Adult Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) causes, symptoms, diagnosis and treatments

Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is a mental health condition characterised by a number of chronic issues, including trouble paying attention, hyperactivity, and impulsive conduct.

Adult ADHD can cause unstable relationships, poor work or performance, low self-esteem, and a variety of other issues. People with ADHD may appear agitated, have difficulty concentrating, and act on impulse.

What is Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)?

Almost everyone experiences ADHD-like symptoms at some point in their lives. If your symptoms are new or have only happened sporadically in the past, you are unlikely to have ADHD. Only when symptoms are severe enough to cause problems in more than one area of your life is ADHD diagnosed. These unpleasant symptoms can be traced all the way back to childhood. Many adults who were diagnosed with the disorder as a child continue to have issues. that interfere with everyday lives. Adults with ADHD may experience difficulties paying attention, impulsivity, and restlessness. The signs and symptoms might be modest to severe.

Many people with ADHD aren't even aware that they have it; all they know is that regular chores are difficult for them. Adults with ADHD may have trouble focusing and prioritising, which can lead to missed deadlines and forgotten meetings or social activities. The inability to manage impulses can manifest itself in a variety of ways, from irritation when waiting in line or driving in traffic to mood swings and angry outbursts.

Because certain ADHD symptoms are similar to those caused by other conditions, such as anxiety or mood disorders, diagnosing ADHD in adults can be difficult. Many adults with ADHD also suffer from other mental health problems, such as depression or anxiety.

Types of ADHD

There are three primary types of ADHD that may be diagnosed, and knowing which one you have is crucial to getting the correct treatment.

  • Hyperactive and Impulsive - If you have hyperactive ADHD you feel compelled to move constantly, talking nonstop, interrupting others, blurting out replies, and lacking in self-control
  • Inattentive - Previously known as Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD). You have trouble sustaining concentration, following specific directions, and coordinating tasks and activities, and make careless mistakes. You have a poor working memory, are quickly distracted by outside stimuli, and frequently misplace items.
  • Combined - You have symptoms of inattention as well as symptoms of hyperactivity and impulsivity.

Symptoms of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder

There isn't a single test that can be used to determine if you have ADHD. Instead, health professionals establish what symptoms you have, how many you have, when they began, how long they've been present, and how severe they are.

Your health professional will also take into account if ADHD is having impact on your employment, relationships, or other significant aspects of your life. Your health professional will also want to rule out any other illnesses and determine if you have multiple disorders. If you have ADHD or ADD, you may experience difficulties with:

  • Disorganization and prioritisation issues
  • Time management issues, difficulty focusing on a task, and multitasking issues
  • Excessive activity or restlessness are two examples of excessive activity
  • Low tolerance for frustration due to poor planning
  • Mood fluctuations that occur frequently
  • Concentrating and finishing assignments
  • Complying with directions
  • Anger issues
  • Coping with stress and anxiety
  • Agitated or impatient
  • Risk-taking and impulsiveness
  • Struggles with social contact or relationships

If you suspect that you may have ADHD, you can quickly access adult ADHD assessments at our leading London mental health clinic. Learn more about adult ADHD assessments here.We also offer ADHD assessments for children and teens.

Schoen Clinic Chelsea offers a specialised treatment programme for adults with a variety of anxiety and mood disorders, often associated with ADHD.

ADHD commonly occurs with:

Although ADHD does not cause other psychological or developmental issues, it is common for other disorders to coexist with ADHD, making treatment more difficult. These are some of them:

  • Mood problems
  • Depression, bipolar affective disorder, or another mood disease affects many individuals with ADHD
  • While mood problems aren't always caused by ADHD, a pattern of failures and frustrations caused by the disorder can exacerbate depression
  • Anxiety disorders are a type of anxiety condition. Anxiety issues are common among individuals with ADHD and anxiety can be exacerbated by the difficulties and setbacks that come with ADHD
  • Other psychiatric problems, such as personality disorders, intermittent explosive disorder, and substance use disorders, are more common in adults with ADHD
  • Learning impairments are a type of learning disability. Adults with ADHD may find it difficult to concentrate

Helping you to overcome attention deficit hyperactivity disorder

To improve your ADHD symptoms, you may do a lot on your own. Simple measures can help you achieve your goals, such as:

  • Exercise burns off energy and releases beneficial brain chemicals like serotonin, which can help you concentrate.
  • Relaxation techniques like meditation or yoga can help to alleviate the symptoms of ADHD, as well as the anxiety and depression that might accompany it.
  • Eating healthy, nutritious food at regular times. Don’t go too long between meals. Don't eat junk food because, according to some experts, food additives, may exacerbate the symptoms of ADHD.
  • Take efforts to improve your sleep quality. Maintain a consistent night routine, limit caffeine, switch off technology early, and keep your bedroom dark.

It's important to remember that ADHD does not go away by itself. If your symptoms are severe and your life is being disrupted, it is critical you seek professional help as soon as possible.

What therapies are best for ADHD?

  • Cognitive Behavioural Therapy - One of the most effective treatments for ADHD is Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT), which helps you acquire new behavioural patterns and reduces any unhelpful behaviours. Cognitive-behavioral therapy modifies your thought processes in order to help you modify your behaviour.
  • Schema therapy - The fundamental causes of poor behaviour, low self-esteem, and anxiety are addressed in schema therapy. Schema therapy can help you get a deeper understanding of your prior experiences so you can start dealing with them more positively.
  • Psychotherapy - People who get psychotherapy can learn to recognise their anxiety patterns and battle them by reframing their thinking and practising healthy practises.

Aspects of therapy include:

  • Creating activities and experiences that are both positive and enjoyable
  • Changing distorted, mostly pessimistic or negative mental processes
  • Improving interpersonal bonds through practising social skills re-establishing social relationships
  • (Re)establishing social ties
  • Creating problem-solving strategies
  • Physiotherapeutic and sport therapy interventions
  • Mindfulness

Art and creative therapy for people with ADHD

Treatments that incorporate the use of arts-based activities such as painting, music, or theatre in a therapeutic environment with the support of a certified practitioner are known as art and creative therapies.

Participating in these activities doesnt require any prior knowledge or skill.

People with ADHD can benefit from art and creative therapy to enhance problem-solving abilities, attention, communication, and other parts of their lives, resulting in decreased impulsivity, distractibility, and anxiety.

Does group therapy help ADHD?

One or two therapists teach people with ADHD about life with the disorder in a group therapy session. Multiple people gather in group therapy to talk about their experiences with ADHD. People with ADHD can benefit from this type of therapy because they can acquire methods and coping skills from other people who have the same problem. By meeting others in similar situations, it can also help to alleviate some of the sense of isolation they may be feeling.

Pay-as-you-go therapy sessions in London

We offer fast access to our highly specialised group therapies at our leading London mental health clinic.
Our various groups are led by expert therapists and offer a number of benefits to patients experiencing mental health problems or eating disorders.

Self-funding patients can usually begin treatment within a few days.

Contact our bookings team direct on +44 20 4571 9791 or email che-enquiries@schoen-clinic.co.uk to find out more.

Begin your journey to managing ADHD symptoms with a fast diagnosis

Start your ADHD treatment journey today. Learn more about our rapid access assessments for adult ADHD in London.

For fast access ADHD/ADD assessments in London at Schoen Clinic Chelsea, you can use your health insurance or simply fund your own treatment. Call our caring team direct on +44 20 4571 6312 or email us today.

Private ADHD treatment in London at our mental health clinic

Adults suffering from a variety of mental health problems, including depression, anxiety, panic attacks, Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD), stress, low mood, emotional trauma, ADHD, low self-esteem, or bipolar disorder can benefit from our specialised treatment programme, which offers a variety of therapeutic treatments.

ADHD Frequently asked questions


Symptoms usually begin in childhood and continue into adulthood. ADHD symptoms can appear at a young age and grow more obvious as a child's circumstances change, such as when they start school. Where instances of ADHD are diagnosed in children, it is usually between the ages of 3 and 7.

Adult ADHD symptoms may not be as obvious as children's ADHD symptoms. Hyperactivity in adults may lessen, but impulsivity, restlessness, and difficulties paying attention may persist.

Additional issues, like as sleep and anxiety difficulties, may be present in people with ADHD.

The specific cause of ADHD is unknown, but the following are some of the factors that may play a role in the development of ADHD:

  • Premature birth (before the 37th week of pregnancy)
  • During your mother's pregnancy, she smoked, drank alcohol, or used drugs
  • Hereditary as studies suggest that ADHD / ADD can run in families
  • Problems with the central nervous system at critical stages of development
  • Childhood exposure to environmental pollutants, such as lead, which was mostly present in paint and pipes in older buildings
  • More common in people who have learning difficulties, although ADHD can affect persons of any intelligence level

You may find life challenging if you have ADHD. The following factors have been related to ADHD:

  • Poor academic or professional performance
  • Unemployment
  • Financial difficulties
  • Substance abuse
  • Car accidents or other types of incidents on a regular basis
  • Unstable relationships
  • Health issues, both physical and mental
  • Low self-esteem
  • Suicide attempts

You must have multiple symptoms, not just one or two, to be diagnosed with ADHD. They must have had an impact on your employment, relationships, or other significant aspects of your life. Your health professional will also want to rule out any other illnesses and determine if you have multiple disorders.

Several treatments are available to assist you in managing your illness. If you have several ADHD symptoms, and you hare experiencing difficulties at work, in relationships or other areas of your life, schedule an appointment with a health professional. The sooner you discover if you suffer from ADHD, the sooner you may begin treatment.

The most common kind of therapy for ADHD is cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT), which is especially well-suited for adults. Behavioral therapy is simply treatment that aids in behaviour modification. Cognitive-behavioral therapy alters your mental processes to help you modify your behaviour.

Cognitive-behavioral therapy can help you perceive things more objectively and positively. You may learn to appreciate and congratulate yourself for the things you accomplish well. CBT designed specifically for people with ADHD can also assist you in learning specialised skills such as time management, organisation, and long-term planning.

Adults with ADHD have a more difficult time finishing high school and continuing their education. They frequently have difficulty holding employment. They're also more likely to suffer from:

Divorce or relationship issues
Substance abuse
Problmes with money
Accidents on the road
Legal issues

People with ADHD are more likely to suffer from anxiety, mood problems, and personality issues.

  • Make time throughout your day to relax. De-stress and unwind during the period between activities.
  • Surround yourself with people who accept you. Adults with ADHD may believe that individuals around them do not understand them and criticise or condemn their actions. Find new individuals to spend time with if the ones you're with make you feel uncomfortable or inadequate.
  • Schedule daily workout time. Exercise improves concentration and attention, reduces extra energy, and combats depressive symptoms. There are several advantages to incorporating an exercise regimen into your everyday routine.
  • Recognize and accept your limitations. Keep in mind that ADHD is not a made-up condition. An ADHD diagnosis might help you understand why you behave the way you do, but it is not an excuse for unacceptable conduct.
  • Make the most of your own internal clock. If you are a morning person who is more productive first thing in the morning, plan your day such that the most critical tasks are completed first. If you work best in the afternoons, plan your day accordingly.
  • Look for employment that enables you to be flexible with your schedule so that you may maximise your personal productivity.
  • Create your own structure. Build routines, such as a daily schedule, to assist you give your day structure.

  • Discover more about ADHD. The more you understand about your diagnosis, the better equipped you'll be to deal with the everyday challenges. Join support groups, read books, and ask your doctor questions.

Caffeine has been shown in certain tests to help persons with ADHD focus as it mimics the effects of stronger stimulant medications used to treat ADHD. Similarly with energy drinks, it's not generally recommended as a treatment for ADHD as caffeine is less effective than prescription medication.

Living with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder sometimes involves obsessing and overthinking. Medication and CBT therapy can be helpful to modify negative thoughts and emotions.