What is ADHD?
Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) is a lifelong neurodevelopmental disorder affecting 3% of adults but may not have been diagnosed in childhood. There are different subtypes of ADHD:
- Combined presentation – a wide range of inattention and hyperactivity/impulsivity symptoms present
- Inattention presentation – mainly inattention symptoms (e.g. being easily distracted or having difficulties with organising tasks) present.
- Hyperactivity/Impulsivity presentation – mainly hyperactivity symptoms (e.g. fidgetiness, restlessness, constantly on the go) present
- ADHD in partial remission – some ADHD symptoms after a previous diagnosis, but does not meet the full criteria anymore.
People without ADHD may experience ADHD symptoms, but for people with ADHD this happens often and interferes with the person’s ability to do the things they want and need to do in everyday life.
People with ADHD may also experience mental health difficulties including mood and anxiety issues.
Getting an ADHD diagnosis
The first step to receiving a diagnosis for ADHD is speaking to your GP or other relevant healthcare professional.
If they think you would benefit from our service, a screening appointment will take place to decide whether an assessment is required. If this is agreed the person will be added to our waiting list.
The diagnostic process typically includes either 1 longer (approximately 2 hours) or 2 shorter appointments with a diagnostician. Prior to this, questionnaires are to be completed by the person and ideally someone who knew them as a child. Feedback is usually at the end of the appointment and will include a discussion of your potential follow-up options.
ADHD support we offer
Depending on the persons, our ADHD Advice Service or our Comprehensive/Complex Therapeutic Intervention Pathway may offer the following support:
- Psychoeducation - to enable the person to better understand ADHD, develop coping strategies for associated challenges, and/or promote independent living skills. We may also offer some support with further education and employment if appropriate.
- ADHD medication - If you wish to consider ADHD medication, you may be offered an assessment appointment and depending on the outcome you will be referred to one of the following pathways:
- Non-medical prescriber
You will be required to do a physical health check at your GP surgery to ensure it is safe for you to start ADHD medication. You will be supported to find the right dosage for you (known as titration), and you will be monitored with a non-medical prescriber throughout your ADHD medication journey. Once stable on the medication, your care will be transferred back to your GP for continuous of ADHD medication. Frequent reviews will take place, to support you throughout the process.
- Community Mental Health Team,
This team will do your physical health checks with you to ensure it is safe for you to start ADHD medication.You will be supported to find the right dosage for you (known as titration), and you will be monitored by the team throughout your ADHD medication journey. They will offer you all your medication appointments, and any medication queries will be dealt via CMHT.
ADHD Advice Service
We run a virtual Advice Service for adults with ADHD (18 and upwards). This service offers advice is offered on a variety of topics issues, such as learning about ADHD, anxiety, and impulsivity, managing anger, and medication. Our support worker can offer advice on activities of daily living, such as budgeting, daily planning, meal planning and budgeting. This service is on the telephone and/or video.
You can use this service if you:
- Have been assessed by our team and their carers.
- Have a diagnosis of an ADHD.
- Are 18 years of age and over.
- Have a Northamptonshire GP.
An initial assessment is required to ensure the service is suitable for your needs. People who are diagnosed by our team are automatically assessed.
For individuals who are already diagnosed, please visit your GP, and ask to be referred to the Adult ADHD, Autism and Tourette’s Team & Asperger’s Team. We will need a diagnostic assessment report to be provided to us prior to your appointment. The assessment does not need to have been carried out by our team, however we do require evidence of a comprehensive diagnostic assessment in line with NICE guidelines. If no report is available, you can be referred for a diagnostic assessment with our team by your GP.
What if I am already diagnosed with ADHD or ADHD and Autism (dual diagnosis)?
If you already have a diagnosis, you may be able to receive short-term support from our team (as above). An appointment would be offered to assess whether we are the best team to support your needs.