Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder is one of the most common mental health disorders. Recent studies show that up to 10% of children and 6% of adults have significant symptoms of ADHD


Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder is one of the most common mental health disorders. Recent studies show that up to 10% of children and 6% of adults have significant symptoms of ADHD. Whilst the exact cause of ADHD is unclear, there is some indication that Genetics, Environment and Problems at key stages of development may play a role in the development of ADHD. If you have a close family member with ADHD or another mental health diagnosis, the risk may increase. Babies that were conceived and born whilst the mother was using substances or those who were born prematurely are also at increased risk.


The core symptoms of ADHD often first present in childhood. ADHD in the educational environment is well known and there are commonly reported problems within the classroom setting. This maybe the first indication that the core symptoms are active for any young person. These problems do not finish when education ends, in fact without effective treatment they may well become more problematic overtime. Educational failure, unemployment, antisocial behaviours, unsafe sex, risk taking, gambling, early or unwanted pregnancy, dangerous driving, use of prescription or street drugs and excessive use of alcohol are significantly more prevalent in those with adolescent/adult ADHD


Symptoms of ADHD include:

The first step in the treatment of ADHD is to take a good look at the environment.

Residential treatment options can help to stabilise the effects of the environment and reduce the known stressors.

The Role of the Family in ADHD


Whilst family therapy does not directly impact the core symptoms of ADHD, it does have significant and beneficial effects of the way that the family relate to the young person or family member. Our parents tell us, that following family therapy and parent/family training for ADHD they feel ‘like better more effective parents’. We focus on more positive interaction and reducing the more difficult ‘oppositional’ aspects of living with a family member with ADHD symptoms. The family feel empowered having made the positive choice to engage in treatment, especially where there is dual diagnosis, addictive behaviours, self-harm or suicidal thoughts. Helping parents to re-establish boundaries, find educational and employment solutions and navigate some of the more difficult aspects of home life has positive effects for the whole family system. Family therapy at The Wave is an opportunity to re-establish the quality of family relationships and to reduce the pressure and stress within the whole family. 

Don't suffer alone


Therapy - Psychoeducation in conjunction with therapy, is essential so that young people and families can better understand their ADHD and how to effectively manage their daily lives. C.B.T and other therapies may be beneficial in in promoting better skills and impact the positive functioning of daily activities. Therapy can also help to alleviate some of the negative messages associated with ADHD that can adversely affect self-esteem and functioning. Many young people challenged by the symptoms of ADHD are susceptible to co-ocurring conditions. Substance Use disorders or addiction is prevalent in young adults with ADHD. Often this begins as a means to self-regulate the unpleasant symptoms that they experience. Depression, anxiety and suicidal thoughts can also be a future of untreated ADHD.

Medication can help with the core symptoms of ADHD. In fact, research has shown that medication can be effective in up to 70% of those wit ADHD. Stimulant medications work by increasing the levels of dopamine and noradrenaline in the brain. This can help with the parts of the brain that are responsible for control, activity and attention. In ADHD, we can describe the brain as being under-active and inefficient in some keys areas; stimulants enhance these areas of the brain to help them work more effectively. 

Studies indicate, that used appropriately medication for ADHD seems to have positive benefits for young people and families. Arriving at the right medication/dosage for each person can take time and this is best achieved wit the specialist care of a psychiatrist in the supported environment that residential care provides. 

Methylphenidate and dexamphetamine. There are long and short acting varieties. The short acting version lasts for about 4 hours, the long acting version lasts for between 8-13 hours. 

Non-stimulants Atomoxetine and Guanfacine. Both medications are longer acting, lasting for between a working day and 24 hours.  They are issued in accordance to the NICE guidelines

Stimulants first as slightly larger effects than non-stimulants. Usually within 30minutes there will be a significant reduction in the symptoms of ADHD such as the mind wandering much less, less distracted, patient, ability to wait, social life family and functioning

If the medication is correct at the right does and the right medication, it enhances brain function, more control and regulation, The emotion regulation, self-control

Most people medication on its own is not enough. Conjunction social, psychological support. Not just focus on symptoms. Self-esteem, negative self-view of life more likely to be anxious or depressed in alter life. Positive long-term outcomes for people. Improvements in suicidal thoughts, depression, risk of accidents, criminal behaviours, taking treatment for ADHD.

Medication does not work for all people, sometimes medication needs to be altered and even changed to promote the most effective treatment results. One of the benefits of residential treatment at The Wave, is the continual monitoring of medications and the ability to switch medication is a supported environment under the care of the Consultant Psychiatrist and his medical team. 

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Recovery is not a journey that should be taken alone.

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