25 September 2018

ADHD Celebration Day

ADHD CELEBRATION DAY

Avon and Wiltshire Mental Health Partnership NHS Trust (AWP) is inviting adults with ADHD to an awareness raising and recognition event.

The Trust's Adult ADHD Service is aiming to celebrate neurodiversity, help build resilience and galvanise a wider ADHD community through its event on Friday 12 October, which will showcase the successes and skills of adults with the condition.

Dietmar Hank, Consultant Psychiatrist in Adult ADHD for AWP, said: "People with ADHD can live very successful and fulfilled lives. A thorough assessment, education/knowledge about the condition and appropriate treatment are often the key to positive changes. ADHD doesn't just affect those with a diagnosis. Families, loved ones, friends and wider society can struggle to make sense of the condition and some of the problems caused by it.

"We want to focus on the diversity and strengths many people with ADHD demonstrate and give adults with the condition the opportunity to meet others, learn from and share with each other."

The event, which is taking place at the Trinity Centre, Trinity Road, Bristol, BS2 0NW, from 10am until 3.30pm, will feature workshops, talks delivered by people affected by ADHD, music and much more. It is open to adults with ADHD, their friends and family, professionals and other interested parties.

ADHD is a disorder that includes symptoms such as inattentiveness, hyperactivity and impulsiveness. The symptoms of ADHD tend to improve with age, but many adults who were diagnosed with the condition at a young age continue to experience problems.

Rachel, who was diagnosed with ADHD in her 30s, said: "For me, ADHD means I can go from being superhuman and the best at something, to totally incompetent, and failing horribly in minutes. I can go to work and undertake a task that would baffle even the smartest of employees but get lost on the way home; or write an inspiring letter to defend an injustice but fail to manage my bills. Therein lies the struggle, anxiety, self-doubt and vulnerability that makes life hard for me, because people expect consistency."

AWP's Adult ADHD Service is a specialist team of doctors, psychologists, nurses and an occupational therapist, who work exclusively with adults who have ADHD. The team reassesses and continues treatment for people who have a diagnosis of ADHD from childhood, and they also assess adults who have never had a diagnosis made.

If you think you may have ADHD, you will need to see your GP first. They may then refer you to the Adult ADHD clinic for a specialist assessment. If a diagnosis is made, treatment and further support can usually be offered.

Treatments
• Medication for ADHD in line with up to date research and guidance on the condition
• Psychological input to help understand and master some of the ways ADHD affects people, and how to deal with anxiety, depression or low self-esteem, which frequently accompanies ADHD
• Psychosocial skills training, for example managing administration, procrastination and time management
• Occupational assessments of a person's home and work activities to introduce adaptations to the environment or activity
• Sensory processing assessments to find ways of managing altered levels of sensitivity to light, sound, movement, touch and taste
• The promotion of a healthy lifestyle, including a good diet, adequate exercise and sufficient sleep
• Regular support, including working with patients and GPs to monitor medication and other treatment and provide ongoing support, using appointments on the phone or in person
• Talks and training to address the needs of other professionals, employers and other interested parties who want to know more about adult ADHD

Doing things which can help you
 You may find it hard to organise things so make lists, keep diaries, stick up reminders, and set aside some time to plan what you need to do
 Find ways of letting off steam, like exercise
 Find ways of relaxing - perhaps music or relaxation techniques
 Be realistic about your goals
 Remind yourself about the things you can do well
 If you do not sleep well, trialing a good bedtime routine may be of benefit
 Avoid spending time with people who encourage you to drink too much or use drugs, or get involved in stressful situations

Ask for help
 Your employer, tutor or teacher may be able to make allowances for you
 Join a self-help group
 If you are becoming distressed or depressed because of your symptoms we advise you to see your GP

For more information visit /services/specialist/bristol-adhd-clinic/

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