The challenge of diagnosing ADHD in adulthood
Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is a neurodevelopmental disorder that causes difficulty paying attention, impulsivity, and hyperactivity. Most commonly, it is diagnosed in childhood. However, many adults may also suffer from the condition.
Symptoms in adults with ADHD may differ from those in children, which complicates diagnosing the condition. Adults with ADHD typically have more difficulty organising, managing time, and making decisions, rather than issues with hyperactivity and impulsivity. This can make it more difficult to recognise the condition and seek appropriate treatment.
Another challenge is that many adults with ADHD may have co-occurring mental health conditions, such as anxiety or depression. These conditions can cause similar symptoms, making it even more difficult to accurately diagnose ADHD.
Furthermore, the diagnostic criteria for ADHD were developed based on research and clinical observations of children, and may not always be applicable to adults. It can result in adults being misdiagnosed or underdiagnosed.
And to add a further challenger, there is still a significant stigma surrounding ADHD, which can make it difficult for adults to seek help and support. Many adults may be hesitant to seek a diagnosis and treatment for fear of being labeled as "crazy" or "unable to control themselves".
Overall, diagnosing ADHD in adults can be a challenging and complex process. It is important for healthcare providers to be aware of the unique challenges and barriers that adults with ADHD may face, and to work closely with individuals to accurately diagnose and treat the condition. With proper support and treatment, adults with ADHD can lead fulfilling and successful lives.
At Clinical Therapy, we offer comprehensive assessments for the diagnosis of ADHD. Our skilled assessors take into account all of the factors above, and more. ADHD assessments are conducted at our clinic in Kogarah, and reports are produced within 3-4 weeks.