Attention describes that part of the mind that locks onto internal or external data and stimuli. Depending on the environment and the task a person is trying to engage with, a wide focus of attention may be helpful or narrow focus of attention may be necessary . Many people have the ability to operate with a wide focus of attention, perhaps when trying to abstractly problem solve or are in a creative mode trying to connect different ideas and concepts and will experience their mind in this instance in a fluid and fast moving way whereby they are able to grasp and latch onto thoughts and concepts, move rapidly onto connected ideas, make connections between different data sets, see patterns and will generally experience a flow of thoughts feelings and ideas.
Many people will also experience times when they have to be very focused on a specific task and are able to solely focus on this task to the exclusion of all other distractions and incoming stimuli. The ability to do this is important in today’s age when at some point most of us will be required to sit still, perhaps to focus attention on new material in an educational setting, or in a situation where there is a need to work through a task in a job setting or simply organise a 21st Century demanding and active life.
Some individuals are unable to enter this more focused mode and always experience their minds as on the go, fast moving and jumping from topic to topic. What we are speaking about is Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD) and Adult Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (adult ADHD), a related condition where not only is there an inability to focus attention but there are also impulsive and hyperactive symptoms. Adults with these disorders may feel as though they are driven by a motor, often restless, often distracted, often starting a task but not finishing it. They start with an idea but are often unable to seeing it through and are invariably disorganised. Some adults with ADD/ADHD might also find themselves making rash decisions because it is too much effort to concentrate, focus and think things through in detail so will take a hit and miss approach, even in a situation where important decisions need to be made.
Diagnosing Attention Deficit Disorder and Attention Hyperactivity Disorder can be difficult. As with most psychological conditions however, there are certain symptoms that remain common among most cases and could indicate a professional consultation is warranted.
Typically ADD / ADHD symptoms include:
A number of years ago it was thought that these disorders only affected children but it is now very well recognised that children who experience ADD or ADHD will often go on to have similar problems in adulthood and there are many adults who have never had a diagnosis of ADD or ADHD who certainly do meet the criteria for ADD or ADHD and are affected significantly by the condition.
Our modern day understanding of the neurobiological differences that underlie these conditions highlight subtle neurochemical differences in the cortex. The good news is that there are very effective treatments available including both pharmacotherapy and behavioral therapy to address the problem. There are also a number of different types of medication used to treat ADD and ADHD – expert input is therefore necessary to find the right medication and the right dosing schedule.
Here at Psymplicity Healthcare, our integrated approach to ADD and ADHD treatment has proven effective. We offer a bespoke combination of medication, psychological and coaching techniques tailored for each patient. Effective drugs for ADHD are now available in the UK and while they are not all available on the NHS, our ADHD psychiatrists may well prescribe medications to reduce an individual’s symptoms.
The vast majority of ADHD cases can be treated effectively and with very little disruption to normal life, though the earlier help is sought, the better. Here at Psymplicity Healthcare, it’s our opinion that the very best psychiatrists for Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder owe it to their patients to study every aspect of their case so as to formulate an appropriate and effective treatment plan. We take into account personal circumstances, medical histories and any underlying mental or physical health conditions that could result in the symptoms prior to making a diagnosis and proceeding with a treatment program. We use structured diagnostic tools and neuropsychological testing when indicated
At Psymplicity Healthcare we understand how adversely life-affecting these psychological disturbances can be and we’ll stop at nothing to help you get your life back on track. So whether it’s a loved one you may be worried is suffering with ADHD or you’d like to have your own case evaluated by our team with significant expertise in the field, we’re waiting to hear from you.
To talk to a member of the team about the specific treatment approach please click here.
33-year-old Samantha was under the impression that ADHD was something that only ever affected children – she often suspected her own energetic brood might be effected. As such, she was pleased to learn that the symptoms she presented with mapped out to a textbook case of Adult ADHD. With the right medication and a tailor made coaching programme, Samantha found herself greeting each day of family and work life with more joy, positivity and of course productivity than she could ever have imagined.