Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)

Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)

What is ADHD?

Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, or ADHD, is a psychiatric condition that affects people’s behaviour. It can make people feel restless and act impulsively. Symptoms of ADHD are most often noticed in children between the ages of six and twelve. It’s estimated to affect around 1.5 million people in the UK.


What are the symptoms of ADHD?

The key symptoms of ADHD can be broken down into two types of behavioural problems: inattentiveness and hyperactivity. Most people will experience symptoms from both of these categories, but not always. In general, the symptoms will vary from person to person.

The main signs of ADHD include:

  • Inattentiveness
    • Having a short attention span and being easily distracted
    • Making careless mistakes
    • Appearing forgetful or losing things
    • Being unable to stick to tasks that are tedious or time-consuming
    • Appearing to be unable to listen to or carry out instructions
    • Constantly changing activity or task
    • Having difficulty organising tasks
  • Hyperactivity and impulsiveness
    • Being unable to sit still, especially in calm or quiet surroundings
    • Constantly fidgeting
    • Being unable to concentrate on tasks
    • Excessive physical movement
    • Excessive talking
    • Being unable to wait their turn
    • Acting without thinking
    • Interrupting conversations
    • Little or no sense of danger

The symptoms of ADHD usually improve with age, but many adults who were diagnosed with the condition at a young age continue to experience problems. By the age of 25, an estimated 15% of people diagnosed with ADHD as children still have a full range of symptoms, and 65% still have some symptoms that affect their daily lives. In particular, hyperactivity tends to reduce in adults.

Nonetheless, there are also some symptoms that usually only present themselves in adults:

  • Carelessness and lack of attention to detail
  • Poor organisational skills
  • Blurting out responses and often interrupting others
  • Mood swings, irritability, and a quick temper
  • Inability to deal with stress
  • Extreme impatience
  • Taking risks in activities, often with little or no regard for personal safety or the safety of others

People with ADHD may also experience additional problems, such as sleep and anxiety disorders.


What causes ADHD?

Experts are not in agreement on the exact cause of ADHD, but there are some working theories about what could be at the bottom of it. These include:

  • Genetic predilection
  • Brain function and structure
  • Being born prematurely
  • Having epilepsy
  • Having brain damage, either in the womb or later in life

What treatment options are available for ADHD?

ADHD is a lifelong condition, but there are treatment options out there that can help to relieve the symptoms and make the condition much less of a problem in day-to-day life. This treatment is usually a combination of medicines and therapy:

  • Medicines
    • Methylphenidate
    • Lisdexamfetamine
    • Dexamfetamine
    • Atomoxetine
    • Guanfacine
  • Therapy
    • Psychoeducation
    • Behaviour therapy
    • Parent training and education programmes
    • Social skills training
    • Cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT)

Doctors will advise on what exact treatment options are best for certain individuals. This will depend on which symptoms being experienced and the severity.


How can medical cannabis help with ADHD?

When traditional forms of treatment fail to help those with ADHD, medical cannabis has been known to offer some relief. For example, a study in 2017, ‘Cannabinoids in attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder: A randomised-controlled trial’ shows a reduction in symptoms in people with ADHD after using medical cannabis, improving their quality of life. 

The writers, Ruth E Cooper, Emma Williams, Seth Seegobin, Charlotte Tye, Jonna Kuntsi, and Philip Asherson state that their work “provides preliminary evidence supporting the self-medication theory of cannabis use in ADHD”. They highlighted improvements in cognitive ability, hyperactivity/impulsivity, and trends towards improvements in inattention as some of the key findings.

The Medical Cannabis Clinics’ team is dedicated to raising awareness about how medical cannabis can help with a range of psychiatric conditions, including ADHD. Your prescription can be tailored to suit your individual circumstances and needs, with ongoing support and adjustments made as necessary.

At The Medical Cannabis Clinics, we offer personalised treatment plans and private care for patients through online video link consultations with our expert specialist doctors, who will guide you through the treatment options available from the clinic.

Appointments start from just £70. Book a private consultation today and one of our expert specialist doctors will be able to offer you targeted advice and treatment plans, unique to your needs and symptoms.

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