Diagnosis of Adult ADHD is on the rise, but this is good news

Mar 22, 2023 - neurocare group

In recent years, there has been a steep rise in the number of adults diagnosed with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), however surprisingly most people agree that this is a good thing.

Increasing numbers are not a result of an increase in the incidence of Adult ADHD, rather they reflect improved awareness and better treatment options1.

In the past, ADHD was believed to primarily affect children and adolescents, with symptoms often diminishing in adulthood. Now, due to improved access to healthcare, greater awareness of symptoms, and a decrease in the stigma surrounding treatment, more adults are receiving ADHD diagnoses.


Shedding Light on Adult ADHD

Despite the increasing number of ADHD diagnoses, many individuals are unaware of how the disorder can impact adults and what symptoms to look out for. Adult ADHD is characterised by procrastination, inattention, difficulty engaging and an inability to focus or prioritise2. This can significantly impact an individual’s quality of life by hindering their ability to complete tasks, manage time, and maintain relationships. It’s essential to remember that you’re not alone if you or somebody you know has been diagnosed with ADHD; actually, it’s more common than you think affecting 1 in 20 adults2.

In a comprehensive study by Deloitte, researchers found that the disorder’s worldwide prevalence ranges from 2% to 5%, encompassing both children and adults3. In Australia, ADHD is one of the most common neurodevelopmental disorders, affecting 6-7% of the population4. Even into adulthood, around 65% of those diagnosed continue to experience symptoms, with 15% still meeting the criteria for a diagnosis of ADHD5.


While ADHD prevalence decreases with age, ADHD often persists and remains relatively common in adults. There is also evidence that ADHD can present for the first time in adolescence or adulthood for some people.

The social and economic costs of ADHD in Australia, Deloitte


What to do if you think you may have ADHD 

One of the reasons ADHD was historically under-diagnosed in adults is the condition may manifest in different ways than in children. Indicators such as procrastination, impulsivity or poor time-management are often dismissed as negative behaviour traits and under-reported or not recognised by clinicians. If you are finding it difficult to concentrate or focus, and this is affecting your day-to-day life, an ADHD assessment can help clarify whether ADHD or another health issue might explain your symptoms and the best treatment options available.

The assessment process involves a clinical interview combined with a series of standardised tests to gather information about your behaviour and cognitive abilities. This information is then used to determine if you meet the diagnostic criteria for ADHD and to develop an individualised treatment plan.

Once the assessment is complete, your clinician will recommend the best course of treatment to help you manage your condition. Initial treatment options for ADHD may include medication, behavioural therapy, or a combination of both.


What treatments are suitable for ADHD? 

While medication has been traditionally used to manage ADHD symptoms, it’s not a one-size-fits-all solution. Some individuals may not respond well to medication or experience adverse side effects. Additionally, medication does not address the underlying neurological causes of ADHD, meaning it’s not a cure.

For those looking to complement their medication, or for an alternative to medication, Neurofeedback is an effective and evidence-based approach for reducing the symptoms of ADHD.


What is Neurofeedback? 

Neurofeedback is a non-invasive procedure that encourages the brain to develop healthier patterns.

During Neurofeedback electrodes are placed on your scalp to measure electrical activity from your brain. The process involves sitting in front of a computer screen where you receive visual and auditory cues that provide real-time feedback in response to your brainwave patterns. When the brain is in the desired pattern you are fed a reward. Your brain begins to associate this brain pattern with positive reinforcement (the reward) through the natural process of operant conditioning.

Similar to strengthening a muscle at the gym, through repeated Neurofeedback, your neuronal circuits become stronger and you are able to operate in a healthier brain state more easily. As a result, you can become less drawn to intrusive or distressing thoughts and better able to cope with these, effectively learning to manage your ADHD symptoms.

Neurofeedback is an effective and safe way to help individuals with ADHD manage their symptoms without experiencing the side effects associated with pharmaceuticals.


ADHD Assessments & Neurofeedback at neurocare 

At neurocare, we understand the unique challenges that come with ADHD and the impact it can have on a person’s life. That’s why we offer comprehensive ADHD assessments and Neurofeedback treatment for ADHD in children and adults. Our team of experienced clinicians is dedicated to providing personalised and effective care to help individuals with ADHD reach their full potential. If you or someone in your life has been diagnosed with ADHD, we encourage you to connect with us today to discover more about our services and how we can help.


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