What is ADHD?

ADHD is a developmental disorder with onset in childhood and characterised by a range of symptoms such as:
  • Inability to concentrate
  • Hyperactivity
  • Impulsiveness
  • Emotional 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

We will offer you an appointment with a member of the ADHD team, at our base in Exeter. When you arrive we will typically ask you to complete some brief forms, including an assessment about your experiences. In this appointment we will spend time discussing your background and the types of difficulties that you have been experiencing. 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 1-1.5 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 access support. We will spend some time with you helping you to understand your diagnosis and providing information about other services and support that may be available 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. With advice about on-going care as relevant for you. However we will invite you back at least yearly to review how treatment is working for you, and advise your GP regarding continuation of your ADHD medication. If you are receiving one of our psychology based interventions we will discharge you once this is completed. 

Useful links

Follow DAANA on Twitter. Access to a closed Facebook group is offered to those diagnosed via the service.