Attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)

ADHD usually appears first in childhood, but it can also be diagnosed in adults (when some symptoms were present in the person’s childhood, but were simply never diagnosed). The condition is characterised by a pattern of inattentive behaviour and is often combined with impulsivity and hyperactivity. This pattern of behaviour makes it difficult to focus on details, sustain attention, listen to others and follow through on instructions or duties. Although the exact causes of ADHD are uncertain, it is believed that the condition arises from a combination of neurobiological and social factors. Whilst ADHD is difficult to deal with for everyone involved, it is readily treatable. Medication may help with some immediate relief from some of the symptoms. However, medication alone is seldom the answer. Psychotherapy can help the child or adult to talk about upsetting thoughts and feelings, explore self-defeating patterns of behaviour, learn alternative ways to manage their emotions, identify and build on their strengths, challenge unhealthy or irrational thoughts and cope with everyday problems such as controlling their attention and aggression.