Whilst ADHD is one of the most common mental health conditions affecting children and adults, it is often misunderstood. This ADHD Awareness Month’s goal is to correct these misunderstandings by rethinking 3 ADHD myths. Dr Sally Cubbin is a highly qualified and experienced Consultant Psychiatrist at Cardinal Clinic. Sally has special expertise in the diagnosis and management of Adult ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder). In the following post, Dr Sally Cubbin firstly addresses 3 main symptoms of ADHD and corrects common myths.
What are the 3 main symptoms of ADHD?
1. Attention Deficit
This is an inability to focus and be organised. Being disorganised can lead to underachievement and have a negative impact on aspects of life such as home life, social life and educational performance.
ADHD symptoms in adults are often characterized by mental restlessness rather than more obvious physical hyperactivity, although fidgeting may be present. Adults with ADHD commonly suffer with excessive spending, sensation seeking, being inpatient. Individuals with ADHD may also speak or act before they think things through.
3. Mood instability
Whilst mood instability is not an official ADHD indicator, it is considered a useful measure when diagnosing the condition. A person’s mood may change rapidly or dramatically many times a day, typically for no particular reason.
What are 3 ADHD myths?
Myth 1: You can’t have ADHD as an adult if you were not diagnosed as a child
According to the official criteria, symptoms of ADHD should be present from age 12 but it does not mean that an official diagnosis of ADHD in childhood is needed. ADHD can be more noticeable in adolescence and young adulthood than childhood. Many adults with ADHD mention struggling in their teenage years and did not receive help at first as their difficulties were thought to be caused by laziness, a bad attitude or a lack of motivation.
Myth 2: ADHD is just being lazy and lacking willpower or simply a behavioural problem
It is true that people with ADHD can focus on things that they are very interested in or things that are new and exciting. Sometimes they describe ‘hyperfocus’ where they can lose themselves in a task they are absorbed in. ADHD causes an inability to focus and get down to work on tasks that are repetitive, boring or require a greater degree of mental effort.
Myth 3: You can’t have ADHD if you are not hyperactive
ADHD can be present with or without symptoms of hyperactivity. People often call the type of ADHD without hyperactivity Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD). Typically symptoms of ADD become more significant in adulthood as life gets more challenging.
For more myths and information about ADHD you can visit Dr Cubbin’s website www.adhdclinic.co.uk
The NHS waiting list is currently around 2 years to receive an initial ADHD assessment. If an individual does not receive a diagnosis, they can begin to suffer with other mental health conditions too such as depression and anxiety. For more information about ADHD treatment and assessments visit www.cardinalclinic.co.uk/conditions/adhd/. If you feel like you need professional help, we are a private mental health hospital in Windsor with nurses on hand 24 hours a day who provide expert clinical treatment. Research has found that 1 in 4 people will experience a mental health problem of some kind each year in England and we are here to ensure you do not have to face it alone. For more information visit cardinalclinic.co.uk or call 01753 869755 for help and advice.