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Adult ADHD treatment 'must improve'


Researchers from the University of London have warned that many adults do not have access to treatment for attention hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) because of a lack of services.

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The team from the University’s School of Pharmacy found that treatment for ADHD trailed off in 15-21 year olds, resulting in a high proportion of adults ending treatment prematurely, despite still exhibiting symptoms of the condition such as inattention and impulsiveness.

Mainstream thought on ADHD had gravitated towards the opinion that the condition only affected children, but using data from a GP database, the researchers found that the decline in the prescription of drugs such as Ritalin trailed off compared with the reported decline in symptoms among adults, indicating that many are still living with the condition and not getting the treatment they need.

Professor Ian Wong, who led the study, said: “The results of our study suggest there is a possibility that treatment is prematurely discontinued in some young adults.”

The Government said that more needed to be done to improve communication between child and adult mental health services.


Readers' comments (2)

  • I agree with Prof Wong. I have found it a struggle at the age of 54 to get a diagnosis, having struggled all my life with ADHD. in my era I was seen as the bright but lazy kid who needed caning frequently. What i have found is a lack of help post diagnosis with CBT focused therapies and help with loss in Sussex where I live. I had to go to the Maudsley to be diagnosed and treated.

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  • I agree that treatment of adults with ADHD needs to improve we are so behind other countries with our treatment for ADHD.

    I was diagnosed with ADHD at school and was told I should just grow out of it.

    I went to University and failed my degree because I found it so hard to concentrate on one thing for very long.

    I eventually managed to get a HND in Software Engineering and with help from the Job Centre am now running my own PC repair business.

    A few years ago I was diagnosed with Asperger's as well as being re-assessed for ADHD.

    They sent me to Sheffield for Asperger's assessment and then to The Priory for assessment of my ADHD.

    They found out that I could do with therapy to help with my ADHD, however the NHS weren't willing to pay The Priory for their therapy and were supposed to offer their alternative version of therapy.

    The NHS's version of therapy was to send me to some person and all she could tell me was that she didn't deal with ADHD, she dealt with depression (how is that supposed to help?), but suggested I should try going to a community centre where I could take part in loads of activities.

    Quite clearly this person had never read up anything about ADHD, one major problem with ADHD is taking on too many tasks at once and ending up failing at all of them, and her solution to my ADHD was to go to a community centre where I could get involved in more tasks.

    It's annoying to know that in other countries like America where they have proper support for ADHD people like Jim Carrey are really successful, and yet in Britain people with ADHD are treated as lower class citizens that should be just forgotten about and messed around that much by the NHS, and denied drugs like Concerta, or Ritalin that would help them concentrate better.

    It's shocking how much the NHS is prepared to break Human Rights laws when it comes to treatment of ADHD.

    After being told at 16 I'd grow out of ADHD I spent 5 years totally unsupported with my addictive behaviour and ran up nearly £10,000 in debt all thanks to the NHS mess up, lost out on gaining a degree, and even ended up being banned from an event as punishment by the scouts for my behavioural issues.

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