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ADHD in Adults

ADHD in Adults NedlandsAround 5 percent of adults have an Attention Deficit Disorder. Many were not diagnosed as children. Typically, an adult asks for help when their spouse or their employer tell them to make a change. Problems are often triggered by a promotion or returning to study. Then, they realise something is wrong and begin the journey from diagnosis to managing their ADHD with the help of a Psychiatrist.

How common is ADD diagnosis in adulthood?

Adults with ADHD fall into three main groups: those who were diagnosed as children; those whose ADHD was missed as a child but who recognise it as an adult; and a much smaller group where ADHD appears to arise for the first time in adulthood, although this remains controversial.

Where it was once thought that it was a rare condition we now know that it affects approximately 7 percent of children. Two-thirds continue with the condition as adults. So, about 5 percent of adults have an attentional disorder. People often mistakenly think they have grown out of it because the hyperactivity of childhood settles. Others fail to realise they have the condition because they were never hyperactive. They see themselves as different to those children that were. But, ADD is just as impairing as ADHD.

If you have been told you may suffer from an Attention Deficit Disorder, then an assessment would be useful even if you decide not to pursue treatment. This may include tests for ADHD.

How does an ADD diagnosis impact on work and life?

ADHD impacts in adultsThese days most employers have no problem with someone who has been diagnosed with ADHD. In some cases it will be necessary to provide certification to confirm the diagnosis and treatment. FIFO employees, and others, are drug tested so if they’re on an amphetamine-based drug they will test positive and must tell their employer. At all stages, I will make sure that you are well informed of things to consider when you are using medication for ADHD. I will provide the relevant certification for your employer.

Sometimes an employer will ask whether a person is fit for their job because of their condition and its treatment. I will almost always say that the individual is much better on the medication (if it is taken as directed and not combined with alcohol or other drugs). That is because the aim is to improve concentration and focus. A patient being treated for ADHD will need to declare that they are on ADHD medication when they renew their driver’s license.

How can a Psychiatrist help me with ADHD?

Treatment starts with an assessment and is followed by medication, psychotherapy if needed, stabilisation and long term management.

At my Perth practice I offer enhanced care which allows the patient to communicate with me via email. I then send out work certificates by email and prescriptions via Express Post. So, after the initial assessment, we deliver treatment in the most efficient way possible making use of modern technology. That can include reviews using Skype.

Is Attention Deficit Disorder considered to be a disability?

Yes, legally and technically it is. A person with an attentional disorder can be registered under the Disability Discrimination Act. So, if you are at school or in higher education you can access exemptions, such as additional time and flexibility for assignments and different arrangements for exams. If you are in that situation, I will complete the relevant applications for you.

These provisions serve to ‘level the playing field’ so that the academic challenges ADHD individuals encounter are as close as possible to the challenges for non-ADD individuals.

Book an Appointment Today!

So, if you have a concern, or you think you may suffer from an attentional disorder, make an appointment today.

Dr Anthony Mander | 08 9386 7855