Are you an adult questioning whether you have ADHD?
As a result, symptoms of ADHD in adulthood are often far more subtle than childhood symptoms, specially in high functioning individuals.
External events such as difficult life events, trauma, grief and times of transition often intensify symptoms and can be the catalyst for someone questioning whether they may have ADHD in adulthood.
There is also a strong genetic link with ADHD. It is common therefore for adults to reflect on whether they may have ADHD, if a child or another family member receives a diagnosis.
For women with ADHD, executive dysfunction symptoms often intensify at times of their life when their hormones significantly change, i.e. in adolescence, in pregnancy, after having a baby, when returning to work after maternity leave; and/or in the peri menopause. Consequently, these are common times when a women may start to question if she has ADHD too.
A list of symptoms with can be associated with ADHD in adults:
- Carelessness or lack of attention to detail (unless something is very interesting or important to you, then you may ‘hyper focus’ on it to compensate).
- Continually starting new tasks
- Difficulty finishing ongoing projects (unless a deadline or consequence is imposed).
- Poor organisational skills
- Difficulty prioritising
- Difficulty switching your attention between tasks
- Continually losing or misplacing things
- Restlessness and edginess
- Excessive fidgeting
- A brain that won’t switch off
- Difficulty with turn taking, over perceived as being ‘overly keen’
- Blurting out responses/ interrupting others
- Mood swings, irritability or a quick temper
- Difficulty starting boring tasks
- A tendency to procrastinate
- Engaging in risky behaviours, such as extreme sports or driving dangerously
- Talking fast and/or ‘too much’
- A tendency to ‘over share’
- Struggling to manage rejection
- Frequently feeling stressed and/or overwhelmed
- Difficulty initiating boring or routine tasks like chores or admin
Source: Some of these symptoms descriptions are taken from the NHS website
What does a private assessment entail?
- An assessment session to discuss your personal history
- 2-3 sessions to complete a semi-structured interview
- Mespeaking with a parent or carer who can confirm how ADHD like symptoms are affecting you and what they noticed in your childhood
- If no parent is available, a copy of a school report may suffice, along with me speaking to someone who knows you well now, like a partner or colleague
- I will then write a report summarising the results, my recommendations and advice regarding helpful next steps.
- The amount of time it takes to complete the above process can vary from person to person.
- Consequently, I believe it is fairest to charge my usual hourly rate of £150 per hour for all stages of the process. Rather than charging a higher standard fee for all.
- As an estimate, it is likely to be costed at 6- 8 hours in total.
After diagnosis, I can offer you ADHD Coaching, using a range of evidence based psychological approaches, if desired.
ADHD Coaching a natural way of improving your quality of life and adapting to life with ADHD. It can be used instead of or in addition to medication. It is always personalised to your needs.
ADHD Coaching may involve:
- Emotionally making sense of your ADHD diagnosis
- Learning strategies to improve coping
- Maximising on your strengths
- Overcoming imposter syndrome
- Thinking about how to reduce your challenges
- Putting systems in place and/or adapting your environment to optimise functioning
Information about medication
I am a Clinical Psychologist trained to provide ADULT ADHD assessments and ADHD Coaching.
I am not a medication prescriber.
Consequently, if you receive an ADHD diagnosis and then decide that you would like to try a medication as part of your treatment plan, then you would to consult separately with a prescriber to do this. I can advise you on how to find an NHS or private prescriber, if required.
Can I get assessed and treated for ADHD as an adult by the NHS?
As a result, many GPs are refusing to even refer individuals who are objectively functioning well, even if they demonstrate clear symptoms of ADHD on the ASRS screening tool.
If you are registered with a GP surgery in England, then you do have the right to choose where you are referred to for an ADHD assessment.
This means you can request to be referred to the private provider ‘Psychiatry UK’, who I believe currently have approximately a 6-12 month waiting list. Your GP will tell you if they are willing to put you forward for this. Again you may find that it is dependent on local priority and need.
If you are seen by the NHS, then you are likely to be offered an ADHD assessment and medication may be offered as a treatment option, if you receive a diagnosis.
I’m not aware of any NHS providers offering ADHD Coaching after diagnosis.