent treatment of ADHD in Adults.