Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and attention deficit disorder (ADD)
Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is the most common behavioural disorder in children, characterised by excessive energy levels and difficulty concentrating, and can also affect a child’s control over their speech and actions, leading to impulsive behaviour.
Your child may show signs of ADHD during their pre-school years, with recognisable symptoms of the condition becoming increasingly apparent when they start mainstream school; most diagnoses of the disorder happen between the ages of 6 to 12 years old. If your child has been diagnosed with ADHD, it is possible that they may have associated problems, including difficulty sleeping and symptoms of anxiety.
While there is currently no cure for ADHD or ADD, Priory’s nationwide network of hospitals and Priory Wellbeing Centres offer specialist child, adolescent and adult outpatient services. Highly experienced therapists can devise bespoke treatment tailored to you or your child’s individual situation, with the aim of reducing associated symptoms of ADHD or ADD through a variety of evidence-based treatment methods.
Who does ADHD and ADD affect?
In most cases, ADHD will improve with age, although if you were diagnosed with the condition as child, you may continue to experience problems in adulthood. Sometimes people only become aware of the disorder in adulthood, possibly when your child is diagnosed, or relatives or friends recognise symptoms and bring it to your attention. Experiencing ADHD as an adult can have a significant impact on your relationships, performance at work, and contribute to feelings of low-self-esteem.
The related condition of attention deficit disorder (ADD), similarly affects a child or adult’s focus on school, work, and even everyday activities such as getting ready to leave the house, with the biggest difference in comparison to ADHD being the lack of the ‘hyperactivity’ element. If your child is diagnosed with ADD, signs of this include shyness and a habit of daydreaming often, with doctors officially referring to the condition as an ‘Inattentive Type’ type of ADHD. ADD can be more difficult to diagnose due to the lack of the more obvious restlessness seen in conventional ADHD cases.
This page was clinically reviewed by Dr Michael Phelan (MBBS, BSc, FRCPsych) in March 2018, and is scheduled to be reviewed again in March 2020. To view all Priory ADHD and ADD specialists, please click here.