What is ADHD?

ADHD is a neurodevelopmental disorder with onset in childhood and characterised by a range of symptoms in the following areas:

Graphics showing four main symptoms -- Difficulties with attention and concentration, Impulsivity/restlessness, Poor organisation and planning, Forgetfulness/memory difficulties

People with ADHD often have complex needs and may also experience other mental health difficulties including mood and anxiety problems, addictions and psychosis. If this is the case we may advise you on how to seek treatment and care for your additional problems elsewhere within the available services.

Your assessment on the day

  • We will offer you an appointment with a member of the ADHD team.
  • You will receive a 'consent to share' form with your acceptance letter and this is really important for you to complete prior to your assessment.
  • Since the pandemic in 2020, we have been offering virtual appointments online but based on clinical need, we can also offer face-to-face appointments at our bases in Exeter and at Torbay Hospital.
  • In this appointment we will spend time discussing your background and the types of difficulties that you have been experiencing throughout your life and childhood.
  • If you come with someone who knows you we can also talk to them about your difficulties.
  • This assessment may be completed in one appointment lasting two hours.
  • Some people have to come back for further assessment. As part of this we may also ask to talk to someone who knows what you were like as a child, with your consent.

Some people that we assess will meet the criteria for a diagnosis, while others may not. In either case we will discuss the information that we have collected during the assessment and discuss the different sources of further support that may be available for you.

Treatment

If you are diagnosed with ADHD we will discuss the current guidance concerning effective and recommended treatments for your condition which you may wish to think about.

People’s treatment needs vary and not everyone responds to treatment in the same way. We will be able to make decisions considering the severity of your symptoms in your life and the eventual benefits that you may obtain from improved self-care, medication and psychological treatments.

We also offer a service for people who have been previously diagnosed with ADHD who want to restart medication to treat their ADHD. We will offer you an appointment to review your current ADHD challenges and to understand your current physical and mental health issues. If appropriate we will prescribe ADHD medication and review the effects of this before asking your GP to take over the prescribing of it under a Shared Care Agreement. At this point we can also refer you for our psychological interventions for ADHD if this is considered likely to be of benefit to you.

Leaving our service

We will discharge you from our service at the end of assessment if you have not received a diagnosis.

If you are commencing treatment with us, once your treatment is stabilised we will usually transfer prescribing responsibility back to your GP, under a Shared Care Agreement. However we will invite you back at least yearly to review how treatment is working for you. In addition you or your GP are welcome to contact our team for ADHD related advice before your next review.

If you are receiving one of our psychology based interventions we may discharge you once this is completed. 

Useful links

For up to date information on ADHD medication please have a look at the following trusted websites:

For more information and strategies to manage your ADHD please have a look at the following websites:

ADHD and driving:

Advice of how to manage ADHD when at work:

ADHD resources

We have produced a number of useful booklets and information sheets.

These could also be useful and helpful to those who are struggling with symptoms of ADHD but you do not have a formal diagnosis.

  • ADHD transitions booklet (for those moving from child to adult services)
  • Strategies booklet (including a list of useful apps)
  • ADHD and work
  • ADHD and Education
  • ADHD and Relationships
  • ADHD and Cannabis
  • ADHD and Sleep
  • ADHD and Women
  • ADHD: Getting the diagnosis in adulthood

We also have a closed Facebook group for those who have been diagnosed through our service and a group for friends and family of someone who has been through the service. This is monitored by the staff in our team.

  • Facebook link for friends and family of those who have been through the DAANA ADHD service:

https://www.facebook.com/groups/danafordefandf

Support for other issues

There are a wide range of community resources available in Devon that are available to support your recovery and improve and maintain your mental wellbeing:

The letter of hope has been written by adults, young people and people with learning disabilities from Devon, who wish to offer help and hope to those who are thinking about suicide

If you would like to give feedback (positive or negative) about your treatment but you don’t want to give this to us directly please use the patient advice liaison service (PALS).

 

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