28 Nov 2022

Why is an ADHD diagnosis important for an adult?

The main reason for adults to seek an ADHD assessment is because they feel like something is ‘different’ for them or they are struggling to …

The main reason for adults to seek an ADHD assessment is because they feel like something is ‘different’ for them or they are struggling to cope with the demands of everyday life. It may be that they are having difficulties in the workplace resulting in disciplinaries, their marriage or relationships with others might be breaking down, or they might have been diagnosed with a mental health disorder or a personality disorder that they do not think matches their daily struggles.

ADHD often goes unrecognised during childhood, so it may be that a person has experienced many years of being considered a ‘troublemaker’, ‘dreamer’, ‘slacker’, as ‘too much’ or ‘unreliable’. Some may manage by self-medicating with drugs to ‘turn down the noise’, or struggle to inhibit video game or gambling additions.

For some adults, symptoms have always been there, but it may have been possible to compensate for these difficulties when they had more time and fewer responsibilities. Difficulties may come to the fore as an adult when responsibilities increase – raising children, running a home, pursuing a career – which put greater demand on your ability to focus, organise and remain calm.

Whilst there are undeniably difficulties associated with ADHD, there are also strengths, and many people who receive a diagnosis feel ‘relief’ and that it is a positive way of understanding themselves. A diagnosis can also help steer a person to learn new ways to manage their symptoms.

Medication for ADHD

Although it is a personal choice, people diagnosed with ADHD can find that medication helps them manage their symptoms. Medications like methylphenidate can help a person concentrate, control their impulses, plan ahead and follow through with tasks. However, to access medication, a person requires a definitive diagnosis of ADHD. Therefore, accessing a comprehensive diagnostic assessment is crucial if medication is something you wish to pursue.

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