Most ADHD is diagnosed in children and is often treated with a combination of behavioural therapy and psychostimulant medication under close supervision of either a paediatrician or a specialist in children’s mental health.
Occasionally, the parents of children diagnosed with ADHD will seek treatment for themselves, particularly once they see the process of diagnosis in their children and recognise themselves to have been suffering the same symptoms in childhood and beyond.
ADHD may be being over-diagnosed in childhood. Given the risks associated with long-term psychostimulant medication – such as addiction, anxiety, hypertension and effect on growth – specialist assessment is a necessity.
Few specialised services for Adult ADHD exist and waiting times for assessment, diagnosis and treatment, if required, can be lengthy.
Once diagnosed in adults, behaviours of concern e.g. addiction, irritability/aggression, can often be seen in context and modified with the help of medication and behavioural strategies.