Anteris is pleased to be able to offer the service of specialists in the Psychiatry of Adult ADHD.
What is Adult ADHD?
Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder is a commonly recognized disorder amongst children. Symptoms commonly include hyperactivity, impulsivity and inattention. In contrast to people normal levels of these symptoms, people with ADHD have functional impairment as a consequence of their symptoms. People with ADHD often struggle with emotional regulation as well, and may experience problems in relationships as well as at work or in learning environments.
It is estimated that as many as 3% of adults may have ADHD, making it a common disorder.
In adults, physical hyperactivity is less common than in children, however many patients with adult ADHD have problems with an overactive mind that makes it difficult to wind down. Other common symptoms include disorganization, habitual procrastination, impulsive interruption of others, indecisiveness, rapid loss of interest in jobs, courses, and relationships, and excessive talkativeness, amongst others.
How is Adult ADHD diagnosed?
First of all, it is important to note that ADHD is a clinical diagnosis best made by a psychologist or psychiatrist. A full psychiatric assessment is important, because other conditions may mimic ADHD. Perhaps the most common of these is obstructive sleep apnoea, however high levels of stress, unhealthy lifestyle, and substance abuse may lead to symptoms.
It is common for people with adult ADHD to have a mood disorder, anxiety disorder, substance use problem or medical condition which may also contribute to ADHD symptoms. Sometimes, a lack of treatment for ADHD can undermine treatment of other disorders. Our doctors aim to provide treatment or advice on other relevant disorders identified during the assessment process.
In addition to a clinical interview encompassing current symptoms of ADHD, mood disorder, anxiety, sleep problems, head injury, medical history, alcohol and drug use and so on, we use rating scales to assess the number and severity of symptoms. Click here to complete the Adult ADHD Self-Report Scale as an example. (https://psychology-tools.com/test/adult-adhd-self-report-scale)
How does our ADHD clinic work?
Anteris has a dedicated ADHD clinic, and your referral may go to a consultant psychiatrist with an interest in ADHD, or you may be seen by one of our medical officers who then consult with a psychiatrist when needed, to offer you the best possible treatment.
We accept GP and psychologist referrals, and obtaining a referral is the first step towards an assessment. When the referral is received, it is allocated to a doctor and an appointment is arranged, which may be face to face or via audiovisual link.
Treatment is individualized, and we will consult with you on whether it is best to start treatment for ADHD or to address other concerns first.
Our initial assessments include obtaining information from you including filling in rating scales, information from family if applicable, and then an appointment with a doctor usually for one hour or slightly more. We may need to arrange further laboratory or other testing in some cases before deciding on treatment. When ADHD is diagnosed, it is common for medication to be trialled, and one or two follow up sessions (up to half an hour each) are commonly required to adjust doses for optimum benefit or to review problems which may arise from treatment.
With your permission, we keep your GP informed via letter of your diagnosis, treatment, and recommended investigations if applicable.
How are Referrals Handled?
Once Anteris receives a referral from your GP or Psychologist, we will try to match that referral with a doctor who can see you soon. This might be one of our Consultant Psychiatrists, or Dr Matthew McKinnon, our dedicated ADHD clinic doctor. It is most likely your appointment will occur via audiovisual link.
If you have been assessed using psychometric tests, for instance by a psychologist, there may be no need for you to undergo any more testing. If you have not, we will send out appropriate screening questionnaires for you to answer and return. Doing this before your appointment means your doctor can spend more on other aspects of the assessment.
Our clinic admin team may also ask you about a relative or partner the doctor can speak to for collateral information, or documents such as old school reports if available.