ADHD is a recognised mental health condition in the UK - occurring primarily in children. It affects their ability to concentrate and makes their brain function differently from other children. If not diagnosed and treated early, symptoms can linger until adulthood.
What is ADHD?
ADHD means Attention Deficiency Hyperactivity Disorder. A Lincoln-based psychiatrist, Dr Jajawi described the condition as affecting the mind, and is usually identified in children and occasionally extends to adults when they are not treated early on. Generally, the condition manifests in three ways, categorised as ADHD types. They include combined, impulsive, and inattentive ADHD types.
3 Recognised sub-types of ADHD
Understanding the three types of ADHD is essential for ease with spotting the different symptoms.
Inattentive and distractible ADHD
Patients of this ADHD type find it hard to pay attention to details and are often easily distracted. They also have issues with remembrance, organisation, and taking on tasks.
ADHD patients within this group suffer from speech and action incongruity. An Impulsive person rarely thinks about the consequences of their actions before speaking and will often yell while speaking or overreact to situations.
Individuals with hyperactive ADHD are often restless and have issues controlling their behavior or actions.
This group of ADHD patients suffers from inattentiveness and impulsive disorder.
According to the NHS, most children have combined ADHD, which is more common in boys than girls, with the majority being 70% in adults. The combined symptoms of this group make it hard for treatment.
ADHD symptoms and treatment
Identifying the early signs of ADHD can simplify the diagnosis and treatment process. Also, it can save you on financial and emotional costs.
ADHD signs by demography
Occurring in different stages, ADHD symptoms can be well understood by looking at it from three demography - newborns, preschoolers, and women.
Signs of ADHD in newborns
Newborns spend their early days in deep sleep, light sleep, drowsy, quiet alert, active alert, and crying. It is possible to have some variation in how each child develop but generally when a child becomes too distressed and feels uneasy and difficult to handle, it is a sign the baby needs help. Other signs such as restlessness and erratic temperament in a child is a signs they may need an ADHD diagnosis.
Early signs of ADHD in preschoolers
It is quite complex to tell when a preschooler has ADHD as they find it hard to pay attention under normal circumstances. But when you notice combined symptoms relating to inattention, impulsivity, and Hyperactivity, it is a sign that they need help.
ADHD symptoms in women
Females have long been perceived as less aggressive than males, which is believed to have significantly influenced ADHD diagnosis around this gender. However, a 9-year-old subreddit, coupled with the widely reported outburst of ADHD among adult females, gives a contrary indication. Making it believable that female ADHD signs are not reported early enough until escalation.
Female ADHD signs are more identifiable in adult groups than in younger ones. When they start feeling overwhelmed, have difficulty managing money and time, and have historic depression, anxiety, and disorderliness.
These symptoms in females have been attributed to triggers caused by puberty in young females. And menopause for adults as confirmed by the CHADD research.
This goes to say that no gender is free from ADHD. Even though the aggressive nature of males makes aggravates their conditions from childhood. Females' are more likely triggered during puberty and at menopause.
Lesser-known symptoms of ADHD
Aside from the major ADHD symptoms discussed above, here are some lesser-known symptoms of ADHD.
When an individual becomes frequently engrossed in activities such that they experience diminished perception of their environment, they are hyperfocus. Instead of being regarded in a negative term, hyperfocus help improves tasks being worked on. It also helps the individual get a grasp of the activity being performed. Hyperfocus is particularly healthy for fun activities or games. But when it comes to day-to-day activities, getting too particular about a task that one loses the reality of their environment is hyperfocus. And can be a negative sign as researchers say it can be a sign of ADHD.
Time management issues
Procrastination becomes natural when an individual constantly fixates on the 'now' so much that they find it hard to anticipate the future reward of their action and consequences. It is a sign they have ADHD. Such traits make it hard to respect the time and keep to deadlines, and planning for such individuals becomes a calendar-filler.
ADHD sometimes manifests internally; research says only about 25% in children and 5% in adults of ADHD diagnosis occur externally. Emotional sensitivity is one of the signs of ADHD, and clinically referred to as emotional hyperarousal. Children with this symptoms experience low and high energy. So sometimes they are very high on energy, and the other time they are low. They experience more passionate and emotional thoughts than an average person. Such conditions can lead to prolonged low and high self-esteem depending on the child's situation.
Lack of Sleep
Although research has not established a clear relationship between lack of sleep and ADHD, many sleep-deprived individuals have traced their difficulty to ADHD triggers. These ADHD-induced sleep problems are often referred to as 'perverse sleep.' Which is a situation where an individual's sleep condition operates in a contrasting manner. Sleeping when they don't want to and cannot sleep when they want. Perverse sleeping occurs in four different states, difficulty falling asleep, restless sleep, difficulty waking up, and intrusive sleep.
Low tolerance for boredom
Hyperactivity among patients with ADHD usually occurs in activities they love. Others quickly lose attentional arousal and want to move on to the next activity they love. So when they dont have the option to do what they want, their attention arousal gets low and cause boredom. Sleep deprivation, as identified above, and prolonged effort of Hyperactivity, also reduces arousal and causes low tolerance for boredom.
High impulsivity, as identified above, also occurs when shopping. And an individual with ADHD is most likely to buy now and think later. Because the urge for impulsive spending is high for individuals with ADHD than others.
Longterm ADHD syndrome
Research has shown that undiagnosed ADHD in a child can lead to prolonged problems as an adult. Such as poorer self-esteem and social function. However, brain fog and forgetfulness are some other long-term syndrome of ADHD.
Some ADHD symptoms, such as sleep deprivation, can cause brain fog. Brain inflammation is also a known cause of brain fog. An individual experiencing brain fog will find it harder to recall information and talk properly.
Prolonged ADHD has been associated with memory problems. It makes it difficult to encode and process information in working memory. Consequently affecting the individual's long-term memory.
Common perceptions and misunderstandings about ADHD
Unfortunately, like other health conditions, there exist some misconceptions about ADHD. This misconception hampers diagnosis effort and hence delays treatment, which can further worsen the situation with which people live with ADHD. Not to mention leaving people to misunderstand.
ADHD misconceptions #1 Everyone has ADHD nowadays, don't they?
When people say things like 'everyone gets distracted!' They mean people exhibit symptoms of ADHD nowadays.
People who say such often doesn't mean that people have differences in their brain. It's more like 'people have one or more distractions that they all deal with.'
Their intentions might not to be mean, but such comment undermines that ADHD exists as a mental condition. It also undermines the struggles people with ADHD go through. Which is quite different from the usual difference in how people respond to stress and situations. ADHD is different from having a bad day.
ADHD is a brain-based, often a chronic condition that can be life-long
ADHD misconceptions #2: Medication is recommended as the first course of action
There are many misconceptions about ADHD. Some believe drugs trigger it, affect a particular gender, and everyone has it. Some of these statements are sentimental, but let's consider them in light of research.
Research carried out over the years has proven that ADHD affects all genders, even though ADHD diagnoses are more prevalent among young female adults. Than males whose diagnosis and symptoms occur mainly in childhood.
ADHD misconceptions #3: ADHD only affects boys
ADHD is not gender specific - it affects both boys as much as girls, only that it is more prevalent in males than females. Parents of children between the ages of 4-17 in the National Health Interview Survey (2011-2013) found a diagnostic rate of 13.3% for boys and 5.6% for girls.
ADHD misconceptions #4: Hyperactivity is the most common presentation of ADHD
A commonly known ADHD misconception about ADHD is that hyperactivity is the most common form of ADHD.
Far from it, a higher percentage of people with ADHD show combined symptoms.
If you see yourself showing signs of ADHD, you should have a specialist assess you.
The NHS assessment test covers your mental health and goes through a checklist during your consultation. This helps in diagnosis and helps you in knowing your next line of action.
ADHD treatment (first steps)
The NHS through your GP is the first step to getting ADHD treatment. Treatment differs from child and adult. But getting an appointment with your GP is where you can start from.
NHS ADHD test for children
ADHD treatment in children depends on if your child has exhibited six or more symptoms of inattentiveness or six or more symptoms of Hyperactivity and impulsiveness.
NHS ADHD test for adults
For adults with ADHD symptoms, you can get NHS ADHD treatment if the following conditions are true.
You missed diagnosis as a child, and your symptoms began then and have continued since
A mental health condition cannot explain your symptom
Your symptom affects your everyday life, including achieving at work and finding intimate relationship difficult.
If the above conditions apply to you, you may be referred to a specialist.
Medication for ADHD (meds for Hyperactivity)
Meds for Hyperactivity are generally not a permanent cure for ADHD but are meant to help someone in four main ways. To concentrate better, feel less impulsive, communicate better, learn and practice new skills. There are five types of licenced meds for Hyperactivity.
Meds for Hyperactivity also depends on if the person was diagnosed with ADHD as a child. If not until adulthood, a GP would discuss suitable medication and therapies.
Getting a diagnosis through Dr J and Colleagues
Dr J and Colleagues follow three ADHD diagnosis and treatment plan known as, psychoanalysis, therapy, and ADHD medications. And the process can be further broken down into: diagnosis assessment, post-diagnosis medication, and post-treatment checkups. You can get a diagnosis for ADHD through Dr J and Colleagues.
Psychiatric interventions are highly recommended as they can help you easily understand ADHD patterns and help you effectively manage and treat the condition. They also help assess the situation to know when medication should be halted or when is the best time to use either of the treatment options.
Recommended ADHD reading materials
If you query 'best books on ADHD for parents, you will find loads of them. Many of which you can buy on Amazon. We recommend the NHS Trust Devon Partnership book on Coping with ADHD at Dr J and Colleagues.
DR J and Colleagues ADHD Patients' Feedback
After our combined 20 years of experience helping people with ADHD, here are some of what our cleients have to say.
Connor - 'I was very excited to see Dr Jajawi after seeing his amazing reviews, and now I've seen him, I know why he has amazing reviews; it took a long time for me to get through the denial of everything I was putting myself and others through, but after gaining the courage to go finally I went and had the best service and was finally diagnosed with Bipolar disorder, for which I was given medication that has completely changed my life, my moods are now more stable, and I have a lot more focus and love for life. A huge thank you to Dr Jajawi and everyone who works there for their amazing and empathic work.'
Zoe - 'Best psych doctor I've ever seen. I actually feel like he really cares about his patients. Had struggles for years and years, like 33 years, and I'm 36 and have seen many different doctors whom I just couldn't get to grips with and feel comfortable with, resulting in me shutting down. Such a breath of fresh air to find this doctor to be the complete opposite of any other I've seen. Also, I've found doctors in the past to be a little old-fashioned in their views, it's clear to me DR Jajawi makes a real effort to keep up with modern psychiatry, and I'm incredibly thankful.
Emma - 'The doctor was amazing with my daughter. He was extremely patient and listened to everything she was saying; he gave her some amazing advice; it was an absolute pleasure to see my daughter interact with the doctor. She even asked him some questions which surprised me.'
Lou - 'Dr Jajawi is by far the best psychiatrist I have ever seen; during my 14yrs of mental health treatment, I've seen a fair few. Dr Jajawi listens and takes everything into account. I felt the diagnosis that was given to me came from a place of understanding, not just reading the literature and criteria lists for the illnesses but from truly understanding me as a patient.
He explains the medications and options available in a way that is easy to understand and then helps you make the best possible choices. As a long-term mental illness sufferer, I can say that Dr Jajawi has changed my life. My faith in Dr's has been restored.'
Katy - 'Dr Lewis-Hanna is a truly wonderful Doctor. This man listens, observes, and makes his own independent decisions. It's taken me five years to find a Doctor l trust with my Sons care. This man is unique, absolutely brilliant- he shows empathy and a level of expertise that's in a whole new league. I can't praise this man highly enough. Brilliant.'
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Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), autism, dyslexia and dyspraxia are forms of neurodivergence – there are others too. Being neurodivergent will usually amount to a disability under the Equality Act 2010, even if the person does not consider themselves to be disabled.Does ADHD qualify for disability UK? ›
General and living benefits
ADHD is recognised as a condition which qualifies for disability benefits and funding. The following is a summary of the various avenues to explore: The Disability Register Identity Card (for children and young people) is an invaluable card for ADHD children.
The Americans with Disabilities Act
The ADA includes ADHD as a recognized disability. For an employee who has ADHD, the act can require the employer to provide reasonable accommodations, as long as it doesn't create undue hardship for the business.
ADHD is a hidden and marginalised disability, and within higher education in the UK, the categorisation of ADHD as a specific learning difference (or difficulty) may be contributing to this.Do I have to tell my employer about ADHD UK? ›
Most people with ADHD don't have to tell their employer about it, so deciding to reveal their diagnosis will have taken courage.What is considered a disability in the workplace UK? ›
You're disabled under the Equality Act 2010 if you have a physical or mental impairment that has a 'substantial' and 'long-term' negative effect on your ability to do normal daily activities.When was ADHD classed as a disability UK? ›
Under the Equality Act 2010, an employee with ADHD may be considered to have a disability if the condition has a “substantial” and “long term” negative effect on their ability to carry out normal day-to-day activities.When was ADHD recognized as a disability UK? ›
ADHD was only really recognised as a valid condition in the UK in 2000 when the first National Institute of Clinical Excellence report on the condition was brought out (www.nice.org.uk).Can I say I have a disability if I have ADHD? ›
Yes. Whether you view attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) as neurological — affecting how the brain concentrates or thinks — or consider ADHD as a disability that impacts working, there is no question that the federal Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) covers individuals with ADHD.What are my rights as an employee with ADHD? ›
ADHD is however protected under the 2010 Equalities act as long as the condition has a 'substantial' and 'long term' negative effect on your ability to carry out normal day-to-day activities. This protection requires employers to make reasonable adjustments to ensure that you can be productive as an employee.
Though every individual is different, reasonable accommodations for employees with ADHD may include simple adjustments such as: A quiet workspace or noise-blocking headphones to reduce distractions. Calendars to keep track of important deadlines. Timers to help the individual stay on task.Where is ADHD considered a disability? ›
Under both the ADA and another law known as the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, ADHD is considered a disability in the United States, but with strict stipulations. For instance, ADHD is considered a protected disability if it is severe and interferes with a person's ability to work or participate in the public sector.Is ADHD Recognised in the UK? ›
ADHD is a recognised mental health condition in the UK - occurring primarily in children. It affects their ability to concentrate and makes their brain function differently from other children. If not diagnosed and treated early, symptoms can linger until adulthood.What conditions automatically qualify you for disability UK? ›
The definition is set out in section 6 of the Equality Act 2010. It says you're disabled if: you have a physical or mental impairment. your impairment has a substantial and long-term adverse effect on your ability to do normal day-to-day activities.How much money do you get on disability UK? ›
|Care component||Weekly rate|
"Disclosing the challenges of your ADHD may help employers and team members to better understand your challenges, how you work best, and how to work in harmony with you," says Linda Walker, a professionally certified ADHD coach.Can a company fire you if you have ADHD? ›
Individuals with disabilities aren't protected from being fired. They are protected under both federal and state laws if they are fired because of their disability, or because they were denied reasonable accommodations and, therefore, could not do their job properly.Do you tell HR you have ADHD? ›
You must disclose your documented diagnosis, and show that ADHD “substantially limits a major life activity” — in this case, your job. Formal requests for an accommodation must be made in writing, and the accommodation(s) you ask for shouldn't place an undue hardship on the operation of the employer's business.What is classed as a hidden disability UK? ›
What are hidden disabilities? Some disabilities don't have physical signs so we cannot always tell if someone has one. Hidden disabilities include autism, mental health, acquired/traumatic brain injury, sensory processing, multiple sclerosis, epilepsy, partial sight and hearing loss.Do you have to disclose disability to employer UK? ›
You do not have to tell an employer about your disability, but if the employer is made aware of your disability during your application, they'll be able to make reasonable adjustments for you at the interview and start plan any access arrangements you require if you get the job.
What Is the Most Approved Disability? Arthritis and other musculoskeletal system disabilities make up the most commonly approved conditions for social security disability benefits. This is because arthritis is so common. In the United States, over 58 million people suffer from arthritis.How common is ADHD UK? ›
The UK Nice guidelines provide for an adult incidence rate of between 3 and 4%.Why is it so hard to get an ADHD diagnosis UK? ›
In many areas, clinical staff have not been trained about Adult ADHD and it is common for them to not have awareness or experience of Adult ADHD and this can make the referral process more difficult. Adult ADHD is often misdiagnosed or ignored.Can you drive with ADHD UK? ›
You must tell DVLA if your attention deficit hyperactivity disorder ( ADHD ) or your ADHD medication affects your ability to drive safely. You can be fined up to £1,000 if you do not tell DVLA about a medical condition that affects your driving. You may be prosecuted if you're involved in an accident as a result.How do you prove ADHD disability? ›
- Marked or severe impairment in age-appropriate cognitive/communication function; and/or.
- Marked or severe impairment in age-appropriate social functioning; and/or.
- Marked or severe impairment in age-appropriate personal functioning.
Access To Work is a UK government programme that grants up to £62,900 per annum to support people with a physical or mental health condition or disability to take up or stay at work. If you have ADHD, you could qualify for the grant.How hard is it to get disability for ADHD? ›
An ADHD diagnosis, in and of itself, is not enough to qualify for disability benefits. As a child, you must have had measurable functional impairments (which show up as recurring poor performance in school) and as an adult, you must have measurable functional impairments that keep you from working.How do you handle an employee with ADHD? ›
- Schedule regular check-ins. ...
- Make short-term goals clear to group members. ...
- Support time management of tasks and projects. ...
- Be sensitive and open-minded. ...
- Provide helpful techniques to meet deadlines.
- Give a brief overview and bust some stereotypes. ...
- Explain how your employer can help. ...
- Share triggers and consequential reactions. ...
- Try continuous communication. ...
- Don't forget the positives!
- Offering a desk facing away from busy areas in the office.
- “Do not disturb” signs for office doors.
- Written information with tasks.
- Offering to help to structure tasks.
- Work flexibly, possibly at home on occasion.
- Constructive feedback.
- Find peace. Ask to work in a quiet space where you won't be easily distracted.
- Buddy up. Work with a manager or colleague who is well-organized and can help guide you through projects from start to completion.
- Book it. ...
- Write it down. ...
- Schedule interruptions. ...
- Set realistic goals. ...
- Reward yourself. ...
- Extra time on tests;
- Instruction and assignments tailored to the child;
- Positive reinforcement and feedback;
- Using technology to assist with tasks;
- Allowing breaks or time to move around;
- Changes to the environment to limit distraction; and.
- Extra help with staying organized.
Many adults and children living with ADHD never have had significant behavior problems; they have difficulty focusing their attention on necessary tasks and using working memory effectively, making ADHD a cognitive disorder, a developmental impairment of executive functions (EFs) — the self-management system of the ...Why does caffeine make people with ADHD tired? ›
Caffeine's effects on the body and brain
Caffeine interacts with a molecule in the body called adenosine , which assists with communication between brain cells and acts as a nervous system depressant. Adenosine levels increase throughout the day and help promote feelings of drowsiness.
Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is a neurobehavioral disorder marked by trouble controlling impulsive behavior, difficulty paying attention, or overactivity. It is one of the most common neurodevelopmental disorders of childhood.What is the easiest disability to prove? ›
However, tinnitus is among the easiest VA disability benefits to get approved. If you have an existing condition that has been proven to be service-connected, tinnitus can help to increase your total disability rating, granting you additional compensation. First, it's subjective. There's no definitive test for it.Is anxiety a disability UK? ›
A mental health condition is considered a disability if it has a long-term effect on your normal day-to-day activity. This is defined under the Equality Act 2010. Your condition is 'long term' if it lasts, or is likely to last, 12 months.What are the top 10 conditions that qualify for disability? ›
10 of the most common conditions that qualify for Social Security disability are Arthritis, Heart Disease, Degenerative Disc Disease, Respiratory Illness, Mental Illness, Cancer, Stroke, Nervous System Disorders, Diabetes, Immune System Disorders.Can you work while on disability UK? ›
You may be able to do some work if you have a disability, illness or health condition and still have the security of keeping any of the following benefits payments and National Insurance credits: Employment and Support Allowance ( ESA ) Incapacity Benefit. Severe Disablement Allowance.Does the UK have disability benefits? ›
The U.K. Disability Living Allowance (DLA) is a tax-free benefit for children and adults who need help with personal care or have walking difficulties because they are physically or mentally disabled The Disability and Carers Service is part of the Pension, Disability, and Carers Service (PDCS), an executive agency of ...
In the UK, everyone over the age of 60 gets free prescriptions and NHS eye tests. You can also get free NHS dental treatment if you're over 60 and claiming pension guarantee credits or other benefits if you're under state pension age.Is ADHD a disability UK Equality Act 2010? ›
Under the Equality Act 2010, an employee with ADHD may be considered to have a disability if the condition has a “substantial” and “long term” negative effect on their ability to carry out normal day-to-day activities.What reasonable adjustments can I ask for ADHD UK? ›
Examples of reasonable adjustments:
Take short breaks throughout the day. Negotiate taking 10-15 minute breaks regularly away from your desk. This may mean working slightly longer core hours to accommodate this e.g. 8.30-5.30 rather than 9-5 would give you four 15 min breaks to take during the day when you needed them.
Disability is considered to be a protected class, and adult ADHD is classified as a medical disability (or, more commonly, a learning disability). As such, if an employer fails to provide reasonable workplace accommodations to an employee who has adult ADHD, it could be considered workplace discrimination.What are reasonable adjustments for ADHD at work? ›
- Financial support to buy software that aids focus.
- A separate space away from an open plan office or permission to work from home.
- Support to buying physical equipment like noise-cancelling headphones.
- Normalizing peer review for detailed work.
- voyeurism or exhibitionism.
- a tendency to set fire to things.
- a tendency to steal things.
- a tendency to physically or sexually abuse others.
Access To Work is a UK government programme that grants up to £62,900 per annum to support people with a physical or mental health condition or disability to take up or stay at work. If you have ADHD, you could qualify for the grant.What is the burden of ADHD in the UK? ›
Within the UK, ADHD is sometimes referred to as Hyperkinetic Disorder. ADHD affects about 3-5% of children and 2% of adults and is more common in males than females (4:1).Can I lose my job because of ADHD? ›
Individuals with disabilities aren't protected from being fired. They are protected under both federal and state laws if they are fired because of their disability, or because they were denied reasonable accommodations and, therefore, could not do their job properly.Why is my ADHD getting worse as I get older? ›
As people age, they may face more challenges in their lives. This can include things like entering into new stages of development, such as adolescence or adulthood; increased stress levels; and competing demands on time, such as work and family responsibilities. These challenges can worsen ADHD symptoms in some people.