ADHD in adults is too often undiagnosed and misunderstood | Letter

Linda Saltwell of ADHD Aware says many people realise they need a referral only when they trip over information themselves

It was very moving to see the relief of Nadia Sawalha as she described being finally diagnosed with ADHD (Nadia Sawalha reveals she has been diagnosed with ADHD in late 50s, 24 November).

I write as co-chair of ADHD Aware, a national peer support charity for adults impacted by ADHD, based in Brighton and Hove. We see this situation over and over in adults who have had disappointing school experiences and bewildered families all navigating the world of this vastly undiagnosed condition. This is particularly the case for women.

It’s often hard for people to get a diagnosis, or even find information that might alert them to the possibility that they might be neurodivergent. The celebrities mentioned in the article, including Nadia, would not have come to the conclusion that they needed a referral until they tripped over the information themselves.

Having lived with a raft of unexplained issues, a diagnosis can utterly change our members’ lives – because with the right treatment and support, people can and do thrive. Some of our most creative talent is found in the neurodiverse community.

ADHD Aware offers peer support sessions to adults across the country. Our aim is to bring together people to support each other, providing a space where they feel safe, accepted and understood. We hold a programme of regular free sessions each month, both face to face and by video, all supported by our volunteers.

To find out more about our sessions, awareness training and couples’ pilot, or how to donate or partner with us and more, visit adhdaware.org.uk. In our view, there needs to be more NHS resources for diagnosis and increased awareness and training.
Linda Saltwell
Co-chair, ADHD Aware

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