Many people with ADHD aren't aware they have it. They will be aware however that everyday tasks seem more difficult for them than for others. Typical symptoms are finding it hard to focus, missing deadlines and trouble controlling impulses, ranging from impatience to mood swings and outbursts of anger. Other symptoms include:
The above list may be familiar to most people at different times in their lives. If these symptoms occur only occasionally, they probably don't have ADHD. A doctor usually diagnoses when someone’s symptoms cause problems that stop a person working, finding stable housing, or living normally and safely.
Diagnosis of ADHD in adults is often trickier because the same symptoms also occur in mental health conditions, such as anxiety or mood disorders. Many adults with ADHD also have at least one other mental health condition (depression and anxiety are the most common).
Symptoms usually start before the age of 12 and continue into adulthood.
ADHD is a lifelong condition, though it often becomes less marked in adulthood. But it can be effectively managed. The first step is to see a doctor and start seeking a diagnosis.
In the UK, the incidence of ADHD in school-aged children is thought to be between 3 and 5%. In adults it is between 3 and 4%.
We still don’t know for sure. An enormous amount of research is focused on finding the causes of ADHD. Factors that may be involved include:
The risk of a person developing ADHD may increase if:
ADHD has been linked to:
Making the diagnosis normally includes:
ADHD is normally treated through a two-pronged approach:
Doctors might prescribe stimulants for ADHD – which might seem counterintuitive, but has a strong evidence basis for regulating brain activity.
Some ADHD patients might also benefit from antidepressants or other medication, but in every case a doctor is best placed to advise on what to take.
Psychotherapy is indicated for people with ADHD but behavioural therapies can also help manage traits that make people with ADHD disorganised, and teach useful skills as well.
NHS Choices provides information about the signs, symptoms and treatment for depression.
For people with an ADHD diagnoses, this charity provides resources and advocacy.
Aimed at young people, this profile of ADHD explains what it is, how to seek treatment and mental health concerns for people with ADHD in a clear and straightforward way.
'Long Covid' is a broad description of symptoms that persist after a person catches Covid-19 (whether proven or suspected).
The most frequently reported is fatigue. Many patients report a frustrating cycle of relapse and recovery. People report that even when undertaking what seem to be 'small' tasks, they find themselves easily exhausted – often referred to as a 'relapse'. People also report that relapses feel 'like going back to square one', and their capacity to do tasks has to be built back up 'from scratch'. This cycle of effort and exhaustion may be repeated over and over, seemingly without a sense of progress.
Other physical symptoms include:
Long Covid is often likened to fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS)/myalgic encephalomyelitis (ME). All four conditions share fatigue as a major symptom.
Naturally, it's common for people experiencing post-viral symptoms to also report low mood and anxiety. Therapists can help support people with long Covid during these periods, and therapists with experience of working with patients who have chronic or acute health conditions will be particularly well-placed to connect with your experience.
You do not need to have tested positive for Covid-19 to have had the virus, and anyone who experienced Covid-19 could be at risk of post-viral symptoms.
It is also possible that 'long Covid'-type symptoms are a sign of a different problem.
In particular, more people might experience depression and anxiety symptoms this year because of stressors like lockdown, grief, isolation, remote or insecure work, and a sense of loss.
Given how new the diagnosis is, there is no prognosis. But in their experience of treating people with other post-viral illnesses, doctors report that recovery can take years or even months. Many people recover fully from post-viral illness.
Up to 60,000 people in the UK may experience long Covid, according to research published by the Covid-19 Symptom Study last September.
Psychotherapy is an ideal place to get help and support. Some therapists specialise in working with people who have a chronic health condition like long Covid, and are well-placed to understand the experience of living with a long Covid diagnosis or symptoms.
Psychiatrists can prescribe medication for patients who develop depression or anxiety as a result of coping with long Covid symptoms.
A report into a large-scale UK study.
Self-help resources and information for people recovering from Covid-19.