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Adults

This page has a list of useful information to those diagnosed with ADHD. As our service grows this will grow with it and we welcome suggestions for additional content to be provided here.

Understanding the Diagnosis

AADD-UK is a useful website for adults with ADHD and is written by adults with ADHD. They have many useful information and resource sheets on many different topics. You can access this information by visiting their website at www.aadd.org

The Royal College of Psychiatrists’ website has a page with  a good overview of ADHD in adults with some useful resources. Their website is https://www.rcpsych.ac.uk/mental-health/problems-disorders/adhd-in-adults

ADDitude is a great online magazine with many great articles on a variety of different topics. You can visit their website via www.additudemag.com.

One of the best ways of understanding your diagnosis is to talk with others who share the diagnosis. there are many support groups, both online and in person that can help you to connect with others. 

 

A list of Support Groups can be found at : www.ukadhd.com/support-groups,

Driving & ADHD

Drivers are required to inform the DVLA of their diagnosis only if they feel it impacts on their ability to drive. Research shows people with treated ADHD are safer drivers than those without ADHD, however untreated the risks of an accident are increased. Your motor insurance premium should not increase as a result of diagnosis, but you should inform your insurer.

 

Many of us are aware of the phrase ‘driving without due care and attention’, also known as ‘careless driving’. This phrase almost seems written for ADHD adults. Whilst ADHD is clearly a disorder that could have an impact on safe driving, it doesn’t automatically mean you are unsafe. You can, however, potentially be fined up to £1,000 if you do not tell DVLA about any medical condition that affects your driving, including ADHD. It would be helpful for you to visit the DVLA website for more information and guidance on this: https://www.gov.uk/health-conditions-and-driving.

Women and ADHD

There is growing evidence and focus on females with ADHD so we have included some resources for you that you may find useful.

ADHD in Women: www.adhdcentre.co.uk/adhd-for-women

Women and Girls with ADHD: www.chadd.org/for-adults/women-and-girls

ADHD Looks Different in Women: www.additudemag.com/add-in-women/?src=embed_link

Books for Women with ADHD: www.adultingwithadhd.com/adhd-books-women

Strategies for Women with ADHD: www.psychcentral.com/blog/archives/2013/02/04/strategies-for-common-problems-that-strike-women-with-adhd

FAQs about Women and Girls with ADHD: https://adhdgirlsandwomen.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/10/Frequently-Asked-Questions-about-Girls-with-ADHD-1.pdf

I don't want to take medications

Whilst medications are the guidance provided by NICE and usually the first choice for most we recognise that not everyone wants to take this option. We do recommend discussing the option of medications even if you have doubts but if you do not want to take medications after having this conversation then the following can be helpful:

 

  • Cognitive behavioural therapy, specifically ADHD focused which involves self-instructional training administered in a group or individual basis.

  • It may help to develop a more planned and reflective approach to thinking and behaving, including social interactions.

  • It may also help adopt a more reflective, systematic, a goal-oriented approach to everyday tasks, activities and problem solving.

  • You may consider working with an ADHD Coach to help you find solutions to the challenges you face day to day.

  • You may consider contacting local ADHD peer support groups.

  • strategies for managing ADHD without medications, which might include:

    • putting structure into the day with a plan of structure and routine,

    • daily cardiovascular exercise,

    • mindfulness practice,

    • a high-quality Omega 3 fish oil - EPA 1000 mg,DHA 600 mg daily,

Work & ADHD

What distracts you the most at work? Social media? News alerts? Email? Texts? Your messy desk surfaces? Noisy co-workers? Distractions at work are a common challenge for employees with ADHD. Be honest with yourself about what causes your primary distractions and curtail those diversions using these tips:

 

  • Turn off notifications: Route calls to voicemail. If you can, turn off message notifications. Check your messages at set times during the day.

  • Use noise-cancelling headphones: Headphones are ideal for busy or loud environments.

  • Choose a quiet space: Request a quiet space to work in or go to when you’re overwhelmed. Listen to music: Play music or a white noise machine. Research shows that music structure helps the ADHD brain stay on a linear path and address timing deficits. However, not all music works the same way. Loud songs with lyrics can have a distracting effect on some adults with ADHD. The best music options for the benefit of concentration are classical composers and soothing instrumentals.

  • Adjust your work schedule: Start work earlier or stay later than usual when it’s quieter at the office. Maintain a clean workspace: Keep your workspace clutter-free as much as is possible to prevent visual distraction.

Under the Equality Act 2010, ADHD is defined as a disability, and employers have a responsibility under this Act to make any reasonable adjustments to remove disadvantages faced due to disability. Adjustments can sometimes be funded through the Government scheme ‘Access to Work‘, which can pay for support for employees with ADHD. It can pay for things like adaptations to the environment, awareness training for colleagues, a buddy or support worker for the employee, or a range of other supports. How much money is awarded and what is funded depends on individual circumstances. Access to Work funding can cover support to help someone start or stay at work.

 

Further information and suggestions for reasonable adjustments can be found here:

Modifications to working and management practices:

  • Offer increased support, supervision, frequent check-ins and feedback (e.g., daily or weekly planning and progress meetings with line manager)

  • Give instructions and meeting notes in writing as well as verbally

  • Allow regular movement breaks: scheduled breaks during long duration meetings or activities

  • You may consider Pomodoro working (25 mins work + 5 mins break, with longer break after 4 Pomodoros).

 

Modifications to the work environment may include:

  • Visual prompts: wall charts for routines, checklists, post-it notes for reminders

  • Larger computer screens so everything is visible

  • Visible clocks and encouraging use of alarms and timers

  • Reducing distractions: noise cancelling headphones with music or ambient noise, or ear plugs.

  • Having dedicated work space, if possible, with reduced level of distraction

  • Use of software to keep organised

Strengths & ADHD

Remember that although individuals with ADHD report difficulties and challenges in areas of their lives, having ADHD also means that you have unique strengths and positives which others may not have. Some examples of these attributes include:

  • Great imagination and creativity skills

  • Determination and perseverance

  • Having a good memory and attention to detail (in some areas)

  • Multi-tasking and being able to do lots of things at once

  • Being able to ‘hyperfocus’ on something that you enjoy or are interested in

  • Being energetic

  • Strong empathy and caring skills

  • Innovative problem solving

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