The Priory Group has launched a new support service for adults in London living with ADHD. The news comes during ADHD Awareness Month [October 2016] - a nationwide campaign to help people recognise, accept and understand their condition so they can get the best out of life, whether at home or in the workplace.
Working alongside an experienced therapist and CBT (Cognitive Behavioural Therapy) trainer, Minoo Noor, the new drop-in group held at the Priory's Wellbeing Centre on Fenchurch Street is exclusively for adults with ADHD.
Priory, which runs the largest independent network of mental healthcare hospitals and clinics in the country, held an inaugural meeting last month, attracting around 15 people. The two hour sessions will continue on a monthly basis, on the fourth Monday of each month, at 6pm allowing guests to drop in at the end of the working day.
Minoo said; "It was wonderful to see so many guests for our opening session and to be able to provide a safe and confidential environment for them to share their experiences and 'tips' about their personal journey of living with ADHD.
"It is not uncommon for people with the condition - whether officially diagnosed or not - to feel isolated and just not sure of where they quite fit in, particularly at work. However, after just one session, it was very encouraging to see people chatting and seeking support from one another and I look forward to working with them as our group develops and grows."
The exact cause of ADHD is unknown, but the condition has been shown to run in families. Research has also identified a number of possible differences in the brains of people with ADHD compared to those who don't have the condition - a condition characterized by distractibility, impulsivity and restlessness or hyperactivity.
According to the NHS, other suggested and possible factors linked to ADHD include: being born prematurely (before the 37th week of pregnancy); a low birth weight; smoking, alcohol or drug abuse during pregnancy. The condition can occur in people with any level of intellectual ability and is more common in males than females.
Minoo explains; "Obtaining the right diagnosis is all too often the hardest part. It is a complex condition but it is still unacceptable that people today are being labelled as disorganised, disruptive or inattentive at work and therefore missing out on the support and understanding they need.
"There are also too many cases of adults being prescribed medication and then sent away without being offered further treatments such as behavioural therapy, CBT and other appropriate services. I believe support, shared experiences and better education about coping strategies empower people with ADHD to finally embrace their condition and ensure it doesn't stop them from leading a happy life and a fulfilling career."
Recently released figures suggest that prescription rates for ADHD drugs in the UK increased substantially between 2000 and 2015. Looking at data from around 7.5m patients, across a 20-year period, prescriptions for specific ADHD medications rose from 4.8 per 10,000 (1995) to 42.7 per 10,000 (2000) to 394.4 per 100,000.
However, it is a holistic approach to managing the condition that can often lead to the best outcomes for individuals.
In the workplace, people with ADHD can experience problems with time management, listening and paying attention, completing assignments, getting to work on time, controlling emotions and sometimes, quite literally, sitting still.
As such, ADHD can lead to depression and low self-esteem. However, if an employer is aware of the situation - and the person with ADHD feels empowered to make their employer aware - then allowances should be made to allow them to adapt, such as working in a quieter space rather than a large, open plan area, in order to remove distractions.
Minoo adds; "ADHD in the workplace should not be seen as a disadvantage and people with the condition should be encouraged to take advantage of the benefits. Divergent thinking, courage, energy, and resilience are some of the positive aspects associated with ADHD. The key is finding the right role and working environment that best suits you."
ADHD can be prevalent among adults working in the IT sector - just one of the reasons that Priory chose to launch this new group at its clinic in the heart of the City. Minoo says that whilst the stigma around conditions such as ADHD is slowly lessening, there is still an issue with 'disclosure', and many adults require support and encouragement when considering if and how to discuss their condition with employers and colleagues.
With this in mind, the new monthly support group will be free of charge and anyone interested in attending can do so without a referral.
October also sees Europe's largest ADHD Conference return for the 4th year, with the 2-day event being held at Liverpool's Titanic Hotel (October 13 & 14) and attracting over 800 delegates from the UK and internationally. Organised by the ADHD Foundation and part-sponsored by Priory Group, the conference will be opened by charity patron and long-time supporter, comedian and broadcaster, Rory Bremner.
For more details on the full range of Priory Services, please call 0800 840 3219 or click here to make an enquiry.