What is ADHD?
Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) is a neurological condition that makes the regulation of attention, behaviour and mental control difficult.
Despite the common belief that ADHD is a childhood disorder, it often carries into adulthood where as many as 2/3 of children who currently have ADHD will still have it when they are adults.
There are three subtypes of ADHD:
- Inattentive type; individuals have difficulty noticing details, they make careless errors, have trouble completing tasks, and are easily distracted and forgetful.
- Hyperactive/Impulsive type; frequently display impulsive and hyperactive behaviours: Hyperactive individuals are often restless, have a need to keep busy, and feel that thoughts run through their head constantly. Impulsive individuals act before thinking, have difficulty waiting, and interrupt conversations whilst others are talking.
- Combined type; characteristics of both of the above subtypes
Why do I have ADHD?
There is no one cause of ADHD. Rather it is likely to be a combination of both genetic and environmental causes.
Research suggests that there is a strong genetic basis and familial link for ADHD. Some studies suggesting as much as 75%.
To a lesser extent (»25%), there are also environmental causes of ADHD. These include incidences of childhood brain injury, use of alcohol or other drugs during pregnancy, and diet.
ADHD is a chronic disorder that is known to continue throughout the lifespan.
In adults, it often causes multiple impairments in the areas of work, home, social-life, relationships, education, finances etc.
There are also high instances of comorbidity rates between ADHD and a range of other problems. This includes:
- Emotional: self-esteem, aggression, anxiety and depressive disorders
- Behavioural: oppositional defiant disorder and conduct disorder
- Learning: impaired reading, speech and maths abilities (dyslexia, dysgraphia and dyscalculia)
What are the Treatment Options?
ADHD is among one of the most studied psychological disorders. As a consequence there are many established treatment options available.
Whilst medication can be a good "band-aid" solution for managing symptoms in the very short-term, at the Sydney Cognitive Development Centre we have found this is not a good long-term solution for adults. On medication there can be significant personality changes and as medication (even the long-acting medication) only lasts up to around 10 hours effectively in the body, often adults with ADHD struggle with what appears to be personality swings as the medication wears off. Many adults present to our clinic with relationship issues as they have been on medication and have used medication to form close relationships, but as the relationship progresses and they move in together their partner starts seeing them off medication and can get a bit of a surprise.
At the SCDC we aim to give our patients longer-term solutions for managing their issues. Our first line option for ADHD treatment is neurofeedback. Neurofeedback aims to treat core brain neurophysiology by regulating both under- and over-arousal syptoms. We also focus on helping patients maintain their attention as well as develop good executive skills to be able to plan and organise their lives effectively. We also offer social skill training and relationship counselling if the issues are affecting social relationships. Research indicates ADHD and its co-occurring issues are best treated through the combination and integration of several treatment strategies. If our patients wish to use medication we are happy to support this avenue (through referral to a psychiatrist) and can combine this with our more cognitive and mindfulness-based strategies.
HighQ Adult ADHD Program
At the SCDC, our HighQ Adult ADHD program is one of the most comprehensive Adult ADHD programs available in NSW, and has helped many people all over Australia, and even overseas.
- Cognitive Training: attention, impulse control & executive skills
- Emotional resilience
- Social skills training
- Medication monitoring (Note: whilst we do not medicate, we can assess whether your medication is working via cognitive assessment on & off medication).
Click here to start our Adult ADHD Program
Online strategies to help with your ADHD