Why getting an ADHD diagnosis is so important

adhd diagnosis

Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder is a common condition that is thought to affect around 2.6 million people in the UK today. It is a neurological condition that affects both children and adults and of this figure, a mere 10-20% of individuals will be treated. ADHD can present many challenges in family and work life, education, and social settings and if left without assessment and diagnosis, it can lead to higher numbers of mental health disorders, difficulties with addiction, and a higher likelihood of unemployment to name just a few.

Gaining a diagnosis and undertaking treatment in a way that works for you can be the key to unlocking your superpower and leading a happy and fulfilled life.

How can ADHD affect daily life?

ADHD can present in several ways for everyone, just as our personalities differ, ADHD differs also. Men and boys tend to present more of the hyperactivity and impulsivity ADHD traits, leading to difficulty in sitting still, seeming to be constantly moving and talking excessively. They may have difficulty with decision making, making rash decisions that could cause harm to themselves or others and difficulty in delayed gratification, needing reward or praise immediately. While inattentiveness presents more in women and girls, leading to a lack of concentration and focus, seeming not to listen and daydreaming.

 ADHD in boys and men

The hyperactivity and impulsivity ADHD traits are the most prevalent in males. For young boys in the schoolroom, it can be extremely difficult to sit still for so long and concentrate on one thing. Paying attention to long and tedious tasks that don’t have all of the individual’s interest can be exhausting and can often result in poor grades or trouble for not paying attention and being disruptive. For men in the workplace, it can mean that organising projects that don’t have 100% of their interests can take a long to complete, as procrastination kicks in and the need to focus on something more interesting takes over. This could result in deadlines being missed and a possible talking to from the boss. In home and family life it may seem that fathers with ADHD don’t have an interest in mundane family life, they could be quick to temper and get easily frustrated and irritated.

ADHD in girls and women

For females, the ADHD trait that is most prevalent is inattentiveness. For young girls this can often look like an inability to concentrate in class, seeming to daydream and not listen or pay attention. This could lead to poor grades, difficulty forming relationships in and outside of school and feelings of isolation. For women in the workplace, symptoms are very much the same, except that the individual may have gotten better at masking their ADHD to fit in. Challenges with organising time and workload, forgetting deadlines and appointments, misplacing things and often being late can all be signs of inattentive ADHD.

Why is it so important to gain an assessment and diagnosis for ADHD?

The number one reason to gain a diagnosis is to gain access to effective treatment. If you think you may have ADHD and are suffering therefore, then gaining a diagnosis or excluding an ADHD diagnosis is the first step into understanding yourself, your ADHD and most importantly managing it.

You may be feeling depressed due to your ADHD-based difficulties and often a trip to your doctor will result in depression treatment, not gaining access to the root cause of the problem. By treating your ADHD directly, you will be able to enforce lasting solutions and hopefully, through either medication, CBT, coaching, or nutrition to name a few, you will be able to tackle your difficulties head-on and in turn lessen your depression.

Gaining a deeper understanding from an accurate diagnosis can help you to be more effective in your daily life, reducing the amount ADHD interferes with your happiness. Without gaining this diagnosis, it is likely you will continue to try the same old coping strategies that have failed previously, but the good news is that a specialist ADHD clinic such as Sanctum can offer a comprehensive and multi-professional assessment for adults and children who may have ADHD. Speaking with an ADHD psychiatrist, who has specialist experience in assessing and supporting individuals with ADHD can be the first step to leading a full and happy life.

What is the outcome of undiagnosed ADHD?

If you suspect that you may have ADHD but are unsure about gaining a diagnosis due to stigma for example, then rest assured that this will not mean a change in you or your personality. People with ADHD can certainly use their condition as their superpower as it allows hyperfocus, boundless energy, and enthusiasm and when you have a full understanding of yourself and your symptoms, it can open up a world of positivity that you didn’t think possible.

It is understandable to be worried about gaining an ADHD diagnosis, however, if left untreated, this could lead to problems with productivity which could affect your job, interpersonal relationships such as your spouse, friends, and family, and other further mental health problems such as anxiety, depression, and addiction.

Speak to Sanctum for a confidential ADHD assessment and diagnosis

If you are worried about what an ADHD diagnosis could mean for you, then Sanctum is here to help you navigate the many positive changes that the condition can bring, allowing you to create a sense of understanding and control over your life. Private ADHD clinics such as Sanctum aim to provide rapid access and assessment, which is currently not available with the long NHS wait lists.

If you would like to speak to Sanctum’s friendly team about obtaining an ADHD assessment, you can get in touch here.

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